Norrona Lofoten Jacket Review

The Lofoten Jacket from Norrona is a lightweight clothing item that, while a bit low on durability, does a nice job of balancing a flexible shell with some of the best weather protection on the market.

Quick Summary

  • Where to buy: Amazon, EVO
  • Best for: Skiers who need lighter clothing that won’t give in or succumb to wet conditions. Good for those who need extra mobility as well.
  • Pros: The lightweight shell is both comfortable and flexible. This jacket also comes with some of the best weather protection you will ever see. It’s stylish to boot.
  • Cons: This jacket is not cheap. The lighter material, while flexible, doesn’t have the best durability, and there aren’t a lot of pockets for extra storage.
  • Alternatives: Alpha Liftaloft, Arc’teryx Macai, Sabre AR

Why Trust Me

I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I spent ample time researching and looking at this jacket to see how its features held up in both ski conditions and chilly winter environments.

Detailed Review

The Lofoten is an interesting jacket that sits in a unique middle range. It’s light, but also offers airtight weather protection you won’t find with any similar models. While that does mean it sacrifices a bit of durability and warmth, it also gives you plenty of movement. It looks great and will keep you dry across numerous conditions. A bit niche, but perfect for the skiers who need it.

Weak Warmth, Incredible Weather Resistance

It’s important to note that, while the Lofoten does not offer any real insulation, it doesn’t intend to. This jacket is made to be part of a larger ensemble rather than one stand-alone clothing item you can wear out to the slopes. However, I will say similar shell jackets give you a bit more warmth than this one. There’s nothing wrong with light layers, but you should be prepared to add some extra protection here.

As poor as the warmth is, the Lofoten’s weather resistance is unmatched. This keeps out the cold and wet in many ways, and they are all extremely effective. The construction is some of the best on the market, and the Gore-Tex fabric is as reliable as ever. On top of that, the jacket comes with interior wrist gaiters and a fantastic powder skirt/pants integration system.

This model is all about ensuring your body stays protected as you ride. It may have a few flaws, but the above traits make it one of the best jacket options on the market for skiers who want or need the very best weather protection they can get.

Excellent Style, Comfort, and Mobility

Another strong part of the Lofoten is its feel. The close cut is nice and the material is great. You can fit any extra layers under the jacket, which is vital in something that needs backup, and it gives you a lot of movement. I love extra flexibility with my jackets, and that’s exactly what the Lofoten provides. You will feel almost no restriction when wearing it.

It is also worth noting that, while I love the Lofoten’s bright, bold look, not everyone will feel the same way. There are many colorful styles, and they all pop. The trim fit also adds to the general comfort, and the slimmed-down design is fantastic.

Plenty Breathable

As with any lighter ski jacket, the Lofoten gives you solid ventilation. There are more breathable items out there, but the jacket does a decent job of promoting airflow and keeping you cool. Not only is the material lightweight and breathable, but the long pit vents have no mesh lining to allow you to get rid of as much heat as you need. If you’re used to Gore-Tex breathability, that’s what you’ll get here.

Additional Features

Another area I was impressed with is the Lofoten’s features. The jacket doesn’t come jam-packed with tons of upgrades like you’ll find with other jackets. There aren’t a lot of pockets, and you don’t get any headphone routing. Even so, the two large chest pockets give you a good amount of space for smaller items and the interior wrist gaiters help keep out the cold.

On top of that, you also get a pass pocket and a goggle wipe. There are a few ways you can attach the jacket to pants too. That won’t be enough for modern skiers who want to take a lot with them out onto a run, but it should be enough for minimalists who can get by without a lot of modern features.

Price and Value

Anytime you buy a Gore-Tex shell, you’re looking to dish out a good chunk of money. Not only that, but, as mentioned, the Lofoten doesn’t stand on its own. It simply doesn’t give you the necessary durability or protection. You’re going to need to purchase other layers when you get this item. For those reasons, I give it lower marks when it comes to value. It’s well-made and useful, but will only be great for skiers who need top-tier weather protection.

What I Like

The best part of the Lofoten Jacket is the weather protection. This is its flagship feature, and something that impressed me quite a bit. You don’t just get a well-made piece of clothing, you get premium construction backed up with wrist gaiters and top-of-the-line powder skirt/pants integration. I love how sturdy everything feels, and especially appreciate the roomy hood. It’s also hard to beat the Gore-Tex fabric.

I also enjoy the jacket’s flexibility. Many jackets, both heavy and lightweight, restrict your movement in one way or another. The Lofoten lets you move as much as you want, which creates a freer skiing experience. The bright color options and trim fit are both worth special mentions as well.

What I Dislike

The biggest mark against the Lofoten Jacket is its insulation. While Norrona tries to get ahead of that by not claiming it provides any warmth, you still want something that will keep out the wind or chill a little bit. This isn’t the biggest issue for those prepared to layer, but those extra items also add to the cost and bring down the value. If you want something tougher, there are options out there.

Going off that, the value is a definite weak point. Skiers looking for incredible protection from the elements will love this jacket, but it might be a good idea to get away with something not as specialized if you can. The Lofoten does a good job and fills its role, but it’s an investment. Not only is it pricey on its own, but you need to buy more layers, and the durability is lacking. Those are all weak points to me.

The Alternatives

The Lofoten is a hybrid jacket that sits in a unique space. If you like some of its features but would prefer something more durable, the following jackets are all extremely reliable:

  • Alpha Liftaloft – If you want something that’s warm, durable, and well-rounded, the Liftaloft from Alpha is certainly worth a look. This jacket does a great job in every relevant category, including fit, comfort, and style. Though it is a bit snug, which some skiers may not like, it delivers good results no matter how or where you like to ski.
  • Arc’teryx Macai – The Macai is a premium jacket for skiers who don’t have any budget concerns. It comes with excellent weather protection and will last for years without worry.
  • Sabre AR – Another solid ski shell, the Sabre AR is a powerful jacket that offers a tough, weather-resistant shell without sacrificing ventilation. While expensive and heavy, this model allows you to breathe as much as you need out on the slopes. It also has a slick, modern style that many skiers will love.

FAQs

Is the Lofoten well insulated?

No. This jacket isn’t made for warmth. You’re going to need extra layers when wearing it.

Does the Lofoten Jacket come with snow skirt integration?

Yes. The jacket is able to zip in with both snow skirts and pants to create a weather-tight seal.

Is the Lofoten heavy?

This jacket is a lightweight model made to promote and facilitate a wide range of motion.

Final Verdict

When it comes to the innovation, few jackets reach the Lofoten’s unique design. Not only does it have an ultralight shell, but it manages to handle snow, rain, and sleet with ease. You get a lot of mobility, as well as a comfortable fit and excellent range of motion. The lightweight also ensures you can work hard without being weighed down.

However, that definitely comes at a cost. The weather protection is extremely high, but it lacks any real insulation and does not have the durability noted in other jackets. Despite that, the unique construction elements and strong fit more than make up for those if you’re a skier who needs lightweight clothing and doesn’t ever want to get wet.

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