When you're halfway up a mountain, you want to know that the stuff you're wearing isn't going to let you down. You want to know you'll be warm no matter what nature throws at you, and that your only pair of trousers aren't going to rip at some terribly inconvenient moment.
Some brands claim to offer you this. They'll say things like "hey...we're an adventure brand that knows what's up...our coats are the cat's pyjamas and our thermal mid-layers are the bee's knees...now give us £7,000."
"These clothes aren't just about protecting mountaineers from the elements, they're more than that."These brands are sometimes, although not always, absolute cowboys. They'll promise you the world, but give you a spoonful of pickle instead. Their stuff is nice, absolutely, but it's not necessarily the stuff that's going to save your skin up in the heights of the Himalayas. These brands don't have the first clue about how to live up to their own hype. What they offer is, in a nutshell, the complete opposite to what The North Face offers.
The North Face really know the score when it comes to the great outdoors. They know how to make awesome gear for epic adventures. They know what real quality feels like, what it means, and how to go about producing it. How do they know all this? They know it by working with some of the world's finest mountain athletes, and by embodying the spirit of adventure in all the projects they undertake.
In February 2015, for example, Conrad Anker, David Göttler, Hilaree O'Neil, and Renan Ozturk set out into the Himalayas in the name of research. Their mission, which they chose to accept, was to test gear, explore new valleys, and discover new climbing opportunities in Langtang National Park.
The Himalaya's infamously bad winter weather denied them a summit on this occasion. However, the trip itself arguably delivered something much more important in the shape of ideas and blueprints for the future of mountaineering. That future can be seen, in all its glory, in the new Summit Series.
"This high-end line is crafted on three guiding principles: respect, inspire, evolve."The 2015 Summit Series has been designed to be the most elite equipment option for anyone looking to take on, and explore, the harshest environments on earth. This high-end line is crafted on three guiding principles: respect, inspire, evolve. Respect for the athletes, and the seriously extreme locations they often find themselves in. Inspiration through simple, yet purposeful design. Evolution through the introduction of innovative new technologies that redraw the edges of mountain sport.
This Summit Series comprises of six layers, with each item of clothing perfectly complimenting the layers situated above and below it. These clothes aren't just about protecting mountaineers from the elements, they're more than that. Working together, they're a tactical defence squad; batting away the forces of nature like an impenetrable unit.
Check out the 2015 Summit Series below.
Summit L6 - Jacket
When the mountain serves you up a megaton of cold weather, the L6 Jacket is perfectly designed to keep you warm and protected.
Summit L5 - Shell Jacket/Shell Pant
The North Face reckon this is the most advanced shell they've ever built. After checking out the L5 for ourselves, we have to say we're inclined to agree with them on that.
Summit L4 - Jacket
This warm and ingenious synthetic mid-layer retains heat, even in the most horrific conditions imaginable.
Summit L3 - Jacket
When the sun goes down below the ridge, it's time to put on the L3. This is an ultra light down mid-layer, and an essential bit of wear for serious mountaineers.
Summit L2 - Jacket
The L2 is a fleece mid-layer that strikes a wonderful balance between comfort and protection.
Summit L1 - Top & Pant
From the beginning of your adventure right through until the end of it, the L1 is the piece you'll never take off. This baselayer is designed to keep you warm and comfortable.