I skied in early season, 50+ degree weather, and I skied in sub zero windchill temperatures at Wolf Creek, and I was totally comfortable in both. Yet with any thin shell like this, you’d best layer properly.
Of course, I’m an idiot, so the whole proper layering thing doesn’t always happen.
A couple weeks ago at Alta, it was snowing, the wind was whipping hard, and I’d forgotten my go-to mid-layer piece, a Patagonia Nano pullover. Instead, I had on a midweight wool base layer, a thin vest, and The North Face Enzo jacket. This was a super light setup, but the vest is made of Gore’s Windstopper fabric. While skiing, I was totally comfortable, even in the sub zero wind chill temperatures. On the chair, I was a little cold, but not as cold as I expected to be, given my attire.
I will ski 100+ days this season, and I am certain that I could wear this jacket every day out, while simply layering accordingly.
At Wolf Creek, in a sustained downpour of wet snow and graupel, the Enzo didn’t saturate at all. Again, we’re talking about a high-end, Pro Shell protection, so this really wasn’t ever a concern of mine. If you are wearing Pro Shell, you are going to be dry.
I’m not a weight weenie. If a pair of boots or skis weighs a few grams more or less than something else I’m considering, weight isn’t going to be the deciding factor. Same with outerwear.
But what I have come to appreciate about the Enzo is that it packs down pretty nice. As Sam mentioned, it is a 3 layer laminate fabric, which is inherently pretty stiff, so this thing isn’t going to pack down as small as my 120-gram Patagonia Houdini. But in a steady rain, that Patagonia Houdini will soak through within five minutes. In a five-hour rainstorm, The North Face Enzo will leave you dry. So, yeah, for a very breathable, completely waterproof offering, the Enzo packs down small and light and is convenient to carry. Nice.
I’m 5’10”, 185 pounds, and the size large offers plenty of room for me. It is a multidisciplinary or “athletic fit,” but still provides quite a lot of room around the torso for layering. I can easily wear a size medium Patagonia downsweater or a medium TNF Red Point jacket beneath the Enzo. I could probably get away with a size medium in the Enzo, but I wouldn’t want to lose any length, so downsizing wouldn’t be a serious consideration, unless I knew this would be a piece I broke out solely in warm weather, over a base layer.
My only minor complaint with the Enzo is its offset zipper: it doesn’t clear the side of my face, and I wish it veered to the side another two inches or so. I’d rather have a zipper come up directly under my chin than brush against my cheek.
It’s by no means a deal breaker, but it’s the one thing I didn’t find to be totally dialed on the Enzo.
(Update: after an additional handful of days in the Enzo, the side zipper is now a non-issue for me. The top of the jacket just naturally folds and sits below my chin, the collar isn’t stiff enough to stand tall when fully zipped. I’m fine with that, and it’s no longer hitting the side of my face. So I’m now down to zero complaints with this jacket.)
So far, I’m a big fan of The North Face Enzo. For top of the line technical shells, it’s got everything I was looking for, and at a price that is extremely competitive for the category.