What Norrona Say:
The new Norrona Falketind Alpha 60 jacket, for me 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.
Polartec® Alpha® recycled polyester fabric
Polartec® Power Stretch® side panels
Articulated elbow construction
One-hand hem adjustment
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
On test with me:
This jacket is super cosy; I’ve practically lived in the thing! But I wish it had some other features to complete it.
The new Norrora Alpha 60 jacket is a superb athletics jacket, scrap that not just athletics. 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 tested it through I can really see this jacket being super popular with climbers, runners and cyclists.
When you first read the specs of this jacket and see the jacket with the PowerStretch material you may at first think, that’s not waterproof or going to hold off the rain. You’ll be proven wrong very quickly, I thought this at first and the lack of a tapered seam made me think this jacket would not be suitable in heavy rain. Reality was, the water rolls off the jacket but I just wish the jacket had a hood.
This would have really completed the complete waterproofing and really push this jacket into a different level against competitors.
That aside, this jacket dries very quickly; when it stopped raining I simply took the jacket off, shook it off, 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 not get over how cosy it is, the fleece lining inside is soft, not gripping making it difficult to put on or take off.
Polartec Alpha insulation is superb, when it was raining and only had this jacket on, I didn’t feel cold and when it is warm it’s not uncomfortable to wear as its 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. Even when stood still around with the camera or stronger winds when walking you remained comfortable and I didn’t feel the need to grab another jacket to put over the top or keep the wind chill off.
Again I can’t get over how comfortable the jacket is, even the kitten agrees!
As a whole the Norrona Falketind is very practical, not needing to take it off because I was too hot when walking and remained at a comfortable temperature and when stood still, not requiring too add layers.
However if it is cold, a light micro fleece underneath or a thicker jacket above kept me very warm so not only is it ideal for mixed weather but as mid layer to.
When running or climbing up hill, 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 annoying to carry or heavy. For a jacket this insulted and warm to weight ratio is amazing. You can put it in your rucksack and forget about it because it is as light as a feather.
With this jacket you have no excuses not to take it with you anywhere; something this practical and light is silly not to pack it.
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 and closes up.
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! You do look very silly doing this.
Brilliant for adventurous activities with flexibility and comfort being paramount!
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 in all.
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.
Night Hike experience
This term we have been focusing on navigation and knots at our Scout pack and as usual we take the pack out on a night hike getting the boys to navigate our local woodland, covering approx 3-4 miles.
I packed my usual kit with the added Falketind jacket and a back up fleece lined waterproof although this wasn’t needed in the end as the Falketind jacket blocked all the wind out on the ridge top and the dropping temperatures as the night drew in, didn’t phase the jacket at all. I remained very warm and comfortable throughout; where as some of the boys were struggling with heat and cold with their larger jackets.
Night time hikes can be a difficult activity to pack for, with conditions becoming more mixed than usual to a day hike. With the added darkness, temperatures can drop quickly or can remain warm if clouds decide to roll in. On top of this when carrying a pack or hiking long distances you will natural warm up so overall its a wide spectrum of temperatures and you can quickly find yourself annoyed if you have to keep stopping to add or remove layers.
This shows the true testament to the design of this jacket; keeping you warm and protected from the elements or keeping you going when it does warm up but not requiring to remove layers to cool down, it adds both convenience and practicality during activities with changeable conditions in the environment.
I’m very excited to be able to include this jacket in my pack for my April expedition in the Peak District and I’m sure it will be a blessing to have whilst out in the national park.
UPDATE – Peak District Conservation
This is an update since using the jacket throughout my conservation project in the Peak District. This project involved 90% of the work outdoors and the week wasn’t very warm with it only hovering around 10degrees most of the week plus being very over cast and wet at times.
This jacket really came into its element especially when we were doing a lot of manual labour- moving 4 tonnes of stone and a further 4 tonnes of sand for a footpath. So with this in mind and the weather conditions it’s a hard balance of over-heating or getting cold with no jacket. Not with this jacket, the fleece lining helped keep me warm with the outer layer stopping the wind chill. The perfect balance!
When we had stopped for lunch or breaks another layer was needed on top but only a light weight waterproof, nothing thick.
I originally said I would had liked to had seen a hood with the jacket but in this work the hood was the last thing I wanted around my neck and just a light weight but comfortable mid layer that offers waterproofing for the short showers and certainly the windproof layer when on the Roaches or around the reservoirs.
Outside of the conservation work we had time to ourselves to go enjoy the area. One evening we hiked up to the Roaches and from the centre was a 6 mile hike up and down in average conditions for weather but this was the best for hiking up to the Roaches. I started off with a base layer, the Norrona and a light weight waterproof over the top but this was quickly removed half way along the walk.
Once we met the top of the Roaches the jacket was just enough to shrug off the cold and stop the wind chill from affecting me. On the climb down I remained in the same outfit and didn’t require the spare layer that I had packed.
When the weather finally improved on the last day I only needed a light weight waterproof and packed this into my rucksack as it packs down so small it does no harm to pack it but if I needed it whilst out it was to hand.
A superb mid layer and jacket that is very versatile for its breathability, windshield and general comfort. To reiterate from my original review this jacket is best suited for sports and athletics for these reasons.