Gear Review: The North Face Denali Jacket

I’ve slept in it on cold nights. I’ve used it to soak-up a small child’s spit-up (and then washed it). I’ve used it to distract a bear from attacking my family as we hiked trough the Colorado wilderness (not true). And, I’ve used it for my many snowshoeing outings because it’s lightweight, warm, and very comfortable for active use (very true).

The Denali is an item I would describe as a stipend for any snowshoer’s pursuits. Sometimes seen worn among beer-slinging college frat kids and the bearded mountain trekkers, the Denali meets a myriad of needs; the trendy look or the Jeremiah Johnson look. Fashionable!

I look beyond the Denali’s Abercrombie-esque qualities and use it for its true calling: snowshoeing. Even in the coldest of elements (not suggested), I have found the Denali to protect mildly. Not made for the chilly conditions, it’s perfected stitching of durable materials is wonderfully appropriate for warm conditions that exist in snowy areas.

Finding a decent price for a Denali is difficult. And, most North Face products have universal pricing no matter the retailer. Treat it like a treasure hunt. I found my Denali at Bass Pro Shops and it was a happy purchase for $120. It was in great condition (brand new) and ready for snowshoeing action.

The Denali is constructed with simple functionality in mind; it features Polartec 300 Series fleece, laundered two-ply Supplex, and nylon fabric. Made prominent by its style, the Denali zips into the inner zipper of North Face’s shell jackets to create a single cold-weather jacket. Pretty darn cool, right?

Furthermore, the jacket contains pit zips that allow body heat to dissipate from its core, allowing increased ventilation. It’s almost as if this feature was made just for snowshoers. As you know, when snowshoeing, the body heats up quickly and the Denali features the pit zips to help provide comfort.

Color choice is also a nice feature for the Denali. So many color combinations exist and allow you to almost personalize your wear. I chose black, simply because it was casual and not too trendy.

It’s a smart buy for any snowshoer. Check it out and see what all the hype is about. Do it for Jeremiah Johnson and not trendy followings.

About the author

Ryan Alford