Norrøna Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket: lightweight functionality for multi-sports enthusiasts

We take a close look at Norrøna’s excellent Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket, a minimalist, breathable waterproof shell for all kinds of active backcountry adventures

Norrøna Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket: hiking
(Image: © Alex Foxfield)

Advnture Verdict

If you’re an active adventurer who enjoys strenuous, fast-paced pursuits in the mountains, this jacket is the one for you. It marries a vanishingly low weight with great performance and breathability in a minimal package that also looks great. It’s not as durable, robust or protective as many heavier jackets but, for its weight category, few other waterproofs can compete.


  • +

    Sleek looking

  • +

    Wonderfully breathable

  • +

    Exceedingly lightweight

  • +

    Barely there feel

  • +

    Packs down small

  • +

    Great length gives maximum coverage

  • +

    Perfect for active adventurers

  • +

    Over 50% of fabrics are recycled


  • -

    High price point for a Gore-Tex Paclite jacket

  • -

    Not as protective as some

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

These are exciting times at Norwegian premium outdoor brand Norrøna. Spring 2024 saw the brand open its new concept store in Boston, to join its other US stores in Boulder, Castle Rock, and its flagship in New York. It’s also one of many outdoor companies pivoting towards a circular economy model, with its Norrøna RE initiatives that include repair, recycle and hire services.

Founded in 1929 by outdoor enthusiast Jørgen Jørgensen, Norrøna’s gear has always benefited from the breathtaking and challenging wilds of the Norwegian backcountry to test itself against. Jørgensen set the objective early on: ‘to search for the best in technical advancements and to create the ultimate performance products.’ The brand strives towards the ideal of Loaded Minimalism, highly capable products that are designed in as clean a manner as possible.

Norrøna’s Falketind collection very much reflects these ideals. Comprising lightweight, high performance gear for mountaineering, year-round hiking and ski touring, the kit is premium without the jingle jangle of unnecessary bells and whistles or gimmicks. Named after a dramatic mountain, Falketind (Falcon Peak), on of the edge of the stunning Jotunheimen National Park, the apparel is designed to be minimal and multifunctional. The Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket is intended to be perfect for those of us who like to dabble in various mountain pursuits and want a single reliable, lightweight, do-it-all shell.

I was thrilled to test it out, having been sent a test sample by the wonderful people at Trekitt, UK-based outdoor gear specialists.

Meet the reviewer

how to put on a climbing harness: Alex in Chamonix
Alex Foxfield

Alex is a Mountain Leader and former President of the London Mountaineering Club. He has a great passion for the high places and enjoys a range of activities, whether it's mountain running the English Lake District, scaling alpine peaks on mainland Europe, getting his teeth into the Scottish Highlands during winter or scrambling in North Wales.

First impressions

Norrøna Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket: on Tryfan

Its weight and thin feel make the Falketind Paclite feel more like a running jacket than a standard waterproof (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

List price: $349 (US) / £349 (UK)
Gender specification:
Male and female versions available
Men’s: S to XXL; Women’s: XS to XL
20D recycled nylon face fabric with Gore-Tex Paclite Plus membrane
Weight: 258g / 9.1oz
Men’s: Indigo Night Blue, Adrenaline/Orange Popsicle, Hawaii Surf/Indigo Night; Women’s: Indigo Night Blue, Jester Red/True Red
Best use:
Mountaineering, year-round hiking, ski touring

The Falketind Paclite weighs only 258g grams (9oz), which makes it Norrøna’s lightest and most packable waterproof and it also weighs less than every product in our best waterproof jackets guide. When you consider Norrøna rate this shell for mountaineering and ice climbing use, it becomes clear that this combination of performance and low weight goes a long way towards accounting for rather steep price point.

Its weight and thin feel were the first things that hit me. It feels more like a running jacket than a standard hikers’ outer shell or a mountaineering jacket like the Tierra Västra or the Berghaus MTN Guide GTX Pro Jacket, which is very much at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to rugged heft. The Falketind jacket is light and breezy, smart and minimalist. Its slightly insubstantial nature makes one wonder about how hardwearing it will prove to be over time; Norrøna rate the durability as 3 out of 6 on its website. Time will tell.

This is a very smart looking garment with attractive colors and a technical fit. There’s room for midlayers beneath and it allows excellent freedom of movement, yet has a tailored look that means I wouldn’t hesitate to wear it to the pub.

