Why We Love the Fjallraven Kanken

The Fjallraven Kanken backpack was created in 1978 to spare the backs of school children. Back problems had begun to appear in younger age groups where shoulder bags were popular. The backpack soon became a common sight at pre-schools and nature schools around Sweden! While originally created for kids, this backpack is a staple for all ages that are into the minimalist, Scandinavian style.

Why do we love it?

– Durable Vinylon F material repels moisture better than any other synthetic fabric. Fibers in this material swell in humid weather for superior water-resistance….no wet books while waiting for the bus!
– Two zippered compartments with two side pockets. This simplicity keeps you from losing things in the abyss that is your school bag.
– Simple shoulder straps make this bag easily customized and wearable for long periods of time.
– The logo doubles as a reflector to keep you safe on walks to school at dawn or dusk.

These features are all kinds of appealing, and can be found in each of the different variations of the classic backpack:

Kanken
The classic! Made of durable fabric, the classic will outlast even the toughest of school days. Two side pockets and a zippered pocket in the front make for easy day-to-day storage.

Kanken Mini
The cutest little backpack you ever did see! The Mini is just that – a mini version of the classic. It is perfect for young kids headed back to school, or as a smaller daypack for adults! Doubles as a fashletic purse, which we aren’t mad about.

Kanken Laptop
While you may be able to fit a laptop in the classic, this Kanken features padded shoulder straps and a specially designed area made to house a laptop computer neatly and securely.

Kanken No. 2
Redesigned and better than ever! The Kanken No. 2 is made from a sturdier fabric and has leather straps, making it a new and slightly improved version of the original. This bag also comes in laptop form!

Re-Kanken
We are all about being eco-friendly, especially with the start of a fresh new year. The Re-Kanken (and the mini!) are sustainable versions of the classic style, as each bag is made entirely from eleven plastic bottles! Dyed with SpinDye® technology that radically reduces the amount of water, energy and chemicals used, this bag is mindful of our environment. Check it out:

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How Will You Shape Your World?

Is there any better fresh start than heading to university or college for the first time? Leaving home and starting a new adventure  opens the door for you to be whoever you want to be and shape the world that you want to live in.

The idea of shaping your world is important. As a young adult, you have a clean slate to create the life you want to live. This is the time to consider: what is important to me? Where do I stand on issues that affect the world I live in?

Did you know…
  • As of 2012, 31 million primary-school pupils worldwide dropped out of school
  • 1 in every 13 people is a refugee
  • Over a billion people live with some form of disability
  • The LGBTQ community was the predominant victim group for assaults in Toronto in 2016
  • Canadian women earn 87 cents for every dollar made by men

It is up to you – smart, innovative young adults – to fight for the causes that affect the well-being of other people just like you all over the world.

We are all a part of one world. No matter what cause weighs on your heart, it is our responsibility to come together to fight for equality, diversity and inclusion.

How can you help?

  • Practice Inclusion. Bringing the world together can be as simple as changing your own mindset. We encourage you to practice inclusion and love with those in your own life and community.
  • Educate Yourself. Do whatever you can to learn about others. Attend conferences like the one featured above; read online journals or blogs; talk to people who may be experiencing a different lifestyle than you.
  • Join the Fight. On campus, you will find countless places to lend a hand and encourage change. Find the club, organization or group that speaks to you and join! Meet like minded individuals and learn what you can do to help others.

As you head back to school this fall, think about the ways you can make a difference.

How will you shape your world?
Sarah Harrison via Teen Vogue
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UPF Sun Protection

With the arrival of summer it is important to shield yourself and your loved ones from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 90% of skin cancers and premature aging are a result of UV exposure. To avoid the consequences of the sun it is important to invest in good sunscreen with SPF and clothing with UPF protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation considers clothing to be the most safe and effective defense in the fight against skin cancer and aging. When you wear clothing with UPF you are protected where there is fabric, so there is no need to worry about re-applying sunscreen every two hours. UPF does not wash out of clothing so you are free to swim and wash UPF garments as you wish.

UV Facts

Unlike sunscreen with SPF that only protects against UVB rays, UPF clothing is effective in protecting both UVA and UVB rays.

UVA (Ultra Violet A) penetrates and damages the skin’s thickest and deepest layer, the dermis, breaking down collagen along the way.  UVA penetrates clouds and untreated window glass. It is harmful from sun up to sun down.

UVB (Ultra Violet B) causes your skin to burn, your body’s mostly unsuccessful attempt at blocking UV light from going deeper. UVB penetrates clouds and is harmful from about 10:00am to 4:00pm.

