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We test the Norrona Røldal and find this excellent freeride jacket only a whisker away from winning the Editor's Choice award

norrona roldal
Overall Score
Rugged and immensely practical
The massive hood

The rugged Røldal will appeal massively to more committed riders looking to head out into the wilds, and who give their gear a lot of stick.

The first thing you'll notice is that the Røldal has a pretty voluminous fit, which is great for layering while not being so loose that it flaps around. As such, it provides plenty of freedom of movement.

However, the even more voluminous size of the hood - presumably in order that it be helmet compatible - let the jacket down for us. However much we adjusted it, it wasn't possible to obtain decent lateral vision with the hood raised, and if you're not wearing a helmet it just becomes a mass of material flapping around your head.

This is a shame, as in every other respect the Røldal is excellent. The three-layer Gore-tex fabric is great at keeping the weather out, and the jacket's features are all carefully integrated to ensure you have everything you need and nothing you don't.

Amongst these are two large handwarmer pockets, a chest pocket with goggle wipe, lift pass pocket on the left sleeve and small internal pocket, all of which are zipped.

There are big pit zips and an additional zipped chest vent on the right of the jacket, powder skirt, stretchy hand gaiter and a 'snap seal' system for integrating the jacket with its namesake pants.

In use the Røldal was one of the most comfortable and confidence inspiring shells we've reviewed, and since we rarely use the hood on a ski jacket we could live with our issues regarding that; but that won't be the case for everyone.

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