Light and Technical – The North Face Enzo Jacket and Pants Review

 

 

When I see the words “athletic fit” on a product tag, I get scared. Too many après beers and a lust for good food leaves me on the far side of that category. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t need a technically superior, dry and good looking jacket—I can ski down hills as well as the next ripped and six-packed dude and I deserve world class gear as much as the next altimeter-sporting, lungs-with-legs human experiment. Thankfully, the Enzo works for anyone who needs the best.

As part of The North Face’s new Summit Series, an “athlete tested, expedition proven, best-in-class” line, the Enzo jacket ($550 CDN) and pants ($430 CDN) might have the all important athletic cut that athletes need, but it works well for most of us who are capable of skiing all day. This fully seam sealed Gore-Tex Pro shell is a no nonsense set up for skiers and snowboarders who prefer performance over bells and whistles. Everything about this kit is low profile, from the fit to the pockets. The jacket worked well in partnership with a base and mid layer, and sported the right venting to keep me from overheating while charging in the warm Whistler storms we are capable of getting. With the classic Pacific Northwest situation of multiple climate zones on one hill plaguing me, the Enzo jacket and pants hold up well to the up-and-down temperatures of Peak to Creek runs. No water gets in at lower elevations, and when it freezes again on the Peak chair, it merely flakes off leaving the Gore-Tex ready to fend off another torrent of Whistler “powder”. Perfect.

One sticking point for me was the pockets inability to hold much of consequence without constricting movement. The chest pocket worked fine for things like a cell phone or wallet but items in the side pockets and pants pockets could be felt deep in a turn. I don’t use pants pockets so it doesn’t affect me but be aware if you do—these ones are better left to paper products only as they are tight. The good news is, you know they’ll stay dry.

Definitively waterproof, breathable, easily adjustable for temperature, seam sealed and damn slick looking, the Enzo is a great set up for the coastal mountains. Layer up, keep your accoutrement at home or in your pack, and ski hard all day, knowing you’ll stay dry and happy, even if you’re not an athlete. See more at TheNorthFace.com.

Looking for the nerdy stuff? From The North Face website: 

  • Waterproof, breathable, fully seam sealed
  • Know Boundaries Snow Safety label
  • Recco® avalanche rescue reflector
  • PU (polyurethane) asymmetrical front zip
  • PU (polyurethane) waterproof, laser-cut, bonded zips
  • Adjustable, helmet-compatible fixed hood
  • Pit-zip vents
  • Wrist accessory pocket with goggle cloth
  • Zip hand pockets
  • Zip chest pocket
  • Internal media security pocket
  • Internal goggle pocket
  • Zip integration powder skirt
  • Hook-and-loop adjustable cuffs
  • Detachable powder skirt

 

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4 Responses to Light and Technical – The North Face Enzo Jacket and Pants Review

  1. Jeff January 3, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Hi – Mike
    Great review of the Enzo jacket. How’s the sizing for this jacket. It mentions Alpine (Athletic) fit does it fit on the smaller side. I’m 5’10 at 175lbs and debating between the Medium or Large. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks

  2. Eric March 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    Also looking for sizing help. I am 6’2 185lbs debating between L and XL.
    I want to make sure its long enough. Thanks

  3. Mike Berard February 21, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Eric, I’m WAY behind on this but I found the jacket to be average in length, when compared to some of the longer style of jackets companies are producing now. Did you end up making a purchase? What did you get?

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