There is one piece of gear that goes with me everywhere: my North Face Thermoball full-zip jacket. On the A.T., Camino, short backpacking trips, day hikes, ski trips, snowshoeing, and around town, this is in my pack or I’m wearing it. I’ve had it for three years, and it’s still my go-to item.
- Lightweight (around 11 oz.), water-resistant, compresses enough to fit in its own hand pocket, and insulates well
- PrimaLoft® ThermoBall™ material and not down, so it stays warm even when it’s wet
- Zippered pockets and hem cinch-cord
- Available with or without a hood (I go without and just wear a beanie if I need)
- More color options than your typical “shrink it and pink it” mindset for women’s gear
- Seriously, I have no cons on this. When this jacket finally gives up the ghost, I’ll be buying another one.
Now for my little photo shrine to this jacket (hover on pic for location):