The Kånken backpack has become synonymous with the Fjällräven brand - which we recognise by the boxy hipster bag with the distinctive Red Arctic Fox logo. Some might even think of Kånken is its own brand. While, we’ve only recently seen the emergence of the Fjällräven brand in Singapore, this Swedish outdoor brand has been around since the 1960s. Here are 5 things you never knew about Fjällräven:
1 . Fjällräven is an outdoor brand.
It sells outdoor equipment from technical bags to trekking poles, tentages to outdoor clothing. Åke Nordin, founder of Fjällräven, noticed the lack of functional and hard-wearing outdoor gear when he was serving the army. After much R&D, the original G(reenland)-1000 material was created, and it is mosquito repellent, UVA & UVB proof! Since then, different versions of the G-1000 material specially engineered for different functions have been made.
2. The iconic Kånken was designed in 1978 as a school bag.
In the past, students carried sling bags and that took a toll on their backs - so much that it started a national debate. Åke Nordin created Fjällräven’s iconic Kånkens as sturdy backpacks that distributed the weight evenly on both shoulders in conjunction with the Swedish Guide and Scout Association. Its general design hasn’t changed much since then, but we're loving the looks of their 40th Anniversary special edition Kånkens!
3. Fjällräven puts a lot of emphasis on nature & the environment
In 2008, the Kånken is the 1st backpack in the world to offer climate compensation, offsetting all emissions resulting from production and transport of Kånken that have a climate impact. They’ve also banned perfluorinated chemicals in their production since 2015. Environmental win!
Fjällräven also plays a part in protecting the animal on their logo, the Arctic Fox. They educate people about the threat of extinction, supply equipment and donate money to Arctic Fox conservation efforts.
4. Fjällräven holds yearly polar expedition which anyone can sign up for
Imagine this - navigating a dog sled across barren tundra and frozen lakes and through mountain forests weighted with snow, spending the nights in tents under the open sky, accompanied by the northern lights. That’s what you’ll be signing up for if you choose to apply for the polar expedition! However, there’s a selection process although it is open to “any curious person who would like to go on the adventure of a lifetime”. Successful applicants go on a 300km expedition in the arctic wilderness with over 200 sled dogs with flights and equipment sponsored by Fjällräven.
5. Fjällräven backpacks come with a surprise!
Most if not all Fjällräven backpacks from the Kånken, Highcoast to the Foldsacks come with a seat pad! You might not notice it at first, and many mistaken them as 'padding' for their bags. While they might not be entirely wrong to think so, these removable foam seat cushions are there so you can go for a hike anytime, and still have some place clean to sit on and have your sandwich. Other than that, they do a really good job at giving the bag some structure and protects your back from the occasional odd-shaped items you throw it.
6. Fjällräven really wants you to head outdoors!
Fjällräven holds their own treks - the Fjällräven Classic, and everyone’s invited! Every year, the Fjällräven Classic will be held in Sweden, Denmark, USA and Hong Kong where trekking enthusiasts from all over the world gather to join in. Fjällräven SEA has started with the SEA regions as well, including some in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines!
This photo was taken in Pulau Ubin recently, during the collaboration between Fjällräven SEA, Grouphunt and SGTreks!
You can find packing lists for treks, tips from experts and stories from fellow trekkers on Fjällräven’s blog, Foxtrail, where they write about their “stories from the trail”. If you’re a first time trekker, you’ll be able to find packing tips from much more experienced travellers, down to the exact item you can bring. If you’re planning to go to different climates or countries to trek, there are also tips for what you should watch out for, and specific locations that you cannot miss out on. All these articles are specially designed to give the reader more information about the brand while providing helpful information for the first time trekkers. All this is to try and motivate people to head out and enjoy nature!
We hope that this will motivate you get out there and explore a little more!
We thought you might be interested in our Fjällräven Highcoast Review: