The North Face are still relatively new to mountain biking, but they're bringing a lot of outdoor heritage that translates well. The Puddle is made from Gore Windstopper Active Shell – a lightweight iteration of the fabric that's water resistant and windproof. We’ve worn lots of variations of Windstopper and find it comfortable across a variety of temperatures.
The construction has a polished quality – some kit is reassuring in the standard of its manufacturing before you put it on and anything we’ve ever tried from TNF has that. We like the comforting feel of a fleece lined collar and the simple but well done stretchbound hem and arm holes.
There’s one large zipped pocket on the back and it’s handy having the addition of a chest pocket too. It’s a small and mostly overlooked thing on a gilet, but we miss it when it’s not there. The back is long enough for proper coverage although the cut is more like a jacket with the sleeves cut off. Anyone who favours a casual, less skinny styling will like it more than many classic gilets.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike