There are certain items of clothing that once you own, you will truly wonder how you ever lived without it. It is not something that happens often but when it does you want to treasure it.
And that is exactly they way I feel about my newly acquired The North Face Thermoball jacket. I love it.
Firstly, I hate being cold but I love the outdoors. I not only do all of my exercise outdoors, I also use my bike as my sole mode of transport in London using it to do everything from grocery shopping to meeting friends for drinks or dinner.
This means I need really versatile clothing that has high performance qualities but doesn't look too technical. The Thermoball jacket ticks both boxes for those who are looking for a snug but sleek winter jacket that will look as good on the bike or on the side of a mountain as it will strolling into your local coffee shop.
On the technical side, this jacket is a high achiever. The warmth to weight ratio is impressive. Coming in at just under 300g, the jacket is surprisingly cosy. This is thanks in part to the Prima-loft fill. It is also due to the quilted design of the jacket. Each stitched section of the jacket provides an individual pouch for the fill which traps air and helps to retain heat much better than a traditional jacket.
Another key feature to consider is the fact that the fill is synthetic. Down is always an appealing option, but a synthetic fill is actually far more practical for those who are always on the go and spend a lot of time exposed to the elements. Should you be unfortunate enough to get caught in a rain shower the jacket will still keep you warm unlike a traditional down jacket which can really only be worn in cold, dry conditions or with a waterproof shell on top.
In addition to the technical features of this jacket, I was also very impressed with its appearance. While the quilt on the jacket is primarily for warmth it looks great too. It sits sleek and snugly on the body and hugs all the right places.I opted for a size medium for my UK 10 frame. It allowed a little bit of space for a warm jumper underneath and enough freedom of movement for the bike. The dropped tail was also a really nifty bike friendly feature of the jacket.
Available in a wide colour palette (everything from silver, black, hot pink and everything in between) you can really go as daring as you like in that respect. The Thermoball is available with or without a hood.
One final feature of this jacket from a practical stance is the fact it can be packed away into its pocket, meaning it can be as easily stashed in a handbag as it can in your backpack.
For me The North Face Thermoball jacket is a real winner. It is a super versatile offering that will not look out of place on city streets but that will keep you warm, even of those sub-zero days.
Price: £179 (currently on sale for £99)
Available from: Blacks