Gear Review: The North Face Lockoff Jacket

A good looking jacket with plenty of storm protection.

[best fit]

Rarely does this level of storm protection come in such a well-tailored package. Trim yet unrestrictive, the Lockoff’s cut allowed our tester uninhibited range of movement while skiing in Norway. “Even the hood balances full coverage with efficient shaping,” she reports, adding that unlike many helmet-compatible hoods, this one provides a precision fit with or without a bucket.

Credit the high, close collar, which seals tight around a helmet (and isn’t baggy when worn without one) and the hood’s brim, which hits right above the eyebrows for super-close shielding that doesn’t interfere with vision. Nitpick: Testers had to remove gloves to loosen the hood after cinching it in no-helmet mode. Weather protection is outstanding, thanks to three-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell; throughout testing it repelled drenching rain and wind-blown graupel alike.

The tough face fabric also provides outstanding durability—which is key when you’re paying this much for a jacket. Its on-the-move performance is similarly excellent, reports our tester: “It breathes so well, I almost never had to open the pit zips.” And with its top-notch fit, the Lockoff gets worn more often than bulkier shells (testers kept reaching for it—not just for its weatherproofing, but for its flattering good looks). $499; 1 lb. 2 oz.; m’s S-XXL; w’s XS-XL; thenorthface.com