Fjällräven vs Helly Hansen Outdoor Gear: Which is Better?

Fjallraven vs Helly Hansen Outdoor Gear Which is BetterPin

Are you an outdoor enthusiast looking for high-quality gear that can withstand the elements? Two popular brands that come to mind are Fjällräven and Helly Hansen.

They both come from Scandinavia, the former from Sweden and the latter from Norway, and both of them have decades of history in the outdoor clothing and equipment market.

These two companies are famous for their durable and functional outdoor gear, but if you’d have to choose between the two, which one you’d prefer?

This may seem a difficult task to some of you because they are both excellent brands. And that’s why we’re here today!

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Fjällräven and Helly Hansen to help you decide which brand is the best fit for your next adventure.

We’ll take a look at their history, manufacture, main products, and prices. So, let’s begin right away!


1. Fjällräven

History of the Brand

Fjällräven, a Swedish brand, takes its name from the Arctic Fox, which is also beautifully represented in its logo.

fjallraven logo on the kanken backpackPin
Image: Fjällräven logo on the Kånken backpack

Read also: 7 Swedish Clothing and Jacket Brands for Your Outdoor Adventures

The company was established in 1960 by Åke Nordin, a young man who was passionate about hiking and wanted to design a backpack that could carry heavier loads without causing strain on the spine.

He succeeded in creating his dream backpack and began selling it locally. After recognizing the need for lightweight and supportive backpacks, he founded Fjällräven to fill the gap in the market.

In the 1970s, the company invented the Kånken backpack to address the back problems faced by school children in Sweden due to the lack of proper backpacks to carry books.

Today, the Kånken backpack is one of the brand’s most popular products, used not only by school children but also as a fashion item for daily use.

Over the years, Fjällräven has launched many other products for outdoor activities, including insulated jackets, trekking backpacks, hiking pants, and camping tents. With such a rich collection, Fjällräven has everything you need for your next outdoor adventure.

Don’t miss: 8 Sustainable Brands like Fjällräven: Our Top Picks

Johan Jonsson | Above the tree line x Bergtagen | Fjällräven

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Materials and Manufacture

Fjällräven is known for producing sturdy jackets and backpacks that last a long time. This is one of the reasons why the brand is so popular among outdoor enthusiasts. The production process is meticulous, with a high level of attention to detail evident as soon as you hold one of their products.

fjallraven kanken backpackPin
Image: Fjällräven Kånken backpack

The materials used are carefully selected, with G-1000 being one of them. This breathable and durable fabric is used in Fjällräven’s jackets and can be waxed to make it versatile in different weather conditions.

Further reading: Fjällräven G-1000 vs Gore-Tex Fabrics: Which is Better?

Another material used is natural down from ducks and geese, which the Swedish company sources ethically. This is used in their winter parkas and insulated jackets because of its ability to insulate in harsh temperatures.

Fjällräven also uses synthetic materials like Polyester and Nylon. However, in an effort to be sustainable, a large portion of the Polyester used is recycled.

Recycled polyester is also used to create technical fabrics such as Eco-Shell, a lightweight, weather-resistant material.

Fjällräven Eco Shell - How It Works

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Read also: Fjällräven vs Patagonia Outdoor Gear: Which is Better?

Where are Fjällräven’s jackets, backpacks, and outdoor gear made?

Fjällräven manufactures the majority of its products in various Asian countries, including China, South Korea, and Vietnam. (source)

Popular Designs

Let’s now explore two of Fjällräven’s popular products that we like and we are confident you will too.

Fjällräven Classic Kånken Backpack

Crafted from the durable and sturdy Vinylon F material (100% vinylal), the Kånken backpack is of exceptional quality. Its water-resistant feature and meticulous attention to detail make it even more impressive.

In addition to using it for going to school, this backpack can also serve as a casual day-to-day accessory for carrying books, laptops, and tablets.

Check it out at

fjallraven kanken backpackPin
Image: Fjällräven Kånken backpack

You might also like: 7 Swedish Backpack Brands that You Should Try

Fjällräven Expedition Men’s Down Jacket

The Expedition jacket, an iconic piece from the 1970s, is crafted from Nylon and Polyester and filled with Goose down insulation. As its name implies, it’s an incredibly warm jacket, perfect for the most challenging expeditions.

The jacket’s high price is a reflection of its exceptional quality, and we wouldn’t expect anything less for this type of product. A lower price would leave us questioning its authenticity.

Check it out at

Fjällräven - Expedition Down Jacket Men

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Read also: 10 of the Best Fjällräven Jackets for Your Outdoor Adventures


Fjällräven is a premium brand, with products such as the Kånken backpack priced between $80-120 USD and the Expedition jacket priced at around $700 USD.

