Pros: Warm; zippered pockets; lightweight
Cons: pricey; only partially waterproof
I was very excited when my parents bought me The North Face's Denali jacket for Christmas this past year, not necessarily because it was that particular coat but more due to the fact that I was in desperate need of some quality outerwear apparel.
I was eager to try out my new jacket and test its ruggedness in some real cold weather (aka a trip to Colorado; the Denali couldn't ever exercise its full potential in the mild winters of Dallas, TX). Through its many tests, the Denali has proven to be a reliable and durable jacket that I can use for warmth in a variety of situations.
This jacket is available in a variety of colors but I have been very satisfied with the heather gray version I received. Many of the other colors are quite obscure and
hard to match, such as a lavender/blue type shade, gold, brick red, etc. I have also seen it in black.
The jacket has black waterproof lining on on the shoulderblade and under-forearm areas. This lining actually does a good job of keeping the entire jacket dry. The rest of the coat is made from Polartec fleece, which keeps the wearer very warm. I also found it very effective against other harsh weather conditions like wind and snow.
There are many very large and very useful pockets in the Denali jacket, all with zippers to keep your personal items from falling onto the ground. One is located over the left chest area and it is big enough to hold my very large wallet and cell phone too. There are also two zipper pockets for your hands or other belongings on each side near the bottom.
Underarm zippers on this jacket are designed to help with ventilation and cooling of the user, but I have honestly never seen the need to use these. If you ask me, if you're cold enough to need to wear the coat, you're probably not warm enough to need these. (Skiing may be an exception to this, but I have only skied once so I really wouldn't know). But the Denali does have the underarm zippers.
Small toggles on the sleeves and the waistband tighten the jacket around the wearer; I have found these to come in very handy also to help protect against wind. The collar is also fleece but it can either fold down on a warmer day or fold up to shield your neck from the wind.
I have been very satisfied with the collar of the Denali. I also like how it does not have one of those built-in hoods on the neckline; those seem to do nothing more than bunch up the collar, and people rarely use them anyway. I have also been very impressed with how quickly the Denali dries when it does get wet.
I think this parka would be best suited for those who frequently encounter cool or windy weather conditions and need a jacket to resist the elements. It is not heavy enough to serve as a ski jacket but it would work well as an under layer. Best of all, the Denali doesn't feel heavy when you are wearing it; it is easy to move in this jacket and it doesn't add too much excess weight to your load.
I highly recommend this jacket; it is pricey (MSRP $165 at TheNorthFace.com) but too often you get what you pay for. This jacket will last through many of your life's adventures!
For more information, visit TheNorthFace.com >> Products >> Women >> Jackets >> Denali Women's Jacket
-Abrasion-resistant laundered 2-ply Supplex? nylon on elbows and upper body
-Multiposition underarm zippers
-Zippered chest pocket
-Two lower-hand pockets
-Designed to zip into shell jackets