As it’s getting colder now is the time to look for a winter coat that won’t just make you look proper cool but will also stop you freezing to death on all those forthcoming ker-a-zee Christmas Dos you’ll no doubt be stumbling home from over the festive season. Step forward Fjällräven and their immense Expedition Down Jacket, created in Sweden by Fjäll founder Åke Nordin who, after a particularly choppy night hunkered down in a bivouac, decided from then on no one should ever again have to freeze while out enjoying a bit of nature. Fabrics were tested and a search was launched for the highest quality down. Unfortunately, the early prototypes were not as warm as Åke had hoped. But then he was struck by an unusually good idea – if one jacket was not warm enough, why not make two jackets? And, as simple as that, two warm jackets were sewn together into one. Test showed that the two layers of down did not only make the jacket warmer, the overlapping construction made it even more insulating by preventing heat from leaking out or cold winds from forcing their way in through the seams. The hood was designed to be large and roomy and had a drawstring opening so only the eyes were visible when pulled tight. Push buttons were added to the zipper for better safety, but also to the possibility of ventilation by only using the buttons. Extra hand-warming pockets were sewn behind the regular pockets and the shoulders. Durable down parka that keeps you warm even during low-intensity activities in extremely cold weather. The hood were filled with extra synthetic padding to ensure that this area maintained its shape and warmth even when carrying a backpack or heavy items in the pockets. To provide room for layering, the jacket was given a roomy fit. Before the jacket could be shipped to the stores, it naturally needed to be tested. The first test was carried out at high elevation as a group of Swedes used the jacket during an expedition to the Himalayas in 1973. Fjällräven’s own tests in the north region of Sweden also gave positive feedback. In 1974, Expedition Down was ready to be released to the public. Forty years after Expedition Down saw its first winter in Örnsköldsvik it’s still their most popular winter jacket. There have been many attempts to imitate this optimal winter jacket too. Setting something of a trend at the beginning of the 2000’s, the amount of imitations we got so out of hand that the Supreme Court and the Sea Court of Appeal passed down a verdict that the construction of Expedition Down was so original it deserved to be protected by copyright laws and should be classified as artwork. So get yourself one of these iconic bad boys and then the next time some un-clued up gimp starts going on about the price/size/colour/style of your jacket you can tell them that it’s not actually a jacket, it’s a work of art (then throw a snow-ball right in their face).
With thanks to Nils Grundberg