Anyone who spends time around me will eventually see me wearing gear from The North Face. Inevitably I find myself explaining why I buy stuff from The North Face. Most people I talk to think that North Face gear is overpriced. I agree that gear from The North Face tends to cost more than other brands of similar gear. However, the price is justified by the quality and reliability of the gear.
The name “The North Face” comes from the north-facing side of mountains in the northern hemisphere. The north face of a mountain in the northern hemisphere - where the tallest mountains, the Himalayas, are - is the most treacherous and difficult route one can take when climbing a mountain. The north face receives the least sunlight and the most wind in this hemisphere. Because of this, ice is harder and lasts much longer than ice on other faces. It snows more often and in greater amounts. Climbing the north face means you bear the full brunt of Mother Nature’s bad side. Climbers on the north face of a mountain have higher risks of hypothermia, wind burn, frostbite, and death from exposure. The North Face company was created purely to build gear to help humans survive climbing the north face.
I have lots of gear from The North Face: multiple jackets and shells, pants, shirts, boots, tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks. None of my gear has ever failed me at times of need. In fact, my TNF gear has allowed me to thrive in environments which prevent others from even going out. The gear gives me confidence and comfort. I pay the premium price for The North Face gear because it is, simply, the best you can buy. As I always say, life is too short to buy junk. I’ve had my tent and sleeping bag for 5 years and they are in perfect condition. I’ve taken my other gear to mountains in Europe and in the United States for hiking, climbing, and snowboarding. All of it is in perfect working order after hours of abuse.
I have a TNF Denali fleece which zips into my TNF Mountain Jacket shell. But they didn’t always zip in together. I bought the fleece over 5 years ago and had to save up for the shell. When I bought the shell, the zipper configuration had changed and they didn’t zip in together. I took the fleece to the John Hancock Building store in downtown Chicago. The took it, shipped it to the factory, swapped out zippers, and shipped it back to me. This was all free. They upgraded my jacket and it cost me nothing, other than the two weeks it took them to fix it. I hear this kind of story all the time from others who own The North Face gear and I read similar stories online. It’s simply the best stuff and well worth the money.