Sticky: The North Face – More the just a Brand

The North Face is more than a line of mediocre apparel, it is a brand known globally for their top quality, high performance apparel. The company has definitely come a long way from its humble beginnings on a beach.

In 1966, The North Face was born when a couple of hiking enthusiasts followed their passion and created a mountaineering retail store that has steadily grown to what it is today – 40 years later.

Over the years, The North Face has added the following product offerings:

• High performance climbing and backpacking equipment
• Technical mountaineering apparel equipment
• Extreme Skiwear
• High performance outerwear, ski wear, sleeping bags, packs and tents
• Sportswear
• Extensive line of performance apparel, equipment and footwear

The main reason the company has lasted the test of time is that it’s leaders are blatantly aware of who this ideal shopper is, and what they offer their shoppers beyond apparel – Ways to keep exploring!

Who is the Ideal North Face Shopper?

• Rock Climbers
• Backpackers
• Hikers
• Campers
• Trekking and rail Runners
• Outdoor Enthusiasts
• Extreme Skiers
• Climbers
• Mountaineers
• Snowboarders
• Endurance Runners
• Explorers

What Shoppers Have to Say About The North Face Product Offerings

It’s one thing for a company to make claims about their products, but the true test is what consumers have to say about them. Below are customer reviews on a variety of The North Face products:
• ThermoBall Jacket
• Borealis Backpack
• Recon Laptop Backpack
• Mountain 25 tent
• Hedgehog Hike GTX and Ultra 109 GTX hiking shoes.

ThermoBall Jacket: On his website, Gear Junkie, Sean McCoy put the ThermoBall Jacket to what he called the ultimate “dunk test”.

The purpose of his experiment was to see if “The North Face’s claim that the insulation of the jacket will “achieve phenomenal warmth in cold and wet weather” by maintaining loft even when loaded with water.”

One day in Colorado before going on a hike when it was 30 degrees Fahrenheit outside Sean took off his jacket and threw it into an icy stream. After a minute of pushing it in the water with a stick, he took it out and put the jacket on.

Below he describes the outcome of his experiment:

“I expected a jolt from the cold water but was surprised to actually feel a warming sensation within seconds. In less than a minute, I was already comfortable in the jacket even as I poured the last of the water out of the pockets.”

The North Face Borealis Backpack: For a company that claims to take innovation to a new level they would have to be continually thinking ahead. Currently, that would mean planning for technological advancements.

On Amazon, the Borealis backpack has a 4.5 star rating with the lowest score being a four and the highest, a five. One customer loves how you can use it to go to school, and then take it on a hike. It comes with a space for a laptop, is very comfortable with several convenient attachment loops, and is water resistant.

The North Face Recon: Laptop Back Pack was the Editors’ Choice Award winner on the Outdoor gear lab website.

The North Face Mountain 25: b One consumer calls this tent a “Swiss Army Knife of a Tent”. He was very happy that this tent works for all seasons, is durable, makes good use of space, and works well as a great vestibule. His only complaint was that it is a little heavy, but bulletproof.

Another reviewer said it is strong enough to withstand high winds, cold temperatures, and snow.

The North Face Hedgehog Hike GTX: On the Outdoor Gear Lab’s top ranked hiking shoes, The North Face Ultra 109 GTX is number one, with a 5-star rating. The pros are that it is a great do-everything shoe, slim toe profile, excellent all-around traction, good torsional stability. Their only con was that this hiking shoe is not the most durable.

The North Face Ultra 109 GTX: Is number 5 on the top ranked hiking shoes list, with a 4-star rating. The pros are they are lightweight, good foot support, all-around traction, but they found there is a break-in period required.

The North Face Online Shopping Experience

The website is extremely easy to navigate and offers free shipping for product orders of $99 and 30% off. Each product offering is categorized so they’re easy to find and there is also a list of stores for shoppers who don’t like to shop online.

The categories are found on the main navigation and begins with sale items, men’s, women’s, kids, shoes, equipment, activities, featured, get outdoors, and about us.

The company is serious about their mantra and trademark – Never Stop Exploring – and each year they have an endurance challenge series, which takes place in different parts of the world. You can find the next challenge under the “Get Outdoors” category on the main menu.

When you click on the activities link you are taken to a page titled “How do you explore?” with links to the apparel you need for various activities – Training, running, hiking, climbing, snow sports. This makes getting all the right apparel easy for beginners.

It is interesting to note that there is broad range of countries to find a store. They include the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In all likelihood, we can probably expect grand openings in even more countries.

If you like to shop online and like reasonably priced high quality apparel products from a company you can trust, check out The North Face.

The North Face is a one-stop shop for the humble, weekend camper to the extreme enthusiast. However, more importantly the company caters to the explorer, and there is a little of that in everyone.

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