|Guest - Not logged in|
Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Norrona lyngen Down850 Hood > Owner Review by Richard Lyon
NORRONA lyngen DOWN850 HOOD JACKET
Owner Review by Richard Lyon
March 7, 2022
PERSONAL DETAILS and BACKPACKING BACKGROUND
Male, 75 years old
Height: 6' 3" [1.91 m]
Weight: 205 lb [(91 kg]
Waist: 38 in [97 cm]
Chest: 45 in [114 cm]
Torso: 22.5 in [57 cm]
Arms: 36.5 in [93 cm]
Email address: Montana DOT angler AT gmail DOT com
Home: Outside Bozeman, Montana USA, in the Bridger Mountains
I've been backpacking for half a century, most often in the Rockies. I do at least one weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-day trips. I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 10000 ft [1500 - 3000 m]. I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips from camp. Though always looking for ways to reduce my pack weight, I still tend to include my favorite camp conveniences. I always sleep in a floored tent and like hot meals. Backcountry trips are often planned around skiing or ski touring in the winter or fishing opportunities in warmer weather.
The lyngen Down850 Hood Jacket is, in its maker's words, "our lightest down jacket with a hoodie." It's a hooded down jacket intended for year-round "general outdoor adventures." Norrona named its lyngen product line after the Lyngen Alps, one of Norway's premier backcountry skiing venues. The company's promotional slogan for this line is "pushing the limits of durable lightweight." As true of most Norrona garments, the Hoodie comes in separate men's and women's versions. In my opinion it's more of a jacket than a sweater, for reasons given below.
Manufacturer: Norrona A/S, norrona.com
Size: XXL; available in sizes S-XXL. The women's version has XS-XL sizing.
Color: True red/indigo blue/black. No longer available, but four different options are listed. Women's version lists five color combinations.
Weight: listed [no size indicated]: 382 g/13.5 oz; measured, size XXL,12.9 oz/366 g
Length: 28.9 in/73 cm, measured from hem to collar in the back
MSRP: $419 US
Year purchased: 2021
Warranty: Five years to the original purchaser against defects in production or material. Extended to seven years for loyalty members. All one need do to become a loyalty member is create an account on Norrona's website. [And the seven years may not be hard and fast. I recently sent another Norrona jacket, well outside its warranty period, to the company's U.S. repair contractor for a replacement zipper. Today it was returned, with new zipper neatly sewn in and a note explaining that Norrona was waiving the repair charge because "we value you as a customer." That is typical of the fine service I've always received from this manufacturer.]
The jacket employs Norrona's Technical Fit, the second-tightest fit among the four that the company uses for its athletic products.
Listed features, with my commentary in blue on those that aren't self-explanatory, include:
Chest pocket with zipper closure. Zipper is on the left side parallel to the main zipper.
Down insulated. 850 fill power down from France.
Durable water repellent treated material. Called Polartec Power Stretch Pro; according to Norrona "This unique construction allows for increased resistance and durability against the elements without sacrificing breathability or comfort."
Exterior hangloop. In the middle on the back of the collar. Very useful.
Hand warming pockets with zipper closure. Like the chest pocket, the zippers run parallel to the main zipper.
Innerplacket to prevent cold spots. Not sure what this is.
One-hand hem adjustment. Easy to work.
Packable in pocket. A waste of time in my opinion; I use a stuff sack. But it can be done.
Sleeve-end with internal stretch cuff
Soft brushed chin protection. Quite pleasant.
Storm hood fitted for climbing helmet with one-hand adjustment. Fits over a ski helmet. Adjustment takes some practice to operate, but once learned it's easy. The hood is not removable.
YKK® front zipper 4mm
Quilted down construction. Another way of saying sewn-through down chambers.
WHY I BOUGHT IT
While I already own far too much outdoor clothing, I recently lost my only hooded down jacket to old age. I like down jackets or sweaters as winter midweight layering pieces, as camp wear for the chilly summer nights in the Northern Rockies, and as a supplement to my sleeping quilts year-round. All my garments from Norrona, several of which I have reviewed on this site, have been functional and exceptionally durable. So I sprung for the lyngen. This jacket has not disappointed.
