- Dec 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm #3441924
The zipper seems like an OK compromise for a RUNNING jacket. I sometimes use a Gore WindStopper jacket that doesn’t have taped seams for similar purposes. Works rather well. There’s a flap over that zipper though. Go figure.Dec 27, 2016 at 5:22 am #3441946Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
this is what the zipper they list on the norvan SL
This is the description for their 1st gen waterresisant zipper and the Norvan SL has a Vislon-type :)
(YKK) 1st gen Aquaguard: coil, zipper put backwards into the jacket, waterresistant PU-layer is applied on zipper tape, zipper pull runs also over PU-layer
YKK 2nd gen Aquaguard: molded, waterresistant PU-layer is applied on zipper tape, zipper pull runs only over teeth
YKK Aquaseal: molded, zipper tape itself is waterresistant, zipper pull runs only over teeth, seals between teeth/teeth lock into eachother
Riri Aquazip: between 2nd gen Aquaguard and Aquaseal – molded, waterresistant PU-layer is applied on zipper tape, zipper pull runs only over teeth, seals between teeth/teeth lock into eachotherDec 27, 2016 at 7:34 am #3441951
so is this “water resistant” zipper on a 370 canuckistani dollah dead bird “waterprooof” jacket supposed to pass a simple basic shower test?
ive got an old helium 1 (which to be blunt is more of a “just in case” rain jacket) which can pass the shower test … if you cup and pool the water the zipper eventually leaks a few drops (but only from certain spots, might be because its a few years old), but on a shower test its fine
theres plenty of times in the rainy season up here when its raining as heavily as a shower …
no point on worrying about HH if yr zipper leaks in a shower … especially the front zipper which is pretty exposed
;)Dec 27, 2016 at 8:13 am #3441956
II have the Norvan SL and will put an end to this somewhat silly argument. The jacket is completely waterproof. I wore it in the prolonged rain. Zipper is fine. Let’s move on other people testing the jacket for durability please.Dec 27, 2016 at 10:27 am #3441970
Ahhh but do folks here use it in the HEAVY rain ….
from dead bird norvan sl page
Remember folks its a RUNNING jacket as others and dead bird have said …. They also dont recomend it for actual backpacking, perhaps just a race pack
;)Dec 27, 2016 at 12:54 pm #3441983Bradley DanylukBPL Member
Thanks for finding that, Eric. Pretty much settles it – the zipper is not waterproof by design. There are open holes between the teeth. To those claiming it’s not a problem, my response would be that you simply haven’t encountered situations where it matters yet (and maybe you never will – good for you, but for some of us it matters) – high-pressure hard rain, and especially wind-blown rain. The shower test failure confirms this quickly. Give it a shot if you don’t believe me.
I like everything else about the jacket, so I would like to keep it. However, the main reason I bought it was because I really liked the idea of a jacket that would never wet out in the very prolonged (multi-day-or-week) rains we get here in BC – not as an emergency shell but actually as a MORE reliable shell for staying dry (given that we accept the fragility) in very long rains. So the zipper problem does bother me.
I think I will look at creating an internal storm flap to help mitigate it. Cuben tape seems like potentially a very easy way of making one, if it sticks, so I might try that out.Dec 27, 2016 at 1:28 pm #3441986
I’m not sure what to think of urban bathroom/shower tests.
Personally, I used the SL in horizontal rain on Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire in winds over 40 mph. It’s waterproof. Zipper works. Shower is not actual rain. :) For me, the jacket works in harshest environments. Only thing I’m not crazy about is the hood in the wind over 40mph – it fits well, but could be better with tighteners and a stiffer bill.Dec 27, 2016 at 2:12 pm #3441990
if yr in coastal BC just wait for a 50mm rain day before modding…. Well likely still get a few of those this winter/spring when it warms up
i wouldnt mod a dead bird personally, especially a rain jacket
theyre usually pretty good with their warranty but i doubt theyd cover it then
;)Jan 8, 2017 at 5:46 pm #3443888Robert AlexanderBPL Member
This jacket is hidden from the ArcTeryx website but still accessible via google search.
There were pre-orders available through REI about a week or two ago but they burned through them quickly. Now only XL available. Thanks for the comments, all. I think I may wait this wave out.Jan 8, 2017 at 6:15 pm #3443898
I put a pre-order in a few weeks ago through rei. This jacket ticks off just about all the boxes for me for day-long runs in the mountains.
Hopefully they come through with the orders.Jan 8, 2017 at 11:46 pm #3443961Marc DalessioBPL Member
I spent four hours in the rain in mine the other day. It’s winter here so I wore a lightweight down jacket underneath. The zipper is definitely not waterproof. The front of my puffy (where the zipper is) was wet under the Norvan SL.Mar 4, 2017 at 2:42 pm #3454392nd8406BPL Member
Totally reviving a dead ish thread here, but this piece has piqued my interest. Sounds almost too good to be true, durability prospects be damned.
