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The North Face Makalu Insulated Jacket earns its Summit Series status by using weather-blocking HyVent Alpha and cold-busting PrimaLoft One insulation so you can head out confident that this jacket will keep you warm, dry, and ready to move. Zip up in the Makalu when you're ready for hardcore climate challenges above the tree line.

  • HyVent Alpha seals out moisture while remaining highly breathable so you never feel cold or clammy
  • Fully taped seams stop water from slinking in through the stitching
  • PrimaLoft One insulation keeps your body heat when you need it even in wet conditions
  • Adjustable, helmet-compatible hood swivels with your head so your vision is never obstructed by your hood
  • Hem cinch seals out the snow and can be quickly tightened from inside your pockets
  • The North Face Summit Series
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

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great jacket overall but .....

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

I love this jacket, i was looking for something warm without the bulk, and after trying 4 different models this was my favorite. It's completly waterproof, great windproofing but not as warm as i expected. The primaloft does a great job being so thin, light and pretty warm, but not enough if you are looking for something to put it in without a base layer in temperatures under 30 degrees. with a base layer you will be just fine. Overall it has all the good features, could be a little warmer.

Weather Worthy

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

This jacket is a fine piece of clothing. Despite it's somewhat thick insulation, I can roll it down and fit it into the hood, which ends up being about the size of a football. I live up in Montana where it gets down to the negative 20-30's and it has kept me nice and warm. I wore it with just a t-shirt underneath when it was about negative 15 and I felt pretty comfortable.

Pros: The neck section of the hood is awesome! It zips up to about your nose and encloses your whole neck and lower face, which is great for when it gets nasty out. You'd be surprised how warm you can stay when you cover your neck and head effectively. The hood is a nice design, cinches down in the back to fit your head or helmet.

It is a bit on the shorter side, but this makes it handy as a belay jacket because it doesn't interfere with harnesses, etc.

Cons: One issue I tend to have with it is the lack of pit zips. I work up heat pretty quickly and the only way to dump it is to open the whole jacket. I try to avoid hiking in it.

Another is how it is on the shorter side. Not really a problem when belaying, hiking, etc. but when your waist deep in powder it doesn't make the most optimum outer layer. best to get a shell for that.

Overall, this a great jacket that will keep you warm in just about anything, but know that you'll find some scenarios better for its use than others.

Excellent jacket for comfort and warmth

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

Tried on probably 50 different jackets in a local store and this one was the winner without a doubt. The inside lining of the jacket has to be felt to be appreciated it is incredibly soft and comfortable. Other North Face jackets I tried on were too bulky around the hood area but this model is very thin for the warmth it provides. I have worn this in 30 degree weather multiple times and have been perfectly warm. Wore this on a 5 hour car trip this weekend where the inside of the car was around 45 degrees and was comfortable the whole way never turned the heater on. It is an expensive jacket but I would not think twice about purchasing again.

The Makalu Falls Short!

  • Familiarity:I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Received the Makalu as a gift. My first impression was that the external Advent layer seems almost fragile and very thin. Also the tags on the jacket say that the DWR coating will hold up for several washings. Even sounded fragile. Wore the jacket on a walk in 35 degree weather (the weather advisory said 'feels like 27') with 2 number 2 Patagonia baselayers under it. I was cool but the Primaloft did it's job when it heated up. I like the shape of the hood and the brim is excellent but the hood adjusters are too old school and difficult. I had received a size small and the arm length seemed good, but the hem length seemed a bit short and overall the jacket seems somewhat pear-shaped. Also, I forgot to close one of the pockets and my keys fell out of it as I got out of the car. The bottom of the pockets it turns out are very close to the bottom of the zipper, so it's necessary to close the pockets to keep items in. Given the fragile feel of the shell material, the short-lived DWR coating, the old school hood adjusters, the shallow pockets and pear shape of the jackets torso, I have given the Makalu a two star rating. For years, North Face has been the trusted gold standard of durable excellent gear, but some things work and some don't. This jacket seems to be built more for short trips around town in winter than for hiking, snowshoeing or serious outdoor activity, except perhaps skiing on dry sunny days. I am thanking my friend for the gift and returning it.

Nice jacket

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

Nice and light, but I cant tell the difference between the alphine fit and classic fit. I'd give it 5 stars if it fit was more snug. Just a little too loose fitting for an insulated jacket, I have to have the waist tightened and wrists tightened to prevent wind from creeping in. The size I purchased was Small. 5'10" 145lbs.

the good stuff!

    I have many jackets in this category and this is by far my favorite! I used to use my eddie bauer micro therm bc, but this is warmer, lighter and better looking! used it to romp around in the snow with my dogs and bit of winter backpacking for the day time.

    What jacket in the Summit Series is the updated version of the Makalu? The Plasmatic? Is Hyvent Alpha truly waterproof or just repellant?

    Hyvent Alpha is truly waterproof. Alpha is like TNFs version of goretex pro shell. it is a 3 layer membrane. I have had a couple hyvent alpha jackets over the years and never has it wet out, even in a bad downpour. the breathability is not quite as good as goretex pro or active, but it is close enough for the savings.

    Unanswered Question

    hello, please help me to understand which...

    hello, please help me to understand which size l need to buy the Makalu Insulated Jacket , my shoulders size is 18,5 inch, my waist size is 42 inch, my sleeve length size is 28,5 inch.

    How does this jacket fit? And doesn't the...

    How does this jacket fit? And doesn't the fit of a jacket dictate how well that jacket will insulate?

    This jacket is an Alpine Fit which means its going to be narrow in the body and long in the sleeve length. Also, the shoulder and sleeve design should allow for greater mobility for your arms without that dreaded lift of the jacket creating a gap between your jacket and pants. And yes, you are correct, fit does effect the efficiency of insulation. Get a jacket too big and you have a lot more air surrounding you that you need to warm up before you can warm up yourself. Get a jacket too small and suddenly you are compressing your insulating layer and you are more exposed to the elements, but this effects down jackets more than a synthetic jacket like this one here. If you need any help picking the right size and our size chart isn't helping then please feel free to give us a ring and let one of our Gearhead help you out.

    Hi could you recommend a jacket for Vancouver...

    Hi could you recommend a jacket for Vancouver Canada weather rains a lot in winter and can get cold.

    Please reply at

    Cheers :-)