Summer use. I wore the Jacket on two three-day backpacking trips in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, this past summer. In July along Slough Creek, elevation at campsites about 6800 ft/2000 m, temperatures low 40s F/7-8 C at night, up to 80-85 F/26-29 C during the day, with a brief thunderstorm one night, otherwise sunny and dry. The Jacket came in handy in the mornings and evenings around camp, over a merino tee shirt. I wore it to bed, unzipped, inside my lightest sleeping quilt, rated to 35 F/2 C. The hood was unneeded thanks to a wool cap. Like anything with down, I was sure to store it inside my tent when I wasn't wearing it.
Similar weather but without the thunderstorm in August, near the Lamar River, and similar use.
Autumn use. The Jacket was in my pack on several day hikes in the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Bitterroot Valleys, Montana, in late September and early October. I met with fair weather on all but one hike, with temperatures ranging from 50-90 F/10-32 C. The exception was on a misty, occasionally rainy day in October, when I chased the wily trout in the Yellowstone River and a feeder creek at the low end of the temperature range in the preceding sentence. On pure hikes, with no fishing, I wore a long-sleeved merino or cotton shirt; on fishing days I added either my fishing vest or a front pack. The Jacket came out of my pack at morning breaks and lunchtime, usually unzipped. On that chilly, rainy October day I donned the Jacket as a midlayer over the shirt and under the fishing vest for protection against the infamous Paradise Valley winds.
Southwest Montana suffered a warm and dry fall, broken by two early [late September] mini-blizzards. When I fired up my woodstove for winter service in mid-October I would often wear the Jacket as my outer layer over a tee shirt or light wool sweater for daily wood-splitting and dog-walking duty, at estimated temperatures from 25-40 F/-4 to +4 C, on mornings with no precipitation.
Winter use was delayed, as real winter didn't arrive until a couple of days before Christmas.
Home use increases in winter. Wood must be split and the dog must be walked daily, and it's usually cold enough to require some insulation. The former task is normally done at first light, often the day's coldest time. If the temperature is below 20 F [-7 C] - true most days since December 20 - the lyngen goes over my tee shirt or pajama top for a half-hour's work. Dog walking occurs at various times. The hound's morning do-his-business walk, one-half to one mile [0.8 to 1.5 km], is the day's first order of business, and the lyngen goes over a heavy sweater. On longer walks, later in the day, I'm dressed in a sweater or wool shirt and jeans. I tend to wear the lyngen as my outer layer below the same temperature point unless it's really cold, say below zero F [-17 C] or especially windy, when a heavier down coat takes its place. With my travel greatly reduced by the pandemic, these have become part of an almost daily routine this winter.
I've also worn the lyngen when telemark skiing at the local ski hill or cross-country skiing at the nearby Nordic Center or the backcountry. At the resort it's always been a midlayer, over a merino tee and under a windbreaker, except on one particularly frigid day when the shell gave way to an insulated jacket. Yesterday morning, at 14 F/-10 C and mild winds, I wore the lyngen as my outer layer over a merino tee and wool sweater.
Fit. I've noted in Reviews of other Norrona garments that this manufacturer tends to size things on the small side. Often I must choose between XL for a snug fit or XXL to accommodate my long arms and torso. The description of the Technical Fit - "perfect balance between allowing multiple layers underneath, but the jacket should not restrict movement or view" - convinced me to go larger, and I'm glad I did. As can be seen in the photo, the hem is several inches below my waist. The fit suits me almost exactly and as advertised without restricting movement.
Features. The feature I most appreciate on this jacket is so common that it's often not listed as a feature - pockets. In a dedicated effort to save every possible gram, however, some manufacturers dispense with them in certain down sweaters and jackets intended as midlayers. The lyngen has three - a large handwarmer pocket on each side and a smaller Napoleon pocket on the wearer's left parallel to the main zipper. Each may be closed with a zipper. Including pockets allows my wearing the jacket as an outer layer without having to stuff gloves, a headlamp, a cap, a phone, or all of the above into trouser pockets.
