Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody - Women's Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody stands in a league of its own as far as running jackets are concerned. This pricey piece is more like a ventilated, lightweight raincoat than the other running jackets we tested. If you need some serious rain protection, we cannot recommend this jacket enough. Read on to see if there is anything we didn't love about the Norvan Hoody.
Oftentimes, we find that breathability comes at the price of weather resistance and vice versa. We do not mean to dissuade you, but the Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody is by no means the most breathable jacket in our lineup. On a warmer day, it absolutely feels like you wrapped yourself in a garbage bag. However, if rainy runs are in your future, this jacket will suit your needs perfectly. This lightweight Gore-Tex ShakeDry casing is svelte and nimble, giving it a great balance between breathability and waterproofness.
If you are a fairweather runner or don't see much precipitation, the Norvan Hoody won't be the top pick for you. But if you like to run no matter the weather, and the skies frequently open up on you, this jacket is a worthy investment. It heats up as you run, but there isn't another jacket you'll want on your team when the conditions are severe. This jacket has been thoughtfully designed to wick moisture while also providing a waterproof surface to keep you cruising.
We are so excited to write about the weather resistance of the Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody. We have never met a running jacket like this one. It is more like a shelter than a jacket. The entire jacket is made of Gore-Tex ShakeDry material, which makes raindrops bead on its surface immediately.
The Norvan Hoody is full of thoughtful features that add to its bombproof exterior. The wrist cuffs and waistband have elastic sewn in. This acts as a seal to help keep wet weather out.
The hood is constructed with a small brim to keep rain from your eyes, and the front zipper zips high to encase your entire torso. No matter how much rain came down, our clothing under the Norvan never got wet. Furthermore, we love how well the Norvan blocks cold winds. As we are sure you know, nothing ruins the view from high atop an alpine peak like an icy breeze cutting through your clothing. The Norvan kept our body temps up even when the weather seemed to be against us on our most punishing runs.
Comfort and Mobility
The technology of outdoor gear has come a long way. This is super apparent with the comfort and mobility of the Norvan SL Hoody. Gone are the days of noisy, stiff, trash bag-like jackets.
Despite its lack of elastic material in its body, the Norvan Hoody moves as you do. It isn't the softest jacket we've tested, but the softest jackets we know don't repel moisture at this high level.
The Norvan Hoody offers a middle-ground type fit. While streamlined in its profile, it offers plenty of space to stack layers beneath it. But it is also incredibly comfortable to wear over a single, moisture-wicking layer. We tend to be really particular about the fit of the shoulder panels on running jackets. We love that we have plenty of space to thrive and move freely with this jacket on our backs. If you are looking for a soft and gentle jacket that repels a light mist, the Norvan will be way too much for you. The comfort and mobility of this jacket are great for what it is — an epically rugged trail runner's raincoat made for missions under extreme conditions. We love that we have found a jacket that provides the perfect balance between comfort and extreme weather protection.
Arc'teryx added watershed technology to omit the need for a double layer of fabric. This is part of why the Norvan SL Hoody is so light and packable. It weighs in at a mere 4.1 ounces for a women's size small and packs down to the size of a fist in its own personal pocket.
The Norvan is the jacket we keep in our running packs at all times. Even on days when the sun is shining, we stash this lightweight stunner into our packs just in case the weather turns.
Because it is so light and small when packed, we hardly notice it. We love the thoughtful pouch for stowing the jacket. Many of the jackets that we tested pack neatly into their own pockets. We like that the designers at Arc'teryx took it a step further and added a minuscule pouch with a drawstring for all of your compact stashing needs.
The Norvan SL Hoody features are a bit different from the features we are used to seeing on some of the popular running jackets. We have already outlined some of the bells and whistles put for by Arc'teryx in this jacket. We discussed the feather-weight storage pouch, the slight brim of the hood for added protection, and the elastic cuffing around the edges.
The Norvan also has reflective elements built into its design. While the entire jacket isn't reflective, the logos and zipper edges add a bit of sparkle to increase visibility. In addition to the brim of the hood, the hood can be rolled up and stashed out of the way with a single snap if you don't need it. The front of the hood has a soft cord you can cinch to further secure the water repellent hood in place.
A lot of crucial details come into play when assessing the value of a running jacket. We like to include micro-metrics, such as durability and the variety of functions. The Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody is, by far, the most expensive jacket we've reviewed for runners. Though the price tag is significant, we think that the Norvan is worth the money. As frugally minded as we are, this jacket rocks. Arc'teryx constructs incredibly durable products, and the Norvan Hoody follows suit by being profoundly rugged. Upon becoming acquainted with this jacket, we stopped wearing all of our other raincoats. Because the Norvan became our daily raincoat, we absolutely think that shelling out the (large) amount of cash is worth it in this case.
The Arc'teryx Norvan SL Hoody is a sound choice for running in wet and windy conditions. From its thoughtful design details to its Gore-Tex water repellence, this protective jacket deserves one of our Top Pick Awards. The price tag is a bit daunting, but once you tackle a few rainy day runs in this jacket, we don't think you'll ever look back.
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