The North Face Gotham III Men’s In-Depth Review

You’re sick of it! Freezing while walking to your work, the wind that keeps creeping up under your sleeves, no warmth or something to hold onto! You’re looking for an escape, a way out! You want something that protects you from the violent wind, some sort of bodyguard! You’re in the look of something warm…

And that’s exactly what this jacket has to offer – protection from the wind and cold.

I’m not going to beat around the bush – the Gotham III is a great affordable casual winter parka. It’s an excellent jacket to wear on your way to work during the coldest days of New York.

As long as you’re doing something active like walking, skiing or building a snowman, you should be fine. You don’t want to end up with a jacket for extreme cold conditions if you’ll use it to work outside. It could overheat you, which is something we want to avoid, am I right or not?

If you’re looking for a winter jacket to accompany you while climbing the Mount Everest, then maybe the Ghost Whisperer 2 is a better choice for you. The Gotham is not designed for extreme cold conditions and won’t keep you warm in those shocking temperatures.

 

Pros And Cons In A Nutshell

Pros

  • Soft lining, great fit and a lot of comfort
  • The price is on the low side compared to its competitors
  • A strong nylon outer shell protects the down insulation
  • Keeps you warm in normal US winter temperatures
  • Elastic cuffs and hem ensure that the wind, rain and snow stays out
  • Built-in neck gaiter can protect your face from the cold
  • Scores high in waterproofing
  • Features a removable faux fur
  • The hood’s size can be adjusted, which is especially handy in windy situations
  • More than enough pockets (6) to store all your stuff

Cons

  • Can be used in extreme cold conditions but you’ll need to wear some extra layers
  • Pretty heavy (3 pounds and 1.6 ounces)
  • Hand pockets are not insulated
  • If it’s raining too much, water will come in through the hem and cuffs

 

To what extent does the Gotham keep you warm?

This jacket doesn’t feature the ‘best’ warmth but doesn’t need to since that’s not its intention. It’s a casual jacket that primarily focuses on comfort… and apparently also pockets (more about that later). It keeps you warm in moderate cold conditions, and in return for not providing the optimal cold-resistance, it does a solid job at weather protection.

So how does this jacket keep you warm? Well, it’s insulated with 550 fill power goose down. Okay… but what does this mean? Fill power is a number that represents the loft of a down product. The higher the fill power, the more air that can be trapped by the down, and thus the better the insulation. But wait a minute, this is not the only thing that determines the insulation quality. Fill weight is also an important factor to consider, but The North Face decided to not share this information with us. Fill weight is simply the weight of all the down. 200 grams of 600 fill power down is warmer than 100 grams of 800 down.

550 fill power of down goose makes it a good jacket to use on cold winter evenings or during winter sports. I won’t lie to you, it’s not very much. However, that’s also why this jacket is only half the price as, for example, the Arc’teryx Therme Parka. Besides that, the two-layer DryVent does a good job of trapping warm air while remaining breathable. I’ll tell you some more about DryVent below the next subtitle.

Another useful feature is the built-in neck gaiter. If you’re cold, you can use this gaiter and pull it over your nose like you do with a face mask. It gives a great boost in warmth while at the same time bring a cozy feeling to your face.

In order to keep you warm, the Gotham must find a way to keep the wind out. Luckily, the ribbed sleeves and hem make sure that doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, also this jacket has its fair amount of downsides. One of them is the length of the Gotham. It’s significantly shorter than a traditional parka, resulting in less warmth. Another downside is that the pockets are fleece lined instead of insulated with down.

 

Is the Gotham waterproof?

Yes, but only for a certain period of time. While the jacket its watertightness is ensured by DryVent, it won’t keep you dry if you’re in the pouring rain for hours.

But first: what is DryVent? Basically, it’s a special type of fabric designed by The North Face itself. DryVent fabrics are designed with a focus on waterproofing, windproofing and breathability. To make these fabrics even more waterproof, they’re treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. This is nothing more than a coating that helps form droplets and repel water from the surface. You may also want to know that this coating degrades over time, so you may want to add a new coating from time to time. You’re lucky because I wrote an article about that too! You can find it here.

Yeah okay, so what? Water will still find its way in through the seams, right? Well, that won’t be the case with this jacket since all DryVent jackets are seam sealed. It’s nice to see that The North Face thought about this.

So then why is this jacket not completely waterproof? Well, it has several flaws that give moisture the opportunity to pay you a visit. After a few hours, water will start to creep in through the hem and knit cuffs as these parts are not waterproof.

Another often overlooked aspect of watertightness is the storm flaps. The Gotham III has them, but they close with a button and not with a zipper. Is this such a big problem? Again, only if you’re in the gushing rain for multiple hours.

Long story short: look for another jacket if you need one to walk in a downpour for hours. If that’s the case, maybe the Arc’teryx Therme Parka sounds interesting to you.

 

Is this jacket comfortable?

We’re all humans, right? Comfort is something we are all looking for, and the more comfort, the better. If you agree with this statement, you’re going to love this jacket. The Gotham succeeds in providing a lot of comforts. That’s also why this jacket is included in my ‘best winter jackets‘ roundup review. The lining is very soft and provides a cozy feeling. Nothing beats a cozy jacket in a snowy winter! The elastic wrist cuffs close well, so you don’t have to worry about rain, snow or wind invading your personal space.

