Why Fjällräven Jackets Are Worth the Investment: Durability Meets Style

Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates from Your Next Shoes. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more details.

Fjällräven is a renowned Swedish brand specializing in outdoor clothing and equipment.

On the company’s website, you will see their quality standards prominently displayed: to develop functional, durable, and timeless outdoor gear, act responsibly towards nature, animals, and people, and inspire and develop an interest in outdoor life.

Experience the essence of outdoor adventure with Fjällräven's expertly crafted gearExperience the essence of outdoor adventure with Fjällräven’s expertly crafted gear (Credit: Fjällräven) 

Fjällräven is an international brand, and there is a good chance you have seen their winter coats or backpacks in both outdoor retailers like Moosejaw and high-end clothing stores like Nordstrom and Zappos.

If you aren’t familiar with the brand, you may have considered the price tag and wondered why Fjällräven is so expensive. Who are they? There is a reason for all the digits on the price tag, and it’s quite an interesting story! Let’s look at the brand a little closer…

Pronouncing Fjällräven: The Swedish Arctic Fox

You might wonder how to pronounce the name if you’re not a Swedish speaker. With Swedish accents and spelling, the pronunciation isn’t intuitive for those who aren’t fluent.

The word Fjällräven means arctic fox, which explains the fox logo. It is pronounced “F-yah’ll-rah-ven.”

Fjällräven is Swedish for the Arctic fox, also known as the white fox, polar fox, or snow foxThe Arctic fox emblem: symbolizing Fjällräven’s commitment to resilience and agility (Credit: Fjällräven) 

Pronouncing Fjällräven: The Swedish Arctic FoxFjällräven’s Origins: From a Swedish Basement to Global Recognition

Fjällräven originated in a small town in Northern Sweden called Örnsköldsvik, where the mountains and forest meet the sea.

In 1950, a 14-year-old boy named Åke Nordin was preparing for a hiking trip in the Västerbotten mountains. He found his current hiking backpack very uncomfortable and not suited for the trip he was about to undertake.

Frustrated, he started researching different hiking backpacks, where he discovered the weight should be positioned closer to the spine. He then used his mother’s sewing machine and made his own backpack in the basement of his parents’ home.

Celebrating Åke Nordin: the visionary behind Fjällräven's innovative outdoor solutionsCelebrating Åke Nordin: the visionary behind Fjällräven’s innovative outdoor solutions (Credit: Fjällräven) 

The cotton bag had a wooden frame and leather straps. Nordin designed the bag with optimal load distribution, and the wood frame provided increased ventilation.

The indigenous Sámi people were impressed with the design and asked Nordin to make them one. Years later, he started his brand after serving in the Swedish Armed Forces. Again, in his parent’s basement.

Twenty-three years later, Fjällräven was put on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. By 1996, the brand had reached about USD 20.3 million in revenue.

Explore Fjällräven's flagship store in NYC: where style meets outdoor functionalityExplore Fjällräven’s flagship store in NYC: where style meets outdoor functionality (Credit: Fjällräven)

Founder Åke Nordin died in 2013 at the age of 77. Before he died, he could see the first store in New York open. Since then, Fjällräven’s quality products have become available worldwide, with stores in over 40 countries.

Understanding Fjällräven’s High Price Point: Quality and Craftsmanship

There is a reason Fjällräven is on the more expensive side when compared to other outdoor apparel and equipment brands. Due to the quality of the materials used and the manufacturing process, the products last for a very long time.

A Fjällräven jacket or backpack will last you several years! The material G-1000 was created by the brand and is believed to be the best outdoor material available.

Fjällräven: synonymous with unmatched quality in outdoor apparelFjällräven: synonymous with unmatched quality in outdoor apparel (Credit: Fjällräven) 

It’s made from a combination of polyester and cotton and is weaved and waxed in a way that allows for air permeability as well as wind and water-resistant. Fjällräven makes this material themselves, and there are different versions depending on the product it will create.

Their materials, clothes, and backpacks are also waxed with 65% paraffin and 35% beeswax. They can also be re-waxed using Fjällräven Greenland Wax.

Enhancing durability: a step-by-step guide to waxing your Fjällräven gearEnhancing durability: a step-by-step guide to waxing your Fjällräven gear (Credit: Fjällräven) 

Fjällräven is a sustainable company that is very aware of its environmental footprint. They consistently choose better materials and processes for the environment, even if that means a higher cost.

Fjällräven's eco-friendly approach: crafting comfort with a conscienceFjällräven’s eco-friendly approach: crafting comfort with a conscience (Credit: Fjällräven) 

Their goal is to create clothing and gear that lasts. This is not fast fashion. Fjällräven wants people to buy and use their products for years to come, repair or re-wax as needed, and avoid ending up in landfills.

One of their more expensive items is their down winter jackets that keep you warm and dry, even in harsh Nordic winters. A rarity in down material, Fjällräven down is ethically sourced.

Re-Kånken: Fjällräven's pioneering step towards sustainable fashionRe-Kånken: Fjällräven’s pioneering step towards sustainable fashion (Credit: Fjällräven) 

The brand conducts inspections and visits to geese and duck farms to ensure the birds are treated humanely. These birds are raised for meat, not for down.

Another sustainable product is their Eco-Shell, which is made from recycled polyester. These sustainable products cost more to produce.

