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Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex Light Pro - Women's Review

An incredibly versatile model that is competent for a wide range of adventures
Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex Light Pro - Women's
Photo: Norrona
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $559 List
Pros:  Lightweight, breathable, fully featured, durable
Cons:  Not the lightest on the market
Manufacturer:   Norrøna
By Lyra Pierotti ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 31, 2020
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85
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Weather Protection - 20% 9
  • Mobility - 20% 9
  • Breathability - 20% 8
  • Weight - 15% 8
  • Features - 10% 8
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Versatility - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The Norrona Trollveggen took us by storm. It is a very simple, lightweight hardshell jacket. It has a longer torso and spacious arms, making it versatile enough for extended use in alpine terrain, but the shape keeps it from feeling bulky or boxy. It's a highly versatile hardshell that is light enough to earn a spot in your summer mountaineering wardrobe but burly enough to keep you warm and dry.

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Price $559 List$297.50 at Backcountry
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Star Rating
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Pros Lightweight, breathable, fully featured, durableHighly versatile, breathable, lightweightGreat range of motion, light weight, great weather protection, versatileUltralight, breathable, redefines versatility as a very adequate wind shirtHigh quality, lightweight, durable, great value
Cons Not the lightest on the marketExpensive, still made of lighter and somewhat less durable fabricShorter torso length, some features overdoneThin, no pockets, not suitable for high mountain use or severe weatherLess features, somewhat less versatile
Bottom Line This is a stellar hardshell for a variety of mountain adventuresReintroduces key features from the more stripped-down Beta SL to make an impressively versatile hardshell jacketBurly and still lightweight, with thoughtful features that make it very versatileAn ultralight hardshell that moonlights as a wind shirt; our dream combo come trueAn excellent hardshell, especially for the cost; it is light, durable, and widely useful
Rating Categories Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex... Beta SL Hybrid Beta AR Jacket Norvan SL Hoody Arc'teryx Zeta SL - Women's
Weather Protection (20%)
9
9
9
7
8
Mobility (20%)
9
9
8
9
9
Breathability (20%)
8
9
8
10
8
Weight (15%)
8
7
6
10
8
Features (10%)
8
10
8
6
8
Durability (10%)
9
8
9
5
6
Versatility (5%)
7
9
9
5
7
Specs Norrona... Beta SL Hybrid Beta AR Jacket Norvan SL Hoody Arc'teryx Zeta SL...
Measured Weight 9 oz 11.6 oz 13.4 oz 4 oz 9.5 oz
Category Mid weight, Regular fit Light weight, athletic fit Mid weight, Regular fit Mid/ light weight, regular fit Mid wieght, regular fit
Length of back, from base of neck to bottom 28 in 26 in 26 in 26.00 27 in
Material 40D GORE-TEX Pro fabric N42p GORE-TEX fabric with Gore C-KNIT backer technology N40r GORE-TEX fabric with PACLITE Plus product technology N40p-X 3L Gore-Tex on body; N80p-X GORE-TEX Pro on arms Gore-Tex ShakeDry 40-denier ripstop (N40r) GORE-TEX PACLITE Plus
Pockets 2 chest, 1 interior chest 2 hand 2 handwarmer, 1 internal chest None 2 hand
Helmet Compatible Hood Yes Yes Yes No No
Harness and Backpack Strap Compatible Yes, high pockets Yes Yes, high pockets Not advised Yes
Draw cords 1 hood, 2 waist 3 hood, 2 waist 4 hood, 2 waist 1 hood 1 hood, 2 waist
Adjustable Cuffs Yes, Velcro Yes, Velcro Yes, Velcro No Yes, Velcro
Pit Zips Yes Yes Yes No No
Two-Way Front Zipper No No No No No
Warranty Policy 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 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

The Norrona Trollveggen is a burly shell designed for big mountains and severe weather, but which is still lightweight and flexible enough to be very comfortable.

