Having recently welcomed my second child into the world, I have been spending the last weeks in a cocooned bubble. Whereas this was thrilling and enjoyable for the first few days, I have recently been feeling an ever-increasing urge to head back outdoors into nature to empty my mind and recharge.
I have to find a way to do so near my house though, just in case, I am called back home in a hurry for some child-related reason. That sadly means no extreme hiking/climbing or mountain biking but after some brainstorming, I come up with a combination of cycling and hiking that would keep me within a 10 km range of home but still allow me to experience the different types of landscapes in the area, ranging from the local forest to the neighbouring dunes.
Setting up the review
Having packed my bag with the bare necessities for a day hike, it is time to turn my attention to clothing, and what better than trying out Fjällräven’s Vardag line. Vardag in Swedish literally means weekday and the brand has brought out a selection of items that combine the ease-of-use and comfort of everyday clothing with the reliability and toughness you would expect from any Fjällräven product. This sounds perfect for the mix of daily chores and activities I have planned for the day.
Their motto says it all really: sustainability through longevity. This is something that I can definitely stand behind! Whereas I am lucky enough to get to try out different products and brands for Gearlimits, I truly believe that investing in durable pieces of clothing that last you a lifetime is the way to go. From personal experience, Fjällräven is one of the brands that truly lives up to this expectation and I don’t see why these items would be any different. Let’s put them to the test!
First off, a sporty bike ride through town and up into the forest. Today is a warm and sunny day and a great breathability test which my setup passes with flying colours. The fact that the fleece’s zipper is so long helps to keep me cool and comfortable while I climb the few hills along the way. (Yes, hills do exist in the Netherlands, even if you do have to go looking for them).
Once I arrive, I lock my bike at the entrance of the forest and set out on my hike. I’m only a few hundred metres in, and I can already appreciate the comfort of the outfit.
Fjällräven Vardag Trousers
The Vardag trousers are tough, yet comfortable thanks to Fjällräven’s proprietary G-1000 Eco Stretch fabric made from organic cotton. It is also possible to bolster their weather protection by using Greenland Wax but there is no need for that today, thankfully!
The trousers feel durable without feeling stiff and the elastic band in the waist adds to the comfort and fit. There are also elastic bands around the ankles, which provide a tight seal around my hiking boots preventing any dust or sand from sneaking in (this became very helpful once I reached the sand dunes). These trousers also offer good functionality with its three zippered pockets. Whereas they lack any thigh pockets, this is what makes these trousers more low-key, and better suited to wearing around town than some of the more rugged models the brand offers. Breathability is also good despite not having any ventilation zippers.
Fjällräven Vardag Lite fleece
The lite fleece ticks a lot of boxes. It is warm, yet very breathable (as demonstrated on my bike ride) while being extremely light and comfortable. It has a regular (almost baggy) fit and good adjustability at the waist thanks to a drawcord located in the seam. I personally prefer a slightly more tailored fit but I can see that this fit makes the fleece very versatile as a mid-layer. Its kangaroo pouch is very large and also contains a small secret pocket in which you can store smaller items such as your keys or earbuds. I found myself stashing most of my EDC (every day carry) in there during the hike. With its two zippable pockets, everything was secure and within easy hand’s reach.
Another aspect I’m a big fan of it is sustainably produced, being made from recycled polyester and dyed using a closed-loop method based on CO2 instead of using water. 12 points from me! The only downside I can see is that it is on the pricey side.
On my way back, I decided to stop for a lunch break on the border of the forest and, after setting a cup of tea, reflect on my experience of the last few hours spent wandering around the Dutch coast. Has Fjällräven delivered on its promise? Simply put, yes. The fleece and trousers were comfortable, breathable and technical enough to support me on my hike and enhance the experience. Fjällräven’s mission is to inspire the world to walk with nature, and from what I have had the pleasure of experiencing, these products do just that.
Fjällräven Vardag Lite fleece
- Comfort 10
- Fit 7
- Warmth & insulation 9
- Breathability 8
- Wind resistance 4
- Features 8
- Sustainability 9
- Price/quality 8
Fjällräven Vardag Trousers M
- Comfort 8
- Fit 8
- Warmth & insulation 8
- Breathability 6
- Wind resistance 7
- Features 7
- Sustainability 8
- Price/quality 9