Christopher M.wrote a review of The North Face Summit L5 GTX Pro Jacket - Men's on November 5, 2017
Fit: True to size
Tried this on at the TNF store in Union Square (SF, not NY) the other day. I have a TNF Summit shell from 2007/08 that I still wear snowboarding in more extreme conditions, because in all that time I have yet to find anything better (TNF didn’t even bother to offer a legit snow sports option last year).
This new Summit L5 fell short of expectations. While I will say that, unlike most recent TNF offerings, at least they’ve got the sizing right with this one and it does feel like a solid, durable piece, there are two major issues I can’t get past.
First, no hand pockets. My Summit shell has them (granted, their placement is somewhat awkward to allow use with a pack, but at least there are pockets) and I can’t replace that shell with one that doesn’t - especially at this price.
Second, this shell has a fixed, non-stashable hood. The hood on my Summit shell zips off and, since I rarely ride with a hood and don’t use that shell for rain (have two rain shells for that), I don’t need the hood most of the time, and it often gets in the way.
In terms of quality, most TNF gear has fallen off significantly in the past decade as TNF has become more a fashion brand and less a serious outdoor apparrel manufacturer. It’s good to see the Summit Series still keeps it real.
Unfortunately, TNF has failed here to think this piece through adequately, and so I can’t justify the expenditure. I went with an OR Igneo jacket, and I’m very happy with both the product and the price.