Test: we check the performance of the Gore-Tex PRO 2 membrane.0 – Norrona Trollveggen jacket
It's been a while since I tested a sturdy waterproof jacket. So it was with great curiosity that I took the hardshell from Norrona, all the more so because the focus was to be on the new Gore-Tex Pro 2 goretex material.0. So how does the Trollveggen model perform?
Test of 3-layer jacket Trollveggen by Norrona sewn from Gore-Tex PRO 2 laminate composition.0 (fot. outdoormagazine.en)
The aforementioned break came about for one important reason – recent years have seen a definite shift away from "do-it-all" jackets. This trend is not only followed by manufacturers offering a large spectrum of softshells, lightweight waterproof jackets, or extremely versatile hybrids. This change in habits is also in line with the needs of users – aware of the activities they have come to practice, analyzing more and more accurate weather forecasts (and thus minimizing and better selecting clothing for expeditions), as well as climate change, the effect of which is also less precipitation, and if it does happen, we are usually prepared for it sitting in a shelter or at home (smartphone forecasts). Of course, during longer escapades difficult conditions will eventually catch up with us – then the "classic" hard shell is as good as found.
Materials and cut
But let's get back to the "heroine" of the test, that is, the jacket made of a composite of Gore Tex Pro 2 laminates.0. The overall performance of the membrane is high, in fact, one can write that it is one of the highest available on the market – water resistance is a minimum of 28,000 mm water column. Breathability, on the other hand, ranges from 6 to 9 RET – depending on the laminate used. The main material with a thickness of 200D fibers is durable, resistant to friction, while the back uses a thinner one (Gore-Tex Pro Stretch – 40D), but it is flexible and has higher breathability. The inner layer is a high-quality woven lining made with Gore Micro Grid Backer technology. It is resistant to abrasion, and it also coordinates well with other clothing materials that we wear under the jacket. In addition, it "breathes" well and is durable, yet lightweight.
3 layers of Gore-Tex Pro laminate: outer fabric, membrane, inner fabric with Gore Micro Grid Backer technology (photo. Gore-Tex)
According to the manufacturer, more than 50% of the man-made fibers used for the entire jacket are recycled. These are not the only advantages of a balanced approach to production. The laminate meets the certifications – Bluesign® (elimination of the use of harmful substances and control of sustainable and safe production) and Oeko-Tex® (an independent certification system verifying that the use of chemicals in the production process does not exceed the standards of national and international standards). Norrona itself also provides access to information related to the production site, which is controlled by independent organizations.
Test of the Trollveggen jacket in the Wolski Forest (fot. P. Turkot)
Trollveggen is a jacket for serious outdoor tasks – you can use it during high mountain climbs, advanced trekking – anywhere you need resistance to harsh weather conditions.
High-quality laminates are an important part of the garment, but equally important are the technologies that allow the skilful combination of different types of materials, lining the seams (in this case with 13 mm wide Gore-Tex tape). On top of all this, the experience of designers and tailors is what gives us a well-fitting, technical cut.
In the case of the Norrony jacket, we are dealing with a model sewn according to the assumptions consistent with the technical cut. It offers profiled sleeves, an extended back of the jacket, an extended outer side of the cuffs, a well-tailored, and integrated into the guard, hood (which accommodates a helmet). The whole is complemented by 2 spacious Napoleon pockets with YKK zippers. Pockets are located high enough that putting on a harness does not limit their volume and does not interfere with access (the left pocket still has an additional smaller pocket inside – for documents, phone). Pockets are spacious and roomy – you can easily stow goggles, gloves, hat etc. in them. The main YKK zipper is two-way.
Norrona assures that this is exactly the kind of well-tailored and prepared for specialists jacket we are dealing with. Nothing but to use and test 🙂
Downhill skiing in the Wipptal valley in the Tyrol (pic. outdoormagazine.pl)
The jacket arrived at the beginning of last autumn, Since then I have managed to test it in various outdoor situations. From "ordinary" rock climbing outings, to training and testing running, skitouring Beskydy and alpine tours. I wore the Trollveggen in winter conditions – in strong winds, in snow drifts, in temperatures well below zero, and moderate. There were also thunderstorms, as well as less intense but prolonged drizzle.
