North Face vs Arcteryx Jackets: Which Brand Is Better?

Ever found yourself torn between North Face vs Arcteryx jackets? You’re not alone. These two giants of the outdoor apparel world are often pitted against each other, thanks to their stellar reputation for innovative design, unmatched durability, and top-tier quality.

Join me as we delve deep into a side-by-side comparison, weighing the pros and cons of each, and ultimately determining which brand truly stands out.

Designs & Styles

North Face: Practical, Versatile, and Classic 

A man wearing a black North Face jacket walking

The North Face’s designs incorporate timeless style, unparalleled versatility, and exceptional practicality.

The brand’s jackets exhibit a distinctive classic style for casual city wear, mountaineering, or hiking. There is a North Face jacket to match almost any situation or preference, as the company offers various designs and colours.

Arcteryx: Streamlined, Sleek, and Modern 

On the other hand, Arcteryx leans towards a more minimalistic, sleek, modern design in its apparel, including jackets. 

The brand’s styles are more streamlined, emphasising simplicity without sacrificing functionality. Regarding colours, the palette is typically more subdued when compared to the North Face. The overall aesthetic of Arc’teryx’s apparel resonates with outdoor enthusiasts who prioritise performance and don’t care about the “flashy” looks. 

The designs of both companies are outstanding – there’s little doubt about that – but Arcteryx’s minimalistic, sleek aesthetics give it a slight advantage in this department. The brand is a better option for anyone seeking a performance-oriented style.

Materials & Manufacture

North Face: Materials With a Proven Track Record

Material reliability and proven performance are critical attributes of the North Face jackets.

The company designs and manufactures comfortable jackets that easily withstand various weather conditions. Many of the brand’s jackets utilise in-house technologies – such as Thermoball Eco or DryVent – providing superior insulation and waterproofing.

While the North Face vs Arcteryx debate often centers on these innovative technologies, another comparison that emerges is the Marmot vs North Face. Marmot, much like Arcteryx, brings its own set of material innovations and design philosophies, making the landscape of outdoor apparel comparisons even more intriguing.

Arcteryx: Advanced in Every Sense of the Term 

A bearded man with glasses wearing an Arc'teryx jacket

On the other hand, Arcteryx uses top-of-the-line materials like Gore-Tex in its jackets and other apparel to improve breathability and waterproofing. The company’s sophisticated insulation methods give it an admirable reputation for superb craftsmanship. The result of this meticulous manufacturing process is some of the market’s highest-quality jackets. 

Although its rival offers reliable technologies and materials, Arcteryx’s use of genuinely advanced techniques and top-notch fabrics gives it an advantage in this area. 

Product Range

North Face: Wide Range for Various Needs

The North Face offers various jackets for various climates and pursuits. Whether it’s a breathable jacket for running, a lightweight rain jacket, or an insulated winter parka, the company has something for everyone. Its vast product range caters to a wider variety of preferences and needs.

In a similar vein, when considering varied product ranges in outdoor gear, the Arcteryx vs Fjallraven debate often emerges among enthusiasts. Fjallraven, with its extensive array of durable, timeless, and often more casual designs, contrasts sharply with Arcteryx’s specialized, technically-driven lineup. Both offer a spectrum of options, yet cater to slightly different audiences within the outdoor community.

Arcteryx: Specialized Products With a Focus

A man wearing an orange Arc'teryx jacket while hiking through snow
Photo by Olgierd via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Arcteryx offers a selection of significantly more specialised jackets, each carefully designed for a specific environment or activity. While the brand’s product line may not be as extensive as its rival’s, it stands out with its depth of specialisation.

Regarding product range, the North Face wins because of its sheer variety of jackets and other garments.

Customer Service & Warranty

North Face: Excellent Service and Warranty 

The North Face is well-known for its superb warranty policy and customer service. 

The brand’s jackets are backed by a lifetime warranty, demonstrating the company’s product-quality confidence. The warranty covers manufacturing defects, ensuring a long lifespan.

Arcteryx: Customer Satisfaction as a Top Priority

The TNF’s rival is also proud to offer an extended warranty, the Arcteryx Limited Warranty, which addresses craft and material defects for the intended lifespan of the product. The company’s customer service is highly regarded for responsiveness and helpfulness, showcasing a deep commitment to building long-term customer relationships.

Both brands provide impressive warranties and customer service, leading to a tie in this department.

On a related note, many outdoor enthusiasts often find themselves comparing Patagonia vs Arcteryx jackets. While that’s a debate for another day, it’s worth noting that Patagonia, like its counterparts, also boasts a strong commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Comparisons like Eddie Bauer vs North Face also garner attention. Eddie Bauer, much like these two brands, boasts a rich history of innovation and quality in outdoor gear.

Popular Jackets 

The North Face 

Venture 2 Waterproof Rain Jacket 

A black and blue North Face Venture 2 jacket


  • Material: Polyester, ripstop nylon, DryVent laminate 
  • Sizes available: 8 (XS – XXXL) 
  • Colours available: 16
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The North Face Venture 2 Jacket combines comfort, performance, and durability in one package, a rare feat for most brands. Although I’m used to the excellence of North Face rain jackets, this model surpassed my expectations after extensive testing in various weather conditions.

Firstly, the DryVent 2.5L shell combined with the 100% windproof fabric makes the jacket’s wearer exceptionally weather-resistant. Venture 2 easily maintains its waterproofing even in heavy rain, proving its waterproofing qualities. The reason for this is the DryVent technology mentioned above, which allows moisture from the jacket’s interior to escape while ensuring it stays impenetrable to water coming from the outside.

Secondly, Venture 2 offers unparalleled breathability – here, it’s all about the pit-zip venting. This system lets you control your temperature without compromising much-needed protection from the elements. Moreover, it allows the jacket’s wearer to maintain comfort in various temperature fluctuations and physical pursuits. 

Although it offers rugged protection, this TNF jacket is also surprisingly light and portable. It is easily compressible and, as such, a perfect option for outdoor enthusiasts who prioritise minimising luggage space.

Another noteworthy feature of Venture 2 is its relaxed fit. The adjustability of the hem and hood makes it easy to find a (relatively) comfortable fit. Moreover, small essentials can be stored safely in the jacket’s secure, zippered hand pockets.

Unfortunately, the model does have some shortcomings. Those who prefer a more fitted silhouette may not be attracted to the jacket’s relaxed fit. It is also worth noting that the zippers are initially stiff but tend to loosen up over time.

In conclusion, the North Face Venture 2 Jacket is an excellent investment for the everyday urban dweller, the traveller, and the outdoor adventurer alike. Despite its minor drawbacks, the model is a sturdy and dependable choice for those seeking a combo of performance and style.


  • Weather-resistant design
  • Packable and lightweight
  • Zippered pockets for secure storage
  • Pit-zip venting ensures high breathability 
  • Modern design with a large selection of colours


  • Some might find the fit too loose
  • Initially, the zips can be stiff

Thermoball Jacket

A man in jeans wearing a grey North Face jacket


  • Material: Ripstop nylon, Thermoball Eco insulation 
  • Sizes available: 6 (XS – XXL) 
  • Colours available: 8
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The North Face Thermoball Jacket stands out among insulated jackets with its eco-friendly build, surprising lightness, and superior warmth. Moreover, the model boasts a sleek design and comes in eight eye-catching colours, making it as suitable for city streets as backcountry walking routes.

The Thermoball’s primary strength is undoubtedly its advanced insulation technology. For this jacket, the North Face went with ThermoBall Eco Insulation. This type of insulation looks and feels like down and, as such, offers incredible heat retention. However, unlike standard down, ThermoBall retains its insulative properties even in wet conditions and dries quickly. As a result, it’s a dependable companion in cold, damp weather.

