Why Is North Face Expensive?

If you ask around about the best jacket brands, “The North Face” (a.k.a. TNF) is a name that’ll come up at least once. It’s known — among other things — for its hefty price tag. 

The North Face is expensive due to its high quality. Their garments incorporate proprietary technology that makes them suitable for extreme conditions. Overall, The North Face products are a good balance of stylish, practical, and environment-friendly, justifying their comparatively high prices.

Read on to learn how much The North Face’s most popular items cost, why they’re so pricey, and how long these items last. We’ll also discuss why The North Face is so popular and consider the best alternatives to The North Face.

How Much Do North Face Items Cost?

Not all The North Face products are prohibitively expensive. As you’ll see below, it’s possible to buy an authentic The North Face outfit for $25.

The most common North Face items cost as follows:

  • T-Shirts – From $25 to $89 (men and women)
  • Rucksacks – From $69 to $750 (men and women)
  • Hoodies – From $55 to $149 (men); $50 to $159 (women)
  • Puffer Jackets – From $119 to $700 (men); $149 to $650 (women)

Twenty-five bucks is a reasonable price for a branded T-shirt, especially for a classy plus-size item you can wear every day. But who’d shell out $700 for a single jacket? 

As it turns out, plenty of people do. I don’t want to sound like a The North Face salesperson (I’m not), but from what I can tell, every dollar you pay for a typical The North Face product is worth it. You’ll see that the high price isn’t only due to the brand name in the following sections. 

Why Do North Face Items Cost So Much?

You’ve seen that one The North Face item can cost as much as $700. What accounts for that bank-breaking price? 

The North Face items cost so much because their materials incorporate ThermoBall Eco, a more sustainable alternative to down. Additionally, outfit designs balance style and practicality, and products have high levels of weatherproofing due to proprietary tech.

Let’s break down each factor contributing to the high cost of The North Face items. 

Material Used

Many jackets use down (duck or goose feathers) for insulation. The problem with down is that farmers usually pluck the feathers from the bird’s chest areas while they’re still alive. 

The North Face uses ThermoBall Eco as an alternative to down. ThermoBall Eco outfits use tiny round clusters of synthetic fibers as lining. If the word “synthetic” raises your eyebrows, don’t worry: The fibers consist of recycled materials like polyester, plastic bottles from landfills, and Primaloft insulation. 

If you think synthetic fibers don’t work as well as down, think again. ThermoBall Eco’s circular fiber clusters form air pockets to trap heat and keep you comfy under freezing conditions. They’re also lightweight enough that you almost forget it’s not down.  

Eco-friendly materials cost more than the alternative. That’s because they require more effort and resources to produce. But hey, if it means saving a few more birds from a world of pain, isn’t the extra cost worth it? 

Design

If eco-friendly insulation is the only reason you’re considering The North Face, there are alternatives. (We’ll get to those later.) Right now, let me draw your attention (or rather, your eyes) to another remarkable aspect of The North Face outfits: They look great.

For example, men can check out:

  • Men’s Printed K2RM DryVent Jacket. I love the wavy green print, making the outfit stand out without being garish. The DryVent technology (which I’ll talk about in a bit) is a bonus.
  • Men’s Jester Jacket. Need something with a little more oomph? You can choose between three colors that’ll showcase your personality and turn heads. 
  • Men’s Printed 1996 Retro Nuptse. Who says puffer jackets are boring? If you’re feeling the retro vibe this winter season, you can’t go wrong with this one. 

Likewise, women can choose between:

Of course, you can always buy the plain-colored varieties according to your taste and needs. The important thing is that your particular TNF outfit suits you. 

Weatherproofness 

The North Face uses three proprietary technologies to make its products more weatherproof: FlashDry, DryVent, and Windwall. 

FlashDry

FlashDry is present in The North Face’s activewear, though you can also find it in their jackets. If you’re visiting a place where you’ll get splashed with water (e.g., river rapids), FlashDry outfits can repel excess moisture away from you as quickly as possible.  

Some FlashDry products also come with cotton. That means you enjoy the breathability of cotton combined with the exceptional moisture management properties of FlashDry technology. 

DryVent

If you buy a DryVent outfit, you’ll notice that it’s either “3L,” “2.5L,” or “2L.” The numbers represent the layers (i.e., the higher the number, the better it can resist water, wind, and other elements). 

