Quality Anorak for hiking across Norway required
May 19, 2006 9:18 AM   Subscribe

I need a goretex Anorak for hiking in spring/fall that is rainproof, breathable and provides some warmth for varied terrain across Norway. Priced out some options in country, but am very hesitant to pay 3000 Kroner (500 bucks) for top model gear here when my brother is coming over from the states in June. Any suggestions?

Will be used on all terrain and hopefully can fit into a ruksack when not needed.
posted by Funmonkey1 to Science & Nature (16 answers total)
For non-brits:

An anorak or parka is a type of heavy jacket with a hood, generally lined with fur or fun fur, so as to protect the face from a combination of sub-zero temperatures and wind. Although of Inuit origin, the word "anorak" is mainly used in Britain, while "parka" is the almost universal name in the United States and Canada. "Parka" is used interchangeably with anorak in Britain.

The simplest form of backpack (also rucksack or knapsack) is a cloth sack carried on one's back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulders and below the armpits. The shoulder is better suited for bearing heavy weights for long periods of time than the hand, so backpacks are often used for that purpose.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:25 AM on May 19, 2006

Response by poster: Blue_beetle:

The traditional anorak has long since disappeared from the market. My uncle and I have both had the traditional type of anoraks that last for many years, however, due to globalisation and the North Facing of all inclement weather , I am stuck looking for a good product that won't break my budget.

There are several options, such as Helly Hanson, Columbia, Marmoot, etc., but aside from a definition I need something that is going to work. Advice rather than wiki defs would be helpful.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 9:32 AM on May 19, 2006

In the U.S., 'anorak' is often used to refer specifically to a pullover-style parka, as opposed to one with a full-length opening.

That said, I don't have any Norway-specific insights for the outdoor-gear shopper. Perhaps you could check to see whether American discount outdoor sellers like Campmor, REI Outlet or Sierra Trading Post would ship to Norway. Or just have your brother mail you one.

On preview: blue_beetle's just trying to make your question easier for non-British-English-speakers to understand.
posted by box at 9:39 AM on May 19, 2006

Response by poster: fair enough box, as stated in my question, my brother is coming from the states in June and hopefully he can purchase something beforehand that is much more reasonable in price given the exchange rates.

Also, I do want a pullover - what blue_beetle neglects to mention from the wiki defs he pulled is that an anorak is not strictly limited to zip up - rather it applies to both pull-over and full zip. The term Norway is used as a connotation to imply diverse conditions, much the same as "hiking across the rockies" would.

blue_beetle - apologies if my comments come across incorrectly.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 9:47 AM on May 19, 2006

What is your price point?
REI Outlet

For outerwear, I'm a really big fan of Arcteryx gear. It's bombproof, well made, and if you are lucky enough to match their pattern, it fits great.
posted by tumble at 10:00 AM on May 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Price point sits at about 300 bucks maximum :) Arcterx gear? Googling now!
posted by Funmonkey1 at 10:22 AM on May 19, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks Tumble :)
posted by Funmonkey1 at 10:23 AM on May 19, 2006

Funmonkey, I am not 100% clear on whether or not this needs to be lined with fleece or not. I have a coat from MEC that is 100% goretex, and it set me back about 150CAD. It's a fantastic coat, and I wear only that (well and the rest of my clothes) through out our frigid Northern Canadian winter.

Here's a link. In case the link doesn't work, go to www.mec.ca and search for the Monsoon jacket.
posted by Richat at 10:46 AM on May 19, 2006

I have an Arcteryx jacket that I absolutely love. It's made of goretex and weighs very little (3.5 ounces). It features pit zips, and one side pocket, a hood and velcro around the sleeves. The zippers (front, pocket, pitzips) are waterproof.

British Columbia has very similar weather to Norway's. You will find that, accessorized with a coolmax tshirt (long or short sleeves), fleece jacket (also with pit zips, and pockets) and the arcteryx goretex shell, you will have a system that allows you to battle cold weather as well as warm rain. Leave the fleece jacket out when it's too warm, but keep it in the pack for when you stop - or for the evening.

