The History of Norrøna

In 1929, Jørgen Jørgensen, a Norwegian outdoor enthusiast, began his search for durable outdoor equipment to perform in Norway´s harsh and rugged land. Today, four generations later, Norrøna is still a family- owned and run company.

In 1929, Jørgen Jørgensen, a Norwegian outdoor enthusiast, began his search for durable outdoor equipment to perform in Norway’s harsh and rugged land.

Starting with simple innovations such as leather straps, canvas backpacks and cotton clothing, he set Norrøna’s direction: To search for the best in technical advancements and to create the ultimate performance products.

Today, four generations later, as traditional mountain life broadens, we are still a family-owned and run company based near Oslo, Norway. We inherit from our forefathers our passionate commitment to advance the boundaries of product function, with design-bred solutions to equip you with the highest-grade, weather-protective gear for your outdoor needs.

We control the ultimate detail with the promise to bring you excellence through experimental, technical perfection assisted by our dedicated testers. From concept to creation, our in-house team of designers and craftsmen are compelled to stretch the edges of innovation. We build touchstone products, establish construction techniques, and redefine the meaning of fit, fabric, function, and finish, based on our design principle of Loaded Minimalism™: great products made as clean as possible with all critical details.

Our drive for practical purity produces pioneering benchmarks. We created the original mountain tunnel tent, devised the standard monitoring system for backpacks, and were the first company to use Gore-Tex® in Europe.

Whether you climb, tour, telemark, ski or snowboard, our wide range of apparel, backpacks, and accessories salute the spirit of Norrøna to ensure its high-end, performance-driven products continue to work and inspire with integrity, innovation and above all, technical function.

Our vision is “Welcome to nature”, and we do this by executing our mission; creating the world’s greatest outdoor products and offer unique adventures through responsible business.

This is the beginning of our history.

1929

Jørgen Jørgensen starts up J.J Norrøna Sporting goods and leather factory. The ambition is to make outdoor products with the highest quality. This is the first building block of our company

1948

The company management is taken over by Bjarne Jørgensen, the second generation Jørgensen to lead the company.

Explore the story of our craftsmanship and how we produce sustainable outdoor gear – loaded with minimalism.

Play Video

1950-60

Norrøna is now a corporate company and complements trading in garden furniture and camping products. The Norrøna collection now consists of clothing, packs, tents, sleeping bags and accessories.

1971


Company management is taken over by Ole Jørgen Jørgensen, the third generation Jørgensen to lead the company.

Tomas Carlstrøm, climber, visionary, engineer and founder of Skandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyr is employed as a freelance product developer.

Tomas Carlström’s focus is directed towards active development of backpacks and mountain tents, as well as mountain garments. Functionality is now introduced as the second building block of the company, with the extreme user-driven product development.

1972

Norrøna introduces Ravneskar, the world’s first tunnel tent with front and rear openings.

Norrøna takes part in the expedition wave and introduces the Hadeng La backpack and Stetind backpack in 1973. 

 

1977

Norrøna makes the prototype of Europe’s first Gore-Tex jacket

1979

The first winter climb of “Jubileumsruta”. On the trip, a prototype of the Trollveggen suit is tested. The first winter climb of “Svenskeruta” in Trollveggen is climbed by Hans Christian Doseth and Håvard Nesheim.

1984

The “Great Trango Tower” expedition with Hans Chr. Doseth, Finn Dæhli, Dag Kolsrud and Stein P. Aasheim. Norrøna supplies a large number of garments and backpacks for the expedition

1984 - The “Great Trango Tower” expedition - Stein P Aasheim

1985

1984 - Mount Everest - Stein P Aasheim

Norrøna gear is used on The Norwegian Mount Everest expedition led by Arne Næss and The Mount McKinley expedition with Jan Westby and Stein P. Aasheim. Carl-Emil Petersen crosses Greenland on his own, with the Norrøna Arktis cotton garments.

1987

Norrøna presents its first hunting products.

1990

Erling Kagge and Børge Ousland used the Norrøna Arktis cotton garments on the Norwegian North Pole expedition.

