Top 10 Best Swedish Outdoor Clothing Brands for Performance and Sustainability
Sweden is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, from lush forests to dramatic mountains. It's no wonder that some of the best outdoor and hiking gear comes from innovative Swedish brands. Swedish designers focus on creating functional yet stylish clothing and gear to withstand the elements while exploring the great outdoors.
Swedes have a deep connection to nature. Outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and skiing are a regular part of life. This inspires Swedish brands to design gear that can keep up with an active lifestyle in the wilderness. Attention to detail, sustainability, and performance technology are hallmarks of Swedish outdoor clothing brands.
In this article, we will highlight the top 10 Swedish outdoor clothing brands that allow you to feel protected and comfortable while adventuring. Whether you're a hardcore mountaineer or just enjoy weekend camping trips, these brands offer quality gear worth investing in. Read on to learn more about Sweden's best outdoor apparel companies.
Fjällräven is Sweden’s most recognized outdoor brand worldwide. It was founded in 1960 by Åke Nordin in the town of Örnsköldsvik. The name Fjällräven means Arctic fox in Swedish, representing their cold weather focus. Their iconic Kånken backpack was originally designed for Swedish school children and is now their most popular product.
Fjällräven offers a wide selection of outdoor clothing and gear, from jackets and pants to backpacks and tents. Their designs are known for versatility, durability, and sustainability. For example, their Keb Eco-Shell jacket is made from recycled polyester and PFC-free waterproof coating. Fjällräven actively works on improving sustainability across their supply chain as well.
Some of Fjällräven's product highlights include:
- Trekking pants like the Vidda Pro with stretch fabric and weather resistance
- Down and synthetic insulated parkas such as the Yupik
- The High Coast hiking collection featuring windproof and waterproof protection
- Re-Kånken made from recycled plastic bottles
Fjällräven balances performance with style for outdoor apparel you can wear around town. They also make it easy to mix and match pieces from their collections for all your adventures.
Haglöfs is an outdoor brand started in 1914 by Wiktor Haglöf in Sweden. While many of their products cater to elite mountain athletes, they also offer approachable outdoor clothing for recreational users. Their focus is on promoting freedom in nature through quality and sustainability.
Some notable technologies from Haglöfs include:
- L.I.M (Less Is More) emphasized using only essential materials to minimize environmental impact.
- Airtight structural welding technology that eliminates needle holes to improve waterproofing.
- Bluesign approved materials meeting rigorous standards for sustainability.
Popular products from Haglöfs include:
- Rugged mountaineering backpacks like the Spitz.
- The L.I.M Essens down jacket insulated with traceable goose down.
- ROC pants designed for climbing with stretchy, durable fabrics.
- Waterproof shell jackets such as the Varga for rain protection.
Haglöfs pursues innovation to create outdoor garments that meet the highest performance standards without excess. Their attention to sustainability elevates the brand as a leader in eco-friendly outdoor recreation gear.
This Swedish brand named after the famous magician focuses on sustainable high-performance designs for training and pursuits like running, hiking and climbing. They aim to minimize environmental impact by using recycled and recyclable materials.
Some of their eco-friendly designs include:
- The Mantra Comp jacket made completely from recycled fabrics.
- Flipup Hoodies knitted from merino wool and renewable Tencel.
- Most of their fleece products use recycled polyester from PET bottles.
Houdini is also known for weather resistant and breathable fabrics like their proprietary Atmotech. This treatment allows water vapor to escape while retaining wind and waterproofness. Other product features include:
- Adjustable and removable hoods.
- Zipper garages to avoid chin irritation.
- Thumbholes and innovative wrist solutions for extra protection.
By combining performance with sustainability, Houdini Sportswear is paving the way for the future of outdoor clothing. Their innovations allow environmentally-conscious explorers to stay dry and comfortable outside.
Lundhags was founded in 1932 by the Lundhags brothers in Sweden. Their hiking boots became popular for traction, stability and durability in the outdoors. Since then, they’ve expanded to a full range of outdoor clothing and gear.
Notable features of Lundhags outdoor apparel include:
- Materials like cotton canvas with wax treatment for weather resistance.
- Reinforcements in high abrasion areas.
- Ergonomic boot shapes for comfort during extended wear.
- Impact-absorbing FlexStep technology for lightweight, flexible boots.
Some of Lundhags top products are:
- The Makke hiking pant offers breathable, quick-drying fabric.
- Their robust backpacks like the Grand Tour are made in Sweden.
- The Central Station boot provides warmth and grip even in harsh winter conditions.
- Field jackets like the Hunter Eco provide wind and water protection.
From footwear to outerwear, Lundhags makes durable, high-performing gear to rely on while exploring the outdoors. With both innovative and traditional designs, they balance modern technology with timeless Swedish craftsmanship.
Icebug is a newer Swedish outdoor brand founded in 2001 for stability and traction in icy, winter conditions. Their core product is running and hiking shoes with rubber studded outsoles to grip slippery surfaces.
Key features of Icebug shoes:
- BUGrip outsoles with carbide steel studs for traction on ice.
- Anatomically angled stud placement ideal for different winter sports.
