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The North Face Mountain Light Jacket Review

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Yukon Jack, 0/0/00 User Rating:  N/A
"This is a great jacket. That about sums it up. I have been in the
middle of blizzards and mosoons and still stayed dry, the seams
didn't even leak like other jackets. There are plenty of draw cords
to conform it to the desired shape. Underarm zippers may look
like a flashy gadget, but they are great for times when you are hot
but can't take your jacket off, like in summer rains. It is light wieght
and can be crumpled up really small to fit into a pack. The only
thing bad about it is it's price, yes it is high. But if you do buy it,
then you have made a friend for life."


Jeremy, 0/0/00 User Rating:  N/A
"this jacket is the best purchase i think that i have ever made. of cours it is fairly expensive, but i think it is worth it. You will never get wet when wearing this thing. Also it is very comfortable to wear. I am a college student and really appreciate the protection it gives me against the elements when i am walking to class. Great job North Face, keep up the good work and i will keep buying!!!"


amone21@aol.com, 0/0/00 User Rating:  N/A
"This jacket is simply horrible, especially for the price. You should go for a Marmot or a Sierra Designs if you want to spend that much money. The jacket breaks and is just simply a pathetic piece of worksmanship. It is made in China which speaks for itself. DO NOT BUY A JACKET FROM THIS COMPANY"


tom dunn, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"This is simple - buy this jacket. I had it (and Mountain Light pants) in my pack when motorcycling home from vacation and got caught in a downpour. For the final 20 miles, I followed a tractor trailer and a long line of traffic. I was soaked from head to toe. That said, neither the jacket or pants leaked a bit. When I got home and got undressed, I was completely dry underneath, much to my surprise. North Face will keep me as customer."


politicos need attention..., 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I've got a feeling that amones' review is fueled by some quasi-political notion rather than any actual defects in this jacket. I've had one for 4 years now, and it is by far the the most important thing I pack. The North Face Co. makes some solid gear, no matter what it is. I own some of their other equipment; and it will survive the pepsi challenge with most each and every brand on the market. Sure every company has a specialty; but all The North Face products are top of the line."


Nick, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"By far one of the best pieces of gear I own. I've had it since freshman year of college- 6 yrs. ago- and it's been on dozens of backpacking trips with me. The price is high, but there's a North Face Outlet here in Berkeley where I got a pretty good deal. So far, only signs of wear are a small rip in the lining on a seam (still waterproof), and I tend to abuse my stuff. It still keeps me dry and blocks the wind well. It's not the warmest jacket I've owned, but with a fleece underneath it's great."


Lisa Bonfigli, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"This is one piece of gear I coul
d not live without. I have used this one jacket for five years and every trip it is worth more than it's weight in gold. I won't leave home without it in my pack.



scott, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"first of all let's start with gore-tex. this is one of the most over-hyped products in the outdoor market. the material is deemed as 'waterproof breathable', yet is isn't very breathable at all. gore-tex can't keep up with the amount of sweat the average human prespires.. especially, if you're wearing this jacket hiking uphill. so, in order to correct this companies add pit-zips. this helps slightly, but does not solve the problem. gore-tex is also a very heavy material that tends to break down or 'wet out' with usage and time. this needs to be treated with a special 'tech-wash' that is quite costly and doesn't solve the problem. by the way, im not a huge 'sweater'.. i actually lean on the side not sweating very excessivly. so, as you can see im not a fan of gore-tex. i have been somewhat impressed with the new line of gore-tex xcr which is lighter weight and more breathable, although it still has the problem of breaking down and 'wetting out' and it is costly overall. with that said..... here's what i think of the northface mountainlight jacket: it looks cool. ive had one for 5 years. ive used it alot over the 5 years... both wearing it as a piece of clothing on the street and in the backcountry. it served its purpose as a piece of raingear. i have had to treat it many times with 'tech-wash' because the membrane was breaking down. ive had several problems hiking when the jacket 'wetted-out' thus, making my opper body wet. overall it wasn't too bad.. but you should get more protection than that from a $300+ garmot. i paid $200 for this jacket on a special deal/end-of-year closeout and feel that this jacket is worth about $75. i recently dumped the mountain light and got a marmot precip jacket. im my opinion, the marmot is a much better jacket overall. first of all it costs $99. it's also made with marmot's waterprooof/breathable material.. so there's no gore-tex membrane to break down, and it's more breathable than gore-tex will ever hope to be. it's almost half the weight (14 oz.) ive had the precip for a few months now and it proves to be a much superior waterproof jacket than the mountainlight. so, here's the deal... why do you want this jacket? do you want it to look cool in? if so, then buy it. that's a resonable excuse to get the jacket.. look around the mall sometime, there are tons of pricey clothes that are totally unfunctional. if you are looking for a superior piece of raingear.. keep looking. you can get the precip or a good jacket from another company for around a hundred bucks. i would take the extra $200+ and put it into a good pack,tent or shoes personally. or, better yet to finance a good hiking trip."


manuwalker, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"It´s very cold sensation. You can feel this jacket doesn´t protect you. Bad feeling for that money, too expensive."


