North Face Arctic Parka II

8.1 score
[Editors rating (8.1)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.1)/10

Editor rating: 8.1 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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North Face Arctic Parka II Review Facts

When facing the cold, whether because of weather or because you enjoy the colder peaks of mountain tops, you are going to want a coat to keep the chill out. Of course, when you go looking for yours, you are going to look for a name you know and can trust to do as promised, and North Face definitely has a reputation for holding its end of the bargaining board. This is a USA brand coat that is made of high-quality material and that comes with a lot of good behind it. While not something you are likely to be able to pick up just anywhere, when you do grab one, you know you won’t have to go back for another any time soon. We always want to assure that the products we bring to your attention are treated fairly in our reviews- and that means we check out the good and the bad so that you do not have to guess if what you are looking at is worth it. No matter what we want you to be satisfied in both your purchase and the information you read on our site, so we put our research in so that we can give you an honest look. With that in mind, let's check out the overview on what is good, and what is not so good, that way if something doesn’t meet up right away you can go ahead and search our pages for just what you need! Time to size up the option.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Synthetic materials
  • Pockets for your smaller electronic gear
  • Weatherproof
  • Detachable hood and fur
  • Durable
  • Storm flap over zipper
  • Longer length to cover more
  • Sizing runs tight (collar and overall fit)
  • Pockets are not insulated


North Face is known for being a good brand to rely on for outdoor products. In almost all cases their product holds a high enough rank to sit among the top five easily. While they don’t always hit the mark in every way, they are carried by any company that carries quality outdoor products. They strive to bring quality with a decent enough price that it is not completely unobtainable and will last longer than needed to make every penny worth it. Some companies set out to make a decent enough product to pass initial tests for a fraction of the price, but when you end up having it fall apart or lose its quality over just a little time it ends up costing you more because of the constant need to replace it. Sometimes saving your dollars means spending less at the start, but we have come to find that just as often, if not more so, it means saving up and spending just that little bit more so you don’t have to keep repeat buying just to keep up. Quality is better than price any day of the week, and that is something North Face keeps in mind.


In some ways, this coat is more breathable than it should be, while in others it seems to lack the notion for a cold weather parka. The coats weather resistance doesn’t mean you won’t get the occasional waft of cold air, depending on where your hands are and how the wind hits you. The pockets aren’t insulated, so when you stick your hands in you can feel the cold biting through in a way you wouldn’t want. However, the waist, neck and shoulder areas seem to be places that are too tight and sealed for some, causing them to feel almost strangled by the strange sizing. Of course, you want a coat meant for this type of weather to be snug, but it seems you may want to size up to be comfortable with this one- and avoid the pockets as a source for hand warming.

Another great product we reviewed is the Black Diamond Vision Down Parka, so make sure to check it out as well.


Comfortable, if you correctly size it first, is something a few people feel this coat definitely can be. The faux fur trimmed hood keeps the wind out of your face and the cold from your ears so that you can stay warm and snug in your new coat. With the design of the wrist cuffs in place, you can be sure your arms won’t be catching the breeze either, and they even prevent most of the wet out as well. The windproofing on this parka also means you don’t have to try and disappear into your coat with every passing breeze and can be kept warm easily. The only downside is what keeps the wind from traveling up from the bottom, or down from the top, also seems to leave this coat a bit too snug in places. That is where your opinion on comfort comes into play. Most who have tried this one has suggested to size up at least one size so that you don’t end up with something that feels overly restrictive, Of course, if you prefer a much more snug fit then you might just stick to what you are used to. The biggest point is that it is designed for those with less broad of shoulders- so if you do stick to your normal sizes, you might find that even if the elastic doesn’t dig, you may not be able to move your arms as freely. The down does, however, make this coat soft and fluffy, and outside of sizing issues, it is agreed that this coat is comfy for the wearer.


This is one place North Face has not fallen away from. This Parka is durable and will easily last if taken care of and not overly roughly used. That means a lot by way of our measurements of quality. The longer something lasts, the more valuable it truly becomes. When you don’t want to have to keep going out to replace what you just got, North Face seems to be a promise that you can stick by. It holds up just as it claims against cold and harsh weather so that you don’t need to worry. This coat held up against months of testing by its owners without showing any wear in the seams and getting no snags or tears in the fabric at all. If you want warm and reliable in your coat, this is definitely one of the best, and what keeps it high on the charts against competitors.


