The North Face Nuptse 2 Vest is advertised as a stylish, durable down vest, providing warmth without unnecessary bulk, and looks as good on the high street as it does on the hill. I took it to both the hills and the high street to test it out.
The body of this vest is made from 50D mini-ripstop weave nylon with DWR. So essentially its been made to be durable and water repellent, whilst trying to keep the vest as lightweight as possible.
The vest is filled with a 700 fill goose down and is noticeably warm when wearing in cooler weather. Essentially a good down filling should fluff back up and fill the vest out again even after being compressed away in the pocket, rucksac or cupboard, and a 700 fill is a good grade.
This vest is very comfortable to wear. The fit is very good, and because of the down, it pads out any gaps, shaping to the body. The neck has a high collar and once zipped up fully, pads out and protects this area well. The back of the vest is cut to hang over the bottom area just enough to stop it riding up, and using the drawcord if needed, created a secure and comfy fit. With the arms missing on the vest it allows more freedom of movement, so I suppose you could say this adds to the comfort too.
Part of comfort for me is how warm it feels, and whilst in the mountains it did keep me warm and cosy. This was tested as we reached the windy summit after a sweaty climb. Hitting the cold wind when you are clammy always makes you cool down uncomfortably fast, and putting the vest on, I instantly felt a difference and the fit kept me warm too.
This vest feels tough in construction with good stitching and overall seems well up to the job. This is down to the mini-ripstop nylon which is meant to help avoid snags on thorns, barb wire, crampons etc, I am still always wary about this though as I do put my gear through hell sometimes! The shoulder area has a double layer taffeta on the shoulders, designed to increase protection when carrying rucksacs. I have to say this does feel well protected when I was carrying one, time will tell with this element, but a good design feature!
The vest has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment applied to the outer fabric, making it water repellent. This was noticeable as we had a light shower whilst first taking this vest out on a short walk. The water beaded off nicely, but I wouldn’t want to be caught in a heavy downpour or constant rain.
On the bottom of this vest is a drawcord, which if needed will tighten the vest around the bottom, but its unlikely you will need this as the fit seems very good. It’s nice to have the option though for extreme weather.
This vest has two pockets that are a good size, but one has a brilliant design feature. Turn the pocket inside out and fold the vest in to it, and you will find the whole vest fits in! Once the vest is inside the pocket, you can also zip it up with a small zip and hang it up on the small loop provided. Nice and neat, well impressed with this! Size wise, the pockets are big enough to get a OS Explorer map in each, so plenty of room really.
Value for money
The RRP for this vest is £130. It is obviously an investment piece, however, North Face is a tried and tested outdoor gear designer, and based on what I have seen so far for this vest, feel it would perform well. Basically you are paying for the quality of the vest, which is excellent!
I really like this vest and the many uses I have found it can have. Yes you can wear it up the pub or on a trip to the shops as another layer, and it wouldn’t look out of place. But for me it is how it performs in the outdoors that is impressive. It’s practical to use, with design features like the stowing away pocket, reinforced shoulders and hem fit, it is lightweight, offers a lot of warmth for the upper body and is comfortable to wear. It’s a good all round vest that could be taken on any trip as a layer to wear during or in between activity where you may need protection from the cold.
For more information on this vest, visit the Snow+Rock website: