The North Face Summit Series: Premier, Athlete Tested, Expedition Proven
The North Face, named for the coldest and most unforgiving face of a rock or mountain, has specialized in designing high-performance outdoor products since the 1960s. They are one of the only brands to offer a full line of all-encompassing gear, from base layers to exhibition jackets to footwear. Approximately 130 top-tier athletes make up their testing team, and many of those athletes are the best in the world at what they do.
Summit Series is the pinnacle line of products from The North Face – every product in the Summit Series line has been through two or more years of vigorous testing in the roughest environments, from the Himalayas to Denali and everywhere in between. Think of Summit Series products as the “hardcore achievers” of The North Face brand, designed to “enable elite athletes”. A North Face Summit Series jacket is built with the best technology – the most versatile and best moisture wicking construction known to man – because it has to be in order for those athletes to perform to their full potential, let alone survive. A zipper can not stick. A seam can not blow out. A tent can not collapse.
Tahoe Mountain Sports is now one of six Summit Series dealers on the West coast, and one of two dealers in all of Northern California. This is pretty sweet for us, considering the new FlashDry Technology that The North Face is using in many Summit Series products just may revolutionize “tech wear” as we know it, similar to how Gore-Tex did in the ’90s.
But why, with all the other outfitters in the area, did The North Face choose Tahoe Mountain Sports as a premier dealer?
We asked Aaron, our sales rep, to elaborate:
“As a core mountain shop, TMS was chosen as a Summit Dealer due to their passion to enable their customers to be outfitted with the best products available. TMS assorts premier Summit Series styles from The North Face while also offering a full breadth of other TNF styles including outerwear, sportswear, footwear and equipment. In addition, TMS is one of the main “Go To” shops in the Tahoe Basin, carrying all your needs to climb, backcountry ski, hike, backpack, and enjoy the great outdoors.”
What is FlashDry?
Aptly titled, it dries in a flash. How? Fibers are integrated with a nano-particle treatment which, in a nut shell, spreads out moisture and forces it to the material’s surface. This increases the moisture’s surface area, thus speeding up the evaporation time so you dry in a flash! There is no change in weight when the fibers get wet, and the treatment won’t wash away or wear out over time. The North Face even applied FlashDry technology to the inside layer of their new hard shells, becoming the only company to take this approach.
FlashDry technology and the Meru Kit are The North Face’s big stories for Fall 2012. The Meru Kit was designed specifically for Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk’s 2011 successful first ascent expedition up the Shark Fin of Meru Central in Garhwal Himalaya. In 2008 the team turned back 100 meters from the summit, in a section dubbed the Gargoyle, due to exhaustion and food depletion. What an upset! Still, better safe than sorry. They returned to headquarters with plans and gear revisions, and The North Face used the climbers’ input to design even better gear for another attempt, which they carried out successfully in 2011. The North Face Meru Kit consists of five installments: Wool One Piece Base Layer, Radish Mid-Layer Jacket, Meru Bib, Meru Gore Jacket, and Shaffle Jacket.
Tahoe Mountain Sports now carries the two pieces of the Meru Kit most appropriate to weather we all encounter:
The North Face Summit Series Radish Mid-Layer Jacket – $229.95
Constructed to be worn on summit assaults, and high-alpine mountaineering, this new technical, strech-fleece mid-layer thrives as an ideal layer for the worst conditions. Hard-face fleece with stretch features a brushed interior lining, with reinforced panels at shoulders and hips to protect fabric with pack carry. New FlashDry technology engrained in the fibers dramatically improves dry time and breathability with revolutionary new wicking properties.
The North Face Summit Series Meru Gore Jacket – $398.95
Constructed with extra-breathable, waterproof, seam taped material on the exterior, this surface provides the most critical protection without impairing breathability. Alpine-fit hard shell features grip on the shoulders and hips to keep technical packs in place while navigating a route, or attempting a summit push. Helmet-compatible hood and harness-compatible pockets and zippers.
The North Face also collaborated with ABS, a European pack company making Air Bag System backpacks that deploy large airbags with 140 liters of compressed gas in two seconds. Now that’s fast! These Summit Series ABS packs deploy two airbags, versus the single airbags you find in other packs, so in the case that one bag were punctured you still have another to protect you and keep you closer to the surface of an avalanche. ABS packs also require less pull-effort than competing packs, and come with all the other components you look for in a good backcountry backpack. Other airbag packs require shopping around for accessories or add-ons, whereas the ABS pack is an all-in-one package deal.
Beginning early 2013 TMS will also carry The North Face Powder Guide ABS Vest!
Tahoe Mountain Sports is proud to be the only Summit Series ABS dealer in the region, AND we’re HazMat certified so we can ship the activation cartridges nationally. We also rent activation units for those who travel with their ABS packs and don’t want to deal with
security/safety issues. Good luck finding many other retailers that can pull this off!
Bonus: Gift With Purchase: A free Leatherman comes with any Summit Series jacket purchased through Tahoe Mountain Sports!
The North Face Radish Mid Layer Jacket – Women’s
The North Face Meru Gore Jacket – Men’s
The North Face Patrol 24 ABS Avalanche Airbag Backpack
Adam Broderick manages the web content at Tahoe Mountain Sports. When he is not in the office, he tries his best to be in the field doing something awesome.