Jöttnar is a brand very much grounded in embracing the misery of winter, so we wondered whether a Grim jacket might mitigate some of that misery and even bring a smile to our faces.
The first notable thing about the Grim is the fit. The jacket has very roomy upper arms presumably to allow for greater movement when climbing and swinging ice axes above your head. The arms are cut slightly longer too, perhaps for the same reason. This is clearly designed as a 'mountain jacket' as claimed, and not just marketed that way.
The sleeves still sit smartly rather than sagging, due to the integrity of the fabric, and the extra space and length are most welcome when a down jacket is layered underneath - there is no noticeable difference in freedom of movement.
The little extra length at the back is most welcome too - it helps keep the jacket tucked under a harness and gives extra overlap with the pants whilst skiing.
Quality abounds in the small details; all the zips run smoothly, the seam taping is flawless and things like the drawcord endings being split (rather than ending in a loop which can catch while climbing) inspire confidence.
The surprise of the package is the proprietary Skjoldr membrane. On paper it has a 20k/20k waterproofing/breathability rating but in practice it far outperforms similarly rated proprietary fabrics, and with regard to breathability in particular, even performs better than the industry leaders. Jöttnar's early products performed superbly on breathability - which is so important to high-output mountain users - so its great to see that isn't compromised with the switch to a proprietary membrane.
But there's an intangible quality to the Grim jacket in that you just know it has been designed by genuine mountain lovers. Its not just a ski jacket, its not just a climbing shell. With the exploding popularity of ski touring blurring the lines between skiing and mountaineering, the Grim represents something with as much versatility as the current crop of mountain users.