Norrona Fjora 10 MTB Backpack

Product Review

By Colin

Is there anyone out there pining for the fjords who’s in need of a Good looking Scandinavian that’s oozing quality and style? … Well, in a bag anyway.

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Designed for mountain biking, but with obvious potential for trail running too, Norrona’s beautifully constructed Fjora 10L backpack is about as near to perfection as you’ll get in a backpack.

Norrona make some of the finest outdoor clothing that is available anywhere on the planet and are really choosy as to who sells it too; you won’t find stockists playing the price-war game either. Reassuringly expensive it maybe – but boy is it great kit!

Ok, a great piece of kit it may be, but banging the Fjora Backpack on the ground probably won’t suddenly turn you into a chiselled, hammer wielding demi-god of thunder, but what the Fjora 10 does give you, in bucket-loads, is attention to detail … and the devil’s in the detail, of course.

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Take something simple and functional like zips for instance, zips don’t just work on the Fjora 10; they glide – and effortlessly too. Even with the pack strapped to my back, and a little manual dexterity, it’s easy to reach around and open up the little side pocket, but the point I’m making is it’s the little difference that makes the big difference, this is typical Norrona attention to detailing; make something good, and then look at how you can make it better than all the rest. Wouldn’t you rather this than pulling your pack off from frustration, just to get your car keys out when your hands are freeing cold?

The Fjora 10L contours to your back, sitting securely and comfortable without feeling restrictive in anyway, inside there’s a compartment for everything: pump, tubes, tools and spares, mesh pockets for personal items, although the Fjora 10 clearly isn’t Doctor Who’s Tardis, there’s easily enough room for a lightweight waterproof top and a Danish (pastry that is).

The two small compression straps seem almost redundant at first glance, everything tucks away as neatly as it is; all the compartments have a ‘raison d’etre’ and don’t allow any breathing space for loose items to slide around. Having said that, the compression straps are still a welcome addition, it’s great that the Fjora holds everything securely in place as you go bouncing off down the trails.

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Access into the main compartment pack is dead easy thanks to the 2-way zipper that extends almost all the way around, and the hydration compartment is straight forward too; you’ll struggle to get a three litre bladder in there comfortably, but otherwise life couldn’t be simpler. There’s also a couple of extra straps that are secreted away almost un-noticed; we felt these straps were a little unnecessary, but the compartments looked like they’d hold a few extra energy gels though.

There’s no alloy framework to the Fjora and this reflects in its lightness, at a tad under 545g it sits comfortably in the featherweight division; a bit like Barry McGuigan – except you wouldn’t want him on your back. The shoulder straps have a huge range of adjustment to them thanks to Norrona’s rider-rail system, this means you can slide the straps up or down until your hears content, the pack is always going to sit comfortably on your back. The ventilation mesh isn’t just on the back either, it’s carried across onto the shoulder straps and hip belt; seems someone at Norrona remembered that every part of the body sweats – not just the back, again, great attention to detail.

If there was one little negative to the Fjora 10 (and I’m struggling to find one) it would be that I’d like to see the inclusion of a slightly heavier fabric or double-skin protective layer around the base; I could easily put up with the few extra grams for that added durability. The Fjora 10 is such a polished item I didn’t want to just chuck it on the ground, if it had a slightly reinforced base I think I’d feel a little less precious about it.

Verdict

Peerless In design, construction and detailing, the Fjora 10 backpack morphs to your back like a Ninja Turtles Shell and will go the rounds with the gnarliest of conditions and trails; question is: would I fork out £69.00 for a 10 litre backpack? Yes, definitely, but I’m holding my breath in the hope that Norrona don’t want the Fjora back any time this century; bottom line – If you want the best little backpack around … this is it.

Pros

Lightweight

Excellent compartment layout

Super-comfy to wear

Highest quality fabrics, design, detailing and construction

Cons

Availability

Contact

Give us a call at Roughgear.co.uk if you have any questions or visit the Norrona website:

http://www.norrona.com