Gear guide
The North Face Kishtwar Jacket

The North Face Kishtwar Jacket

In search of the perfect climbing jacket

January 29 2011, 

What defines a good climbing jacket? I personally believe that a good jacket should be ? :

  • Light
  • Flexible
  • Rugged
  • Waterproof

The Kishtwar Jacket by The North Face proves to excel on each of these features, being a awarded an IPSO Outdoor Award in January 2010. The idea of a softshell combines both flexibility ? it stretches ? with being fully waterproof. A friend of mine borrowed the jacket to travel the Canadian north and the States in order to test the jacket. Notwithstanding the fact that she was more than often confronted with heavy rainfall, the Kishtwar Jacket kept her dry, enabling her to enjoy Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Banff, Jasper, Yellowstone & Montana in de VS in comfort.

The jacket looks clean and simple because of the fact that every functionality is neatly integrated in the jacket itself. The buttons and draw cords of the hood, for instance, fold away nicely, which is ideal for climbing.

While testing the Kishtwar Jacket in Freyr, I primarily focussed on the freedom of movement when rock climbing. A decent climbing jacket should not hinder your movement on the rock. There are two climbing movements that ? in my opinion - could prove to be difficult for a jacket: reaching out high with one arm and the crossover. The Kishtwar proves to be flexible enough for the crossover ? which is a great news for the Kishtwar ? but when you reach out high, it tends to creep up because it is reletavily short at the sides.. I can imagine this to be rather annoying when you are ice-climbing. And rather cold at the same time. The material from which the jacket is made however, feels strong and rugged. Even after travelling Canada and a good number of climbing sessions it appeared to be in mint condition.

Next to using the Kishtwar for climbing, I used it to take part in a Sailing competition in November. Together with a baselayer of Capiline and a woollen merino sweater, the jacket kept me warm and dry. The Kishtwar Jacket really excels in the cold and wet. The Polartec® Power Shield® Pro technology really delivers: it breaths, stretches and keeps you dry! The hood is also a nice feature of the jacket. It keeps you nice and warm, you don?t even need to wear a hat.


  • Rugged and strong
  • Stretch
  • Waterprof


  • Doesn?t fit properly at times
  • Feels a bit heavy

I believe the material used to make the Kishtwar Jacket is suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities ? ice-climbing, ski, ? - but because of the fact that it doesn?t fit properly at times, I should only use it for rock climbing, hiking and trekking.



Technical information:

Material: 224 g/m2 Polartec® Power Shield® Pro - 84% polyester 16% elastane
Weight: 600 gram
Color: Black, TNF Red (foto)
Size: S, M, L, XL
Retail price: 299 Euro


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