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North Face ski clothing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Is it me, or does anyone else had poor experience with the quality of their ski clothing. I had a pair of glothes that I had to take back after a weekís skiing due to cutting open. Iíve had a pair of their high end trousers which Had to be replaced when the fastenings came off after being worn by my daughter for 5days. To be fair they were replaced under warranty by NF. I diidnt need to use the replacement pair of trousers last year as it was so warm. I wore them for 3days over the weekend and the lining material not the shell has ripped in the gusset.
The trousers fitted fine so itís not a fit issue. I suspect I could go back and say do you remember those trousers that you replaced nearly 2 years ago, Iíve only just worn them and thereís now a problem but donít suspect I will get very far.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 16-01-18 14:58; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Not what they used to be, unfortunately.

Their Summit Series stuff was excellent, but is now so pricey that, if you want those fabrics and prices, Arcteryx, Norrona, etc., are better IMHO.

Lower-end stuff is just poor nowadays.

Rant over. Sorry, @dan100, that it doesn't really answer your question! Ebay is your friend on this occasion...
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
They've been bought and sold quite a lot, and the quality has therefore been somewhat variable. I think you have to look at each piece separately; the brand is of no help in assessing if the kit is any good.
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I was an avid TNF fan, although haven't bought anything recently - but as @sproggski says, the Steep/Summit series is so expensive now there are far better brands available. My Gore Tex jacket/pant combo should last me another good few years before I have to worry about it.. hopefully they'll get their act together.

Based on this seasons gear they've turned into some sort of urban brand and completely lost sight of their heritage, which is sad. It's become a ned/chav brand.

Friends and friends of friends have mentioned their tents/sleeping bags and hiking stuff have been questionable for some time. I've got quite a few summit/steep series which has lasted me well, with the stuff ranging from 3-5 years and used a lot throughout the winters especially, not just skiing.
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Sadly, @haigie, that sums them up as well - I just held back from picking on Neds and Chavs Toofy Grin

I do, however, own what must be their 30 millionth 700gm down jacket Embarassed
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Quote:

Based on this seasons gear they've turned into some sort of urban brand and completely lost sight of their heritage, which is sad.


I knew it was no longer serious gear when my 15 year old daughter started asking for a NF puffa, as a fashion item. Apparently its what all the kids are wearing (hereabouts, anyway). She'd be mortified if she knew that it was termed a 'ned' or 'chav' brand!
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Funnily enough I'm just in the process of trying to return a pair of North Face gloves that are losing all their covering over the thumbs. It's a big shame as apart from that they are hands down the best gloves I've ever had, including Hestra etc.

And I must be a sucker for punishment because I just bought a jacket in the snowleader sale. Over £100 off which took it from absurdly priced to merely expensive... Still, it comes with a free Sausisson....
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Many years ago they launched some great & innovative technical gear and since then they have lived off the name selling lots of junk and various price points. IMHO the top of the range stuff only compares on price not quality.
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I've got a Steep series jacket from 5 years ago, it's bombproof......
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tomj wrote:
Quote:

Based on this seasons gear they've turned into some sort of urban brand and completely lost sight of their heritage, which is sad.


I knew it was no longer serious gear when my 15 year old daughter started asking for a NF puffa, as a fashion item. Apparently its what all the kids are wearing (hereabouts, anyway). She'd be mortified if she knew that it was termed a 'ned' or 'chav' brand!


Hopefully I've not offended your little one! NehNeh
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Similarly my jacket is at least 20years old, admittedly mostly only worn when skiing now.

Despite the ned element if and when this one dies will probably look at north face again.
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philwig wrote:
They've been bought and sold quite a lot, and the quality has therefore been somewhat variable. I think you have to look at each piece separately; the brand is of no help in assessing if the kit is any good.


They've been owned by the same company (VF Corporation) for nearly 18 years so I'm not sure that's an excuse. Their top end stuff has always been pretty good, they just have quite an active marketing campaign aimed at the urban market, T-shirts, hoodies etc.

People who think they are extreme outdoors people then get their nose put out of joint that their method of signalling that despite being an office monkey for most of the year they spend two weeks ripping up red runs/crushing HS etc has been stolen by the average youth on the street. So they start slagging it off........
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galpinos wrote:
People who think they are extreme outdoors people then get their nose put out of joint that their method of signalling that despite being an office monkey for most of the year they spend two weeks ripping up red runs/crushing HS etc has been stolen by the average youth on the street. So they start slagging it off........


... or we just want to enjoy those two weeks without worrying about leaks, split seams, etc., due to poor quality control from a formerly great gear manufacturer (and, yes, at one point, I had TNF everything, from Goretex and gloves to tents and trainers).

