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Mammut Nordwand Pro - Women's Review

Up for extreme weather, if you’re willing to pay for it
Mammut Nordwand Pro - Women's
Photo: Mammut
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Price:  $825 List | $577.50 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Durable, excellent features for extreme weather, comfortable, great movement
Cons:  Expensive, too burly for warmer weather adventures
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Lyra Pierotti ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 29, 2019
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 10
  • Weather Protection - 20% 9
  • Mobility - 20% 7
  • Breathability - 20% 7
  • Weight - 15% 4
  • Features - 10% 9
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Versatility - 5% 6

Our Verdict

The Nordwand from Mammut is an exceptionally well made hardshell jacket for alpine climbing and high mountain use. This jacket is well-suited to routes that involve all sorts of ice, snow, and rock, and is even great for skiing with the removable internal powder skirt. It is made of thick, burly, weather-proof Gore-Tex Pro, which is not great for warmer temperatures, but ideal for truly tough conditions. The stiffer fabric is highly durable, and Mammut carefully crafted the jacket to allow total freedom of movement; we're still not sure how they pull that off. The feature set makes this jacket extremely easy to use, even when the weather turns for the worst—the Nordwand is ready, if you are.

Updated Colors

The photo above depicts a current colorway for this jacket. Though the navy blue model we tested is no longer available, this season's Nordwand appears identical to the last.

December 2019

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Price $577.50 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Durable, excellent features for extreme weather, comfortable, great movementHighly versatile, breathable, lightweightLightweight, breathable, fully featured, durableGreat range of motion, light weight, great weather protection, versatileHigh quality, lightweight, durable, great value
Cons Expensive, too burly for warmer weather adventuresExpensive, still made of lighter and somewhat less durable fabricNot the lightest on the marketShorter torso length, some features overdoneLess features, somewhat less versatile
Bottom Line Up for extreme weather, if you’re willing to pay for itRetains an impressive focus on lightweight while introducing key features to make it highly versatileAn incredibly versatile model that is competent for a wide range of adventuresAn excellent all around shell jacket for most mountain usesA great value; it is light, durable, and useful on many types of adventures
Rating Categories Mammut Nordwand Pro... Arc'teryx Beta SL H... Norrona Trollveggen... Arc'teryx Beta AR Arc'teryx Zeta SL -...
Weather Protection (20%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Mobility (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Breathability (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
4.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
Features (10%)
9.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Versatility (5%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Mammut Nordwand Pro... Arc'teryx Beta SL H... Norrona Trollveggen... Arc'teryx Beta AR Arc'teryx Zeta SL -...
Measured Weight 19.5 oz (17.5 w/o snow skirt) 11.6 oz 9 oz 13.4 oz 9.5 oz
Category Mid weight, regular fit Light weight, athletic fit Mid weight, Regular fit Mid weight, Regular fit Mid wieght, regular fit
Length of back, from base of neck to bottom 27 in 26 in 28 in 26 in 27 in
Material 100% nylon Gore-Tex N42p GORE-TEX fabric with Gore C-KNIT backer technology N40r GORE-TEX fabric with PACLITE Plus product technology 40D GORE-TEX Pro fabric N40p-X 3L Gore-Tex on body; N80p-X GORE-TEX Pro on arms 40-denier ripstop (N40r) GORE-TEX PACLITE Plus
Pockets 1 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 sleeve, 2 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered 2 hand 2 chest, 1 interior chest 2 handwarmer, 1 internal chest 2 hand
Helmet Compatible Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Harness and Backpack Strap Compatible Yes Yes Yes, high pockets Yes, high pockets Yes
Draw cords 3 hood, 2 waist 3 hood, 2 waist 1 hood, 2 waist 4 hood, 2 waist 1 hood, 2 waist
Adjustable Cuffs Yes, Velcro Yes, Velcro Yes, Velcro Yes, Velcro Yes, Velcro
Pit Zips Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Two-Way Front Zipper Yes No No No No
Warranty Policy Practical lifetime warranty - Material or workmanship defects will be replaced or repaired at Mammut's discretion Practical lifetime warranty - Material or workmanship defects will be replaced or repaired at Arc'teryx's discretion 5 year - production and material defects Practical lifetime warranty - Material or workmanship defects will be replaced or repaired at Arc'teryx's discretion Practical lifetime warranty - Material or workmanship defects will be replaced or repaired at Arc'teryx's discretion

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Nordwand Pro HS was a big hit for cold, icy adventures.
The Nordwand Pro HS was a big hit for cold, icy adventures.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Weather Protection


The Gore-Tex Pro fabric is the burliest waterproof breathable material offered by Gore-Tex. This is designed for high mountain use, tested on the roughest terrain and toughest weather. The Nordwand is designed for alpine climbing, ice climbing, and mountaineering, and ready for sideways snowstorms and biting wind. Along with the Arc'teryx Alpha SV, this is one of the burliest and most weatherproof hardshell jackets in this review.

The Nordwand keeps the cold weather out, and still allows easy...
The Nordwand keeps the cold weather out, and still allows easy access to your harness.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Mobility


The Nordwand is designed for technical climbing and excelled in our ice climbing tests; this jacket moved with us no matter what direction we took. This excellent articulation comes from Mammut's own Vertical Motion ConstructionTM and their High Reach Technology. However they do that in the manufacturing process, it certainly translates well to freedom of movement in the complex and rugged high mountain environment.

This jacket is most similar to the Arc'teryx Alpha SV with only some minor differences that shake out in slight differences in the metrics. In terms of mobility, they are both excellent; the Nordwand, however, has a more slender fit while Arc'teryx tends to feel roomier in the torso.

Swing with ease in the Nordwand, it is designed for climbing...
Swing with ease in the Nordwand, it is designed for climbing movements of all kinds.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Breathability


The Nordwand uses Gore-Tex Pro, a breathable three-layer waterproof shell fabric. This is the thickest and burliest of the Gore products, and certainly not as breathable as the lighter weight Gore-Tex Active or even their Paclite technology. However, the Nordwand is the type of jacket you would be wearing in frigid, harsh environments, so the Pro fabric is an excellent choice. For those moments where the wind dies down, and you're baking in the sun, the Nordwand has pit vents to shed heat in a hurry. There are two zipper pulls, too, which makes it easy to calibrate how open you want the vents, and where to open them, so the fabric doesn't flap, let in snow or rain, or otherwise get in your way.

The pit vents can be calibrated to your level of venting needs with...
The pit vents can be calibrated to your level of venting needs with two zippers.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Weight


The Nordwand is the among heaviest jackets in this review. To be fair, we removed the snow skirt inside the jacket, since most other jackets did not have one, and re-measured. It was still one of the heaviest in the review.

If you are traveling to the types of places that require a shell as burly as this one, we think you'll really appreciate it; it's well worth the weight. This type of shell jacket is just going to be a bit of a commitment in terms of adding weight to your pack.

Features


The Nordwand is stacked with snow, ice, and alpine-ready features; this is likely where it picks up a few more ounces than our other favorite expedition-ready hardshell jacket, the Arc'teryx Alpha SV. The Nordwand has a snow skirt, great for skiing powder, and it is removable for when you don't want it on ice or alpine climbs. The jacket has pit vents with two zipper pulls to calibrate the size of the vent and where you want it—this helps to optimize heat expulsion while keeping blowing snow out, ideally.

The hood is helmet compatible and has a strip of elastic and mesh to help it seal around your face. It is adjustable with one hand in the back, but it takes two hands to adjust the toggles in the front (mildly annoying and difficult to figure out which way to pull to tighten, but easy to loosen).

The mesh elastic flap helps seal and secure the hood around your...
The mesh elastic flap helps seal and secure the hood around your head or helmet.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

The Nordwand has pockets galore; two high hand pockets allow easy access above a hip belt or harness. There is an external chest pocket big enough for a large smartphone, and a left arm pocket (great for RFID ski passes). All zippers are waterproof except that side arm pocket. The main zipper can also be unzipped from the bottom, which makes it easier to access your belay loop on your harness.

Durability


The Gore-Tex Pro fabric is an incredibly durable product; this is the shell material of choice for polar and high altitude adventures. It is what we trust in the most extreme environments. Mammut layers excellent design and manufacturing on top of their use of the best fabrics in this Nordwand jacket. This jacket can handle the roughest conditions and will hold up to sloppy use as you yard on the zippers in a hurry to adjust pit vents or access snacks, maps, or your phone.

Versatility


The Nordwand is highly versatile for cold, snowy, alpine adventures. This is not a jacket optimized for temperatures where it is raining—this is a thick, burly shell best used in snowy, icy, alpine environments. If that is your destination, this jacket will hold up to a wide variety of activities, from ice climbing to resort skiing and technical ice climbs.

Climbing high with the Nordwand Pro HS.
Climbing high with the Nordwand Pro HS.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Value


This jacket is no doubt pricey. This is a highly specialized hardshell jacket for high mountain and rugged winter use and is not an all-rounder. But if you avidly pursue long ice lines, technical alpine routes, or steep and deep ski descents, this might be something to fit in your budget.

Conclusion


Mammut pats themselves on the back with their description of the women's specific Nordwand Pro HS on their website: "Woman power. Mountaineering has long since ceased to be an exclusively male preserve. As proven not only by successful expeditions and first ascents on the world's most difficult mountains and faces but also by the next generation of talent. The women's expedition squads are setting the direction: steep, long, adventurous and extreme. We have therefore designed identical women's items in our new Eiger Extreme collection - with a lot of help from our female athletes. For instance, apart from female-specific tailoring, the Nordwand Pro HS Hooded Jacket Women is based on exactly the same construction as the men's version."

It is true that many companies do not make equivalently technical garments for women as they do for men, and this has long been a frustration of our testers and athletes. Of those who do make equivalent garments, women have developed the joke that they really just "shrink it and pink it." Also, unfortunately, this has long been true. And while we do not believe that Mammut deserves a gold star for making a technical product that is actually designed for women with help from their female athletes, we do appreciate it; this, in our opinion, should be the standard, not the exception. At this point in history, if Mammut had somehow figured out how to be even more inclusive, going beyond the gender binary, then we might think about that gold star.

It was easy to enjoy a day out in the Nordwand without worrying...
It was easy to enjoy a day out in the Nordwand without worrying about our layering.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Lyra Pierotti

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