Whether visiting a supplier or testing a new product for themselves, our hardware team spends a lot of time on the road. And in airports, trains and on the trail. And in hotels, BnBs, hostels and tents. In fact, a whole month can go by and we won’t see a single member of our hardware design team.
Travelling for work sounds glamorous, but ask any one of the Fjällräven R&D team and they’ll assure you it isn’t. It’s tiring, stressful and when not actually testing or developing it’s incredibly boring. But over the years they’ve acquired some pretty good tips about how to pack for a smooth journey through the airport, train station, on the trail or at hotel check-in.
“Something I swear by,” says Niklas Kull, “is the bag-in-the-bag move.”
Niklas Kull, pictured right, with Johan Skullman
We are conscious of how uncomfortable aeroplane travel can be. With this in mind, we have designed packs and pouches that work in harmony alongside one another to provide you with easy access and organisation. The Kånken Pen Case doubling as a plane essentials pouch fits perfectly in the side pocket of a standard Kånken. The reason for this?
“So when you’re standing in the aisle of the aeroplane, with other passengers eager to get to their seats, you can grab the smaller bag – which is already prepared with all the little necessities you need on a long flight – and pack the big bag in the overhead. Quick and easy,” says Fredrik Hyltén-Cavallius. The Kånken Travel Wallet is another aeroplane staple, designed for a phone, passport, cash and any other essentials - even painkillers and your headphones.
Fredrik Hyltén-Cavallius with fellow designer Elisabet Elfa Amarsdottir
A great pack is always armed with pockets - they’re great for dividing up your gear both before but also during your trip. You can sort clean from dirty, smart from casual, toiletries from clothes. It makes finding things way easier but also means you’ll be able to pack smaller and smarter. If your bag doesn’t come with dividers, like the Splitpack – Fredrik’s favourite – featured below, then divide things up and pack them in our Waterproof Packbags, or simple carrier bags. It helps if you label them too, like ‘t-shirts’, ‘trousers’, ‘underwear’. And when you’re packing, turn your clothes inside out then roll them to avoid picking up any unnecessary dirt and marks on the outside. A bag with a separate laptop pocket allows you to quickly take out your laptop and put it in again when going through security.
“In terms of distributing the weight well, I recommend putting heavy things close to your back. A last minute addition of a 1ltr water bottle on the outside can totally throw off a nicely balanced pack,” says Fredrik. Start by packing the heavy and/or bulky stuff first. Then once that’s in place, fill the gaps with smaller, softer and more pliable items.
When you’re opting for a long-haul trip or backpacking, you should get a backpack with adjustable shoulder, back and hip straps. The more adjustments you can make, the more personalised your bag will become. “The hip belt should be centred on the hip bone and firmly tightened. The shoulder straps should start at the beginning of your shoulders, with the shoulder stabilisers placed over the highest point of your shoulders,” says Fredrik.
Niklas likes that our bags work together for his bag-inside-the-bag tip. But he also likes to be able to pack a day pack into a larger trekking/travelling pack. For this reason, his top choice is the High Coast 24 pack. “It’s light yet durable enough to go the distance. But can easily be packed into a larger bag. I really like the simplicity of the clasp closing too.”
A final tip. If you travel frequently, your bag is bound to ‘go missing’ at some point. So Fredrik and Niklas recommend keeping some essential items in your hand luggage. This includes travel documents, keys, your phone and charger but also a clean outfit to change into.
Text: Sarah Benton