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Proper warm down jacket – Jottnar, Norrona maybe?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
It's dangerous, sitting around with a broken leg, a laptop and a credit card Confused

It has come to my attention that I could do with a warmer jacket for Alpine winters. I have a lightweight (200g) down jacket that packs very small and makes a good mid or après layer, so the active side of things is covered. What I want is something to keep me warm when I'm standing around in the chuffing cold, so it needs to be a couple of levels up from the lightweight one. I spent the night on a mountainside at the end of September (not unplanned!) and was just about warm enough in my down with two fleeces underneath. Similar madness may occur in winter, or I may just be drinking beer in town and not moving about much.

Has anyone got any experience of Jottnar? I've never actually seen one in the wild. Something like the Fjorm
Norrøna have the Trollvegen, but stocks in my size are low.
The Haglofs version is nice (I've tried this on), but this year's colours are horrendous (if anyone knows of old stock somewhere that wont make me look like an astronaut, shout up).

Mountain Equipment have a few options, at over €100 cheaper than the above, but I'm a bit confused about the offerings. Lightline, Skyline or Sigma?

Any experience appreciated. Size required: women's small. Budget-wise, €300 would be great, but the jacket is more important than the price so I could be persuaded up towards €500 (especially if I can find an online discount...). I'm not paying more than that, though.
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@Scarlet, sounds like a belay jacket would do the trick; tend to pack down OK and are much warmer than a mid-layer.

I've a Marmot one I like, their kit seems to be decent and less pricey than the Scandi offerings.
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@Scarlet, The Mrs and I acquired proper down jackets ~12 years ago for exactly that reason - also I like just having a t-shirt on in hot sweaty pubs but not have many layers to manage in between hot sweaty pubs. So a jacket that could manage with only a t-shirt underneath down to proper -15 kind of cold.

It was a while ago so things have moved on. But we still use them...

In fact, it's forecast coldish up there so there out of their summer estivation nests.

Mrs U's is something like https://rab.equipment/eu/ascent-jacket-37
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Also consider Rab who are renowned for their puffa jackets.

If you want something that won't worry about getting a bit damp then consider one with Primaloft insulation instead of down.
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I had Rab kit for years, But the past 4 years I have been wearing Jottnar, their down jackets are massively warm and can highly recommend. I have the Fjorm, I work full time in the mountains, its a go to bit of kit for winter.
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Also consider PHD who will do made-to-measure in Stalybridge:

https://www.phdesigns.co.uk/down-jackets-synthetic-jackets-down-pullovers

They have a very good reputation in the mountaineering community.
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I’ve got the previous model Norrona Trollveggen 750, and that is ridiculously warm. I would say the current Trollveggen 850 would easily fullfil your highly scientific selection criteria of “standing around in the chuffing cold” snowHead

As you probably know Norrona is cut for the tall/slim frame. As a 6ft slim male, everything in their medium size fits me perfectly. Norrona offer free shipping and returns on their website to most of Europe.
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I've got a Salomon Icetown Jacket, ski specific design, down and 10K waterproof. I've had it a few years but only seriously worn it a few times (eg, last season's Beast from the East) as it's too warm otherwise. They do a female specific cut, currently £256 on the Salomon website.

Small caveat, I have a pro-deal with Salomon to use their clothing so that might colour my recommendation (it doesn't, but I thought I'd mention it anyway).
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I recently bought one from Fjern on Sports Pursuit. It also has water repellent down. Probably not as warm as the Jottnar as it's only 750 and not 850 fill but a lot cheaper
https://www.sportpursuit.com/search?s=Arktis+Jacke+

Also have a thin primaloft jacket and will wear both together in really cold weather.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Thu 22-11-18 14:37; edited 1 time in total
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@Mosha Marc, Are you sure you want to admit to wearing a down jacket in the 'fax? Surely all you need is a flat cap and an insulating whippet? Laughing

@under a new name, Yes, I suspect you have similar requirements. That looks like a mid-level one, a bit lighter than what I was looking at. Still warm enough? TBH I prefer the more fitted cut of the lighter models, but it needs to be significantly warmer than my ultralight, or there's no point in bothering.

