The sports apparel market has seen a number of great outdoor clothing brands that make impressive products and compete with each other for a spot at the top.
Through our brand comparison series we have come across several of these brands and continue to be impressed with the performance of their products.
Arc’teryx is one such brand, which has been extensively featured in many of our reviews, comparisons and selections.
Today, for another brand comparison, we will look at Arc’teryx and see how it measures up to Norrøna, a newcomer in this series.
Let’s take a look:
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A short history of the brand
A Norwegian brand, Norrøna was founded by Jørgen Jørgensen, an outdoor enthusiast, in 1929. The company was initiated when Jørgensen started searching for lasting outdoor equipment to perform activities in the rugged and harsh land of Norway.
Norrøna is currently being led by his great-grandson, also named Jorgen Jorgensen. He was also the one to open up Norrøna’s first ever shop in 2009. While the brand started off as an outdoor clothing and equipment brand, it has also expanded to other areas like garden furniture.
Norrøna currently focuses on outdoor apparel and expedition equipment for numerous sports, including arctic surfing, hunting, trekking, hiking, climbing, mountain climbing, snowboarding and skiing. They also launched their children collection in 2014.
Norrøna is responsible for popularizing “flashy” colors in outdoor apparel. Lofoten is the company’s flagship product. It is a snow suit with roomy cuts to adapt to snowboarding, downhill skiing, or cross-country. More than five hundred units are sold yearly.
Materials and Manufacture
Norrøna is well-known for their innovation and has a large research and development department. The brand launched the first ever tunnel tent to be utilized by mountaineers, introduced the Gore-Tex technology in Europe, and created ergonomic standards for backpacks.
Nylon and Polyester are the primary fabrics used by the brand, but bears mentioning their use of BioNylon®, which is a sustainable fabric that is made of castor bean and it provides all of the qualities of Nylon, without the environmental impact and a shorter drying time.
The down used by this brand is of the highest quality. Their down comes from the Pyrenees mountains and the birds are treated as per European standards.
Moreover, their products are created without the usage of harsh chemical dyes or bleaches, harmful pesticides, and are also allergy-free.
Norrøna utilizes 100% organic cotton in all their cotton apparel and products. They use the PureRecycled technology to recycle polyester to add to pure organic cotton for faster drying, increased durability and added strength.
Their jackets and other garments use the Gore-Tex fabric, which is windproof and waterproof. It also includes enhanced breathability to provide maximum comfort and protection to the wearer.
They also use Polartec® Power Stretch®, which is a breathable one-side fleece created to keep you dry and offer warmth without any extra weight. Their products also use Polartec® Thermal Pro®, which forms air pockets that trap air and retain the body heat.
Norrøna’s manufacturing process is impeccable, evident in the high quality finish of their products, which is frequently commended online by customers.
For this comparison, as we usually do, we have selected a popular product by Norrona, the Svalbard Gore-Tex jacket for men.
Norrøna Svalbard Men’s Gore-Tex Jacket
This jacket offers enhanced defense against harsh weather. It has a vintage style with innovative materials to provide consistent weather protection during your adventures. It includes a three-layered Gore-Tex membrane or laminate and is created with 100% recycled nylon.
It has fully-sealed seams to keep out snow, sleet and rain, all the while offering sufficient breathability to prevent the layers from getting wet. You can adjust the hem and cuffs to lock the heat in, and open up the large underarm zippers for quicker ventilation when needed.
The jacket also comes with four front pockets. The top ones can be used as cargo pockets and the bottom ones can be used to keep your hands warm.
Norrona is a high quality sports and outdoor wear brand, which utilizes excellent materials to create long lasting and comfortable products that can enhance your performance during your outdoor adventures. Their products are a bit more expensive as compared to other brands of the same category.
Many of their products cost upwards of $250, with their high-performance Gore-Tex line going over $600.
Are these jackets worth their price?
In our opinion, Norrona jackets are definitely worth their price. This brand utilizes innovative technology to create outstanding quality jackets that can keep you warm and comfortable.
Aside from that, they also design colorful jackets that are hard to find in other brands.
