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:

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!

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:

Find Your Kanken
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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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#CelebrateWild – Spotlight on Arc’teryx

Arc’teryx has been a staple brand for both outdoor enthusiasts and the Sporting Life community for years. Defined by “Design, Craftsmanship, Performance”, Arc’teryx continues to innovate and create smart, technical pieces that will help you perform your best in the great outdoors.

Arc’teryx is built on the principle of obsessive, precise design and production. A Canadian brand (we love to support fellow Canucks) based out of North Vancouver, Arc’teryx is designed just minutes away from skiing, climbing, and harsh mountain environments. What better setting to inspire the best innovations in technical clothing? Arc’teryx is known for their high quality Gore-Tex hardshells and ergonomic fit, among many other praise-worthy design features.

Since its inception in 1989, Arc’teryx has stayed true to its statement of purpose:

At Arc’teryx, the goal is to create equipment that enables a person to be immersed in the moment of doing, regardless of external conditions. Simple solutions to complex challenges; this is the essence of minimalism and our philosophy of design. Reducing the effects of weather, streamlining use, and moving efficiently creates a timeless, outdoor experience. 

Simple solutions to complex challenges. This is so important to those of us who love the outdoors – Mother Nature is complex enough. Your clothes don’t need to be.

Wild spaces challenge, invite, heal and provoke. They are spectacular, intimidating, soothing , ordinary and vulnerable. They evoke our humanity, the feeling that we are where we belong, and we belong to where we are. From city to ice climbing, to the deepest powder snow, the wild spaces of winter.

Fall/Winter 2017 carries on the brand’s tradition of superior craftsmanship. #CelebrateWild in the new styles and revisions – click below to explore some of the beautiful new pieces available at Sporting Life!

Shop Arc’teryx. New Styles Arriving Daily!
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Benefits of Yoga for Cross Training

Article by guest blogger Andrew Obrecht.
Photos by Blush & Branch.

Your body does a lot for you, especially if you put it through tough cross training workouts. Yoga is the perfect active recovery workout for your non-training days to let your body grow and lengthen, while also benefiting from the meditative side. Like anything, results improve when there is a balance and breaking out of a routine. Yoga will help balance out your strength training workouts and use muscles that may be getting missed. If you can’t make it to a yoga class, incorporate yoga poses into your post-workout stretch routine. Adding yoga consistently to your fitness routine has many benefits for cross training.

1. Increases flexibility and range of motion
Start with a beginner’s class or restorative poses to get your muscles used to the different movements. Just like any sort of training, your body will evolve into the movements the more you practice. Stretching out your muscles and joints will increase your flexibility and improve your range of motion for your other workouts. This will help you push past plateaus and goals in your other workouts because your body will be able to do more, and reach farther.

2. Improves stamina, balance, and stability
Continually moving and breathing will help train your muscles to work longer and hold the poses. It’s a different kind of muscle training and will help with your stamina in your other workouts. Not only will holding poses help your stamina, but it will challenge your balance and stability as well. In yoga, your core is the key to staying up right and moving into more challenging poses. Without having to do endless sit ups, the whole yoga workout relies on your core to keep you balanced. Strengthening it will improve your balance and stability which you will see as improvements in your other workouts.

3. Prevents injury
Yoga helps improve muscle imbalances, relieve muscle tightness and the increased flexibility will help prevent injuries. Yoga helps strengthen all muscles including the little ones that don’t get used as often in regular day activities and other workouts. These muscles often surround the bigger muscles and other joints; strengthening them will help protect your bigger muscles that get used during your other cross training workouts and help prevent you from getting injured.

4. Improves posture and breathing
Whether you’re a runner, cyclist or body builder, similar and routine movements can affect your posture. Stretching out your body during yoga can counter-act those movements and encourage your body to have proper posture during cross training workouts and your every day life. For example, if you’re an avid cyclist all those hours spent hunched over on the bike can be paired with chest opening poses and hip openers.

Similarly, the breathing practiced in yoga can be transitioned into your cross training workouts to improve your movements. Breathing can be overlooked and not thought about while you’re running or lifting, but it’s just as important to practice breathing as it is to open your body through yoga.

5. Boosts other workouts
All the benefits of practicing yoga will boost your other workouts. Increased flexibility, balance and range of motion will allow you to lift more, run faster and workout longer. Incorporating yoga into your fitness routine will balance out your body, muscles and movements which benefits not only your workouts but your every day life as well. As long as you don’t push your body past it’s limits, even while stretching, you will see the benefits of yoga for your cross training in no time.

2016-09-16_-_YYC_Cycle_--_1L2A1448Andrew Obrecht is one of the Founders and Motivators of popular spin studio YYC Cycle. The studio was founded by three ambitious, born-and-raised Calgarians who saw an opportunity to offer an innovative, dynamic form of group exercise that breaks the mold of traditional indoor cycling. Along with their team of Motivators, YYC Cycle provides the community with an incredible fitness and lifestyle experience that extends beyond the studio doors. There’s a reason Andrew has been described as a Fire Starter, Passion Seeker and Connector: Much the way he does in spin class, Andrew will inspire and motivate you in all areas of your life.

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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?

  • 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.
  • 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!

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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Top 10 Summer Essentials

Bring on barbeques, patio get togethers, after work drinks and weekend adventures because summer is here! Get ready for July and August’s heat wave with our top 10 summer essentials to get you through a relaxing weekend at the cottage, spontaneous trips to the beach or exciting pool days.

The Swimsuit
Summer means swimming and you will definitely need a cute suit to make a splash in the pool, lake or ocean! We have swimwear in tons of prints and colours for everyone in the family. Our wide range of styles will guarantee that you can find a suit for your needs and body type.

The Casual Sandal
Run out the door to your favourite summer outing in a pair of convenient sandals. Sandals are great for any summer occasion and they will keep your feet feeling comfortable and cool all summer long.

Cool Shades
Nobody wants to be squinting in the sunlight! Sunglasses are a very important summer accessory that protects your eyes and give a fashionable, cool look. The right pair of shades can really flatter a person’s face shape. Try universally flattering aviators for effortless appeal.

The Wear Everywhere Jacket
Just because its hot outside doesn’t mean you won’t need a jacket in the summertime. A lightweight jacket is the perfect cover up for cool evenings and breezy summer days.

The Stylish Hat
Warm weather calls for a hat! Protect your face from the sun and look good in the process with a hat to match all your summer outfits. Fit for all summer adventures, a hat can accompany you to the beach, on a hike, to a music festival or on your holiday.

The Graphic Tee
Graphic T-shirts are sure to make a statement and the easy silhouette won’t put pressure on your style! You can never have too many, so stock up on styles with graphics that reflect your personality.

Denim Shorts
The laid-back feel of denim shorts screams summer! Look effortlessly cute and casual for a fun afternoon bike-ride or a walk to the ice cream parlour.

An Insulated Water Bottle
Quench your thirst on the go with H2O in an insulated bottle. The summer heat guarantees cravings for ice cold water so try an insulated bottle that will keep iced drinks cold for up to 24 hours.

The Carry Everything Bag
You will need a roomy bag for all your needs this summer as you embark on trips, adventures and family fun. From the beach to the cottage, a practical bag will take you anywhere in style.

Shield your skin from the sun with a reliable sunscreen that will block harmful UV rays that cause cancer and aging. With water-resistant and kid friendly options available, there is no excuse to get sun burnt this season!

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4 Off the Shoulder Styles You Need For Summer

Shop this look: Hat // Dress // Sandals

We LOVE an off the shoulder look for summer. This breezy, flirty style can be dressed up or down for a day at the beach, patio drinks or a late night date. We are particularly feeling this BB Dakota number right now – the dainty ruffle paired with the softest chambray make it the ideal little summer dress.

Extra credit: Check out how our ambassador Julie Redmond styled her off the shoulder looks in last week’s blog post!

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Summer Outfit Trends: Stop Throwing Shade at Your Bad Tan Lines. It’s Not Your Outfit’s Fault.

Article by guest blogger Julie Redmond.

