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The Number one Winter Jacket

The Number one Winter Jacket - Blog

by Neil Summers

If you’re looking for the number one down parka to wear this winter then look no further because we’ve found the number one jacket, literally. Making up a vital part of Fjallraven’s top tier, super special, highly desirable Numbers range the Number One Expedition Down Parka certainly lives up to its numerical name.

Constructed from Fjallraven’s partially recycled, hard wearing G-1000 Eco fabric with G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco reinforcements on the shoulders, sleeves, lower back and pockets for increased durability. Providing an extremely high level of insulation and warmth when and where needed most the parka also features hand warming pockets with the inside of the collar being lined with warm wool from the legendary Abraham Moon cloth mill.

Especially designed for the extreme cold and high pressure conditions of the unforgiving arctic the Number one is designed to cover the top of the legs and features braces which keep the jacket secure, even when removing the sleeves. It can also be opened and closed with ease using a two way zipper concealed behind a button closed storm flap.

Whilst other notable features on this ultimate down parka include; A large protective hood with removable synthetic fur detail, seven large pockets with space for GPS, ski goggles, extra gloves, kendal mint-cake, Marlborough lights and other essential equipment, adjustable velcro cuffs, a drawstring hem and a drawstring waist.

Something of an investment piece, this parka ticks a hell of a lot of technical boxes not to mention some taking you straight to the top of the suave Swedish smother garms. Whether we get a beast from the East, a pest from the west, a nause from the North or a big mouth from the south this winter, the Fjallraven Expedition Down Parka will see them all off whilst keeping you lovely and warm

Buy a Fjallraven Expedition Down Parka from the Sporting Lodge here.

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BARBOUR: Macs, facts and lots of wax

by Neil Summers

Now recognised on a global scale as a premium English sports and fashion brand, Barbour first came to the world’s attention via their iconic waxed cotton jackets. Prior to WWII Barbour was supplying oilskins and other outdoor garments to the surrounding North Eastern community of seamen, sailors and dockers to protect them from the treacherous North Sea weather. Though once their Ursula suit became standard issue for the Submarine service during the second world war their fame started to spread.

Already established as one of the leading suppliers of durable outdoor garments as well as being well-known for their innovation and high levels quality Barbour expanded its client base to a global audience. From landowners and farmers to buyers as far flung as South America and Asia the word was finally out that Barbour made some very impressive jackets.

During 1936 the first Barbour wax cotton International motorcycle jacket appeared and went on to be worn by almost every rider in the International Six Day Trials circuit from the 1950s through to the 1970s. With legendary film star Steve McQueen being just one of many famous faces to have sported this tough and iconic jacket.

Cut to the modern day and Barbour’s traditional jackets continue to be at the heart of the company where they’re currently produced at their 180 strong factory in South Shields. With three Royal warrants (the Duke of Edinburgh, Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Prince of Wales) to their (globally recognised named) it perhaps no surprise that the order and process in which their factory works is second to none. With 36 people needed to make just one Barbour jacket from start to finish, each person being an essential part of the production process.

With approximately 50 styles of traditional wax jackets for men, women and children in production, the hand made pieces are produced like clock-work on a daily basis with a new garment being completed every three minutes. The South Shields factory produces approximately 3000 garments per week and 130,000 – 140,000 per year. They also have a world renowned re-waxing service, where each year approximately 13,000 Barbour jackets are lovingly repaired, reproofed or returned to their former glory.

With roots firmly in its heritage, the Barbour brand continues to grow and develop each year and provides a beacon for English craftsmanship and family values. The Sporting Lodge are proud to present the Barbour Autumn/Winter 2018 Barbour here.

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Country Jottings–The Glorious Twelfth

The British game season is nearly here, as is one of the great shooting traditions unique to rural Britain–The Glorious Twelfth marks the start of the game shooting season, declaring the Red Grouse as fair game.

To celebrate this Great British staple The Sporting Lodge has pulled together the 12 facts everyone needs to know about The Glorious Twelfth.

