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Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell Review

One of the most protective piece of ski clothing we have ever tried
Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Credit: Norrona
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Price:  $699 List | $489.30 at Backcountry
Pros:  Drum tight weather protection, lightweight
Cons:  Expensive, few pockets, light fabric isn’t super durable
Manufacturer:   Norrona
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 6, 2022
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 17
  • Warmth - 20% 3.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 10.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 7.0
  • Ventilation - 15% 9.0
  • Style - 15% 6.0
  • Features - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

Most skiers look for a ski jacket with insulation, which we reflected in our selection of products for this review. A smaller subset of resort riders prefers a layering system that involves a non-insulated shell. We present the Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell. It's lightweight, thin, and ready for a range of conditions. No jacket we have ever used is as effective at blocking out inclement weather as the Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell. For superior style points and weather protection, check out our Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Pants review. Pairing these two pieces together creates an outcome greater than the sum of its parts, and we can't recommend them highly enough.

Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell on March 6, 2022, with a closer look at performance versus value, and recommendations for similar products.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $699 List
$489.30 at Backcountry
$412.50 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$675 ListCheck Price at REI
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$300 List
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Pros Drum tight weather protection, lightweightExcellent performance in every category, durableCompletely weather resistant, good ventilation, freeride styleStrong value, highly versatile, warm, loaded with ski-friendly featuresWeather resistant, good vents, plenty of features
Cons Expensive, few pockets, light fabric isn’t super durableMore snug fit than other optionsExpensive, too heavy and warm for most backcountry useHeavy, poor ventilation in combined figurationHanging liner makes it a bit warm for a shell, fit isn't perfect
Bottom Line One of the most protective piece of ski clothing we have ever triedThis excellent resort ski jacket nails all performance aspects to deserve a spot at the top of your wish listA durable, weatherproof jacket that wins our favor among downhill ski shells on the marketThis versatile and reasonably priced jacket helps you customize your layers, whether you prioritize warmth, weather resistance, or bothA high-performance shell at a great price
Rating Categories Norrona Lofoten Gor... Helly Hansen Alpha... Arc'teryx Sabre AR... The North Face Ther... REI Co-op First Cha...
Warmth (20%)
3.0
8.0
5.0
8.0
4.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
10.0
8.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
7.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Ventilation (15%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Style (15%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Features (10%)
5.0
10.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Norrona Lofoten Gor... Helly Hansen Alpha... Arc'teryx Sabre AR... The North Face Ther... REI Co-op First Cha...
Main Fabric Gore-Tex Pro 2-layer stretch polyester N80p-X Gore-Tex 100% nylon 2-layer Gore-Tex
Insulation None LifaLoft synthetic Thin flannel backer 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester Recycled polyester lining
Pockets 2 exterior chest, 1 sleeve, 1 interior zippered, 1 interior open 2 handwarmer, 2 chest, 1 internal chest, 1 internal mesh, 1 sleeve 2 hand, 1 sleeve, 1 internal Shell: 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest,1 internal media, 1 internal goggle, 1 internal zippered sleeve. Liner: 2 hand 2 handwarmer, 2 chest, 1 internal chest, 1 sleeve
Weight 1.50 lbs 2.56 lbs 1.66 lbs 2.86 lbs 1.76 lbs
Water Resistance Gore-Tex Helly Tech Professional Gore-Tex DryVent 2L Gore-Tex
Hood Adjustable Adjustable and removable Adjustable Adjustable Adjustable
Pit-Zips Open Mesh-backed Open Yes (shell only) Yes
Cuff construction Interior stretchy wrist gaiters and external velcro cuffs Interior stretchy wrist gaiters and external velcro cuffs Velcro Velcro Velcro
Powder skirt? Yes, removable Yes Yes Yes Yes, removable
RECCO? No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Color Updates Since Testing
This jacket has seen some color updates since we last tested it. Though the colors have changed, the features remain the same. October 2019

The Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell jacket is a unique hybrid of ultralight, svelte alpine shell design, and purpose-built ski resort features. It has the weight and feel of a light alpine climbing shell jacket, with ski-specific pant integration and overall fit.

