At first, I doubted the durability of my new Fjällräven jacket – until I had to dive into prickly brambles after my crazy terrier Victor. He veered off the hard-packed trails at Point Pelee National Park in search of something stinky to roll in. (Check out ‘why does my dog roll in that?’)
He does that, pulling me along behind him.
My jacket is fine. Branches catch on nothing. Victor, however, stinks a bit. The hotel will love us.
I’m spending two days with my dog at Point Pelee National Park, located in Leamington, Ontario in Essex County about 60 kilometres from Windsor. Almost 400 species of migrating birds stop here annually. There’s 14 kilometres of walking trails, including a marshland boardwalk. The park is home to mainland Canada’s southern-most point.
And it’s dog-friendly. Even the shuttle to the point. Check out our experience.
This trip, I’m field-testing my Fjällräven burnt umber women’s size large lightweight jacket good for comfortable spring or fall days ($269 CA).
Fjällräven Canada sent me a Women’s Raven jacket in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links in blue.
Fjällräven is a Swedish company now in Canada and distributing outdoor activeware and backpacks online at www.Fjallravencanada.com and in stores.
Here’s my experience:
- The women’s size large fit well even around the shoulders, which is an issue for me, and was roomy enough to add a thin hoodie underneath.
- The lightweight thick canvas fabric was surprisingly wind proof considering there’s no lining … and Point Pelee is windy.
- The hood rolled into the collar (which I love on travel coats) came in handy when the drizzle started late in the day. The hood held snug and didn’t blow off easily.
- My attraction to the jacket was the pockets. Yes, pockets. When you’re carting a dog along, there are accessories such as poop bags, water bottle, collapsible water dish and snacks for both him and me. The pockets carried all this stuff and the top snaps kept everything from falling out.
- The snapped breast pockets, however, didn’t serve much usefulness considering where they are. But slanted side pockets were great for my cold hands, and some tissue or anything else that I didn’t mind risking losing.
- The inside side zipper pocket, however, is essential because that’s where the car keys and cell phone went – things that can’t get lost at any cost.
- Now that I’ve experienced wrist snaps, I want them in on all my coats to keep cold out of sleeves.
- For purely aesthetic reasons, I like the waist drawstring that gives the coat shape rather than that boxy military feel of most outdoor gear.
- The front zipper is heavy – important because I’ve broken many – and there are also front snap closures to keep the coat closed and reduce stress on the zipper. I even used the lower drawstring to tie a used poop bag to until I found garbage – an issue for any dog hiker.
Why do I need my hands free so badly?
If you’ve tried to keep up with a crazy terrier sniffing everything in sight you wouldn’t have to ask. Grabbing him quickly or even lifting him – like when he jumped off the boardwalk path and couldn’t get back up – is frequently necessary. It’s like travelling with a two-year-old who never grows up. Only better.
Here’s what I didn’t do: I didn’t wax the coat.
That’s right. One of the features of all G-1000 garments designed by Fjällräven is that they can be coated with the company’s Greenland Wax to make them more resistant to rain and wind. ‘How to’ instructions are found inside the coat, and essentially each jacket can be personalized – the more wax, the more durable but the less breathable. It depends what you’ll be doing.
G-1000 is named after the Greenland Expedition and so is the wax. According to the company, the fabric is unique because is it too heavy to use for lightweight tents, so the company’s founder, Ake Nordin, turned it into clothing – clothing that like tents can be coated for water resistance.
I didn’t have any wax. Nor would I have likely used it. The quality of the canvas is enough for me, and I’m not hiking in Greenland anytime soon. Frankly, the trails of Point Pelee are just my speed – and Victor a terrier, not a husky. He’s not fond of cold either.
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