The Popularity Surge of Fjällräven: A Lifestyle Beyond Products

The brand is quite popular, especially in Sweden and throughout Europe. It has gained a loyal following over the years due to its stellar reputation of making quality products that last.

If you have ever purchased a Fjällräven backpack or coat, you know it’s worth the investment and will last several years. More and more people are looking at a Company’s values and whether it is sustainable before purchasing.

Discover Fjällräven: the Arctic fox's legacy in every stitch and seamDiscover Fjällräven: the Arctic fox’s legacy in every stitch and seam (Credit: Fjällräven) 

Their strong views on sustainability have led many people to choose Fjällräven over other popular outdoor brands.

This brand has a cult-like following that has transcended clothing and equipment and become a lifestyle brand. In 2005, the Fjällräven Classic was born.

This event encourages people to trek 110km through the Swedish mountains. The event that promotes hiking, community, and exploring nature grew to Denmark, the US, and Hong Kong.

With thousands of tickets to the events selling out in seconds, the event was set to run in Germany, the UK, China, and South Korea in August of this year.

Fjällräven Classic Hong Kong: a journey through nature's splendorFjällräven Classic Hong Kong: a journey through nature’s splendor (Credit: Fjällräven) 

However, with COVID-19, the Fjällräven Classic canceled the original events and went digital. In a digital series online, they brought trekking events to people in their homes worldwide through Fjällräven Classic TV.

Each episode will take viewers trekking through beautiful mountains, backcountry, and landscapes like Colorado, USA, Qinghai, China, and the Classic UK trail in Scotland.

Celebrity style meets outdoor functionality: Kristen Stewart with Fjällräven's FoldsackCelebrity style meets outdoor functionality: Kristen Stewart with Fjällräven’s Foldsack (Credit: WENN)

Celebrities can also be seen wearing Fjällräven, which, of course, influences the brand’s popularity. Stars like Kristen Stewart and Alexa Chung have been photographed sporting the Fjällräven Kånken backpack.

Royal approval: Duchess of Cambridge opting for Fjällräven's Stina jacketRoyal approval: Duchess of Cambridge opting for Fjällräven’s Stina jacket (Credit: WENN)

The Duchess of Cambridge has been photographed wearing a Fjällräven jacket several times, as has popular American actor Casey Affleck.

Fjällräven’s Flagship Products: Backpacks, Jackets, and Tents

The most popular Fjällräven offerings are their backpacks, jackets, and tents. Their backpack, known as the Kånken, is their best-selling product.

Kånken: a design classic evolving from schoolyards to urban streetsKånken: a design classic evolving from schoolyards to urban streets (Credit: Fjällräven) 

The smaller bag was first designed in 1978 for school children. Since then, it has become increasingly popular and is now used more like an everyday backpack by people of all ages.

The Kånken is also water-resistant and pre-waxed like their other products, with quality zippers running the bag’s length. The brand has since created the bag in a selection of sizes and over 50 colors.

The logo on these backpacks is slightly different, appealing to the most popular wearer of the bag, females 12-25. The logo on the Fjällräven Kånken is pink and white, as opposed to the original light brown.

A nod to heritage: Fjällräven's classic patch echoing decades of outdoor excellenceA nod to heritage: Fjällräven’s classic patch echoing decades of outdoor excellence (Credit: Fjällräven) 

Fjällräven Greenland jacket is also very popular, pre-waxed, and made from their superior G-1000 material. The first Greenland jacket was created in 1968 and came with the Greenland wax to re-wax your jacket.

Although some modifications have been made, the jacket is still very reminiscent of the original created by Nordin himself.

Greenland jacket by Fjällräven: blending timeless design with modern utilityGreenland jacket by Fjällräven: blending timeless design with modern utility (Credit: Fjällräven) 

Although it’s unlikely you will see pictures of celebrities using it, the Fjällräven Termo tent is a popular item for outdoor adventurers. Just as he did with the backpack and clothing, Nordin examined the traditional tents on the market and improved it.

In 1964, he created the Termo tent that used an outer layer consisting of a waterproof flysheet made from waterproof polyester.
The inner layer was made from thin, breathable nylon.

Combining the two materials allowed moisture to be whisked away, keeping the tent dry and light. The brand offers three types of tents geared towards their function (i.e., how extreme the conditions will be).

A glimpse into Fjällräven's world: their store in the scenic city of Bend, OregonA glimpse into Fjällräven’s world: their store in the scenic city of Bend, Oregon (Credit: Fjällräven) 

The Abisko tents are low-weight, and good for all types of outdoor life, the Keb tents are suitable year-round and provide extra durability, and the Polar tents are specially formulated for demanding Arctic winter conditions.

Due to the varying design, the price of these products also varies. The Abisko tents are the most affordable, and the Polar tents running a few thousand dollars on Amazon.

As a brand with an inspiring story, a passion for sustainability, and dedication to quality products, it’s not surprising that Fjällräven has the loyal following it does.

Abisko by Fjällräven: tailored for women's adventures in the great outdoorsAbisko by Fjällräven: tailored for women’s adventures in the great outdoors (Credit: Fjällräven) 

Although perceived as expensive, their popular products like the Greenland jacket, Kånken backpack, and Termo tents remain international bestsellers.

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. The quality G-1000 material and superior durability mean that although it may initially cost you more, a Fjällräven will last you for years to come.