Norrøna Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket: running on Tryfan

The Falketind Paclite allows you to move fast, light and free (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)


The Falketind benefits from Gore-Tex’s Paclite Plus, the same breathable waterproof and windproof technology seen in the likes of the Montane Pac Plus XT. This minimal fabric is designed to be light, packable and breathable, while still giving you all the weather resistance you’d expect from a Gore-Tex jacket. Of course, it’s not as durable as standard Gore-Tex or Gore-Tex Pro, nor will it give you quite as much protection from persistent heavy rain. If you’d rather be absolutely bomb proof, this isn’t your jacket. If you want to be comfortable while being highly active, it’s a great choice.

In terms of responsible manufacture, over half of the Bluesign approved, 20 denier nylon is recycled and Norrøna is transparent about the manufacturing processes behind the jacket on its website. The Falketind is made in Huai An City, China, by ZPlus Company Limited, who Norrøna has been working with since 2016. The social welfare of its employees has been audited and improved and the operations have a CO2 reduction plan in place.

Norrøna Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket: wet jacket

I tested the Falketind Paclite throughout the spring and it's waterproof qualities were never found wanting (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

For such a lightweight jacket, the cut is generous and slightly longer at the back, providing excellent, below-bottom coverage where the jacket overlaps a pair of hiking pants. The elasticated hem adjustment is very neat, with presses that enable tightening and loosening hidden within the fabric. As you’d expect for a shell intended for mountaineering, the hood is fully helmet-compatible and is tightened easily with a one-handed adjustment. The cuffs feature a Velcro tab that lets you tighten them to your requirements. The shoulders are seamless for daypack carrying comfort, while the articulated arms provide that all-important freedom of movement for climbers and scramblers.

Where many modern hiking and mountaineering jackets feature pit zips for ventilation, the Falketind takes a different approach. Instead of two zips either side, there’s one long zippered opening on the front right of the jacket. There’s also only the one zippered breast pocket, which designed to still be accessible when wearing a harness. Clearly Norrøna has opted for a less is more approach to both ventilation and storage, preferring to keep the weight down rather than arm the jacket to the teeth with zippers.

In the mountains

Norrøna Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket: in the mountains

Low weight, comfort, nice little design touches and simple beauty make it a superb jacket (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

I tested the Falketind throughout spring, both in the mountains of North Wales and in my everyday life. I absolutely loved wearing it throughout the test period and find it difficult to fault. It’s low weight, comfort, nice little design touches and simple beauty make it a superb jacket.

The Falketind is gloriously comfortable, though not in the same way as a down jacket is cozy or a fleece is soft against the skin. The Falketind is comfortable thanks to its barely there feel and the fact its shape doesn’t inhibit movement. It doesn’t feel stiff or restrictive like many waterproofs. It does gives off a bit of a swishing sound, but I quickly got use to this, so it was hardly a problem.

The front zippered pocket is well-sized, large enough to fit a topographical map. I found the inclusion of the front ventilation zip an intriguing design choice. I like that weight has been saved without having two pit zips but it also occurs to me that I could easily dump heat from the front of the jacket using the front zip anyway. Perhaps Norrøna could have saved yet more weight here and just not included a ventilation zip in the first place. The hood is easy to tighten up and stays in place in high winds.

Norrøna Falketind Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket: front zip

The front zippered pocket is well sized, large enough to fit a topographical map (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

After all, it’s not as though this isn’t a wonderfully breathable jacket. In this regard, its wicking qualities are up there with the very best waterproof jackets I’ve had the pleasure of testing. At no point during strenuous exertions did I suffer from that dreaded, stuffy overheating sensation that’s all too common with more substantial jackets. It also dries very quickly after being wet.

Providing ample protection in the vast majority of conditions, yet being pretty much as comfortable and lightweight as a running jacket, this is the shell I’ve been crying out for. As someone who likes to move fast – sometimes running, sometimes scrambling, sometimes taking it a little more easy – this jacket is perfect. Its feature set also makes it really well suited to mountain marathons, fastpacking missions, day hikes, mountaineering days.

Norrøna has hit the brief in terms of delivering a highly functional, do-it-all jacket. I’ll be intrigued to see how it fares in harsher environments like the Scottish Highlands in winter. If it can stand up to wild conditions on the high Munros, it’ll easily be my favourite waterproof.

Alex Foxfield

Alex is a freelance adventure writer and mountain leader with an insatiable passion for the mountains. A Cumbrian born and bred, his native English Lake District has a special place in his heart, though he is at least equally happy in North Wales, the Scottish Highlands or the European Alps. Through his hiking, mountaineering, climbing and trail running adventures, Alex aims to inspire others to get outdoors. He's the former President of the London Mountaineering Club, is training to become a winter mountain leader, looking to finally finish bagging all the Wainwright fells of the Lake District and is always keen to head to the 4,000-meter peaks of the Alps.