Fjällräven Ulvö Hip Pack Review

Overall Score:9.0

After 10 months of near daily use, the Fjällräven Ulvö Hip Pack Medium has become the most recommended sling to our family and friends. It’s near perfect for EDC, travel, or short hikes, thanks to its versatile carry options and minimalist Scandinavian design influences.

Durability: 9.0
Functionality: 8.0
Performance: 9.5
Aesthetics: 8.5
Value: 10.0

Capacity: 2L (Medium Size)

Weight: 150 g

Main Material: 400D Bergshell Nylon

Hardware: YKK, Woojin

Strap Style: Unpadded 

Dimensions: 12 x 28 x 10 cm

Manufacturing Country: Vietnam

Length of Test: 10 months

Acquisition: Self Purchase

Countries: Thailand

Climate(s): Tropical Savanna

Weather: Hot and Humid (highest temp 34 C), Cold and Dry (lowest temp 5 C), and Light Rain. 

The Ulvo Hip Pack is designed for:

  • Minimalist travel & EDC.

It’s not designed for:

  • High organizational needs.
Durablity

Build Quality

Fjällräven is a Swedish heritage brand that’s been producing high-quality outdoor gear since the 1960s. Characterized by minimalist designs, thoughtful functionality, and Scandinavian-esque durability, Fjällräven’s gear is known to be timeless and often lasts a lifetime… if not two.  

As for the Ulvö Hip Pack, the overall craftmanship, patterning, and material choices are of a high caliber and well-considered.

Main Fabric: the Ulvö Hip Pack utilizes a recycled 400D Bergshell nylon that was developed in-house by Fjällräven’s R&D department. For the gear nerds, the fabric combines two types of yarns (ordinary filament plus air textured) that are tightly woven into a flat ripstop pattern, which makes it exceptionally abrasion / tear resistant.   

Additionally, Bergshell nylon is coated with a PFC-free DWR and is virtually weatherproof (10,000mm hydrostatic head). In practical terms, the Ulvö is capable of fending off most downpours, but it isn’t a dry sack. So as long as you don’t it kayaking, your items will likely stay safe and dry inside.

Hardware: featuring #8RC YKK Zippers, the Fjallraven Ulvö Hip Pack continues its hardwearing charm. During initial use, the zippers were “sticky” around the corners of the main compartment and it took roughly a month for the zippers to fully break-in. Now, they’re a breeze to open for access… certified buttery-smooth.  

The zippers themselves have nylon pull tabs attached for added grip. And in effort to maintain the streamlined aesthetic of the pack, the pull tabs are decidedly slim and short. Thankfully the pull tabs have a grippy knot on the end, for easy zipping.

Finishing off the hardware, you’ll find a Woojin side-release plastic buckle. Admittedly, we would’ve preferred a magnetic Fidlock V-buckle… but Woojin will do, as it’s a trusted brand known for reliable performance. 

As for the strap, it’s a soft and supple 25 mm nylon webbing that’s quick and painless to adjust. It also comes with a sewn-in strap keeper to help manage any excess webbing. So yes, carrying the Fjallraven Ulvö Hip Pack is a dangle-free experience… 100% guaranteed.    

Functionality

Main Feature Set

Capacity: the Fjallraven Ulvö Hip Pack’s main compartment seems to be larger than its advertised 2L capacity. It’s deceivingly cavernous for a hip pack with such a small profile. And thanks to some clever patterning, the pack keeps it shape whether it’s full or empty. 

As a bonus, it’s easy to fill this pack with gear thanks to its wide clamshell-inspired opening. As a capacity reference, May usually packs the listed items below, with some additional room to spare:

Organization: step on inside… the main compartment is lined with a white TPU laminate that’s extremely high visibility. Between the liner and the way the bottom of the sling is patterned (canted slightly upwards), its virtually impossible to lose track of anything in this compartment. 

If you’re worried about the white interior getting dirty, don’t be. Since it’s a TPU laminate, it’s difficult for grime to accumulate and it’s also super easy to clean.

Organization wise, the main compartment is spartan – there’s only a single elastic mesh pocket that’s useful for storing small items in and keeping them visible. For us, we’re fine with this level of minimalistic organization, although we would’ve appreciated the addition of a keyring hook and an elasticized pen loop. 

