North Face Metropolis ParkaKamik makes great winter boots and they still make them in Canada. View Latest Deal
Whenever someone mentions North Face, I immediately think of their jackets. Especially the thin men’s ones, which so many celebrities wore and basically made famous. But those are not the only type of jackets they make.
In fact, North Face is becoming a really popular brand when it comes to winter jackets and parkas. Most of them are really well designed, and don’t just look really good, but are also really warm. Which is perfect for the upcoming months.
In this review, we will check out the women’s Metropolis parka – the perfect long parka for all any women out there who is perpetually cold!
The outer shell of this parka is made from a few different materials – depending on the color of the jacket. There are actually three different styles, all of which have different nylon/polyester ratios – solids, heathers, and HCVs (please don’t google it :>).
The solids are made from 100% Nylon, which is actually the best option there is. Nylon itself is the sturdiest material and not just for jackets. The heathers are made from 55% Polyester and 45% Nylon, which is okay I guess. And pretty much the worst are the HCVs, which have 83% Polyester and 17% Nylon. I would definitely recommend you get a solid color if you want the highest quality materials in your jacket.
You can spot this by the color or style name – it should say solid/heather/HCV. However, there is no difference in terms of water resistance between the three – all of them have a DWR finish. But don’t expect a lot from the jacket, since it is water-repellent at best. So, I would advise you to avoid wearing it in heavy rain.
And, regardless of which material your jacket is made of, it will be machine washable. So, at least you don’t have to worry about getting it dry cleaned when it eventually gets dirty. One more thing I want to mention is that the parka has a two-way front zipper, but it does not have a storm flap. So, it is wind resistant, but it is not windproof, like most men’s jackets are.
Overall, the exterior properties of this jacket are somewhat disappointing. It’s neither windproof nor waterproof, so you can’t really wear it in all weather conditions. Meaning that you will need another jacket which is thicker and sturdier. But then again, this is a parka, and parkas are more of an autumnal clothing item.
On the other hand, if you were hoping to get a jacket that you can wear until the snow on the ground melts, I suggest you check out a few other women’s down parkas.
The Metropolis parka is insulated with down, as expected. I’ll tell you everything about the quality of down in this parka, but first I want to tell you in general about different types of insulation. It will help you understand better how the Metropolis parka compares to some other, similar jackets you can get.
First, there are two main types of down insulation – goose down and duck down. Goose down is fluffier than duck down, and so it is the better choice. It takes less goose down to insulate a jacket, especially because it usually has higher fill power than duck down. However, it is more difficult to produce nowadays, which also makes it more expensive. And that’s why you see many hybrids down insulations with most manufacturers.
The Metropolis parka is insulated with 100% goose down. And to my surprise, it isn’t really all that expensive – especially when you compare it with some Columbia or Patagonia jackets that use hybrid or just duck down.
There is another important property of down insulation, and that is its fill power. It is expressed with a number, which ranges from 550 to 900. The fill power number represents the volume (in cubic centimeters) that a single gram of fully lofted down covers. So naturally, 550 fill power down covers much less than 800 fill power down. In any case, don’t sweat the details, just know a higher number is warmer per amount of down.
This North Face parka is insulated with 550 fill power down, which explains why it isn’t that expensive, even if it is full of goose down. But that doesn’t mean you should be disappointed – the amount of insulation plays a huge role in how warm your jacket is. 550 fill power be down can be just as warm as 850 fill power, if they put enough of it in the jacket.
Unfortunately, North Face doesn’t precisely state anywhere just how much insulation is in the Metropolis parka. But its overall weight is about 30 ounces, so I am guessing they used a lot of down in it. And if you also consider that most women reviewers are praising this jacket for being incredibly warm, I think it is safe to say that it is properly insulated.
Another important thing to note is that the insulation in this parka is certified to the Responsible Down Standard. Meaning that North Face can track the down from a jacket all the way back to the farm it came from. And that the animals were not force-fed or maltreated, which often happens with geese. And we don’t want that, do we!
The Metropolis parka is lined with 100% Nylon. And that’s it – no additional, heat-retaining features. I think that this is a pretty big downside, and let me tell you why that is.
First of all, Nylon is a synthetic material, and it is not really breathable on its own. Meaning that if you get too warm in your jacket and you start to sweat, there’s a good chance your jacket will absorb all that moisture since it has nowhere to go.
