To be honest, when I first got the Fjällräven TM Travelers, I was not immediately enthusiastic about the look of the jacket. The outdoor jackets that I regularly review generally have more color, are made of more technical (often Gore-Tex) material and have a tighter, more tailored cut. In their design most actually even tend to fashionable styling. Not this Travellers jacket. It looked a bit old-fashioned. And although I still don’t think it’s the most beautiful jacket I know, I have come to appreciate the jacket and have grown attached to it. Here’s why.
I used the jacket for the first time during a two-day hiking trip with a forest ranger in Fochteloërveen. During this hike, I wore a very heavy pack and wore the jacket especially in the morning and evening hours. In addition to that, I have worn the jacket a lot in daily life when walking the dog in the woods. The highlight of use was during my summer vacation in Sweden (where Fjällräven actually comes from), on the streets of Stockholm, in the evenings by tent and fire, and during hikes through the forest with lighter day packs.
On the site of Fjällräven, we read that it is a versatile jacket, (available in four earthy tones), made for “travelling in warm climates.” That surprised me a bit, especially because when I think about a brand like Fjällräven my thoughts always go north, to mountains, forests, lakes, inhospitable, desolate landscapes, and not in a southerly, let alone, tropical direction. I haven’t used the jacket in those kinds of warmer climates, but I have used it in warmer conditions, between 5 and 15 degrees. Both on drier, clear and more humid days. But I do understand now, why the jacket is also suitable in warmer climates.
That suitability for warmer climates, or let’s say, conditions begins with the fact that this jacket is made from 73% recycled polyamide and 27% organic cotton. A combination that guarantees high breathability on the one hand, and on the other a very pleasant and natural feel of the fabric. Also with backpacks on, I noticed that the jacket did indeed breathe quite well. You just sweat more while hiking, certainly with a pack, and the jacket helps to regulate that. The mesh inner fabric also has its positive share in this breathability.
The appearance of the fabric is coarse and a little rough, which adds to the natural and traditional feel of the jacket. Feeling and using the jacket, I think it is a very strong and durable (in terms of wear resistance) fabric. Polyamide is the most form-retaining and elastic of all textile fibers and remains that way even when wet. So I also think it is a very strong jacket, but only use over a very long period (which I do intend to do) will prove that pudding.
Getting back to the looks I mentioned before because it really got me thinking. To begin with, I want to say that Fjällräven is known for its typical and very individual look and feel of products. We often go to large outdoor trade shows and there you will find that many products often look and are very similar, but the Fjällräven products always stand out, and actually always are different than the rest. Where many brands mainly work with, for example, Gore-Tex, Polartec or Sympatex in their products, Fjällräven really makes its own choices there, such as with the G-1000 and MT fabric in jackets and pants.
So I think this individuality is really cool, and it actually is a statement in itself on what the clothing stands for. To me that is, as I say in the video review: “I love nature, I want to be in nature,… being here, being outside, rocks, water, trees. Everything that is natural and feels natural, in places where you want to go and where you can relax.” In fact, it really has a very expressive style that can appeal to you or not.
The leather details with the iconic Fjällräven logo on a number of zippers and on the shoulder give very subtle small color accents to the jacket. The fact that my dog, who fell asleep on my lap at fireside, was very similar to the Arctic Fox of the Fjällräven logo, closed the deal for me. I think it’s a cool jacket.
Is the jacket more than a peculiar kind of (anti) fashion statement? It certainly is. As I said, the jacket breathes very well, and depending on what you wear underneath it provides a nice warm wear, even at lower temperatures. The jacket is not waterproof or water-repellent but dries very quickly. I was able to experience that a number of times and it really is true. Cotton is naturally breathable but does retain water. The use of polyamide that can which moisture very well largely compensates for that characteristic of cotton.
Just like the styling of this jacket, the features are also very basic, but to the point. The jacket has two chest pockets that you can close with snap buttons, a Napoleon pocket with zipper, two large hip pockets with zipper and a small low-lying inside pocket, which can also be closed with a zipper. The cuffs can be adjusted in two positions with snap buttons, and the hem of the jacket can be adjusted with an elastic cord in the hem. The high collar where a hood is incorporated really feels quite nice.
The jacket delivers on its promise. I can very well imagine wearing the jacket in warmer conditions if you do want to wear a jacket. If it is wet outside it would work well as a middle layer under a thin waterproof breathable jacket too. The style needs to appeal to you, it certainly appealed to me in part, but most of all, the jacket wears and feels really nice.