The North Face Gatebreak Down Jacket – 2016 Review by A Better Ski
The North Face Gatebreak Down jacket is warm and comfortable, and could make a great option for those skiers in cold places, that won’t see a lot of wet snow.
Matt’s Specs: Sizing Info
Waterproofing and Breathability: The North Face Gatebreak Down jacket is coated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) that will help to shed light snow and keep you dry. I wouldn’t consider the Gatebreak waterproof, but as long as you take care of the DWR coating (and reapply when necessary), the Gatebreak will help to keep you dry when the snow is light. The Gatebreak isn’t very breathable, and you’ll probably only want to break this jacket out when the temperatures really begin to drop.
Warmth: The North Face Gatebreak Down jacket has 550 fill goose down insulation, providing exceptional warmth. This is a great jacket for those that often ski on really cold days, and need the extra warmth of down. It’s not very breathable, and without pit zip ventilation, you’re not going to want to wear this as temperatures begin to warm. This could also make a great option for cold days around town.
Fit and Feel: The North Face Gatebreak is a comfortable jacket with a relaxed fit. I’d say sizing is pretty true, and the small was just about perfect for my size. It does have a slightly loose fit, but I really didn’t find it baggy by any means. It allows room to layer underneath, and gives you decent mobility when you want it. Length was pretty decent, hitting just under the waist. I really like the feel of down jackets, especially those that don’t feel overly bulky. This is definitely a puffy jacket, but I don’t feel like a big marshmallow when wearing it.
Features: The North Face Gatebreak has as decent amount of skier specific features. You don’t often see powder skirts, or helmet compatible hoods in down, so I love that the Gatebreak has both. The Gatebreak also has a pass pocket on the sleeve, two comfortable hand warming pockets, and an internal media pocket. The only thing I thought the Gatebreak was missing was pit-zips, but I really don’t mind heavily insulated jackets without, since I’ll probably only wear them when it’s really cold out.
Bottom Line: The North Face Gatebreak is a very solid down insulated jacket. It could be perfect for those in cold climates that need extra warmth, and all the ski specific features you typically find on more technical shells, but won’t see a ton of wet weather. This would definitely be my go-to for the coldest days on the mountain or around town.