Testing out the expensive but deliciously comfortable Jottnar Fenrir down jacket, £295, in the wild – I reckon this beautiful bit of outdoor kit is worth the spend.
Review: Jottnar Fenrir jacket
Product description: “The Fenrir is stuffed with 850 Fill Power goose down, in a premium 93/7 down/feather ratio for great warmth to weight performance. Our water-repellent down from DownTek stays dry 10x longer than untreated down. Unlike inferior versions, our water repellency won’t wash out and is free of harmful fluorocarbons. Our ethical approach to down sourcing complies with the Responsible Down Standard.”
In the great outdoors: It’s not often that I get to put gear through a proper long-term test before writing a review, but I’ve had the brilliant Fenrir down jacket for a year now, so a review is long overdue. British gear brand Jottnar may be new on the block but they’re already all over the outdoor scene with their offerings of rugged yet comfortable down jackets and waterproof outer layers, which are also very easy on the eye – this is the only jacket I’ve worn to the climbing wall that has received envious comments from my mates. Jottnar’s pieces are functional and beautiful, but they are not cheap. So are they actually worth the cash?
The Fenrir down jacket sits in the middle of Jottnar’s insulated jacket range for women – there’s also a lightweight jacket called the Thorsen and the really thick, winter-friendly Fjorm (that looks like a jacket your gym instructor would wear whilst making you run laps in shorts). My mid-weight Fenrir is, Goldilocks-like, perfect as a versatile piece – it’s warm but breathable, and a total delight to wear. It fits beautifully and feels light and flexible, but is seriously cosy even if you’re standing still. I’ve worn in it my sleeping bag in subzero conditions, popped it on and off when climbing and taken it on multiple outdoor adventures, and always been grateful to have it to hand. It also has something that I find quite rare in the down jacket world – a comfortable, well-fitting and flattering hood that stays put in bad weather. Inner and outer zipped pockets are roomy and well-placed, and I love the stretchy sleeve panels that work well with gloves. Simply put, this is a joy to wear.
The down low: I try to avoid jackets stuffed with goose down where possible in favour of synthetic insulation, as it can be hard to find out if animal down is ethically sourced, especially in cheaper jackets. Jottnar do use goose down in the Fenrir, but it comes with a fair treatment guarantee. It’s also seriously warm insulation, and even works in bitter, snowy conditions with a windproof shell on top. Jottnar’s down stands out for its water repellency – it repels lighter rain and stays warm when wet, something I’ve never found an animal down jacket do yet. Impressive.
Verdict: Yes, it’s teeth-clenchingly expensive, but if you’re only going to invest in one great down jacket, I’d definitely recommend the warm, water-resistant and reliable Fenrir. After a different price point? Try one of the 11 best down jackets I tested out for The Independent.