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Synthetic that steals the best properties of down.

Its lightweight loft makes you think The North Face ThermoBall Full-Zip Jacket is a down jacket, but it's actually synthetic. The Primaloft Thermoball insulation acts and even looks like down insulation, providing lofty warmth equivalent to 600-fill down. It even compresses like down jackets so you can stow it in its pocket and take it with you on backpacking or climbing excursions. But because it's synthetic, the ThermoBall stays warm even when you get wet during backcountry ski sessions through powder.

The ThermoBall features a durable nylon shell that slides under other layers with ease. Its cuffs have an elastic binding to keep the sleeves from riding up your arms. A hem cinch cord tightens to prevent breezes from blowing up your body, and two hand pockets keep your hands warm when you reach the top of the mountain. 

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The North Face ThermoBall Full-Zip Insulated Jacket - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

3 5

Ok, but needs a third pocket

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: Runs large
  • Height: 5' 9"
    Weight: 172 lbs
    Size Purchased: Large

Jacket is super light and provides adequate warmth, but it really needs to step up with a third pocket. There also seems to be new sizing in the industry. I used to wear a large in almost all brands, and now they are too big or bulky in a large for me. I had to return for a medium just like I've had to do with Mountain Hardwear and Marmot.

4 5

Good Jacket

  • Fit: True to size

Gave this jacket as a gift, have had no complaints from the person. Great material warm enough for fall and baselayer for cold winters.

5 5

Great Jacket

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Height: 5' 10"
    Weight: 185 lbs
    Size Purchased: X-Large

This is the perfect layer for backpacking. Super light and its packs down well. This and a light weight rain jacket is all you need for hiking! I got a XL, I like my jacket's roomy.

5 5

Super Light Jacket

Very warm and super light jacket which can be used either in fall or under a ski jacket for boarding.

Hi what size you recomend me in this jacket im 5.6' and i weight 183. let me now thank.

Get a medium. I'm 5'5 165 and medium fits great. I can still wear a light fleece or long sleeved shirt underneath too.

4 5

Compact, Resilient and Warm

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

This jacket is a must for anyone who appreciates warmth and compression...its packs down well, but punches above its weight for warmth. Fits true to size, if not possibly larger in the waist/hip. I'm

5 5

Fantastic jacket!

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

The weight to warmth ratio on this baby is stellar. The synthetic material is preferable to down in my opinion because it keeps you warm even when you are soaking wet. I have had mine for 2+ years and it is pretty worn, but still works great. The ability to compress the jacket into its own pocket is impressive and quite useful.

Fantastic jacket!
Unanswered Question

Hi! I'm 6'3" and 185 pounds. I'm muscular, but nothing crazy and I've got a short upperbody compared to my long legs. I don't like baggy jackets but I would like to fit a college sweater under the jacket without it looking way too tight. I must be able to move in it and on a side note I have really long arms aswell. What would be my best fit?

Hi I am a 5`9`` height and 176 lbs rather muscular, but not that much, should I get a small? I dont like baggy stuff

Get a medium. I'm 5'5 165 and medium fits great. I can still wear a light fleece or long sleeved shirt underneath too.

Hi, Im 6'3" and 160lbs. What would be my the best fit for me? I think a medium looking at the size and fit.

Hey James,

At your height and weight, I'd avoid getting a Thermoball since the fit won't be on par for your build.

Shoot me an email anytime you have questions!

Jared D.
Expert Gearhead

5 5

Great under-layer

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs large
  • Height: 6' 2"
    Weight: 210 lbs
    Size Purchased: XL

I wanted this to wear under my thin rain coats when its moderately cold in the North West wet winters. I originally bought an XL which was too baggy. My wife immediately commented that she thought it was too baggy as an outerlayer. I'm solidly an XL and am a bit overweight so going down to a L was uncharted territory. The large fit perfectly. The thermopuff is pretty thin and works exactly how I wanted it.
There is something about the wrist cuffs that I like, the elastic is set about an inch back so it feels better and you don't feel like a marshmellow about to explode.

One thing I would mention is that I don't think its super warm for lower than 40degrees on its own.

A medium good for me, being 5'8" 155? Buying as a second layer on top of base, under shell for snowboarding. Also can anyone give a size reference when packed, will be tossing in my pack for winter hikes.

A medium is probably a good size for you, especially as a second layer. Slightly smaller than a nalgene bottle when packed into its pocket. However, you can still compress it a lot more; so if you need it to occupy an even smaller space, you can make that happen.

5 5

Tough to beat!

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small

This is a tough jacket to beat!

Its warm, durable, packable! Perfect middle layer piece! I am 5 ft 10 inches and 165lbs. So this jacket fits me perfect in a large! If anyone is over 5 ft 10 inches. I would recommend going with a XL!

I'm looking at a middle layer for layering. I'm 6' tall and weigh about 235. Just wondering if this would layer well under my Columbia rain jacket.

This would be a great mid layer to fit under a rain jacket or a ski jacket. It is very light, warm, and low profile. Take a look at the sizing chart to find the best suited size for you

4 5

Warm, lofty, boxy.

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

I work for TNF and got this jacket for free (yay!). I am writing this review to offer a slightly different perspective on the jacket than what seems to be the consensus (mostly 5-star reviews). I am 6' 5'', 190 lbs. I have a long torso and long arms. I chose a Large. I rate this as a 4/5 because of the abnormally boxy fit (for the men's version, at least).

The Good

Let's start with warmth: this is a warm jacket, especially with a fleece underneath. I have the Patagonia Nano Puff hoodie, and the Thermoball is warmer. It is also loftier--but at the expense of taking up slightly more space. It is not meant to break the wind, but it does a good job nonetheless. And, even if wet, the jacket retains its warmth and its loft. This is the main benefit compared with a down jacket (such as the Quince).

This jacket is very compressible. As everyone knows, you can pack it down into its own pocket. This saves space in the pack and can even serve as a pillow under the sleeping bag or on an airplane. An 800-fill down jacket at a slightly higher price point will compress more than the Thermoball, but considering the trade-off of capability in wet weather, I like Thermoball.


Now for the knocks. First, the zippers. They get caught easily. Maybe I need some more time to break it in, but it's frustrating to constantly have to use two hands to open up the pockets.

The fit is VERY boxy. I have had numerous customers try on several versions of the jacket and all seem to fit different. However, the all seem to run boxy. The women's version is fitted, but the men's is built better for a broader framed individual. This is not a totally bad thing, as it is easy to accommodate layers underneath.

Still, it results in a boxy fit that can look awkward on a slim individual. This is particularly evident with the sleeves. If it stand normally, the sleeves are fine. If I reach forward, the sleeves roll far back past my wrists. This will be a pain with gloves in the cold weather. The Patagonia Nano Puff is much better in this regard.

I have heard this same thing from many people who own the jacket. Bottom line: warm in the wet weather, compressible, cheaper than down, room to layer, but with a boxy fit.

How's the breathability on this jacket (say as compared to fleece or down)? Looking at it as a midlayer for skiing.

Best Answer

Not bad. It's not waterproof, so that allows your body to breath better than other materials. For skiing you would be just fine. High-exertion activities will make you sweat a bit more--especially in warmer temps. But, if you get too warm, you can take it off and stuff it (literally) in your pack with no worries.

5 5


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

The North Face Thermoball Jacket is an awesome choice for a synthetic down jacket. I was very impressed with the high warmth-to-weight ratio and small compression size. This jacket is a great choice for layering on those frigid days on the slopes and ballin when cruising the town on a night out. I found the jacket to run a bit large.