If you’re even the slightest bit familiar with the brand Fjällräven, you probably know two things about their bags: they’re very popular, and they’re quite expensive. Today, I’m going to give you the most comprehensive answer to the question: “why is Fjällräven so expensive?”
I’ll explain exactly why these Swedish bags cost as much as they do – and whether or not the price is worth it.
Without further ado…
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Fjällräven items are pricey because the brand values quality above all else and uses only sturdy materials to make functional backpacks that come with features you’ll like. This means you’re paying for a bag that you won’t need to replace regularly because it’ll likely last you for a long time.
It also helps that there’s a bit of a premium attached to the brand because Fjallraven is well-known and adored by outdoor enthusiasts.
We will go into detail below:
Because something is expensive doesn’t always mean it’s of better quality. But the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ hold true with many of Fjallraven’s quality offerings, including their backpacks.
Why, you ask?
First, I’ll start with the materials.
Fjällräven’s bags are more expensive than those from other brands since they are produced using higher-quality materials rather than cheaper ones.
For instance, the Swedish company makes some of its bags out of a material known as G-1000. This fabric, which is a blend of polyester and cotton is also been given a Greenland wax treatment, which in turn renders the bag windproof and water resistant. Plus, the Greenland wax is environmentally friendly and biodegradable, if that’s your thing!
But more than the G-1000, the brand also uses Vinylon and wool, which are heavy-duty and weather-resistant fabrics that can withstand use in challenging settings, to make its bags.
But hey, quality is not just in the materials used, right?
You’ll like to know that Fjällräven uses high-quality zippers, buckles, and webbing in the design and construction of its backpacks to show that it pays attention to even the smallest details.
Granted, all these factors do add to the cost of production, but the result is a superior backpack that will last longer and perform better than its cheaper counterparts.
But enough with construction and materials, let’s talk real life.
Because I wanted to be absolutely certain of the high quality of Fjallraven bags, I visit communities like Reddit and Quora where I read a ton of reviews and evaluations from people who seem to agree that a Fjallraven bag (such as the Kanken) can last you up to 10 years!
A forum member said “Seeing the present condition of my Kånken, I have good reason to believe that its supposed 10-year lifespan is likely to be true”, while another forum member claims “My father has had his for over 30 years and I have had mine for 10, so on a scale of 1–10, I would say it is a 9.5. the .5 that was taken off is because sometimes the wax that makes it waterproof comes off and makes it less waterproof”.
When you buy a bag from Fjällräven, you are allegedly paying for the brand and the prestige that comes with it.
And considering that this respected company has been producing high-quality, resilient gear for hikers, campers, explorers, and daily commuters since 1960, I believe it’s safe to say you can’t go wrong with a Fjallraven backpack.
It’s why there are reviews on forums like Reddit and Quora of people who have used a Fjallraven backpack for 10 years and more. For instance, the Kanken backpack faithfully served @paasaaplease for 10 years, while @ropelopes was given as a gift from more than 30 years ago!
Related: Best Backpack Brands You Can Trust
3. Fjallraven bags are popular and in demand
Fjällräven has built up a cult following, thanks in part to the popularity of the iconic Kanken backpack trend that’s ever classic.
Additionally, Fjallraven backpacks are top-rated, particularly among outdoor enthusiasts, commuters, students, and more, because they are not only hardwearing but are also suitable for both the cities and the outdoors thanks to their unassuming designs.
This high demand means people are willing to pay higher prices for their products.
4. It’s fair to say you get what you pay for
When you purchase Fjällräven gear, you are paying for years of development and research as well as decades of expertise in making some of the best outdoor equipment available.
You’re also paying for quality backpacks that will last for years—and in some cases, decades—to come.
For example, Fjällräven’s Kajka 85 trekking pack is $415 because it’s engineered to be much more sturdy for the outdoors unlike the $100 Räven 20l bag that’s for everything uses, and not so heavy-duty for outdoor explorations.
5. Fjällräven’s products are also designed to be highly functional
Fjallraven backpacks are not only well-crafted and attractive, but I also like that they are designed to meet the needs of both outdoor adventurers and everyday users.
