From the beginning, Fjällräven has been driven by the mission of offering timeless, functional and durable equipment for getting outdoors and enjoying nature. A necessary part of this is finding innovative solutions to problems. The company’s origins can be found in such an act, when a 14-year-old Swedish boy named Åke Nordin, decided to come up with a comfortable rucksack to carry his gear on an overnight trek. Most backpacks of the 1950s were shapeless, uncomfortable sacks; using his mother’s sewing machine and applying his research into carrying loads, he fashioned a better pack out of cotton canvas, leather, and a wooden frame. Later, during his military service at the FJS Parachute Ranger School in Karlsborg, he noticed that not even the equipment used by the most elite unit in the service made the grade.
Inspired by these experiences and by a passion for the outdoors, Nordin founded Fjällräven (Swedish for arctic fox) in 1960. Its goal was to create durable and functional outdoor equipment; its registered office was the family’s one-room flat just outside Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The workshop was in the cellar, which served as a factory and R&D department during the first year. The first products were backpacks with aluminum frames; in 1968, the first Fjällräven jacket was introduced. Made from tough G-1000 fabric, it was named the Greenland Jacket after a successful expedition to Greenland, and soon became a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.
Another iconic product was the Kånken backpack, launched in 1978. Åke Nordin created this lightweight, basic, durable backpack to give Norwegian schoolchildren a simple, ergonomically correct way to carry their necessities to and from school. Since then it has become one of Fjällräven's most popular products; over the decades the basic design has remained the same, with changing colors and variations (like a laptop version) that reflect the times.
Over the years, Fjällräven's product lines have expanded slowly and thoughtfully. It doesn’t tinker with tried-and-true designs and instead focuses on quality, convinced that products that last longer are better for the environment than trendy items that are only good for one season. So whether you’re looking for a weatherproof jacket, a thick flannel shirt, a beautiful sweater, functional hiking pants, or a sturdy bag or pack, you’re assured of getting an heirloom piece that’s designed to work well and built to last.