Due to its durable ripstop nylon construction, the model also successfully resists abrasions and tears. Despite this, its weight is impressively light, which, combined with its excellent compressibility, makes it a fantastic option for outdoor enthusiasts who want to carry as little weight as possible. 

The jacket’s standard fit ensures excellent comfort, while its internal elastic cuffs keep the cold at bay. The model also features zippered hand pockets, which are practical, secure, and provide storage space for small essentials. The hem cinch cord lets the wearer quickly achieve a snug fit.

A bonus is that the Thermoball Jacket is also environmentally friendly. As its name suggests, the ThermoBall Eco Insulation is manufactured from recycled materials, thus helping reduce environmental impact.

Despite all this, the model has a couple of shortcomings. There is room for improvement regarding wind resistance, as gusty weather can and will penetrate the jacket. Moreover, although the standard fit is relatively comfortable, those seeking a tighter silhouette may prefer something else.

The North Face Thermoball Jacket is excellent for those seeking sustainability, convenience, and warmth. Despite minor drawbacks, the model’s stylish design and outstanding performance make it an ideal option for everyday wear and outdoor activities.


  • An array of colour choices
  • Packable and highly portable
  • A lightweight, durable ripstop nylon fabric
  • Eco-friendly – made from recycled materials
  • ThermoBall Eco Insulation provides excellent warmth


  • There is room for improvement in wind resistance
  • Those who prefer a tighter silhouette may not prefer the jacket’s standard fit

Aconcagua 2 Jacket 

A gold-coloured North Face Aconcagua 2 jacket


  • Material: Fleece, nylon, goose down, Heatseeker Eco insulation 
  • Sizes available: 6 (XS – XXL) 
  • Colours available: 8
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The Aconcagua 2 Jacket is another bestselling TNF garment that promises utility, warmth, and quality. I have already used this jacket in multiple weather conditions, so I can attest to its admirable performance on all three fronts. 

The model’s core strength lies in its combination of Heatseeker Eco synthetic insulation and 550 fill-power goose down. This specially formulated blend gives the wearer exceptional warmth, making the jacket ideal for outdoor escapades in (relatively) cold weather. The Heatseeker Eco synthetic component deserves particular praise: damp or dry, it retains considerable heat.

On the other hand, the jacket’s durability is ensured by a nylon taffeta shell. This shell is also DWR-coated and, as such, provides a fair amount of water repellency. It fends off light snow and rain but won’t keep the wearer dry in a downpour. 

Despite its sturdy insulation and overall construction, the model is lightweight and packs easily. It is yet another thing that makes it a valuable companion for cold-weather outdoor adventures and general wintertime travel. 

Regarding comfort, TNF’s Aconcagua 2 jacket sports a standard fit, offering an easy feel without being too loose. In addition to adding to the overall comfort, the model’s internal elastic cuffs prevent cold air from slipping in and keep warmth in. 

One minor drawback of the jacket is that it could be more windproof. Strong winds can penetrate the jacket, although the model undoubtedly stands up to cold temperatures. Still, it’s something you’d want to avoid wearing in freezing weather – there are better options out there. 

The Aconcagua 2 Jacket strikes an admirable balance between comfort, durability, and warmth. Its quality build and thoughtful design make it a solid choice for wintertime outings, even though a few areas could be improved. It’s yet another North Face jacket worth investing in – you’ll get a lot of use out of it.


  • Comfortable standard fit
  • Insulation made of recycled materials
  • Stylish, versatile, and timeless design
  • High-quality construction with moderate water repellency 
  • A combination of synthetic and down insulation provides superior warmth


  • Wind resistance could be improved
  • It might not suffice in freezing temperatures


Arcteryx Atom LT Hoody

A black hooded jacket with the Arc'teryx logo


  • Material: Nylon, fleece, elastane, polyester, CoreLoft Compact insulation 
  • Sizes available: 7 (XS – XXXL) 
  • Colours available: 9 
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The Atom LT Hoody is a testimony to Arcteryx’s creativity and commitment to high standards. The model suits various outdoor activities well as an insulated, lightweight, and versatile jacket. 

