In a neck in neck race with our Editors' Choice, the Norrona Trollveggen Dri3 - Women's almost won for its exceptional features, comfortable and stretchy fabrics, and great design. It's also $100 less than the Theta, making it a more affordable shell. Where it fell short was its odd constricting fit across the chest and the comparative weather proofing wasn't as good as the Gore-Tex Pro shells. It also had tiny hand pockets that could hardly accommodate a small pair of gloves. A big plus was its thicker shell, making it the warmest tested. As a result it wasn't as light but still packed up really small. What we really loved about the Norrona was the fact that when we put our arms up, the jacket did not lift, making it a superb shell for any avid ice climber, mountaineer, or rock climber. Not only that, but its fabric is just as breathable as the Mountain Hardwear Torsun - Women's, allowing you to keep it on while hiking uphill.
Norrona Trollveggen Dri3 - Women's Review
Cons: Pinches under the armpits, heavy construction
Our Analysis and Test Results
Discontinued for 2016
While this model has been discontinued, Norrona did release a slightly different but updated jacket in their Trollveggen Gore-Tex Light Pro Jacket for Women. Featuring a lighter yet more durable fabric, this jacket is offered in black, neon green, bright red, and ice blue. Check out a side-by-side comparison here, with the new Light Pro Jacket on the left and the Dri3 that we tested on the right.
A great jacket constructed for ascent-oriented adventures, the Norrona Trollveggen Dri3 - Women's almost won our Editors' Choice award for its stretchy, breathable fabric and long, roomy arms and cuffs. In the end, however, it lost out for its average weather protection.
The Dri3 hydrophobic membrane keeps you dry when it gets cold outside. It also hosts a three-layer shell, with the liner, membrane, and face fabric welded together. The DWR finish kept beading water for about one minute before the fabric began to absorb moisture, just like all fabrics except Gore-Tex Pro. Congruent with the rest, it still kept us dry, and was thus quite waterproof.
That said, it still performed as a great wind and waterproof shell, just not as waterproof as the Arc'teryx Alpha SV Jacket - Women's and the Arc'teryx Theta. To top it off, because the shell was thicker (and heavier) than its competitors, the Norrona Trollveggen Dri3 was definitely the warmest.
Mobility & Fit
This product scored top points for fabric mobility and was comparable to our Best Buy Award winner, the Mountain Hardwear Torsun. The jacket features an adjustable waist and hem pulls to keep the warmth in; these also help the jacket move with your body. The fabric was also softer than the Gore-Tex jackets, allowing you to move without the rigid "swish swish" sound.
The best part of the mobility feature is that it does not lift when you put your hands above your head. It has a tight fit across the chest, but we think that it's part of the design that prevents it from lifting. It also has a cut that ends just above the bum, so it's not too short and not too long. Perfect for a day of ice climbing.
Weight & Packed Size
The Norrona Trollveggen Dri3 was the second heaviest jacket we tested, weighing in at 16.25 ounces. Unfortunately, this didn't earn this shell extra points. However, it still packed down to the size of a one-liter water bottle - similar to the other jackets tested. However, because of its flexible fabric, it packed smaller than the Arc'teryx Theta AR - Women's and Alpha SV shells. As a result it still scored 6/10!
Breathability & Venting
We were really excited about the ENORMOUS vents on this shell, the largest of the lot. The Dri3 membrane is comparable to the Dry.Q.Elite and Gore-Tex two-layer technology for breathability, utilizing a porous membrane. It can pass larger molecules through its membrane, allowing faster fabric ventilation than the Gore-Tex Pro. Combining these large vents and breathable fabrics, the it scored top marks for breathability, comparable to the Patagonia Piolet - Women's and the Outdoor Research Clairvoyant.
The features of this hardshell jacket are what really put it in the running for the Editors' Choice. We loved the helmet-compatible storm hood. It features one-hand tightening and loosening adjustments that you could use with big frumpy gloves.
We also loved the enormous wrist cuffs with bomber wrist enclosures, allowing you to wear gloves either above or below the cuffs. The soft chin protector was one of the largest and the garaged zipper kept our chin and lips protected on the most frigid of days. Where the Norrona Trollveggen Dri3 lost a point was for its shallow pockets. We really would have loved to see more room to a) store more items and b) use as a hand warming station.
Sitting at a 7/10, this product scored many points for its great construction, sealed seams, and fantastic stitching patterns. It also hosts a big toothed zipper, which is a more durable feature. The only signs of wear and tear after three months was that one of the pull tabs popped off from the waist adjustment. It was an easy fix, but makes us question the durability of the small parts. Also, we didn't like Norrona Trollveggen's warranty. Unlike all other jackets tested, this European company only offers a five-year warranty and most of the repairs require a fee. All other jackets have a lifetime warranty that covers the cost of the things that will most likely break like zippers.
Like most of the shells tested, this one is fairly versatile and could be used pretty much anywhere outdoors. Its weight is a little heavier, but still not so heavy that you can't take it with you on lighter missions.
The best application would lie in anything that involves going up, simply because of its mobile construction. As a result, we would recommend this for sports like ice climbing, cold multi-pitch rock climbing, or long alpine adventures.
At $470, the Norrona Trollveggen Dri3 - Women's hosts a very high value for a middle of the road price. It's less pricey than the Arc'teryx shells, with a trade-off for less weather protection and about an ounce more weight. It also offers more features than, say the Mountain Hardwear Torsun. So the value is high, and we think the price is right.
A great jacket hosting many ascent-oriented features, this hardshell is perfect for ice climbing, and a runner up for the Editors' Choice Award.
Other Versions or Accessories
Trollveggen dri3 Jacket
- Men's version
- Same features as the women's version
- Five year warranty
— Amber King