We rather like the way Scandinavian outdoor brands often incorporate a national flag into their garments and Fjällräven has done it with the Skogsö Jacket – there’s a neat little Swedish flag down by the left hip and it’s kind of cool because it says that it’s a brand that’s proud of its origins.
We also like the gentle oddness of Fjällräven’s G1000 technology. It’s a poly-cotton mix in 65/35 proportions that’s partly impregnated with Fjällräven’s own Greenland Wax and can, if you choose, be extra-waxed in whichever areas you choose, sort of home-made body-mapping or zoning.
It feels nice in the same way that Ventile or canvas feels nice. Most of the Skogsö is G1000 Lite, which is a lighter-weight, rip-stop patterned version of the fabric, while the shoulders, yoke and hood use the original, slightly heavier version of the fabric.
It’s not the first time we’ve tried G1000, we had a jacket in on test last year, but to be fair, it was more outdoor casual than real outdoors and didn’t get used much. The Skogsö is a different kettle of poly-cotton fish altogether.
First, the cut is spot-on for an outdoors all-rounder. Slim in the torso, wide enough in the shoulders and long enough in the body to give decent hip and butt protection. It also has a very decent hood that’s fully adjustable. And while the peak isn’t wired, it’s reasonably stiffened, particularly given that this isn’t a waterproof jacket, more a sort of alternative soft shell.
The other thing we like is the mix of old and new technology. Zips are proper YKK and we think the main one might even be a Vislon, but the zip-pull tags are quirky leather. Four pockets by the way, two hand-warmer ones and two chest.
Ochre Or Yellow?
And then there’s the colour – technically it’s ‘ochre’ but most people would say a ‘sort of yellow’, but after an initial ‘ohmigod what colour is that?’ moment, it’s really grown on us. There’s something properly Scandinavian about it in a good way – you can imagine it being worn on a bleak Nordic harbour side or, erm, a less bleak Nordic harbourside, or maybe on a rolling tundra upland.
That and the natural, non-crackly feel of the fabric just makes us smile. As does the sewn-in label that explains how to apply the Greenland Wax using an iron or a hair drier. Up the wax in winter, use less in summer.
Of course the fabric is what it’s about. It’s sort of a soft shell, but an adjustable one. The close weave means it’s naturally wind-repellent and decently breathable too, but adding wax strategically ups the wind and water resistance, while reducing the breathability at the same time. Interesting stuff. We’re looking forward to seeing how it copes with our delightful British spring/summer.
Weight by the way, is a genuine 610g for a medium and price tops out around £179.