“How did you just do that whole race in that jacket?” As with many good-natured cross-country skiers, a racer had approached me for a handshake. We had just crossed the finish line, exhausted, and using our skate skiing poles to hold us up. “Aren’t you boiling in that thing?”

And that’s been the story of the Arcteryx Norvan running jacket for the last twelve months. It’s a jacket that comes with a lot of questions. Question: “Aren’t you overheating?” Answer: “No.”

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Our review of this product
10 / 10
The pros are:

  • A Gore-Tex running jacket made specifically for runners!!
  • Light-weight
  • Unbeatable Arcteryx fit
The cons are:

  • Price: although the jacket is worth every dollar, the price will be prohibitive for many
  • The collar could be higher, covering more of the face in harsh weather

In recent years, Gore-Tex® has made substantial advances in thinner, lighter and more breathable fabrics. It’s easy for a runner to forget that they’re wearing the Norvan. Question: “Isn’t that a running jacket?” Answer: “Yes, it’s a running jacket, but I use it for other sports too.” If you own a light, breathable running jacket, why not wear it for other high output activities (i.e. biking, paddling, cross-country skiing etc).

arcteryx norvan jacket

It’s a $400 running jacket but let’s take a closer look at some of the features, starting with the most obvious. The Norvan is made of Gore-Tex® with Gore® C-Knit™. It’s not only thinner, lighter and more breathable than the Gore-Tex® of old, but it’s also comfortable on bare skin. So, if you run on the warm side, wearing a t-shirt under this jacket shouldn’t lead to chafing. And of course there’s the perfect Arcteryx fit, which almost goes without saying when you buy clothing from this manufacturer.

But perhaps the most innovative feature of the jacket, is that the pit zips don’t have any zippers at all. They’re permanently open. Very clever feature. And it works. Seamlessly.

norvan jacket

Several subtle features of the jacket might go unnoticed until the first run like it’s weight; only 215 grams. Why speculate about the weather and try to guess what to wear. Put the jacket in your hydration vest; you’ll hardly notice the added weight. It’s the perfect emergency layer in the mountains.

Attention has been given to the fit of the elastic cuffs and hood and thus no unnecessary hardware is added to the weight of the jacket. The Norvan is available in several bright colours making it ideal for the safety-conscious amongst us, and runners that like to be photographed.

But runners beware. The last feature of the Arcteryx Norvan is the sea change that it brings. Once purchased, the weather is no longer a valid reason to skip a run. Enjoy your Norvan

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