The North Face Kishtwar Jacket Wins Gear of Year

Posted in Backcountry Skiing, Mountaineering Gear, News by Jason Mitchell - 10.06.2010

The coveted “Gear of the Year” award by the editors of Outside Magazine is the goal of most outdoor gear makers. With The North Face Kishtwar Jacket, it really comes as no surprise as initial tests have been extremely-favorable. I’ve seen the Polartec PowerShield Pro fabric in action, but have yet to try the Kishtwar.

I’ve been pitching this jacket to anyone looking for a waterproof/breathable shell since I first saw it at Outdoor Retailer in January. This one will be flying off the shelves of your local REI.

Buy Now: Find the Best Price on The North Face Kishtwar Jacket

Read the release below:

10.06.2010 – SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — The North Face, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, and Polartec, LLC, the developer, manufacturer and marketer of Polartec performance fabrics today announce The North Face Kishtwar Jacket was awarded “Gear of the Year” by Outside magazine. The Kishtwar is crafted of ground-breaking Polartec Power Shield Pro, which delivers the best combination of weather protection and breathability ever offered in a single fabric.

“The Kishtwar just might be the ultimate soft shell. It’s made with a brand-new fabric from Polartec that somehow manages to be impressively breathable but also remarkably tough, windproof, and water-resistant,’” said Sam Moulton, Buyer’s Guide Editor at Outside magazine. “Add it all up and you’ve got a versatile soft shell for everything from backcountry skiing to cool-weather hiking.”

The holy grail of softshell jackets, the Kishtwar Jacket is designed for highly aerobic endeavors in foul weather. Polartec Power Shield Pro allows a high rate of air permeability that significantly improves moisture transport compared to softshells that do not allow airflow, while offering superior water resistance. The hydrophobic, microporous, polyurethane membrane stops water from penetrating while still allowing airflow. The Kishtwar features high abrasion resistance, four-way stretch and non-restrictive fit.

“The Kishtwar is a revolutionary solution to adventurers who, until now, often had to choose between breathability and protection,” said Philip Hamilton, Vice President of Product for The North Face. “Working closely with longtime partner Polartec, we were able to create a solution. We are honored the Kishtwar stood out during Outside’s intensive testing process.”

“Serious outdoor athletes and guides have been asking for a fabric like Polartec Power Shield Pro for years,” said Nate Simmons, Global Director of Marketing for Polartec. “Recent breakthroughs in membrane technology have finally made this combination of water resistance and air permeability possible. The North Face created an all-business jacket with the Kishtwar that will answer the needs of the most demanding users.”

Outside magazine’s Buyer’s Guide features the latest and greatest of outdoor product and gear, as the ultimate guide for outdoor enthusiasts. Outside’s testing team looked at more than 50 of the best new jackets, and put a dozen through the paces on a wide variety of conditions, activity and terrain, including a mountain climb in Iceland, a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal, and an adventure race in Patagonia.

The North Face Kishtwar Jacket was also awarded “Gear of the Year” by National Geographic Adventure.

For more than 40 years The North Face athlete team has defined the limits of what is humanly possible, and continually works with The North Face Research Design and Development teams, creating innovative designs that push new technologies and inspire cutting-edge products.

Watch the Kishtwar in action – video:
For more information on Polartec, visit
For more information on The North Face, check out
Visit Outside magazine at

About The North Face
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.

About Polartec, LLC
Polartec, LLC is the developer, manufacturer and marketer of Polartec performance fabrics. Polartec products range from lightweight wicking base layers, to insulation layers, to extreme weather protection and are utilized by the best clothing brands in the world. In addition, Polartec fabrics are used extensively by all branches of the United States military including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Special Operations Forces.

Buy Now: Find the Best Price on The North Face Kishtwar Jacket

8 Responses to 'The North Face Kishtwar Jacket Wins Gear of Year'

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  2. freddy

    man i like that jacket but i saw a similar one on outdoor gear that’s pretty similar but way cheaper.

    • Brig Graff

      Thanks for the link, freddy — but which one is similar to the North Face Kishtwar? When I clicked the link it took me to a vest and some bulky camouflage snowboarding jackets.

  3. eric

    yuppie jacket …

    dya know that powershield pro appears to be less breathable than powershield under certain conditions

    • Jason Mitchell

      Have you tried it? Yeah, TNF can be more token gear than actual gear, but this jacket is the pride of Polartec’s new fabric. I’m not passing judgment until I try it. All indications I’ve gotten in the field is that it kicks bootay!

  4. eric

    from their own site … less breathable …

    no offense but i stopped believing in outside mag gear recommendations a while back …

    • Jason Mitchell

      Well, that’s the point. It’s not quite as breathable as something that’s intended to be supremely-breathable but not very waterproof. As far as high waterproof and high breathability is concerned, it’s the best they have and should outperform the usual suspects.

      None of the first-hand reports I’m leaning on are from Outside, though it does validate what I’ve heard from very reliable sources.

      Again, it’s not intended to be as breathable as a softshell fleece-type material, but instead it aims to be as breathable as possible while still being waterproof. That’s a tall order.

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