Is Fjällräven feeling the lightweight competition?

In the latest number of Fjällrävens spring and summer edition the first pages are seriously pointing out that lightweight materials and lightweight gear isn’t a must to have a great time in the outdoors.

“Lightweight” isn’t lightweight anymore…

“To chase experiences and not grams”

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Even though there’s some truth to this I can’t instantly start thinking that Fjällräven and simliar “heavy weight” material brand are starting to feel some pressure of the lightweight community. All this boils down to that they want to point out that their gear is super durable but still “lightweight enough” to not make you feel cumbersome on your trip. Sustainability is their leading word. I don’t blame them at all. I love that Fjällräven are one of the leading companies towards environmental sustainability just like Patagonia. That is one big factor for me when buying new gear. They must be durable enough to last for years but yet lightweight. On that last point Fjällräven fails but not according to them.

“But lightweight isn’t everything”

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On the next text filled page in the latest number they’re pointing out that it’s well know for Fjällrävens items to be passed along from generation to generation. I still feel that many of my lighter weight items would still be able to do just that.

Fredrik Hyltén-Cavallius, product developer,”For us lightweight isn’t everything, really, and we think that the products of the future will separate on this point. Our focus has always been on simple light and functional tents.”

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Well yeah. I can’t argue with that but that’s just saying that, all of our stuff will outlive everyone and everything. Sustainability again. I dig that stuff but lighter items be it a tent, a pair of pants or a jacket will still last for a very long time if you care about it. A “heavy duty item” will surely suffer the effect of time if not properly cared for.

I personally own two Fjällräven jackets, a heavy duty sweater, pants, a backpack, duffle and have previously owned a tent (my kids have a small Kånken each) and I can still say that my Patagonia items and similar brand feels just as durable as the Fjällrävens ones even though they’re much lighter and more often have smarter features. Right now, writing this, I even wear my Fjällräven Sörmland Roundneck Sweater, but I would never bring it on a backpacking trip.

What I’m going for with this is that you can be outdoors with both traditional, heavier, items or more lightweight stuff. But from my personal experience I prefer the lightweight option as I feel more comfortable and get to experience more with it as it’s less cumbersome. I do hope that these traditional brand takes a serious look at the cottage manufactures and changes their direction towards lighter but still durable items. I’d love a super lightweight Fjällräven jacket/pant on one of my future trips. But right now I can’t see that happening.

So, I chase the experience with grams. Even though it takes me some more time preparing before going on a trip rather than just visit the local outdoor shop and buy everything they have on the shelf to feel safe and secure.

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Lightweight isn’t less durable, if you’re not setting of to go to war with those items which I guess is not the case for most.

 

 

All the quotes in this article are freely translated. 

 

Mini adventure – out canoeing

Sometimes it’s not important to go on long pre-planned trips but to get out at all. Mini adventures can change your everyday life in to something exiting and give you an energy boost to survive the next week.

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This weekend we had one of these mini adventures. By my house I have a lake and it’s connected with two smaller lakes, great for canoeing. We left around midday and quite soon after we reched the middle of “Sörsjön” the sky darkened far away and big lightening struck the sky. But as it was north of us and not that close we paddled on.

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After we reached or final destination where our plan was to stop and have a cup of coffee the bad weather had moved closer to us and the rumbling was telling us it was time to head back. With the wind at our backs we paddled on with ease and we were soon back on Sörsjön. But this time we kept close to the shore, you don’t want to be out on the middle of the lake when a thunder storm passes by…

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We jumped a shore and the weather started to act up with high winds but no rain. Fortunately it all passed by to the west of us. We pulled out or backpacks from the canoe and started to boil some water and unpacked some Swedish “fika”.

After our break it was time to have some fun and pitch Jons one man shelter, Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape with their Serenity NetTent.

Here’s a short video of Jon pitching the tent.

After all this it was time to head back to home base, filled with energy. Now everything was calm after the storm and the water was almost like a mirror.

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Bankerydsleden revisited

Jon and I went on a short hike today, May 1st, nice to have the day of from work and spend some of it in the woods. This was my second time walking this trail but last time it was winter and really cold and snowy so it was nice to see it in color. Rain was on the forecast but we managed to get back before it started. We walked about 20km, starting at 09.00 and finished around 13.45 with an hours break for lunch.