Performance Comparison


Having a blast in stormy weather, wearing the Norrona Trollveggen...
Having a blast in stormy weather, wearing the Norrona Trollveggen hard shell jacket.
Photo: Caitlin Ames

Weather Protection


Norwegians certainly know harsh weather. They've been braving it for centuries. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Norrona would create this burly shell jacket. The Trollveggen is made of rugged 40D GORE-TEX Pro fabric, which provides the highest level of protection for those venturing into rugged, cold, mountainous regions. Plus, it is durable enough that you'll be confident scratching around on sections of alpine rock—a hardshell jacket with a hole in it is not worth much in this category.


The burly hood is adjustable with a single pull cord in the back of the head, and the brim is stiff to withstand strong gusts and keep precip out of your eyes. The asymmetrical cuffs are interesting: They dip lower across the back of your hand to help fling water droplets off instead of dripping them directly onto your gloves and saturating them. The fit of the jacket is roomy enough to allow you to layer warm clothing underneath, and the pit zips provide a rapid way to let excess heat escape, without letting rain or snow inside. They unzip from either end, which is our favorite design as it allows you to open the vents minimally and promotes better airflow.

The asymmetrical cuffs fall lower, protecting our gloves well from...
The asymmetrical cuffs fall lower, protecting our gloves well from the precip.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Mobility


The Trollveggen provides good mobility with an athletic fit. The arms are a little more spacious to allow room for warm layers without inhibiting your movement. This is an excellent jacket for technical alpine climbing. The latest update feels narrower in the shoulders than its predecessor, which earned mixed results depending on the shape of the reviewer. Climbers tend to be more broad-shouldered and prefer unrestricted movement, so this was not an improvement in our view.


The arms are long enough to seal around gloves without restricting reach or mobility, and the hood similarly allowed ease of motion even when all sealed up in the worst weather. The single cinching cord in the hood seats the material like a crown around your head and helps the hood move with you when you look behind you—rather than staying in place and blocking your vision when your head turns, but the hood stays put. We liked this jacket for ice climbing as it provided a good seal from the elements while allowing good range of motion even with layers underneath.

Testing mobility in the controlled gym environment: The Norrona...
Testing mobility in the controlled gym environment: The Norrona Trollveggen allows great ease of movement when pulling technical climbing moves!
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Breathability


In our experience, breathability is a combination of fabric quality, thickness, and ventilation. Norrona designed this jacket with an impeccably efficient blend of these attributes—the fabric is as light as it can be, while still offering top-notch protection, and the pit zips are long and open from either end.


With one zipper at each end, instead of both butted up against each other (as many of the other jackets with double zipper pit zips), this means you can ventilate from your core and arm at the same time, thus promoting airflow while minimizing the size of the hole necessary to ventilate. Brilliant.

The Norrona Trollveggen has lengthy pit zips that unzip from either...
The Norrona Trollveggen has lengthy pit zips that unzip from either end, our favorite design for efficient ventilation.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Weight


Norrona designed this jacket to have everything you need to withstand the worst storms while still being reasonably lightweight to earn a spot in your technical climbing kit. They kept things relatively lightweight through thoughtful design, minimizing any redundancies such as extra unneeded pockets, and uses small, simple drawcord adjustment points. At 13 ounces, this jacket falls between our light and nimble climbing specialist jackets and our expedition savvy shells, and that pretty well describes its utility.


Features


The Norrona is full of thoughtful features—not too many, but just enough to offer everything you want in a durable, reliable hardshell, without adding unnecessary weight or complication.


From head to tail, here are our favorite features:

The hood is very storm ready but has only one drawcord adjustment that cinches the cord, which is in a circle, so it wraps like a crown around your head. We love the simplicity and weight savings and found the adjustability to be plenty adequate for our various climbing adventures and weather. There is a flap inside the hood, under the brim, which helps seal out precipitation and wind as well. The cord feels thin for the resistance it takes to cinch the hood, however, which raises long-term durability concerns. On the inside of the hood, there is a large patch of soft material where the collar touches your face—always a favorite feature in cold regions.

