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Brand intro: Norrøna || Premium & technical, ubiquitous in Norway

The Lyngen Down 850 Parka, with 850-fill down and 10d face fabric. It weighs 12 oz (M’s Large) and retails for $419.

Outdoor Retailer is an opportunity to learn about brands I’ve never heard and brands about which I know little. So when I was invited into the Norrøna booth, I said yes.

Norrøna is a 90 year-old Norwegian company that is still owned and managed by the original family. The intended application, materials and construction quality, and prices of its products remind me most of Arc’Tyrx, or premium lines from Patagonia or TNF. The product line is expansive, covering all four seasons and multiple outdoor sports, including hiking, alpine climbing, mountain biking, running, skiing and snowboarding, and even surfing and hunting.

In Norway, where Norrøna is apparently as ubiquitous as LL Bean, there are lower-priced products, too, but for now the US will only see its premium goods. And the products will be focused on hike, run, and the snow sports.

Current US distribution includes:

Norrøna is also exploring possible retail locations in the U.S., and it’s likely to open a branded retail location in 2019.

Can Norrøna break into the US? Personally, I find the price points difficult to swallow (e.g. $420 for a 3+ season parka, or $250 for a 20d Pertex windshirt), but I know there’s a market for them — other brands successfully play in this space. The product quality is excellent. It has a novelty/up-and-coming element. And it seems genuinely committed to corporate social responsibility.

At OR earlier this month their product line was skewed towards winter activities. But I’ll swing by again in future shows to see what products might be more applicable to backpacking and trail running.


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5 Responses to Brand intro: Norrøna || Premium & technical, ubiquitous in Norway

  1. Bo Sun November 14, 2018 at 9:46 pm #

    Hi Andrew, long-time fan & reader of your stuff.

    What is your go-to 3 season down hooded jacket, now that it seems the Sierra Designs Elite DriDown Hoody is out of stock/discontinued (and you’ve ended your business relationship with them)?

    It seems like Patagonia has also discontinued their Ultralight Down Hoody jacket, which is a shame (due to their great warranty reputation).

    OutdoorGearLab just reviewed the TNF Summit L3 Hoody (MSRP $350), which looks promising.

    • Andrew Skurka November 15, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

      Personally, I still use my DriDown Hoody for 3-season trips in the Mountain West. It could be lighter, but the warmth is appropriate, and I own it.

      If I was in the market for a new parka:

      * My Trail Company HL Hooded Down Jacket
      * Montbell Superior Down Parka
      * Western Mountaineering Hooded Flash Jacket

      • Bo Sun November 15, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

        Thanks Andrew for the recommendations. The reason I ask if because I used the DriDown Hoody on the PCT this year and is in pretty rough shape, but couldn’t find it anywhere in stock for a replacement.

        It’s disappointing that most brand warranty policies (except $$$ like Patagonia, FF, WM) are not able to repair or replace a heavily used down jacket (I tried with Sierra Designs), which makes it almost seem like a consumable item in one’s base weight, especially if it is used heavily in one season like a thru-hike.

        • Greg November 16, 2018 at 3:44 am #

          I’ve followed the work (via instagram) of Santa Cruz Gear Repair and Repair Lair and they do some pretty amazing repairs of down items. Both of those places seem to be one-person repair shops and both have worked on Patagonia’s Worn Wear truck, although in their businesses they repair any brand. If you really like your SD hoody it may be worth it to send it to one of them.

      • Gordon November 15, 2018 at 8:56 pm #

        Andrew,

        If you are OK with the 70 gram fill weight on the Montbell, why not give a nod to the Ghostwhisperer? The WM looks to be the bomb, if you’ve got the bucks.

        I have an SD Elite DriDown Hoody (on your recommendation), and it weighs in at only 11.4 ounces, which is an ounce lighter than the published spec! Maybe I’m missing some down, but it feels plenty warm.

        Also, I just want to say: my, my, my Norrøna!

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