A short history of the brand
This Canadian-based brand was established by Dave Lane in North Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1989. Arc’teryx was formerly called Rock Solid and initially developed climbing gear. In 1989, 50% interest of the company was sold by Lane to Tim Duholke and Blair Murdoch, who became silent partners.
In 1991, the name of the company was changed to Arc’teryx to reflect the vision of the company for creating innovative products for the outdoor industry. Utilizing the thermolamination technology, Vapor harness was designed, which later became the most popular product of the brand.
Using the same technology, the company launched the Bora backpack in 1993 and later in 1996; the brand attained the license for using Gore-Tex fabrics to launch their new outdoor technical apparel line.
With this new licensing, Arc’teryx established itself as one of the leading brands in the outdoor apparel market, specially renowned for its technical clothing.
The products of Arc’teryx are typically linked to hiking, backpacking, snowboarding, skiing, and climbing related activities.
The brand’s jackets are regarded as some of the best available, especially for those who are serious about outdoor sports.
Materials and Manufacture
Right from the very beginning, Arc’teryx has been focusing on product performance and sustainability. They utilize a science-based technology, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which uses rigorous protocols to assess the particular environmental impact of each stage of the product’s life.
The brand uses down as insulation due to its outstanding resilience, compressibility, and warmth-to-weight ratio. The down materials are certified as per the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), which ensures that the welfare of the animals is respected.
The majority of their technical outdoor components and fabrics are created from synthetic raw materials, while also relying on active chemistry for attaining their particular durability, performance level, and function.
Don’t miss: Arc’teryx vs Fjällräven: Which Brand is Better?
As with other major brands, the use of specialized fabrics and technologies is an important part of many high-performance designs.
In the case of Arc’teryx, as mentioned previously, Gore-Tex is primarily used in their jackets, which ensures the durability and resilience of their products against the elements and environmental conditions.
The AC2 technology, which was developed by the brand itself, is another specialized technology they rely on, primarily used for the backpacks.
Arc’teryx utilizes the Bluesign® system, which outlines a wide variety of materials that need careful management because of their negative impact on occupational safety, health, or environment.
The main areas of focus of this system include occupational safety and health, air emissions, water emissions, consumer safety, and resource productivity.
From Arc’teryx’ collection, we have selected the Alpha FL jacket for men.
Arc’teryx Men’s Alpha FL Jacket
This jacket utilizes the three-layered Gore-Tex Pro technology and is ideal for alpinists who prefer to move fast.
It is created with the N40p-X face fabric, which enhances the durability of the jacket, and is constructed carefully to improve its breathability by stacking the interior and exterior pockets.
It also includes a helmet compatible StormHood™ for maximum protection and custom Cohaesive™ hem adjustments that help you avoid slippage under a harness. Its micro-seam allowance decreases the weight and bulk.
Arc’teryx, just like Norrona, is a high quality outdoor and sporting brand. Their jackets cost an average of $200 – $300, but there are designs that can go upwards of $700.
Are these jackets worth their price?
Definitely! This brand offers high quality jackets created with innovative technology.
We have explored this topic further in a previous article, where we look at the reasons behind the brand’s popularity and the high prices of its products.
3. Which Brand is Better?
Both Norrona and Arc’teryx are well-established brands that have been in this industry for decades. They have been providing their customers with the best quality products to enhance their performance and comfort level during harsh weather conditions.
Moreover, these brands are also working towards environmentally-sustainable practices as well. They utilize the Gore-Tex technology, which increases the waterproof and windproof abilities of the garment.
Which one is better?
To answer this question, we can look at two factors: price and style.
Norrøna’s jackets are slightly more expensive than Arc’teryx jackets, on average. Therefore, if price is a major factor for you, Arc’teryx would be a better choice.
However, when it comes to the style and color options, Norrøna wins the game. They are known to introduce flashy colors in outdoor wear and they hold true to it, even decades later.
Their jackets have more style and color variety. Thus, if style is your preference, then Norrona is the right choice for you.
Overall, you can’t really go wrong with either brand as both of them design high-performance clothing that provide well-rounded protection and great comfort, which last for a very long time.