When it’s time to heed the call of the great outdoors, the wise outdoor enthusiast knows to prepare. But with so many brands, materials, and designs to choose from, it can be dizzying to make a choice you can trust. That’s why it’s so important to do your research and read reviews of the best outdoor companies.
Fjällräven and Arc’teryx are two brands that deliver reliable, quality outdoor gear that can help you conquer weather and other conditions. From casual winter jackets to performance jackets and a range of other products, both brands have fans.
But which is the better choice? In this article, we’re comparing Fjällräven Vs. Arc’teryx.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Fjällräven and Arc’teryx both hail from mountainous regions but face opposite oceans with different climates to inspiring designs. While both have offerings for the active winter enthusiast, Fjällräven might have an advantage for dedicated explorers.
It’s time for a showdown of Fjällräven Vs. Arc’teryx.
Fjällräven began in Örnsköldsvik with founder Åke Nordin. During his youthful exploration of Sweden’s High Coast, Åke realized he needed a comfortable backpack that could carry more. He continued tinkering with outdoor gear to make it more practical, eventually launching Fjällräven in 1960.
While their clothing and equipment prepared people for the outdoors, the company wanted more connections with nature.
In 2005 came the first trekking experience, the Fjällräven Classic, a 110km trail through the rugged Nordic wilderness. It later inspired other Fjällräven routes in China, Denmark, Germany, Korea, Scotland, and the USA.
There’s also Fjällräven Polar, featuring 300km of Arctic wilderness and 200 skilled sled dogs.
Arc’teryx was born in Vancouver, Canada’s coastal mountains, with the world’s largest temperate forest and unexplored wilderness. Arc’teryx design its gear for its diverse climate, including enduring heavy precipitation.
The company name is from the Archaeopteryx lithographica, an extinct species that links modern avians to dinosaurs. The link describes the ability to adapt. The Arc’teryx mission is to improve outdoor adaptability and encourage the evolution of exploration.
Arc’tyerx categorizes gear and outerwear into distinct activity levels, called collections. The collections are skiing and snowboarding, hiking and trekking, alpinism and climbing, trail running, lifestyle, and Arc’tyerx essentials.
Besides the collections, they also have markers that separate their products by intended use and design characteristics. The variety of categories shows the diversity of their products, with attributes like long-distance, lightweight, mixed weather, and severe weather.
For my comparison, I wanted a technical jacket for high-performance activities in intense cold. Both company’s offer down jackets, as it’s the warmest and most easily packable material available. I compared the technical specifications for the men’s medium.
Fjällräven Expedition Down Jacket
A remake of one of their classics dating back to 1974, the Expedition Down Jacket is an insulated jacket and a performance jacket intended for cold climates. Offset down-channel construction with hardwearing polyamide outer fabric is a heat highlight. The pressure-resisting reinforced shoulders help keep the wearer dry.
Their website lacks some measurements that would help determine the fit, but the model height is 186 cm (73 in) for size medium.
The insulated jacket is bulky but allows for maneuverability. If you’re picturing the appearance of an iconic conqueror of the cold, Fjällräven’s Expedition has that look.
- Weight: 1760 g (3.8 lbs)
- Fill Weight: 680 g (1.4 lbs)
- Fill Power: 700 CUIN
- Material: 100% polyamide
- Hood: Insulated, Drawcord-adjustable hood
- Sleeves: Long
- Pockets (5): hand pockets, inner pockets, open side pocket
- Closing: Buttons, two-way zipper
- Hem: Drawcord-adjustable
- Fit: Thigh Length
- Washing Instructions: Do not dry clean, do not iron, tumble dry low
Arc’teryx Ceres SV Parka
The Ceres SV Parka is intended for prolonged exposure to severe weather but allowing the wearable to keep up with diverse activities. The Gore Windstopper shell shields from the wind without sacrificing breathability and repels moisture while letting vapors escape.
Arc’teryx provides ample measurements to assist fit decisions. The size medium was a regular fit with a center back length of 86 cm (34 in). They also add model measurements:
- Height: 192cms (6 ft 3 in)
- Chest Width: 40″ 101.6cms (40 in)
- Waist: 81.3cms (32 in)
- Inseam: 86.4cms (34 in)
If you need a helmet for your outdoor activity, the Ceres SV Parka includes a helmet-compatible design, StormHood.
Overall, the Ceres is warm, but it can be a bonus for the fashion-conscious wearer with a svelte appearance.
- Weight: 880 g (1.9 lbs)
- Fill Weight: 240 g (0.53 lbs)
- Fill Power: 850 CUIN
- Material: 100% nylon
- Hood: Insulated
- Sleeves: Long
- Pockets (5): hand pockets, inner mesh pockets, internal chest pocket
- Closing: two-way zipper
- Hem: Drawcord-adjustable
- Fit: Thigh Length
- Washing Instructions: Do not dry clean, do not iron, tumble dry low
Materials & Manufacturing
All modern companies have a responsibility to consumers, workers, and the environment regarding materials and manufacturing.
Fjällräven emphasizes using materials from nature as the base. Wool, cotton, down are core materials. Fjällräven additionally uses recycled materials. Fjällräven developed Corylon as a reinforcement fabric made from 94% recycled materials. Implementing recycled polyester, derived from plastic bottles, saves energy and limits waste.
Fjällräven promotes animal welfare with the promise of “no live-plucking, no force-feeding, and no mulesing.” The Down Promise is Fjällräven’s commitment to ethically sourcing feathers and down.
The Fjällräven Chemical Guideline is an evolving list that helps the company eliminate unsafe chemicals. New information is gathered with support from the Swedish Chemicals Group and overseen by the Swedish Research Institute for Industrial and Sustainable Growth (Swerea).