Coreloft Compact insulation is the primary selling point of the Atom LT Hoody. This type of synthetic insulation provides an outstanding warmth-to-weight ratio and, as such, provides exceptional warmth while remaining lightweight. Another great thing about this insulation is that it retains warmth in wet conditions – it provides a genuinely dependable performance in unpredictable weather conditions.

On the other hand, the model’s Tyono 20-denier shell enhances its durability and water resistance (DWR-coated). While you wouldn’t want to wear it in heavy rain, the Atom LT Hoody keeps its wearer comfortable and dry by fending off light snow and rain. 

It’s also worth pointing out that this piece of apparel is impressively lightweight (and thus compressible) despite its robust shell and high-performing insulation. The surprising packability of the Atom LT Hoody makes it an excellent pick for activities that require minimal weight and space.

The model’s hip-length design and trim fit give it a fashionable profile while improving mobility. The insulated, adjustable StormHood provides additional protection and warmth without obstructing the wearer’s peripheral vision. There are also several pockets for the safe storage of your essentials.

As mentioned above, the model is unsuitable for heavier rain conditions – its basic water resistance is its biggest drawback. Wearing an additional waterproof layer is recommended in such scenarios. Also, if you prefer a more relaxed fit, you’ll want to look elsewhere – you won’t like the jacket’s trim fit. 

Regarding style, the Atom LT Hody sports an appealing modern design and is available in nine sleek colours. It fits seamlessly into both natural and urban landscapes, like most other Arcteryx garments. 

In conclusion, this jacket is a well-designed piece of apparel that marries style, warmth, and functionality in a compact package. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate that it performs well under diverse conditions despite a few minor shortcomings. Whether you’re navigating the city streets or venturing deep into the wild, the Atom LT Hoody will deliver consistent comfort and performance.


  • Sleek, modern design 
  • Durable outer shell with a DWR finish 
  • Secure pockets & insulated StormHood 
  • A highly compressible, lightweight jacket 
  • Coreloft Compact insulation – superb warmth-to-weight ratio 


  • Not water-resistant enough for heavy rain conditions 
  • Not for those seeking a more relaxed fit 

Beta AR Jacket

A blue Arc'teryx weather-resistant jacket with a hood


  • Material: Nylon, Gore-Tex Pro reinforcement 
  • Sizes available: 6 (XS – XXL) 
  • Colours available: 5 
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The Beta AR – one of Arc’teryx’s most popular jackets – is an engineering marvel, melding top-tier weather protection, functionality, and durability in a sleek package. It’s a particularly excellent option for folks seeking an aesthetically-pleasing jacket: the model’s minimalist yet refined design suits both the cityscape and the backcountry. 

One of Beta AR’s most outstanding features is its superb weather resistance, resulting from a combination of 40-denier & 80-denier 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro. These advanced materials deliver full windproofing and waterproofing, allowing the jacket’s wearer to take on any weather confidently.

Despite its impressive weather resistance, the model is incredibly breathable thanks to its strategically placed pit zip vents. The result is that the wearer remains dry and comfortable during intense physical activity – protection from outside weather and internal heat is guaranteed.

Despite its low weight and the array of features, the jacket is surprisingly packable. As a result, it is a fantastic option for adventurers who want to minimise weight and space.

Enhanced by the brand’s in-house e3D patterning, the jacket’s regular fit promotes an enhanced range of motion that many products of this type lack- it’s a suitable choice for a range of outdoor activities. Moreover, the model’s DropHood hood is helmet-compatible and provides excellent protection. Finally, the jacket’s WaterTight external zippers ensure your belongings are waterproof and secure.

A stumbling block for some might be the high price tag attached to this top-performance jacket. Moreover, some may not prefer the snug fit, even though it provides quite a lot of mobility, as stated above. 

