Okay, I’ll admit the reason this jacket caught my eye initially is because it comes in pink. Bright pink. I like pink kit.
However, being practical, I’d been on the lookout for an insulated jacket for some time and I had pretty specific criteria; it had to fold up really small, it had to have a hood and it had to perform in the rain – I live in England and spend a lot of time in Scotland and Wales. Enough said.
During my research, the Thermoball seemed to tick all the boxes and I’m a big fan of The North Face to begin with. I was particularly keen on the Thermoball after watching a video on YouTube of a chap dunking it in a icy mountain river to soak it through, then wearing it to hike in to check out the claims that it will keep you warm, even when wet – according to him, it does. I’m personally not planning on carrying out the same test.
After seeing the Thermoball for a particularly good price on Gear for Girls, I decided to go for it. However, I was sensible and went for the black option – mainly because I figured if I was going to spend a load of money on a jacket, then I should get the one that goes with everything so I can wear it everywhere. And I do. It’s been to the pub, to dinner, to work even, and of course up several mountains.
|Team 14 Peaks rocking the Thermoball.
Me in the black, Sarah in the orange
Now, there’s one test that the Thermoball undertook last weekend (the one in the Lake District), and it’s a pretty hardcore test. And fairly disgusting too. Sorry.
Basically, whenever I’m outdoors and it’s the slightest bit cold, my nose runs. A lot. It’s just too fiddly to faff around with getting tissues out of my pocket and blowing my nose then putting tissues back in my pocket, and it’s especially difficult when it’s windy and raining, and I’m wearing gloves. Therefore, I’ve got into the charming habit of either blowing my nose into my glove and wiping it on the ground, or just using the sleeve of my baselayer. Sorry. I did say it was disgusting.
Anyway, I am going somewhere with this. Bear with me.
As a result, my baselayer sleeves get pretty soggy and my lower arms and wrists get really cold. However, despite my sleeves being soaked through, the Thermoball held strong over the snot and get my arms toasty warm!! I was delighted!
Clearly, this jacket is a winner!
Snot test aside, the jacket is amazing. It’s ridiculously lightweight, folds up the size of a grapefruit and is seriously warm. It is synthetic insulation, which suits me. I get pretty warm when hiking/climbing and down is just too hot. Plus, being synthetic, it performs far better in the wet. You can’t really see from the picture above but the jacket is quilted; a clever trick which means the insulation doesn’t clump when it’s wet – and the reason why it stays so warm even when soaked through. Clever, eh?
It’s definitely one of my Go To’s when packing for adventures.