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Fjällräven Friluft 45 Review

By Phil on 2014.05.25 In Product Review

This is the first of my product reviews I intend to do on my site, reviewing many of the products that I use on my adventures. I will start with one of my most used items, my Fjällräven Friluft 45 backpack.

When I started my outdoor adventures in summer of 2012, I started off with a Berghaus 25 litre backpack, but as my interest in hiking and addition of outdoor gadgets grew, I found I needed a bigger backpack, so I then bought the North Face Alteo 35 litre backpack. Once I got more involved in winter hiking, which requires even more equipment and a larger backpack, I then decided on the Fjällräven Friluft 45 litre backpack.

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The Fjällräven Friluft 45 is a breathable, durable and lightweight backpack with the excellent ‘Fri Luft Ventilation’ system, with mesh and air columns in the back that enable air to circulate freely as well as ventilated shoulder straps.

I will explain the features I like and how I use them in detail below:

  • The backpack lid has both internal and external zipped pockets. The external lid is big enough to store essential items which you may need quick access to while on the move, without having to open up the backpack, such as gloves, hat, sunglasses etc. On top of the lid there is also an elasticated cord which can be used to stuff a light waterproof or fleece should you need quick access to it. The inside zipped pocket is much bigger pocket which I use for storing things like GPS device, compass, knives, and other useful items.
  • The front of the backpack also has attachments for walking poles, which is the best designed walking pole attachments I have seen and I will tell you why. The top end attachments are made from the same elasticated chord which is used on the lid and is much better then Velcro straps which I had been used to on my previous backpacks. The elasticated chord allows you to adjust to give a much stronger and tighter hold on the handles of your walking poles than the Velcro options gives, and the attachments at the bottom used for the end of the walking poles can also be adjusted and tightened to help keep the walking poles in position. Something that always annoyed me with other backpacks. With both top and bottom attachment being fully adjustable, I was also able to use this to secure my ice axe when on my winter hikes, along with walking poles.
  • One of the other benefits of the front of the Friluft, is the expanding pocket. This is great for storing things such as maps and other items you may need quick easy access to, but the main benefit I found for this pocket was on winter hikes, as this pocket was big enough to store my snow shovel head and other essential winter kit like avalanche probes.
  • The side pockets are also a very good size and I use these for storing things like my camera tripod, crampons and sit mat. They also seem a lot stronger material than some expanding pockets on other backpacks.
  • The backpack also has a reinforced bottom and is also where the external rain cover is stored, inside a Velcro fastened pouch.
  • Inside the backpack is the hydration pouch, which is wide enough to easily slot in my 2 litre Camelbak reservoir. The hole for the reservoir tube is neatly hidden at the top of the backpack and is elasticated, which makes it easy enough to feed the mouth piece of the reservoir tube through. This is something I have struggled with on other backpacks, and sometimes had to disconnect the tube and feed the non mouth piece though the hole and connect back to Camelbak. There is loads of room inside the backpack which I use to store things like waterproofs, additional layers of clothing, heavier jacket, DSLR camera, food, first aid kit and lots more.
  • The back of the backpack has a plastic handle at the top which is really useful when moving backpack in transit. The shoulder straps have plenty of places to hook carabiner clips onto for carrying things such as GPS or a compass.
  • The hip pockets are quite roomy compared to most I have seen and are made from the same reinforced material as the bottom of the backpack with large reinforced chorded loops on the zip, big enough to put your thumb through to open while wearing gloves, and this is the same for the zip on the external pocket on the lid of the backpack. This is something I found really useful when doing winter mountaineering where you need to do everything with your gloves on due to the extreme cold conditions.

Verdict:
Overall I think this is an excellent backpack for day hike in all seasons. It has some very useful features which I found missing on previous backpacks. The 45 litre size is more than enough for winter mountaineering and all the extra equipment that is required, yet still an excellent backpack for other seasons where you may not need as much equipment. The side and bottom compressions straps allow you to compress the whole backpack size to a smaller closer fit if not requiring the full capacity. I have since sold my two previous backpacks as the Fjällräven Friluft 45 meets all my needs for 4 season hiking and would thoroughly recommend to anyone.

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Welcome

Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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