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Norrona Lyngen Flex1 Review

These thin and stretchy softshell pants are perfect for ski touring in good weather
norrona lyngen flex1 ski pants review
Credit: Norrona
Price:  $279 List
Manufacturer:   Norrona
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 13, 2022
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 17
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 3.0
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 10.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 10.0
  • Warmth - 10% 3.0
  • Features - 10% 8.0
  • Style - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Norrona Lyngen Flex1 is lightweight, breathable, and comfortable, earning our recommendation for the best softshell ski pants. We struggle to find softshell pants that are as thin and breathable as we'd like them to be for warm days or fast, aerobic ski tours, but when we first tried these pants, we knew we had a winner. They are thin, light, breathable, and stretchy, yet provide just enough warmth for winter ski tours in good weather. They're supremely comfortable and have ample pockets in all the right places. The fit is also great; not too tight and not too loose. If you're looking for softshell pants for big days in the backcountry, look no further.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable
Breathable
Lightweight
Many pockets
REASONS TO AVOID
Not warm
Won't keep you dry

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Comfortable, breathable, lightweight, many pocketsGreat performance at a low price, tons of features, weather resistant, breathableGreat value, warm, comfortable, relaxed vibesStretchy, soft, comfortable, many pockets, breathableAffordable, warm, comfortable
Cons Not warm, won't keep you dryLacks good style and warmth, average comfortLimited seam and pocket sealing, less effective vent designNot waterproof, thin material, climbing styleLight on the features, fit is a bit loose, unremarkable style
Bottom Line These thin and stretchy softshell pants are perfect for ski touring in good weatherAn affordable hardshell that provides great weather resistance, ventilation, and featuresA good insulated ski pant for budget-minded resort skiers who don't need a technical pair of pantsDurable softshell pants for most days on the backcountry skin trackAn affordable and warm pair of ski pants with a bland style
Rating Categories Norrona Lyngen Flex1 Outdoor Research Sk... The North Face Free... Outdoor Research Tr... REI Co-op Powderbou...
Weather Resistance (25%)
3.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
Fit and Comfort (25%)
10.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Ventilation (20%)
10.0
9.0
5.0
10.0
6.0
Warmth (10%)
3.0
4.0
9.0
3.0
8.0
Features (10%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Style (10%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
5.0
Specs Norrona Lyngen Flex1 Outdoor Research Sk... The North Face Free... Outdoor Research Tr... REI Co-op Powderbou...
Main fabric Recycled nylon, recycled polyester, elastine Flex1 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex 100% Nylon 87% nylon, 13% spandex Nylon
Insulation None None 60 g Heatseeker Eco Polyester (50% Recycled) None Recycled polyester
Waterproofing DWR AscentShell DryVent (2-layer) Pertex Shield+ (partial) 2-layer waterproof breathable laminate
Waistline construction Snap/zipper fly with adjustable velcro waist tabs Snap/zipper fly with external velcro adjustment, belt loops Snap and zipper, Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops Snaps. Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops Button zip fly with hook/loop adjustment
Weight (in pounds) 1.33 lbs 1.32 lbs 1.32 lbs 1.69 lbs 1.64 lbs
Weight (in grams) 602 g 599 g 599 g 767 g 744 g
# of Pockets 4 4 3 4 3
Vents External thigh with mesh Inner thigh zips Inner thigh zips, with mesh Exterior thigh zips, with mesh Interior thigh zips
Ski-specific features Elastic gaiters, reinforced knees, zip-in compatibility with Norrona's zip-in ski jackets Scuff guards, powder cuffs, articulated knees, beacon clip Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs beacon clip and sleeve, scuff guards, touring cuffs, cuff zipper Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, elastic waist
Recco No No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Like most softshells, these pants don't excel in most metrics, but they perform well where they are supposed to, with a great fit, stretchy fabric that allows freedom of movement, and excellent breathability.

Performance Comparison


norrona lyngen flex1 ski pants review - the lyngen skiing through powder during early season testing in the...
The Lyngen skiing through powder during early season testing in the backcountry.
Credit: Sam Willits

Weather Resistance


First off, the Lyngen Flex1 don't provide as much weather resistance as most other ski pants on the market. Their fabric isn't waterproof, so if lots of liquid water is present, these pants will not keep you dry. However, they will repel dry snow, and we found them plenty protective for backcountry ski tours in light flurries. They're also treated with a DWR coating, meaning they will repel some liquid water until the DWR washes or rubs off.


If the snow is really coming down, or if we expect to be skiing through deep powder, these pants don't have enough weather protection. They are also only suitable for the ski resort on days without precipitation, since the thighs are highly exposed to snow and rain on chairlift rides. But for spring days in the backcountry, or even winter days when the snow isn't too deep, the Lyngen are just fine.

norrona lyngen flex1 ski pants review - the thin soft shell material repels water, but it's very thin, and...
The thin soft shell material repels water, but it's very thin, and lets cold breezes through.
Credit: Sam Willits

Fit and Comfort


The Norrona Lyngen Flex1 softshells are made with the best softshell material we've seen in a long time. It is much thinner than most other soft shell fabrics, and it's fairly stretchy. The whole reason we wear softshells in the backcountry is for increased freedom of movement, and these thin pants don't hold us back or get in the way when we want to move fast, take big steps, or scramble over technical terrain.


