The Norrona Lyngen GORE-TEX Active Shell is purpose built for those looking to go fast and light. The jacket features GORE-TEX Active and GORE-TEX Shake Dry to protect against weather and increase breathability while your heart rate is up on the skin track.
The Lyngen Active Jacket is incredibly light, with a size large weighing in at only 300g. Despite being lightweight, the shell showed no signs of wear after a month of heavy use in the backcountry – thick trees, ice axes, and ski crampons proved no match. Our tester was also pleasantly surprised to find that this shell packed down quite a bit smaller than most other high-end GORE-TEX shells.
It should be no surprise that this shell is incredibly waterproof, given that it is made with GORE-TEX fabric. Norrona lists the waterproofness at 28,000mm, and gives it a 5 out of 6 on Norrona’s product-wide waterproof scale. Our tester used it in heavy snow, sleet, and even some rain with no issues.
The Norrona Lyngen Jacket is incredibly breathable. Utilizing GORE-TEX Active and Shake Dry, the jacket achieves a RET <4, which places it amongst the most breathable shells on the market.
In order to shave weight and improve packability, Norrona opted to exclude pit zips and instead added a second zipper that can be used to expose a highly breathable mesh panel that is around an inch wide. This second zipper is located next to the main zipper, and is unnoticeable when not in use.
Our tester found that the second zipper’s mesh panel worked to increase breathability in warm temperatures, but was not as effective as pit zips may have been. Despite this, the Norrona Lyngen Gore-Tex Active Jacket without pit zips feels as breathable or more breathable than most GORE-TEX shells on the market that feature pit zips.
One downside to the functionality of the second zipper is the use of bibs, which our tester found out quickly. Bibs limited the increase in breathability that the second zipper offered, as they sit between the baselayer and the mesh and thus decrease the jacket’s ability to dump moisture created during activity.
This Norrona Jacket keeps it as simple as possible to achieve its lightweight and packability. It has two harness-compatible chest pockets that are quite large as well as an internal chest pocket that is slightly too small to hold a standard iPhone. It also has a helmet-compatible hood with a drawstring that can be used to cinch the hood down to fit snugly around the helmet.
Last, there is a drawstring around the waist that can be used to tighten the jacket to keep out unwanted snow that you may encounter while boot-packing up a deep couloir.
The fit of the shell is technical, but not too slim. Our tester is 5’ 7” and weighs 155 lbs and found the Medium to be his ideal fit. This left ample room for layering and offered more of a freeride-look. A small would certainly also fit, but would lend itself better to those who prefer a slimmer fit.
The model is 5’ 7” and weighs 155 lbs. He is wearing a size medium. For a more technical fit, a size small would also work great. At the time of writing, the shell is only available in red with a dark grey torso that is somewhat reflective (or ADRENALIN/PEAT, as Norrona calls the colorway). These colors are high visibility, making it easier to spot those wearing this jacket in inclement weather, heavy snowfall, and thick trees.
This Norrona GORE-TEX Active Jacket’s ($699.99) low weight and ability to pack down incredibly small make it the perfect shell for fast and light adventures in the alpine. Combine that with top of the line breathability and waterproofness and you get one of the finest ski touring and mountaineering shells on the market.