Posts tagged north face
LincsGeek and I are fairly new to the skiing game. We went on our first ski holiday just three years ago after some ski lessons at snozone. Before that first holiday we kitted ourselves up as cheaply as we could – we wanted good quality at low cost, and so bought coat, pants, gloves, socks and thermals in the sales and at discount stores. Skiing is expensive, and you can spend a fortune on kit if you wanted to. I want to, there is so much fabulous kit about, but can’t warrant it.
So when The North Face offered me one this season’s jackets for our trip to Finland I was delighted. You already know I like The North Face as a brand, I find their clothing fits me nicely and their shoes are comfortable. And I love my down slippers! But they are a technical brand with very high price points.
This is the Honee Snugs Delux Parka, and as soon as I saw it I knew that this was exactly my kind of coat. Just look at the colour for a start, the muted green (Boyce Green) is just lovely, so much better than the (boring) black of my existing ski coat. And it just looks comfortable and warm. I couldn’t wait to try it out.
A military-style parka offering skiers and boarders serious protection from the elements. This longer-length jacket is built with Heatseeker™ synthetic insulation, ensuring a warm ride whatever the weather. An adjustable hem system, adjustable cuffs and powder skirt provide a secure and comfortable fit. When the holiday is over, convert the parka into street wear by removing the powder skirt and unzipping the hood down the centre to reveal long-pile fleece lining. Core zip-vents help to prevent overheating when pounding the hill or park. Chest, hand, wrist and media pockets provide ample storage for all necessities. Created to look effortlessly stylish, The North Face Women’s Honee Snugs Delux Parka is street cool for the mountain and beyond.
I was a little worried about the length – this is a long line ski coat – and as I am short it could have looked silly and restricted my movement. I think you’ll agree though that it looks great on (I hope you agree!) and thanks to the shorter front and longer back I can move my legs about with no trouble at all. Actually that lower bit at the back is genius – it was just right to sit on when I was on chair lifts, which made a big difference to keeping me warm on the way up to the top of the slopes. There was plenty of room under the coat for me to layer up (I had the medium); while this coat has a feminine cut it isn’t tight.
I could tell this coat had been designed for winter sports. The large goggle pocket, the internal phone/mp3 player pocket with hole for the headphone wires, the powder skirt, the sleeve pocket in exactly the right place for your lift pass – all make this coat very useful on the slopes. That sleeve pocket even has a glasses cloth attached, which was a very useful feature, and the long toggles on the zips mean you can use them with gloves on. The two pockets at the front are massive – I could easily fit my wallet and some chocolate in one and my camera in its case in the other – and those little hand warmer pockets half way up were also useful for my poor cold fingers.
All the pockets aside, the whole point of a ski coat is for it to keep you warm and dry. And it did. Thankfully. The insulation did its job and I stayed totally dry for the whole holiday and in all the weather conditions Finland threw at us. The main zip has a flap over the top to stop wind and moisture getting through, and it does right up over your chin which helped keep my neck warm and dry. I think it goes without saying that I wore this coat over the required thermal layers, and needed a neck tube too, but it definitely went a long way to keeping my body warm and comfortable. I was very thankful for such a good quality coat when it was -22 and blowing a gale in the middle of the day. I wonder if the addition of comfort cuffs would have helped keep my hands any warmer – LincsGeek has them on his ski coat and I like the idea, they stop snow going up the sleeves and fit underneath his gloves adding a layer to his wrists.
[I will never make a model, but we had a great laugh taking these photos at the bottom of the Ski Jump in Ruka, Finland... below shows what happens when you run in the snow and it suddenly gets a lot deeper!]
This coat isn’t just for wearing on the slopes. The North Face has designed this for casual wear at home too, and you may have seen me sporting around and about quite a lot since we got home. The powder skirt comes out, the hood zips down the middle leaving it flat on your back, and you are left with a very nice parka style coat for everyday winter wear. The double zip is also very useful when wearing this coat casually – it means you can unzip it a little bit when you’re sat in the car driving.
I think you can tell that I really like this coat. I love the style, I really love the colour, and the fact that it’s great for the slopes and in town is perfect. It also fits well and is flattering – it’s not too bulky. This has become my “go everywhere” jacket, fit for all my winter activities. As for whether it’s worth the £260 price tag to be honest I really don’t know – I am not and probably will never be in the position to spend that much on any item of clothing, and so have nothing to compare it to. I know that with outdoors gear you get what you pay for and it is certainly superior to the ski coat I bought a few years ago, as well as my other winter coat. It has immediately become my coat of choice when heading out in the cold, wet and snow, and I think that is down to the design and quality.