We love the fit of the Lyngen. They're on the loose and baggy side of the spectrum — but not too loose. Other softshells are tight in the thighs and crotch, but in our experience, a looser, thinner softshell is ideal. That's exactly what you'll find here.

norrona lyngen flex1 ski pants review - the very stretchy and comfortable lyngen flex1 pants, showing off...
The very stretchy and comfortable Lyngen Flex1 pants, showing off their range of motion.
Credit: Sam Willits

Ventilation


The Lyngen Flex1 pants feature an extremely breathable shell fabric. We tested these pants by touring at a fast pace on our local skin tracks, and without fail, they kept us from overheating. Hot air moves easily through the fabric, keeping our internal environment cool and comfortable.


One downside to the Lyngen's ventilation capability is the thin mesh screen used to cover the opening when the vent is unzipped. In general, we don't like vents with mesh because this screen usually limits airflow. The mesh used by Norrona is very fine and doesn't prevent much air transfer. However, the shell fabric is so breathable that we rarely even reach for the vent zippers in the first place. And when we do, the vents work well enough.

norrona lyngen flex1 ski pants review - the side vents are incredibly long, with 14 inches (35 centimeters)...
The side vents are incredibly long, with 14 inches (35 centimeters) of ventilation length, but they are mesh-lined.
Credit: Sam Willits

Warmth


Because of their incredible breathability and lack of insulation, the Lyngen Flex1 is not a warm pant. As our bodies heat the air inside of the pants, this warm air easily finds its way out through the fabric, leaving our legs almost as if we weren't wearing these pants at all. The only way to stay warm in these pants is to layer underneath them or to keep moving while touring.


Resort skiers won't find these pants warm enough for most days at the ski hill, even with long underwear layered underneath. They allow air to move much too freely to provide any insulation value. In the backcountry, however, where skiers and riders control their temperatures with their movement, these pants allow more freedom. If it's a cold day, wear long underwear, and if it's warm, you can probably go without any base layers, as long as you keep moving.

norrona lyngen flex1 ski pants review - the thin soft shell material doesn't provide any warmth.
The thin soft shell material doesn't provide any warmth.
Credit: Sam Willits

Features


The Lyngen Flex1 has good features that make life in the backcountry a breeze. With four pockets, there is plenty of room for a transceiver, phone, lip balm, ski strap, neck gaiter, and other small accessories. The right thigh pocket has a sleeve for an avalanche transceiver, which keeps the device upright and positioned comfortably along the outside of the thigh.


These pants have elastic gaiters that fit easily but securely over ski boots, and the gaiters even have nylon straps that can tighten the fit even more, preventing snow from getting into the pants. The shells don't have a zipper to adjust the circumference of the cuff around the boot, but there are buttons that can make the pant shell fit tighter at the cuff.

Buttons allow the user to control the circumference of the pant cuffs.
Buttons allow the user to control the circumference of the pant cuffs.
A cinch tab allows the user to tighten the elastic powder gaiter...
A cinch tab allows the user to tighten the elastic powder gaiter over the boot buckles to keep out deep powder snow.
There is an internal mesh sleeve in the right thigh pocket which can...
There is an internal mesh sleeve in the right thigh pocket which can hold an avalanche transceiver.

Style


These pants have a tailored, athletic look that we like. There are a few different color options, but we don't think any of them are that great. The pants fit well, which goes a long way toward making them look good. But something about the zipper color highlights isn't too appealing.


Style is subjective, and you might love the look of these pants. But, we tend to favor pants with solid color blocks that leave the highlights to the upper body.

norrona lyngen flex1 ski pants review - these pants look pretty good, but they're not the most stylish on...
These pants look pretty good, but they're not the most stylish on the market.
Credit: Sam Willits

Should You Buy the Norrona Lyngen Flex1?


These pants are fairly priced — a little on the expensive side but in the middle of the pack for high-performance softshells. If you spend a lot of time on the skintrack and want a pant that will be comfortable, lightweight, and breathable, these pants will be suitable for about half the days of winter. But as a niche garment, we only recommend these to those who ski or ride in the backcountry the majority of the time.

norrona lyngen flex1 ski pants review - the lyngen flex1 pants at work in some chopped up early season powder.
The Lyngen Flex1 pants at work in some chopped up early season powder.
Credit: Sam Willits

What Other Ski Pants Should You Consider?


If you like the sound of a touring-oriented pant with good breathability but only want to invest in one pair of pants that can be used every day of the winter, the Outdoor Research Skyward II Ascentshell is a lightweight hardshell that breathes like a softshell. If you want even more protection, the Patagonia Stormstride is our favorite backcountry ski pant, although you'll sacrifice some ventilation. And if you want an even more affordable softshell pant, you can save a few bucks by looking into the Outdoor Research Trailbreaker II, which is just a bit heavier and warmer, but still performs well.

Jeff Dobronyi
 
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