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Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro - Women's Review

This high end shell is a striking and thoughtfully designed piece for the avid backcountry skier
Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro - Women's
Photo: Norrona
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $699 List | $559.20 at Backcountry
Pros:  Durable, weather resistant, thoughtful design, excellent for ski touring
Cons:  Expensive, less ideal for regular resort use
Manufacturer:   Norrona
By Jacqueline Kearney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 7, 2021
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 16
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 9
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 8
  • Warmth - 20% 3
  • Ventilation - 20% 9
  • Style - 10% 9
  • Features - 10% 6

Our Verdict

We absolutely adore the backcountry-oriented Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro shell. Made with the highest-end waterproof, breathable Gore-tex Pro material, this jacket could not be beat for a combination of uphill performance and weather resistance. The addition of a few touring-specific features like a removable powder skirt and rescue pocket confirmed this shell as our top-tier recommendation for backcountry skiing use. Its style is also on point. For the skier that doesn't want to sacrifice downhill performance in the name of uphill breathability, the Norrona Lofoten is a great investment.

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Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $699 List
$559.20 at Backcountry
$675 List
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Compare at 3 sellers
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Pros Durable, weather resistant, thoughtful design, excellent for ski touringDurable, weather resistant, stylish, breathable, refinedWarm, lofty insulation, soft, very mobile despite insulation, excellent comfort and fitRelatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilationWarm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile
Cons Expensive, less ideal for regular resort useExpensive, powder skirt non-removableLackluster ventilationNon-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiersSlim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are worn
Bottom Line This high end shell is a striking and thoughtfully designed piece for the avid backcountry skierA high-tech, durable, and weather-resistant resort shell that stands out above the competitionA super warm and soft resort jacket with a cool utilitarian look, this is perfect for someone who tends a little colderAn excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountryThis jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill, all at a reasonable price
Rating Categories Norrona Lofoten Gor... Arc'teryx Sentinel AR Helly Hansen Powder... Outdoor Research Ca... The North Face Ther...
Weather Resistance (20%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Comfort And Fit (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
Warmth (20%)
3.0
5.0
8.0
2.0
8.0
Ventilation (20%)
9.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
4.0
Style (10%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Features (10%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Norrona Lofoten Gor... Arc'teryx Sentinel AR Helly Hansen Powder... Outdoor Research Ca... The North Face Ther...
Insulation None Flannel backer Body: 60g PrimaLoft Sleeves: 40g PrimaLoft None 100% Postconsumer recycled polyester
Waterproofing Gore-Tex Pro Gore-Tex PFC free DWR 3-layer Pertex Shield 2-layer DryVent
Weight (in pounds) 1.3 lbs (with powderskirt) 1.3 lbs 2.2 lbs 1.2 lbs 2.0 lbs
# of Pockets 2 zippered chest, 1 zippered arm, 1 zippered internal, 1 internal mesh 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered pass, one internal mesh, 1 zippered internal 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 2 internal drop-in 2 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 1 internal goggle Liner: 2 zippered hand
Main Fabric 70Dx70D recycled Gore-Tex Pro 70D nylon 70% nylon, 30% polyester 100% Nylon 100% Nylon
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pit Zips? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cuff construction Velcro with wrist gaiters Velcro Velcro with wrist gaiters Velcro Velcro
Powder skirt? Yes, removable Yes Yes Yes Yes, behind insulating layer
RECCO? No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

We absolutely loved this Gore-Tex shell from Norrona. Norrona has been making streamlined, no-frills gear for years, and they continue to impress with the Lofoten. This jacket is constructed of top-of-the-line 3L waterproof, breathable membrane, and its performance (and price tag) shows that. The sleek design leaves no room for weather to permeate, and its bright style will stand out on the hill. While this jacket performs very well inbounds, we think it is best suited for the backcountry where its minimalism can shine. If you are ready to invest in a high-end shell, this is a great option.

Performance Comparison


An excellent choice for particularly backcountry use, the Lofoten is...
An excellent choice for particularly backcountry use, the Lofoten is right at home being a top performer anywhere you put it.
Photo: Jeff Dobronyi

Weather Resistance


The Lofoten is a standout in this category. The thick weave of the DWR treated 40 denier face fabric not only beads moisture extremely well, but the thickness helps cut cold wind. The fully water-resistant zippers featured on each closure serve the same purpose. We did not feel any gusts or drafts permeate this jacket, and it showed no signs of allowing moisture in.


We also really like the wrist gaiters in this jacket. They add an additional layer of protection against any gaps between gloves and shell. The asymmetrical cut of the cuffs is a subtle feature that we like for directing water down the edge of the sleeve. Additionally, the hood was perfectly sized to be cinched down with its dual elastic adjustments and had a rigid rim to keep precipitation away from the eyes. We feel this shell can handle any type of storm out there.

