Fjallraven logo

Swedish outdoors brand Fjällräven has been around since 1960 (originating in Örnsköldsvik; their main office is currently in Stockholm).

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Most people know about the brand via its wildly popular Kånken collection — squared backpacks with a handle on top and a logo on the front bearing an outlined fox (Fjällräven translates to Arctic fox in Swedish).

Fjallraven original logo

Founder Åke Nordin began selling the backpacks long before the award-winning logo was in place. Over the years, the logo, bearing a winking, cozy curled-up fox, has been revamped a few times, but in 2009, the logo won the prestigious Signumpriset, Norway’s coveted design competition whose past winners include Volvo and Absolut Vodka.

Fjällräven is equally proud to be a sustainable company, supporting worker’s rights, wool and down sourcing and the latest trends in eco-minded manufacturing.

Fjallraven adventure Fjallraven adventure-2

We were given a brief waxing demo at their Kitsilano store (1976 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver), where West Broadway store manager Matt Armstrong took a cube of Greenland wax to a pair of technical G-1000 trousers, making them waterproof just in time for wet season adventures.

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This old-school method of sealing wax into your gear via a heat gun adds structure to keep out water. The service is complimentary and actually engages conversation as shoppers stop in, wondering what staff are doing to their clothes!

Free alterations are also offered in each store, including technical hemming, meaning the hardware on your pants won’t get lost when they’re hemmed.

Fjallraven Bergtagen Eco-Shell Jacket

We fuelled up on breakfast courtesy of health-minded caterers Peqish Food Company, then fitted into beautiful new Bergtagen Eco-Shell jackets and a Fjällräven backpack to take along before heading over to Granville Island for an adventure by kayak.

Fjallraven Bergtagen Eco-Shell Jacket

Each item in their store is named after a place, thing or feeling. The Bergtagen has a spiritual theme: Getting lost in a forest and experiencing nature.

This jacket is loaded with features too, from its fluorocarbon-free eco-shell material to breathability via side zippers.

Fjallraven Bergtagen Eco-Shell Jacket

Two chest pockets (each with their own inner mesh pockets) are smartly placed for stowing a smart phone or small essentials while kayaking, trekking or mountaineering.

Fjallraven Bergtagen Eco-Shell Jacket

Elbows have cool patched areas for stylish reinforcement using aramid-based Corylon. There’s reflective elements and velcro adjustments at the sleeves, a drawcord at the hem and easy zipper pullers to get at even while wearing gloves.

The jacket comes in both Hokkaido Orange and Mountain Blue for men and women. CAD $649.99/USD $550

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A short walk from the store brings us to Vancouver Water Adventures, where we’re suited up with PFDs, paddles and a pair of knowledgeable guides for a 90-minute kayak tour around False Creek.

On False Creek with Vancouver Water Adventures On False Creek with Vancouver Water Adventures On False Creek with Vancouver Water Adventures On False Creek with Vancouver Water Adventures

Along the way, our guides point out bits of the city’s history, from the grisly story behind Leg n Boot Square to the Cambie Street Bridge’s blue line project, a series of lines under the bridge recently painted by a UBC student to indicate where water levels will rise by 2050 due to climate change.

On False Creek with Vancouver Water Adventures On False Creek with Vancouver Water Adventures On False Creek with Vancouver Water Adventures On False Creek with Vancouver Water Adventures

Vancouver Water Adventures (1812 Boatlift Lane) also rents out sit-on-top plastic kayaks by the hour as well as Seadoos and stand-up paddle boards. (I’ve rented both to enjoy a local adventure from time to time – it never fails to renew my spirit and appreciation for our city’s gorgeous natural backdrop.)

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And no adventure would be complete without a great trekking bag.

Fjallraven Abisko Hike 15 Fjallraven Abisko Hike 15

I brought home an Abisko Hike 15 and love its range of features, including a strong carry handle on top, a narrow profile that doesn’t crowd my back, a rain cover contained in its own little pouch, zippered pockets for stowing snacks, keys and the like, plus a chest strap for when you’re porting around a full load.

Fjallraven Abisko Hike 15

Each side has a space for a water bottle or small umbrella too. The base is additionally reinforced using Fjällräven’s G1000 Heavy Dutch Eco S material.

Fjallraven Abisko Hike 15 Fjallraven Abisko Hike 15

And if you’re into mountaineering, there’s elastic cords, side compression straps and an inside clip for attaching a hydration bladder.

Fjallraven Abisko Hike 15

The entire pack is sustainably constructed using G-1000 eco-friendly materials (recycled polyester and organic cotton).

Fjallraven Abisko Hike 15 Fjallraven Abisko Hike 15

In Canada, the Abisko Hike 15 comes in black, green and stone grey. On the US site, additional colours include Navy, Flame Orange and Dark Sand. CAD $159.99/USD $125

And for longer days out, it also comes in a larger size: the Abisko Hike 35.

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