Performance Comparison



Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell ski jacket - the norrona lofoten in action on a powder day. for protection from...
The Norrona Lofoten in action on a powder day. For protection from the rowdiest weather, the Norrona is unmatched.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Warmth


The Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell's thin shell fabric offers little to no insulating value, nor does it claim to. This fact costs the jacket some in overall scoring. However, this is not a problem for those interested in a piece-by-piece layering system for skiing. Other shell jackets have thicker fabrics that block the wind a little bit better and keep marginally more heat inside. If you use this jacket, you sign up to put some thought into your layering system each day to keep warm.

Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell ski jacket - cold, stormy days in the tetons call for a dialed layering system...
Cold, stormy days in the Tetons call for a dialed layering system. The Lofoten Pro Shell doesn't offer much warmth on its own but does offer just enough space to throw on a puffy underneath.
Credit: Meagan Buck Porter

Weather Resistance


With excellent Gore-Tex fabric, immaculate construction, generous hood and sleeves, interior wrist "gaiters," and a powder skirt/pants integration that is unparalleled, the Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell jacket is one of the most weather-resistant jackets in our test. It is the only shell jacket in our test that has internal wrist cuffs and the only jacket of any kind that you can zip securely to dedicated pants (we also tested the Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Pants. The two together make an excellent combination.)

Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell ski jacket - weather protection comes from both materials and overall design. the...
Weather protection comes from both materials and overall design. The hood tailoring of the Norrona is among the best in our test.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Ventilation


Ventilation is important in a ski jacket. Resort skiing and snowboarding takes place in an ever-changing environment and within a wide spectrum of exertion levels. Adjusting your suit to accommodate is very important. Hardshell jackets can be stuffy, so the Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell includes long pit vents without any mesh lining to help dump heat. We found the Gore-Tex fabric used in this jacket to be moderately breathable, on par with other Gore-Tex jackets.

Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell ski jacket - backcountry skiing takes a lot of effort, from putting on your skins...
Backcountry skiing takes a lot of effort, from putting on your skins to walking up the skintrack. Uphill users will appreciate the large pit vents of the Lofoten Pro Shell.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Ski Features


Norrona forsakes some ski-specific attributes to keep the design clean and light. Notably, it has the fewest pockets of any jacket in our test. There are no handwarmer pockets, but there are two large chest pockets. There is also no headphone routing nor any RECCO reflector. There is a goggle wipe, a pass pocket, and, as already mentioned, a few options for attaching the jacket to associated pants. If you are the type of skier who stuffs every pocket full of trail maps, lip balm, M&M's, and pocket change, check out one with more features.

Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell ski jacket - in some ways, the norrona could be mistaken for a climbing or hiking...
In some ways, the Norrona could be mistaken for a climbing or hiking shell jacket. However, its cut and some of the features belie the ski design. The internal wrist gaiters, powder skirt, and plethora of pockets tell the ski story.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Fit and Comfort


Everyone loved the fit and feel of the Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell. The cut is close, much like an alpine climbing shell jacket. There's just enough room underneath for insulating layers for all but the most arctic cold conditions. Much of the comfort can be attributed to the lightweight, flexible fabric the Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell is made of. Thin fabric like this allows free movement.

Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell ski jacket - the lofoten's internal wrist gaiters are built in. most dig these...
The Lofoten's internal wrist gaiters are built in. Most dig these. If you don't like them, you can cut them out. They are hard to ignore otherwise.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Style


The Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell is only available in colorful styles, which could be a problem for some. Beyond the bright colors, testers appreciated the trim fit and clean design. The lack of pockets and the easy draping fabric appeared svelte and uncluttered. This look is a great style that we hope sticks around.

Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell ski jacket - norrona's bright color pallet will certainly make a statement in the...
Norrona's bright color pallet will certainly make a statement in the lift line.
Credit: Meagan Buck Porter

Should You Buy the Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell?


The Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell is one of the most weather-resistant jackets we have ever reviewed, but it does not keep the user warm or provide many useful ski features. Gore-Tex shells are invariably expensive, and they also require additional layers underneath to provide any warmth at skiing temperatures. This jacket is not for everyone, but if you need a shell jacket that will keep you dry no matter what, consider the Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell a contender.

What Other Ski Jackets Should You Consider?


The Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell is a niche piece for users who need the absolute best in weather protection at any price. If you are a more casual resort skier or rider, a warmer, less expensive, and feature-laden option like the The North Face ThermoBall ECO Snow Triclimate or Helly Hansen Alpha LifaLoft is likely more up your alley. The Arc'teryx Sabre AR Jacket is a more subdued option for professionals who want the technicality without the flair.

Jediah Porter
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