If you spend a lot of time outdoors for work or play you know the never ending quest for the right gear to keep you warm and dry and still mobile. Hiking, working, shoveling show, skiing, ice climbing or just out walking the dog, its no fun if you are cold. There are lots of great equipment makers out there and we have and still us many of them but I was particularly interested when I found out from The Outfitters in St John’s, Newfoundland that The North Face was redesigning their Summit Series for 2016. This was always the North Face’s professional grade expedition line of outdoor clothing so what could they do that was new?
As soon as Erinn and I got our hands on the L4 jacket we took them out for a sunrise climb at the seaside climbing crag at Flatrock, Newfoundland on a chilly snowy morning.
Lightweight, insulated with Thermoball and flexible it was great for climbing and while on belay. Thermoball is the new synthetic alternative to down made with Primaloft material. It insulates even when wet.
As a professional photographer who seems to spend a lot of time outdoors be it on construction sites, oil rigs, chasing rock and ice climbers or just standing around …waiting! My choice of clothing can be just as important an equipment decision as my cameras. You have to stay comfortable or you just can’t work.
Layering is the key to staying warm for extending periods being active outdoors. The North Face has cut its Summit Series line down to the best layering system around with L1 as the base layer all the way up the the L5 mountaineering outer shell with various mid layers as L2, L3 and L4.
The L4 we tested is easily a stand-a-lone jacket of most activities but still light enough toss a rain shell or full guide or mountaineering shell over top.