Think Fjällräven in Vancouver (and likely in many other North American cities) and the ubiquitous Kånken comes to mind, yet there’s so much more to the well-loved Swedish brand than the functional signature backpack built to last in a wide range of colours.
Travel lovers will want to check out three items I was recently sent to test drive, from a cozy travel pillow to lightweight women’s capris.
Women’s Abisko Capri Trousers
The Abisko is named after the mountain village of the same name in northern Sweden, with a national park where alpine birch forests mingle with flowering meadows and rivers.
These soft classic capri trousers have a low waist, three-quarter length legs made from stretch fabric and contain two front pockets, a zippered pocket along the right leg and two back pockets with snaps.
An additional tiny front pocket at the waist is perfect for stashing keys or coins.The lightweight 88% polyamide and 12% elastane offers a bit of give.
From a walk in the woods to weekend brunch, they’re stylish enough to work in both scenarios. For greater freedom of movement, the knees are pre-shaped and the bottoms have side slits.
The Abisko capris are European-sized from 34 to 48, in black and sand. CDN $119.99/USD $110
Rucksack No. 21 Small
Although the look is similar, the top-loading Rucksack No. 21 is definitely more sophisticated than your average Herschel Supply Little America pack. For one thing, the material is G-1000, heavy-duty 65% polyester/35% cotton waxed fabric with natural-toned leather straps and accents.
It’s a beautiful investment in looking sharp and getting the most out of storing your essentials, from city treks to mountain hikes. The matching picnic-friendly removable padded seat pad is made of the same material. The bag rides high on my back, helping to avoid that typical lower back pain when toting bags on travels.
The tightly-woven G-1000 fabric is impregnated with Greenland Wax (a biodegradable product made from bees wax and paraffin) for durability and breathability, adding wind and water-resistance to the mix. When Fjällräven founder/Swedish entrepreneur Åke Nordin added the wax to his line of tent-fabric products, he soon discovered how well-suited the material became for the outdoors.
The leather straps with metal nubs lift to reveal a classic drawstring style bag. Though it takes a moment to open, that’s the beauty of the Rucksack No. 21: it helps avoid theft.
I’ve first-hand experience with having my passport and money stolen while boarding a European train (and yes, they got into my carry-on backpack).
The drawstring area on the inside is pretty cool, sporting the Swedish flag’s blue and yellow in around the liner. A small zipped pocket is attached to the interior’s rear. Behind that you’ll find a laptop compartment and directly in front of that, the sleeve that holds the seat pad.
A drawstring pouch with a rounded bottom panel stows a thermos or water bottle in an upright position. It too has a leather-accented closure to match the larger exterior one. So cool!
Outside are two large side pockets (maps, umbrellas) and a large front flap (smart phone, magazine, travel documents), making this an ideal bag to take on day trips. The design is clean and classic. Fjällräven’s thought it through: the light-coloured lining makes it easy to see what’s in your bag.
Volume: 15 L
Consumer Material: G-1000
Outer Material: G-1000® HeavyDuty: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
Dimensions: 25 cm wide x 42 cm high x 12 cm deep (9.8” x 16 1/2” x 4.7”)
Also available in medium and large sizes as well as a kids’ mini version, in 13 other colours in addition to red (the above photo shows 12 of them). CDN $179.99/USD $160
Fjällräven’s travel pillow is small yet practical with synthetic padding, made from soft moisture-wicking material that feels comfortable against the cheek. This will be a great companion for flights, camping or long car drives.
It reminds me of a miniature sleeping bag, as you roll and pack it down into its own drawstring bag smartly attached to the pillow so you won’t lose it. There’s also a strap on the bag’s bottom so you can attach it to a backpack via a carabiner (or use the yellow drawstring loop on top).
It comes in red with a Fjällräven logo. Dimensions: 30 cm x 25 cm (11.8” x 9.8”). USD $25