Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex Pro Light Review
Compare to Similar Products
Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex Pro Light
$486.75 at Backcountry
|$650 List||$519 List|
$389.25 at Backcountry
|$699 List||$399 List|
$399.00 at Backcountry
|Pros||Excellent weather protection, great fit and coverage, good ventilation||Unrivaled weather protection, great fit, durable, vents well||Sturdy weather protection, supple fabric, lightweight, breathable||Perfect fit for climbing, good features, durable||Inexpensive, protective, versatile, lots of pockets|
|Cons||Very expensive, a bit heavy, style not for everyone||Expensive, light on pockets||Short on pockets, slim fit||Expensive, not versatile, heavy, not breathable||Heavy, boxy fit, vents could be longer, stiff fabric|
|Bottom Line||This super-protective and well-fitting hardshell is versatile for any winter activity||Our favorite hardshell for serious adventures, this jacket is protective, durable, and relatively lightweight||A lightweight shell that boasts great weather protection but without the bells and whistles of other jackets||This purpose-built jacket is the best option for winter ice and mixed climbing, but it lacks the versatility to be useful for much else||A protective and durable hard shell jacket at a great price, but with a boxy fit|
|Rating Categories||Norrona Trollveggen...||Mammut Nordwand Adv...||Norrona Falketind G...||Mountain Equipment...||Patagonia Triolet|
|Weather Protection (30%)|
|Mobility and Fit (20%)|
|Venting and Breathability (20%)|
|Features and Design (10%)|
|Specs||Norrona Trollveggen...||Mammut Nordwand Adv...||Norrona Falketind G...||Mountain Equipment...||Patagonia Triolet|
|Measured Weight (size large)||16.8 oz||16.0 oz||14.1 oz||17.6 oz||19.8 oz|
|Material||100% recycled 40D Gore-Tex Pro with 160D reinforcements on shoulder, forearm, and hood||100% Polyamide 30D Gore-Tex Pro||30D Gore-Tex with C-Knit backer||40D Gore-Tex Pro with 80D reinforcements on the shoulder and arm||100% recycled polyester 75D Gore-Tex|
|Pockets||2 front, 1 internal zippereed chest, 1 zippered electronics pocket inside front chest pocket||2 front, 1 internal zippered chest||2 hand, 1 internal zippered||2 high hand, 1 chest, 1 internal zippered||2 chest, 2 hand, 1 internal mesh|
|Helmet Compatible Hood||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hood Draw Cords||1||3||1||3||3|
|Two-Way Front Zipper||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This jacket handles every kind of inclement weather you could imagine, and also allows for a full range of motion for any kind of winter activity. We reach for the Norrona Trollveggen more than any other hardshell.
This jacket is effectively impenetrable to winter weather. It uses Gore-Tex Pro technology to ensure a waterproof fabric, along with waterproof zippers and taped seams. The fit is protective, with long sleeves and an extended hem that is exaggerated in the rear, but tapers up to a normal level in the front. The sleeves also have a tapered and extended flap that provides extra coverage over the back of the hand. The hood fits over both helmets and bare heads.
After sitting on cold and windy chairlifts, and getting soaked while ice climbing routes dripping with water, we were wholeheartedly impressed by this jacket's weather resistance. The extended hem and sleeve coverings aren't strictly necessary, but they do add some protection. Other jackets on the market have three hood drawcords, but this jacket gets the job done with only one. We're super impressed by the Trollveggen's flawless weather resistance.
At 16.8 ounces (475 grams) for a size large, this jacket weighs slightly more than its closest competitors, and is much heavier than lightweight 3-season hardshells. This added bulk is likely due to heavier fabric patches in the shoulders, forearms, and hood, which use thick 160-denier fabric instead of the 40-denier fabric found throughout the rest of the jacket.
This jacket is still lighter than the heaviest and thickest hardshell jackets, and it is light enough for technical winter ascents and lightweight ski mountaineering missions. When the weather is bad, this jacket provides great weather resistance at an attractive weight. But for non-technical users who are looking for protection from occasional winter weather, or who are more likely to use their hardshell to fend off the odd summer thunderstorm, there are lighter options out there that will provide enough protection.
Mobility and Fit
The Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex Pro Light has an excellent fit. The torso is well-tailored, with an athletic fit that isn't too snug. The sleeves are articulated for movement, and the neck fits well without too much extra material. Overall, the fit is remarkably efficient, allowing a full range of motion without any noticeable extra fabric. This jacket's fit is one of its strong points, setting it apart from other heavy-duty hardshells.
From ice climbing to ski touring to snowshoeing and even summer alpine climbing, we never felt encumbered or limited by the range of motion in this jacket. It is extremely comfortable to wear, and the main fabric even has a soft touch, which is surprising considering the relatively thick fibers used. This jacket's comfort is a main attraction.
Venting and Breathability
The Trollveggen Light offers decent breathability — especially for a thick hardshell — but it still feels muggy during the warmest and most aerobic ascents. Gore-Tex Pro is notable for its breathability because it uses a thin and minimalist inner lining fabric, which removes material between the user's body and the breathable membrane. However, thick outer fabrics are also a staple of Gore-Tex Pro, and these thick fibers can limit air movement. This jacket breathes relatively well, but it still feels muggy and warm during the most aerobic output.
Breathability in the Trollveggen is enhanced by mechanical ventilation, which comes in the form of a two-way front zipper and two long armpit vents. The pit vents are 20 inches (50 centimeters) long, which is among the longest we have ever seen on a hardshell. The vents are easy to open with one hand. Our stationary bike test confirmed what we found during aerobic approaches to ice climbs and when hiking to find fresh snow at the ski resort: this jacket is somewhat breathable, and about comparable to other Gore-Tex Pro jackets, but it isn't as breathable some of the jackets that use proprietary membranes. However, those other jackets usually sacrifice some weather resistance, and we'd reach for this jacket instead whenever the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Features and Design
The feature set on this jacket is minimalist, but useful. There are two large external zippered chest pockets, and the right chest pocket has an internal small zippered pocket that is perfect for a ski pass or credit cards. There is also an internal zippered chest pocket that can hold a phone.
The other notable design features found on the Trollveggen Light are the extended rear waist hem and wrists. These areas provide extra material to cover sensitive parts of the body that can be exposed to the elements during acrobatic movements. Our testers aren't 100% sold that these features are necessary, but they don't hurt.
Other notable features include a full-coverage hood that keeps the weather at bay, with a slightly stiff brim that sheds liquid water drops to either side of the face. The hood and hem drawstrings are easy to manipulate.
Should You Buy the Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex Pro Light?
This jacket has an astronomical price tag, but it is priced similarly to other fully-featured winter hardshells, and delivers top-notch performance. Most users don't need to spend this much money to get the protection they need, and casual outdoor recreationists can find a better value elsewhere. But for diehard winter enthusiasts who aren't afraid of a winter storm, this jacket provides excellent performance that rivals the best hardshells we've ever tested.
What Other Hardshell Jackets Should You Consider?
This jacket is nearly identical to the Mammut Nordwand Advanced. Only small design features separate the two models, and the largest difference is aesthetics. Simply put, we recommend that you purchase whichever model you think looks better and whichever you can get for a better deal. They perform nearly exactly the same. If you are looking for a better deal without sacrificing much performance, the Patagonia Triolet is a great value. The Norrona Falketind Gore-Tex is much lighter, yet protective enough for most alpine adventures in warmer weather, with enough protection for the occasional winter storm.
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