PlanetMountain.com field-tested The North Face's Ama Dablam Stretch Infusion Jacket.
Its name reveals what this jacket has been designed for: serious mountaineering in adverse climatic conditions. And it is not by chance that this jacket forms part of the by now famous "Summit Series", TNF's top of the range products which stand out for their great design and meticulous attention to detail.
At first impact (read touch) the Ama Dablam proved soft, subtle and yet highly resistant and durable. This is thanks to the new Gore Tex XCR Stretch implemented throughout to reinforce sections prone to abrasion, whilst at the same time guaranteeing freedom of movement. When out ski mountaineering and climbing the jacket performed well and did not impede, demonstrating that it is both technical and comfortable.
This is underlined by the frontal "Core Vent" ventilation system which, unlike traditional zips beneath the armpits, allows bodyheat to dissipate efficiently from the torso, even in difficult conditions. For a jacket of this calibre it seems almost pointless to mention the various design details, which range from the fully adjustable, helmet compatible rollable hood to the interior zip pocket and the water resistant zippers.
Efficient, practical, simple and essential, but not for this in any means less technical, the Ama Dablam fights right into the philosophy that stands behind the The North Face products.