The perfect all-in-one ski jacket for women.
Powder7 started carrying Norweigian brand Norrona a few years ago, and we’ve become quickly obsessed. I’ve picked up a few pieces of Norrona gear over the last couple of years, and have raved about every single one of them. But, I’ve yet to try out one of our best-sellers at the shop: the Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Insulated Ski Jacket. I took it out for a spin at Loveland Ski Area during the spring to see how it stacks up to their other products, and other women’s ski jackets on the market now. I go into the details and pros and cons of this jacket in our Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Insulated Ski Jacket review below.
Norrona offers something for everyone. With different lines focused on different regions of Norway and their terrain, there’s a single piece of gear for every purpose. It allows them to optimize each piece of gear for your sport and the terrain you’re recreating in. Doing some ski mountaineering and distance touring? Lyngen is perfect for you. Shredding deep backcountry pow? Tamok will keep you warm and dry. Meanwhile Lofoten, what we’ll dig into here, is the most resort focused with a freeride flair.
Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Insulated Ski Jacket Review: Field Notes
We went out to Loveland Ski Area on a fairly warm spring day that had a some classic Loveland windy gusts up high. I was worried about feeling a little too warm with an insulated jacket in above freezing temperatures, but as you’ll see below, that turned out to not be an issue.
The Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Insulated Jacket hosts a 2-layer Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, with PrimaLoft Silver Eco insulation. It’s a great alternative to natural down, as it retains its warming properties even when wet. That’s perfect for a ski jacket that you take out in gnarly conditions.
As for other features and pockets, there’s quite a lot. You get two zippered hip pockets and two zippered chest pockets (one of which has a goggle wipe attached internally). There’s an additional ski pass pocket on the left arm, and an internal zippered chest pocket. How many snacks can you fit in there?
Fit / Comfort
One thing I instantly noticed when putting the jacket on is how comfortable it is. Norrona included a nice, silky lining on the inside of the jacket that makes it easy to slide on over other layers and feels really natural to wear. The exterior fabric is quite soft for a waterproof shell, making it easy to move around in. It doesn’t feel nearly as rigid as my Gore-Tex Pro shell I have from Norrona, and I would prefer it for daily wear.
The fit is true to size for me. I normally wear a medium in ski jackets and a small in most everything else, and the medium felt right here. Some might find the sleeves run a little long, but not so much that it was uncomfortable. It didn’t seem to affect getting the gloves on and off, and the asymetrical cuffs add extra coverage and protection from snow sneaking in. I think the small size would have restricted my movement in the shoulders, even though the arm length would have fit a little more snug.
I didn’t get a chance on this day to try out the waterproofness, but I have used their 2-layer Gore-Tex waterproofing on other snowy occasions. With a 28K waterproof rating, you’ll certainly be able to stay dry even in stormy conditions. I find it to work really well in even the stormiest conditions I found myself in this year.
If you find yourself in really wet, heavy, snow storms frequently, while being outside for an extended amount of time (without letting the jacket dry), a shell jacket with Gore-Tex Pro might provide more weather protection. But for most folks, that extra waterproofing isn’t necessary. Not to mention, the jacket will feel more rigid, sound a little “noisy”, and feel less comfortable to move around in.
Breathability / Warmth
Now this is where this jacket really shines. For how warm this jacket is, it’s remarkably breathable. We went for a ridge hike off of Lift 9 at the top of Loveland, and I didn’t even need to adjust the pit zips. If you layer lightly underneath the jacket, you won’t need to spend much time fiddling with zippers on hikes. Nor will you feel like you’re working up too much of a sweat on long bump runs or challenging lines.
And, the jacket is well insulated. The wind kicked up while we were on the Divide, and despite just wearing a light Merino t-shirt underneath, I felt totally comfortable. I love the targeted insulation, with a little less in the arms and more in the torso. It brings a nice, warmth where you need it approach that feels efficient. You don’t feel overly bulky or Michelin Man-like, but it still brings a lot more warmth than a thinner, shell like jacket. I would recommend this to anyone who runs very cold no matter the temperatures that day.
Something consistent from every Norrona piece I’ve tried is the durability. My jackets never are prone to tearing or getting holes, the seams stay intact, and the zippers function like they do on day one. I can’t tell you how many tree branches I’ve bumped into while skiing (spoiler: it’s a lot), and their gear always holds up to the job. When you’re investing in high performance ski gear, you want it to hold up for seasons and seasons of use. Norrona gets that, and designs their gear accordingly. You can ski confidently and trust your gear to hold up to the job.
If you’re looking for a ski jacket you can wear any time of year, it doesn’t get much better than the Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Insulated Jacket. I loved its versatility. The breathable nature of the jacket makes sure you don’t overheat on warmer days, but the insulation works well as a perfect built-in layer of warmth. It allows you to not have to layer as heavily underneath a shell jacket, which can often feel stuffy. It’ll keep you plenty dry in stormy conditions, without feeling ultra rigid. It’s one of the most comfortable and easy to wear insulated jackets I’ve worn. Plus, the extremely functional pockets and design make sense for loads of skiers, whether they’re ski guides or moms packing snacks.
And my favorite part of this jacket? The stellar color options. Who doesn’t love a bit of color while you’re out on the slopes?