Except for the Kanken Classic, which I think is just too basic to be multipurpose, I find that their small and medium-sized backpacks (unless you opt for a large hiking pack) may be used everywhere and for any activity thanks to their minimalist designs.
I’m talking about a bag you can take camping with friends, use for a daily commute and even take for grocery shopping.
One feature I really like about Fjällräven bags is their minimalist and timeless aesthetic that ensures they won’t ever go out of style.
And because they come in a range of sizes, colors, and styles designs, you can easily select an option that best suits your preference, from everyday carry to heavy-duty packs for your next expedition.
So you see that there’s something for everyone!
7. They are eco-friendly, as they are made from durable materials that can be recycled or reused
Fjällräven is also a very sustainable company.
Some of the company’s products are made from recycled or recyclable materials with DWR PFC-free coating.
Additionally, Fjällräven often uses environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes, such as using water-based dyes instead of toxic chemicals.
This commitment to ethical manufacturing adds to the cost of production but is important to the company and its customers that these products are ethically produced.
If you like the iconic Kanken but only wish it was eco-friendly, then you’ll like the Re-kanken which that’s made from 11 used plastic bottles.
The Best Alternatives to Fjallraven Backpacks
For whatever reason, you may not be a fan of Fjallraven bags.
Because of this, I’ve put together a list of reliable, strong, and well-known alternative backpack brands that may even offer you something that Fjallraven packs might not.
These are top fjallraven’s competitors and alternatives:
North Face Backpacks
The North Face is one of the most popular alternatives to Fjallraven backpacks.
Their backpacks are just as strong and well-made as their Fjällräven equivalents.
But there are some aspects where I feel North Face packs are better than Fjallraven’s.
From my research, I noticed on average, North Face backpacks are much more affordable, and much more comfortable to wear. In fact, the former have options that are specifically made for male and female travelers, for a better fit.
And compared to the Swedish brand, North Face bags are often equipped with helpful features like well-padded laptop sleeves, comfy back panels, and straps, hydration systems where needed, as well as more compartments and pockets for better organization.
Have I mentioned that like all Fjällräven bags, their backpacks are also backed by a lifetime warranty?
You can’t go wrong with either Fjallraven or North Face bags.
My favorite thing about Fjallraven and Osprey backpacks is that they are adaptable and can be used for both day-to-day activities like commuting as well as outdoor ones like hiking.
That said, I would recommend you go for Osprey if you want the best backpacking backpacks with innovative designs and cutting-edge features.
This is because a typical hiking backpack from Osprey has a LightWire frame suspension and a comfy waist strap that transfers the weight from your shoulders to your pelvis, so your back won’t feel all the strain of wearing a heavy pack.
Also, these packs feature well-ventilated and cushioned shoulder straps, compression straps, and a hip belt so they are easy to carry even when fully loaded.
Related: Is Osprey a Good Backpack Brand?
Related: Are Osprey Backpacks Really Worth It?
Remember I said that Fjallraven has some sustainably made backpacks? Well, the Patagonia backpack should be your first choice if you want a more serious eco-friendly alternative.
This brand does not only use eco-friendly materials to make all of its super durable backpacks, but they are also transparent about the source of its materials and are active in nature and wildlife conservation efforts around the world.
In fact, through their Worn Wear program, Patagonia would even advise you to buy a used item or trade in a gear you no longer need. Talk about a brand putting in a serious effort to save the planet. (Fun fact: They will also repair a damaged backpack for you thanks to their Ironclad Guarantee and repair program).
I think that’s pretty dope that Patagonia is doing its part to reduce carbon emissions, fill up landfills, and release chemicals into the environment.
And even though Patagonia backpacks are more expensive than those made by Fjallraven, I believe they are absolutely worth the price considering the brand’s reputation for quality and sustainability.
So why are Fjällräven backpacks so expensive, and are they worth it?
I would say yes, Fjällräven packs are worth the money. This is because when you buy from this Swedish company, you’re paying for a level of quality that is simply unmatched- something that will perform well and will actually last for years.
Now it’s your turn…
In the hopes that I’ve addressed the question of “why are Fjällräven backpacks so pricey,” I’d love to hear from you.
So have you tried out a Fjallraven backpack before? What are your thoughts?