In addition to the main compartment, there’s a zippered security pocket along the back panel that’s a great place to store a passport or a slim billfold wallet. Just know, there’s not much depth to this pocket and that’s the way it’s designed to be.  

Performance

Practical Utility

Comfort: thanks to the pack’s oblong shape (which sits tight against your body), minimal back-panel padding, and soft carrying strap, the Ulvö Hip Pack has a stable and ergonomic fit making it comfortable enough for all-day wear. 

During 10 months of use, we had zero incidences of hot spots or pressure points forming, even when the pack was filled to the brim.

For context on comfort, we routinely used the Fjallraven Ulvö Hip Pack for:

  • Urban EDC.
  • Exploring Buddhist temples and rural villages. 
  • Camera carry for street photography. 
  • Light hikes through the Thai jungle. 

Versatility: built to handle most minimal EDC situations, you have the option of the carrying the Fjallraven Ulvö Hip Pack three ways:

  • Crossbody Sling: the default carry mode for most situations.
  • Lumbar Pack: ideal for light hikes or when walking long distances.
  • Front-Facing Hip Pack: perfect for busy urban scenarios where security or quick-access is paramount. 

But wait, there’s more! Thanks to the strap’s buckle placement, you can also dual-carry the Ulvö  Hip Pack with a larger daypack or rucksack. 

Aesthetics

Design Elements

The Fjallraven Ulvö Hip Pack has a sleek and streamlined design – we appreciate it’s simplicity and clean lines. It also does a great job at balancing an urban and outdoors aesthetic with a classic meets modern, heritage vibe.  

At the time of writing, the Ulvö Hip Pack comes in seven earth-tone(ish) colorways. We’ve been using the Dark Navy colorway and love its refined look. 

While we normally dislike overt branding, we actually love the over-sized and reflective artic fox logo on this pack. (Note: Fjällräven means “artic fox” in Swedish). 

Value

Primary Alternatives

The competitive landscape for the Fjallraven Ulvö Hip Pack is saturated by sling bags that either cater to urban EDC use or trail use (as a lumbar-only carry). The Ulvö Hip Pack is one of the rare sling bags that functions well in the city and on the trail.   

For comparable “crossover slings,” we recommend the Arc’Teryx Mantis 2 and the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Versa (which also doubles as an organizer). 

If you need a larger capacity sling, we recommend the “fashionable” Bellroy Sling Mini (4L) or the “wallet-friendly” Osprey Daylite Sling (6L). 

Pack Main Fabric Gender Vol. Weight Adjustable Length? Padded?
Ulvo 400D Bergshell Unisex 2L 150 g Yes No
Mantis 420D HD Nylon Unisex 2.5L 180 g Yes No
Sling Mini Venture Weave Unisex 4L 300 g Yes No
Daylite 150D Polyester Unisex 6L 238 g Yes Yes
Versa DCH50 Unisex 2.3L 82 g Yes No
9.0/10 Rating

Overall Verdict

Expanding our EDC and travel experiences with a lightweight and compact sling, like the Fjällräven Ulvö Hip Pack, is a clever solution for carrying all of our necessities without the extra weight and bulk of a larger bag. It’s a great way to explore new cities, villages, or trails with a fast and light approach. 

Overall, we’ve grown to love the Ulvö Hip Pack and highly recommend it for anyone that wants a well-built sling that can take a beating and come back for more, with style.

What We Liked

  • Ergonomic shaping and minimal padding create a comfortable / stable carry.
  • The pack is fashionable for urban use, but rugged enough for light hikes.
  • The strap’s buckle placement allows for a comfortable dual-carry with a daypack or large rucksack.
  • The pack is a sustainable buy – it’s made from a 100% recycled nylon. 

What Could Use Improvements 

  • Utilizing a magnetic Fidlock V-buckle rather than the Woojin buckle would decrease transition time between carry styles.
  • Adding a keyring hook and elasticized pen loop in the main compartment would help with organization.
  • Adding heat-shrunk tubing to the zipper pulls would enhanced grip.
Longevity

Usage Timeline

Excellent

Initial Usage

Construction quality is impeccable and we’re digging the sleek / minimal look of this pack.

Excellent

Excellent

10 Months of Usage

After being used on a near daily basis (EDC, day hikes, etc.) for the past 10 months, this pack still shows no signs of wear / tear. Gotta love Fjällräven quality.

Excellent

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