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Norrona Falketind Gore-Tex Review

A lightweight shell that boasts great weather protection but without the bells and whistles of other jackets
norrona falketind gore-tex hardshell jacket review
Credit: Norrona
Price:  $519 List
Manufacturer:   Norrona
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 11, 2023
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 11
  • Weather Protection - 30% 8.0
  • Weight - 20% 8.0
  • Mobility and Fit - 20% 7.0
  • Venting and Breathability - 20% 9.0
  • Features and Design - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

The Norrona Falketind Gore-Tex is a lightweight and breathable hard shell jacket with a tighter fit than other jackets, making it perfect for use in stormy weather during the warmer months of the year. It is also suitable for windy conditions and light precipitation in winter. With a Gore-Tex membrane, long wrist cuffs, and waterproof zippers, this jacket keeps water out. It has a contoured fit for active users, but it doesn't leave too much room for layering underneath. We love this jacket during spring, summer, and fall trips into the mountains.
REASONS TO BUY
Sturdy weather protection
Supple fabric
Lightweight
Breathable
REASONS TO AVOID
Short on pockets
Slim fit
Editor's Note: We updated this review on January 11, 2023, with information about product updates and a new award for three-season use.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Sturdy weather protection, supple fabric, lightweight, breathableExcellent weather protection, great fit and coverage, good ventilationUnrivaled weather protection, great fit, durable, vents wellLightweight, inexpensive, easy to tighten drawcordsInexpensive, protective, versatile, lots of pockets
Cons Short on pockets, slim fitVery expensive, a bit heavy, style not for everyoneExpensive, light on pocketsGlossy internal fabric, poor mobility, hand pocket zippers not waterproofHeavy, boxy fit, vents could be longer, stiff fabric
Bottom Line A lightweight shell that boasts great weather protection but without the bells and whistles of other jacketsThis super-protective and well-fitting hardshell is versatile for any winter activityOur favorite hardshell for serious adventures, this jacket is protective, durable, and relatively lightweightThis model is closer to a rain jacket than a hardshell, though it can be used as a lightweight just in case layerA protective and durable hard shell jacket at a great price, but with a boxy fit
Rating Categories Norrona Falketind G... Norrona Trollveggen... Mammut Nordwand Adv... Mountain Hardwear E... Patagonia Triolet
Weather Protection (30%)
8.0
10.0
10.0
6.0
9.0
Weight (20%)
8.0
6.0
7.0
10.0
3.0
Mobility and Fit (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Venting and Breathability (20%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Features and Design (10%)
5.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
Specs Norrona Falketind G... Norrona Trollveggen... Mammut Nordwand Adv... Mountain Hardwear E... Patagonia Triolet
Pit Zips Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Measured Weight (size large) 14.1 oz 16.8 oz 16.0 oz 11.4 oz 19.8 oz
Material 30D Gore-Tex with C-Knit backer 100% recycled 40D Gore-Tex Pro with 160D reinforcements on shoulder, forearm, and hood 100% Polyamide 30D Gore-Tex Pro Gore-Tex Paclite 2.5L 100% nylon w/ DWR coating 100% recycled polyester 75D Gore-Tex
Pockets 2 hand, 1 internal zippered 2 front, 1 internal zippereed chest, 1 zippered electronics pocket inside front chest pocket 2 front, 1 internal zippered chest 2 hand, 1 chest 2 chest, 2 hand, 1 internal mesh
Helmet Compatible Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hood Draw Cords 1 1 3 1 3
Adjustable Cuffs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Two-Way Front Zipper No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Falketind excels in bad weather during the warmer seasons of the year, thanks to its low weight and excellent breathability.

Performance Comparison


norrona falketind gore-tex hardshell jacket review - the falketind is on the thin side for serious alpine climbing, but...
The Falketind is on the thin side for serious alpine climbing, but it's great for casual winter days where your life doesn't depend on perfect weather resistance.
Credit: Sam Willits

Weather Protection


The Falketind features a 3-layer shell fabric with a Gore-Tex membrane that proved to be fully waterproof throughout all of our tests. Although the hood only incorporates a single drawcord, it is still easy to adjust and effective at sealing bad weather out. This effectiveness is principally due to some reinforcing material inside the brim that provides structure and directs falling moisture away from your face. All of the zippers are waterproof.


The wrist cuffs are also especially long and form-fitting. Although this isn't exactly fashionable, it is extremely functional. By ensuring the sleeves stay tucked in beneath your gloves, snow is sealed out, and your hands stay warmer and drier. Our only complaint is the durable water repellent (DWR) finish. Initially, it was better than average at beading water, but after a couple of months, it began to wear off, and we observed some wetting out of the face fabric. This will happen to any jacket, of course, but it appeared to happen a little sooner to the Falketind than the burliest hardshells we tried. The sleeves and hood offer slightly less coverage than the looser-fitting hardshells.

The hood fits easily over a helmeted head, adn cinches tight with a...
The hood fits easily over a helmeted head, adn cinches tight with a single pull cord in the back.
Extra material on the wrist cuffs around the back of the hand help...
Extra material on the wrist cuffs around the back of the hand help the jacket keep you covered up.
Some of the features that make the Falketind a highly weather-resistant jacket.

