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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2013

Gear Review: Fjallraven Abisko/Nikka Softshell

A simple yet rugged cotton softshell.

by: Kelly Bastone

Fjallraven Abisko/Nikka (Andrew Bydlon)
Fjallraven Abisko/Nikka (Andrew Bydlon)

Light and Tough
Cotton for the backcountry? We’re believers. Waxed fabric made of 35 percent cotton and 65 percent polyester gives the front and shoulders of the Abisko (and women’s Nikka) near total protection against wind and wet. It’s tough as nails, but you’ll need to reapply a wax treatment every so often to maintain repellency. Even without pit zips, the stretchy softshell fabric on the back and sleeves delivers adequate breathability for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. “It kept me comfortable and dry through wet snow and rain in the Chugach Mountains,” says our Alaska tester, who praised the combination of durability and low weight. Features are few: The hood’s rear cinch helps maintain good peripheral vision. Elastic cuffs trim weight. The close fit accommodates light- and midweight layers, and the long cut enhances protection. Gripe: On shorter testers, the hand pockets fall beneath a pack’s hipbelt. $200; 13 oz. (w’s S); m’s XS-XXL, w’s XXS-XL; fjallraven.us

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