The North Face Storm Shadow (2014)

The North Face’s Storm Shadow is designed as a next-to-skin or mid layer fleece. To provide maximum comfort it’s a close-fitting top that’s extremely air-permeable while offering superior ‘wicking’ (moisture-removing) performance. All this makes it ideal when used under a waterproof jacket or when worn on its own during highly aerobic activities, or for scrambling or walking in non-windy environments.  It also works well under or over other insulation as it’s quite a thin layer. But it isn’t quite as warm as thicker options so in winter it will probably need supplementing with other layers. In terms of design it’s unusual in that it’s a thinner layer with useful pockets, which makes it ideal when a waterproof shell isn’t worn over the top. The two main pockets are OS map-sized and easily accessed while wearing rucksack hipbelts. The additional chest pocket is useful for a GPS receiver or compass. There is no hem drawcord or cuff adjustment, so it’s worth checking that these areas fit snugly to prevent draughts. But apart from that the The North Face Storm Shadow is an extremely useful year-round layer when worn on its own or combined with other layers. It would work well under some of the other jackets featured here in colder conditions.


Material Pontetorto heathered grid jersey fleece
Men’s/unisex sizes S-XL
Women’s sizes XS-L
Weight 378g (size M)
Hood no
External pockets 3



The The North Face Storm Shadow is a very useful thinner fleece that’s ideal for use with other layers. Because it has pockets it also works well when a waterproof jacket isn’t being worn.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2014