Arc’teryx uses both organic and synthetic materials. As many technical fabrics use synthetic raw materials treated with chemicals, Art’teryx has created a strict Materials Compliance Program for engaging with suppliers.
Another accountability system that Arc’teryx complies with is Bluesign. The standards include a list of restricted substances containing materials that cause adverse environmental impacts or health risks for workers. The system also monitors potential harm related to air pollution, water emissions, and consumer safety.
Arc’teryx ensures that animal welfare is respected. All material production chains are transparent through independent company standards and compliance with various global and local programs. The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) and Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), certifications run by the international nonprofit Textile Exchange, are two examples of such regulations.
Range of Products
Fjällräven has the most diverse range, having developed more than 500 products. Clothing for men and women is the Most abundant collection. Fjällräven includes jackets, trousers, hats, shirts, skirts, sweaters, trekking leggings, and dresses.
The accessories available are as varied as the clothing, but as an outdoor gear company, with most of the category dedicated to travel accessories, packs, and Kånken bags. They also offer kids sizes.
Fjällräven also sells tents and sleeping bags.
Arc’teryx has an equal selection of clothing for layering, including men’s boxers, tops, pants, dresses, hats, and insulated jackets. They also have footwear, gloves, toques, and harnesses.
Ethics & Sustainability
Fjällräven focuses its sustainability efforts with the motto of making everything on nature’s terms. They have three target areas for sustainability: design, materials, and production. They make products last by reducing waste and encouraging recycling a timeless appearance.
The Fjällräven has preferred materials and fibers list, which focuses on organic, renewable, and recyclable. Fluorocarbons are banned, as Fjällräven recognizes these chemical compounds have harmful effects on the environment.
The Code of Conduct is a promise to preserve human rights, animal rights, environmental protection, as well as supporting sustainable development and anti-corruption regulation.
The Fjällräven goal is to be a carbon-neutral company by 2025. In the interim, they climate compensate products by supporting renewable energy projects certified by the United Nations.
Arc’teryx has been a role model for collaborative low-carbon solutions. Three notable collaborations include:
● UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action (UN Fashion Charter),
● Outdoor Industry Association’s Climate Action Corps
● Catalyst Business Coalition (as a co-founder)
Arc’teryx has also committed to a Science-Based Carbon Target.
While their name might come from an artifact, Arc’teryx wants their designs to endure. The goal is to keep their gear in play, as durability reduces waste. They also buy back or allow returns of used outerwear and equipment in good condition. Returned or used products are cleaned or repaired and resold as Arc’teryx Used Gear.
The Arc’teryx factory located in Greater Vancouver includes a training facility that teaches technical skills, including an industrial sewing program run by the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC).
Globally, Arc’teryx has 21 manufacturing facilities. Each facility adheres to its country’s labor laws in combination with company standards for quality and production. Arc’teryx intends to 80% Fair Trade Certified by 2025, which they began implementing in 2020.
Which is better in the all-out brawl between Fjällräven and Arc’teryx? Both outdoor gear companies have their benefits, but Fjällräven has the winning edge.
Fjällräven’s diverse range of products means you can get a jacket, trousers, tent, sleeping bag, and daypack all in one place.
Fjällräven also facilitates adventures. The Fjällräven Classic is not a competition but an immersion of nature. The chosen trail changes. So far, there have been eight trekking locations worldwide: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the US, Hong Kong, China, Korea, and Hong Kong.
There’s also the Polar Expedition, which is an international dog sled experience. Like the Classic, it’s carefully curated for ordinary people, not professionals with years of training. That said, it does require some athletic endurance and the proper equipment. Fjällräven takes pride in that their expeditions are the perfect testing grounds for their products.
Arc’teryx has a program called Outer Peace, which funds scientific, design, social, and sports communities that enable people to access nature. In 2021, Arc’teryx pledged one million dollars to support participating groups. While the initiative is notable, the third-party groups curate the experiences, not Arc’teryx
You may also like: Check out these 10 Brands Like Patagonia You Shouldn’t Miss
Consider choosing Fjällräven if:
- You want a range of outdoor outerwear and gear
- You value an emphasis on organic or recycled materials.
Or, choose Arc’teryx if:
- You want flexible wearables with high moisture resistance
- You value affordability over organic materials
After the Fjällräven Vs. Arc’teryx brawl, I’m confident that both are worth considering for your outdoor wearables and accessories.
Are Fjällräven’s products worth the price? Is Arc’teryx worth the price?
The expense of outdoor wearables and gear can be concerning if you’re unsure if the quality matches the cost. Arc’teryx is generally more affordable than Fjällräven, but both utilize quality materials and construction to create durable, dependable products.
Fjällräven is the more expensive of the two because it prioritizes organic and recycled materials as core components. If that’s a priority for you, then it can be worth the cost.
Is Arc’teryx better than Patagonia?
Arc’teryx is far from the only reliable outdoor gear company from the Great White North. Patagonia and Canada Goose are also Canadian companies with options for a technical jacket or a casual winter jacket.
If you’re looking for products for everyday outdoor activities, all three are equally good. However, only Patagonia and Arc’teryx also offer gear. Arc’teryx has a stronger focus on mild and cold weather, while Patagonia has products for all seasons.
Which offers better shipping costs: Fjällräven or Arc’teryx?
Arc’teryx offers free shipping and returns on all products. Fjällräven restricts free shipping to orders over $75. However, suppose you’re in the market for a quality insulated jacket or parkas for cold climate weather. In that case, buyers will reach that price threshold.
If you’re considering other products, such as accessories, one belt or scarf won’t be enough to qualify. But some bags and gear will reach the minimum. Fjällräven won’t refund original shipping charges if you return the product.