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The North Face's athletes attempted the Shark's Fin of Meru in the Himalaya, spent 19 days on the wall, and came back with design ideas for the Women's Meru Gore Jacket. This thing was made with the serious outdoor enthusiast in mind. From the guaranteed waterproof breathable Gore-Tex Active Shell to the harness-friendly cut to the tough grip zones on the shoulders and hips to keep your pack firmly in place, the Meru is a no-nonsense piece.

  • Guaranteed waterproof breathable Gore-Tex Active Shell for total storm protection, durability during alpine pursuits, and super-light weight
  • Fully taped seams eliminate waterproof weak spots
  • Waist length is climbing-harness-friendly
  • Adjustable hood swivels with your head for added storm protection and an unobstructed view
  • Formed, fitted, structured brim on hood won't get in the way of where you need to look
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop cuff tabs seal out the snow
  • Dual chest pockets for convenient storage that won't interfere with a pack or climbing harness
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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Super Warm!

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

Weird for such a light-weight jacket but with the sealed seams and the ability to layer, it's great. I was skiing in cold, harsh winds and I was very warm. I wore it once with just a t-shirt underneath on a sunny ski day and it was too warm, there is no venting so your core heat stays in really well. I love this jacket, but I love all my North Face jackets.

Color is off from picture.

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

ONE PROBLEM! Not a deal-breaker, but the color of the seams, zippers and wrist straps/Velcro are NOT grey likes the picture! They are black! I don't particularly like the harsh contrast and would have preferred that the seams were grey...but I like the pinkish color and the fit is great.

Just received this jacket in the mail and I love the fit! I bought a size up so I can layer and I will be able to. I didn't find the jacket stiff at all which is what some reviewers said. Also, I love that this jacket doesn't have hand pockets. It eliminates the side bulge - this jacket lays nice and flat next to my hips. I'm going to use this jacket to ski and back country hike, so I love the "sticky" parts at the shoulder to keep a pack in place. Definitely keeping and will review once again when I actually get it out in the cold.

Lack of ease of function

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

Size reference: 5' 4.75", 110 pounds with long and thin torso, bust ~33 AA; size small fit a bit large over two layers, especially through arms.

Though the design of this jacket is aimed toward diminishing external (flailing) parts, the functionality of the cinch drawcords (all three: on the bottom, the front part of the hood, and the back of the hood) is very poor. In order to adjust the bottom cord, for example, you have to unzip a pocket, find the cord, find the cinch mechanism which is sewed inside, squeeze the cinch and pull the cord, and zip up your pocket again. This is entirely impractical while wearing gloves. Additionally, the fully-taped seam on the front zipper makes zippering the jacket a frustrating hassle. Moreover, instead of adequately tapered and minimally (yet functionally) gusseted arms, this jacket has too much extra fabric and is not nearly tapered enough toward the wrist; if you want to secure the cuffs tightly, you'll be left with a large bunch of fabric around your wrist. There are no pit-zips, so cooling off that way is not an option; yet, if you're concerned about weight, this may be an attribute that leads you in a positive direction (however, there are other paclite jackets with pit-zips that are lighter and cheaper than the original price of this product). Finally, I was able to test this out on a gusty, cold walk with my dog. The effect was great: I felt no wind, was warm and toasty, and was almost convinced to keep it. However, the negative attributes have led me to return it. The Arc'teryx Alpha SL jacket is a better option and is much easier with regard to the functional features--plus, the pockets are far enough from center than you can put your hands in them while at other times, can fit a harness under them while climbing. As long as you don't mind a drawcord hanging a few inches outside the coat and spending quite a bit more than $200, the difference in ease of use is phenomenal. Overall, I do not recommend this TNF jacket.

stiff and uncomfortable

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

As other reviewers mentioned, this jacket does not have hand pockets; but the pack-friendly-placed pockets were actually an appeal to me. Still, I'm debating whether I want to keep this jacket. I like the Gore-Tex active shell and the simple, minimalist design. However, the jacket is unusually stiff and uncomfortable. It also just seems to be cut large: neck rises very high on the chin (and super stiff), sleeves are long, and torso is long.

Great but need regular hand pockets

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

The jacket is great for rainy days, but it needs regular hand pockets. When I'm making a quick dash to the store, I'd rather put my keys/wallet in a pocket than carry my purse. The only pockets are on the chest.

which north face shell is made for the...

which north face shell is made for the north face denali fleece to zip into? I have been searching for that in the specs and can't find one that specifically says the shell is designed to have the denali fleece zip in. thanks!