Fjallraven Nuuk - Women's Review
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Fjallraven Nuuk - Women's
$249.93 at REI
|$379 List||$384.95 at Amazon|
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$118.93 at REI
$57.97 at Amazon
|Pros||Incredibly warm and weather-protective, deep hood, amazing pockets||Warm, light, soft, great hood||Warm, packable, excellent weather resistance, highly-adjustable hood||Warm, comfortable, simple, inexpensive||Inexpensive, comfortable, decent waterproofing, quite warm|
|Cons||On the bulky side, face fabric holds onto water||No cinch at the waist, not the most stylish||Expensive, narrow cut through the hips||Shallow hood, no internal pockets||Short, no wrist cuffs, questionable quality|
|Bottom Line||A beast of a winter parka that took on arctic blasts and trips around town with ease||This soft, extra-long down parka with a cavernous hood is a dream to wrap up in when the temperatures drop||One of the warmest and most weather-resistant jackets for active outdoor pursuits||Cute, streamlined, and warm enough for almost any winter weather, this jacket is a great value||This low-cost winter jacket is warm and waterproof but much shorter than others we tested|
|Rating Categories||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Outdoor Research Co...||Rab Neutrino Pro Down||REI Co-op Norseland...||Wantdo Waterproof Snow|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Outdoor Research Co...||Rab Neutrino Pro Down||REI Co-op Norseland...||Wantdo Waterproof Snow|
|Insulation and Fill Power||Supreme microloft (100% polyester)||700 fill down||800 fill European goose down||650 fill duck down||Unavailable|
|Hood||Insulated with detachable faux fur trim||Adjustable||Adjustable, insulated||Fleece lined||Detachable, insulated hood, with removable faux fur trim|
|Pockets||6 external - 2 chest, 2 hand warmer, 2 catchall. 5 internal - 2 zippered, 1 button, 2 mesh catchall.||2 zippered hand warmer, 1 internal zippered security, 1 internal pouch||2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest||2 zippered hand warmer||2 zippered hand warmer, 2 internal - 1 zippered chest, 1 drop-in pocket|
|Weight (size small)||3.7 lbs||2.0 lbs||1.1 lbs||2.0 lbs||2.5 lbs|
|Weather Resistant Features||Waterproof, windproof||Water and wind resistant||Wind and weather resistant, hydrophobic down||DWR treatment||Waterproof|
|Sizes Available||XXS to XXL||XS to XL||XS to XL||XS to XL||S to XXL|
|Social or Environmental Certifications||Fluorocarbon-free impregnation||Responsible Down Standard (RDS), Bluesign approved, 100% recycled nylon shell||Responsible Down Standard (RDS), 100% recycled fabric||Responsible Down Standard (RDS), 100% recycled polyester lining, Bluesign approved||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Nuuk shares several design elements with some of the warmest jackets on the market, except it's more comfortable and works in a broader range of conditions — partially because it's more breathable. We didn't find the lower temperature limit of this jacket's 250 grams of synthetic insulation, despite trying it out in temps dropping into the negative double digits with bitter wind chills. The hood and collar protect almost all of the face, and it's also relatively light for being so protective — ours weighed 3.7 pounds.
And pockets. We're talking five inside and four outside, and they're all useful. We're especially fond of the handwarmer pockets that tuck your hands into a pillow of microfleece at rib level. Their well-placed location helps keep your hands warmer than having to drop them down to your waist.
During our test period, New England experienced the coldest temperatures ever recorded on Earth, and the Nuuk offered plenty of protection on a windy -10°F walk and when playing around in the yard in -30°F wind chills.
We even got a little warm wearing the Nuuk on a brisk downhill stroll wearing fleece-lined pants on a 25°F day. Unzipping the coat and holding it shut with just a few snaps helped. Our base layers stayed nice and dry, suggesting that the jacket breathes fairly well even when working up a sweat. Fjallraven claims the Nuuk breathes well enough to support light aerobic activity (10,000 g/m²/24h), and we don't see any evidence to the contrary. Staying dry is crucial to staying warm, so this impeccable balance is much appreciated.
The collar of the Nuuk zips up to the nose, which is important to keep you safe in truly cold temperatures, especially if there is a wind chill. The newest (as of late 2022) version of this jacket also seems to have a roomier cut in the collar. The collar used to feel tight around the face when fully zipped, but now it's much more comfortable. A fleece liner protecting the chin helps with this.
The insulated hood is lined with soft microfleece and ringed with a faux-fur ruff that you can roll back out of your way or flip down to form a fur-lined tunnel to protect your face. The hood is oversized and deep, big enough to wear a hat underneath. It has a wire rim to help shape it and keep it out of your vision. A velcro tab in the back pulls it up and out of the eye line, and cinches allow you to batten it down around your face.
The ruff is easily removable via a set of buttons. Putting it back on the jacket is a bit more of a pain, but you'll get the hang of it. The hood itself is not removable, but we always want a hood in bitter weather anyway. A generous cut with plenty of shoulder room provides plenty of space to layer underneath. A cinch at the waist holds warm air in on the coldest days. There are no wrist gaskets, but you can cinch the openings with a hook-and-loop strap.