Jonathan Evans, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"This jacket is a piece of junk in my opinion. It cost way too much and is way too trendy for me. The North Face is now owned by Vanity Affairs, which if you didn't know is a womens underware maker. Vanity Affair also mean superficial, and cheap. I do admit TNF does make some good tents and sleeping bags but other that that there products are not very good."


JRS, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I picked this jacket up four years ago and I would advise against it for a few reasons: (1) It is heavy and bulky even when packed in the stow pocket, (2) It is expensive.I paid full price $375 for this jacket, I could have bought a Red Ledge jacket and a tent for that price, (3) The mountain light needs to be retreated with expensive tech washes and spray on treatments that do not work. The jacket will wet out if you plan on spending more than a few hours in the rain. I do most of my backpacking in the Smokey Mountains and we may get only a few hours of sunshine on most trips. The result of the wet out is the equivilant of wearing a wet t-shirt. (4)Gore-tex is not the only waterproof/brethable fabric/treatment on the market. I own a number of other TNF products and they are pretty solid, however, I would steer away from the mountain light..."


brendan, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"Scotts review made a very good point. I bought one on the premise that it was a very cool looking jacket which will keep me dry and cool in the English weather. However, if I wanted a serious outdoor garment for mountaineering etc I would go for a Marmot. Gore-tex doesnt stand up to the job of handling extreme weather and breathability. If like me you want a great looking 'trendy' technical jacket, then get one. Its more exclusive than Berghaus (everyone seems to have one)."


Guido, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"This jacket is amazing, I bought the Nuptse and Denali jackets for the zip-in feature. North Face has the best warranty out there. Perfect jacket for anything and everything. I have found absolutely nothing wrong with this jacket, keeps me warm and dry. Gore-tex XCR is extremely waterproof and breathable. The people complaining about the price of the jacket are crazy, I paid 150 dollars for this jacket ON SALE!! If you pay anything more than 300 dollars for a jacket, you are a horrible shopper."


Gates, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"We have a problem here with the review on this jacket. One is the different class of people rating it. The first group seems to be the rich college kid who randomly pays 300-350 dollars for a jacket just because he can. For that person, this jacket would be like gold. Of course its going to keep you bone dry on your 10 minute walks to class, or your last 20 miles on a motorcycle. You would think this jacket was just amazing. Second group is the intense backpacker like myself who really puts this jacket through its paces. Now I know gore-tex claims to be highly waterproof AND breathable...well come on guys. With a little physics you are NEVER going to get something as waterproof as plastic and as breathable as mesh. Its just not possible. Somewhere there has to be a compromise. And for the people saying to use marmot or sierra designs, they use the same concept as gore-tex or even worse a nylon soaked in a DWR finish that will wear off in a year or two. So to say the least, even though North Face has sold out a bit, give there product a break. I used the Mountain Light for about 3 years and yes I did have to treat it about twice a year. But come on, Nikwax costs what, 8 dollars? So until you find the amazing material that is completely waterproof and beads water for EVER while breathing like mesh...get back to me because I want it."


They, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"Gore-tex is the WORST fabric out there...except for all the others.

I'll agree, the marketing makes it sound like a miracle, and it isn't. Suprise, suprise.

Try the following test - find yourself two good hours of 85deg. weather and a downpour. Then spend the first hour hiking in something totally waterproof, like a skanorak, or a cagoule. Spend the next hour in any gore-tex product. You will notice a either a marginal difference or a huge difference, depending on how much of a schvitzer you are. Big sweaty guys will continue to be big sweaty guys. Those luck folks who "glow" instead of sweat will probably stay drier.

Maybe the difference is enough to buy the jacket, maybe not. The choice is yours - ain't this a great country?

I bought the Mountain Light in 1992 after spending several miserable years in either a poncho (1981), a PVC suit (1983), a Cagoule (1991) or some other equally worthless sauna-suit. The difference was apparent to me immediately - partially due to the design (tailored, vented, mesh interior, etc) and partially due to Gore-tex. In the next two years it spent more than 100 days in either northern Saskatchewan/Manitoba canoeing, or in the Canadian Rockies Backpacking. It was also my primary cycle-commuting jacket for the following three years, and a trusted tool on my shorter jaunts once I got a real job. It was also my primary ski jacket, and took more than a few scrapes, tumbles, and tree-swats.

