The 1964 tent revolution

The 1964 tent revolution

A tent should be easy to carry and pitch, and should offer protection against the weather. Things we take for granted today have not always been so obvious. When Fjällräven launched the first Thermo tent in 1964, it was a sensation that set the standard for how tents should be manufactured, even to this day.

In the early 1960s, most tents were made of a single layer of cotton, and they were heavy. When dry, they weighed around three to four kilos, and when wet, at least double that. The alternative was a synthetic tent. But these were either too thin, allowing the damp to seep through, or so impenetrable that condensation remained on the inside, turning the air inside the tent as moist as in a rainforest.

Double skins for the first thermo tent

Because the founder of Fjällräven, Åke Nordin, neither liked to carry heavy loads nor to wake up in a wet sleeping bag, he decided to try do something about this. Several sketches and prototypes later, Åke had found a solution that was as simple as it was clever: By combining a waterproof flysheet and a breathable inner tent, moisture could be expelled from the living area before condensing on the inner surface of the outer material. Finally, it was possible to wake up warm and dry outdoors.

Straight to Greenland

The first Thermo tent was launched in 1964. The flysheet material comprised a strong, waterproof polyester fabric, while the inner tent was made from thin, breathable "Rutarme" ripstop fabric made from polyamide. At 1.4 kg, the tent is extremely light. The tent was a huge success and was for instance used on the Swedish expedition to Greenland in 1966. One of the expedition participants, Robert af Klinteberg, referred to the excellent qualities of the tents in a telegram: "The first product I've come across that is better than advertised".

The thermo tent was the first in a long line of much appreciated models from Fjällräven. To this day, we are still introducing tents which are lauded around the world for being lightweight, user-friendly, solidly built and fitted with smart functions.