The question that arises is whether Fjällräven products are worth the price. In our opinion, yes. We admire their minimalistic designs, and the durability of their products is highly valued by customers worldwide.

Must read: Why Is Fjällräven So Expensive and Popular? Are Their Jackets and Backpacks Worth It?

2. Helly Hansen

History of the Brand

Helly Hansen, a Norwegian brand founded in 1877 by Helly Juell Hansen, is well-known for its water and mountain gear. Hansen was a sea captain who aimed to develop superior gear to protect sailors from harsh weather.

Read also: 9 Norwegian Clothing and Jacket Brands You Should Know

Helly Hansen official websitePin
Image: Helly Hansen official website

Over the past 140 years, the brand has evolved, expanding its product line to cater to a wider range of disciplines beyond sailing. Helly Hansen is a favorite among skiing enthusiasts and many ski resorts use it to outfit their employees.

The brand remains a global leader in sailing gear and apparel, as well as a popular choice among enthusiasts and professionals. The brand also focuses on the mountain gear sector, providing apparel and equipment for mountain activities such as hiking, mountaineering, skiing, and backpacking.

Don’t miss: 10 Outdoor Brands like Helly Hansen that We Love

Materials and Manufacture

To ensure the safety of sailors and fishermen in some of the harshest ocean conditions, Helly Hansen employs water-repellent treatments in their apparel.

Helly Tech is the brand’s most notable material, exclusively used in their jackets and other apparel. This fabric technology is both breathable and highly waterproof, a challenging combination to achieve. In previous articles, we have reviewed Helly-Tech and also compared it to Gore-Tex, which, as you probably know, is a similar fabric technology.

Polyester, Nylon, Wool, and Fleece, many of which are recycled, and RDS-certified Down are among the brand’s most popular fabrics.

Helly Hansen recognizes that the environment is the outdoor community’s most important asset. For this reason, they prioritize respecting the environment and promoting ethical values while producing their products. You can learn more about their sustainability initiatives here.

Read also: Is Helly Hansen Good for Cold Weather? (What We Think)

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Where are Helly Hansen’s jackets and outdoor gear made?

Helly Hansen produces their jackets and other outdoor gear primarily in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangladesh while sourcing their fabrics and materials from factories in Asia and Europe. (source)

Popular Designs

Here are some of the best-selling products from Helly Hansen that are definitely worth trying.

Helly Hansen Men’s Crew Hooded Midlayer Jacket

Helly Hansen Mens Crew Hooded Midlayer JacketPin
Image from
Check it out at

The Crew Midlayer is an icon of the brand. Made with Helly Tech Protection this jacket is windproof, fully waterproof, and breathable. It also uses Polartec® 100g fleece lining for added comfort. Designed mainly for sailors, the jacket is great for a variety of outdoor activities.

Helly Hansen Transistor Backpack Recco

Helly Hansen Transistor Backpack ReccoPin
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For any outdoor adventure, the lightweight 30L Transistor backpack is a great option. Designed with versatility and performance in mind, this pack has the features of a larger hiking backpack in a compact size.

It’s equipped with numerous useful features, including full hydration compatibility, multiple pockets, 3D air-mesh ventilation on the back panel, and a RECCO® reflector for safety.


Helly Hansen is undoubtedly not an inexpensive company. However, this is what one should expect from a high-quality brand, particularly one that specializes in outdoor apparel. Their jackets, for example, typically range from $100 to $300.

Is Helly Hansen outdoor gear worth the price?

While this brand may seem expensive and not easily affordable, if you are in search of top-quality outdoor gear, it will be challenging to find anything cheaper with comparable quality and durability.

3. Which Brand is Better?

Both of these brands have established themselves as innovative, durable, and much appreciated by customers all over the world. Deciding which one is better is not an easy task.

Both companies are leaders when it comes to new designs and technologies, and have introduced some of the most innovative products in the outdoor apparel industry.

In addition, if you prioritize sustainability, both brands are committed to being as environmentally responsible as possible. Also, the prices of most products are quite similar.

If we’d have to choose, we’d pick Fjällräven for hiking, mountaineering, backpacking, and camping with friends and family.

On the other hand, we’d choose Helly Hansen for water sports, skiing, and snowboarding. Despite Helly Hansen’s recent shift towards becoming more of a fashion brand, their high-priced jackets continue to be among the best in the market.

Either way, the two brands are quite equivalent if you are not looking for something very specific.

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Read next: Helly Hansen vs The North Face: Which Brand is Better?

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