– Fjallraven – Dress for Outdoor Success
Fjällräven may not be a brand name that rolls off the English speaking tongue. It is, though, the leading rucksack for outdoor activities. Founded in 1960 by Swede, Åke Nordin, the original products were made out of tent material. Proving to be a success, outdoor clothing was added to the line making it the brand’s products outdoor essential within a decade.
A favorite in Nordic countries, while consumers may not know how to pronounce it, the logo is instantly recognisable. Founder of City Paws, Matt Boyce, works outside the majority of the day with dogs. The weather in England can have big mood swings, so it’s important to have gear that can handle it all. In speaking to Matt, he mentioned how much he loves his gear, so I asked him to talk about it in-depth.
Can you describe your average day?
There really isn’t an average day at City Paws Club, but the ones I prefer are outdoors,ideally with dogs. My daily activities range from simply walking my own dog Flea on the London Thames, to stand-up paddle boarding with a bunch of dogs, to playing with the pack at our daycare centre or hiking through a forest during a dog and their human event.
What are the key essential items you need to take with you during outdoor activities?
A solid pair of walking boots, pure wool socks, a pair of Fjallraven outdoor pants with plenty of pockets for easy to reach items, and a wet weather jacket. We live in the UK so we need plenty of layers and always pack essentials in my handy Fjallraven backpack for every outdoor activity.
As for the items inside the backpack- I always have a fully charged water resistant phone should their be an emergency, safety gear for dog & human activities, i.e. life vests, suitable helmets and a well stocked first aid kit should I lose a leg or two.
Ah Matt, we can tell why you are the pack leader.
As we move into the cooler months of the year, temperatures can fluctuate (hey, Global Warming is real), do you take that into account when getting dressed for dog and family adventures?
Getting your dogs kit prepared is as important as making sure you have the right equipment. The elements have a habit of catching you out on whether on the water or on high ground. Dogs who have shorter coats especially need protection in the form of a fleece or if wet, a winter coat. I recommend Ruffwear to our clients when deciding on which coat to buy for an activity as they have a range to fit most conditions. For myself and my family I check the weather before going out for a hike and ensure I have plenty of back up should the weather change unexpectedly. https://www.citypawsclubshop.co.uk/collections/dog-coats
Many are familiar with the Fjallraven kanken bags, but I notice you have also selected one of their coats and pants, how did you find out about the other gear they make?
I met a bunch of Swedish dog handlers during a Polar 7 day Husky adventure hike who all swore by Fjallraven. The kit was exceptionally well made and extremely durable for the activity in hand. I have been hooked ever since, and whilst Polar equipment isn’t needed in the UK, Fjallraven have plenty of gear that is relevant and suitable for our climate and is rugged enough for my dog handling job.
Wow, sounds like an incredible trip. And, we have seen it hail on sunny days in the UK, so helps to have gear that can handle anything. Tell me, which features of the coat make it compatible with an active outside activity?
The UK is mostly mild in temp, but wet. Currently I wear the High Coast Wind Anorak. It is perfect for a windy day in all it’s simplicity. The waxed surface repels drizzle and dries quickly. Thumbholes keep your hands dry when you need to work on packing. The kangaroo pocket has space for the essentials and makes the anorak easy to pack and easy to access in your bag.
What does the Fjallraven brand mean to you?
Reliability, strength, technical, style.
What is your favorite item from Fjallraven?
I have many – but on my current wish list is the Bertagen Eco-shell jacket. This jacket is perfect for any condition I will come up against in the UK in the next few months, and will double up as a perfect Snowboarding jacket come the New Year. It is also recycled from polyester and can be easily recycled in the future which gets a thumbs up from me!
Technical shell jacket for alpine trekking or ski touring. Articulated fit and stretchy, quiet material with maximum freedom of movement in steep terrain. At the same time you also have complete protection from rain, sleet, snow and strong winds.
Thank you for the insider’s scoop Matt.