Expert Review: The North Face Women's Ceptor Shell Jacket

Published on 12/09/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2022.
Lindsay Donahue, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Lindsay Donahue

All photos courtesy of Lindsay Donahue

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2022.

My take

The North Face Women’s Ceptor Shell Jacket is a comfortable jacket great for milder to slightly colder days. This jacket is suitable for any ability level.

About the jacket I own

  • Model: The North Face Women’s Ceptor Shell Jacket (2023)
  • Size: XXL
  • Fit: True to size

About me

  • Height: 5’1”
  • Weight: 190lbs
  • Experience: 2 years instructing and 13 years snowboarding.

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: October 2022
  • Days tested: 6
  • Where I’ve used it: Belleayre Mountain
  • Conditions I’ve used it in: Mild and warm with soft snow, cold with icy conditions, and warm with rain.

How it performs


What I was looking for

I needed a new jacket this year for an upcoming trip to Colorado. I wanted a non-insulated jacket for warmer days and a shell jacket that would perform well and keep me dry and comfortable.

Why I chose this gear

I chose this jacket because it looked really nice, had a pretty color, and was waterproof. I looked at some of the other waterproof options that North Face and Burton offer, but I chose this one because I liked the color and looked the best.

What I love about it

  • Fit: I love the fit of this jacket. It is comfortable and flattering.
  • Range of Motion: The fit of the jacket allows for plenty of movement and doesn’t limit my range of motion at all.
  • Design: This jacket has plenty of pockets, a goggle wipe in the sleeve, and great pit vents to keep cool when it warms up. It has a nice relaxed fit that allows room to move and is super comfortable.
  • Quality of Materials: The waterproof material used is of great quality. It won’t tear or damage easily. The fabric is nice and soft with nice zippers. The powder skirt is well thought out. It isn’t bulky and has a nice low-profile grip to help keep it in place and stretchy, so it moves with me.
  • Durability: This product is very durable. The fabric feels like it will hold up well over the years. I’ve already washed it a few times and beat it up a bit with a few early-season falls, chair lifts, and dragging the kids' gear to the mountain, and I have had zero damage. I haven’t had any issues with it, and it seems like it will last.
  • Pockets: There are so many pockets. I absolutely love all the pockets this jacket has. There are hand pockets on either side, chest pockets, pass pocket on the sleeve, and even mesh pouches inside for goggles, etc.
  • Waterproofing: The waterproofing is fantastic. I’ve stayed dry even in the rain.
  • Breathability: It has nice big vents in the pits if it gets too warm, but on a really warm day, this jacket does hold the heat in, so it might not be the best for spring when it’s really warm.
  • Warmth: It isn't super warm because it is a shell jacket. Still it is pretty warm, though. I did wear it on a colder day with a base layer shirt, and it was warm enough.
  • Weight: It’s very lightweight and doesn’t take up much space when packing it.
  • Features: Besides the great pockets, powder skirt, and great material, the jacket has a really nice hood. Usually, when I try to put a hood up, it feels weird and limits visibility. I don’t have those issues with this hood. It has a few different adjustments. The top of the hood has a piece inside it that is shapeable, so I can bend it to match the shape of my helmet or hood, so it stays in place better. It also has a cinch at the back of the hood and one on either side in the front. It fits very well over a helmet. I love it.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Style: The only issue I have had at this point is the color. I got it in lavender; it's really beautiful, but unfortunately, the light color shows everything. The first day I wore my jacket, the lift dripped grease on it and stained it. I’ve had to wash it almost every time I’ve worn it because the light color shows everything. I wish I had bought it in black. Other than the color, though, I absolutely love this jacket.

Favorite moment with this gear

It’s such a pretty jacket. I get compliments on it all the time. It’s also very flattering and so comfortable.

Value for the money vs. other options

This jacket's waterproofing is much better than my Burton GORE-TEX Powline jacket. My Burton jacket was a less expensive option, but The North Face price difference is worth it for the better quality. Overall, The North Face quality is better because the materials used typically show less wear and tear, and the zippers hold up much better. I can wear my North Face in the rain and stay totally dry all day. I get damp in the Burton jacket after only a few runs or so.

Final verdict

I highly recommend this jacket. It is great value for the money spent. Quality materials used and well thought-out design. This is the jacket I’ve wished I had for so long. I really love everything but the color I chose. I would prefer it in black instead of the light color that dirties easily.

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