The Alpine Project is a good weight (434g, men’s L) with the essential features for hillwalking. The two chest pockets take OS maps, while the helmet-compatible hood has a wired peak, volume adjustment and face drawcords. Pit zips improve ventilation, and the pockets are mesh-lined, not sealed. Some may prefer a third chest pocket for maps, compass or GPS. 4/5
It comes in sizes men’s S-XXL, and women’s XS-XL. The body just about covered my crotch but was a little loose around the waist, though when wearing a pack this isn’t a problem. Sleeve movement is excellent without hem or cuffs riding up – great for scrambling. The helmet-compatible hood has superb adjustment and moves easily with the head too. 5/5
The jacket uses 3-layer Gore-Tex Active fabric, which is thinner, lighter and more supple than standard Gore-Tex or Gore-Tex Pro, but it’s also less durable in theory. I also find it feels quite cold in wet and windy weather as it is so thin. The pockets are mesh-lined so they could let water in, but the weight of just 434g means this is comfortable to carry in a rucksack and feels nice and light when walking. 4/5
The weight and pocket design are a bonus in summer, which is when the The North Face Alpine Project performs really well for backpacking and general hillwalking. You can vent it with the pit zips too if needed. I’d like a third chest pocket but the hood is stunning. I’d use this for mild-weather trips but I’d choose others for more challenging conditions. 4/5
You get superb breathability and low weight. There are drawbacks but good for the price. 4/5
The North Face’s Alpine Project is an ideal jacket for milder-weather hillwalking.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2014