Gear Review: The North Face Akani ThermoBall Triclimate 3-in-1 Jacket


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I run cold on the mountain. Which means I tend to wear a lot of layers. Wool base layer, insulating or fleece mid layer, maybe a down vest, all crammed under a waterproof shell. While getting dressed for a day of skiing, it’s always a conundrum: What layers to wear?

The Akani ThermoBall Triclimate 3-in-1 jacket from The North Face solves the problem of layering dilemmas. How? Because it’s one jacket that can be worn three separate ways.

Stormy day of skiing with temperatures in the teens? Wear the waterproof HyVent® two-layer shell with its zippered-in ThermoBall™ insulated liner jacket.

Warmer temperatures? Zip out the insulated liner and opt for just the breathable shell over a base layer. Wandering around town? Just wear the comfy down-like liner jacket on its own.

I recently sported the Akani jacket while skiing over a series of winter days in Tahoe. Day one was a full-on blizzard with fat flakes falling all day long, so I wore the two jackets combined. The shell feels roomy—not too snug, not too loose. It’s got an athletic, feminine fit. Even with the puffy jacket zipped in, I was still able to move around comfortably on the mountain. Plus, I was plenty warm (and I run cold, remember?), which means I got to stay out longer for free refills of powder while my friends went in to warm up.

The North Face Akani ThermoBall Triclimate 3-in-1 Jacket

The hood, which is removable and adjustable, easily fits over a helmet, and the high collar that zips up over your chin kept me protected from the storm. A snap-in powder skirt ensured no snow got where it didn’t belong. Bonus: One pocket comes with a detachable goggle cloth for wiping your lenses clean. That feature alone made my friends jealous.

Day two with the Akani offered blue skies and fresh snow. Dream day. The jacket was plenty breathable as I heated up on a sidestepping traverse at Alpine Meadows. I didn’t need the underarm vents, but the shell does have them in case you overheat on a hike.

The North Face Akani ThermoBall Triclimate 3-in-1 Jacket

On day three, I tested the jacket in a highly technical location: après ski. I zipped off the shell and ordered a pint of beer while wearing just the ThermoBall layer, which feels casual and snug, like a cozy ski sweater. It’s got these stitched baffled diamonds and toasty hand pockets that make you feel like you’re wearing a much thicker down jacket, only it’s super light and packable.

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