Norrona makes great gear, and this piece is no exception. However, it is probably not what most people are looking for in a do-it-all ski pant. The Norrona Lyngen Windstopper Hybrid is a lightweight softshell pant for the warmest days, both inbounds and in the backcountry. Featuring a relatively new softshell material from Gore, these pants are the most breathable pant we've ever worn — at the expense of warmth. These pants are thin and won't help you stay warm at the ski resort. The fabric is not waterproof, so the pants won't help you stay dry, either. Since most skiers need their ski pants to be waterproof, these pants are not made for a majority of users. That said, if you want a pant specifically for warm spring skiing or for sunny ski touring, these are great.
Norrona Lyngen Windstopper Hybrid Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Highly breathable, lightweight, great range of motion
Cons: Specific design, poor weather resistance, fragile materials
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lyngen Hybrid has great breathability, as well as a slim, conforming fit that allows good mobility. It doesn't offer much in the ways of warmth, features, or wet weather protection.
Most people expect their ski pants to keep them dry, at a minimum. This pant doesn't do that, nor does it claim to. It is designed for warm and sunny days on the mountain, where precipitation and cold winds are not in the forecast. Norrona uses a softshell fabric with DWR coating to help water bead up on the fabric, which provides short-term waterproof qualities that will wear off before too long. To be clear, this pant is not waterproof, and the stretch panels on the thighs (where our legs see the most water on chairlift rides) are vulnerable to water. These pants do ok with cold winds, but they are too thin to offer much protection from that either. If you are a dedicated skier who goes out in all weather conditions, this is not a good pant choice.
Fit and Comfort
The Lyngen Hybrid features a skin-tight fit that may bother some users. However, we found the tailoring to be quite good, and since the fabric feels great against the skin, we were pleased with the overall comfort of this piece. The stretchy fabric is instrumental in keeping these pants feel very flexible, despite a very snug fit. Overall, we like the way they fit.
We must note that these pants run small, compared to the fits from American companies. Our tester is just a hair on the large side of Medium. He wore a size Large in these pants.
The Lyngen Hybrid pants are extremely well-ventilated and breathable. The fabric itself is thin, stretchy, and air-permeable, so your skin can shed heat and water vapor through the fabric very easily. Stretch panels on the outer thighs and back of the knees are even more breathable.
Aiding in ventilation, the long outer thigh vents open from butt to knee, without a mesh backing for maximum airflow. As such, we have no qualms with the breathability of the Lyngen. It's a great piece for those warm sunny days when the hike-to terrain opens up, and you want to beat all those other skiers who have to stop every 20 steps because they're too hot. These pants are also a great option for fair-weather backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering.
These pants are not designed to keep you warm. Rather, they are made for warm and sunny days on the mountain, where a base layer underneath this thin softshell will be enough to keep your legs warm. Unless you're a fair-weather skier in Lake Tahoe, this is probably too specific of a pant to use for everyday use. The Gore Infinium shell fabric is extremely thin, and the stretchy panels on the outer thigh and back of the knee are little more than mesh patches. Don't expect these pants to keep you warm, or to fit thick baselayer bottoms underneath the snug fit.
Going along with the minimalist, lightweight theme here, the Lyngen Hybrid is light on features. There are three pockets, two at the hips and one on the upper thigh of the right leg. The two hip pockets are rather small and won't fit the largest smartphones. The thigh pocket is big, but a little exposed for a phone. Furthermore, none of the pockets are waterproof. The pants have powder cuffs at the leg openings and a velcro adjustment system at the waist.
These pants have a unique style that is popular in Europe and Scandinavian ski resorts but doesn't dominate in North America. The fit is snug, while most pants have a neutral cut, and some have a baggy cut. These pants scream "Euro." There are two color options: bright lime green, or a classier navy blue.
While some are quick to criticize the Lyngen Hybrid as different, we see it in a different light. Many skiers will never want the snug fit that this pant features. However, if you like to look svelte, classy, and cultured, these pants could be for you. Get ready to turn heads, but in a good way. Probably.
These pants come at a relatively high price, considering how specifically they are designed. They are only useful on a handful of days at most mountains. So, we don't think they are of great value.
The Norrona Lyngen Windstopper Hybrid pants are specifically designed for the warmest and driest ski days. Don't expect them to keep you warm or dry in a mid-winter storm. If you are considering a second pant to supplement your highly weather-resistant pant that you wear throughout the winter, this is a great spring pant.
— Jeff Dobronyi