The North Face Thermoball Review: Waterproof Synthetic Insulation

This review comes from Scott Johns, an adventure cinematographer, mountain biker and snowboarder living in Incline Village on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. When Scott’s not creating beautiful imagery for video, he’s out ripping singletrack or shredding big lines in his backyard that we call the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Find more of Scott’s work at

What the heck is Thermoball? No, it’s not the next sport that will be all the rage at the 2032 Olympics in Afghanistan. It’s a waterproof synthetic alternative to down insulation from The North Face. Not only do less geese get plucked, but it’s lighter than down, dries faster and insulates better when wet. Just as compressible as their down alternatives, the Thermoball jacket, hoodie and vest will keep you warmer this winter while saving both weight and space. Equivalent to 600-fill down, The North Face Thermoball line serves both women and men in a variety of colors.





The North Face Thermoball Hoodie Insulated Jacket
The hooded version of the Thermoball Full Zip Jacket features two hand pockets, elastic binding at cuffs and hood, hem cinch-cord system in hand pockets and three-color, zipper-pull detail. The *bluesign-approved-fabric hoodie will conveniently stow away into its own hand pocket when you’re ready to pack it. Hard for the men’s down or synthetic jackets to beat that.






Check out this display of how lofty The North Face Thermoball insulation really is:


Oh. My. God. Becky, look at that insulation. It is like, so lofty! It must be one of those other guys’ role models.


The North Face Thermoball Full Zip Insulated Jacket
With all the same features as the hoodie, except the hood, the Thermoball Full Zip Jacket is your minimalist alternative to all the other women’s down and synthetic jackets out there. Need to go even more minimal? Get the vest.



Kit Deslauirers in the Thermoball Full Zip Jacket. Jackson Hole, WY. Photo: Tim Kemple







The North Face Thermoball Vest
Same features, no hood, no sleeves. The Thermoball Vest has bound armholes instead of cuffs. It uses the same 600-fill down-equivalent Thermoball technology and bluesign-approved fabric as its siblings. Vests are great layering pieces when you need a comfortable medium. Plus, you’ll look really slick while keeping your core warm.




The North Face footwear even comes with Thermoball insulation! Keep your toes toasty with Thermoball Booties and Thermoball Slippers! The women’s version, the Thermoball Roll-Down Bootie, is versatile and stylish for both the comfort of your living room and tooling around in public.




*The bluesign® system is the solution for a sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. (

Adam Broderick manages the web content at Tahoe Mountain Sports. When he is not in the office, he tries his best to be in the field doing something awesome.

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