I would expect that most snowHeads view big (expensive) branding as being the reputation or track record of the equipment, as opposed to wanting the logo on their hoodie or baseball cap (I understand from my son that they are now called SnapBacks!).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
My steep series Goretex trousers are brilliant but agree the cheaper stuff is crap
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Iíve got a Steep Series jacket which has done about 8 weeks. I got it from the Bluewater shop half price one May. Couldnít decide between two different colours and now wish Iíd bought them both rolling eyes
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Their boots are still excellent. I'll only put Salomon and TNF on my feet. Ski gear wise I have some gloves - waste of time. Also have a 700 down parka jacket - fantastically warm, great quality but not the cut for skiing.

All gone a bit chav since sports direct started selling it
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I've got an old Freethinker jacket from way back, circa 2005 still going strong. Well the material is bombproof and has took many attempts to ruin it.

he other year the zip broke - I bought the jacket on the basis it had a lifetime guarantee , contacted TNF regarding it, their reply ' we don't replace zips, had the material been at fault we would repair it .' Lancs sports repair sorted it for £30 and reproofed too for a little more - so still using it. Vowed never to touch TNF again on the back of this.
When the zip broke I bought an Arcteryx jacket to use and its brilliant also - and they honour their guarantees apparently Madeye-Smiley
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I had a Summit series down jacket; it was freezing. Never bought any of their stuff again
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I've referred it to their customer service and will see what happens. I have Arcteryx stuff and it just seems better made. Its a shame I liked the trousers they were comfortable and warm. LEts see if they are replaced. My concern is around the 'build quality' rather than any other issues. Interesting that a number of others have had concerns also.
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Comparing NF with Arcteryx is like comparing a Dacia with a Roller ! Arcteryx have repaired two articles of clothing for me FOC; both were over 3 years old, and torn by me....that`s service.
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I have thought for a few years that North Face was now positioning itself as a 'High Street' brand rather than ski or serious outdoor clothing. It's a shame as I have an old TNF shell jacket, bought at the Birmingham ski show many years ago, that's still going strong and have some affection for the brand. But every time I go into their local shop, I leave feeling the quality (and the price) of current offerings are rubbish!
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cstreat wrote:
Comparing NF with Arcteryx is like comparing a Dacia with a Roller ! Arcteryx have repaired two articles of clothing for me FOC; both were over 3 years old, and torn by me....that`s service.


Agreed but TNF arenít positioning themselves as trespass or dae2b but as a premium brand.
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galpinos wrote:
... They've been owned by the same company (VF Corporation) for nearly 18 years so I'm not sure that's an excuse. ...

There were major changes of ownership (and bankruptcy) between the rather good "steep tech" arrival and now. The actual history (not the marketing image curated in wikipedia) may help understand how you get from a fairly hard core brand to something which isn't.

Actually the world's largest heli operator has TNF gear for their guides, and has done so for a few years. That some of the best gear I've seen. There's nothing remotely like it in their UK collection. They don't want you looking at the US store, so that is presumably better and cheaper stuff. (You can easily get around that by using TOR etc).

I think TNF are positioned more like Nike or Timberland (who they also own) than "a premium brand", if you see what I mean. There's little coherence in their products - branding aside, it doesn't feel like a "collection". Contrast with Patagonia etc.
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Bought a "Triclimate" ski jacket a few years ago - thin quilted underjacket and separate "breathable" hyvent shell. It worked! too well, was far too warm to ski in, but not really breathable so got wet from the inside out. Now use the underjacket all the time, with a goretex shell on top if it's wet. But not for skiing, or anything else energetic, just too warm.
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Well tif say not a warranty issue and have kindly offered to patch the lining for £77. Iíve pointed out the wording of their warranty and asked for an explanation.
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@geoff10, I did exactly the same... bought the Evolution Triclimate jacket which was a shell and a quilted inner. The inner turned into my day-to-day warm jacket for the next 10 years whilst the outer was consigned to the useless pile after about 3 washes.
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I bought a TNF kagool light weight cortex jacket in 1999 and it's still in pretty much in perfect condition. I baulked at the price of £200 at the time but for something that lasts for 19 years I feel was pretty good value for money.
However I feel that when accountants get onto the board of a company involved in manufacture they are no longer interested in the products but only on profit. That inevitably leads to building down to a cost and moving into less demanding markets. Why make a niche garment to sell to a few when you can make a hoody for peanuts and sell it to the masses..
It seems to happen to a lot of brands..
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Regarding the gloves - I too brought a pair of their ski gloves (I think Montana glove). The softer material over the thumbs started breaking down after a one week ski trip. Then the stitching on the seen by the thumb started coming loose so the glove was no longer warm.
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Cookiandmilk wrote:
Regarding the gloves - I too brought a pair of their ski gloves (I think Montana glove). The softer material over the thumbs started breaking down after a one week ski trip. Then the stitching on the seen by the thumb started coming loose so the glove was no longer warm.