The large hood and zipper cover provide excellent protection when...
The large hood and zipper cover provide excellent protection when the weather turns nasty.
Photo: Jeff Dobronyi

Comfort and Fit


The Lofoten has a slightly tailored fit that strikes a balance between a form-fitting athletic and looser resort shell. It fits true to size and allows for several layers underneath. This left us plenty of room for movement despite the stiff feel of the shell. There is ample room in the chest and shoulders, and enough length in the arms to feel protected and secure even when moving around.


We think the fit of the hood and cuffs of this jacket is also perfect. The tall collar protects the face and rests nicely on the skin with a fleece backer. The hood is the perfect size to fit over a helmet or a hat on the uphill. We love how the wrist gaiters are long and laser cut, so they did not pull or bunch when they were inside our gloves. It feels like Norrona thought of everything when it came to the fit of the Lofoten

We love a slightly longer fit in the hem and the arms, as you can...
We love a slightly longer fit in the hem and the arms, as you can see here. It keeps us more comfortable and provides the ability for custom layering.
Photo: Jeff Dobronyi

Warmth


The only metric in which the Lofoten did not excel was warmth. This is to be expected considering the lack of insulation in this jacket. The majority of the warmth of this jacket comes from its high-quality construction.


The materials and design of this shell keep you dry and amplify the effects of insulating layers by breaking any cold wind. Being able to adjust insulation can also prevent soaking through base layers, which will send you from hot to cold rapidly. The breathability of this shell also keeps moisture at bay, which, as we emphasize, is key to staying warmer longer.

As a shell, there is no insulating layer included with this jacket.
As a shell, there is no insulating layer included with this jacket.
Photo: Jeff Dobronyi

Ventilation


Here the Lofoten stands out again. The ventilation in this jacket comes from both its ventilation features and its quality material. As far as basics go, the large pit zips on this shell reach all the way from hips well into underarms. A chest zipper lined with a mesh-backed "safety pocket" can act as an additional place of ventilation.


The other correlating part of this jacket's temperature control comes from the Gore-Tex pro material. This is the most breathable of the Gore-Tex membranes with this level of durability and we felt it. We were able to reach high levels of uphill output before we felt the need to open any ventilation or de-layer. This shell really shines in the world of temperature regulation and ventilation.

Large pit zips combine with excellent breathability to keep air flow...
Large pit zips combine with excellent breathability to keep air flow high when you need it.
Photo: Jeff Dobronyi

Style


The Lofoten is able to strike a balance between trendy and timeless. The tapered cut of this jacket adds flair to an efficient design. The longer hemline is in line with current freeride styles, but the cut is narrow enough to cross into backcountry utility.


We are also big fans of the available colors for this jacket. We are particularly drawn to the neon and earth tone color combination, but we really like that there are enough color options for anyone to find one that speaks to their style.

We love the color blocking and longer tapered cut of the Norrona, it...
We love the color blocking and longer tapered cut of the Norrona, it stands out without being flashy.
Photo: Jeff Dobronyi

Features


This model isn't chock-full of features found on many resort models. For its minimalist design, the Lofoten still has important with ski-specific features. A removable powder skirt drastically increases this jacket's versatility, as it allows you to leave behind the extra weight on days where the focus is on the uphill. A small feature we enjoy is the button cinching mechanism on the hem, which is easy to use with mittens on. There are relatively limited pockets with only two chest pockets and one internal zip pocket, but we believe this is sufficient for backcountry touring.


One of the pockets on the chest of this jacket is what Norrona calls a "rescue pocket." This is a zippered pocket with a velcro mesh backing that allows you to reach a transceiver or other rescue equipment attached under your outer layer. Fortunately, we did not have to use this pocket; however, we do find it intriguing. The benefit of this pocket is it allows you to begin a transceiver search without unzipping your jacket or unbuckling the chest strap of your backpack. Like with any rescue features, we think this might increase efficiency as long as it is extensively practiced. Our only hesitation would be to ensure it is zippered on a descent to protect a transceiver, and not to accidentally use it as a real pocket.

A unique front pocket meant for easy access to rescue equipment, or...
A unique front pocket meant for easy access to rescue equipment, or to act as a secondary source of ventilation.
Photo: Jeff Dobronyi

Value


As a high-end technical shell with all of the bells and whistles, the Lofoten is expensive. It is in the same realm as many other high-quality shells on the market and we think if you are in the position to spend, it's certainly worth it. This jacket will fulfill your needs in the backcountry and is more than capable of stepping in for resort use. If you are looking for an investment piece the Lofoten performs to match its price tag.

Conclusion


This jacket is an absolute favorite among our testers for a backcountry shell. It is burly enough for any storm day in or out of bounds and is minimal enough to perform on the uphill. Its streamlined features not only perform well but also provide additional versatility to an already versatile shell. For an avid backcountry user, this is the perfect investment and may just serve you for many seasons to come.

The Lofoten is at home in the backcountry, but it sure is fun to ski...
The Lofoten is at home in the backcountry, but it sure is fun to ski it at the resort too.
Photo: Jeff Dobronyi

Jacqueline Kearney

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