@altis, Not too concerned about rain, and most modern designs seem to have DWR now so I don't think the damp down problem is as bad as it used to be. As for PHD, nice idea but they seem to have excluded half the population from their range...
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@Scarlet, round town it's just a T-shirt at all times. Natch. Cool
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Canada Goose with fur for the full alpine chavette?

For your technical requirements I'd just look at a hi-fill old fashioned puffa from the likes of Rab, ME, Marmot even North Face etc. Of course they might not satisfy with microbaffles, tailored fit and winterberry colours
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@Markhandford, Good to hear. How small does it pack down?

@PowderAdict, Laughing I run hot when active, so I'm not expecting to be able to do more than walk between bus and bar without cooking my internal organs. Yes, the size is a consideration though. I've ruled out Dynafit already because the sleeves and cut are too long for my 163cm frame and Norrøna may have the same issues. I'll see if the stockist in town has this jacket to try on if I can.

@rob@rar, Nice jacket, though I'm always confused as to how such a thing could be sold as a "ski" jacket, when you'd clearly drown in your own sweat in a matter of seconds. No probs recommending them – I have a Salomon soft-shell which is great, but I think these are coming in a bit heavy at 1200g (the others I linked to are around 600g. Good price though.

@DB, Ah, the randomness of SportPursuit... How is it for quality?


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Thu 22-11-18 14:52; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
With these kind of jackets, if it is raining then the jacket is too hot - better off with wicking fleece and goretex! As you say, they are designed for low activity in very cold (i.e., dry) conditions.

Nothing wrong with any of the brands you mention. I'd probably buy from Rab or ME. ME Lightline is a classic but may be not quite as warm as you are looking for - might want the next weight of fill up?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

@DB, Ah, the randomness of SportPursuit... How is it for quality?


I haven't got that but I recently bought Fjern softshell trousers and a synthetic puffa at very good prices from SportPursuit . Quality seems very good - competitive with ME/RAB/Marmot etc
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@Dave of the Marmottes, Coyote fur? Real or not, I'm not spending 700 quid on a coat, especially one that's going to get me publicly abused. Eco-warrior type companies only, please Cool
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Scarlet wrote:
@rob@rar, Nice jacket, though I'm always confused as to how such a thing could be sold as a "ski" jacket, when you'd clearly drown in your own sweat in a matter of seconds. No probs recommending them – I have a Salomon soft-shell which is great, but I think these are coming in a bit heavy at 1200g (the others I linked to are around 600g. Good price though.
It's fine for wear out in the evening, very cosy. For skiing when it's proper cold it's worth its weight, and as you say a very sensible price. My favourite jacket - I have three of them, a couple at home and one left in Les Arcs.
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Scarlet wrote:
@DB, Ah, the randomness of SportPursuit... How is it for quality?


Build quality looks really good rather than excellent (i.e. it's not arcteryx quality) but definately not cheap, on a paar with my Mountain Equipment primaloft jacket. I've only had it a few days so can't say how well it's likely to hold up in the long run.

https://www.active-traveller.com/gear-reviews/32-clothing/fjern-arktis-hooded-down-jacket

https://www.myoutdoors.co.uk/news/industry-news/item/1411-fjern-intro

https://mclovinmountains.com/2017/12/31/fjern-orkan-on-test/
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Our family were very early Jottnar customers...the quality is exceptionally good.
The down jacket is waterproofed down, super light and super warm.
It has been go-to on trips to Japan where is it way colder than merely Chuffin Cold ( Very Happy ) and has done the job with ease...it also breates pretty well so not sweaty in less cold conditions.

They do a BASI deal...if you have BASI just let the Jottnars know and you will get a decent discount (it may not be on the BASI website)
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Both already mentioned, but RAB is a good UK brand with international cred. PhD is a smaller operator who I've bought only excellent stuff from.
I have monster "duvet" jackets (for pub and rescue use only) from RAB and ME, both are absolutely what you'd expect.
Mountain Equipment is a bit more venerable as a brand, RAB is on the up.
These are all more "real deal" kit than high street fashion.

Offerings? Well it depends what you want. I like the higher-rated down as it has a nicer feel.
Get baffle/ box walls if you're serious, but for light or layered stuff you don't need that.
I don't like waterproof coatings - these are for temperatures below freezing.

