A Jacket for Giant Killing
The two founders of British brand Jöttnar have covered some challenging terrain, their Ragnarök jacket made with their own SKJOLDR™ breathable membrane, is a comprehensively specc’d, lightweight and exceedingly warm hardshell mountain jacket
Review by Louise Gillespie
Jöttnar was conceived in the Arctic Circle during a brutal Royal Marine winter training exercise in Norway. Its two founders, Tommy Kelly and Steve Howarth, had first-hand experience of the demands of operating in harsh conditions and believed there would be an appetite amongst civilian users for gear that would protect them in some of the world’s most inhospitable conditions. As lifelong climbers and skiers, the two entrepreneurs behind Jöttnar set out to design and produce technical mountain clothing for some of the world’s most demanding users.
Built for conquering giants…
An important part of the Jöttnar story is its Pro Team. This tribe of climbers, alpinists, skiers, speedflyers, BASE jumpers, wingsuit flyers and survival specialists are closely involved in the brand’s product development. They provide an effective resource where new product prototypes can be thrashed, smashed, battered and beaten, and where improvements and fine-tuning can take place. The team of eight all push the performance boundaries in their individual fields, with examples such as the first ski descent of the monstrous Caroline Face on Mount Cook by Tom Grant, Himalayan and alpine first ascents by Mark Thomas and with Tim Howell’s progress towards becoming the first person to climb and BASE jump the six ‘classic’ north faces of the Alps.
The Ragnarök …
Despite the name sounding like a cousin of the anorak, the Ragnarök is a far superior being. Described by Jöttnar as ‘a waterproof, goose down insulated jacket for resort orientated big mountain riding and skiing when the temperature plummets,’ the Ragnarök does exactly what it says on the label: it’s warm, windproof, lightweight and has some serious storage. The detail that has gone in to the jacket is evident when you put it on and experienced first-hand when I stood at the top of a run in a whiteout waiting for the usual shiver to kick in. Whilst my legs were cold – I should have worn Jöttnar’s Vanir LT Hard-shell trousers – I was actually warm and not just warm, I found myself regularly feeling a little too warm on the slopes. This is thanks to the 900 fill goose down which is wrapped inside a waterproof, breathable, fully taped shell called SKJOLDR™ and then further insulated with THERMOLITE®, a synthetic insulation in potential wet-out areas. For lovers of mountain wear who revel in the detail, the Ragnarök jacket has enough going on to fill many hours of chair lift conversation.
Let’s be realistic…
Whilst the team behind Jöttnar still enjoy pushing themselves to the limits and wearing gear that enables them to do just that, for the average person who wants mountain wear that is durable, warm, lightweight and looks good in the Alps; Jöttnar fits the bill. Tried and tested on the slopes of Lech and St Anton in January, the Ragnarök jacket worked well on the mountain but certainly requires less under layers/thermals. Having skied for years and always worn a similar number of layers on cold mountain days, this was the first time I have worn a t-shirt under a jacket in January and been toasty warm. Despite being a thick jacket, its lightweight feel means that unzipped at a bar after a day on the slopes, the Ragnarök isn’t a bulky companion.
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With so many pockets, the desire to take up that second pair of goggles, the sunglasses for après, the obligatory chocolate bar, sun cream, lip balm, (hip flask), could leave you looking more Michelin Man than Giant Conqueror.
Enquiries: www.jottnar.com Ragnarök women’s and men’s waterproof down ski jacket £845
For this review, our writer was kindly gifted a Jöttnar Ragnarök jacket