Bergshell is a brand new innovation from Fjällräven. It’s not a project; it’s a material, and an incredibly special material at that. It’s made from partially recycled nylon (31%) that’s certified by the Global Recycled Standard; thanks to a tpu laminate it’s waterproof to 10,000mm; and a state-of-the-art weaving technique means it’s incredibly abrasion- and tear-resistant. A few years ago customers started asking Fjällräven why it didn’t have a waterproof backpack in its range. The answer was because the combination of G-1000 HeavyDuty and a rain cover provided all the weather protection and durability most trekking backpacks needed. But then came Bergtagen. Bergtagen is Fjällräven’s mountaineering collection. It’s engineered to offer the highest level of performance and reliability, without compromising on durability or sustainability. When it launched in September 2017 it was without a backpack. And to Fjällräven’s hardware designers, that felt some-what incomplete.
Although finding waterproof materials and getting the right durability wasn’t too difficult, getting them both and meeting Fjällräven’s sustainability standards was a tall order. “The waterproof materials we looked at were too shiny and flashy to be Fjällräven.” explains Svante Björkroth, a product developer at Fjällräven. “They weren’t that hardwearing either. Plus we had to find a supplier who shared our vision on sustainability. We can’t just produce a functional and durable material. According to Fjällräven design guidelines, our materials have to be sustainable too.”
The result was Bergshell – an OutDoor Industry award winning material.
Bergshell has both high abrasion resistance and high tear strength. This is because it combines ordinary filament yarn A with air-textured yarn in a flat ripstop construction. Conventional ripstop fabrics (A) have an uneven surface with the ripstop threads taking bumps and scuffs first as they are slightly raised. This protects the filament yarn beneath, but wears out the ripstop threads. However, with Bergshell’s innovative flat ripstop construction (B), abrasion is spread evenly over the entire surface of the fabric, considerably increasing the amount of abrasion it can withstand. Furthermore, Fjällräven has combined a filament yarn in the ripstop with an air-textured yarn in the base. Smooth filament yarn has a high tear strength, but lower abrasion resistance. However, when combined with air-textured yarn, which has a fuzzy surface offering greater abrasion resistance but lower tear strength, a material that blends the best of both worlds is created.
Because of these specific functional qualities, Fjällräven is using Bergshell to create a variety of new backpacks and bags, including Bergtagen 38, a backpack designed specifically for mountaineering. It’s been developed through long post-trip discussions with the Swedish Mountain Guide Association and Fjällräven’s own in-house tests and field trips. It has a removable fsc-certified wooden frame, a detachable top-lid and hip belt and it’s hydration-system compatible. It comes in two back lengths: small/medium and medium/large; and it boasts ice axe fixing points, daisy-chain webbing.