At Sporting Life, we carry a variety of clothing with UPF technology from a variety of brands. UPF fabric is incredibly lightweight and durable even in salt or chlorine water. UPF clothing offers style and functionality for activities like swimming, sports, hiking and more!

For Women

For Men

For Kids

Don’t Forget About Sunscreen!

Shop a variety of options for everyone in the family. From water-resistant formulas to sensitive options for kids and infants, we have everyone covered to ensure a fun and safe day out in the sun.

SPF for everyone!

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Where to Celebrate Canada Day 2017

Not sure how you’re spending your holiday weekend this year?  We’ve rounded up the best ways to celebrate Canada Day in each of our home cities – Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa. Where will you be when Canada turns 150?

CALGARY
  • Fort Calgary will host a celebration that is bigger and better than ever! Take part in a free pancake breakfast, live music and entertainment, children’s crafts and petting zoo, food trucks, and a chance to dress-up like a Mountie!
  • Visit the new Canada 150 sign in Prince’s Island Park! Appreciate it as a symbol of how we’ve come together as a nation, and snap a photo to remember this milestone for our country. While you’re at the park, stick around for an Aboriginal Showcase and Powwow, and learn more about Canada’s military history.
  • The site of our finish line party for the Sporting Life 10k, Olympic Plaza is the perfect place to spend your Canada Day! There will be entertainment galore of all sorts – song, dance, art, and more. Afterwards, take a short walk over to Riverside Avenue, where you can watch fireworks against the incredible backdrop of the Rockies.
TORONTO
  • It may be tough to get tickets if you haven’t already, but the Blue Jays are playing a home game on Canada Day…what could be more patriotic than cheering on our country’s lone MLB team? If you can’t get a seat at the Rogers Centre, you can always set up at a local patio or at home to watch the game. Come together with family & friends and support Canada’s team!
  • Toronto Ribfest happens to fall on Canada Day weekend…can you say perfect? Spend the day outside, grab some delicious food & drinks and enjoy the entertainment available at Etobicoke Centennial Park.
  • Fireworks are a given for the big 1-5-0. Whether you set up on your street (safely!) or visit a local park, there are countless locations to get cozy under a blanket and watch a fireworks show. May we suggest visiting Nathan Phillips Square? Fireworks kick off at 10:55pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday AND Monday night, and you can get an Instagram opp with the infamous 3D Toronto sign!
OTTAWA

Last but not least, the Nation’s Capital! Ottawa is the hub of all things Canada 150. Stop by one of three designated celebration zones in the city and take part in some of the exciting activities!

  • Parliament Hill – Experience the “Inspection of the Guard”, a 21-gun salute, an Air Show with the Snowbirds and CF-18 and more! You might even catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister or some of the incredible Canadian talent performing at the evening show.
  • Major’s Hill Park – Enjoy a huge variety of family-friendly programming including buskers, trivia games, face painting, fun photo opportunities, swing dancing performances, rides for kids on the VIA Rail miniature train, the 25th annual Great Canadian Chicken BBQ, and much more!
  • Canadian Museum of History – Take part in indoor and outdoor programming including inflatable games, wall climbing, live wild animals, puppet theatre, a Syrian house, plus the official opening of the museums’ new Canadian History Hall! Live entertainment will also be present.
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Kids Camp Checklist: Top 10 Items to Pack

Camp is one of the best times you can have as a kid. Between action packed days, campfire nights and friendships that last a lifetime, there is so much to look forward to in a week of camp! With your checklist in hand, take a look at the top 10 things that should be in your child’s suitcase when you send them off on a new adventure – aside from the obvious…t-shirts and shorts galore! Download the checklist here, and save big with our Buy More, Save More deal.Get comfy by the campfire!

Swimwear
What would camp be without a dip in the lake? Be sure to check your camp’s guidelines for appropriate swimwear – some have restrictions regarding one vs. two piece suits. Whether used for playing on the sand or swimming your heart out, the right bather will make the difference between a good and a great week at the beach!

Rashguard
Okay, so this does go along with swimwear. But it really does deserve its own category! This is a great way to get around the aforementioned “two piece restriction” in place at some camps. A rashguard can serve as a nice barrier underneath a life jacket, and many have UPF protection to keep your child from getting a sunburn.

Sun Protection
Another great segue – sun protection is an obvious MUST for camp! Long days spent playing outside need the right clothes to keep sunburns at bay. Along with UPF clothing, a hat is an easy and affordable way to keep the sun off your child’s face. Don’t forget sunscreen!

