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Nature's worst brings out our best.
The mountains were here long before we were, they'll be there long after we're gone, and they don't much care what we do in the meantime. This disregard for human affairs is alluring, though, and draws us up into the alpine, where we push ourselves further, harder, and deeper than we thought possible. While first winter ascents, frigid bivys, and storm-socked belays are supposed to be soul-shapingly tough, they're not actually meant to be the last things you ever do; freezing solid while you squint into the gale trying to figure out if your partner is still on the other end of the rope is a bad way to go, so bringing the expedition-ready Summit L6 Men's Down Jacket from The North Face along is a good way to help ensure that you'll actually be able to apply your hard-earned lessons to the next adventure.
The technical, alpine-oriented Summit Series has been around since 2000, but it took last year off to get a top-to-bottom redesign, and this year's lineup blows previous iterations out of the water. It consists of a full six-piece kit, from the L1 baselayers to the L6 Jacket, and it's designed to provide ultimate protection, mobility, and functionality in places where gear issues can be more than an inconvenience. Designed to be worn as an outer layer when temperatures are plunging into the sadistic, the L6 is a killer puffy packed with 800-fill RDS (responsibly sourced and traceable) down, which is held in place with The North Face's ZLoft welded baffle construction to reduce bulk and eliminate cold spots. High-loft down is incredibly warm, lightweight, and packable, but the L6's Fuseform construction improves durability and reduces bulk even further by weaving different fabrics together seamlessly to improve articulate and eliminate stitching, seam taping, and other weak points.
The resulting design is sleeker, slimmer, and lighter than ever, but it's still fully featured. An insulated, adjustable hood cinches down easily over your climbing helmet, while the hidden hem cinch prevents drafts and spindrift from creeping up your back. The L6's soft internal cuffs come complete with thumbholes for increased draft protection and hand warmth, and the jacket has six pockets, including a chest pocket with both internal and external access. All zippers are coated with water-resistant polyurethane, too, so your food, tools, and small gear won't get wet while you're hanging at the belay station waiting for your partner to finish the last pitch.
- Nylon face fabric woven with Fuseform construction
- Articulated cut
- 800-fill RDS down
- ZLoft welded baffle construction
- Helmet-compatible insulated hood with two-point adjustment
- Internal thumbhole cuffs
- Hidden hem cinch
- Item #TNF02EQ