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REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka Review

Cute, streamlined, and warm enough for almost any winter weather, this jacket is a great value
REI Co-op Norseland Insulated Parka
Photo: REI Co-op
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $199 List | Check Price at REI
Pros:  Warm, comfortable, simple, inexpensive
Cons:  Shallow hood, no internal pockets
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Clark Tate ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 29, 2021
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 16
  • Warmth - 30% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 6
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Style - 10% 8
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The comfy and sporty REI Co-op Norseland offers an exceptional value earning it our Best Buy award. It’s certainly warm, with wrist cuffs and lined pockets that tuck into the down. It also works well for active pursuits or milder weather. Just use the snaps along the storm flap or the two side zips to vent heat and improve mobility. The hood is fleece-lined for warmth but shallow, leaving your face out in the cold. There are no internal pockets for your wallet or phone either. Despite a few flaws, you’re getting a lot of downy warmth for your dollar with the Norseland.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $199 List
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$200 List
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Pros Warm, comfortable, simple, inexpensiveComfortable, durable fabric, awesome pockets, weather-proof and breathableWarm, light, soft, great hoodWarm, flattering, cozy, double-sided zipper, functional pocketsStylish, comfortable, easy to wear
Cons Shallow hood, no internal pocketsOn the bulky side, face fabric holds onto waterNo cinch at the waist, not the most stylishNo front snaps, not as warm when compressed, not waterproofNot as warm, awkward pockets
Bottom Line Cute, streamlined, and warm enough for almost any winter weather, this jacket is a great valueAn extremely warm, comfortable, stylish, and durable parka with lots of pocketsThis soft, extra-long down parka with a cavernous hood is a dream to wrap up in when the temperatures dropSerious warmth is packed into this lightweight, flattering, and reasonably priced parkaThis cute, casual parka is good for warmer or more active days
Rating Categories REI Co-op Norseland... Fjallraven Nuuk - W... Outdoor Research Co... Marmot Montreaux Columbia Suttle Mou...
Warmth (30%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
3.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
Comfort (25%)
9.0
9.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
Style (10%)
8.0
7.0
4.0
9.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
6.0
Specs REI Co-op Norseland... Fjallraven Nuuk - W... Outdoor Research Co... Marmot Montreaux Columbia Suttle Mou...
Insulation and Fill Power 650 fill duck down Supreme microloft (100% polyester) 700 fill down 700 fill power duck down with water resistant Down Defender 100% polyester synthetic down and thermal-reflective lining
Fill Weight 238 g 250 g 240 g 221 g Unavailable
Hood Fleece lined Insulated with detachable faux fur trim Adjustable Insulated, removable, detachable faux fur trim Insulated, detachable faux fur trim
Pockets 2 zippered handwarmer 2 internal, 2 bellows, 2 hand, 1 sleeve, 2 chest 2 zippered handwarmer, 1 internal zippered security, 1 internal pouch 2 zippered handwarmer, 2 internal chest (1 zippered) 2 snap handwarmer, 1 external zipped chest
Weight (size small) 2.0 lbs 3.7 lbs 2.0 lbs 2.3 lbs 2.4 lbs
2-way zipper Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Weather Resistant Features DWR treatment Waterproof, windproof Water and wind resistant Water resistant down, DWR treatment Water resistant fabric
Sizes Available XS to XL XXS to XXL XS to XL XS to XXL XS to 3X
Social or Environmental Certifications Responsible Down Standard - Certified , 100% recycled polyester lining, bluesign approved Fluorocarbon-free impregnation Responsible Down Standard - Certified, bluesign approved, 100% recycled nylon shell

Our Analysis and Test Results

This easy-to-wear, comfortable, warm, and cute jacket offers one heck of a value. It also feels durable, making the cost per wear especially reasonable. If you're looking for a good deal, you've found one.

Performance Comparison


Warm and easy to wear the Norseland gives you great value.
Warm and easy to wear the Norseland gives you great value.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Warmth


REI calls this jacket one of its warmest. With 238 grams of 650 fill-power down and a fleece-lined hood, we agree that it keeps you pretty darn toasty when the temps fall. The 650 fill power tells you that this down is light and fluffy, holding on to lots of air (and thus heat) while packing down impressively. And 238 grams is a good amount of it, packed in thick from your head to mid-thighs.


The jacket flares a bit at the bottom. It looks cute, but it's also a bit drafty. There are also two 6-inch zippers on either side, extending up from the hem. They let you move around at will but can leave your legs chilled. When they're all zipped up, we stay toasty in this jacket around the freezing point and well into the teens.

The insulated hood is a nice size but is shallow, leaving more of...
The insulated hood is a nice size but is shallow, leaving more of your face out in the cold.
Photo: Ryan Reed

The fleece-lined, insulated hood holds in warmth. Unfortunately, it looks cozier than it feels. If you have hair, you don't feel it at all. It's a reasonable size, not so big that it's hard to see out of but not restrictive. It is snug enough to make it hard to fit a beanie underneath and shallow. It doesn't protect your face from wind or snow.