Gore-Tex Pro 2 laminate.0 along with the built-in Gore-Tex membrane are the undoubted advantages of the Trollveggen model (fot. P. Turkot)
Gore-Tex Pro 2 laminate.0 along with the advanced membrane built into it are undoubted advantages of the Trollveggen model. The aforementioned parameters of 28,000 water column, in addition to high-quality DWR impregnation, taped seams and waterproof zippers (2 in the naple pockets and the main one) are, according to the manufacturer, a barrier against external moisture.
I had the opportunity to test the jacket both when it was snowing wet, raining heavily, or in a light drizzle. In order to also have more "sterile" conditions I also did a test in the shower. Nothing, of course, can substitute for unforeseen occurrences in the open air, but the intense stream of water directed at the jacket by approx. 15 minutes (a greater waste of water was not allowed by my ecological conscience).
Effect? The jacket did not get wet even once. At no point did wet spots appear on the underside of the garment. A couple of times in sudden downpours I got the bottom of my T-shirt and sweatshirt soggy, but that was because my softshell pants were completely soaked – hence the moisture traveled upward.
Good waterproofing is also helped by – a well-tailored and easily adjustable hood with a stiffened visor and extended cuffs along with a velcro patch, which facilitates the fit and ensures that the material adheres to the hand.
Extended cuffs along with a velcro patch, which facilitates the fit and ensures that the material adheres to the hand – test the jacket in heavy storm precipitation (fot. P. Turkot)
All in all, we mostly require outdoor clothing to protect against cooling winds. For 3-layer jackets, this function is fulfilled without much trouble. The Trollveggen is no different – the Gore tex Pro laminate provides an impenetrable barrier to wind. In addition to the material, this function is strengthened – as with waterproofing – by the cut of the jacket and the welts on the cuffs (velcro) and at the bottom of the jacket. All the protection is complemented by a well-tailored and easily adjustable (with a single welt) hood, with a high hood integrated into it.
So I wore the jacket in mountainous conditions – the Austrian Alps, the Beskids, when it started blowing hard, and the softshell or "primaloft" did not handle the wind very well. Trollveggen also proved itself during downhill skiing – regardless of the conditions it provided thermal comfort.
This is traditionally the most difficult feature to evaluate. Especially in the case of a 3-layer jacket, whose breathability by definition is limited. The high RET parameters from 6 to 9, with which the Trollvegen materials are labeled, are an advantage, but there are no miracles – when you go uphill (not to mention running) with a backpack in temperatures of 0°C and above, there is basically no chance not to start sweating on your back. Well, unless our pace takes on a walking style. Manufacturers know this, which is why jackets are equipped with ventilation holes. Trollveggen also has one. The opening of these extensive openings pushes back the moment of "sweating". They also allow you to quickly adjust the humidity after exercise, at rest stops, etc. – provided, of course, that conditions are favorable.
However, when the temperatures start to drop and the wind picks up it is definitely more difficult to maintain thermal comfort. However, then the Trollvegen works great. Hence, I reached for the jacket many times in winter conditions, both during skitouring trips and training runs through the Wolski Forest.
At this point, it is also worth adding that the comfort of use is increased by the high-quality inner material – it works well with various textures of inner garments and, last but not least, is friendly to bare skin (it does not stick to it, as is the case with slippery liners of 2.5-layer jackets).
It's hard to imagine more serious mountain excursions without a hardshell. Trollveggen from Norrona made with Gore Tex Pro 2.0 is a product that will allow us to face demanding conditions. Thanks to the high quality of workmanship and materials used, there is a good chance – after all, there are many objective factors in the mountains – that the jacket will increase thermal comfort and allow you to focus on the technical difficulties of the road, trail or descent. It's worth remembering that it's not a product designed for aerobic activities, but it's worth having it in your backpack (it weighs 650 gr) and reaching for when the outdoor adventure "takes a turn", that is, when a strong wind breaks and heavy rain starts to fall. Last but not least, users should appreciate the good, technical cut, minimalist design. I do, in any case, every time I put Trollveggen on myself.