Hydration
Play hard, hydrate harder! A reusable water bottle will ensure that your child is hydrated and healthy on hot days at camp. We love S’well bottles – their water will be cold all day long!

Comfy Clothes
Who doesn’t love being comfy and cozy on a cool summer night? When the sun sets and it’s time for campfire games, you want your child to be warm and comfy. A great hoodie or sweatpants are sure to do the job…pass the s’mores!

Bug Protection
Can you believe that clothes can be bug repellent? Craghoppers clothing has insect repellent woven into the fabric…perfect for those late night campfires we were talking about! We also love that these pants are convertible – easily rolled up into shorts for those warm, buggy days.

Equipment
Are you sending your child to a sports specific camp? Make sure that they have the right equipment to play their best!

Rainy Day Wear
While we have our fingers crossed that this will be a rain-free summer, chances are there will be a damp day or two. Make sure that your child is prepared to stay dry to prolong the fun! K-Way jackets are colourful, waterproof AND packable – the ideal camp jacket.

The Right Shoes
It’s summer – sandals are a must. But don’t forget that many camp activities require closed toe shoes! Make sure your child is ready for days at the beach, but also skills that require foot protection like archery or rock climbing. Take advantage of our Junior Footwear BOGO while you’re at it! Buy one pair of kids shoes and get the second pair 50% off. This is perfect for grabbing fresh new runners and some funky sandals for your child’s week at camp.

Backpack
With all of these layers, accessories and equipment, your child needs a backpack to haul it all around! Small, summery packs are lighter than the one they may use for school, and come in some fun colours perfect for a week at camp.

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Adjust Your Altitude: Hiking 101

While our Calgary community is lucky enough to have scenic mountain trails and some of the best hiking in Canada, Ontario has some beautiful hiking spots that are perfect for the beginner hiker. You don’t have to be an experienced outdoorsman to get out and enjoy nature! We’re sharing some of the best places in the Toronto area to go for a hike, some tips for the first-time hiker, as well as the gear you will need to make the most of your adventure.

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5 Beautiful Beginner Hikes in the GTA

Scarborough Bluffs Park
Before leaving the city entirely, why not stop by the beautiful Scarborough Bluffs Park right here in Toronto? The Bluffs offer stunning views of Lake Ontario and the beautiful bluffs. The trails are not difficult and are easily accessible, and sandy beaches await you once you’re done your hike.

Webster’s Falls Conservation Area
Who knew that some of Ontario’s most stunning waterfalls were located just outside of Hamilton? Take a walk down beautiful trails towards Webster’s Falls and Tew’s Falls – totally Instagram-worthy! After chasing waterfalls, hop on up to Dundas Peak for a beautiful panoramic view of Hamilton.

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area
While you probably won’t see any rattlesnakes, this conservation area in Milton allows you to seek some extra adventure. If you’ve been practicing your hiking and are feeling a bit more advanced, explore some of the hidden caves or partake in some rock climbing! While this hike is most beautiful in the fall, it isn’t the worst thing to look out upon miles and miles of green trees!

Elora Gorge
Elora is a bit off the beaten path for Torontonians, but it is totally worth it to make the trip this summer. This trail is perfect for all age groups – ideal for a family weekend or a beginner hike. While you’re there, stop by the Elora Quarry and take a dip in the blue-green water, or partake in some kayaking!

Bruce Trail
Did you know that the Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest foot path? This trail stretches for over 800km from the Niagara River all the way to Tobermory! You can enter at various points throughout Ontario, and walk for as long or short of a distance as you like. The closest entrance point to Toronto is just outside of Milton near Kelso Conservation Area, and the views are out of this world!

Hiking 101: Tips & Tricks

– Proper hiking gear is a must, especially for spring hikes. The weather is unpredictable, and you need to be prepared for whatever comes your way! Be sure to have these items in your wardrobe to make the most of your adventure:

  • Waterproof/windproof outer layer.
  • Base layers – moisture wicking fabrics to keep you warm (or cool!) and dry. This goes for socks too; bring extra, and go for a smart wool to keep your toes dry.
  • Hiking shoes – these don’t need to break the bank, but they are absolutely crucial for both seasoned and first-time hikers. Good shoes are the key to a fun and safe hike; keep your toes and ankles protected, especially on uneven terrain.
  • A lightweight, sturdy pack…especially when you need to shed some of those added layers!

