As part of The North Face Summit Series the Alloy jacket and trouser set is made for action and not just a walk in the park – though I’d certainly be happy to wear it on a lazy Sunday ramble…
Why? Because it’s soft, comfortable and practical all in one. The jacket and trousers use a hybrid material so that you’ve got a waterproof membrane where it counts on your hood and shoulders (jacket) seat and knees (trousers) and the rest is a soft shell fabric to help with the breathability side of things. It’s been designed for ski touring and mountaineering and with the matching trousers seems a great combination. I’m more into my mountaineering and ice climbing then skiing so I’m looking forward to trying this set when taking part in a little bit of everything.
The North Face Women’s Alloy Jacket: read more on the TNF website.
I’ve been sent a size medium and think it’s just about right for me though I’d like to try a small as a comparison at some point. With the medium the cut is great in that the length doesn’t rise when I raise my arms in a climbing movement and the helmet hood fits well over my Edelrid helmet. I was a bit dubious when the product description talked about harness friendly pockets but with a harness I can actually get my hands in comfortably for a quick warm up if need be. The single external chest pocket can take my large Samsung Galaxy S3 phone with room for a bit of emergency food such as a cereal bar. A small pocket on the upper left arm will be fine for a key and/or ski pass. There are no internal pockets and it’s not the most packable jacket at around 700g it squashes down to the size of a small melon. Another feature is the ‘gripzones’ on the shoulders so your pack doesn’t slip – though I’ve not usually found this an issue.
The North Face Women’s Alloy Trousers: read more on the TNF website.
Out of the bag – I love them and find them so comfortable. I’ve still got to put them to the test so fingers crossed my first impressions don’t change. The material means they are soft brushed inside and there is a comfortable stretch to the fabric which helps with movement. Features include adjustable and removable braces which only attach at the front. This threw me to begin with as I’d never seen this before but it works! The front fastens with the standard zip and popper stud, backed up and secured with a belt. The belt as far as I can tell can be removed but I don’t see a need to do this and I like it’s magnetic buckle to help keep it together. There are two hand warmer pockets on the front – nice and fleecy inside, and two side vents on your thighs that open straight to your skin for true ventilation. Kick panels and an internal gaiter finish the trousers off nicely.
I’m off skiing in February and hopefully some ice climbing before and after so looking forward to putting this pair through its paces.
Watch out for a full updated review towards the end of February.