In 92, Erling Kagge goes solo to the South Pole with Norrøna Arktis garments. Per Einar Bakke, Willy Gautvik and Arild Vegrim are the first people crossing the Arctic Ocean from Siberia across the North Pole to Canada, bringing all supplies with them. For this extreme challenge, they chose shell clothing from Norrøna.

1993

Norrøna produces the first generation of the finnskogen hunting set in Gore-Tex, which later revolutionizes the waterproof hunting clothes market.

1995

The launch of the Norrøna Telemark jacket and pants in microfiber, which represents the first ski products from Norrøna.

1998

Norrøna launches its first Gore-Tex skiing products, the Colouir jacket, and pants.

1999

The Trango Pulpit expedition led by Robert Caspersen, Per Ludvig Skjerven, Gunnar Karlsen and Einar Wold. They wear Norrøna clothing and backpacks.

Norrøna implements its third building block in 2000; design. Our building blocks now consist of quality, function, and design.

2001

The Norrøna collection now includes products designed for Ski/Snowboard, Multisport, Mountaineering, Outdoor, Hunting and Military.

In 2002, Norrøna summarizes their design philosophy to: Loaded Minimalism™. A philosophy that reflects their drive to design clean products with all critical details.

Play Video

We launch the world’s lightest PacLite jacket in 2002, and the first Gore-Tex PacLite generation 3 is developed in cooperation with Norrøna.

With the launch of the vestveggen Gore-Tex XCR jacket in 2003, Norrøna is the first in Europe.to introduce jackets with glued zips.

2004

The launch of the lofoten concept takes place, introducing a radical new direction for freeride skiing. Could boldly colored Gore-Tex jackets and baggy skiing pants be a success? Yes.

Play Video

2005

Jørgen Jørgensen, the fourth generation Jørgensen, takes over management of the company. Norrøna goes international and has its first stand at ISPO Winter 2005.

2006

Robert Caspersen is the first to ascend several peaks at Queen Maud Land. Børge Ousland reaches The North Pole, field testing the first edition of the svalbard Pro Shell.

2007

Børge Ousland´s expedition in Nansen’s footsteps to Franz Josefs’ land, tests and perfects the svalbard Pro Shell set. Norrøna launches the new lofoten collection, including the lofoten Pro Shell One Piece.

2008

fjørå (mountain biking), bitihorn (lightweight trekking) and /29 (lifestyle) collection are launched.

2009

The lyngen and svalbard collections are launched, including the signature svalbard Pro Shell set developed by Børge Ousland. Norrøna opens its first store in Oslo.

2010

The trollveggen and narvik concepts are relaunched, featuring the new trollveggen Gore-Tex pro Shell jacket, which wins the Red Dot products design award, 30 years after the first edition was launched.

2011.
Norrøna opens its first store outside of Norway, in Stockholm.

2015

Norrøna´s CSR road map is launched. The company believes in full transparency. Norrøna donates 1% of sales to causes and organizations working to promote sustainability and environmentally friendly initiatives. Sustainability is the 4th building block of our company. Norrøna opens a partner store in Chamonix, France.

Play Video

2017

The skibotn collection for freeride mountain biking and the unstad collection for arctic surf are introduced.

2018

At the Textile Sustainability Conference Norrøna is on the leaderboards of the 100% Club of Organic Cotton and the 100% Club of preferred down. Norrøna is also racing to the top with a number 2 on preferred wool and with a number 5 on recycled polyester.

2019

Play Video

Norrøna joins the organization Fashion for Good. Norrøna also opens its first store in North America in Boulder, Colorado. In December, the second American store is opened in New York City. What a way to celebrate our 90-year anniversary!

2020

Play Video

A new chapter within Norwegian adventure travel begins as Norrøna and Hvitserk of Norway become one, creating Norrøna Hvitserk Adventures. Uniting Hvitserk’s 40- year adventure travel experience and Norrøna’s 90-year traditional craftsmanship traditions in outdoor gear results in a new player in the field of unique outdoor adventures in Norway.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts