Technical details aside, Fjälläven’s winter jackets have one purpose: to keep you warm. And this season, it has looked deep into its existing range, drawn on its history and heritage and created an offering that’s uncompromising in cold-weather performance. For Fall/Winter 2017 Fjällräven promises to keep you warm, forever.
It was on a stormy winter’s night sometime in the early 1970s, when Fjällräven founder Åke Nordin found himself cold and uncomfortable in the mountains of northern Sweden. There was little he could do about this miserable situation, apart from make a promise to himself. A promise to create a jacket that was so warm, once wrapped in its embrace he’d never be able to feel the cold again. The result was the Expedition Down Jacket. A jacket that was born from the idea of sewing two jackets together to trap a warming layer of air between them and which inspired many spin offs throughout the outdoor industry.
The jacket was later proteced as an art piece by Svensk Form, which cemented its status as a true winter jacket icon. Although Åke Nordin was proud of this achievement, he was prouder still about fulfilling his own promise. With the Expedition Down Jacket, he’d mastered the art of staying warm.
This season the classic Expedition Down Jacket has been re-engineered to offer better fits for both men and women without messing with the original appeal and insulating properties.
It’s joined by a lighter version: the Expedition Down Lite Jacket (men & women’s versions). This has about 35% less down than the original. Plus there’s a stitch-through padding technique to give a slightly more fitted cut.
Both jackets keep you exceptionally warm because of their internal offset structure.
Offset Construction Explained
There are three factors affecting the insulation potential of a jacket,” says Shufei Wang, one of Fjällräven’s Product Developers. “The fill density – basically how much down is actually stuffed inside the jacket; the product’s construction; and the type of fabric that holds the down.” The structure is actually really important and Fjällräven uses three different techniques depending on the purpose of the jacket.
The first, and most commonly used, is a sew-through construction. “We create tunnels or columns in the jacket which we then stuff with down. This creates an extremely light garment that’s easy to pack, but there are cold spots on the seams between the columns,” explains Shufei.
The second structure uses a box construction. Mesh fabric is used as a spacer between the columns of down. This minimises cold spots, but due to the extra production complexity it’s more expensive.
The final technique is an offset construction. “We create two layers of sewn-through-constructed down but we align column over stitch so there are no cold spots. This makes the jacket extremely warm, as air is trapped between the two layers as well as within the columns of down,” says Shufei.
Fjällräven’s Expanded Keb Collection
In the spirit of staying forever warm, Fjällräven has also expanded its Keb collection with the Keb Expedition Down Jacket, the Keb Touring Down Jacket, Keb Touring Trousers and the Keb Lite Padded Jacket, all for both men and women. These jackets and trousers have a whole host of details that make them suitable for technical trekking and ski touring. They also utilise the offset construction technique.
Furthermore, all these new Keb products come with a Repair Kit to extend their life. And ease of repair has been considered in the design. This is in keeping with Fjällräven’s commitment to developing sustainable and durable products that last the test of time.
Our Down Promise
In 2009, Fjällräven started delving deeper into its down sourcing and found there was room for improvement. So it began developing stricter guidelines for how it sourced and handled its down. The result was the Fjällräven Down Promise offering 100% traceability – meaning Fjällräven can trace the down in its garments right back to the farm where the birds lived.
Fjällräven’s down is a bi-product of the food industry. The feathers are taken from slaughtered ducks with absolutely no live plucking. The outdoor brand maintains a constant dialogue with its suppliers – and all must adhere to Fjällräven’s Code of Conduct – to ensure high animal welfare standards. But because this isn’t enough, Fjällräven has chosen to simplify the process to minimise risks. It works with just one down supplier, who works with only a few selected farms and just one slaughterhouse. Fjällräven’s down is also stored separately in specially marked bags to avoid being mixed with other down. And it has its our own team of auditors that oversees the process and conducts both announced and unannounced checks.
“We visit the farms; we know how the goslings are raised; and we control how the birds are kept and what they are fed,” says Christiane Dolva, Fjällräven Sustainability Manager.
As a result, Fjällräven has one of the best down standards in the outdoor industry. So not only will you be able to wrap yourself in the warming embrace of one of Fjällräven’s new down jackets on a cold winter’s night. You’ll be able to do so with a clear conscience.