  1. The tradition of grouse shooting can be traced back over 160 years and gained popularity after the introduction of railways allowed easier access to the moors.
  2. It is illegal to shoot grouse on a Sunday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Even though not illegal the custom has been adopted in Scotland and is strictly adhered to.  In cases where the Glorious Twelfth falls on a Sunday (like this year) it will be moved to the thirteenth of August.
  3. The Game Act of 1831 specifies the red grouse shooting season must run from the 12thAugust to 10th
  4. Red Grouse are not artificially reared for shooting, they are wild birds–gamekeepers manage the moorlands to maximise the number of available birds and conserve the biodiversity of the grouse moors.
  5. Red grouse is a native bird to the United Kingdom and are not found anywhere else in the world.
  6. A typical grouse can eat up to 50g of heather in a day, as well as berries and seeds. They eat the young green heather shoots and shelter in the older heather.
  7. There are around 459 grouse moors in the UK which is 75% of what is left worldwide.
  8. Red grouse can fly at speeds of up to 80mph, often low and can change direction at a second’s notice–a perfect challenge for skilled guns.
  9. Grouse shooters opt for dark colours, so they blend in with their surroundings and are not spotted by the birds. And traditional styles and fabrics such as tweed, checked shirts, breeks, moleskin and flat caps.
  10. Red grouse have a distinctive call that sounds like ‘Go back! Go back! Go Back!’ as they fly over the heather.
  11. By early evening on the Glorious Twelfth the red grouse shot that day will be on the menu at some of the finest restaurants in the UK.
  12. Grouse shooting generates around £150 million for the economy every year and supports approximately 2,500 jobs from gamekeepers and beaters to people within the tourism and hospitality industry.

Make sure you are ready for the season ahead with the extensive range of shooting clothing and accessories from The Sporting Lodge including Beretta, James Purdey, Dubarry, Fjallraven, Alan Paine and many more, shop here.

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Fjallraven – Greenland Updated

by Neil Summers

In 1968 a 32-year-old Åke Nordin produced his first Fjällräven jacket. He called it the Greenland Jacket. It was made with his new G-1000 material (“G” standing for Greenland) that was waxed with his own wax, Greenland Wax. The story starts two years previously where Greenland was the destination for a team of Scandinavian alpinists and researchers who were in need of some gear before setting off. Step forward the industrious Fjällräven founder, Åke Nordin who offered them his aluminium-framed backpacks and new Thermo tents. Though at that time he didn’t have any clothing to contribute, so the team relied upon the materials of the time, boiled wool and leather. The team survived and the mission was a success though their clothing had let them down having been heavy, slow-drying and lacking resistance to the harsh Greenland climate.

Åke saw this as a challenge to create the perfect all-round outdoor adventure jacket. A jacket that kept you warm and dry; that wouldn’t wear out or weigh you down. A material quickly presented itself. A material Åke had experimented with before when creating his tents. He’d originally ruled it out. But with some tweaking and treatment, it could work as jacket material. Åke went back to the drawing board and testd a range of materials and impregnations. Though initially stumped he suddenly had a brainwave. In his youth, Åke and his friends had tried ski jumping where they’d spend many an hour hanging out at the huge Swoosh-shaped slope in Örnsköldsvik (his home town on Sweden’s High Coast). To avoid freezing their behinds off, they waxed the backs of their trousers to keep the snow out, their trousers dry and their behinds warm. Åke used this idea to develop Greenland Wax. And this wax offered that wind and water resistance he was looking for. It even improved the material’s durability.

With the material and impregnation sorted, he then set about using creating his perfect outdoor jacket, complete with practical pockets and a relaxed, loose fit. In continued honour to the research mission that inspired it, Åke called this jacket the Greenland Jacket. The rest as they say is history. The Greenland Jacket, launched in 1968, went on to enable a whole generation of nature lovers to spend more time outdoors and is now one of Fjällräven’s most iconic products, second only to their Kånken backpack.

Having reached this landmark of 50 years Fjällräven are celebrating with the release of a brand new Greenland collection, inspired by the original jacket. The new collection builds on the classic range, staying true to the look and feel of the originals, but evolving even further to ensure that this new generation of garments and accessories are made in a sustainable and environmentally conscious way.

Browse Fjallraven SS18 at The Sporting Lodge.