Weight


At 14.1 ounces for a size large, the Falketind is lighter than most other shells on the market. This makes it an ideal choice for weight-conscious climbers, mountaineers, and hikers who need good weather resistance but who aren't likely to encounter sustained, driving precipitation. Our testers keep this jacket in their packs during extended summer alpine climbing trips, when rain or even some snow is possible, but not expected.


This jacket shaves weight by using a thin 30-denier outer face fabric and a C-Knit inner lining fabric. It also has minimal features and a slimmer fit than most other hardshells, eliminating some fabric. The downside is that it is hard to fit thick winter layers underneath the shell, and there aren't as many pockets as you may be used to. For summer climbers and fair-weather skiers, this jacket is burly enough to provide protection, but serious winter enthusiasts will want a heavier jacket.

norrona falketind gore-tex hardshell jacket review - the 30-denier face fabric and soft c-knit inner lining fabric make...
The 30-denier face fabric and soft C-Knit inner lining fabric make the Falketind feel softer and more supple than other Gore-Tex jackets.
Credit: Sam Willits

Mobility and Fit


The Falketind has great mobility and a tailored fit. The hood fits well while looking up or down, with or without a helmet. The extra-long sleeves also ensure that the wrist cuffs don't ride even when arms are fully extended overhead. These same sleeves, however, will probably feel less than stylish to many non-technical shoppers. On the other hand, the main hem is a little bit short. This may be more fashionable around town, but it's definitely a problem if you want the jacket to stay tucked into a climbing harness.


The fabric feels slightly softer and stretchier than other Gore-Tex shells, thanks to a thin 30-denier face fabric and a C-Knit inner fabric, which gives the fabric a soft hand. The result is a jacket that isn't crinkly or stiff, but rather soft and pliable.

norrona falketind gore-tex hardshell jacket review - the hem is a bit short for extended alpine climbing in harsh...
The hem is a bit short for extended alpine climbing in harsh conditions, as the waist of the jacket tends to suck up through the harness. The sleeves, however, stay put over gloves.
Credit: Sam Willits

Venting and Breathability


To shed excess heat and humidity, the Falketind has a pair of underarm vents. These vents are 18 inches (45 centimeters) long, which is longer than average for increased ventilation. The vents are easy to open with long pull tabs and no fabric flaps to get in the way of easily opening and closing the zippers with one hand. The thin, 30-denier outer face fabric allows air to pass through, and the soft inner lining fabric doesn't inhibit airflow.


For spring ski tours, fair-weather ski mountaineering, and alpine climbing with afternoon thunderstorms in the forecast, this shell is the perfect blend of weather resistance, weight, and breathability. It's still a Gore-Tex shell, which can feel like wearing a stuffy plastic bag before the movement of water vapor begins, but compared to thicker shells, this is a relatively breathable option.

norrona falketind gore-tex hardshell jacket review - long armpit vents allow plenty of ventilation for cooler air to...
Long armpit vents allow plenty of ventilation for cooler air to enter and water vapor to escape from the Falketind.
Credit: Sam Willits

Features and Design


The Falketind is a well-made jacket constructed from high-quality materials. It has two external high hand pockets that can fit plenty of gear, and one internal zippered chest pocket that is large enough for a phone, an energy bar, or smaller pieces of equipment. The hood has only one drawcord (instead of three), which helps shave weight. The hood has a stiff but flexible brim that sheds water and snow off to either side and not down the user's face.


This jacket is relatively minimalist, which helps keep the weight down, but it also limits the jacket's versatility. The hem drawstring cords have small pull tabs that are difficult to manipulate with gloved hands, and the small release buttons for these drawstrings can be hard to find. Still, this is a well-designed jacket with enough features to get the job done, especially considering the low weight.

The two large hand pockets are easily accessible when wearing a...
The two large hand pockets are easily accessible when wearing a harness.
One internal zippered chest pocket is perfect for storing a phone...
One internal zippered chest pocket is perfect for storing a phone, energy bar, or a few credit cards.

Should You Buy the Norrona Falketind?


This jacket is expensive for such a minimalist design, but it isn't necessarily overpriced. It costs less than the fully-featured Gore-Tex Pro shells that are adept in any winter weather, and if you spend the bulk of your time outdoors in the spring, summer, and fall, this jacket is a great choice. There are better options out there for dedicated skiers and alpinists, but if you are looking for a high-performance shell for rainy weather and the occasional snowstorm, this jacket is a good value. It also has a stylish fit and more supple, less noisy fabric, making it more suitable for casual occasions. This means you might be able to save money by using the same jacket for technical outings and stormy days around town.

norrona falketind gore-tex hardshell jacket review - we love this jacket for climbing, and recommend it for alpine...
We love this jacket for climbing, and recommend it for alpine missions in the three warmer months, and even for casual winter adventures.
Credit: Sam Willits

What Other Hardshell Jackets Should You Consider?


If you are enticed by the excellent fit and solid weather protection of the Falketind but need more weather resistance for winter storms, the Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex Pro Light is an awesome heavy-duty hardshell that performs well across the board. If you need more protection but also want to keep weight to a minimum, the Mammut Nordwand Advanced is super protective in all weather and weighs less than other Gore-Tex Pro shells. If you're on a budget but still need protection in severe weather, the Patagonia Triolet is a less expensive option with great weather resistance.

Jeff Dobronyi
 
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