Got to field test some new gear too. Jon had his Montbell wind jacket and I had my Fjällräven Fold Sack.

Map of the area.

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It was really foggy when we got there, only +2 degrees Celsius.

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Walking into the unknown… Not really 🙂

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Power lines

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Got to meet some Canadians on the trail – we also saw a really beautiful fox but I couldn’t get my camera up in time before it was too far away.

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Mystery-box, what can be inside? Stay tuned!

Save the Artic fox

“We want to see more arctic foxes in the Scandinavian mountains

The arctic fox, or Vulpes lagopus as it is called in Latin, is one of Scandinavia’s original inhabitants – it has been found here since the inland ice first began to recede. The arctic fox is unfortunately under severe threat of extinction in Scandinavia and Finland due to overhunting for its beautiful fur coat at the beginning of last century. Despite the arctic fox becoming a protected species in 1928 in Sweden and 1930 in Norway, the population has had a difficult time recovering. The primary reasons for this include insufficient access to food and competition from the red fox which is pushing the arctic fox away from its natural habitat. Climate change, with its shorter and milder winters, also affects living conditions.”

The application period starts on March 16th at Fjällrävens website.

New backpack

Got my new Fjällräven backpack today, the Foldsack No.1 in autumn leaf. As the No.1 points to it’s part of their Numbers series which means that all materials and details have been carefully selected to minimize environmental impact. They’re also constructed so that it is easy to repair and replace exposed details which may wear out before the backpack does as a whole. Great thinking! As with all Fjällräven gear they’re made to last but that also reflects on the price tag which sometimes makes a lasting hole in your wallet 🙂

Foldsack No. 1 in autumn leaf.

Foldsack No. 1 in autumn leaf.

I’ll use this backpack as a everyday carry bag and for small adventures, no overnighters, well maybe in the summer if it’s warm. One thing that’s great with it is that it has got an integrated laptop sleeve that I’ve been needing for some time. It’ll take a 15″ laptop.

The bag is at 16L so it’s not too big. I think it would be great as a backpack for school or going to the office.

You can read more about it here at Fjällrävens product page.

Fjällräven Keb Loft Jacket

Fjällräven Keb Loft Jacket appeared on the market in August 2014 and looks to have hade some nice feedback since then. It’s a good looking jacket but the color choices are slim as it only comes in autumn leaf (below), black, tarmac and the classic, uncle blue.

According to Fjällräven this is a light and convienient reinforcement jacket with warm synthetic padding. It has got a two-way zipper, hand pockets and mesh pockets inside.

Material

  • Fabrics: 100% polyester ,G-1000.
  • Lite: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
  • Lining: 100% polyester
  • Fill: 100% polyester
  • Weight: 350 g in size M

Features

  • Lightweight insulation jacket, perfectly worn under a shell or by itself.
  • Filled with 60 g/sqm G-LOFT Supreme.
  • Reinforcement details in G-1000. Lite.
  • Two-way front zip with buttoned placket.
  • Two interior storage pockets.
  • Adjustable at bottom hem with draw cord.
  • Elastic binding at sleeve cuffs.
  • Regular fit.
  • Leather details on the zipper pulls.

If I compare this jacket to my Patagonia Nano Puff jacket I’d say that they’re very similar in both functionality and specs. My Nano Puff weighs in at about 345 grams in size small so the Fjällräven jacket should be a little lighter than the Nano Puff as the weight in the specifications above is for a size medium.

I’m not really looking to replace my Nano Puff even though I’ve had it since 2011 and used it on a daily basis and for many trips it looks very good and has held up really well. I’ve only gotten a rip or two in it, one happened when I accidentally managed to get the fabric stuck in my front zipper and pulled on it, which was a bit odd. But if I were to replace it in the future I guess this jacket from Fjällräven would be a good option. Fjällräven garments are really good and made out of supreme materials to keep them lasting for many, many years.

So if you’re in the market for a lightweight non-down-jacket this might be a good option for you.

G-Loft Supreme is Fjällräven’s new synthetic padding which should perform very good even in wet conditions. The material was developed exclusively for Fjällräven.

I’m not sponsored in any way by Fjällräven nor have I gotten a compensation to put this on my blog.