@ Chris & Gary after playing with it this long do you either of you guys think this thing could survive a thru hike of the PCT? I’m going SOBO this year and should avoid a rainy PNW (in theory)…Mar 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm #3454406
It’s my favorite shell now. Eats rain up all day. Never wets out like every other shell out there. But a thruhike – absolutely not. Not durable enough for that. Weekend warrior and multiday – sure. After 6 months on the trail there will be nothing left of it. Get the columbia version of this jacket – it’s 12oz, bulky and ugly, but does the job.Mar 4, 2017 at 4:56 pm #3454418nd8406BPL Member
Awesomesauce, Gary. Really can’t wait to see more manufacturers start building their jackets this way. The Columbia stuff is pretty pricey like Arcteryx but also a tad heavy. It’d be interesting if OR would hurry up and build a sub 10oz jacket with torsoflo and this material.. :)Mar 4, 2017 at 8:01 pm #3454451Dave BBPL Member
@dave-bLocale: Los Angeles area
Would you say it’s more durable or less durable than driducks / frogg toggs?Mar 4, 2017 at 11:00 pm #3454473Bradley DanylukBPL Member
It has better tear resistance, slightly better puncture resistance (not much), probably worse abrasion resistance.Mar 4, 2017 at 11:22 pm #3454476Paul S.BPL Member
The Columbia Gold jackets are the cheapest and lightest. The other versions mostly likely have better features and fit but heavier and cost a lot more.
I got the Gold jacket for its durability, however I am very tempted to try a ShakeDry jacket to save weight and get better fit/features.Feb 15, 2018 at 9:09 pm #3518622
Reviving an old thread, but wanted to post that I returned my Norvan SL today. The jacket was great, but was let down by the leaky zipper on a couple of occasions.
I just placed an order for Gore’s version of a similar jacket, hoping for better luck with the zipper on that one. I can’t find any specifics about what zipper they use and if it should or shouldn’t perform better than the Arcteryx one. Looking forward to having a pocket to use too.
Earlier in this thread read I had speculated that the zipper was probably adequate for the jackets purpose as a running shell. That may hold true for some, but for me, having my baselayer wicking a bunch of moisture coming in through the zipper on a cold wet day just seemed like a design flaw that I hope they address with a future generation of this jacket.Jul 15, 2020 at 8:31 pm #3664606Tim HawthorneBPL Member
This is really reviving an old thread. I have used the Norvan SL jacket for some time now. I usually carry a 4 oz. Patagonia wind shell with no hood also. Since I normally have it I have worn it over my Norvan to protect it from brush and pack straps. It has worked very well. I have a couple of cat’s claw snags in the wind shell but no tears in the Norvan. The older zipper did not have a a flap behind it like the new ones. I think the flap reduces moisture from soaking in through the zipper. Unless you walk under a waterfall it seems sufficient.
The jacket breathes well but on steep climbs I find I need to unzip it about 12”. If you are leaning forward as in backpacking, I don’t get too wet in the upper chest and neck area. Like all lightweight backpacking extra care is required to protect your gear. I save about 5 ounces by using the Norvan and wind shell as opposed to carrying a wind shell and regular waterproof breathable jacket. Many times I use the wind shell for hiking in cold wind. I have found it extremely good to have like when I have climbed high mountains like Aconcagua. If the trail is going through heavy bushwhacking, I take my Event parka at 10 ounces instead.
For lightweight and adequate protection, I recommend the Norvan SL for clear trails and lightweight packs. For some brush and a heavier pack, I recommend a wind shell be worn over the Novan jacket.Jul 15, 2020 at 9:29 pm #3664616HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
The jacket breathes well but on steep climbs I find I need to unzip it about 12”.
Backpacker magazine wrote about a 3 oz + Rab W/B pullover (2.5 Pertex) in their 2020 Ultralight review and wondering if the Norvan is so breathable, why Arc’teryx doesn’t release it (with seeming better fabric) in a pullover, considering the only windproof zipper (looking at the comments from years past)?Jul 15, 2020 at 10:23 pm #3664620Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Like @7sport I had a Norvan SL and recently replaced it with a Gore H7.
Actually I had three: version 1 whose zipper leaked like crazy – soaked after 15 minutes which Arcteryx replaced free of charge with, a second version 1 which was a bit better soaked after less than 1 hour, and ArcTeryx freely replaced it with a version 2 (has the inside storm flap) which was ok for the first hour of continuously rain… but by the end of a second hour let enough water in that I could feel it through a Patagonia cap4 and with other shirts could feel accumulated water roll down my front when running, backpacking, walking around the city, and bicycling.
The Gore H7 feel a bit boxy (the Norvan is tailor for being close to the body over a base), logos are way too big, the zipper looks better… but haven’t had enough rain to determine if it will be water tight. I find it ironic that my old DriDucks with it’s crappy non waterproof zipper but external stormflap gave better protection.
I haven’t used 7D Pertex Shield, but the slightly heavier Pertex Shield’s breathability by the numbers was less than the Gore Shakedry used in Norvan (and Gore’s H7) and in the field definitely didn’t feel a breathable.
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