It’s the season for blog competitions, and I can’t hide my love of shoooooooes so I had to do this one really.
This time it’s the lovely Kel Loves hosting a competition from Barratts. To enter I have to create an outfit post for a festive occasion including a pair of Barratts footwear. So naturally I had a browse of the Barratts website. Kel Loves specifically asked that the outfit one of a range of Christmassy situations: A walk in a winter wonderland, a Christmas party, a long shopping day, and a Christmas day outfit (for you, a child, or anyone else!).
It will come as no surprise to you that my outfit is for a walk in a winter wonderland – I love wandering around in the snow, even better if it is a snowy beach I’m walking along. I took these background photos on boxing day a couple of years ago when we walked along Skegness Beach – snow on sand is always a strange sight.
I started with the boots (naturally) – these Caterpillar boots look warm and rugged and like they’d last more than one or two walks along a snowy beach landscape. A friend of mine has a pair and loves them, which is a good recommendation. They are leather and have a furry trim, and will work well poking out from under jeans as well over leggings.
Here I’ve paired them with a pair of dark green skinny jeans from Dorothy Perkins. I really (yes, really) want a pair of green trousers and reckon these great value £25 jeans from DP will tuck into those boots perfectly. That brown duffel coat is by Merrell and it has been on my wish list since I first saw a photo a few weeks ago. I love the shape and colour, and know it would keep me toasty warm in winter. On my head I’d wear the uber cute Animal Collette Beanie.
So there you are… what do you think? Do I get any fashion points for my practical outfit?
If you are a blogger and fancy entering this competition head over to Kel Loves for the details. I’ll let you know if I win!
One thing I love about moving closer and closer towards winter is that I can wrap up warm in lots of cosy layers. That, of course, includes my head and my hands – I love cosy beanie hats and warm gloves.
I don’t have quite as many pairs of gloves as I have shoes (by a long way!), but I do think a lady needs a good choice of gloves. You need something for every eventuality – think smart, casual, skiing, running, different colours, different designs. The idea behind Zalando is to give us a nice selection to choose from…
Always wear a plain black winter coat? Most of us do. Then don’t wear black gloves! How about these lovely suede green ones by Pieces? Or maybe you prefer a dark coloured smart glove with some coloured accents? Then how about these leather Maya gloves with yellow and red colouring – they are better than just plain leather.
These are cute double layered gloves by Esprit – they come apart so you have a standard woollen pair of gloves and a fingerless pair which double up to keep your hands really toasty warm. Looking at them it appears that they are touch screen compatible too so you don’t have to take them off to use your iPhone or iPad, bonus.
The great thing about fingerless gloves is that you can wear them in the office and still type away successfully on the keyboard. I admit I wear a pair more often than not at this time of year, I hate having cold hands. I normally go for something like this…
…but I like the idea of these glove “tubes” by Cinque; they are more fashionable and will cover up my wrists and main part of my hand, leaving my fingers free. The yellow is lovely too, very autumnal.
For running and other sports then my glove of choice is still these eGloves that I received to review a over a year ago now. I really rate them with their thin comfortable material, metallic finger tips and grippy palms. They work as glove liners too for really cold days on the ski slopes.
But when the weather is really cold I reckon what we all need is mittens! I haven’t had a pair since I was a kid but I think I need to put that right this year. I bet these ones by UGG are so very warm and cosy, but I’ll probably end up going for something much more sensible (and cheaper!) but still excellent quality like these The North Face cable knit mittens. OR… I might have to knit my own like these featured on Style and then Some – yes?!
The nights are dark. It’s cold and damp outside. You haven’t got to go anywhere. So on goes the lounge wear, and most importantly, the slippers.
Comfy, cosy house shoes are a wonderful luxury. Yes you can get cheep and cheerful ones from Primark or any other shop on the high street. But they never last very long and they just don’t work as well. Everyone should have a pair of proper warm slippers.
I have a pair of Tent Mule Down slippers by The North Face. I bought them on the recommendation of Ashleigh, an amazing surfer (and blogged about them here back in February). I like nothing more than getting home from work, kicking off my shoes and socks, and getting these on my feet. Since I got them at the beginning of the year they have been very well worn, and while they might look a little grubby, they are still as warm and as comfy, and haven’t worn out even a little bit. I like them so much I even pack them when I go away – something I’ve never done before (am I just getting old?!).
