Site Loader

Fjällräven Expedition Lätt Hoodie

When the temperature starts to drop below zero – even if only in the morning – I’m beginning to pull out thicker and warmer layers out of my wardrobe. Jackets, beanies and gloves first – it has to be seriously cold for me to use insulated pants. This jacket – though it looks as if you could wear it for a polar expedition, and it was designed to look exactly like this – is perfect for this kind of weather.

Up until very recently this was the lightest piece in the whole 1974 Expedition collection. And this is a good pointer to what you would expect it to be like. A few months ago an ultralight X-Lätt jacket was added to the line, and I hope to be able to have it for a review in the spring.

Looks pretty serious in this color, but it’s not a jacket for extreme cold. Certainly not as the main or the only layer.
It’s slightly below zero, -2, maybe -3 centigrade and I’m almost comfortably warm, but one – I am not moving, so not generating much heat and two – I have a good insulation layer under this jacket. If I was walking, hiking I could certainly have a lighter layer underneath and it would feel ok. It would work as the only insulation only in above zero conditions definitely.

It’s filled with 100% recycled polyester. What is slightly different than other polyester based insulation though is the fact that it’s not a fabric type layer – like it most often is. These are loose fibers that are supposed to mimic natural down. This is why there are so many seams, quilting – just like you would see in a down jacket – to keep the fibers in place. And just like in a down jacket, the seams and space around the seams is where there’s none at all or very little insulation.

Outer fabric is also recycled. It feels a little different than your usual down jacket fabric. It’s not as incredibly thin and light as current top fabrics so it seems a little more durable. Definitely less prone to tearing – which made me be less careful with this jacket when it comes to brushing it against rocks, branches etc. Looks less shiny and is more coarse or rough if I can put it  this way. It is DWR treated (PFC free obviously) and since synthetic insulation will still work when moist or even wet – you can use it in much worse weather than your regular down jacket.

The hood is shaped perfectly. The fit is snug though there’s no regulation at all, and – what’s crucially important – it is insulated as well as the rest of the jacket, which is not a rule. Quite often hoods have less insulation.
The overall fit of the jacket is on the other hand quite loose and you can easily put it on almost any number of layers you’re already wearing.

Back of the jacket is longer than the from and you can adjust the hem with a string that’s located inside the pockets. It is not attached to the jacket so would you need to replace it – though it seems quite unlikely – you can do it. This was designed like this consciously – it’s not something I just made up. The pockets are reasonably large, with big enough openings, but they are placed quite low so a harness or  the waist belt of your backpack would be in the way. A nice detail is that – unlike many, or probably even most brands – the pocket zips are not cheaper models. They are exactly the same as the main one, YKK Vislon, much more durable than regular coil type ones that are usually used for pockets.

The third – inner chest pocket – is where you can stuff the jacket into. A little tight, so it takes some effort to put the jacket inside, it’s smaller though in the end. I actually believe every piece of outdoor clothing should be packable into it’s own pocket for convenience.

In short – it’s rather like a very warm, slightly waterproof sweter than a polar expedition anorak. Nothing wrong about it, but it’s important to know since the looks and the name might be somewhat misleading. Seriously though – there is nothing wrong with this jacket. It’s designed and made to perfection. Even if this is something you would kind of expect from such a reputable brand – it does not happen every time.