Jottnar appear to have found a niche as a reliable yet stylishly high-end British company. With a fairly exclusive choice of only three jackets in the women’s range, they seem to epitomise quality over quantity.
Having highly rated their super-warm and robust Fjorm down jacket I was very keen to try their new lightweight down offering, the Fenrir. This is a hydrophobic micro-down jacket for use as a mid or outer layer in cold and damp conditions.
Fenrir means ‘he who dwells in the marshes’ in old Norse. Although marshes aren’t the first environment I’d associate with down jackets, this does highlight that Jottnar have placed huge importance on water resistance. The Fenrir combines three features to fight against getting wet: Water-repellent, hydrophobic goose down; synthetic insulation in areas most at risk of wetness (cuffs, hem, collar); Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish.
The Jottnar website states a medium sized Fenrir jacket weighs only 315g in medium. However, it hit 373g on my kitchen scales. It packs down nice and small (it can be squashed down to half the size you see it in the bag in the photo). Being lightweight, it isn’t the warmest down jacket, and it is certainly nowhere near as warm as the Fjorm (which weighs 537g in medium by the way). However, with its tough ‘face’ (outer) material, it is hardy enough to use as an outer layer when it’s not too cold and it is streamlined enough to use as a mid-layer when it is really cold.
The jacket contains 850 (EU Test) Fill Power grey goose down, with 93/7 down / feather ratio to maximise warmth in relation to its weight. There is a body-mapped down fill schedule and 120g/m² of synthetic insulation in the most likely wet-out zones at the cuffs, hem and collar. However, the Downtek™ hydrophobic down is also unlikely to get wet as it stays dry 10 times longer than untreated down. Also, Jottnar promise that this water repellency will not wash out. The face material is windproof 30 Denier rip-stop nylon with a DWR finish which resists rain.
There are two zipped hand pockets, which are very warm having down on the front side. Whilst wearing a harness, I could open the pockets well over half way and get inside them. You also have a handy internal zipped pocket, big enough to fit an ipad 6. It is heartening to see Jottnar are pro-active in responding to feedback and quick to make improvements to their products, as the lack of internal pocket was seen as a downside on the original Men’s Fenrir which came out last year http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=6945 The anti-snag elastic hem draw cord is designed to be easily operated one-handed, and is indeed extremely simple to adjust.
The hood is not wired but roomy enough to just fit over a helmet if needs be, although it isn’t particularly comfortable if you do. The hood is nice and snug with the zip done all the way up - and it has soft zip cover to make it extra comfy on the chin. The cuffs are not adjustable, but elasticated so that they can easily stretch over, or go under, your gloves.
At £200, the Fenrir is a little more expensive than similar lightweight down jackets, but compared to the other ‘big’ (more established) brands it tends to be lighter than them and, with higher Fill Power down than every other brand I have seen, I would assume warmer.
What I have done with it.
So far I have used the jacket for walking in the Alps and putting on at the top of ski tours. I have also taken it running in the snowy Lakes in freezing temperatures. I kept it on until I warmed up, then it took up a small amount of space in my 10lt rucksack while I was running - It was very comforting to have as an emergency layer in the little running rucksack. Due to the great fit, I’ve also worn the jacket out and about in the evenings. It’s coped well with some drizzle and heavy wet snow and it certainly feels like it would require a proper downpour to actually get you wet in it. So I’ve not been at all worried when wearing it and getting caught out by light rain or snowfall.
Positive and negatives
Although the fit is very good overall, I did find the neck could do with being a little longer. It isn’t a big problem, but does feel a bit tight on the top of the head when the hood is up. During a brief not very scientific test with a few of my female friends, about half of them also felt the neck could be longer. So I guess it depends on your personal giraffe index?!
Although the Fenrir has a fairly narrow baffle width which seems be most trendy these days, they aren’t so narrow that I would worry about the insulation being compromised, as could be the case in some of the very skinny baffled jackets I see around.
Jottnar has made an effort to produce ethical products; they contain Responsible Down Standard Certified down, meaning geese are not live-plucked or force-fed. Plus the down follows the European environmentally friendly production directives.
The Fenrir would be a handy addition to the wardrobe of anyone spending a lot of time outdoors. It is a really versatile jacket, which I have found myself regularly grabbing over my other jackets. This is part due to the excellent fit and comfort and part due to the high warmth to small size and weight ratio. I feel Jottnar have achieved their aim of producing a water-resistant down jacket - so it seems the Fenrir is tough enough for the marshes as well as the high mountains!
Quality over quantity is definitely still the case at Jottnar. I look forward to seeing the next edition to their select collection and hope the women’s collection will catch up with the Men’s larger range.
Stuffed with 850 Fill Power grey goose down, with a premium 93/7 down /feather ratio for more warmth and less weight.
Our water-repellent down, applied via nano-technology by our US based partner DownTek™, stays dry 10x longer than untreated down meaning you stay warmer for longer.
Unlike inferior versions, our water resistance does not wash out and is free of harmful fluorocarbons.
A lightweight, robust rip-stop face fabric allows the down to achieve full loft and its Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish resists rain.
Potential wet-out zones at the cuffs, hem and collar are reinforced with 120g/m² of synthetic insulation meaning even less fear of moisture. Highly versatile, the Fenrir hydrophobic down jacket for women is at home in the vertical as it is in everyday use.
More Info and to buy: Jottnar Website
|Jottnar range available including Women's Fenrir all with FREE UK delivery!|
See this product at the Joe Brown - Snowdonia shop
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