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Here’s something else that got a serious try out over the winter and spring and I’m only getting round to writing up now. That could be because I like to thoroughly test before committing my opinions here, or it could be because I procrastinate a lot. Probably both.

Time for some serious insulation, this the Jöttnar Fjörm.

Jottnar Fjorm

So far, Jöttnar have really impressed me with their approach. They’re a company with a small range of kit, focusing on providing the best quality of gear that’s specifically designed for mountaineers. There’s no high street stuff here, only technical wear for serious mountain goers. The range is slowly expanding and every piece has been clearly thought through; not by a committee of designers with goatees and lattes, but by people who actually use the kit in real mountains. That gets my vote.

The Fjörm is a technical insulation piece. One of the great joys of Scotland is that sometimes it can be cold and dry, and sometimes it can be cold and wet. Down jackets have always been great in proper cold, but once you bring moisture into the mix, it’s not so good and synthetics start to win the battle for warmth when wet. The Fjörm is a hybrid of both down and synthetic. It’s a 20 denier nylon outer shell, filled with 850 fill-power Downtek hydrophobic down, but in addition there are sections of synthetic, particularly in the areas most likely to get wet like the hem and cuffs. Pretty much ideal for a Scottish winter then.

Jottnar Fjorm

Other features include a helmet friendly hood, with stiffened peak, big handwarmer pockets, an internal pocket that will take a 1 litre bottle, a two-way main zip with glove friendly zip pulls and one-handed hem cording. My handheld scales are broken, but by juggling on the kitchen scales it seems my large weighs in at just over 600g.

Jottnar Fjorm

Jottnar FjormJottnar Fjorm

I’ve used it as a belay jacket, a winter camp jacket and a standing about in the snow chatting to people jacket. It’s excelled in all roles. It packs down small, it’s very warm for the weight and the outer shell sheds snow nicely. The two way zip is handy when you’re wearing a harness. It layers nicely over the top of bulky midlayers and yet the fit is still good and not too roomy. I’ve even thrown it on top of wet hard shells and it’s coped fine.When it gets nasty, you can batten down the hatches and hide away in the deep hood.

I haven’t found any significant downsides. I guess the price will be the one that’s mentioned most in the feedback I’ll get. You can’t have the best materials, design and construction and not expect to pay for it, but we’ve had that chat before so I’ll not labour the point.

I’ve grown very fond of this jacket, it’s like a safe haven on the wildest days. There’s some internal warmth to be had too from the joyous green colour which always makes me smile when I pull it out of my pack on a dreich day. The Fjörm reeks of quality and is almost like someone has made a bespoke design to suit my personal needs.

I’ve had a synthetic jacket on test from Rab for the same amount of time, and when it comes to the real cold weather, the Fjörm outperforms it for less than half the weight. Once it gets soggy and you’re stood belaying in sleety drizzle, then the synthetic wins out, it’s hydrophobic down but it can’t work miracles. Having said that, if it’s that wet you’re gonna be too hot in the Fjörm anyway.

When it gets proper cold, the Fjörm is unbeatable.

Highly recommended.

Jottnar Fjorm

 

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Bobby Sherazi
July 30, 2017
Was searching a while for a mid-weight, compressible, Down insulated jacket flexible enough to use as a mid-layer for cold, wet & windy weather, or as an outer-layer in ice-cold but fairly dry conditions. Fortunately stumbled on this one late last year(12/16). Packs small in it's own stuff sack. Surprisingly water-resistant & wind-resistant 30D DWR treated micro rip-stop shell. Over 235g(93% Down/7% Feather) 850 fill-power DownTek treated hydrophobic Goose down in body & 130g synthetic insulation in moisture susceptible areas(cuffs, baffle, hem & neck). Easily adjustable & well-insulated helmet-compatible hood with wire-stiffened brim & moldable peak. Tougher Hypalon Velcro cuff tabs. Elasticated cuffs lined with micro-fleece. Oversized insulated baffle, behind a water-resistant YKK Aquaguard VISLON 2-way main zip with micro-fleece chin-guard. 2 insulated zipped hand pockets. Glove-friendly zip-pulls. Internal mesh pocket sufficient for a 1ltr bottle etc. Bought one in the Black colour with Red trim(& later another in Petrol Blue) in XL to allow for Winter layers. The XL size on me feels somewhere between 'Alpine' or 'Athletic' & more generous 'Expedition' fits. Though a bit snug around my (generously proportioned)torso, there's certainly no hinderence to the movement of arms, head, neck & shoulders. Wore it on several occasions putting it through it's paces during the frigid temperatures last Winter & early Spring. Performed well keeping me warm & cosy over just a Merino base-layer, occaisonally over a breathable wicking Fleece mid-layer or under my hardshell in damper conditions. No major criticisms. Appreciate that the Fjörm's aimed at serious mountain climbers. So is about finding a balance between added features & minimising weight. For my own needs. I'd feel more secure if the face fabric were a bit more durable. As with most light to mid-weight Down insulated jackets, one should be conscious about it potentially catching when around briars, thorns, jagged rocks or the sharp edges of crampons, ice-axes & walking-poles etc. One or two more internal or external pockets wouldn't be amiss. Micro-fleece lining in hand warmer pockets would also be a nice touch. Been quietly impressed with this jacket. Thus far the Fjörm has performed like a real beaut!

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