I like down as it's more pleasant than synthetic fillings, and it packs smaller.
Washing it is a major pain though. You don't want direct skin-to-jacket contact if you don't intend to wash it much.
So buying a thinner jacket and layering is both more flexible and easier on the washing.

For going to the pub or rescues, where you're hanging about a lot, there's nothing better, but they're useless for most active things
as noted. You do see people skiing in some down jackets - I could not remotely do that, anywhere, ever.
And I've ridden in minus 30 and all that a fair bit.
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Yup, I wore my RAB down to -29 in Canada with no problems. If it's warmer and damp I'll use a Primaloft belay jacket but in really cold conditions moisture isn't much of a problem.
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I have a Stellar from last year that is 800 down and really warm but amazingly light. I also have a Musto Parka with Primaloft. This is a heavier coat but again super warm. The Musto would take any weather thrown at it but the Stellar is ideal for a very cold walk back from the pub.

This year's Stellars are now 1000 fill.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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I have a Norrøna Trollveggen and it’s comparable to my Arc’teryx (Thorium AR) for craftsmanship but soo much warmer that I only wear it if it’s below -10c and I’m not doing anything active.

+1 for Mountain Equipment. Don’t have any clothing from them but have 2 down sleeping bags (Ratio 32 (0c) and Ratio 15 (-9c)). Great quality and very warm.

EDIT: My sleeping bags are made by Mountain Hardwear!


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Thu 22-11-18 23:08; edited 1 time in total
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@Scarlet, Norrona’s outlet (online) sectionion? Good for the credit card health too
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@rungsp, Nice review, thanks. Sadly, I am not involved with BASI Sad

@philwig, Lots of love for Rab and ME, so I'll look into those a bit more. Prices are better too. As noted above, PhD have ruled themselves out. Temperatures below freezing are what I'm envisioning, warmer than that and the ultralight is fine. I can (and do) ski in that when it's a bit chilly, but wouldn't want anything warmer for this purpose (insulated ski jackets seem to be largely a product without a use, unless you're getting into the extremes). It is very unlikely to be in direct contact with my skin, as I'll have a base layer at the very least.

@Scarpa, Exactly what I was thinking re: moisture

@bar shaker, Had to look Stellar up, but the Ultralight looks like good value, assuming it does as they say. First 1000 fill I've seen. Is that a good thing? Tempting.
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@Spoon, Sounds good. What's the fit like? Lanky Scandi?

@mooney058, Not much in there today, unfortunately, but I'll keep an eye on it.
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The problem with these kind o threads is that you get a lot people justifying their own purchases to them.

The main thing that affects the warmth of a down jacket is the amount of down in it, i.e. the fill weight.

Jottnar Fjorm - 225g
Norrona Trollveggen - 225g
Mountain Equipment Lightline - 225g

They will all be about as warm as the next.

The Fill power of the down 700/750/800 etc makes a lot less of a difference. If I was gram counting for a winter ascent of the north face of the Eiger or doing the marathon des sables, I would be shelling out the highest quality. For your specified use of walking to the pub when it's baltic, not so much.

The next thing is construction, do you go stitch through baffle or box wall construction. Heat escapes though the stitches, hence the ever fashionable micro baffle down jackets aren't very warm for their weight, a box wall construction will give you a lot more warmth for weight of down, but more weight of fabric.

Third on my list, but probably the most important, is fit. If it billows round you like a your dads massive shirts as a kid or is so tight it rides up every time you move you'll lose a lot of heat. A snuggish well fitting jacket (in the colour you like) is what you want!
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@Scarlet, if your credit card as a high limit you could look at Fjällraven jackets.
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Scarlet wrote:
@Spoon, Sounds good. What's the fit like? Lanky Scandi?

@mooney058, Not much in there today, unfortunately, but I'll keep an eye on it.


Yep, best choise is after the season and during summer months
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I recently bought a Patagonia Fitzroy which could be worth a look as good ethical credentials, well made and good down quality/fill power?
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@galpinos, good post, very helpful. It might get higher altitude use than just the pub, but I ain’t no mountaineer wink Interesting point about the Lightline, as that’s well in budget though doesn’t have the baffle construction. My other ME jacket (shell) is a pretty good fit, though I know Haglofs stuff is suited to me too. No idea about Jottnar, and don’t know anywhere to try it on.