– Convertible pieces can be your best friend…who doesn’t love pants that turn into shorts and back again? Adjust your outfit to suit the conditions at hand without leaving anything behind.

– As with any physical activity…HYDRATE! Be sure to bring enough water, no matter the length of your hike. Whether you prefer a colourful S’well that keeps your water cold for up to 24 hours or a hydration pack to keep your hands free, make sure you’re stocked up on H20.

– Similar to hydration, your body needs fuel to get through your trip. Give yourself an energy boost on the go with gels, chews or waffles available at our retail locations. They contain carbohydrates to keep you fueled, electrolytes that aid in hydration and amino acids that reduce mental fatigue!

– We mentioned the importance of a solid hiking shoe; be sure not to embark on your hike with brand new, stiff boots! Our friend Leigh from HikeBikeTravel.com wrote a post about breaking in your hiking boots on her blog – check it out!

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Eco-Trend: Urban Farming

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Image via Woolrich

With spring in full force, we are feeling a renewed commitment to saving the environment. Many of our favourite brands have put forth collections that emphasize sustainability (way to go, Columbia and Patagonia!) and this season, we are looking forward to finding other ways to become more eco-friendly.

An eco-trend that is popping up across the city is urban farming – we can get on board with the idea of gardening in the city! Despite a lack of surface area, earth lovers within the city limits have found ways to grow their own produce in a small home or condo. Save some money on groceries, save your body from GMOs and pesticides, and save the planet – this summer, try planting vegetables in your own backyard. Here are a few of the tips we’ve picked up from researching how to make urban farming happen.

What is Your Set-Up?

In order to get into urban farming, you do need a certain level of sunlight. The ideal direction is a South-facing garden without any obstructions – that way your plants receive light for the majority of the day. Second best is a West-facing set-up, as the sun will shine on your garden during the afternoon. While an East-facing garden isn’t impossible, it isn’t ideal as sun-loving plants won’t grow as well.

Once you’ve figured out your sun situation, the next step is deciding on the style of garden you are able to have. If you are in a condo, a small container garden may be your best bet. Go with a hanging planter to live on your balcony, or get creative and Pinterest-y with some rustic containers to bring out that farmer-chic style. If you happen to have a backyard, you are likely lucky enough to have room for a real garden! Using nothing but plywood and some good soil, you can craft your own garden box to suit your size needs – even a 4×4 raised garden bed can house a wide variety of delicious vegetables!

For either location, a vertical garden can be a great choice. Either make your own (spring DIY?) or find a multi-potted vertical planter at your local store. It looks beautiful with the various leaves poking out, and allows you to grow more plants with less square footage.

Images via Young Urban Farmers
Images via Young Urban Farmers
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Pick the Right Crop

Just because your garden is small doesn’t mean that you’re stuck growing herbs (but don’t get us wrong – herbs are a great choice)! There are a variety of vegetables that will flourish in condo containers or small backyard gardens. Almost anything can be grown in a container as long as you are aware of spacing and don’t overcrowd your veggies. Bell peppers, hot peppers, peas, tomatoes, and lettuce are all easily grown in an urban setting. Add in some of your favourite herbs such as parsley or mint, and you’ll be ready for summer barbecues in no time!

Here’s a helpful tip to improve the taste of your tomatoes: plant them next to a basil plant! The basil will enhance the flavour of the tomato (and probably make you crave a homemade pizza).

Dress the Part

Just because you don’t live in the country doesn’t mean you can’t dress the part! If you plan on spending time outside tending to your garden, make sure that you are properly clothed for spring weather. A waterproof outer layer paired with convertible pieces will allow you to spend the day outdoors without feeling uncomfortably hot or cold. Columbia and Marmot’s convertible pants will take you from shorts to pants and back again with no effort at all, and a chic pair of overalls combines fashion and function, keeping your bottoms from sliding down while you are bending down closer to the earth.

Since you are dressing for an eco-friendly task, why not look to some of our eco-friendly brands? We have recently focused on the sustainable fashions put forth by Columbia and Patagonia, and are so proud to carry a wide variety of brands that are committed to saving our planet.

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ECO Style: Patagonia

This Spring, shop our selection of environmentally friendly products from Patagonia.  Patagonia is committed to building the best product while causing no unnecessary harm and using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. Now more than ever, it is important to consider our environment when choosing our clothing and we are proud to offer a variety of Patagonia products that are bluesign approved, fair trade certified and made with traceable down.

