In the early 1970s during an expedition, Åke Nordin, Fjällräven’s founder, dug a bivouac pit in the snow on the barren mountain plateau of Abisko in Sweden’s far north, enduring an unbearably cold and windy night. The freezing bitter cold was Åke’s least favorite aspect of outdoor life.
Throughout his life, Åke had always learned his craft by working with people who were more skilled than himself. Knowing that in the ’70s the down insulation professionals were in the United States, he decided to plan a trip to be among his peers. At an outdoor fair in Chicago, Åke met a rock climber who at that time was one of America’s foremost manufacturers of down jackets and sleeping bags. This new friend invited Åke to the outdoor-centric city of Boulder, Colorado (the present home of Fjällräven North America) to teach him how best to develop his own insulating “never feel cold again” down jacket.
Finally, after testing his prototype, in 1974, Åke began producing his Fjällräven Expedition Down Jacket. It was a jacket made from two down jackets offset-sewn together to minimize heat loss and to retain warmth in extreme temperatures, especially in places without indoor shelter. His revolutionary jacket quickly become an essential part of tough expeditions around the world – from the Himalayas to the Arctic Circle.