@Themasterpiece, I thought they were a fashion brand?
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I could never actually ski wearing down, my first day of skiing ever... in Canada I wore a Gore-tex shell, a buffalo pile shirt underneath it, then a thin fleece jumper and a base layer. I think it was about -16C and as soon as I could I ditched the buffalo and I was still a bit too warm while skiing. I do run hot though.

ME kit is brilliant, I use their Randonee pile lined gloves for both skiing and ice climbing, plus my Changabang jacket is still going strong after a hard 10+ years use.
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Scarlet wrote:
@Spoon, Sounds good. What's the fit like? Lanky Scandi?


I’m a men’s large in all my Norrøna stuff (185cm, 88kg) and the fit is perfect. The arms on my other Norrøna jackets are maybe a little too long (I like them that way) but the Trollveggen length in the body and arms are just right.
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I've been using a Norrona Lyngen Light down jacket for the last 5 years or so, and have been very happy with it. Considering buying another now due to the amount of duck tape patching crampon holes in it...

It's warm enough that I just wear a t-shirt under it when going to the pub like @under a new name talks about. But it's NOT so warm that I could just stand around outside all night (like at the Christmas Markets atm) like that - but fine with a jumper too. It's worked really well on a couple of occasions work over my shell (and other layers) in really miserable conditions (5000m up Elbrus in a blizzard), but I couldn't contemplate skiing in it normally (way to warm, even Japan-type conditions). The fit is quite long at the back, which I really as it keeps my back bottom warm too!

The Trollvegen is definitely warmer if you want to be able to actually stand around for hours in the cold though.
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@Scarlet,

I added this link later to my post so you might not have seen it.

https://www.active-traveller.com/gear-reviews/32-clothing/fjern-arktis-hooded-down-jacket

I'm slim and unusually for me with a down jacket the fit is great. It costs €115, many of the jackets being talked about here cost 3 times as much or more. It's cheap because the brand is trying to get into the market.

This review comparing Rab to other down jackets might also help
https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/clothing-mens/down-jacket/rab-microlight-alpine
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@Scarlet, I’ll second/third/fourth the PHD and Rab recommendations, having used kit from both- I used a rab bag for a 153-day trip and it was almost as good as new at the end, and have now switched to a PhD bag with a better warmth for weight tradeoff which I used on a 25 day trip this summer and was too warm every night. PHD has regular sales where you can get stuff about 30% cheaper. However, I would check anything you get from them quite carefully - they sent me the wrong sleeping bag when I ordered, which was only apparent when I weighed it!

At the more budget end, alpkit gear is fantastic, I have one of their down jackets and value for money is excellent, as is the construction.
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As above, PHD are not going to win this one, because, unless they’ve hidden it well they do not make kit for women rolling eyes

@clarky999, current Lyngen looked a bit slimmer/less puffy than yours. Have they changed the design? I was concerned that one wouldn’t give me much extra on the warmth of the ultralight (that orange thing) even though I do prefer the style to the Trollvegen.
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@Scarlet, they make kit for everyone... plenty of women use their gear including my wife. They even make women’s specific sleeping bags with differential down distribution vs the mens.
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@Scarlet, I just brought the mens' blue Trollveggen Down850 jacket — so the male version of the red one you link to above.

It really is fantastic, and very stylish, even if I say so myself. Also super-warm.

I had the previous version of that jacket from a few years back, and it has served me very well indeed.

I'm sure if you hunt around the web you can find it. Failing that, Norrona may well have it back in stock soon.

If you do buy direct from Norrona, sign-up to their club/newsletter, and you will get 5% cashback for use on future purchases.
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The Fjern Arktis is approx 150g of down with reasonably small baffles so not as warm as those suggested up thread. It’s also £220 RRP so not that much of a bargain compared to the others suggested.

If money is no object the Arc’teryx down jackets are lovely (I have a Crerium LT I won in a competition) but i’m not sure they are worth the extra money. Often pop up on Sports pursuit if you are sample size.

PHD stuff is great but quite specialist, reasonably expensive (handmade in Stalyvegas) and not the most asthetic. Very light functional kit though. Hopefully they can keep going on the same path since Pete passed away.

I’ve only just noticed you are in Austria. Definitely get down to your local store and get trying on!
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