As we have mentioned before, due to the way this coat was designed, many wearers found that going up a size or two made it a much more comfortable fit. This is due to the thin shoulder width and because of the tight bands that are intended to keep the cold out, but a few found were just a little too tight. Once you have found the size you prefer, however, it is a very comfortable and warm coat. The length is something most found to be worth noting as well, due to the fact it hangs just a little lower than most, meaning it will keep more of you warm than others would. The best suggestion we can give is to check your sizes and take the advice to at least go one larger, if for no other reason than to assure your arms and shoulders a little more movement.


This is a cold weather coat. That means it is built for winter and would be a bit too much for fall or spring temps, and definitely not something to pull out for a summer rain. It is made to hold out against chill winds, snow, and freezing rain. It will keep you warm when the winter hits, or if you are planning on climbing somewhere where the snow never truly melts. This is probably one of the best choices when traveling far north as well so that you don’t need to worry about suffering the biting winds off of cold water. There are few other coats out there that match its ability to keep you warm, but it does have a few spots where it could be better. If you prefer to go without gloves and just use your pockets- you may want something different. Otherwise, this coat does exactly what it’s meant to, keep you warm when the snow is making everyone else shiver and clutch their coats even tighter around them.


While this may be a point for some types of coats when hunting for a winter parka, you likely aren’t going to find much flexibility- and this is no different. This winter parka is specifically designed for its seasonal use. The most flexibility we could find with it was whether or not you wanted to keep the hood and the hoods lining attached. We will mention one thing though, for those out there that such a detail matters- some of us simply can’t cover our head, even if the hood technically fits. The reason being that when worn, the hood or any form of a hat can cause some people to massively overheat even in extreme cold, at least where the head is concerned. This type of overheating can cause health concerns and because of that, the fact it can be removed warrants mentioning- even if it doesn’t change what season this particular coat is good for.


The good news, for those who prefer easily cared for winter wear, is that this parka can be easily washed in your washing machine with everything else. While some coats require hand cleaning or dry cleaning, this coat has instructions right on the label so that you can toss it into the wash on the proper cycles to get it clean. No out of the way trips just so you can keep warm! This may sound like something that’s a given, but many of the warmer and more durable coats available often require extra special care that can’t usually be done at home- or can’t be easily dried making it a tough decision as to when to get it clean. After all, if you are in mid-winter and you don’t know when you will need to quickly throw on your coat and rush out into the wind and snow, you don’t want to be caught waiting for your winter gear to dry or do without while it’s at the cleaners. This coat makes it all simple and assures your coat will be there when you need it more quickly.


This one definitely has style. Depending on what’s more important to you in this category will give you an exact decision if color and appearance to the coat itself matter more, or if you want it to accent your curves a little better. We mentioned that the advice from many was to go a size up to avoid tightness in the elastic bands and shoulders, but this causes a simple part of the design to change- how much it hugs to your shape. The looser the size is for you, the more it loses its own conformity. In other words, you can’t expect something meant to be skin tight to cling to you if it’s too big. Instead, it will have a baggier shape and leave a little more breathing room. This is more of the wearer’s choice- to go with form-fitting tight for style or go for comfort. After all the old saying goes “there is no beauty without a little pain”. Personally- we prefer comfort, and it still doesn’t look bad!

Water Resistance

The water resistance to this coat is really amazing considering its breathability, and because it can be machine washed. The resistance outlasts some of the competitors that in previous versions of this line it fell short of. The improvement was noted by those who had tried and tested several others to see how this coat racked up. The end result was that it is a good choice, especially for the price, for cold and wet weather, almost as good as cold and dry. That said we feel it holds its place among top choices all around.

Wind Protection

The wind resistance is impressive as well when it comes to this coat, drafty pockets aside. While many coats offer one type of fastening to fight off the occasional (or constant) wind and cold, this coat has both a zipper and then a Velcro flap that goes over it. The material itself is windproof/ wind resistant so that you don’t just keep out the temperature but prevent it from seeping in with the next breeze. Those who have tried and or tested this coat found that it definitely offers protection as it claims.

Key Features

-Wind resistant/windproof
-Water resistant
-Machine washable
-Removable hood

Bottom Line

This is a coat built for function and durability, so what you may think it lacks in style, it makes up for in every other way. If you need a removable hood this is a definite buy because you won’t have to give up the best in warmth and protection to make things easy on cleaning either. This is definitely one of the best coats available for its price range.