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When you're braving the bone-chilling temperatures on McKinley, anything less than 799-fill down is simply unacceptable. Fortunately, The North Face Catalyst Micro Down Jacket is packed with water-resistant 800-fill down, so it's ready for anything. When worn under a waterproof shell, this packable, insulating jacket keeps the cold out and your body heat in so you can keep moving through the challenging conditions. Once the storms abate, this featherweight hooded jacket unobtrusively holds off the cold on its own.

Natural down is the warmest, lightest, and most compressible insulation available, but when it gets wet it clumps, stops insulating, and takes a long time to dry. The North Face uses an exclusive water-resistant treatment to solve this problem. 800 WRD, the down used in the Catalyst jacket, stays dry 17 times longer than untreated down and maintain 100% of its loft when wet. The North Face also included FlashDry panels under the arms to move moisture away quickly, and since the Catalyst stows neatly into its own pocket, it's perfect to stick in your pack even if the weather looks like it's going to hold.

The athletic fit makes it easier to layer a shell over the Catalyst for really cold weather. The North Face finished the Catalyst with two zippered hand pockets and a chest pocket, elastic at the cuffs to comfortably seal out draft, and a low-profile cinch cord at the hem that allows you to customize the fit.

  • Nylon ripstop construction
  • Water-resistant 800-fill down insulation
  • FlashDry panels under the arms
  • Athletic fit
  • Stows into its own pocket
  • Two zippered hand pockets
  • The North Face Summit Series
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

Like it

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

I seldom write reviews, but for this it is worth it. I spend lots of time outside. I have tried fleece, all the synthetic "down" materials including primaloft, but this is the best. This is the highest warm/weight ratio jacket I have ever owned. The hood is great for the head but also adds more bulk to keep the neck closed to prevent drafts down the chest. Get the hooded version. I wear this alone to 30F just sitting still and below 0F with a shell and am warm. When hiking, it breathes and I find myself opening zippers. Fits snug in the chest and waist, so if you have a gut, order a size larger. I am 5'11 / 185, not many muscles left! Large fits great.

Nice coat but not super warm

  • Familiarity:I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit:True to size

I love the fit and look of this coat but it's not super warm. If you are looking for a warm winter coat look elsewhere. It's more of a fall/spring coat. Great tailored fit.

Versatile, Compressible and WARM

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:Runs small

TNF's popular Catalyst jacket got a makeover in 2012 with smaller baffles, and in 2013 gets a further update with FlashDry inserts in the armpits (for better temperature regulation/venting).

The hood works great with a beanie and layers great under a shell. This jacket was designed to be a mid layer in COLD, DRY environments (lift accessed skiing) but works as an outer layer in cool conditions.

It's a slim fit. 6'1" and 190lbs, the large fits like a mid layer.

With a long sleeve T, I can wear it down to about freezing.


- compressible (packs into it's own pocket)

- slim fit

- ProDown


- for it's weight, there are much warmer jackets

- not as warm as other jackets that lack the venting inserts in the armpits

- lots of loose threads for $300 jacket.

It fits a lot like the Atom LT, but is A LOT warmer and packs into itself.

My go to!

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

I love this jacket! Super warm, stylish and fits great. I mainly just use it as just a jacket for kicking around town but it also works great as a layer. There's no down in the armpit area so you won't overheat. It's thin and minimal for how warm it is, love the feel.

Very warm jacket

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

This is my second TNF down jacket and I love how warm this is! Although less volume than my first,then is much warmer and simmer fit. Wearing it on its own seem to attract little dust and other particles in the air because if the static the jacket creates on its own during the dry winter months. The jacket can be customized with all of its drawstrings placed on the jacket. When matched with my TNF shell,it becomes a much warmer insulater while the shell protects me from the elements. I purchased a medium thinking it was too big. However I tried a small but it was too tight. I kept the medium so I could have more layers underneath.

Are you all planning on getting anymore...

Are you all planning on getting anymore of these in the near future (particularly in a L in TNF Black) ??

Catalyst Micro vs Thunder Micro?? Aside...

Catalyst Micro vs Thunder Micro??

Aside from the hood on the Catalyst, is the Catalyst Micro and Thunder Micro the same jackets? Which do you prefer the Catalyst or Thunder and why?? Thinking of getting one or the other.

And is this NF down as good or better than Mountain Hardware Nitros Down Jacket??

Thx J

Some other minor diffs':

From the N.F. web:

Cayalyst boast of a *Pertx Quantom fabric

...and has a slimmer *Alpine fit

While the Micro., according to the N.F. web site, says this it has a *Pro Down fabric/treatment, & has a *Athletic fit, more for the masses than the *Alpine fit.

Friend of mine has the N.F. Micro Thunder...o.k. for Spring/Fall...or layering. It seems to shed a great deal more than other downs, too.

Overall, of the two N.F. jackets, the Cayalyst has better specs/options.