Gear Review

3 5

Know what you are getting

Let me preface this review by saying that I am a heavy Norrona convert who moved over from Arcteryx a few years ago. That being said, I am not giving this jacket high scores. I moved from the Arcteryx Fission SV to this jacket in red. They are totally different jackets, and for my uses, I should have bought another Fission SV. Here's why: This thing is long and made to end under your ass. It is like a Theta SV shell. I know why it is long. It is for warmth on things like lifts where your butt can freeze, but for shorter people who are not wearing it skiing, it can make you look stupid (I am 5'8"). What could really fix this or at least allow flexible fitting would be an inner waist cinch which the Fission SV does have. This succeeds in reducing bulk in the belly area and keeping a snug fit. This jacket is rather loose in the body and not like the Lyngen line which is super snug in the body. Either way, a waist cinch could fix this. The other thing that sucks is the unbelievably long arms on this. In a climbing jacket, I get the need for long arms as your arms need to be able to extend fully over your head. But on this? Maybe the Norwegians are built like aliens, I don't know. This thing is super warm, I mean otherworldly warm. It really doesn't make sense in something so THIN. Primaloft must really have come a long way. I like thin. I like the warmth big time. The color I wish was more like the color on the website. It isn't. It is not vibrant. I know because I have a red Lyngen jacket and that is red and vibrant. This Lofoten red is dull and washed out. Great opportunity missed here. I like the bold color schemes Norrona uses. Know what you are getting into and if it is right fit, and you are taller, you will really like this jacket a lot.

Responded on

I have to wholeheartedly agree about the lack of a waist cinch, as this would be very suitable for this longer jacket. I, too, received this jacket recently and that was my complaint as well. Even for my being 5'10 it was long and the jacket would have looked/fit better with a waist cinch.

However, I find this jacket--for me--a better value--than the Fission SV or AR. If the Lofoten has a shortcoming, the FIssion SV really misses the mark with no pit zips and only two front pockets. There is no justification (other than saving on manufacturing costs) to not have pit zips on an insulated jacket for skiing. Plus, when I'm skiing I'd like to secure things in different pockets than my hand pockets on the outside. I, too, gave up on Arcteryx for other brands, and while the Lofoten has a minor shortcoming or two, for me it still outweighs the competition.

The fact that Backcountry is out of this jacket in late December and early January, when there is still demand for these jackets should be a reminder to forecast better next year. BC will not be ordering any more for this season, according to two CS persons.

I recently received/reviewed the even more expensive Arcteryx Micon jacket and that thing didn't even have handwarmer pockets despite being "insulated."

I, too, wish I could find the jacket that doesn't come up short (or "long" with the Lofoten). The Lofoten does have some nice features such as more pockets, wrist gators, and remains lightweight. I chose it over the Arcteryx Micon and Fission, and is just beat out the Helly Hansen Enigma because of cost.

Responded on

lets be honest, how often do you use pit zips on a ski jacket? how do you grab a zipper under your arm pit with a glove on while riding a lift? I personally think it is totally unnecessary.

Responded on

Oh, and one more thing. Backcountry every year runs out of Norrona stuff usually by Christmas. It isn't like they order more of each item and they keep selling out. I notice the same quantities each year for most items. The real thing that is tough to stomach is that Medium always sells out fastest and they never order more mediums knowing that this happens. Norrona needs another US distributor.

Responded on

tdudnyk wrote the following: "lets be honest, how often do you use pit zips on a ski jacket? how do you grab a zipper under your arm pit with a glove on while riding a lift? I personally think it is totally unnecessary."

Well, in light of the overwhelming persuasiveness of this reasoning –that pit zips are “totally unnecessary” for skiing—I have finally come to grips with my long standing but far-fetched, unconventional, and even inane suggestion that pit zips are beneficial during such activities.
After having reflected for many hours on my propensity for self-deception I am now ready to be, as you suggest, “honest” about pit zips. Although it is embarrassing for me to admit this in a public forum, I can no longer deny the truth that I have been suppressing for almost twenty years. You see, I’ve repeatedly stumbled in life by buying very expensive ski jackets; I just assumed that because I paid a lot of money for them that those zippers under the arms would have some sort of useful function. Somehow I convinced myself that when those zippers were open that I felt better about myself. But I was wrong. I didn’t need to depend on pit zips. They were just a crutch for weak, warm-blooded skiers.

Sometimes I just want to kick myself for having been so foolish. To make matters even worse I happen to be one of the few people who are capable of opening zippers with gloves on. Thus I had to fight the pit-zip temptation every time I went skiing. In fact, the temptation became so unbearable that I resorted to drastic measures: I began to search for an even more expensive jacket that didn’t have pit zips. And I found one! Oh, thank goodness for the Fission SV--somebody was listening to my needs. It is such a blessing to no longer struggle with pit zips.