The North Face Progressor Insulated Hybrid Hoodie

Gearflogger reviews The North Face Progressor Insulated Hybrid Hoodie

Hybrid jackets have been around for a few years now and are a proven product category. The format is insanely useful for high-output activities where you need some core insulation and upper body protection but still have to have the ability to vent off excess heat and moisture.

The lightweight 11.6oz North Face Progressor is a great example of the evolution of these pieces, designed as a layering piece targeted at the alpine fast-and-light crowd but useful as a standalone jacket for anyone burning up the calories outside. The Progressor hoodie has a vest area insulated with 100g of PrimaLoft Gold – gold baby! – and it hits one of our favorite design sweet spots: the collar wraps around the chin when fully zipped up, a seemingly minor feature but one that we always miss when absent in a jacket or vest.

Features are minimal by design: the zip-up handwarmer pockets are comfy and spacious, with hem drawcords in each one, and there's a full length draft flap behind the zipper, and that's about it. That's not to say the design isn't intelligent, because it hits all the right notes: the sleeves, sides and hood are a very thin, stretchy and breathable material that easily slides under a layer – and a helmet – if you need it to, and there are small holes in the armpit area that effectively aid in venting. Wearing the Progressor we found it to be curiously warm without being prone to overheating, a welcome case of marketing hype matching reality.

The Progressor is definitely a minimalist piece in weight and features, but where some minimalist gear is highly specialized the Progressor is amazingly versatile. It works well by itself or as part of a layering system for mountain biking, cross-country skiing, mountain running, and climbing. You can also find it on sale right now, so if you're looking for a perfect shoulder-season jacket the Progressor should definitely be under consideration.

$138.99 (on sale from $198.95) at MooseJaw


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