The outer fabric gives a very quality feel and doesn’t feel like sandpaper whenever you rub your face against it.

One downside is the weight of this jacket. At 3 pounds and 1.6 ounces, the Gotham makes it clear to you that it’s just a casual jacket and not one you take along on mountaineering adventures. The Gotham requires a lot of storage space. If you’re looking for a light and packable jacket, then maybe the Ghost Whisperer 2 is more interesting to you.

Another flaw is the length of the sleeves. While it’s true that they’re snug and made of great quality, they’re too short for some people. So it may be smart to order a size bigger, especially if you plan on wearing layers of clothing underneath it.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning, is a problem people with a long torso may come across. Although a short jacket provides more range of motion, it’s no good if it’s too short. People with a large torso could find this jacket a bit too short, especially when their arms are up in the air. Constantly having to pull the ribbed hem down is not something you want to experience.

 

Is this jacket durable?

The North Face is not a crappy brand. They make durable products, and they’ve again proven that with this jacket. The strong nylon fabric provides firmness against all sorts of surfaces: branches, thorns, rocks and ice. The buttons are solid and won’t fail on you anytime soon. The first parts of this jacket that may fail are probably the elastic sleeves. If you constantly pull them over your gloves, they lose their elastic feature.

Long story short: this durable jacket can go along for many years, if you want to improve its years even more, then you may want to visit my article on taking care of your jacket.

 

What features does the Gotham have?

While the Gotham doesn’t score that high in warmth, its strength lies within its comfort and features.

Hood

A good hood is important for comfort and warmth. Warmth is indeed provided by the faux fur, which makes it an awesome feature in very cold conditions. However, it also has its downsides. First of all, it’s bulky and limits your field of view. Second, it tends to tickle your face with its small hairs, which I think is very annoying. Fortunately, you can easily snap it on and off. Whether you like the look or not is up to you.

Then there’s also the hood itself, which unfortunately isn’t removable. The hood is roomy, which can be annoying when there’s a lot of wind. Luckily, the designers know this and provide a cord that makes it able to adjust your hood’s size.

 

Pockets

If you’re in the need of many pockets, I think you’re going to like this jacket. With a total of 6 pockets, you can store your whole cookie inventory in it. This jacket has four different types of pockets:

  • One pocket at the height of your upper left arm. I’m pretty interested in what you guys use these pockets for, let me know in the comments! Of course, you could use it to store some extra cookies.
  • Two big pockets at waist height. Good news! The North Face managed to place these pockets at the right height. Many manufactures fail to do that, including the guys that made my current autumn jacket. It just feels awkward and makes me lift my arms up a bit.

What I also like about these pockets, is the fleece lining. I don’t know about you, but fleece is definitely my number one pick if we’re talking about comfy fabrics.

  • Two outer pockets at chest height. They’re actually placed pretty high up, which makes it pretty hard to open them while wearing gloves.
  • An inner pocket with the media compatibility feature. What the hell does that mean, right? Well, it’s nothing too complicated, it’s just a hole that makes it able to pull your headset/earbud cord through. But honestly… this is such an unnecessary feature.

 

Social Proof

During my hours of research, I came across many reviews.

I did reword them a little but you can find all of them on Amazon. It’s against their policy to copy-paste their reviews.

Review 1: This is without a doubt the best coat that I’ve ever purchased. It’s totally windproof like they promised. I went for walk with my dog in the morning. It was -18°F – and I was sweating. I usually wear two hoodies under my jacket, but this time I had to take off one hoodie in the midst of my hike because it got so warm.

Review 2: This coat is really comfortable and warm. It handled single digit Chicago temperatures like a boss. I do have a complaint about the pockets. The handwarmer pockets should be made a bit larger. Also, they’re not so easy to acces if you’re wearing gloves.

Review 3: This jacket is unbelievably warm and well worth the money. I also tried the McMurdo 3, but this one was undoubtedly the winner. One downside is that its hood isn’t removable.

 

An Alternative

If for some reason you don’t like this jacket, I suggest you take a look at the Ghost Whisperer 2. It’s primarily a performance jacket that’s used for mountaineering or long hikes. However, as you can see in the picture, it also has a casual look, which makes you can also wear it in town.

Besides, this jacket is ultralightweight. With a total weight of 8.3 ounces, it’s easy to carry around. This doesn’t mean that the Ghost Whisperer won’t keep you warm. It still features 800 fill power and a total fill weight of 3 ounces.

On top of that, it’s extremely compressible. You can stuff it in its own pocket, which leaves a tiny package almost as small as your water bottle.

If you’re interested, you can read its in-depth review on this page.

Better

  • Much lighter
  • Much more compressible

Worse

  • Less cozy
  • Less wind & waterproof

 

Is It Worth The Buy?

I believe it is. For such a qualitative, waterproof down jacket, its price is on the surprisingly low side. It’s probably one of the best winter jackets that you can find in this price range. If you’re looking for a casual winter jacket to use in moderate cold, you can’t go wrong with the Gotham 3. It’s warm enough for all types of winter activities, especially since it’s so windproof. It’s a great winter coat to use on your motorcycle, bicycle or whatever you like to ride on.

 

Okay, so that was it for this review! If you liked it or have something to say, please let me know in the comments. You can also contact me through this page.

Stay safe and keep exploring!

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