23 May VENDOR SPOTLIGHT: THE NORTH FACE GREAT GOOSE
NEW INSULATION DESIGN FOR COLD WEATHER WORKERS—REVIEW OF “The North Face’s” new “Great Goose” insulated jackets.
We have wrapped up our snow training season recently with some extra training in the great white north of Canada. At this time, we would like to share with you some experiences we had with different products we tested during the last season. Those of you who work outdoors in the worst of winter weather know the importance of the insulating properties in your clothing. You all know that anything with the word “down” or “goose” in it is not going to work for our situations. As we all know down is the only material that loses more of its insulating properties when wet than cotton (99% vs 98%). So when I was asked to review this new “Great Goose” line I thought it would be simple “no way, no how”. You can read more about this product on The North Face website here.
Well it turns out that this new material has nothing to do with geese or down, its just a clever title. This new material uses polyester sphere or balls about .15 inch in diameter mixed with loose polyester fibers. The result is an extremely light jacket with reasonable insulating qualities. The one I tested for several days had good wind resistance, was completely breathable and even got a couple of style compliments from friendly ladies. The whole jacket can be compressed and stored in one pocket of the jacket itself which is impressive (try that with your arctic Carharts sometime right?).
Overall the jacket insulation was adequate for temperatures down to around 20 F with wind up to 15 mph. Beyond that you would want additional insulation. I think an ideal application of this new material would be in an outdoor workers middle insulating layer where its rather fragile outer fabric would be covered by a more substantial product. Because of its insulating design it did retain far more of its insulating capacity when damp and did dry quickly after being hand wrung out.
Final thoughts for outdoor remote access workers, consider it as a windproof inner insulating layer or an emergency jacket you can carry in your glove box and I think you will love it!