The Norrøna Falketind PrimaLoft™ 60 is a multi-purpose and lightweight insulted jacket aimed towards active pursuits such as hiking, climbing (ice & rock) and glacier walking. Intended as a replacement for a heavyweight fleece (but with many advantages that we’ll go into) it features elasticated cuffs, above-harness hand warming pockets, a high collar and adjustable hem.
Comfort & Fit
At 186cm (6’1) 74kg, a Medium is a perfect fit (Norrøna have a handy sizing guide online to find what’s right for you), the jacket is a great length in both the body and arms, with room for layers both below (such as fleeces and baselayers) and on top (such as shell jacket or another insulted layer).
With uncharacteristic bad weather in Spain, we used this jacket on multi-pitch climbs in El Chorro for added warmth at belays. It’s fantastic warmth-to-weight ratio made it ideal for this, and when climbing it survived being scraped across sharp rocks without damage. The outer shell is very thin, so this durability will be limited – but considering the weight, it performed very well.
The insulated high pockets sit above a climbing harness which is a major bonus (both for storage and hand warming). The elasticated fleece lined cuffs, high collar and zip baffle keep the wind out whilst the inside pocket provides further storage inside the jacket (complete with key hanger). Overall this jacket has a good set of useful features – the only feature we missed was the ability to zip the jacket open from the bottom (always handy to poke your belay loop out of when wearing over a harness).
The breathability is a bit of a mixed bag with the Falketind, it’s worth considering the intensity of activity and environment when using a jacket of this type: For intense activity, the Falketind jacket really comes to life in a colder climate (performing well below 5c) where it can be worn on it’s own or layered.
In milder climates (5c – 10c) the jacket breathes sufficiently only when stationary, or during moderate exercise (such as gentle walking/hiking). In mild weather we found the arms and body would get clammy during intense activities (such climbing, scrambling and steep hiking) often resorting to rolling the sleeves up into a Gillet as the jacket struggled to expel moisture.
The wind resistance of the Falketind jacket is excellent, easily outperforming a fleece of similar weight. It keeps even the strongest of winds out due to the elasticated cuff and hem and is one of the major benefits of using a jacket of this type.
This jacket is not waterproof, and for cold and wet environments a combination outer shell would be the best option. However, we found the jacket would hold off a shower and light rain for around 20 minutes, which was a nice surprise. The great thing about PrimaLoft (when compared to traditional Down) is that it retains it’s insulating properties even when wet – so if the shit does hit the fan, this jacket will just about see you through (but you will be damp… type 2 fun).
Considering it’s weight, the jacket is quite warm – better then a fleece, but not quite as good as Down jacket of this style. As we mentioned in the Breathability section, it’s environment and activity dependant but due to it’s weight and packability you can use this jacket in many combinations and layer systems to suit whatever you are doing.
The Falketind does not stretch at all, but due to it’s slightly relaxed fit it does climb quite well. The cuffs tend to hold the sleeves near your wrists and the jacket didn’t tend to rise up too dramatically during long stretches.
The Falketind is a versatile and well made jacket that can be used in a multitude of situations. The minimal weight and packability make for a convenient package that performs generally better then a fleece of equivalent weight. The high price tag (RRP £170) may discourage some, but with Norrøna you generally get what you pay for, and we think the Falketind is a high quality bit of kit that will be used and abused throughout the year.