Two weeks ago, on or about it's eleventh birthday, a few seams gave out and the velcro ripped. So I sent it in for repair.

Just today I got off the phone with the Warranty rep at TNF. She informed me that my trusted friend had died of his war wounds, and was laid to rest in the warehouse dumpster. A new Mountain Light is on its way - gratis. I'll probably get 20 years out of this one."


Esther, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I love this jacket..It is the perfect gear for living in the Pacific NW..I ski, hike and use mine for daily use. I find no problem with it. I am not rich,but, just wanted a good coat for the $$. Got it on sale for $260 and feel good about my purchase."


the A-Man, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I have owned this jacket since 1995 and have hiked everywhere from the Appalachian Trial to Glacier National Park and other wilderness areas in the east and mountain west alike. I have stood in many a downpour of rain and stayed bone-dry. This is a multi-purpose jacket that I have used for mountain biking in the winter and fly fishing in the spring. This is a great jacket well worth the money. Have a nice day."


Chris C, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I bought this Mountain Light Jacket years ago for 135.00. It's still a great jacket.

However, I went into North Face a few days ago and looked at the same jacket. It's now a total rip off! The company(North Face) is now run by a bunch of corprate idiots. This jacket is now made in China for pennies. Instead of lowering the price and passing the savings to the customer, North Face has raised it 150%! Who is pocketing the huge profits. Answer - Corporate anti-enviormental, greedy, get-rich-quick assholes. They are milking the once good "North Face" name to death!
I buy most of my stuff now at www.cabelas.com. They pass on the savings to the customer and stand behind their product. And they have the best customer service and catalogs. Ask for their catalog.

Both REI and North Face suck. If I have to go to a retail store I go to Adventure 16 now. Adventure 16 is pricey, but they have a great clothing selection and excellent customer service.

Keep your old U.S. made North Face Stuff. It is now becoming collectable!"


chaos, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"After reading the other reveiws for this product I felt compelled to responed. I live in British Columbia and spend most of my time outdoors. I had my first mountian light for quite a few years(8?) and it started to fall apart. I sent it to northface thinking that I would get response indicating the usable life of the jacket was over and I should get a new one. What I got was a new mountian light. I was very please with this service. To those that say it is too expensive. why did you buy it then? I TNF was a two dollar company they would have been gone long ago. To those that say " It's made in China." I say look a the price of arcteryx. It's not warm enough? It's a shell you can zip in a fleece or a down liner. For what it is it is very well priced and functional. People always want something for nothing. and americans are basically stupid."


Richard, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"I've had my Mountain Light for about five years now. It's OK as a get around town raincoat and has plenty of pockets etc... but it has some major problems.

1/ Don't believe the name - there is nothing "light" about this jacket - it is one of the heaviest on the market

2/ The lining in mine soaks up moisture like a sponge. After a while it is soaking wet - very unpleasant and if you are using it skiing, all that moisture will probably freeze.

3/ Too many zips and "features" which don't add any real value - just weight.

I only use mine for getting about in the rain in town now - I got an Arc'teryx Alpha SL as a replacement in paclite and that is 1000 times better."


Willio, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"This is a jacket review guys... not a political forum.
On the other hand, as stated earlier... there are two types of posters on here. Wannabe frat boys wanting to be "outdoorsy" and then those of us who use it. I have owned this jacket for nearly 3 years and have taken it everywhere. From balling it up in my jeep in the spring when the top was off in the rain or as a windbreaker when the top of my jeep broke. From Denali 2-3 Alpine treks, to hiking my ass off in humd conditions... The Jacket is great for the money... $300 bones isnt too bad for this type of versatility. Yeah NF may becoming trendy but their gear for the most part holds up and is cutting edge... you cannot have the best of both worlds thus the reason for different types of gear for different conditions. You cannot expect to buy a jacket and because it cost $300, it be fit for everything (though it nearly is). GREAT JACKET... Cheaper than a hardtop!!!

Negative... Little heavy... but not bad."


KING NORTH FACE, 0/0/00 User Rating: 
"The light is the best all around jacket. and yes american tnf products are highley collectable now adays. ive owned my light since 96' with the big tnf logo on the left forearm. i zip my denali or my nuptse in the winter and my light has never let me down. this is a perfect jacket for sure ive bombed it with nikwax before every season and it should hold up for another 10 to 20 years...."


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