This article was produced in partnership with Fjällräven
A jacket made for polar expeditions should help you thrive in heart-stoppingly cold winter weather, not just survive. Fjällräven’s Expedition Down Jacket does just that—keeping you cozy and comfortable in bitter temps, so you can cruise through frozen landscapes with ease and an even stride, instead of shivering uncontrollably with chattering teeth.
The down Expedition Jacket is a classic; it’s been a staple in Fjällräven’s line for nearly 50 years. Brand founder and visionary, Åke Nordin, designed the parka in his head during a sleepless, sub-zero night in a bivouac on a barren Swedish plateau. Nordin promised himself he’d make the right gear so he’d never suffer such extreme discomfort again.
That was 1974. Nordin had heard of down insulation, but down jackets and sleeping bags were new technology. So, he traveled to Boulder, CO, to learn from his peers who were experts in designing and working with lofted down. When Nordin returned home, he promptly got to work on the Expedition Down Parka. He threaded his sewing machine and crafted a dual-layer nylon-shell jacket he stuffed with goose down. To minimize airspace and keep the jacket insulative, Nordin’s design combined a smaller jacket inside a larger one. He used polyester insulation in the shoulders, not down, to maintain warmth when he wore the jacket with a pack or loaded heavy tools into pockets that compressed that zone. The oversized hood also covered everything but his eyes.
A heritage jacket for the present day
When Nordin sewed Fjällräven’s first Expedition Down Jacket, every detail was intentional. And many of those details remain. A protective hood snaps to the back of the jacket so it stays put on blustery days; a two-way zipper accommodates a harness and provides venting; adjustable snap cuffs help fine-tune temperature; and offset, draft-free baffles contour to the body for better warmth management.
Slip into the Expedition Down Jacket, and you’ll feel Nordin’s brilliance and understand why it’s seen minimal changes in nearly 50 years. The jacket has generous pockets with slits to warm cold hands, and plenty of space to store any and all tools, nourishment, and hydration.
The modern iteration is stuffed with high-quality traceable down that’s humanely sourced. Fjällräven now cuts the parka from recycled nylon, which wasn’t available in Nordin’s time, and uses fluorocarbon-free water repellents to bead water without polluting rivers and streams.
The Expedition Down Jacket still boasts synthetic shoulder insulation to repel moisture and maintain warmth when wearing a pack, and has a yellow string to cinch the hood. That’s not a retro detail added for effect. When Nordin sewed the first Expedition Down Jacket, he threaded a waxed yellow hockey skate lace through the hood as a closure because he knew it would last.
Built to last
When the folks at Fjällräven tag a parka as expedition-ready, they mean it. This jacket has been to the South Pole and Greenland on Swedish Polar Research Secretariat expeditions. It’s wrapped dog mushers amidst Arctic Circle adventures, and kept climbers comfortable in the world’s highest mountain ranges. Cut long and overstuffed, it’s just about the best jacket you can wear in sub-zero temps. In fact, its unique design is copyright-protected under Swedish law.
Fjällräven designs gear for real-world use, and always has. Necessity is the catalyst for invention, and Nordin made nearly everything in the company’s line to make the most most of adventures.
While Fjällräven gear shines in extreme conditions, it’s equally suited to everyday wear. The Expedition Down Jacket is an essential for winter if you prize warmth. It tames blustery, snowy days on the slopes, and makes shuttling skis and kids to the resort and back a less hare-brained endeavor. It’s the perfect jacket for sledding—both the motorized and non-motorized kind—and takes the sting from the wind in urban landscapes, too.
A tool for every trade
Because not every adventurer subjects themselves to the wrath of Arctic and alpine weather consistently, Fjällräven makes a full line of insulating layers well-suited for any job. Fjällräven engineers the same weather-neutralizing technology used in the Expedition Down Jacket into every piece in its Expedition series.
If you wander where the weather isn’t cold enough to freeze your tears, but still want the warmth of down and the durability of nylon, Fjällräven’s Expedition Down Lite Jacket is your best bet. It uses stitch-through construction, 35 percent less down, and is cut three inches shorter, making it perfect for milder winter climates.
The Expedition Pack Down Jacket dishes out robust warmth worn alone, layered under a shell, or added over a baselayer. It’s easy to pull on when you pause mid-hike or stop for a snack on the slopes. It even packs into its inner pocket for storage.
The Expedition Long Down Parka combines down and synthetic insulation in a calf-length coat that’s pleasant for winter walking as well as ice fishing. The construction delivers maximum warmth without cold spots.
When there’s frost on the grass, but the sun is still shining, Fjällräven’s Expedition Down Lite Vest takes the chill off. Layered it over a flannel or under a shell.
Suiting up in the right outerwear for the day is essential. Fjällräven’s Expedition line of parkas, jackets, and vests has you covered. No matter which piece you zip into, one thing’s for sure: Your day is already looking up.
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