Smirkelwrote a review of The North Face Blaze 1/2-Zip Insulated Jacket - Men's on December 26, 2012
Familiarity: I've used it several times
This is a great product and fits a specialized gear category perfectly. First, don't be confused by the name. This item is part of the Blaze lineup. I contacted TNF & BackCountry.com to confirm -despite this confusion, the item received had the exact indicated specs and the tag label is 'Blaze 1/2 Zip Pullover' (A36E0C5-M).
I?m 5?10? / 165lbs & the Medium is a perfect fit. Mastering the pullover movement required for on/off use may take a few tries, but once accomplished, can even be done while wearing glasses.
A few critiques: no zipper garage for main zipper (not a problem since it?s mostly used partially zipped and still doesn?t chafe when fully zipped); seam below zipper track is not backed and could be a source of heat loss (it?s a very small gap); lining is delicate and can protrude if garment is used in a hurry (zippers can snag pocket lining and sleeve lining can overlap cuffs when putting on (just be smooth & slow when putting on-part of mastering the pullover technique; finally, the bottom hem doesn?t have a synch (drawstring) so heat can also escape there in windy conditions (understandably not included for weight & stuff size).
A few notes on design/fit. This piece is excellent when a jacket is too much or when you need to wear something warm inside as well (so you don?t get asked if you?re staying!). The back doesn?t drop down (it?s even across like a sweater) so you aren?t sitting on it, yet it falls below the belt for adequate coverage. Best uses for me include worn over capilene and/or under a shell (it rocks both!).
Kudos to TNF for another outstanding product and fast/friendly service from BackCountry.com is awesome!