The hood is great, fitting comfortably but snugly over my ski helmet or a watch cap, cinched down if necessary. I've rarely used the hem adjustment.
This jacket has no pit zips, consistent with its place as a midlayer. I don't think they are necessary as I'd rarely use them.
My comments on other features are above. Norrona's list is deceptively long, as most items are small and basic. Each one, except maybe the elusive Interplacket, has a purpose and performs that purpose quite well. As with my other Norrona clothing, this hoodie does its duty admirably and does it without features or gimmicks that to my mind add little more than weight and potential problems. Norrona garments are all business.
Warmth. Very good indeed! Maybe too good for winter athletic use as a midlayer, which is the main reason why I look upon it as a jacket rather than a sweater. Norrona rates all its garments on a six-point scale in seven performance categories. The lyngen hoodie gets only a 4/6 on insulation, which I can only attribute to manufacturer's modesty or comparison to expedition-weight garments. I was slightly sweaty at 15 F [-10 C] when alpine skiing even though I kept my shell unzipped with pit zips open. During cross-country skiing, a more aerobic activity, the lyngen kept me warm [but not too warm] when worn as a midlayer at 25 F/-4 C or as an outer layer at 14 F/-10 C. I found the insulating ability perfect for shoulder season wear in the backcountry and front country - cozy warm when zipped up and a windcheater when worn open at summer breaks. The same goes for its use as a quilt supplement.
Weatherworthiness. Terrific at beating the wind. I blame those ski lift chills on the cold, not any shortcoming in the garment. I haven't noticed any cold spots along the seams or the zipper even in the coldest conditions at which I've worn the jacket as the outer garment, and that's been down to -25 F/-32 C. With the hood adjustment I can make this jacket almost an upper body cocoon. Norrona's 6/6 rating is spot-on. Water repellency is not too bad either, and certainly adequate for winter wear. The autumn mist and light rain beaded up on the surface and didn't soak through to the down. For obvious reasons, though, I wouldn't rely on this garment for protection in a downpour or even a steady rain.
Comfort. Warm and cozy, thanks to the windblocking and the jacket's great fit. Sleeve and body length don't leave wrists exposed when skiing or back exposed then arms are extended - I'm glad I sized up. Because it has handwarmer pockets I can and do wear it as a casual outer layer around town.
Packability. In a stuff sack or its pocket the hoodie packs down to a size just a bit larger than a one-liter water bottle. One of goose down's great advantages. I stow all down items in a waterproof dry bag.
Care. If I remember and am not too tired, I spot-clean the hoodie with a warm water-soaked cloth to remove surface soiling after every backcountry trip. I've washed it once. Norrona instructs [on the website and on a tag inside the hoodie] using the washing machine with down-specific cleaner on delicate setting, then tumble drying with clean tennis balls to preserve loft. I went halfway with the manufacturer, with some trepidation based on long experience with down-filled garments. [I normally hand-wash anything with down inside.] The jacket survived its trip through my no-agitator washer and then was air-dried in on a hanger in the shower. A bit of hand fluffing after it was dry and loft was as good as new.
Durability. Durability has been the hallmark of every Norrona product I've owned over the years, and the lyngen Hoodie is off to a great start. I've worn it often, stuffed it in my pack carelessly often, forgotten to spot clean it a few times, and it really still looks like new. I'm expecting years of good use.
WHAT I LIKE
Design - the hood particularly
LESS THAN PERFECT?
Functionally, there's not much I would change. I might add a small internal pocket for car keys or to keep a phone warm.
Norrona's home page headline is "Premium Outdoor Products." These premium products are not inexpensive, though in my opinion their extraordinary quality and durability justify the premium prices. Here's a hint and suggestion to prospective buyers.The Norrona Loyalty Program mentioned above costs nothing except maybe some unwanted emails [sometimes in Norse] and provides access to the company's Outlet pages. Norrona restocks the Outlet periodically and there offers significant discounts on a wide variety of clothing and gear - including the jacket I've just reviewed.
Read more reviews of Norrøna gear
Read more gear reviews by Richard Lyon
Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Norrona lyngen Down850 Hood > Owner Review by Richard Lyon