The Back Jacket from Fjällräven is the type of simple, no-nonsense garment that you’d expect from a Scandinavian manufacturer. Function is priority, and function is what you get. The Hydratic Membrane fabric (fluorocarbon-free polyamide with ripstop) is lightweight and feels quite silky, but it does have a slight clammy feel when you put it on, although the generous side vents allow you to control condensation better than any of the other jackets tested.

I particularly liked the cut of the Back jacket, which tends to be slightly longer than normal – you get the feeling this jacket was designed for backwoodsmen, hikers and backpackers rather than ice-axe wielding Alpinists or rock climbers. And as if to prove the point the hood is among the best of all the jackets tested. When it’s properly cinched up it genuinely moves with your head!

In use this is a very comfortable jacket that will certainly keep the water out but might well feel a little less breathable than some of the others. Having said that, at no time did I find it running with condensation, probably because the large side vents offer a good degree of ventilation. 

Other features include a two-way zipper in the front, an adjustable hem and Velcro-type sleeve cuffs.

First published: June 2013