And as we have just entered March, it starts snowing over here in the northern hemisphere.
Snowing brings with it freezing temperatures, too and all of this calls for a warm and well-insulated jacket.
Not only that, but a jacket that can also protect against the snow and rain that are awaiting us in the next few weeks.
With that being said, welcome back to another comparison review, where we will be looking at four jackets and how they measure up in different aspects.
They are both recurring brands that you can find in several of our selections and reviews.
To save you some time in having to look up the brands if you’re unfamiliar with either of them, let’s get through a short introduction of each.
Table Of Contents:
- 1. The Two Brands
- 2. Mountain Warehouse Featherweight
- 3. The North Face Thermoball
- 4. Comparison: Featherweight vs. Thermoball
- 5. Mountain Warehouse Exodus
- 6. The North Face Apex Bionic
- 7. Comparison: Exodus vs. Apex Bionic
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1. The Two Brands
They set high standards for their products and expect each of them to be met. They also sell through their own stores online and locally, in order to cut expenses for the buyer.
Their products include a wide variety of types and designs, such as jackets, trousers and outdoor equipment for different activities.
Whether you are a sportsman or are just getting into the gym, they provide different items for different requirements.
The North Face is an American company, established in 1968 and just like Mountain Warehouse, they also provide a variety of different products.
These include any outdoor gear you might need for your activity of choice: skiing, camping, hiking, running, biking and much more.
They are one of the most reputable brands in the outdoor products’ market, with 50 years of experience and thousands of happy customers.
This will be an interesting comparison, especially since we are looking at two interchangeable jackets and two softshells. The price difference of the brands is also interesting as they differ quite a bit.
Just like in our previous comparison, we will be looking at each jacket separately first and then see how they fare against each other.
Let’s start with the first two, both of which were included in a previous selection: Mountain Warehouse Featherweight vs. The North Face Thermoball.
2. Mountain Warehouse Featherweight Men’s Jacket
Just like its name suggests, Featherweight is an ultra lightweight jacket that is great for travelling. It packs in a pouch of its own and takes barely any space. This allows you to take it anywhere, without having to leave behind your other clothes.
This is a hoodless jacket, with a high collar that zips up and fits snuggly around the neck. This is both for keeping the neck warm, but it also helps prevent cold winds and rain from getting into the jacket.
To further help with this, the sleeve cuffs and hem are elasticized in order to make them fit perfectly on the body.
The upper shell is 100% Nylon, which is water-resistant and has been treated with a waterproof coating for better resistance. This is a quilted jacket with Down insulation in a blend of 90% Down and 10% Feathers. They are held in place and evenly distributed by the quilting, extending on the sleeves as well.
For practicality in wear, it comes with four pockets total: two zipped ones on the outside and two large pockets on the inside.
3. The North Face Thermoball Men’s Jacket
ThermoBall insulation is different and unique in its performance when compared to other synthetic insulations, as it performs almost identically to down. This is because of the shape, as it does not come in filaments, but it is rounded and provides great insulation with less bulk and weight.
The jacket comes with two outer pockets, along with an inner pocket that is suitable for listening to music too, due to the earphone duct.
The sleeve cuffs are elasticized, while the hem is adjustable with drawstrings, for a much better fit, as well as to prevent the weather elements from getting through.
This is a water-resistant and wind-resistant jacket and comes with a Ripstop shell, which makes it very durable and long-lasting.
Here is a video review of the jacket:
4. Comparison: Mountain Warehouse Featherweight vs. The North Face Thermoball
Appearance and Wear
While both are quilted jackets, Thermoball comes in a squared pattern, whereas Featherweight has horizontal, rectangular quilting.
The collar is also different, affecting not just the looks but also performance. Thermoball’s collar is slightly shorter and adjustable, in a looser fit. Featherweight’s collar, on the other hand, is higher and fits tighter, thus providing better protection of the neck.
Featherweight is also a slimmer cut and has a sleeker appearance. They are both packable, also, so it is a tie when it comes to being travel-friendly.
Down vs. Synthetic Insulation
We’ve touched on this point before in our other articles and what it all comes down to is basically this: down provides better insulation overall, but is rendered almost useless when wet.
This is an issue that ThermoBall insulation does not have, as it maintains its loft and insulation abilities despite the weather.
Featherweight comes with Down insulation, as mentioned above, while Thermoball is insulated with ThermoBall synthetic insulation. When it comes to providing warmth, nothing beats down, so in that regard, Featherweight has the upper hand.
But if the weather is unstable where you live, we’d recommend you weigh the pros and cons, as Thermoball continues to provide warmth despite being wet or dry. Not to mention that this is a fast-drying jacket, also.
This is a tie, again, as they are both water and wind-resistant, with barely any difference between them.
However, the higher collar of Featherweight might be more suitable for those living in windy areas. As for the rest of the weather protection, both jackets have elasticized cuffs and their hems are adjustable.
Both Featherweight and Thermoball are travel-friendly, lightweight jackets that are suitable for harsh winter days.
What it all comes down to is whether you live in an area where it rains or snows, as that affects both jackets’ performance, as we mentioned previously.
5. Mountain Warehouse Exodus Softshell Men’s Jacket
Exodus is a water and wind resistant jacket, made of 96% Polyester and 4% Elastane. It comes with a fixed hood, which is adjustable and a high collar, with chin guard to prevent chafing of the neck and chin from the main zipper.
This is an adjustable jacket, with drawstrings in the hem and Velcro fasteners on the cuffs, all of which help you wear this jacket better and more comfortably.
It is highly breathable and very lightweight, making it a perfect Spring softshell and ideal for layering under a heavier winter jacket.
6. The North Face Apex Bionic Softshell Men’s Jacket
Apex Bionic is a 100% Polyester softshell with a windproof shell, due to the WindWall membrane. This layer helps it be completely protected against cold winds, while the DWR finish prevents rain from getting through.
It is a breathable and light jacket, with an adjustable hem and three outer pockets. The collar is high and zips up, but it does not come with a hood, so take appropriate measures if it’s going to rain.
7. Comparison: Mountain Warehouse Exodus vs. The North Face Apex Bionic
Appearance and Wear
These are both very similar in appearance, with the difference being Exodus‘ hood. They are lightweight and very comfortable, but Apex Bionic is slightly thicker.
When it comes to wear, we have to say that Apex Bionic’s stretchable shell makes it more comfortable to wear, especially if you are looking for a high-performance sports jacket.
Exodus is a single-layer jacket and despite both being made of Polyester, it is not as warm as Apex Bionic. What sets them apart in warmth is the fleece lining on the inside of Apex Bionic, which Exodus lacks.
Fleece is renowned for its insulating and warmth-providing abilities and since it is also a thicker jacket, Apex Bionic is much warmer.
Here is where these jackets almost come to a tie. Exodus has a waterproof coating that helps it keep water off the jacket, making it water-resistant. The shell is also highly wind-resistant.
Apex Bionic, on the other hand, is a completely windproof jacket, that you will not necessarily need to accompany with a sturdier jacket on top. It, too, is water-resistant due to the DWR finish, but unlike Exodus, it comes without a hood.
The lack of hood might become a hindrance if you live in rainy areas and it would have come in handy to keep the head warm, too, but that can be easily achieved by wearing a beanie.
If you are looking for a warm, breathable and easily adaptable softshell jacket, then go for Apex Bionic. But if all you are looking for is a lightweight and weather-resistant softshell, then Exodus will do the job perfectly.
This concludes our comparison, where we took a look at four jackets by two reputable brands. See you in the next!