I recently considered buying a second pair of slippers, just for a bit of variety. These UGGs caught my eye. At £79.99 they are an investment piece (as are any UGGs!) but I really fancy the idea of slipping my feet into the lovely cosy lining. I didn’t get them, I decided I would stick with my Tent Mules for now, and when they are showing signs of wear simply buy another pair.
I’ve never really had proper technical clothing until recently. I have my little adventures in whatever is sitting in my wardrobe. I shop to a budget and in sales and to be honest I’ve never really seen the point of spending loads of money on clothing when cheaper items “will do”.
But over the last year or two, with testing out a number of pairs of technical shoes, I have come to realise that the right kit does actually help. Certainly on your feet. Earlier this year I spent £15 on a microfleece and £50 on a new waterproof coat, both in the sale, but trying to get the best specification I could afford rather than just getting anything. I’m still not sure how much difference the technical kit makes, apart from looking the part. The North Face sent me one of their La Reina T-Shirts to wear when I did the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge recently, and so it was the perfect opportunity to find out.
This t-shirt is lightweight and made from polyester and their Polartec Power Dry technology to give it powerful wicking qualities to keep you cool and dry when you work up a sweat. It rolled up really tiny in my bag, and didn’t crease like a cotton t-shirt would have done.
I like it. The medium fitted ok (all this walking hasn’t helped my tummy area!). The neat round neck meant it sat under my microfleece comfortably – a collar would have been less useful for this occasion. And it did seem to do its job well – I worked hard that day, that climbing was tough and I definitely worked up a sweat. With just this t-shirt, a microfleece and a waterproof coat I was cool enough when walking quickly and just about warm enough at the top of the windy peaks. I say “just about” because it was incredibly windy and when you stop for any time up there you do get a bit chilly, but I didn’t shiver and wasn’t uncomfortable. Ok so when I took my fleece off for this (I look terrible) photo to be taken (that’s Whernside in the background, we’re about to tackle the climb of Ingleborough) I did get cold then!
I didn’t have a problem with sweat on my back where I was carrying my bag, and didn’t have to keep taking layers off and adding them on like I saw others do. I did look like a colour clash though… the muted shade of red kind of looked ridiculous with my purple microfleece and blue waterproof coat. Never mind!
When I got back I washed my t-shirt and noticed how quick it dried, which was excellent. However one thing that has disappointed me is that it now has lots of little catches in the material – little nicks and pulls where the weave has failed. I only washed it with other similar items, nothing that should have damaged the material. It is a real shame as my t-shirt no-longer looks as good as it did before – it looks old and worn even. I will obviously still wear it, I’m not worried about that really, just a bit disappointed because I would have expected it to look perfect for longer. I’m would hope that this issue is a one off and other The North Face kit won’t do that when washed.
The North Face La Reina T-Shirt comes in at £35 which I consider loads for a top, but having worn it I can see why I would choose a technical tee like this over a standard cotton t-shirt for adventures in the future. Technical clothing is a massive business – I don’t doubt that I could have completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks wearing a normal t-shirt under my fleece, but I can honestly say that with the La Reina I didn’t have any sweat issues, or chaffing where the seams would have been, and in fact didn’t even think about what I was wearing apart from that I felt fine. Technical kit like this seems to give you opportunity to concentrate on your task at hand. I’d better get saving for the rest of the kit!
I saw these first on a fab surfer’s blog (Ashleigh Bennetts) and as I was already looking around for the perfect pair of slippers to replace my worn out Animal boots I decided to investigate. And I feel in love. And I treated myself.
The North Face Nuptse Tent Mules are slippers designed for the coldest of feet. With 450 fill down insulation they are warm and cosy, just like the traditional down jackets and vests The North Face are known for. I have them in the ivory colour, which is light and feminine. My size 7 feet fit into the small just right – they are a snug fit but a close fit is the idea and there is some give in the material (the small is for 6.5-8).
I have no intention of trying these out at the top of a mountain or at the North Pole (just yet – anyone want to sponsor me to go on a massive expedition?!) but I like to think that these would keep my feet warm there too. Apparently they’re also water resistant and durable and so can be worn outside as well as in – mine will absolutely be kept indoors though! In fact they may be the first slippers I pack to take on holiday, I’ve never done that before, is that normal?!
Oh and the green factor – the upper is made from recycled plastic bottles. Nice touch.
Price wise these are on the expensive side at £35 (I got mine for £24.50 from Two Seasons, making them more affordable) but from the second I put them on I would say they are worth every penny. Sometimes it’s just worth spending a little extra.