- Natural running design that allows the foot to move naturally.
- Lightweight, flexible materials.
Beyond footwear, Icebug also offers apparel and gear like:
- High visibility running jackets and vests.
- Backpacks with a hydration system.
- Compression socks for increased blood circulation.
Icebug’s innovative sole technology makes them a top choice among runners and hikers braving the winter elements. Their products combine design for motion with maximum cold weather traction.
Tenson is a Stockholm-based outdoor brand that began by creating durable, lightweight tents. They have since expanded into apparel and bouldering crash pads.
Some interesting features of Tenson gear include:
- Ultralight backpacking tents with dyneema composite fabrics.
- Wool padding used in bouldering crash pads for high shock absorption.
- Bluesign approved water-repellent coatings use environmentally-safe materials.
Here are some of their top-rated products:
- Minimalist down jackets with 800 fill power goose down.
- The trail-running Hydro Knit hoodie with breathable waterproofness.
- Lightweight trail running shoes like the Peak model.
- Multipurpose backpacks like the versatile Scrambler 30.
With their technical focus and use of innovative materials, Tenson is shaking up the outdoor industry in Sweden. Their tents are among the lightest while still offering weather protection. Tenson gear performs well in both urban settings and remote wilderness adventures.
This Icelandic brand founded in 1926 has a special focus on warmth and protection from challenging Nordic elements. They opened offices in Sweden to expand their technical outdoor clothing.
Key innovations from 66°North include:
- Heat-sealed seams and waterproof zippers keep moisture out.
- Warmth ratings for jackets to guide layering in subzero temperatures.
- High collar constructions block wind while hoods shield falling snow.
- Polartec high-loft fleece for maximum insulation without excess weight.
Some of their top cold weather gear includes:
- Expedition parkas rated to -40°C like the Gilsdal.
- Waterproof Vulcan jackets and bibs designed for skiing.
- Hekla thermal base layers with antimicrobial protection.
- Highly-breathable Þröng gloves and mittens.
From Alpine climbing to Arctic exploration, 66°North has the technical performance to take on the “Land of Fire and Ice” and beyond. They represent outdoor excellence perfected for life in the far North.
Founded by climber Peter Askulv, Klättermusen combines performance with Scandinavian minimalism. Their streamlined designs provide versatility for alpine pursuits and urban use.
Product innovations include:
- GORE-TEX fabrics that are lightweight and weatherproof but allow vapor to escape.
- Canyoning and climbing harnesses with smart details like draining mesh pockets.
- Packable down jackets that compress into their own pocket.
- Trim fit mountain apparel shaped for optimal freedom of movement.
Top gear picks from Klättermusen include:
- The Hadrien rock climbing pant designed with flexibility and durability.
- Ovik round neck merino wool base layers for lightweight warmth.
- Waterproof yet breathable shell jackets like the Mørketind.
- Clean-designed backpacks equipped for technical ascents.
Klättermusen is respected worldwide for their functional, minimal take on outdoor apparel. Their smart Scandinavian style excels when tackling vertical heights.
This newer Swedish brand founded in 2016 takes inspiration from the natural world to create eco-friendly outdoor gear. Their focus is on quality over quantity and technology combined with sustainability.
Unique features of S.O.O.K. Design include:
- Biomimicry research influencing designs that emulate nature.
- Plant-based waterproofing instead of traditional harmful DWR chemicals.
- Natural wool insulation regulates body temperature.
- Fabric scrap upcycling into items like headbands.
Their outdoor clothing line includes:
- The water-resistant Wool Bomber made with merino wool.
- Trousers with inside calf zippers for easy on and off over boots.
- Minimalist down or primaloft jackets.
- Beanies and neck gaiters made from recycled polyester.
S.O.O.K. Design is bringing thoughtful, eco-conscious design to the Swedish outdoor scene. They aim to balance high-tech performance with the lightest possible footprint.
Last but not least is Lundvik, a family-owned Swedish brand since 1932. They combine classical heritage with modern outdoor functionality.
Lundvik is known for:
- Wool heritage dating back to the military uniforms they designed.
- Their durable Classic Rubber Boots handcrafted in Sweden.
- Versatile fleece jackets perfect as mid-layers.
- High-quality leather hiking boots.
Top products from Lundvik are:
- The weatherproof Lodjur Hunting Jacket.
- Wool sweaters like the Rams V-neck.
- The Lundvik Fisherman Sweater combining tradition and performance.
- Classic leather hiking boots like the Country Cruiser.
Lundvik brings timeless Swedish design and craftsmanship to outdoor apparel. Their products stand out with the durability to be passed down for generations. With both vintage and contemporary selections, Lundvik has something for every outdoor adventurer.
Sweden’s outstanding outdoor brands equip you to embrace your wild spirit no matter the conditions. Their innovative yet practical designs allow you to feel comfortable and protected when exploring Sweden’s forests, mountains, and beyond. Whether ultralight backpacking or mountaineering, these Swedish companies have you covered. So discover your new favorite pieces of outdoor gear made by Sweden’s leading brands. The right high-performing clothing and equipment can make all the difference when adventure calls.