The North Face Enzo Jacket


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.

Jonathan Ellsworth, skiing in The North Face Enzo jacket at Taos Ski Valley.
Jonathan, TNF Enzo Jacket, Taos Ski Valley.


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 prettyPhoto of the back of The North Face Enzo Jacket. 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.)

Bottom line:

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.

10 comments on “The North Face Enzo Jacket”

  1. Have to be honest, i was in the same boat as you when looking for a new shell this year.

    North face has long been off my list since the advent of the Denali fleece.

    However, when shopping for a new shell, North Face’s pricing for industry employees made it too good to pass up. So i gave it a shot, hoping Helly Hanson would have the shell i really wanted in stock soon.

    I’ve now put 27 days on ski’s on this shell so-far this year, and I can safely say, I won’t be buying the other one anytime soon!

    I agree on all counts, it’s light, surprisingly durable, and breathes like all Pro-Shell products. I with the Zipper was more offset as well.

    If you like the jacket, You might like the Skull Horn Bib’s also. They have become my go-to pants for all my deep adventures.


  2. I received my Enzo jacket today and like your first impression was Wow this is crazy thin. But like you said in the review this is their top of the line product so it’s going to hold up . Two other things I noticed; there’s no loop to hang up the jacket . Not a huge deal , but wonder if this was a weight cutting thing or overlook. The zipper on the sleeve does not have a small flap at the top to cover the zipper itself when it’s closed. The other front zippers have that little piece of fabric at the top to tuck the zipper in . Not sure if the lack of the flap with allow water in at the top of the zipper. I am stoked to test the jacket out .

    • I have trouble believing that they overlooked those elements, it just seems like TNF was looking to keep this jacket light and minimal. Personally, I hadn’t missed the loop, but I can see how others might.

      As for the toughness of this jacket, though, I continue to be very impressed. On a fast backcountry traverse through VERY tight trees a few weeks ago, my left should tagged a thick, jagged branch – well, a thick tree limb, really. It was a hell of an impact, and I was certain that I’d shredded the jacket. My shoulder was bruised and bleeding pretty good from the impact and slash, but the jacket didn’t tear. At all. You can see two faint marks where the tree caught and tore up my shoulder, but the jacket is okay. Still can’t believe it.

  3. Hi Jonathan

    Great review of this jacket. I’m 5’10 175lb do you recommend the large? I also have the patagonia down sweater or the redpoint optimus, how will does this jacket layer?

    Also, how does the rad green color look in person?


    • Hi, Jeff – if you’re going to be layering the Enzo with the Down Sweater or the Redpoint Optimus, then yes, go Large. The Enzo is definitely designed to accomodate underlayers, and I actually own both the Down Sweater and TNF Redpoint (not the Redpoint Optimus), and both easily layer under my size Large Enzo. I’m still extremely impressed with this jacket.

      As for color, I’m a really big fan, but your opinion may vary. But there are quite a few photos up on the site (e.g., the most recent photo gallery from Alta & my 11/12 Line Influence 115 review) that show this thing off pretty well. What you see is what you’ll get.

  4. Those pics of you in the Enzo look absolutely sick with all that powder.
    I got a chance to try on both Medium and Large this weekend at my local shop. The Rad green color grew on me. I brough along my patty down sweater hoody to try on as a mid layer. Since I”ll be snowboarding mainly in the East Coast VT and NY, I wanted to make sure the jacket can accommodate a decent mid layer without any restrictions. The Large felt nice and roomy even with the down sweater on but not overly big or flappy of extra materials like the Free Thinker Large I also tried on. The length of the sleeves and waist seems good as it gives me pretty good coverage all the way below my waist and the sleeve cuffs should cover the gloves nicely too. The Medium on the other hand felt pretty snug with the down sweater on, sleeves and waist length felt a bit short also.I think the medium felt and look more form fitting and would work for me if I were to wear no layers or only a thin light layer. So, the decision for me seems to be a Large.

    In terms of pants, I wanted to get the matching Enzo pants in Lantern Green color (which is more a bright yellow) however, I couldn’t find any shops in the US that have this color available. There is a cheaper alternative, The North Face Slasher Hyvent pants, also available in the lantern green color I like and seems to look pretty cool. (more a snowboard look) compare to the Enzo pants skier look. Do you recommend these pants? If not what pants and color would you recommend to match the Enzo jacket in the green color?

    • Jeff – we haven’t tested the Enzo pants or the Slasher pants, though I have used TNF’s Park Cargo and Freedom pants previously, both with Hyvent. But I don’t think it’s safe to draw conclusions from those.

      But if you’re looking for versatile, insulated pants, I’m currently writing up a review of the Arc’Teryx Micon pants (should post tomorrow), which are fantastic, fully waterproof, and my blue Micon’s look pretty sweet with the green Enzo….

  5. Hey jusy looking for some sizing help. I am about 6’2″ and 185lbs.
    I’m thinking the XL would be good but I want to make sure it will be long enough for me.
    Any thoughts?

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