North Carolina for now, I guess
I brought this jacket home a few weeks ago and have been only disappointed by everything but the color. The first problem was with the sizing. I am about 6'1 and 185 lbs. I tend to fit a medium well from most brands through the torso, though often have to size up to a large for the additional length. Somehow, sizing up to a large made no difference with the sleeves. I've never had a large from any other brand too short in the sleeves, but even lifting my arms up as little as to a steering wheel draws the sleeves back to where they're 2-3 inches too short. I couldn't imagine trying to climb in it for that reason, or for the fact that this Evap really isn't what it's made out to be. Simply put, it is no substitute for a third layer and feels even grosser than Paclite's notoriously sticky half later. Precip from Marmot at least has a slightly raised half layer to keep it off of your skin, and costs less. The lack of pit zips obviously doesn't help with that, though at least it does contribute to the one positive I find with this jacket: it is very lightweight and packable. It's great for that throw-in-the-pack and you probably won't wear it 30% chance of rain day hike. The unlaminated hood brim similarly is great in that it's packable but uncomfortable and impractical for extended use. The water resistant zipper also is more packable than a polyurethane zipper, and true to the fact that this jacket really wouldn't be great for extended use.
All that aside, the colors are hot.
In order to save weight, no Summit Series jackets include zip in compatibility.
DO NOT USE DRYER SHEETS WITH SYNTHETIC MATERIALS! They stick to the fibers and will rapidly turn your soft, cozy fleece into worse than a dog blanket...
Go to a (good) shoe store and ask if they'll measure your arch length for you. Chaco sizes depend on arch length and not toe length.
The hem cinches are definitely there, the cords are tucked into the pockets with the toggles down below them at the hem in front. This prevents them from snagging on harnesses or other climbing lines.
Comment on last years model:
TNF's earliest prototypes had used 10 denier Syncro, which evolved into 10 denier Pertex Quantum GL (gossamer lightness). This is the shiny material on the shell. It's shiny because it is heated to tighten the fibers and make it more down proof. This is necessary because the material is so thin. That process also gave it the excellent tear and abrasion resistance that it otherwise wouldn't have.
The liner material is a 20 denier traditional style Pertex Quantum, which is softer against the skin.
Long story short, it is Syncro, but under a different name. It's also Quantum.
I hope I'm not too late to be helpful, but there is absolutely no way that this even comes close to comparing to your Alpha LT or any other Goretex Pro Shell in breathability or any other function. All of the other design and material aspects set aside the reasons this will not be as breathable is because this HyVent 2.5 has 300,000-500,000 pores per square inch whereas Goretex like on your Alpha has over nine billion per square inch. You're right in that hard shells are only SO breathable - this is where construction comes in. Eventually sweat condenses since even the most breathable waterproof material is still a modified plastic bag, the question then is what happens with that condensed sweat. In theory a material like HyVent 2.5 is more breathable than a three layer material because the moisture vapor goes straight through the waterproof breathable material without having to go through something else, but it's still going to condense. With a three layer Goretex Pro Shell like your Alpha this condensation can be wicked through the membrane by the third layer, but this jacket, lacking the third layer, will instead let that condensation continue to condense and drip down your back, impacting breathability and reducing comfort.
I hope this answers your question about breathability - if you have any other questions please let me know.
I would actually recommend sizing up to the Large, as they tend to run small. You could try the regular - if you're wearing ski or snowboard boots and using the built in gaiter the difference might not even be that noticeable. I wear 32 (medium) long in my everyday pants but a large - regular in my ski pants. The main reason I like the shorter length is to help prevent anything I'm wearing on my feet (snowshoes, crampons, etc.) from snagging the cuffs.
If you're talking about the color name, R is for RECYCLED and TNF is The North Face. The TNF in it really doesn't mean anything, but the R means it's made of recycled materials.
The straps for connecting skis diagonally have another attachment point directly across from where they originate, to be used for snowboards, and can be moved to one or the other easily. When you move it, you have the ability to carry a snowboard vertically. I haven't tried it, but it may be possible to turn those clips so that you could carry a snowboard horizontally. It would be worth a try.
For a true winter boot you're best off looking for something completely waterproof, as you might be walking through slushy snow with them on. Apres boots and shoes are made for just kicking around the lodge, and although they work alright for powdery, light snow, they'll get wet and not be warm in moister snow. These are a winter boot.
No. The Denali is made of Polartec Classic 300 fleece, this is made of TNF's proprietary TKA fleece. TKA is denser and not as warm for its weight as that of Polartec.
Call TNF warranty and if they don't have them in stock, they'll help you work something out!
This should fit a little slimmer than usual.
If there's a women's jacket that's warmer, it won't be by much. The shell is windproof, and there is a lot of down in it. The length helps keep it over the blood vessels near the surface of your inner thighs and makes a huge difference in warmth. If you're worried that it might not be enough, look into the Himalayan Parka or some other similar design. My sisters both live in Chicago and they love their Arctic Parkas.
I wouldn't trust it for a sensitive piece of expensive electronics unless you could find a way to pad it. As to it attracting attention, you'll find that TNF products attract a lot of attention abroad as well. The shoulder harness would also likely be too narrow and might end up pinching your neck and being uncomfortable, since women's harnesses are narrower. You could try it, though!
Extremely well, as the tent is actually entirely made of fly material (single-walled). The material is also extremely breathable, and will likely develop less condensation than any other fly material.
You can attach the Base Camp Gear Locker onto that part of it.
Good question. For that matter - are you just going between car and building or are you actively moving a lot or are you waiting for the bus? I've lived in Minnesota, this likely wouldn't be enough for most people up there. I live in North Carolina, and I wore the DIez (very similar design) very comfortably all winter without wishing I had a warmer jacket.