Nicely sealed from the elements, helmet and all, in the Norrona...
Nicely sealed from the elements, helmet and all, in the Norrona Trollveggen.
Photo: Caitlin Ames

The Napoleon style pockets are high enough to allow access even when wearing a harness. They are not designed to tuck your hands into—rather, these are stormproof pockets for quick access to navigation tools or small snacks. And if you need something to be extra safe in that pocket, there is an additional zippered pocket inside the left chest pocket as well. The pocket design is optimized for technical climbing—we loved it for this purpose. And even around town, we didn't miss the "handwarmer" pockets. The zippers are waterproof, but there are also storm flaps over them. This inspires confidence when tucking our phone inside (as that is often what we use for navigation these days), but it does make it a little more cumbersome to get into the pockets.

The double chest pocket is novel and we're not sure we're convinced...
The double chest pocket is novel and we're not sure we're convinced it's better than having another chest pocket inside the jacket, as in the previous versions.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

The drawcord hem is reasonably well designed. You simply grab the loop of cord to tighten it, and when you want to loosen the fit, there is a more sizeable release button sandwiched inside the fabric (so it doesn't get iced up), which is easy to operate wearing gloves. The tightening had a little more resistance to the pull than we think is wise for the thickness of elastic cord used, similar to the hood cinch design, raising similar durability concerns.

And that pretty much sums up the features in this jacket: streamlined, efficient, simple, and thoughtful. Great for technical climbing and anything else where you prioritize simplicity, utility, and ease of movement.

Durability


The Trollveggen is a durable jacket, using the more rugged line of Pro Gore-Tex. The jacket's 40D GORE-TEX Pro fabric held up well to climbing, and the simplicity of the features ensures there is less to fail on this jacket. The main durability concern we had when testing this jacket was around the use of a relatively thin elastic cord in the hood and hem adjustments. When we pulled to tighten them, it strained the cord a little too much against the resistance of the tightening mechanism that we are concerned about the longevity of that cord.


Versatility


The Norrona Trollveggen is great for all mountain use, but also...
The Norrona Trollveggen is great for all mountain use, but also useful on cold and wet adventures in more moderate altitudes and latitudes.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

The Trollveggen is one of the more versatile jackets in this review. It is simple, streamlined, and lightweight enough to earn a spot on expeditions and fast-and-light adventures alike. It is breathable enough for high-level aerobic activities, and rugged enough for burly storms and rough conditions.


This jacket is also compact and breathable enough to operate as your rain jacket for around town (in cooler climates), or even for those very wet bike commutes. The fit is trim enough that you won't feel you have extra material flapping around and roomy enough to accommodate layers underneath. The jacket is also supple and close-fitting enough that you won't feel too awkward putting a parka on over it for those cold belays or slow climbing conditions. Overall, it's a very nicely balanced jacket!

Value


This is priced a little higher than we think it needs to be, compared to the notoriously expensive Arc'teryx jackets. However, it is versatile for all-mountain use, and most levels of aerobic output, so you won't need to invest in multiple hardshell jackets if you live, work, and play in cooler climates.

Conclusion


The Norrona Trollveggen is an outstanding hardshell jacket. It is well suited to a variety of mountain adventures, offering burly weather protection in a surprisingly light and breathable shell. We loved this jacket for steep, exposed, technical climbs in the mountains—it kept us warm and dry, allowing us to layer clothing underneath, but it also breathes and vents well when our heart rate climbed and we needed to shed heat in a hurry. This is an excellent all-around hardshell for just about any mountain adventure.

The Norrona Trollveggen: A versatile, durable, comfortable hard...
The Norrona Trollveggen: A versatile, durable, comfortable hard shell best suited to cooler regions.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Lyra Pierotti