The North Face – CGR looks at what’s new for climbers in Spring 2013?
CGR recently visited The North Face UK offices to see what’s new for climbers in 2013. It’s easy to snub TNF as a brand for Hikers, Students, and Dog Walkers, but we at CGR maintain that beneath all the High Street apparel there lies a deep love of climbing and exploration in the brand. This is shows through in the innovation and the continual sponsorship of high profile expeditions and climbers.
The range is part of the Summit Series: this is the top of the range, designed and functional kit and is aimed at “hard core achievers” and dedicated climbers.
This Spring TNF have produced a range of clothing specific for alpine and technical mountain climbing. The range has been designed in partnership with the Pou brothers using their big wall climbing experience as inspiration. TNF have produced a range that is ultra light and athletic in fit and function: you won’t find any of this range on a TV presenter!
To see the Pou brothers big wall credentials just check this:
There are four items that together weigh in at less than 1.5kg, that for a full set of clothes, I’ve tested pants that almost weigh that alone! These are:
The Anti-Matter Jacket
TNF says: One of the lightest climbing shells on the market (319g). Created from a hybrid fabric construction of 2L and seam-taped 3L Gore Windstopper® Active Shell, the Anti-Matter Jacket cuts weight and bulk, while providing durable, abrasion-resistant protection and maximum freedom of movement. 100% windproof, highly water-resistant and extremely breathable. Features: climbing-specific fit, helmet-compatible hood with laminated and wired peak, hybrid alpine pockets/pit zips and nonabrasive, moulded cuff tabs.
CGR says: this looked a great lightweight shell. It packed down to nothing and felt great on.
The Verto Micro Hoodie
TNF says: An athlete favourite, Verto Micro Hoodie is a lightweight mid-layer designed for climbers who need essential warmth without bulk on the big wall. Pertex® Quantum™ GL fabric shell is stuffed with 800-fi ll goose down for the ultimate in warmth-to-weight ratio (245g) & compressibility. Protection for face & neck enhanced through strategic insulation panels & elastic-edged hood. Stretch, wicking FlashDry™ underarm panels aids moisture management & totally windproof shell on hood, shoulders & sleeves protect from the elements.
CGR says: a very specialist item of clothing. Not something to wear down the pub but as insulating layer that you can climb in, it looked just the ticket.
The Infiesto Full Zip Top
TNF says: Cut from Polartec® Power Dry®, this lightweight classic style fleece jacket blends insulation for warmth with wicking action for moisture management. Elastic binding at the collar, cuffs and hem ensures a tight fit.
CGR says: A full zip Power Dry top complete with pockets: a versatile item of clothing for all your mountain adventures.
The Meteor Pant
TNF says: Built for a wide range of alpine activities, this lightweight, technical pant boasts a universal,athletic fit. Pioneering Pertex® Equilibrium™ fabric construction is both wicking and water resistant thanks to a DWR coating, whilst stretch woven thigh and lower leg panels breathe well and reduce bulk. The super low-profile waist construction and anatomical lumbar fit are harness and pack-belt compatible.
CGR says: a nice fitting and functional pair of high alpine pants. Functional enough to keep the showers and wind off and flexible enough for those heinous rock overs.
As well as the clothing the range there is also:
The Verto 32
TNF says: Lightweight, durable and compressible, this pack stows inside its own zippered pouch for easy storage on longer adventures. When open, the Verto boasts 32 litres of storage in lightweight, durable cargo chute nylon, making it the ultimate summit ascent pack. Triple-point compression lets it double up as a sleeping bag stuffsack.
CGR says: We’ve been using the orginal Verto 25 for a while now and it’s proved a great super light climbing pack so it’s super to see a bigger pack with a removable foam padding back. At 644g it should be popular. We love the way it all folds into it’s own pocket – sweet.
And finally The Verto Plasma
TNF says: One of the lightest technical approach shoes on the market (410g), Verto Plasma provides excellent stability and traction over mountainous multi-terrain, adapting to any situation. Combines protection and agility required for via ferrata, with impact control during load carrying on rock. Proprietary Cradle™ technology ensures maximum comfort and a biomechanically correct stride. Supports the perimeter of the heel and ensures underlying soft tissues are anatomically positioned. Inspired by over 40 years of mountaineering heritage, blending European craftsmanship with modern materials. Men’s and women’s versions available.
CGR says: TNF’s first steps into the approach shoe market. It looked great and we loved the narrow toe box and they felt very light on and well constructed. We’ve asked for a pair on test to see if they can pass the ultimate CGR test – to climb VS in them!
So you can expect to see these in stores soon and if you are planning any high mountain adventures in 2013 they are well worth a look.
Look out for the new Thermoball Hoodie for Autumn 2013 – the exclusive new Primaloft filling looked much better than the current Primaloft Sport, having better compressibility and higher loft. Thermoball fillings will be exclusive to TNF apparel.