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Norrona Lofoten Warm 2

posted Oct 12, 2012, 3:27 PM by Italo Balestra   [ updated Jan 6, 2013, 10:14 PM by GoOut Project ]
   

The Norrona Lofoten Warm 2 fleece is a very useful garment that you will love to wear whenever it gets chilly out there. It is a relatively thin, lightweight fleece (weighting less than 400g), which despite its lightness provides a quite impressive warmth. 

As soon as you wear it, you instantly start warming up, in much the same way as when you put on a down jacket. At first, you'll be surprised how warm it really is and in many circumstances you'll probably find it even too warm!





Construction


The Norrona Lofoten Warm 2 fleece is a kind of hybrid fleece that combines two materials: 

  1. a more fleece-like, furry material (Polartec® High Loft) on most of the body and 
  2. a thinner and more elastic, kind of "baselayer" material (Polartec® Power Dry®) on the sides and underarms. 

The Polartec® High Loft is quite effective in achieving a high warmth-to-weight ratio. Which means that it succeeds in making this garment very light, but still very warm. The trick is in its peculiar construction. At the base of the fabric there is a loose knit, forming a sort of honeycomb structure, to which islands composed of many many thicker and very soft threads are attached (see picture). This gives the fabric a furry aspect from the outside. The spacing of the thread is appropriately chosen, so that they form small chambers in which warm air is retained and kept close to the body but at the same time breathability is still efficient. This is basically the same mechanism by which feathers work as insulation.


The sides and underarms of this garment are in Polartec® Power Dry®, which is typically used for baselayers. This material is strategically placed where less insulation is needed since those body parts are less exposed to the cold at least when the arms are at rest. The Polartec® Power Dry® is thin and elastic therefore it enhances flexibility and ensures always a close fit. In addition, it reduces weight and excess bulk where it is not needed. 


The care for some little details of the design is also remarkable: for example the well-designed elastic bands on the wrists and the high profile of the neck with a soft chin protection from the zipper.


Results


We have tested the Norrona Lofoten Warm 2 for climbing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, as well as for urban every day life activities. The results have been really surprising and convincing in terms of warmth and insulation capability. Often, even when only moderate aerobic activities are involved (for example when climbing), this 

fleece resulted to be even too warm! It is definitely better suited for cold temperatures and it works very well as an intermediate insulation layer.



Two of the most noticeable benefits of this garment are its lightness and thinness. In addition, its fit is also excellent! It's easily wearable underneath another protecting layer. You'll often forget you are wearing a fleece, since this garment has almost the weight of a T-shirt. It is soft and comfortable as a fleece, but it fits closer to the body than a standard fleece, thanks to the elastic Power Dry insets.

When used as a single outer layer, it breathes and it dries quickly thanks to the open knit of its fabric. However, the down side is that it doesn't block wind. So for snowboarding or mountain biking, for example, it doesn't offer great warmth unless it is worn under another protecting layer.


 PROS
  • Very efficient thermoregulation
  • Extremely rapid drying
  • Perfect fit (extraordinary for a fleece!)
  • It never stinks!
 CONS
  • Insufficient protection from wind when used without any further outer protection layer
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