As the Outdoor Industry grows, so does its accessibility. With all the great local brands like Gregory, NEMO Equipment, Mountain Hardwear, etc. we have never had to look abroad for gear, closing our eyes to all the incredible equipment small companies around the world have to offer. Enter Fjällräven, a Swedish brand which began in 1960, this company has been outfitting people for Nordic winters and harsh conditions since its inception. With their technical products, classic designs, and outstanding materials, Fjällräven stands out from the crowd.
Pronounced fee yall raven, the word means Arctic Fox in Swedish – an animal the company has sworn to protect. With their environmentally conscious state of mind, this company not only makes great products, but does what they can to leave no negative impact on the world which we all live in. Think of Fjällräven as the Swedish Patagonia – still family owned and operated small intimate teams of designers and testers, and the cool and calm personality we all associate with great outdoor brands.
The company is great, but how are the products? Outstanding. I’ve been gearing up to the nine with Fjällräven, and have yet to find a piece I don’t love. The classic design allows for a majority of their products to be worn in everyday life, and not look like you’re ready to go base jumping, however, it performs as well – if not better – than the highlighter yellow technical shell you’ve got from your favorite brand. The clean lights, attention to detail, and wonderful material makes for a highly versatile garment.
The best part of their products is the G-1000; a proprietary material made of 35% cotton and 65% polyester, ending the saying “cotton kills” for outdoor use. The cotton portion allows for the absorption of wax and increased breathability, where the polyester portion allows for the technical aspects we all require for outdoor use (quick dry time, retention of insulation value, lighter weight). Since there is no Durable Water Repellant (a chemical which nearly all technical products have applied to them for water resistance) it is much more environmentally friendly. The beeswax-paraffin blend allows for easy application even in the field. Just rub on the wax to the desired area and heat with any heat source. From a campfire, to camp stove – anything will melt the water resisting agent! This also allows for ‘body mapping’. You can wax the shoulders of your jacket for increased water resistance, but leave the back wax-free allowing it be more breathable.
I am excited to see the brand grow here in the states, and watch as the classic outdoor style makes resurgence into the Outdoor Industry. We all love our techy gear, but most of us enjoy looking good in it too; a specialty of Fjällräven. Remember, as Fjallraven says, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.