Davidwrote a review of The North Face DNP Insulated Jacket - Men's on July 6, 2015
Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
I already have a few UL down jackets (Mont Bell, Mountain Hardwear, etc) but was looking for a synthetic jacket more suitable for active pursuits in cool/cold weather such as backpacking trips where wearing the jacket underneath a pack is required, day hikes that require the same, high-elevation/high exertion pursuits, etc. The goal was to get warmth where a down layer would wet out but keep the weight down below 10 oz. Within these criteria, the NF DNP Jacket really shines. My men's size M weighs in at just a touch over 10 oz, the Primaloft Gold insulation is VERY warm for the weight, and the over-all construction is quite good. Zipper works flawlessly and the hand-warmer pockets are a nice addition. There are stretch fabric panels (what appears to be a soft-shell type fabric) along the inside of the arms that go all the way up to the armpit and partially down the sides of the torso serving as a very nice solution for added mobility as well as ventilation when things get a bit steamy from activity. Packs down nearly as small as the above-mentioned UL down jackets. It won’t be as warm as those jackets around the camp (I plan to utilize a UL down vest and a rain jacket or wind shell to help with around-camp warmth), but in active use, the DNP is just about perfect. I also like that the insulation is quite thin and flat which makes layering very easy.
Over-all a very well thought out jacket. So why only 4 stars rather than 5? The fit. I’m 5’9” tall, have a 32/33 waist, a 42 chest and weigh approx 168 lbs. I'm a strong athlete and found the DNP is a good fit in the arm length, chest and waist sizing, but baggy in the torso/mid-section. It's as if the NF seems to be designing jackets for guys with athletic chests/arms but thick mid-sections (Mall-rat possibly??) rather than lean but athletic outdoor athletes of which I am the latter. I was able to pull in the mid-section somewhat via the cord-lock adjustment in the waist, but the stretch fabric panels are simply cut too wide which makes for a bit of a flappy fit rather than a more v-shaped profile that I was hoping for in a Summit Series jacket. It isn’t the most flattering look. At first it was a deal-breaker for me, but after fussing with the jacket a bit and wearing it with a pack (I’m buying for function, not fashion) I decided to just go with it. If the NF could get the fit dialed in better (a bit more v-shaped profile would be nice) then the DNP would get 5-stars.
Pros: Warm for weight, synthetic insulation (Primaloft Gold) will keep user warm when wet, packs down small, smart ventilation design with the stretch panels, zippered hand pockets. Deflects wind very well. Flat orientation of the insulation (rather than the puffy style of the Thermoball series) makes for easy layering.
Cons: Weighs a bit more than spec’d, awkward fit via stretch panels that are cut too wide, a bit less than flattering fit.
Conclusion: Terrific synthetic jacket for cool/cold weather athletic pursuits. Very good build quality. Somewhat awkward fit requires a test fit for sure, but with Backcountry’s terrific return policy, that is essentially no big deal. Bottom Line: Can recommend.