In the Pacific Northwest it’s dangerous to go anywhere without a waterproof jacket. Weather can change in minutes. Forecasts can be completely wrong. That said, jackets spend a lot of their time stuffed into the bottom of your backpack because the weather is actually good.
So light and packable is important. Waterproof and breathable is obviously important as well. And waterproof and breathable are often in conflict with each other. Most of the time more waterproof means less breathable. The Lyngen Gore-Tex jacket from Norrona nails a lot of these requirements out of the box.
The Norrona Lyngen Gore-Tex Jacket
The Lyngen line of waterproof jackets and pants are build for light and fast adventures in the mountains, specifically ski touring. Built with Gore-Tex Active and C-knit, they hardly weigh anything but are very breathable at the same time.
First, the specs, then we’ll dive into what they mean for using it.
- Gore-Tex Active 2.0 in the body body
- Gore-Tex C-knit in the shoulders, sleeves and collar
- Dual front zippers
- Pit zips
- Laminated stretch woven hand gaiters
- Helmet compatible storm hood
- Lightweight 40 denier face fabric
- 2 large chest pockets, 1 small chest pocket
- 320 grams (11.3 oz)
- $679 CAD ($599 USD)
I’ll explain the 2 types of Gore-tex used in the Lyngen below but there are a couple important notes about the other specs.
The front of the jacket has 2 zippers placed an inch apart. The jacket can be zipped up normally with the first zipper, protecting you from rain and snow. Zipping to the second zipper uncovers mesh vents that run all the way down the front increasing the ventilation. This is the only jacket I’ve ever seen this feature on.
Large chest pockets are nice on a ski touring jacket to store skins in on the way down. If you’re doing laps, your body heat will keep the skin glue warmer and working better.
The laminated stretch woven hand gaiter is a stretchy piece of fabric with a thumb loop that slides over your hand and keeps the wrist of your jacket in place and the elements out. It’s a bit big on my hand but serves it’s purpose. I love the way they feel. When you aren’t wearing it, the small amount of fabric just wraps around your wrist like the rest of the sleeve.
What is Gore-Tex Active?
The biggest problem with waterproof membranes is they reduce breathability. Gore-Tex Active is currently Gore’s most breathable membrane. When paired with a thin fabric on the outside of the jacket you get Gore durability with high breathability. It’s not as breathable as something like a polyester or merino layer but no membranes are.
What is Gore-tex C-Knit?
Because it’s so thin and breathable the Active membrane is not as durable as the other Gore membranes. In high abrasion areas like under a backpack and areas like the collar that get covered in lots of oil from our skin, they’ve used the Gore C-knit material. The layer against your skin is a soft, stretchy circular knit that protects the waterproof second layer from wear and oil.
Pros to the Lyngen Jacket
There are a lot of pros to the Lyngen. It’s very comfortable to wear and has a softer touch to it because of the face fabric and C-knit inside. The breathability is very good and made even better with vents down the front and under the arms.
- lightweight and packable
- very breathable
- durability where it matters
- Gore-Tex is a very durable waterproof membrane
- dual front zippers and pit zips can increase breathability even more
- hand gaiters
Cons to the Lyngen Jacket
The only cons to the Lyngen I saw really are just design decisions when making a jacket this light with Gore-Tex. Thin fabric won’t stand up to rubbing on rock or hitting trees as well. The Active membrane is very breathable for a Gore product but others like eVent and FutureLight from The North Face is more breathable. (FutureLight isn’t out yet so we shouldn’t even be comparing at this point.)
- Thin face fabric can be fragile
- Gore-tex (in general) needs a humidity difference between inside and outside to work well
If you’re looking for a lightweight, breathable jacket to go hard in definitely look at the Lyngen. It’s not for high-abrasion, rough situations but for light and fast it excels. For ski touring, what it was built for, it’s one of the best you can get.
Verdict: Highly recommended.