Product reviews/05/26/2023

ISPO Award Winner 2023: The North Face Himalayan Suit

We need your consent to enable the rating function!

This feature is only available when corresponding consent is given. Please read the details and accept the service to enable rating function.


Developed by a women-led team of athletes, designers, and product experts, the North Face re-engineered their iconic Himalayan Suit to fit the demands of female alpinists. The suit meets lots of technological requirements for high-altitude expeditions and balances mobility and warmth with its women-specific fit.

Reimagining an Alpinist Icon: The Himalayan Suit

Women have been standing on peaks and pushing the boundaries of alpinism for decades - all in gear that wasn’t made for them. With a female-led design team and athlete Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, The North Face now reimagined their iconic Himalayan Suit from the ground up taking a women’s perspective. Adapting the fit and insulation system for women’s bodies, removing unnecessary extra weight and adding features like the internal vest system were critical during the design process. »The development of The North Face's first Women's Himalayan Suit was a labor of love and commitment to female athletes around the world," says Erica Cottrell, Senior Design Manager at The North Face. "Through the years we have worked tirelessly with our female athletes to bring the most advanced and innovative suit for alpinists to the market.«

Including Clever Features for High-Altitude Alpinism

The Women Himalayan Suit is packed with technological features for high-altitude expeditions. It’s FUTURELIGHT™ shell with Spectra® Ripstop is both waterproof and abrasion-resistant in the forearms, buttocks, and lower legs, providing protection from rock chips and sharp mountain gear. The team also worked with insulation mapping and adjusted baffle shape to provide targeted warmth specifically for women's bodies. Cloud Down construction helps reduce cold spots while still maintaining packability. With a 900 fill ProDown™ that retains loft in wet conditions and offers high-level warmth and compressibility, the suit keeps warm even under gnarly conditions. The targeted use of stretch synthetic insulation coupled with a breathable lining in the collar, inner front placket, back panel and inner thighs for zonal temperature regulation still do their part in steep ascents or during movement.

Woman-Specific Design and Fit Balances Warmth and Mobility

The length of the front zipper was reduced for less bulk, and an asymmetrical placement protects against oxygen mask condensation and freezing. It is two way and easy to be zipped closed or open, even with gloves on. On the inside, the suit features a FLASHDRY™ Vest which provides a better and more comfortable fit as well as accessory storage. It features two secure-zip pockets and two stretch-mesh pockets for carrying water bottles. The vest construction was inspired by a traditional running vest, features two side release buckle closures and gives a balanced fit during movement. It also feels comfortable and holds everything in place when dropping the top of the suit in higher temperatures.

The half moon shaped back zip with multiple zippers allows for easy access when needing to pee without having to take the full suit down. Storm-sealed sleeves with stretch wrist cuffs and thumb loops prevent drafts and keep out wind and snow. A double-layer lower leg construction allows the shell to fit independently over the boots for extra snow protection. Finally, the glove compatible zippers are extremely durable and cold-tested to withstand extremely low temperatures.

"The Women's Himalayan Suit from The North Face leverages our best technologies, materials and construction techniques with decades of supporting the world's best athletes in the big mountains to empower the next generation of female explorers to achieve their wildest dreams and look damn good doing it."
Laura Akita, The North Face Category Manager

Here’s What the Jury Had to Say About the North Face Women’s Himalayan Suit:

"The Himalayan Suit by The North Face convinced with attention to detail and intricacy, making it a reliable piece of gear in the mountains. It features a combination of several innovations and is designed with comfort, warmth, and protection in mind, providing a product that empowers the next generation of female explorers to achieve their wildest alpinist dreams."
ISPO Award Jury

5 Reasons Why the North Face Women’s Himalayan Suit Convinced the ISPO Award Jury:

  • Women-specific design features such as half-moon back zip for additional comfort
  • Breathable-waterproof FUTURELIGHT™ membrane for weather protection and temperature regulation
  • Cloud down construction and heat mapping for additional warmth and less cold spots
  • Self-equalising suspended vest with storage for supplies and side-release buckles for comfortable fit
  • Oxygen mask compatible front zip and hood that is fully adjustable for seamless compatibility with helmets and oxygen masks

Product Specs:

  • Responsible Down Standard (RDS)
  • Colors: fiery red
  • Average Weight: 1450 g
  • Sizes :XS-L
  • RRP: € 2,000
Topics in this article