More of a hybrid than a true insulating number, the The North Face Super Zephyrus falls somewhere between a mid layer and an insulated jacket. It features a combination of Polartec Powerstretch panels and sections of PrimaLoft insulation. Because of this it’s obviously much thinner than the others on test, but then it is meant to sit closer to your body.
The panels mean movement is unrestricted and it is comfortable to wear, but when the wind picks up it certainly feels colder in the areas without insulation. It has an eleasticated hood which – while perhaps not as close fitting as others – moves with your head.
The pockets are zippable but a little narrow – I could just about fit my hands into them, but not with gloves on. There is also no hem cinch, but the stretchy panels mean this is not a big deal. The main zip has a draught-excluding fabric panel behind it and good amount of soft material around the chinguard for added comfort. The cuffs are elasticated and fit well to prevent draughts whipping up your sleeves.
If you want a great alternative to fleece for a mid layer the The North Face Super Zephyrus is ideal; but you can get something warmer with more features that is also lighter for less money.
Weight 345g (size S)
Outer fabric nylon ripstop with PU coat, Polartec Power Stretch
Inner fabric as outer
Insulation 40g PrimaLoft One
Women’s sizes S-XL
Men’s sizes S-XL
The North Face’s Super Zephyrus is certainly a great mid layer, and it works as an emergency warm layer too, though being the least warm option here for a higher price may put some people off.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2012