ThermoBall: an ultralight, super-compressible synthetic insulation that retains loft and warmth even when wet. It’s a revolutionary technology, and it’s a favorite of The North Face athletes. But don’t just take our word for it. We asked our Outdoor team where they’ve worn their ThermoBall and why they love it. Versatility and lightweight warmth proved a common thread as one athlete after another told us they never leave home without a ThermoBall.
Cory Richards, Mountaineer: I have been to all seven continents with the ThermoBall technology, and I’ve never looked back. Be it to cut the wind as a midlayer in Antarctica, a warm hiking jacket in the Himalaya, or simply what I throw on to go to dinner at home in Boulder, ThermoBall covers all bases, all over the planet.
ThermoBall technology offers the most versatile and packable warmth for any activity. It’s a no-brainer piece, one that I don’t have to think about. It takes one more step out the planning process — I simply know it works and never leave home without it.
Renan Ozturk, Climber: I’ve traveled in my ThermoBall everywhere from Alaska and the Himalayas to Antarctica and the Gulf of Oman. Even the streets of NYC.
I love how light, durable, and warm ThermoBall is in any conditions. I’ve had the same jacket for so long and the synthetic clusters hold up to my abuse better than any down jacket. ThermoBall also insulates when wet. Plus I just like the look of it — I don’t look like a total dirt-bag climber at city events.
Renan Ozturk sleeping in his Thermoball during an overnight time-lapse. (Credit: Renan Ozturk)
Pete Athans, Mountaineer: ThermoBall is perfect for where I live in the Pacific Northwest because it stands up to our frequently rainy Cascades and Olympic mountains. I’ve used my ThermoBall Hoodie from day one on peaks such as Rainier, Adams, Baker, St. Helens, Glacier, and Olympus.
ThermoBall is a stunning value. It’s extremely light given the insulative quality of the fill; it’s resistant to clumping and down’s other inefficiencies when wet; it’s highly compressible, yet resilient and lofts quickly once unstuffed. Did I mention it’s durable?!? Truly, the popularity of ThermoBall is no surprise given its expansive versatility!
Conrad Anker, Mountaineer: I have traveled with my ThermoBall jacket to the summit of Denali, to the beach and on a sail boat in Mexico, on a dripping-wet pillar of ice in Hyalite Canyon Montana, and to a football game on a crisp Montana summer eve. I’ve worn my ThermoBall at the base of a climb to keep my warmth close in between laps, as my final layer stuffed into a small pack on an ascent of the Grand Teton, and as protection as I wormed around on an icy road attaching chains to the tires of a car.
The ThermoBall collection is extremely versatile. While not a waterproof rain jacket, per se, ThermoBall does an excellent job of keeping the moisture of a summer shower and a winter snow flurry at bay. It is breathable, light, and durable, and the hood keeps warmth where I need it.
Emily Harrington, Climber: Whether heli-skiing in Valdez, Alaska; multi-pitch sport climbing in the Verdon Gorge in France; big wall climbing in California’s Eastern Sierra; pre kitesurf in Michigan; or out on the town in San Francisco, my ThermoBall goes everywhere.
I love my ThermoBall because it’s versatile. It’s warm and light enough to carry to 1,200 feet off the deck at 11,000 feet on a granite face, yet not too techy to pack for a weekend in the city or the beach. It really has become my go-to piece for all climates and conditions.
Alex Johnson, Climber: I’ve traveled extensively in my ThermoBall jacket. It’s been around the cliffs of Yosemite, the peaks of the Sierras, in the vast desert of Nevada, and the snowy mountains in Switzerland. I wear it from my project in the mountains to the grocery store in town.
My ThermoBall is my go-to jacket. No matter where I’m going I can throw it on and know I’ll be fine. It’s lightweight and warm, looks good, and fits great.
Hilaree O’Neill, Ski Mountaineer: My ThermoBall jacket has traveled from my kids’ soccer field in Telluride to the Indian Himalaya. It’s been up to the summit of Kilimanjaro and across fjords in Greenland. I’ve even taken my ThermoBall jacket on a surfing trip in Costa Rica. I’ve slept in it, used it as a pillow, and employed it as a blanket on the plane — and it still holds up for a night out.
The bright colors make ThermoBall jackets stand out in my closet so it’s always the first coat I reach for. Where I live the weather changes every five minutes, so even in the summer I always have to take a jacket with me. Of any jacket I own, my ThermoBall offers the most flexible protection from the elements.
Hilaree O'Neill, wearing her Thermoball Hoodie, catches a ride in Greenland. (Credit: Adam Clark)