Having a layer system is a far better idea than buying a heavy anorak that you wear or store.
posted by seawallrunner at 10:56 AM on May 19, 2006

Best answer: If your brother does not have access to Arcteryx gear, may I suggest another brand (my other jacket). I have a Patagonia Skanorak - I bought it for winter kayaking, but I also use it for winter sports, particularly when it gets very cold (eg downhill skiing in January)

The Patagonia Skanorak is a pull-over jacket, eg it's made of Patagonia's heaviest goretex and the zipper only comes down to mid-chest. the zipper is protected by a goretex flap, which is secured by velcro. It features a hood, two front patch pockets, with hand-warmers between the pockets and jacket (eg you can slip your hands in there).

Both pieces of gear cost me a pretty penny (in excess of $400 each) but I've had the Patagonia for close to 10 years now, and the Arcteryx for five years.

A final note: take care of your goretex and it will take care of you. Wash your jacket in detergent to take off the obvious grime, then wash it in Nikwax goretex cleaner (redundancy is good) then wash it in Nikwax goretex renewer. That's three loads for your goretex gear, but after years of hard use, my goretex jackets, hats and pants show no signs of slowing down.
posted by seawallrunner at 11:02 AM on May 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

I need a goretex Anorak for hiking in spring/fall

No you don't. Get a synthetic long-sleeve shirt, cheap fleece jacket, and a Marmot precip and you will be fine to temperatures near freezing as long as you keep moving. All this shouldn't cost over $200 US.
posted by driveler at 11:03 AM on May 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

Arcteryx and Patagonia are good. Burton Snowboards makes good knock offs of both brands.
posted by k8t at 11:08 AM on May 19, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you Richat, seawallrunner (tussen takk), driveler and kate.

You guys rock. I think I found my answer!
posted by Funmonkey1 at 11:28 AM on May 19, 2006

Glad to help. MEC's gear is great!
posted by Richat at 11:42 AM on May 19, 2006

Another vote for Arc'teryx, but Patagonia also makes some pretty bomber stuff. I'm not so sure about the Marmot Precip... It's damn nice, but I suggest 3-layer fabrics for year-round durability. The Precip has only 2 layers; nylon on the outside and a waterproof-breathable membrane on the inside. 3-Layer fabrics don't breathe as well, but they don't rip as easily, because the membrane is "sandwiched" between two layers of nylon. With that said, the Precip is a nice 3 season jacket and a good suggestion. (I have a Mountain Hardwear Epic, just like it)

driveler has some good advice about layering! A light shell over a light fleece over a synthetic shirt will prepare you for any conditions you might face.

Listen to seawallrunner's advice, too: take care of your new Goretex! If you wash it with a powdered detergent (not liquid, unless you use Woolite) and throw it in the dryer on high, it will regain 80% of it's water repellency. The Nikwax helps on really beat up Goretex, but sticking it in the dryer works just as well for a shell in nicer shape.
posted by jsteffa at 12:53 PM on May 19, 2006

As a public school teacher, outdoors aficionado, and gear addict, I'm often scouring the likes of the REI outlet, Campmor's hot deals section, and Sierra Trading Post. That said, the best deal going on a gore-tex jacket that I'm aware of right now is Cabela's Pac-Lite jacket for ~$60 US. I'm tempted to buy one just as a backup to leave in the car. It won't be as solid as the arcter'yx and Patagonia that Jsteffa and tumble recommend, but it costs a heck of a lot less.

That said, driveler is probably right that you might not need a "hard-shell" jacket in the shoulder seasons. You might be happier with what's called a "soft-shell" jacket, with more breathability and a little less water-proofness. Soft shells are more fashionable right now and are discounted less frequently, but you might find something at backcountry outlet; I just bought one of the Moonstone jackets from them, but... like I said, I'm an addict.

As to layering, if your fleece is underneath the shell, it doesn't need to be fancy. Sierra Trading Post, linked above, usually has a ton of options across the spectrum of features and prices. That said, I have to put in a suggestion for polartec's powerstretch material, which keeps me comfy through a broader range of conditions than any other single piece of outdoor clothing I have. Doesn't matter who you buy it from as long as it fits closely to the body.

Enjoy the hiking!
posted by mhespenheide at 12:35 AM on May 20, 2006

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