November 24, 2020

Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie | Review

3 min read
A great midlayer that’s sustainable, warm and looks the part off the slopes. What’s not...

A great midlayer that’s sustainable, warm and looks the part off the slopes. What’s not to love?

Why We Chose The Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Hoody: Sustainable, stylish, warm

Price: €310
Weight: 490g

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We here at Mpora love a good old story behind a product or brand. The story of Darn Tough, who survived some ‘darn tough times’ while making socks in the same small village in Vermont since 1978, is an excellent example of this. Another brand that has great stories behind their products are the folk over at Fjallraven.

“We here at Mpora love a good old story behind a product or brand”

When Fjallraven introduced their Expedition Pack Down Hoodie – an insulator that’s been modelled on the jacket that Fjallraven’s founder, Åke Nordin, created to keep warm on his bivouacking adventures way back in the 1970s – we made sure to find some space for it in the Ski 100.

While it may have been designed around a now-vintage jacket, the Expedition Pack is full of modern (and sustainable) technologies that we’ve now come to expect as standard from Fjallraven.

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Materials

First thing to note with a bit of Fjallraven kit is of course the eco credentials that the brand is packing. Fjallraven hasn’t, like some brands, jumped on the environmental trend in recent years. They’ve been pushing the sustainability message for ages.

Their environmentally conscious approach can be seen in the Expedition Pack Jacket, where a combination of a fully recycled polyamide face fabric and lining, a fluorocarbon-free water resistant coating, and ethically-sourced down fill that’s fully traceable has all been used in a effort to soften the impact on the planet.

“They’ve been pushing the sustainability message for ages”

The main fill used here is 110g of goose down with a fill power of 700 and it’s all contained within stitched through baffles. While 700 fill power isn’t the cream of the crop of fill powers (Mountain Hardwear does a 900 fill power jacket), it certainly offers the best balance between warmth, weight, and price for a midlayer.

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Most importantly for us, this combination of 700 FP down packed into moderate sized baffles means the jacket will be up to the job of keeping you warm on the slopes when layered beneath a shell (without making you look like the Michelin Man). 

A final note about the materials used is that Fjallraven has gone for synthetic fill around the shoulders. This avoids any unwanted clumping together of insulation that you so frequently see when using down insulation, particularly if you’re wearing a backpack. Synthetic insulation also adds a bit of extra wet weather protection

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Features

You’ve got yourself the option to go for either a hooded and non-hooded version of the Expedition Pack Down jacket. We’ve been using the hooded version. Fitting helmets underneath is on the tight side, but we were fans of the ability to cinch down the hood – ideal for when the heavens open at your favourite après spot.

There’s also adjustment at the waist, with the pull cords handily located within the handwarmers. Said pockets are zipped and fairly big – big enough to fit a map. They’re not particularly easy to access when you’re wearing your touring harness, or when you’ve got a backpack on, but we never found this an issue given we’ve been using this jacket as a winter midlayer.

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Conclusion

Pair the Fjallraven Expedition Pack Hoody with a solid waterproof jacket – say, The North Face Brigandine – and a Mons Royale merino base layer  and you’ve got yourself a layering system that’ll take on all but the worst weather on the hills this winter.

We’re also big fans of the throwback look of this insulator, too. This jacket is as comfortable on the slopes as it is when you’re back in resort, winding down after a long day on the slopes.

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