Exactly my experience. Iíve got Hesterís gloves now that have done 6 trips. More expensive but I get wear out of them. Same experience with dakine gloves.
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I've got a TNF freethinker jacket that I got about 10-12 years ago, still works well as a shell (water and windproof still) but requires layers underneath. so reasonably happy. On gloves - my son's TNF gloves were useless after three weeks, going to have to get a new pair in resort.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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cstreat wrote:
Comparing NF with Arcteryx is like comparing a Dacia with a Roller ! Arcteryx have repaired two articles of clothing for me FOC; both were over 3 years old, and torn by me....that`s service.
this is one of the reasons I buy Patagonia if I can (usually in the sales).

I bought a nano air hoody recently on sale at half price, first trip out I tore the outer fabric when climbing over some barbed wire (don't ask). I explained this to Patagonia, said it was my fault, they still repaired it without any haggling.

I've also got an old Patagonia tres parka I wear most of the winter to walk to work. Had it for about 10 years. The seam started to go at the bottom hem, so they repaired that in December for me, looks as good as new.

TNF used to be great, but they lost their way somehow
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@philwig, largest heli or heli-ski operator? (I imagined CMH were largest heli-ski op but thatís not based on much actual information).
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dan100 wrote:
Well tif say not a warranty issue and have kindly offered to patch the lining for £77. Iíve pointed out the wording of their warranty and asked for an explanation.


Have a look if it falls inside the Gore warranty.
https://www.gore-tex.com/experience/our-promise
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Have a Hyvent (?) shell jacket. Seems ok for cruising around. Was drenched after working hard off piste. I doubt anything, including goretex, could vent that much sweat anyway.
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Friend skied with a new North Face jacket last week in the Alps. The colour ran from the inner material onto his T-shirts. Thats all you want on your merino - smears of red.
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I got a Steep Series kit in Gore Tex Pro Shell about 3 years ago. It had 40% off but still pretty expensive.
It's been absolutely solid over multiple trips in all conditions from sun, rain, whiteout, back country, off piste, scrambling over rocks and breathes better than I do when I'm working hard!
The brand is definitely very much targeting the high street too though.
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flaming wrote:
Funnily enough I'm just in the process of trying to return a pair of North Face gloves that are losing all their covering over the thumbs. It's a big shame as apart from that they are hands down the best gloves I've ever had, including Hestra etc.


I'd be interested to know how you get on with that, I bought a pair of Level gloves from TK Maxx for about £10 after the ski season had ended about 2 years ago, didn't wear them until last March and the facing on the palm side fingers just rubbed off immediately. The gloves were still sound and waterproof and warm enough, just the funky facing had rubbed off on the three non leather fingers (only the index finger was leather on the palm side, the others were coated. I took a picture of them with my phone at the ski lift, and the model number tag, and emailed it off to Level while I was waiting.

I explained where I'd bought them and how long I'd had them, but this was the first time I'd used them. They send me an apology back and sent out a replacement pair which were far more expensive.

I finally tried the new pair our in Zell am See last week and didn't like them, they were mostly leather and fairly stiff, so I gave them to my mate and carried on using the original pair with the rubbed off facing.

But fair play to Level for replacing them without argument even though they must have been an older model.
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Well so far no explanation. Will chase tnf warranty dept tomorrow.
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Sack the Juggler wrote:
flaming wrote:
Funnily enough I'm just in the process of trying to return a pair of North Face gloves that are losing all their covering over the thumbs. It's a big shame as apart from that they are hands down the best gloves I've ever had, including Hestra etc.


I'd be interested to know how you get on with that,


Just confirmed replacement or refund.
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Quote:

I got a Steep Series kit in Gore Tex Pro Shell about 3 years ago. It had 40% off but still pretty expensive.

It's been absolutely solid over multiple trips in all conditions from sun, rain, whiteout, back country, off piste, scrambling over rocks and breathes better than I do when I'm working hard!

The brand is definitely very much targeting the high street too though.



Ditto - I think some of the Steep stuff is still expedition quality and I've been assured that its cool not chav by my children and their friends. Apparently the Burberry scarf is also once again cool having been naff and chav recently.
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