The Norvan assumes max output, all the time. Instead of pit zips, 5-inch, always-open underarm vents release heat and never leaked. Though not quite as air-gulping as big pit zips, they do a better job of sealing out wind and snow—and require no fuss. Wispy fabric also speeds wicking: The three-layer construction combines standard Gore-Tex with a supple C-Knit backer and 20-denier nylon that’s tissue-thin, enhancing breathability. “It’s perfect for winter running, speedy ski ascents, and breaking trail on snowshoes,” says our Colorado tester. The tradeoff? The fabric lacks the abrasion-resistance for shouldering heavy packs.
Minimalist details trim weight—the hem and cuffs are elasticized, not adjustable—and the head-hugging hood doesn’t allow for a helmet.