As an art kid in college, the overwhelming presence of the Fjällräven Kanken backpack in the hallways and studios of my design university served as my introduction to the storied Swedish outfitter. More recently, another iconic design from Fjällräven has caught my eye, though this time both around town and on the mountain.
Favored by film directors and fashion designers, pilots and alpine expeditionists alike, the Expedition Down Jacket has remained consistently popular in Nordic countries, as well as the States, since its first release in 1974. And now, thanks to a recent modern update, it's more sustainable and better-performing than ever.
Inspired by Eddie Bauer's first down jacket in 1940, and George Lamb of Camp 7 (one of the OG American makers of sleeping bags and down jackets), Fjällräven's founder Åke Nordin created this his first Expedition iteration by sewing two down jackets into one in order to create a top capable of insulating the wearer in as low as -40°C temps.
Constructed in blue with signature yellow strings as a nod to the Swedish flag, the original Expedition Down Jacket was fitted with an oversized insulated hood and shoulders reinforced with synthetic lining to resist usual wear and tear from backpack straps and unfavorable weather (of which the coat was sure to see much of). The result became his legacy.
The current 2020 Expedition Down Jacket still sports the features listed above, only now it's stuffed to the brim with fully traceable down with a recycled polyamide shell material that confirms Fjällräven's commitment to sustainability. It's also now available in a range of styles for men and women, including a Long Down Parka, Pack Down Hoodie, and Down Lite Jacket (our personal fave). Though varying in silhouette, each still retains the same lovely vintage look and extreme functionality that helped make the jacket so famous in the first place.