Fjällräven has teamed up with high-end bike company Specialized to launch a collection of bike accessories and apparel designed to encourage you to explore 'The Great Nearby'. The difficult to pronounce Swedish brand is perhaps best known for its extremely recognisable backpacks (a mainstay in our best backpack guide), and the hipster-friendly styling is immediately evident in this new collection, in all its mustard, burgundy and khaki glory.
The collaboration takes the view that you don't need to buy a shedload of equipment, plan for six months, and get on a plane to the middle of nowhere to have a proper adventure. Instead, invest in some key pieces of versatile kit, courtesy of this collaboration, and you can slot plenty of casual outdoorsing into your weekly schedule.
The first drop is designed for small-scale activities, with simple but effective panniers, cycling bags and totes that are designed to slot right into them, and apparel that's been adjusted to make it bike-friendly. It's a great range for anyone looking to swap some of their short drives for short cycles instead. This isn't the kind of intense, specialist gear favoured by those lycra-loving cyclists (although that, of course, has its place). Instead, it's cool, casual and would fit in equally well in the city as well as heading off into the nearby countryside.
This is the first part an ongoing partnership that promises to marry Fjällräven's snazzy, eco-conscious designs with Specialized’s focus on performance. In fact, while I really like this first drop, I'm probably more intrigued by the second wave of products, which is made for "longer, more epic rides in search of roads unpaved and visas unseen". If my A-Level English Literature interpretive skills are to be trusted, means more serious, possibly multi-day cycling trips.
Let's take a quick look at the products from the first drop. First up, the S/F Räven Anorak, which takes Fjällräven’s classic jacket, and revamps it with Specialized’s trusted on-bike fit. Waxed G-1000 Lite fabric keeps the wind and rain out, there are four-way stretch panels for ease of movement, and reflective detailing to ensure you're visible to traffic.
Next, some storage solutions. The Cool Cave is a bright, basic, bucket-like pannier that's designed to be easy to attach to your bike. It can be used on its own, but probably you'll want to pair it with one of the three bags that form the rest of the product drop, all of which are shaped to fit neatly into your, er, Cool Cave. The Cave Lid pack slots into the pannier, providing a top cover to protect your belongings from the elements, and with adjustable straps that let you stash extra kit underneath. It can be removed and won as a cross-body or hip bag when you're not cycling.
The Cave Pack is an everyday rucksack, complete with padded laptop compartment and easy-access top pocket, that can be worn on your back or stashed in a panier. Finally, there's a simple Cave Tote. Head to Fjällräven to shop the collection.