The North Face’s Gonzo may be the jacket-of-choice for King of Afterbang Tom Wallisch, but it’s a good fit for cord rippers, park rats, and powder hounds, too. The Gonzo doesn’t discriminate—whatever your steeze, this jacket has you covered like jam on toast.
I was worried that when TNF moved into freeskiing they’d abandon their hard-nosed mountaineering mentality for flashy graphics and secret stash pockets. But my fears were kiboshed after demoing the Gonzo. TNF sticks to what it knows: Creating outerwear geared to battle Old Man Winter. The Gonzo features waterproof HyVent technology, which will keep you dry in showers at Shawnee Peak as well as champagne at Chamonix. In addition, an adjustable hem system along the waist and fixed hood lock in heat when weather turns for the worse.
What’s best about the Gonzo? It doesn’t overdo it. The jacket is insulated but has room for my Jeff Gordon crewneck if temperatures dip. For warmer spells, the jacket has pit zip vents and is light enough that you won’t be dripping coming off the hill.
The Gonzo’s snappy colors and off-center zipper acknowledge its freeskiing influence, but some of its cooler features are the easy-to-use internal media pocket and sleeve pocket with detachable goggle cloth.
With freeski style added to TNF’s classic winter toughness, the Gonzo jacket is built to look fresh in the liftline and shred fresh down it.