Norrona Recon Jacket
if your reading this review you'll most likely be…
Fabric: triple layer gore-tex XCR
Price Paid: £275
if your reading this review you'll most likely be aware of all the chat about this jacket having being designed for scandinavian special forces (DPM version isn't available outside the army) All that is quite impressive on the face of things but i suppose its not really important in the long run.
You can check out norrona's description for the full spec but basically its triple layer XCR goretex. Main points that really inmpressed me were;
the hood- very spacious,wire lined and could easily accomodate a helmet underneath but the drawstring system can be tightened securely and comfortably around your head without feeling large and flappy (an issue ive had with jackets suitable for helmets)
the elbows- the elbows have been re-enforced to combat wear and tear)(as have the shoulders). They have also been designed to allow you free movement and extension of your arms which is fantastic. again like the hood it has space without feeling too baggy or catching on things. Its particularly useful when using an axe.
length- i find that the length is just right for me personally. im a bit over six foot and the medium comes down to high thigh.
things to consider that some people seem to have issues with that may not be apparent if you are considering buying this jacket online without trying it;
Pockets- i find the pockets to be well designed and offer good space.( the zips are taped up with goretex tape) however the issue some people have is that the chest(2 out of 4) and hip pockets are mesh lined on the inside of the jacket. some people have said that this has caused equipment to become entangled or just that they are not warm in any way. For me i dont tent to store anything sharp that might get entangled anyway, i tend to use my smock underneath to store anything like that and instead use the jackets pockets for compass, gloves etc. in terms of warmth i would always favour gloves over a handwarming pocket anyway. if its cold you should bring gloves anyway.
the weight- the jacket is relatively heavyweight and cant really be rolled up very small. so if you are very concerned about weight maybe avoid it( or at least try it first) i find if i dont need it i can easily lash it to the outside of my pack. some people have suggested that the jacket is too warm for use in a british( or equal temperature range) summer. ive found that as long as you make use of the pit zips (which are excellent) and wear something suitably wicking underneath you should be fine, again there is always attaching it to your pack.
the lining- the jacket is not lined with any sort of soft fabric it is purely the goretex material so this may put some people off. i think though however its most likely that you will be wearing other layers underneath. with refrence to the jacket being to warm for summer in some peoples opinion, i would say that it isnt a warm jacket as such just a shell so normal layering advise would have to be followed. it wont keep you warm on its own.
its only available in green and has quite an obvious military style (has a rank slide on the chest) so you may wish to avoid that.
all in all i think that this jacket is fantastic and well worth the money if your going to be using it enough. Its extremley well made and put together in estonia. Norrona have guarateed it against faults for 5 years and will offer a repair service (at a fee) should you damage it yourself.
it has kept me dry when out in the forest and up on the hills ive had it a few years now and with good care it should last many more.