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Fjällräven Kånken Greenland

by Neil Summers

Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven are currently celebrating 50 years since the arrival of their iconic Greenland coat and as part of this jacket based jubilee they’ve put together a very special version of their Kånken bag. The KånkenGreenland also makes up part of the ‘Greenland Updated’ collection which comprises of a number of Fjällrävenproducts each inspired by a new generation of people now living in Greenland – scientists and nature enthusiasts from all over the world who’ve left their homes in order to explore this pristine island. As well as providing the inspiration for Fjallraven’s first product Greenland is also home to the world’s second biggest ice sheet which plays a pivotal role in global climate change. Its sheer sun-reflecting ability moderates global temperatures, while its meltwater mitigates ocean circulation patterns. So if the entire ice sheet were to melt, global sea levels would rise by 7.2m, hence the need for some well dressed scientists to  be there.

Greenland Jacket then and now

The updated Greenland version of the Kånken joins the an impressive range that now includes the Mini Kånken, theKånken Laptop, the  KånkenBig, the upcycled Re- Kånken and the leather-detailed Kånken No. 2. This new Greenland version features the same classic design buy uses an updated G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco fabric that’s slightly thicker than the original  Kånken. Whilst the fabric is produced (in part) from recycled materials and has been waterproofed without the use of perfluorocarbons. As an additional touch the webbing straps have been given a lovely striped detailing, which matches the detailing on the other items in the Greenland series.

View all Kanken Greenlands.

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A Millican Do Attitude

by Neil Summers

Taking their name from a twentieth century adventurer called Millican (Dalton) this Lake District based brand make incredibly tough and practical rucksacks that are ideal for everyday outdoor life. Their adventuring namesake moved up from London to the Borrowdale valley in the early 1900s where he lived initially in a self-made tent before moving into the Cave Hotel on Castle Crag. Calling himself the ‘Professor of Adventure’ he made a living guiding people in the Lakes and the Alps whilst also making most of his own clothes, sleeping bags and rucksacks. A true British eccentric and self-sufficient maverick, Millican loved the simple life, communing with nature whilst inspiring others to come outdoors and do some exploring for themselves.

Set up in 2008 by a collective of conscious travellers, Millican shares a maverick spirit and love of being outdoors with their namesake. Based in Keswick the adventure capital of England when not making sustainable bags and accessories the team can usually be found out on the water or up in the hills. To Millican the bags represent more than just super practical items in beautiful colours, to them they’re a symbol of freedom and the ultimate ‘quiet companion’.’ Always ready to go out, they’ll hold everything you need for a journey and over time become scuffed by experiences and uniquely personalised en route.

We hope you like the new range as much as we do. Browse Millican.

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Hamtastic! The Story of Carharttt

by Neil Summers

In 1889 the Hamilton Carhartt & Company started for business with its namesake (known affectionately as “Ham”) at the helm, using two sewing machines and a half-horsepower electric motor in a small Detroit loft to create overalls. After a few less than successful attempts Ham decided to talk directly with railroad workers in order to design a product that would fit their needs. As a result both the motto, “Honest value for an honest dollar,” and the Carhartt bib overall were born and swiftly became the standard for quality workwear.

By 1910, Carhartt had grown to include mills and sewing facilities in South Carolina and Georgia,Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, and San Francisco. Not to mention international outposts in Toronto, Vancouver,Liverpool.and Paris All of which came in handy for after the outbreak of WWI which saw Carhartt supplying the troops with uniforms during WWI.

It was during this era the legendary Carhartt Chore Coat (known historically as the “Engineer Sack Coat” or simply the “Coat”) was born and somewhat remarkably has remained unchanged and a staple piece of their collection 100 years on.

Despite coming close to collapse during the stock market collapse of 1929 Ham & co managed to weather the storm of the great Depression, even finding time to proactively support workers rights. The brand continued to grow and by the 1970s received massive orders for the construction of the Alaska Pipeline which helped to grow the brand as well as prove the gear could survive in the harshest weather conditions on earth.

By the 1980s Carhartt become very popular within the US hip-hop scene which took the brand beyond its workwear roots and into a much wider global audience. Which brings us up to modern day where the brand has earned itself iconic status and has never been more popular. thanks to the ongoing involvement of the Hamilton family and their knack for well made workwear that looks the part whether you’re building a stage or performing on one.

We’re pleased to announce SS18 is now online.