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Brooke's Bio



bro3629080 wrote a review of on January 29, 2010

5 5

This jacket rocks. The color's bright and saturated (I got the blue atoll and love it), every detail feels well designed and constructed, and it is warm and cozy. I took it on a week's vacation in northern VT, where conditions ranged from wet and warm (45 degrees/rain) to frigid (-2 and windy, fresh powdery snow). Crazy week. It was a little too warm on the hot days (even with the large, well designed pit zips) but was completely waterproof, and it did really well in the cold with a merino baselayer plus a thin sweater underneath).

The wrist gaiters, which were a selling point for me, work very well, and there's a transparent watch window in the left one that lets you see your wristwatch without getting cold--very useful! The gaiters are thin and tough, and gloves slide on easily. My iphone fit perfectly in the media pocket on the right chest. There's a little cord gasket included that lets you string your headphones through so the cord lies inside the jacket, though fastening the velcro tab at the top of the plastic window is a must. The small inner pocket on the right chest is just big enough for a powerbar and a wallet. The handwarmer pockets are large and capacious. That goggle wipe in the lower left inside mesh pocket got a lot of use, too! The fit is right on, though if you want a really sleek snow-bunny silhouette you'd best look elsewhere. The hood zips off--yes! but also fits well over my helmet. Bungee pulls keep it on the helmet without obstructing peripheral vision. I got in the habit of pulling it on during the second half of lift rides and pulling it off halfway down the mountain.

The powder skirt zips out, which is nice for wearing the jacket around town. Zipped in, its silicone grippers keep it in place really securely. If you want more security, buy the Norrona pants, which have snaps that the powder skirt snap into, AND ALSO an adapter that zips both to the top of the pants and also to the jacket zipper where the usual powder skirt zips in. I was really happy with the regular powder skirt, but on the coldest day this week used the zipper adapter thing and didn't have the slightest draft between pants and jacket. Really comfortable.

My one gripe is the stiffness of the collar, which is very functional in cold weather but mildly annoying when wearing the jacket around town in milder conditions. I have to tuck it down under the shoulder belt of my seatbelt when in the driver's side of my car.

I checked out a couple of Norrona products, comparing to Arcteryx and North Face, and was similarly impressed. The colors and styling in particular stand out--no girly crap, just bright, unusual colors, solid detailing, and nicely adjustable features. Good stuff.

Note: the blue is brighter/lighter than pictured, which I like. Looks like the blue atoll color in the Lofoten insulated jacket, though the details are jade green rather than fuschia. And the hood/collar lining is closer to black than gray. It all looks great with black pants and boots--easy for my husband to pick me out on the slopes b/c of the slightly unusual color.