Additionally, I prefer jackets that have some sort of warm lining, like microfleece, or Columbia’s proprietary Omni-Heat. You know so that you don’t have to wear 2-3 layers underneath the parka to stay warm.
The third and final reason why I am not a fan of the lining is that it is not coated with DWR. The shell of the parka is only water-repellent, and it will get wet in rain. Eventually, the moisture will penetrate through the insulation and into the lining of the jacket, since there is nothing on the inside to repel it.
And ultimately, the clothes you are wearing underneath this parka could get wet, which kind of defeats the purpose of a really long parka, don’t you think?
Keep in mind that this is the worst-case scenario – avoid wearing the Metropolis parka in rain and you will be fine. I’m just trying to tell you everything you could love and hate about this jacket.
Obviously, this is a long parka. Actually, it measures 38” across the center back, which gives you a pretty good idea of how it will fit you. It runs true to size, but I always recommend going a size or two up with jackets – you want to have some freedom of movement if you decide to wear a sweater underneath.
Plus, the Metropolis is cinched in at the waist, and going a size up will ensure that you can wear it over a thick sweater. And I actually really like that the waist is defined – it is really flattering for a women’s figure. Especially when you compare it to the same shapeless parkas, in which there is no difference between the width of your hips and waist.
North Face states that the parka was “designed for the city” and I think that’s pretty obvious. It looks really modern and urban, and you would definitely fit in a busy crowd. Plus, even though it’s quilted, it still looks pretty elegant, and you can easily wear it over skirts and dresses. Especially because it is so long – you can even wear tights with some boots and stay warm, since the parka is pretty much knee-length for a 5’9” model.
As for sizing, you can get the parka in sizes ranging from XS to XXL. Which is awesome. However, not all colors are available in all of the sizes, so definitely double-check your shopping cart before you go to checkout.
There are two types of people in this world – those that actually like hooded jackets and use the hoods all the time, and those that remove the hood before they even put on the jacket for the first time. I am among the latter – no matter how comfortable and warm the hood is, I am going to remove it because it just adds weight to my jacket.
If you are also like that, you’ll be happy to know that the hood of the Metropolis parka is removable. It’s actually a snap-off hood, so taking it off will be easy and quick. And the collar is pretty high even without it, so your neck will stay warm at all times.
But if you actually like wearing the hood, then you will be glad to know that it is made from the exact same material as the outer shell of the jacket. Meaning that it has a DWR finish and that it is insulated for warmth. In addition to that, the hood also features a cocoon brim, for improved warmth and protection.
And to my absolute delight, it does not feature a faux fur trim. I think that is awesome because those trims get soaked easily, and they dry much slower than the rest of the jacket.
For some reason, manufacturers think that women don’t need as many pockets as men do. This is exactly why a woman will always tell you if her skirt or dress has pockets. And in that fashion, the Metropolis parka is seriously lacking in the pocket area.
There are two zippered side pockets on the jacket, which are actually hand warming pockets. They are linked, but they are pretty small. And, you can’t really put anything in them if you want to warm your hands inside them. And that’s all, in terms of exterior pockets.
There is one internal zippered pocket, on the left side. It’s a nice and useful edition, especially because it features a waterproof zipper. Plus, the pocket is not too deep – another common annoying thing we see with inside pockets.
It’s just large enough for your phone and a smaller wallet, but that’s pretty much all you can fit in it. It is, however, media compatible, which will come in handy if you still use your phone to listen to music on the go.
So, I am actually not sure. There were some things that I really loved about this parka, like its shape and the removable hood. But then again, the toughness of the shell is pretty underwhelming, and so is the plain Nylon lining.
The Metropolis is a parka, which is traditionally a jacket for fall. And as such, it does a pretty good job – it’s pretty warm, lightweight and it looks really good. But then again, fall is a windy and rainy season, and this parka is neither windproof nor waterproof.
The insulation in the Metropolis is good, but still nothing too amazing. It’s goose down, which is much higher quality than duck down. But it also has only 550 fill power, which is on the lower end of the scale.
To put things in perspective, if you are looking for a long, warm parka to wear to the office or when you are running around the town, the Metropolis is a good choice. As long as you avoid wearing it in the rain. But if you are looking for a really tough winter jacket, then I’m afraid you should keep looking.
Overall, it all comes down to whether you think it’s the right fit for you or not. Head over to Amazon to check out the prices and all the different colors the parka is available in! Some of them are last season, but they are still stunning!