The two hand-warming pockets are placed higher than on many other jackets, up by the ribs. We like this because it holds the hands in closer to the core to help keep them warmer. However, even though these pockets are fleece-lined, they are outside the jacket's main insulation, so you'll still want a good pair of gloves in frigid temps.
The Nuuk has no problem cutting the wind, and we love that it's waterproof. It kept us dry and comfortable in both late fall drizzle and during nuking snowstorms.
This jacket's incredibly protective hood and collar are ideal for dangerously cold temperatures with whipping winds where frostbite is a real possibility. Being able to zip the jacket up to your nose, cinch the hood down, and have the extending fur slow the wind even when you're walking is crucial. We also look for a zipper-protecting flap to help keep wind and wet weather out. The previous Nuuk used a combination of snaps and hook-and-loop closures to hold its outer flap in place. In this version, the system has been streamlined with seven sturdy snaps.
What we do worry about is how much water the face fabric absorbed in our shower test. Not a drop snuck inside the jacket, but this leaves you carrying water weight which doesn't dry quickly. We tested the washing instructions, which call for a hang-dry, and the Nuuk was still damp the following day. If you're hanging out in wet weather around the freezing point, you may end up icy. Luckily, when the weather merits a winter jacket, it's rare to end up standing in a shower-like downpour for minutes on end.
Another weather-resistant factor we consider is how well the pockets keep our gadgets out of the cold by holding them by our body heat. The Nuuk excels at this, offering four large pockets inside the insulation where your body heat can keep batteries warm and working. A sneaky zipped pocket by the zipper is outside the insulation but is a great place for your wallet. The external chest and catchall pockets give you spots to keep your gloves and glasses safe and dry.
Comfort is a standout feature for the Nuuk. Its relaxed fit and soft fabric never feel restrictive, even with many layers underneath. Though our test jacket weighed 3.7 pounds, the material moves so well that it doesn't feel heavy or restrictive. There's no crinkling or bunching to fight with, and our shoulders and hips never feel tight. Even sitting down with the jacket zipped feels fine — an action that is almost always awkward in a winter parka. We found the sleeves to be too long, though; you can roll them once, but this is less than ideal.
A big improvement in the newest version of the Nuuk is that it has a roomier cut in the collar. That means when you zip the parka to the tippy-top to protect your face, you still have enough room to move and breathe. It's even better when the hood is up and supported by your head. This is a rare achievement in the winter parka realm, and we are very appreciative.
And, again, those pockets. We find that tucking our hands into the warming pockets by our ribs is far more comfortable than the more common waist placement.
The loose-fitting cut that keeps the Nuuk so comfortable also defines its style, which is laid-back and feels classic. It is not trim or figure-flattering, though a cinch in the waist provides a bit more shape while also holding in more heat. We found that we used it about half of the time.
Ultimately, the exceptional quality of the Nuuk does the most to define its style. From the lofty faux fur ruff to the leather zipper pull tab, this jacket feels considered. The sturdy and supple fabric, pleasing color palette, consistent and tightly stitched seams, and flawlessly executed construction combine to convey carefully executed craft. Function leads form here, but we think the jacket strikes a nice balance.
There are a few style updates in the newest version of the Nuuk. The fabric feels softer, and the elbows have more specific articulation. The back of the jacket no longer has a horizontal seam across the middle, and other panels are also simplified. The many pockets are still impressively streamlined, tucking away nicely to keep the jacket from looking cluttered.
We expect this jacket to last a very long time. The exterior fabric showed no signs of wear after over a month of heavy use. And though the lining fabric is thinner, it still seems burly. Both materials and their seams showed no wear and tear from our paperclip test, which involved pulling the pointed end across them with pressure.
When we think about durability, we always think of zippers. The main zipper on the Nuuk is a two-way and often works flawlessly. It can be hard to get started, but we haven't had any concerning issues with it so far. The other snaps, zippers, and pockets seem built to last. Fjallraven also offers a lifetime of repairs. We have yet to test this claim, but it seems promising.
Should You Buy the Fjallraven Nuuk Parka?
The Nuuk is one of our favorite winter jackets. It's a reliable adventure partner that will keep you covered from cold drizzles to temperatures well below zero. We feel comfortable and stylish when wearing it, and the impeccably-designed pockets will keep all your sundries safe and secure. We have no hesitation recommending this jacket to anyone who can afford the investment, which is no small feat.
The fabric is made of 100% recycled polyamide, and Fjallraven has a general sustainability statement as well.
What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?
Presuming the Nuuk lasts as long as we think it will, we consider it a good investment in your outerwear wardrobe. It's waterproof, windproof, breathable, warm, protective, comfortable, and stylish. That said, it is on the heavy side and isn't super fun to cart around a store. If you are looking for a light, warm, and cloud-like puffy jacket to wrap up in, we don't blame you. The Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka is one of our favorite down parkas, earning high scores for comfort, warmth, and weather resistance. However, both of these options cost many, many pretty pennies. If you are pinching yours, we recommend the REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka. It's light, warm, and considerably more budget-friendly, though the collar and hood don't do much to protect your face from the cold.
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