S17_Photo rights expire August 1, 2017: Mark and Kate Rutherford in the father-daughter dish pit. Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

Reasons to Love Patagonia
  1. Eco-friendly brand
  2. Producers of numerous award winning pieces
  3. Gives back to many charitable initiatives to protect our planet
Why We Believe in Patagonia

Bluesign Approved
In 2007, Patagonia became the first brand to officially join the network of bluesign system partners. Patagonia employs methods and materials in their manufacture that conserve resources and minimize impacts on people and the environment. The bluesign system is the solution for sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. Learn more about the bluesign system here.

Fair Trade Certified
Patagonia is out to change the industry. Fair Trade is a tool used by Patagonia to raise workers’ wages, improve their standard of living and move them closer to earning a living wage. A premium is paid for every Fair Trade Certified item that carries Patagonia. That extra money goes directly to the workers at that factory, and they decide how to spend it. The program also promotes worker health and safety and social and environmental compliance, and encourages dialog between workers and management.

Traceable Down Standard
Patagonia down products contain only Traceable Down. This means that the company traces the source of down from parent farm to apparel factory to help ensure that birds are not force-fed or live-plucked. The Traceable Down Standard provides the highest assurance of animal welfare in the apparel industry.

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ECO Style: Columbia’s Outdry Extreme Eco Jackets

This Spring, shop Columbia’s earth-smart raingear that does good for our planet and offers high quality protection against the elements. Now more than ever, it is important to consider our environment when choosing our clothing. Sporting Life is proud to carry the Outdry Extreme Eco Jackets for men and women, that are dedicated to protecting our forests.

Features and Facts

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  1. 100% recycled fabric made from 21 plastic bottles
  2. No PFCs sre intentionally used in this product. (May contain trace amounts)
  3. Made from dye-free fabric which saves over 13 gallons/51 liters of water when compared to a standard dyed jacket.
  4. Dry wicking fabric with advanced moisture management
  5. Outdry Extreme: No wet out with ultimate breathability.
  6. Fabricated with recycled trim. Labels, toggles, zipper pulls, thread and eyelets are all made from 100% recycled content.

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Columbia’s Outdry Extreme Eco Jackets are bluesign® approved.

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bluesign® product labeled textiles contain components that are resource saving and sustainably manufactured according to the bluesign® criteria. That includes not only fabrics but also accessories such as as zippers, buttons, buckles etc. Furthermore, the suppliers and manufacturers have been verified for their compliance with the bluesign® standards controlled by bluesign® experts.

Pair your Columbia Outdry Extreme Eco Jacket with this eco-friendly backpack from Fjällräven!

Since it’s debut in 1978, the classic Kanken backpack from Fjällräven has been a popular staple. Now with the environment in mind, the Re-Kanken backpack is made entirely from polyester that’s recycled from 11 plastic bottles and dyed with SpinDye technology that radically reduces the amount of water, energy and chemicals used. This timeless accessory now saves our precious natural resources and is an every day companion with the same genius design as the original ready to  be carried and travelled with and recycled again in the distant future.

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Explore the Outdoors With Our Favourite Family Day Activities

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Family Day is almost here! While everyone loves a long weekend, we particularly love that Canadians are given a day off in order to spend quality time with family. This long weekend is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with your fam and appreciate all of the amazing things that Canadian winter has to offer (hello, Winterlude!). Today we’re listing 3 activities you can do with your family this Family Day; whether you’ll be on the slopes, by the fire, or getting outside, we hope that you have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones!

On the Slopes

The ultimate Family Day pastime! We love the idea of spending the whole day on the slopes with your family – whether you’re just starting out or you’re a family of expert racers! Be sure to stay warm and cozy on the hill in order to make the most of your day. Layer up with technical baselayers, and find the perfect ski jacket to get you through the season. (PS – have you thought about taking advantage of our ski & stay pecial with Panorama Resort?)

 

By the Fire

After a long day on the slopes, what’s better than getting cozy in front of the fire? Bundle up in your favourite loungewear and spend some quality time with your loved ones, all while enjoying the crackling heat of a fireplace. We suggest leaving the devices in another room and enjoying each other’s company tech-free!

Get Outside

Is skiing not your thing? No worries. Our new favourite winter activity is snowshoeing! It is the ultimate workout (your legs may be unhappy for a day or two afterwards) and it allows you to experience the slopes without high speed equipment. It’s also a fun way to experience the outdoors as a family – anyone can snowshoe! The leisurely pace of snowshoeing lets you slow down and appreciate the beautiful Canadian winter around you.

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