That’s right, Wales, not Scandinavia as the brand’s name might have you think (it’s taken from a Norwegian folk tale – something about frost giants).
Jöttnar was launched as recently as 2013 by two former Royal Marines: Tommy Kelly and Steve Howarth. Having served, climbed and skied in some of the world’s toughest environments they’re now seeking to use their experience to create clothing that can be relied upon in such places.
I tested out the Garm softshell, a jacket designed for a “variety of mountain weather conditions”. Its shell is constructed out of Fusion-Pro: a non-membrane, stretchy fabric that I found to be lightweight as well as extremely water-resistant. Even in relatively heavy showers any moisture will bead up nicely allowing the jacket to dry quickly.
It’s probably a bit too thin to be solely relied upon for warmth (despite its microfibre inner layer) and it’s not quite windproof, but it’s loose fitting enough to go over an insulated jacket, while its scooped drop back hem will prevent it from appearing too baggy.
Fabric aside, it’s got some useful features to help it fit the ‘technical’ bill. There are plenty of pockets, including oversize handwarmers that can still be used when wearing a harness or hipbelt, two napoleon chest pockets (also oversize – good for maps) and small zipped pockets on each forearm. Other handy features include a moldable wire stiffened hood that’s helmet compatible and Velcro cuffs with thick plastic seals that can be adjusted whilst wearing gloves.
Other products this new brand has developed include down jackets, insulated mid layers, salopettes and waterproof shells. So far only the down jackets and mid layers come in women’s versions, however I’m sure we will be seeing more choices in the next few years as Jöttnar inevitably grows.