Fjällräven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Down and Insulated Jackets

Fjällräven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie | Review

There’s plenty to like about Fjällräven’s latest mid-weight down insulator

Why We Chose It: Excellent warmth-to-weight, good eco efforts
Price: £275
Weight: 490g

This retro-looking down jacket is in fact modelled on a jacket that Fjällräven’s founder created to keep warm on his bivouacking adventures way back in the 1970s. That logo you can see in the pictures is actually the one the brand used when it first started out. 

Fortunately, the features are all modern. It’s a fairly high spec down jacket actually, one that I’ve found to be a cosy and reliable insulation piece. 

What Is The Expedition Pack Down Hoodie Best Suited To?

Despite being listed as part of Fjällräven’s ‘Polar’ range, this is better described as a mid-weight down jacket. It’s not one that’s going to be your main insulation piece on an expedition to the North Pole but it’ll certainly do the job during an autumn wild camp in the Lake District or as part of a layering system during a Scottish winter. 

A high quality jacket with retro touches. Photo: Chris Johnson

The Eco Credentials

Here at Outdoors Magic, we’ve come to regard Fjällräven as one of the leading brands out there when it comes to sustainability. In fact, unlike many brands these days, the eco-conscience has been there right from the start. In the case of this jacket, nice eco-friendly touches you can expect include a fully recycled polyamide face fabric and lining, a fluorocarbon-free water resistant coating and ethically-sourced down fill that’s fully traceable. 

Construction and Performance

The main fill used here is 110g of goose down with a fill power of 700, all contained within stitched through baffles. 700 isn’t the most thermally efficient out there by any means but it’s not to be sniffed at either – it certainly feels very lofty and cosy. I’ve been kept warm by this during a couple of autumnal hikes in the Welsh hills and found it particularly good at keeping cold wind out, though on a really wintry day I think I’d want to have a good baselayer plus a decent fleece under it. The resistance to light rain was good to start with but it is starting to deteriorate and will require some Nikwaxing soon I think. That’s pretty much a given with down jackets though. 

I particularly like the fact that there’s a synthetic fill at the shoulders. Down fill can be irreparably damaged when squashed down too much by heavy backpack straps, whereas synthetics are much more durable – they also add a bit of extra wet weather insulation reliability. 

The hood is very cosy and protective and it holds well thanks to the adjustment tabs at the back and on the chin. You don’t see three point adjustment on down jacket hoods that often but it’s something that’s definitely useful to have. 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 an OS map. They’re not particularly easy to access when you’re wearing a harness or a backpack with a hipbelt though. 

There’s one extra pocket on the inside of the jacket that’s a good enough size for your phone and wallet and there’s a little loop to clip, say, your car keys to. The pocket actually doubles as a stuff sack and that loop can then be used to clip the jacket to a harness or your backpack. It does take a bit of jamming to get it stuffed away but ultimately you get a conveniently small package no bigger than a medium sized loaf of bread.

Final Details

I’m 5 foot 10 and quite slight and I usually go for size M jackets. This in a size M fits me very nicely. I like that the cut isn’t too close or athletic and is relaxed enough to accommodate a layer underneath. I’ve also found that I can easily wear a waterproof jacket over the top without discomfort. 

One other thing I should mention is the overall durability of the outer fabric. I’d say it gives the Expedition Pack Down Hoodie a slightly more robust feel than some other mid-weight down jackets – and at 490g it’s still impressively light.

This is available in men’s and women’s styles and in a number of colours including a bright ‘UN Blue’ which is pretty smart. There’s also a hoodless version which comes in a touch cheaper and lighter. 

More info: fjallraven.com

Chosen For Our Green Gear Guide 2021

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