Norrona Lyngen Flex1 Review
Compare to Similar Products
Norrona Lyngen Flex1
$279.00 at Backcountry
Check Price at REI
Check Price at REI
$225.00 at REI
$149.00 at REI
|Pros||Comfortable, breathable, lightweight, many pockets||Great performance at a low price, tons of features, weather resistant, breathable||Great value, warm, comfortable, relaxed vibes||Stretchy, soft, comfortable, many pockets, breathable||Affordable, warm, comfortable|
|Cons||Not warm, won't keep you dry||Lacks good style and warmth, average comfort||Limited seam and pocket sealing, less effective vent design||Not waterproof, thin material, climbing style||Light 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 weather||An affordable hardshell that provides great weather resistance, ventilation, and features||A good insulated ski pant for budget-minded resort skiers who don't need a technical pair of pants||Durable softshell pants for most days on the backcountry skin track||An 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%)|
|Fit and Comfort (25%)|
|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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More