The North Face – Athletic Mid-layer Jacket


review by Tony Lourens

A lot of hype is made about first layers, wicking sweat away from your skin and keeping you dry, etc. And while this is obviously critical when out on the hill, the all-important mid layer is sometimes overlooked in its role as a protective garment, in less than severe conditions.
Regulating your body temperature whilst on the move in the mountains is essential if you are to have an enjoyable and indeed safe experience. I often find myself in conditions that are a little nippy, but not properly cold – where a long-sleeved first layer is not quite the ticket, but donning a fleece or even a softshell, oversteps the mark just that little too much, thereby giving too much warmth and creating a sweaty situation. Sometimes you need something in between.

TNF’s Athletic mid-layer jacket is a garment that fits this gap perfectly. It is constructed from a polyester fabric, which is highly breathable and soft against your skin, and together with the slim cut, gives it a really cozy feel. And the high crew neck zips right up to give your neck good protection against chilly winds.
As a mountain guide, I regularly find myself on the shady walls of Cogmans Buttress in Montagu in the dawn hours of the day, taking clients up the excellent multi-pitch routes and racing the oncoming sun. But these early morning starts are often quite bracing and most times accompanied by a nippy breeze, so I am always on the lookout for a jacket that is light, with a close fit, that sits comfortably under my harness and keeps me warm, but not too hot, and gives me good freedom of movement. I must say, this Athletic mid-layer ticks all those boxes.
It also has two zipped waist pockets and really comfortable thumb holes, which keeps the cuffs all the way down over your palms. And used in conjunction with an insulated top layer, you will be able to brave the harshest conditions.
As per most outdoor apparel, its stylish colours and cut make it a garment for all purposes – from mountains to cool urban action.


• Crew neck shape
• Sleeves with thumbholes
• Two hand pockets with zip
Fabric: 250 g stretch polyester

RRP: 1799

Available at:

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