As a wildlife photographer and frequent traveler, my ideal jacket is lightweight, functional and looks good in a multitude of locations. Versatility is high on my list of features as my diverse destinations this year stretched from one end of the globe, to the other, and included the wilds of Antarctica and streets of New York.

The North Face 3-in-1 Triclimate jacket first caught my eye when I was kit shopping for Antarctica. “Make sure you pack layers!” was the repeated advice I was given by seasoned cold-climate professionals,  and for good reason. The weather at the south pole is highly variable. One day you’ll have clear blue skies, sunshine and reflective oceans, the next can be fog, snow and biting winds.

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Not wanting to miss a photographic moment in the coldest, driest and windiest continent on Earth, I felt the numerous features of the Triclimate design well worth the investment and I couldn’t be happier with my choice.  The jacket has proven its worth to me many times over.

It’s  most valuable feature to me is its versatile 3-in-1 combination which enables the wearer to effectively control comfort and temperature in a variety of environments. It comes with a waterproof outer ‘shell’ and a detachable zip-in ‘fleece’. Either can be worn on its own or the two can be combined for maximum functionality and warmth.

The outer shell is waterproof, breathable and made from a hard wearing HyVent fabric, which keeps you dry and guards against the worst of the elements. It has a relaxed fit and there are plenty of practical outer pockets with zips.

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The fleece is soft, warm and can be worn on its own or combined with the outer shell to maximize insulation. The fit is slightly tailored to keep you warm without bulk. It zips easily into the compatible outer shell via a front zip, and has clip-in loops on each wrist and at the back of the neck for extra stability. There are also several deep inner pockets, which are great for hand warming and storing valuables.

I mostly wore the combined jacket outdoors in Antarctica, because it offered excellent protection from very cold winds especially when I was standing still on the ice among hundreds of penguins or photographing from the deck of the ship.

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The layering aspect was practical for moving between indoors and outdoors. It was easy to shed the outer fleece when returning to a warm ship after a zodiac expedition around gigantic icebergs. There was the occasional warm day on deck when I wore the outer shell over just a t shirt, and I often wore the fleece indoors because it was so soft and comfortable.  The jacket has zippers under the armpits  which were the perfect way to quickly cool down without shedding clothing.

I particularly liked the low-profile, fully adjustable hood on the outer shell. The draw-cord on the back allows precise adjustment and is deep enough to keep my goggles dry and snow and rain off my face. It can also be zipped-off if you want.

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Along with all of the incredible features and functionality of the Triclimate jacket, there are no animal products used in it’s 100% nylon finish. And as far as practicality goes, it looks bulky from afar but can be rolled into a small ball, wrapped up in the hood, for easy packing, which saves a good amount of space in backpacks or suitcases.

The diversity of this jacket allows me to wear it almost anywhere in a cold climate and I would say it has become the most trusted garment I own.

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The North Face 3 in 1 Triclimate Review
The North Face has created the benchmark for a multi-use jacket which is both practical and functional.
Fit & Comfort95%
Weather Resistance100%
Packability100%
Value95%
PROS
  • Layering options
  • Highly weather resistant
  • Many handy pockets with zips
CONS
  • Looks bulky at first glance
98%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (15 Votes)
42%

About The Author

Alex Cearns is one of Australia’s leading professional pet and wildlife photographers and the Creative Director of Houndstooth Studio. A philanthropist, author, educator, adventurer and animal advocate, she specialises in crafting exquisite animal portraits that intrinsically capture the joy people find in animals. Alex’s remarkable images, natural animal handling skills and substantial contribution to improving the lives of rescued animals around the world has earned her high regard among animal lovers. She loves to travel, and leads global wildlife photography tours to some of the world’s most exciting wildlife destinations for World Expeditions.

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