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Denali Jacket
Gear Review

Denali Jacket


Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: Denali Jacket

Manufacturer: The North Face

Your Opinion: 
 - 9 Votes


Page By: John

Created/Edited: Jun 12, 2002 / Jun 12, 2002

Object ID: 115

Hits: 4426 


Designed for mountaineering, this versatile fleece jacket is also ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities, including (but certainly not limited to) camping, kayaking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, fly fishing… you get the idea: If it's cold and you're going outside, this one fits the bill. It's made with a Polartec® 300 Series water-repellent fleece and can be zipped into other compatible North Face shells for added weather protection. Multi-position sleeve zip vents help keep you dry and comfortable when you're heating up while climbing and four zippered pockets help you keep your gear organized.
  • Shell: Polartec® 300 Series water-repellent fleece fabric/300 Weight Velour/Laundered two-ply Supplex® nylon fabric is exceptionally warm, lightweight and compressible
  • Upper body and elbows reinforced with two layers of Supplex® nylon (ideal for carrying packs)
  • Multi-position sleeve zip vents to help keep you dry and comfortable
  • Two zippered chest pockets ideal for accessible storage of small items
  • Two zippered handwarmer pockets create an ideal home for cold hands, trail snacks, maps, and other outdoor necessities, complete with secure closure
  • Single-hand elastic drawcord hem adjustment feature
  • Zips into North Face shells for increased simplicity and enhanced warmth



Viewing: 1-8 of 8

JohnUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

I originally purchased this because I was quitting my job at EMS and wanted to get some final use out of my employee discount. For the first 3 years, I only wore this as an around-town jacket. It was by accident that I wore it on a frigid approach hike to Cathedral Peak in 2001 and discovered, "hey, this thing actually works!" Since then, I've worn it on many trips. Here are some observations:
  • Pockets: The single greatest thing about this jacket has to be the number and location of the 2 chest and 2 hand pockets. The chest pockets work great for storing things when you don't want to remove your pack. I'm actually very surprised that this seems to be one of the only fleece jackets out there that has 2 chest pockets....
  • Warmth: This jacket is nice and warm as long as it is not windy or wet. Polartec 300 is not Windstopper and any amount of wind will cut right through this leaving you chilled to the bone. A great alternative to wearing a hardshell, however, is to wear a softshell under the Denali fleece. For warm, dry conditions, I'll wear my Marmot DriClime Flex in place of a long-sleeve t-shirt under the Denali fleece and it does a great job cutting the wind. I even use the Denali Fleece as an ice climbing/belay jacket over a t-shirt and Marmot Soft Rock softshell. This combination has worked well for ice climbing at Lee Vining. Of course, a hardshell is mandatory for wet conditions.
  • Comfort: Polartec 300 is extremely soft and comfortable. Because of this, the jacket is actually one of my favorites for winter around-town use when it's not windy. I've found that many of the newer TNF Windstopper fleece jackets are very coarse and stiff - generally uncomfortable. The spandex cuffs are also very comfortable.
  • Pitzips: They work great.
  • Durable: I have a friend who complained that his Denali was always falling apart on him but I really haven't had any problems, even with many washings. The stitching on one of the wrist cuffs is starting to come apart but that was easy enough to fix.
  • Cut: The cut is fairly loose on this jacket so it's more appropriate for approach hikes and glacier travel than technical climbing. I've been able to fit 3 layers under this :-)
To save space in your pack, it's easy to just tie this around your waist. If you can get over the snob factor and the price, this is a great jacket for what it is. One of those classic products that will likely be around for a long time.
Posted Jun 12, 2002 8:22 pm

Alan EllisUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

It's great for mountaineering because it's warm and has a lot of pockets. However, since it's not windproof, the wind comes right through so I have to put on my shell over it in cold winds. Otherwise, I love it. Maybe they will come up with a windstopper version.
Posted Oct 23, 2002 4:55 am

fmajorUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

This is my "love to hate it jacket". It is most versatile with a TNF shell, which i don't have (the "hate it" part), but due to it's warm, thick 300 wgt fleece, it's my frequent "go to" jacket for short, aerobic type trips (the "love it" part). The Taslan shoulder and sleeve patches are very durable and have held up well over the last 6 years. It is a good value - especially because i will likely still be using it 6 years from now.
Posted Dec 9, 2003 10:38 pm

scottfromcaliUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

A nice heavier wieght insulating layer for about all outdoor trips. The slightest wind will cut right through, depending on how hard you are going at it this will be a plus or minus. Its not a Windstopper product.

I did have the loop to keep the sleeve on a TNF jacket stich came out on me. I'll send it back to them this summer and they should fix it. Its a bit heavy and bulky, pricy. Still a good product.
Posted Mar 31, 2004 10:32 pm

dspalUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Like other reviewers have said...A classic...Probly the most popular of all North Face products...Go to any college campus and you are bound to be surrounded by these jackets. Beyond being popular as a fashion statement it is a highly funtional, very warm, durable layer for hiking or climbing. It zips perfectly into my Mountain Light jacket creating a super warm barrier between myself and the elements. As it is not a wind resistant jacket it will not keep you warm in any sort of wind but on most average fall days you will be fine. As with the Mountain Light jacket I wish the tabs on the zippers were better attached so they would get lost in the washer or dryer but that is a minor quibble...Very little pilling in the fleece and still looks good after 4 years...
Posted Nov 13, 2004 7:29 pm

RModelliUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

Nice jacket but for the bulk it has there are better options out there (AT, and some other wind blocking)

I have one for city use.
Posted Sep 18, 2005 11:50 pm

AltitudeSicknessDenali Jacket

Voted 5/5

This heavier weight polartec is great to ward off the cooler temperatures without the layering required with lighter jackets. The Denali has several pockets, the chest pocket is very roomy and the pull tabs on the zippers are long enough to grab with gloves on. Putting a small drop of super glue on the knot of the pull tabs keeps them on when the jacket is washed. I wished the jacket was cut so it fit a little closer around the waist. It is very roomy so you can layer with this jacket very easily.
Posted Jan 4, 2008 8:41 pm

mountainmanjohnGreat Jacket

Voted 5/5

I have nearly worn this Jacket out. Its going to be sad to see it go, Its part of the family now. Its been a great jacket for the cooler days
Posted Apr 24, 2008 6:57 am

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