Norrona Falketind Flex1 Softshell Pants Review

Norrona Falketind Flex1 Softshell Pants Review

Norrona’s Falketind Flex1 Softshell Pants are technical mountaineering pants that are ideal for winter hiking and climbing. They’re stretchy, wind-resistant, and highly breathable to keep your legs cool and dry during high exertion activities. Feature-wise, they have four zippered pockets, two long hip-to-knee side vents to shed body heat, velcro side-tabs to adjust the waistline fit, a gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and ankle zips with an internal gusset panel to accommodate large boot sizes. I run hot in cold weather and find these pants suitable for winter use down to about 20 degrees w/ high gaiters. While the waist is standard-sized, the lower legs run a bit narrow, so you might want to size up if you prefer wearing winter pants with long underwear or have large mountaineering/winter hiking boots.

If you’re not familiar with Norrona, they’re a family-owned Norwegian outdoor company known for technical innovation. They make clothing and gear for a variety of sports including skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, trekking, hunting, and arctic surfing. If you get a chance, you should look through their product catalog. It’s quite well-designed and “colorful” gear…and they have free shipping to the US with a minimum $$ amount.

Specs at a Glance

  • Gender: Men’s and Women’s Models available
  • Pockets: 4 (3 front, 1 rear, all zippered)
  • Color: Blue
  • Fabric: Single-ply soft shell, 50% recycled content
  • Vents: Two zippered hip-to-knee vents
  • Size Reviewed: Large (Waist: 35.4″ – 37.4″), (Inside Leg length: 32.7″ – 33.5″) See Norrona Sizing
  • Leg Style: Straight
  • Weight : 442 g / 15.6 oz

Softshell pants are optimal for winter use because they’re very breathable and vent perspiration well, they’re warmer and more wind-proof than regular hiking pants, and they dry very quickly if they get damp. The Norrona Falketind Flex 1 Pants are single-ply softshell pants that you’ll want to wear for all of your cooler weather activities. They have a high degree of stretch which gives them a more articulated feel but they’re still quite comfortable to wear.

The Falketind Flex 1 pants have a custom fit system which can be used instead of a belt.
The Falketind Flex 1 pants have a custom fit system that can be used instead of a belt.

The Falketind Flex1 pants come beltless, but have belt loops if you want to provide your own. While I like belts, I prefer using the custom-waist system that the pants come with. These are velcro tabs set into the sides of the waist which are connected to a buried belt running around the backside. Pull them forward and you can get a very comfortable fit without a belt. The inside of the waist is also fleece-lined for comfort and the waist closes with two sturdy metal snaps for security.

The pants have four pockets: three on the front and one in the rear which are all zippered and positioned for climbing harness compatibility. The front thigh pocket also has a secondary pocket inside to hold a smartphone so it doesn’t move around awkwardly inside the larger pocket surrounding it. Nice.

Long hip-to-knee vents provide extra ventilation during high exertion activities
Long hip-to-knee vents provide extra ventilation during high exertion activities.

But the feature that I like the best on these pants are the two hip-to-knee mesh side vents which greatly assist in temperature regulation when you’re working hard, either climbing or snowshoeing. Each comes with two zipper sliders each, so you can vent the top and/or bottom of the vent at the same time (or use one of the sliders as a backup if the other dies).

The legs of the pants taper toward the ankles, but there are ankle zips and an internal gusset to accommodate wider boots. There’s a snap at the bottom of the zippers for reinforcement, an elastic tensioner to tighten the cuff, and a hidden gaiter hook as well to prevent snow from working up your legs.

The ankle has an internal gusset to adapt to wide boots and a hidden gaiter hook.
The ankle has an internal gusset to adapt to wide boots and a hidden gaiter hook.

Fit

Being Norwegian, Norrona’s sizing is different from typical North American sizes and is based on height, waist, seat, and leg length. If you decide to order a pair from a North American retailer, I’d suggest finding your size on the Norrona website first.

More Recommended Softshell Winter Hiking Pants

Make / ModelMen's ModelWomen's ModelFit
REI Activator 3.0 Softshell PantsMensWomensStandard
KUHL Klash PantsMensWomensRelaxed
Marmot Scree Softshell PantsMensWomensRelaxed
Arc'teryx Gamma AR PantsMensWomensStandard
Outdoor Research Cirque II PantsMensWomensRoomy
Black Diamond Alpine Softshell PantsMensWomensSlim
Patagonia Simul Alpine PantsMensWomensSlim
Norrona Falketind Flex1 Softshell PantsMensWomensStandard
Mammut Courmayeur SO PantMensWomensSlim
Mountain Equipment Ibex/Chamois PantsMensWomensRelaxed

Recommendation

These Norrona Falketind Flex1 Softshell Pants are great for winter hiking and outdoor sports. They’re super functional with harness-compatible zippered pockets, thigh vents, and a custom-fit waist system. The pants are soft and stretchable with a surface that provides wind resistance without sacrificing breathability. With their flexible fit and functional fabric, I think you’ll be surprised what a difference these softshell pants make when worn for cold-weather pursuits.

Disclosure: The author owns this product.

Editor's note: If you’re thinking about buying gear that we’ve reviewed or recommend on SectionHiker, you can help support us in the process. Just click on any of the seller links above, and if you make a purchase, we may (but not always) receive a small percentage of the transaction. The cost of the product is the same to you but this helps us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides. Thanks and we appreciate your support!

3 comments

  1. Two years ago I had 4 different softshell pants in my house while searching for a replacement for 20 year old Mammut pants. I ultimately chose the Gamma ARs as best choice for ice climbing, but the Falketind was a close second. For more general winter applications these are a strong choice. I like the vents and the number of pockets, plus the fabric felt very sturdy and breathable.

  2. I just got a pair of REI Activators and they seem to work well. Thanks for the recommendation!

    How do the Norronas compare from a temperature range point of view?

    • They’re just a tad lighter weight but the thigh vents do make a significant difference, though their size range can be tricky and favors lean and tall. You really can’t go wrong with those activators though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Clicky