The Thermoball Snow Triclimate is a versatile piece of clothing that, while a bit stuffy and restrictive, enables you to keep warm and dry on just about any run.
- Where to buy: REI, Amazon, EVO
- Best for: Rougher weather or wet conditions where you need extra protection. Skiers who run cold will like this too.
- Pros: This jacket is both versatile and warm. The 3-in-1 design is intuitive. The DryVent fabric is weather resistant. There’s a lot of different features packed into the design and you get a lot of value for the price.
- Cons: The jacket is both heavy and stuffy. As such, it doesn’t give you great ventilation. The warm fabric is also restricting and can limit general movement.
- Alternatives: Alpha Liftaloft, Arc’teryx Rush, Orolay Waterproof Fleece
Why Trust Me
I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I spent ample time researching this jacket’s various features to analyze how it held up out on the mountain during both light and rough days.
The North Face Thermoball Snow Triclimate is a 3-in-1 jacket that values versatility above all other attributes. It’s well-made, tough, and will keep you warm time and time again. Those traits work with the fit to create a comfortable item that you can take anywhere. Though the ventilation could definitely be better, the ability to switch between the shell and inner layer provides options similar jackets lack.
Ample Amounts of Warmth
If there’s one thing the Triclimate does well, it keeps you warm. North Face packed the jacket full of synthetic insulation, which works perfectly with the hanging mesh shell liner to ensure you stay cozy regardless of what weather you plan to ski in. Both parts of the jacket also work together to trap in heat and add yet another layer of warmth to the overall design.
Another excellent aspect here is that the sweater layer stands on its own. Flexibility is a big draw of any 3-in-1 design, and with this one, you get something that truly works as advertised. You can put on both layers for particularly cold days, but the sweater does a good job when things get a bit warm.
Strong and Adjustable Weather Resistance
As with many other premium ski jackets, the Triclimate works hard to keep out the elements. It has excellent weather resistance thanks to the durable waterproof construction. The DWR coating is also a nice touch that goes a long way in ensuring you never get any excess moisture build-up.
That construction is then furthered by the hood, which I give props to because it can easily fit a helmet, as well as the large sleeves and hem. While some jackets seem to be a bit disjointed, everything in this package works together to shield your body. You have plenty of room, and the adjustment cords are easy to operate. There are also velcro tab closures at the sleeve openings, and you can pull the hem shut with an elastic cord.
Comfort and Fit
When it comes to fit and comfort, the Triclimate does a decent job. The jacket has a neutral fit, which means it sits on your body in a loose-but-not-baggy way. There’s a lot of extra room in the torso, which I like even if it’s a bit boxy. The hem and sleeves are also long, but I found that offers extra protection and keeps the wind off your skin.
The synthetic puffy sweater is soft and feels good, as does the fleece chin guard that works to protect your face from any rubbing or longstanding discomfort. If I have one complaint about this area is that the fabric tends to wear and restrict movement over time. You’ll be able to ski easily, but it’s not the most flexible option on the market.
Simply put, you’re not getting great ventilation here. The Triclimate is a 3-in-1 and, as with most multiple-piece jackets, it doesn’t let you breathe as well as one piece. North Face takes a few steps towards getting you better airflow, but they aren’t enough. The armpit vents, while functional, are only present in the shell and not the liner. In addition, I’m also not a fan of the outer shell material for this purpose. It lets you breathe a bit, but does not do enough when the going gets tough.
Another big bonus of the Triclimate is its multiple features. I’m always a fan when a clothing item goes above and beyond the call of duty, and that’s what this one does. There are two comfortable handwarmer pockets, each complete with fleece lining, as well as two external chest pockets. You have plenty of room for snacks, maps, or whatever else you could ever need. There’s a lot of extra space in this design.
To add to that, the Triclimate comes with a ski pass pocket and a goggle wipe. Those aren’t necessarily must-haves, but I found them nice. The hood is easy to adjust, and the powder skirt is a nice bonus for when you want to stay warm. If you wear the liner by itself, you also get two handwarmer pockets that come with buttons to ensure nothing falls out.
Price and Value
As is the case with most 3-in-1 jackets, the Triclimate offers great value. Not only are you getting two well-made pieces here (insulated layer and shell), but you’re getting them at a price that’s more affordable than similar models. Everything is also backed up by North Face’s lifetime warranty. That’s a bonus I particularly love.
What I Like
As mentioned above, I truly enjoy the Triclimate’s warmth. This jacket goes a long way towards ensuring you don’t get chilly on the slopes, and everything, from the tough material to the synthetic insulation, does a great job. The sweater holds up on its own, and everything put together is soft, snug, and comfortable.
The Triclimate also impressed me with its features. I’m a huge fan of fleece-lined pockets, and the ample storage goes a long way during both long and short trips. The velcro tab closures and elastic cord are also wonderful, as is the roomy hood. I like how much value you get with this jacket. The features are a big part of that.
What I Dislike
I’m not a big fan of the Triclimate’s ventilation. Not only does the material itself lack breathability, but I wish the pit vents were better and went through the liner. That combination means you’re going to notice the stuffiness when you push hard or when the weather heats up. There is some air flow in the design, but I would have liked more.
The jacket is a bit too restrictive for my taste as well. The two layers on their own are fine in this regard, but when put all together, it does limit your general range of motion.
The Triclimate is a well-rounded jacket that does a little bit of everything, but if you want something more focused or that sits in a different price range, look at these choices:
- Alpha Liftaloft – This jacket is a high-performance option with excellent durability. While it does cost a little bit more than some might like, you’re going to get a lot of use out of the sturdy model. It sits a bit snug, but few jackets are as well-rounded for different runs, mountains, or environments than this one.
- Arc’teryx Rush – The Rush is a good jacket that looks great, fits well, and does a nice job of locking out moisture. This has awesome weather resistance too, which makes it a solid choice for both on and off-piste skiing. It’s more expensive than some similar items, but it’s worth it if you want a good backcountry option.
- Orolay Waterproof Fleece – If you want something a bit on the cheaper side or are looking to save some money, this model from Orolay is a good choice. The reliable jacket not only looks attractive, but also has a nice blend of both wind and waterproof construction. A great choice if you want something a bit lighter.
Does the hood come off?
No. The hood is not removable. However, it’s big enough to accommodate a helmet.
Are there pit vents built into the design?
Yes, there are pit vents, but they are only in the shell and not the inner layer.
Does this have a down liner?
No. Rather, the Triclimate utilizes a high-performance synthetic fill.
How is this jacket’s fit?
It fits true to size. You do not need to get a size up or down.
When it comes to versatility, the Triclimate excels. As with many other 3-in-1 jackets, the modular construction ensures you can use it in different environments or freely switch your setup depending on the current weather.
On top of that, the jacket provides ample amounts of warmth, weather resistance, and durability. There are many different features as well.
While it’s not the best ventilated option out there, it’s a solid pick for those who want more options.