A triumph of outdoor gear, the Beta AR Jacket is an excellent product. Its stylish appearance, functional features, and top-of-the-line performance make it a fantastic investment for anyone seeking above-average protection against the elements. Despite the jacket’s higher price, its remarkable durability and functionality more than justify the cost.


  • Lightweight, packs up easily 
  • E3D patterning ensures excellent mobility
  • Ventilation from the pit zips ensures high breathability
  • Gore-Tex Pro-reinforced materials guarantee weather resistance 
  • Convenient features like WaterTight external zippers and helmet-compatible DropHood


  • For those seeking a snugger fit, the model’s regular fit might not be ideal
  • High price 

Cerium LT Hoody Jacket 

A green Arc'teryx jacket with a hood


  • Material: Nylon, hybrid synthetic & down insulation 
  • Sizes available: 6 (XS – XXL) 
  • Colours available: 7
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The Arcteryx Cerium LT Jacket is an exceptional blend of lightweight design, durability, and warmth that deserves a closer look. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first – the only disadvantage of this model is its somewhat limited water resistance: it’s not the best choice for wet snow or heavy rain conditions. Also, some people may not like the model’s looser fit (which does enhance the jacket’s overall mobility, though). 

Insulation is undoubtedly the feature that makes the Cerium LT stand out. The hybrid use of strategically placed Coreloft synthetic insulation and 850-fill-power European white goose down provides extraordinary warmth. The synthetic Coreloft insulation keeps the wearer warm even in wet weather, while the goose down allows the jacket to retain an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio and a high loft. 

The Arato 10 nylon shell and its DWR coating enhance the model’s robustness and make it (relatively) water-resistant. The Cerium LT Hoody is not a waterproof jacket, but it can effectively shed light snow and rain. It is also worth mentioning that, despite its high durability and insulation, the Cerium LT is a surprisingly packable garment. It’s an excellent choice for outdoor adventures who want to save on weight. 

The model’s trim fit, enhanced by its articulated build, layers well under a shell and allows for a full range of motion. On the other hand, the jacket’s StormHood is insulated and provides extra protection and warmth without compromising the wearer’s field of vision. Finally, Cerium LT Hoody’s internal security pocket and hand pockets are practical, making it easy to store essentials.

Regarding aesthetics, the model offers a minimalistic, sleek design with a colour palette to match any taste. Whether in the city or deep in the wild, its elegance will fit right in.

The Cerium LT Jacket is a testament to the brand’s commitment to sustainability, performance, and quality. Its functional features, lightweight design, and superior warmth make it a purchase worth considering if you want a really good jacket. While there are some areas for improvement, this model’s strengths more than compensate for them, delivering dependable performance in an eye-catching package.


  • Designed to last
  • Compressible and lightweight
  • Hybrid synthetic and down insulation provides superb warmth 
  • A sustainably manufactured jacket – uses RDS-certified down
  • Secure pockets, an insulated StormHood, and other functional features


  • Not the most water-resistant Arcteryx jacket
  • Some people won’t like the looser fit 

The Final Verdict 

In comparing North Face and Arcteryx, it is difficult to determine which brand is superior. Both offer top-of-the-line jackets that beat the rest of the competition in various ways. The North Face distinguishes itself with a vast selection of jackets tailored to various needs and preferences. At the same time, Arcteryx impresses with its products’ specialised nature, premium materials, and sleek design. 

As such, Arcteryx comes out on top – the brand’s attention to detail in manufacturing and the emphasis on top-of-the-line, high-performing materials give it an edge over its rival. Although the North Face provides more options, the specialised, focused approach of Arcteryx, combined with the brand’s innovative production methods, puts it ahead of its competitor. The value and quality of the North Face remain unaffected by this, though. 

Each of these brands stands out in its own way, making the choice between them a matter of preference and need. Regardless of your chosen label, your jacket will be functional, stylish, and designed to last.

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