Monday, 03 April 2017 14:11

Norrona Falketind Alpha 60 jacket tested and reviewed

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The Norrona Falketind Alpha 60 is one of the new breed of ultra lightweight insulated mid layers that work either on their own or combined with base or outer layers.

What Norrona Say:

The new Norrona Falketind Alpha 60 jacket, for men and women, utilises Polartec® Alpha® for superb lightweight insulation and breathability and Polartec Power Stretch® in the side panels for freedom of movement.

Whether backpacking, trekking, trail running, or even back country skiing the Norrona Falketind Alpha 60 can be worn on its own or as a mid layer. As well as being lightweight and highly breathable the Polartec Alpha provides high levels of insulation even when wet, dries quickly and has a higher warmth-to-weight ratio than fleece.

As well as Polartec Alpha the jacket features Polartec® Power Stretch® side panels to offer a body-hugging, athletic fit with stretch for unrestricted freedom of movement. Other features include a warm and weather protective collar, two hand warming pockets and one-hand elastic adjustment in hem. Plus the jacket compresses into a packable pocket.

Technical Specs:

Polartec® Alpha® recycled polyester fabric
Polartec® Power Stretch® side panels
Articulated elbow construction
Asymmetric cuffs
Hand-warming pockets
One-hand hem adjustment
Packable pocket
Soft brushed chin protection
X-open ventilation zip
YKK water resistant zip
Weight – 220g
Sizes: Women – XS-L; Mens – S-XL
Colours: Womens – Cavier Black, Blue Moon, Crimson Kick; Mens – Cavier Black, Denimite Blue
SRP: £159

Read more on the Polartec specs below:
Polartec® Alpha® - http://www.polartec.com/product/polartec-alpha
Polartec® Power Strech® - http://www.polartec.com/product/polartec-power-stretch

On test with Matt Holland:

The new Norrora Alpha 60 jacket is a superb athletics jacket, no, scrap that. Not just athletics but sports as whole! The PowerStretch material down the sides of the jacket is super flexible and at no point when running, cycling, and hiking did I feel the jacket was restricting me. Beyond what I’ve put it through I can really see this jacket being super popular with climbers, runners and cyclists.

CAV

When you first read the specs of this jacket and see the jacket with the PowerStretch material you may question whether it’s going to be waterproof or going to hold off the rain. I thought this too at first and the lack of a taped seam made me think this jacket would quickly fail in heavy rain. The reality was that water literally rolls off the jacket but I just wish the jacket had a hood. That aside, this jacket dries very quickly; when it stopped raining I simply took the jacket off, shook it off, and it was dry.

At first I thought the zip might be a pain, it’s fairly small in comparison to most zips you see on jackets but it was quite the opposite and can be unzipped with one hand. I’ve yet to have any issues with the zip in catching or difficulty in various conditions, this is the same with the hand warmer pockets to.

Away from the waterproofing, the jacket is super cosy; I can’t get over how cosy it is, the fleece lining inside is soft, with minimal friction making it easier to put on or take off.

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I wasn't the only one to find it very soft and comfortable!

The Polartec Alpha insulation is superb; when it was raining and Ionly had this jacket on, I didn’t feel cold and when it’s warm outside it’s not uncomfortable to wear being highly breathable.

This jacket is also windproof and whenever wearing it I rarely wore another jacket below to keep me warm as there was no point, I would be too warm. It handled the transition from standing around on a photo shoot where I didn’t feel the need to grab another jacket to put over the top through to a steady walk on and off the hill without overheating.

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As a whole the Norrona Falketind is very practical, covering a range of uses and doubling up as both a mid layer and an outer layer. If, however, it does require supplementing with an additional layer the cut and choice of fabrics mean additional layers can be added above or below with ease.

When running or climbing uphill, typically you’d take a layer off. Not with this jacket, I just kept running or climbing, never getting too hot or struggling. The breathability and stretch give you ultimate freedom in a variety of activities.

Even if you do have to take the jacket off, it’s not exactly bulky or heavy.

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I’ve never really been a fan of the thumb holes on the cuffs. I have rather large hands and its somewhat awkward to use. This wasn’t such a problem with the jacket as the material has some stretch to allow for larger/longer hands. This is a minor point however and when you don’t use them the hole is hardly noticeable.

The hand warming pockets are great and do work, when it is cold the windproof layer above does a great job at shrugging the cold chill off. The video promoting the jacket doesn’t show how big the pockets are but I can tell you now, you can actually get your arms inside! (Although You do look very silly doing this).

Norrona 1

Conclusions:

The Norrona Falketind jacket is a superb activities jacket, with no requirement to have to keep taking it off due to it being breathable yet comforting when the weather changes or your activity changes. Climbing, horse riding, hiking, caving, running or cycling, this jacket would suit perfectly.

If the conditions do go too far, the jacket acts as a great mid layer or if it does get hot the jacket packs away very small so it can fit into any bag, the added light weight material means you have no excuse not to carry the jacket. It essentially weighs nothing!

A lot of thought has gone into the Stretch and flexible material and the quality shows! I have found no restrictions in any activities so far and doubt I will. Overall I am super impressed with this jacket but I do wish it had a hood, this I feel would complete the jacket and keep you going despite any weather. You would have no excuse to not go out anymore.

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 April 2017 12:23