Jottnar’s expanded product range for winter 2015 includes the women’s Jottnar Fenrir 85-fill hydrophobic down jacket. I have been testing it.
The relatively new brand (2013) was inspired by outdoor activities in the Norwegian mountains where conditions can be very harsh. The aim of the company is to create technical, robust and weather-proofed garments for serious outdoors people, including mountaineers, climbers and skiers.
So far the collection is fairly small, although there are more men’s products than women. This, I am told, is due to demand, which I guess is fair because more men are mountaineers, climbers and skiers. Although this does rankle with me I understand that when launching a company it must be difficult to manage financially and if more men spend time outdoors in harsh conditions then it makes sense to cater for this market. In time, I hope, the women’s collection will run to more than three jackets and two beanies. (Men have 11 products including jackets, baselayers, legwear and the two beanies.)
That said, what I have seen so far of the products is very good. I wear my Jottnar Alfar jacket a lot and since I’ve been sent the new down Fenrir jacket I have found myself choosing it in preference to other down jackets. You can only imagine how many jackets I have to choose from so if one gets favour over another it’s because it’s really good.
I have been testing a size “small” Jottnar Fenrir jacket. The Alfar jacket is a medium and I found it a little roomy. The Fenrir fits much better although I’d really like to see longer arms and a slightly longer body. I am almost 5ft 9in with long arms and I like a jacket that fits snugly but one that is also long enough. The Fenrir is only just long enough.
- 850-fill grey goose down with a 93/7 down/feather ratio for more warmth and less weight
- ZeroPFC™ hydrophobic down insulation
- A lightweight, robust rip-stop face fabric
- Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish to resist rain
- Potential wet-out zones at the cuffs, hem and collar are reinforced with 120g/m² of synthetic insulation to reduce worries about moisture.
- Internal storm baffle for zip
- Internal zipped pocket that can take an iPhone 6
- Stuff sack.
On test: Jottnar Fenrir women’s down jacket
As I have written above, the fit is neat. It’s an athletic design that is meant to be streamlined and has an articulated cut. I like this because it suits my physique. My tip would be, however, that if you like things to be a little roomier buy a size up.
The colours are fantastic. I have the Oxidised Red and it’s bright and beautiful. It has contrasting bright yellow zips. The Loganberry looks good too and if you prefer things to be more black or blue choose “black” or “ink”.
The jacket feels lightweight. It’s not the lightest 850-fill jacket that I’ve tried recently but I prefer more warmth over lightness and I think Jottnar have come up with a good balance.
The jacket does feel fairly light to wear. I’d call it “comfortingly light”. There is far less bulk than you might recall from traditional down jackets.
The other modern feature is hydrophobic down. Most brands are into hydrophobic down these days and have their own ways of treating the down to stop it being rendered useless in the wet. When normal down becomes wet it loses its potential to keep you warm.
Jottnar claim the down they use “stays dry 10 times longer than untreated down”. I have no idea if this is the case but I expect they have done a lot of tests to prove this.
The company also states: “Unlike inferior versions, our water resistance does not wash out and is free of harmful fluorocarbons.” Again, it’s difficult to prove this either way but I like that they have tried to be more environmentally friendly.
I have not given the Jottnar a proper all-the-way-through soaking but in damp, rainy and drizzly conditions it did keep me warm. In any case, the Fenrir has a great water-repellency treatment. This is the best I’ve seen in any down jacket this season. Even when rain has been fairly heavy the water simply rolls off in big drops. It’s impressive to see and is similar, while the jacket is new, to a waterproof jacket.
The outer fabric is rip-stop nylon and it does feel very durable and robust. I can imagine it withstanding a lot of abrasion, especially when climbing or mountaineering.
I can see this jacket serving me well for a whole range of activities this winter. It’s already the chosen one that I pack in the stuff bag inside my rucksack for winter mountain walking. It packs into a small space, and stuffs down far smaller than the stuff sack itself.
Other features that I like are the roomy inside pocket, the neat-fitting hood and the soft fabric at the top and back of the zip to stop the zip irritating the chin when zipped up.
Another really nice detail is the hi-viz logo details on the chest and the back of the jacket. These are sewn in shine-in-the-dark thread, which looks great and will last well.
The jackets are sold in XS to Large. XS must be tiny because small is pretty neat fitting. That will be for all those tiny female climbers out there!
It is priced at £200 and can be bought from Jottnar on-line.