We love how cozy this hood looks, and it is warm.
We love how cozy this hood looks, and it is warm.
Photo: Clark Tate

The sleeves end in a knit cuff, hidden away and unexpectedly cute with cake layers of color. They aren't the softest in the test, but they help block drafts. We also love that the back of the jacket is a bit longer than the front, which helps keep you insulated when you need to sit down.

The storm flap over the zipper helps keep the cold air and stormy...
The storm flap over the zipper helps keep the cold air and stormy weather out.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Weather Resistance


The Norseland isn't waterproof. It's water-resistant, with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish. When we stood in the shower for 2.5 minutes, it shed water well. Towards the end, some moisture did soak into the face fabric. It wasn't enough to make the jacket heavier or to require you to wring it out at the end. The storm flap makes sure no water works its way past the zipper.


The hood is a nice size but isn't deep enough to keep the water off your face or the wind from ripping across it. In our wind-resistance test (standing out in a stiff breeze ripping in off the North Atlantic), this jacket blocked every bit of wind but did little to protect our face. You might want a gaiter for more protection in truly miserable weather.

We're impressed by how well this jacket shed water in the shower test.
We're impressed by how well this jacket shed water in the shower test.
Photo: Clark Tate

The cotton cuffs are tucked beneath the face fabric, keeping them dry even during our shower test. If they do get wet, the thick cotton collects water and doesn't dry quickly. They do keep out the wind and cold. All told, this jacket offers the most protection in below freezing temps and relatively calm conditions.

The wrist gaiters are cute but tucked away behind the downy shell...
The wrist gaiters are cute but tucked away behind the downy shell, which helps keep them dry.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Comfort


Lightweight with a generous cut that never inhibits your movements, this jacket is among the most comfortable we've tested. It helps that it keeps you warm with soft fleece-lined pockets and a well-fitting hood. The bell-shaped bottom with optional side-zips makes sure you never have to shorten your stride.


We also consider front snaps to be a huge boon to comfort. It's so nice to just pull on the jacket, snap a few buttons and go. They do wonders to help you regulate your temperature while popping in and out of doors.

The lined and zippered pockets are soft, warm, and big enough to fit...
The lined and zippered pockets are soft, warm, and big enough to fit your hand and the smartphone it's holding.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Our only comfort complaint is that the collar zips up right under our chin. It doesn't jab you, but it does rub. If it was a bit wider, we tuck our chin into it to stay warm. It doesn't bother us when the jacket is unzipped.

The jacket zips up right beneath your chin, which isn't the most...
The jacket zips up right beneath your chin, which isn't the most comfortable place for it.
Photo: Clark Tate

Style


This jacket isn't exactly elegant. It has more of a sporty, outdoorsy look but streamlined, helping us feel put together.


There aren't too many pockets or tons of toggles to get in your way. It's also light, so if you need to pull it off and tote it around indoors, you won't feel as frazzled.

We think the Norseland is pretty stylish, with nice detailing along...
We think the Norseland is pretty stylish, with nice detailing along the hem.
Photo: Ryan Reed

The fleece-lined hood gives it an extra-cozy look, and the zipper-divided hem swoops down in the back, giving the eye something to follow. The bell flare at the bottom is somehow cute on its own. It also helps define the jacket's very subtle waist. The bottom three zipper toggles are prettily knotted parachute cords to complete the outdoor-chic vibe.

The two side zippers along the hem make it easy to move and shed...
The two side zippers along the hem make it easy to move and shed heat. They also add visual interest.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Durability


Compared to the more rugged options in the test, this type of down jacket isn't going to excel in durability ratings. Puffy options wrapped up in thin nylon tear relatively easily. When they do, those feathers take flight. That said, we think this puffy is about a durable as they come.


Its shell fabric feels like sturdy nylon, and the three zippers work exceedingly well, almost eagerly. The two toggles that cinch down the hood are simple affairs that offer very few parts to break.

A simple toggle system on either side of the hood serves to cinch it...
A simple toggle system on either side of the hood serves to cinch it down.
Photo: Clark Tate

It can take a few tries to get the storm flap snaps to do their job. This may be less of a durability issue and more of an annoyance.

This jacket withstood quite a few dog scratches and bushwhacks...
This jacket withstood quite a few dog scratches and bushwhacks through the woods, we think it will hold up.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Value


We find that this light, warm, and stylish jacket performs well in wintry weather for a very reasonable price. We're impressed with this its value.

It's also responsible down standard certified, Bluesign approved, and the lining is 100% recycled polyester. If you care about sustainability and limiting animal cruelty, these facts increase its value further.

Any jacket that can keep us outside in cold weather without breaking...
Any jacket that can keep us outside in cold weather without breaking the bank is a win in our world.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Conclusion


We're fans of this functional, no-fuss winter jacket. It gets the important things right — comfy pockets, an insulated hood, and plenty of down in a light and comfortable package. Unless you need a waterproof option for warmer climes or a burlier hood for the worst of weather, we think you'll like this one.

When you have to take as many walks as this dog demands, you need to...
When you have to take as many walks as this dog demands, you need to be able to go out in any weather.
Photo: Ryan Reed

Clark Tate

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