Outdoor enthusiast, Jørgen Jørgensen, was on the hunt for durable equipment that could stand up against the harsh Norwegian winters. This search led him to found Norrona in 1929. Today, Norrona is still family-owned and run, and they manufacture some of the highest quality mountain apparel on the market.
While well-established in Europe, this brand is relatively new to North American adventurists. You may have noticed their unique Viking logo appearing in your local ski shops, but that certainly isn’t the only characteristic that put Norrona on our radar. All their products are designed to equip you with the highest grade weather-protective fabrics and are strategically engineered with thoughtful, technical features specific to your outdoor needs. However, due to Norrona’s Norwegian roots and technical nature, the names of their products can be difficult to understand. This blog explains what those names mean in terms of functionality and how they can help you better understand which collection fits your intended outdoor experience.
Before we dive into how Norrona names their products, let’s talk about technical fabrics. While most other brands adopt a “Good, Better, Best” strategy to their product lines, Norrona focuses their resources on designing the best “loaded minimalist” garments. This means that everything you buy from Norrona will have everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Their main goal is to design the best possible product for the end user and therefore streamline their brand to only feature the highest quality fabrics and materials. Here are a few different types of materials and their purposes:
- Gore-Tex is used in all products that need a waterproof membrane. Gore-Tex is extremely thin, durably waterproof, windproof, and breathable. It has over 9 billion pores per square inch that are each 20,000 times smaller than a water drop, but 700 times larger than water vapor. This means that rain won’t get through the membrane, but that perspiration vapor can escape.
- Polartec Alpha is referred to as “Alpha” in most of Norrona’s product names that contain this material. This unique technology creates warmth without weight, is exceptionally breathable, compressible, and dries quickly thanks to its high loft fibers and low density knit. Polartec Alpha is used in many of Norrona’s base and midlayers intended for high-intensity activities with lots of “stop” and “go” phases such as ski touring and rock climbing.
- PrimaLoft insulation is designed to provide warmth without bulk. It offers lightweight softness, water-resistance, and compressibility that mimics goose down.
- Down insulation is used in several if Norrona’s mid and outer layers. They source this high-quality down responsibly from the Pyrenees mountains of France, and all treatment of birds complies with strict European guidelines. Norrona fills its down jackets with fill powers of 750, 850, and 900.
How Norrøna Names Their Products
Norrona’s product naming system is fairly straightforward. Most of the brand’s technical clothing follows a three-part structure: the collection name, the material used, and the type of product. For example, the Lofoten Gore-Tex Jacket is an outer-layer jacket made with a Gore-Tex shell and it’s part of the Lofoten line.
But what in the world does Lofoten mean? And Tamok? And Trollveggen? That’s why we’re here. Norrona’s products are organized based on outdoor activities and the functionality of the garment. Let’s dive into what each name represents.
Name Origin: The Lofoten Islands, Norway
Primary Use: Big mountain freeride skiing, backcountry touring
The Lofoten line was named after the Lofoten islands, which are notorious for their unpredictable weather. Norrona designed these products to allow you to layer or de-layer quickly based on changing conditions. You’ll find durable, yet lightweight outer layers with premium Gore-Tex fabrics that allow you to breathe without sacrificing wind and waterproofness. Other skiing-specific features such as powder skirts, ski pass pockets, and goggle wipes are integrated into all Lofoten products. We like to recommend these jackets and pants to skiers looking for versatile gear they can wear inbounds and in the backcountry. They’re an excellent compromise between the durability and waterproofing of a Tamok hardshell and the breathability of an easy-to-pack Lyngen softshell.
Our Favorite: Lofoten Gore-Tex Jacket
Name Origin: Tamok Park, Norway
Primary Use: Resort skiing, freeride skiing
Tamok Park is a popular ski and snowboard resort in Norway known for its terrain parks and dry, cold, inland mountain weather. Norrona drew inspiration from this valley to create the Tamok line of ultra-durable, heavier-weight snow sport apparel. Functionally, this line is similar to the Lofoten in that it’s totally ski and snowboard-specific, however you’ll find the Tamok products feature longer cuts and looser-fitting styles. Tamok also boasts the most durable and warmest jackets and pants that Norrona creates—perfect for skiers who want to lap chairlifts all day long.
Our Favorite: Tamok Gore-Tex Pro Jacket
Name Origin: The Lyngen Alps, Norway
Primary Use: Ski touring
Norrona’s Lyngen product line was designed purely for ski touring and features versatile products that perform best during high-intensity days in the backcountry. Named after a mountainous region in Norway known for backcountry skiing, Lyngen products are designed for skiers who prefer to earn their turns. The priorities of these pieces are breathability, weight, and packability—three values that ski mountaineers live by when planning big pursuits in the mountains. Norrona placed a heavy focus on creating a variety of technical midlayers with active insulation (versus static insulation) that skiers can choose from based on how much breathability and warmth they need.
Lyngen’s soft and hardshell jackets are very lightweight and packable but choosing them means you will sacrifice some wind and water protection. We recommend Lyngen shells for folks who want a backcountry-specific kit, if they tend to run warm while they ski tour, or if they live in an intercontinental climate with drier snow—like the Wasatch!
Our Favorite: Lyngen Alpha 90 Jacket
Name Origin: Trollveggen Wall, Romsdalen Valley, Norway
Primary Use: Ice climbing, rock climbing, ski mountaineering
Located in the Romsdalen Valley, Trollveggen is Europe’s tallest vertical overhanging rock face and a popular rock climbing destination. The name translates to Troll Wall and provided inspiration behind Norrona’s line of climbing-focused mountaineering apparel. The Trollveggen line mimics the versatile range of Lofoten products—but with technical alpine-specific features such as hoods fitted for climbing helmets, durable face fabrics that can withstand brushing up against rock walls, and pockets placed higher on the torso to prevent interference with a harness. Mobility is also a key feature throughout the Trollveggen line as jackets and pants are cut and articulated for easy movement while climbing.
Our Favorite: Trollveggen Superlight Down850 Hooded Jacket
Name Origin: Falketind Mountain (6,781 ft), Norway
Primary Use: Mountaineering, year-round hiking, ski touring
Falketind is a dramatic peak located on the outskirts of Jotunheimen National Park in Norway. The mountain’s name translates to Falcon’s Peak and was first summited in 1820—well before the birth of Norwegian mountaineering. Its high alpine characteristics inspired Norrona’s line of trekking and mountaineering products that are versatile enough to wear year-round. You’ll find plenty of breathable midlayers, technical shorts and pants, and packable outer layers that can double as winter ski and summer rain jackets. The Falketind line is a great place for multi-sport athletes to search for apparel that can easily cross over between winter and summer.
Our Favorite: Falketind Gore-Tex Jacket
Norrona’s offerings of high-quality outdoor apparel extend far beyond the confines of winter sports. They’ve recently introduced two mountain biking-focused product lines (Fjora and Skibotn), and their Svalbard hiking category boasts some of the most breathable, versatile, and durable summer mountain activewear on the market. We hope this article helps you gain a clearer understanding of Norrona’s products as well as of the brand as a whole. Now that you know what all the hoopla is about, you’re better prepared to choose the products that are best suited to you and that enhance to your adventures in the mountains.
By Olivia Reed, Content Writer and Media Manager