Windwall

If you’re going to an area where you’ll likely experience wind chill, wear a WindWall outfit. The proprietary material keeps wind and moisture from getting into your clothes. At the same time, it offers the comforts and benefits of fleece.   

How Long Do North Face Items Last?

If you’re paying three figures for a jacket, you want it to last as long as possible. How long will one TNF item last before it breaks down?

North Face items can last for a lifetime, according to the Durability section of The North Face’s official website. If items require repairs, the company offers a limited lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects. However, some products (e.g., footwear) only have a one-year warranty.

Below is what you need to know about The North Face’s warranty policy.

The Limited Lifetime Warranty Only Covers Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects include issues with materials and craftsmanship. If your TNF product has any of the above problems, the company will repair or replace it, depending on their discretion. Also, the item has to be as close to its original condition as possible (i.e., no additions or modifications).

If the damage is because of wear and tear or negligence, The North Face will still repair it for a fee plus return shipping charges.  

Footwear and Anything Labeled “The North Face Renewed” Only Have a One-Year Warranty

Because footwear wears down faster than other clothing items, a one-year warranty makes sense. The same goes for “The North Face Renewed” products, secondhand items at discounted prices. Like the limited lifetime warranty, the one-year warranty only covers manufacturing defects, not normal wear and tear.

Why Is North Face So Popular?

The North Face items have excellent craftsmanship. You can say the same thing for competing brands, though. What accounts for The North Face’s popularity?

North Face is so popular because of its style and design. The chic look and eco-friendly, weatherproof technology appeal to young people with enough disposable income to purchase The North Face products. Celebrity endorsements have also boosted the popularity of The North Face items. 

Let’s unpack the reasons for The North Face’s popularity below.

The North Face Items Are Chic

Browse through The North Face’s catalog, and you’ll likely find at least one item that appeals to your sense of style.

Need a plain no-frills rain jacket for men? Try the Men’s Alta Vista Jacket. All varieties come in basic colors and consist of recycled fabric. You can also fold it into a hand pocket. 

Want an eco-friendly jacket that doesn’t sacrifice style? The Women’s Printed ThermoBall Eco Jacket 2.0 fits that criteria to a T. The 2×2 quilt pattern softens the outfit’s look, while the chest pocket ensures you can carry it no matter where you go.    

The North Face Items Incorporate Eco-Friendly, Weatherproof Technology

If your TNF item has the “ThermoBall Eco” label, it means the product has a synthetic, eco-friendly lining. If the item has “FlashDry,” “DryVent,” or “Windwall” on it, the product is moisture-proof, windproof, or both of the above.   

Celebrities Endorse The North Face Products

Few things sell a product as celebrity endorsement does. The North Face items have received thumbs-ups from Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, and Jennifer Aniston, to name a few.

Best North Face Alternatives

Maybe The North Face isn’t your kind of brand. In that case, check out the best TNF alternatives below.

The best North Face alternatives are:

  • Patagonia (The North Face’s top competitor)
  • Columbia (a more affordable option)
  • Arc’teryx (uses similar proprietary technologies)

Let’s look at each North Face alternative below.

Patagonia

Patagonia is arguably The North Face’s top competitor. The former offers the same product range as the latter and is no slouch for weatherproof tech and commitment to lessening environmental impact. The only difference is that Patagonia’s prices are slightly higher than The North Face’s.   

Columbia

Another top TNF contender is Columbia. If you prefer classic, no-frills outfits, Columbia is a good choice. 

Like The North Face, Columbia uses proprietary technology to enhance the strength of its outfits. All Columbia products with the “Omni” label are weatherproof.

Also, Columbia commits to eco-friendliness. Any down in their products is RDS-certified, and many of their offerings come from recycled materials. 

Finally, Columbia is less expensive than The North Face. When they’re on sale, you can buy items below $50

Arc’teryx

The North Face and Arc’teryx use GORE-TEX, which sold its first breathable weather-proof fabric in 1976. Although The North Face still has products that use GORE-TEX, the company has downplayed them in favor of its clothing technologies. On the other hand, Arc’teryx still has an active partnership with GORE-TEX to maintain its products’ sustainable qualities. 

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