Summer trends. Aka, the best way to look stylish without getting bad tan lines or being too sweaty. In my 27 years of experience, the sunburn is way worse than being hella trendy and sitting in the shade. So, with that said, let’s grab some sunscreen and blow this popsicle stand! We’ve got some summer trends to strut.

Summer in Calgary is…difficult to explain. It’s been 30 degrees celsius and in the same day, hailed so much that people had to shovel and make some serious insurance claims on their vehicles. Take from this what you will because I’ve got summer on my mind and there will be bathing suits and cowboy boots. Not particularly together though. If you can’t take the heat, I suggest you move to another city that doesn’t get the most amount of sun in Canada.

Instead of dipping a toe into the daunting “bathing suit season”, I’m diving right in! Ready or not, pale or tanned, I’m making a splash with this gorgeous graphic Trina Turk one piece (similar here). (I’m not actually splashing though because I don’t like getting my hair wet.)


I reference SPF a lot and for good reason. One, I’m extremely fair, as I’m sure you can tell. Two, you probably don’t want a twelve-pack looking sunburn on your chest. Don’t be caught off guard by the beautiful designs and colours of this suit!


If you don’t know that one pieces are making a huge comeback in the bathing suit and summer trends scene, then you need a Pinterest account. This suit is extremely comfortable and it also comes with a removable halter strap for extra security. The style of this can also double as a fashionable strapless top. I’ve already layered it with some fly Levi’s that you’ll see shortly with another ensemble.

Bathing suits and their styles can be quite personal and this might be too much information for some but it’s no secret that I was not born to be well-endowed. I’m not upset by it either. With that said, this Lspace bikini is beyond perfect for my needs and it’s reversible. Who doesn’t love a twofer (two-for-one)?!


Years ago, I got my first Lspace bikini top and I actually remember saying that it was the most comfortable swimsuit I had ever worn. If you ask me, that is a major plus for comfort points when it’s sweltering outside. Nobody likes fidgeting with their ‘kini.

Obviously, this look is more geared towards backyard tanning sessions or the pool deck and I paired it with some retro Ray-Bans and some classic Stan Smith adidas Originals. Why you ask? Because flip flops are what you expected me to wear and this way I can run faster after the ice cream truck.


Sorry folks, berries not included with this suit.


Ok, stay with me now. I’m switching gears so giddy up and grab your boots! Before I get straight into my rocking rodeo duds though, please keep in mind that these pieces can also be worn to and from the pool because as much as bathing suits are summer trends, you may want shoes, shirts and service. Pants too.

This outfit is white hot but also very cool to beat that summer heat. Levi’s have quickly become a staple brand in my closet and it’s no wonder why. They fit very well and have years of customer loyalty to back this up! These high-waisted white denim shorts are a dream and the distressed edge give it that don’t care vibe. (Insert “did you pay extra for those holes?” dad joke here.)


White on white is luxurious and chic but also dangerous around the corndog stand. Keep that in mind but also know, you are hitting a major trend with a white, off-the-should blouse. This one specifically is airy and super lightweight but it covers my arms for when I stay out after the sun goes down (similar here). Like I said earlier, it can be hotter than the underworld and then snow so, sunscreen and contingency plans are crucial. If you didn’t catch on by now, I plan my outfits based on the weather report and my estimated time of outdoor activity. I can feel you judging but I can’t see you because I’m blocking haters and UV rays sitting in the shade in my summer trendy threads.

This is also a great opportunity to get patriotic. (HBD Canada!) All you need to do is add a little red and no, I don’t mean a sunburn. We’ve got a lot to celebrate this summer and #Canada150 is at the top of the list. One week after that, Calgary Stampede. Ten days after that, more summer. One month after that, our final days of summer so make the most of it with your summer trends. Summer, summer, summer, soak it up! Did I mention I love summer?

I switched up the bottom half just to showcase how great this blouse is and to show you that it can be worn the week after Canada’s birthday for what has become my favourite extended-long holiday, Calgary Stampede. Featuring embroidered chambray shorts with cowboy boots, this sounds like a good country song to me.





Next Stampede/summer staple; jortalls. Jean short denim overalls. (I just made that up.) The only thing that would make this even more Stampede-ish is putting on a plaid shirt, a cowboy hat and a piece of hay in my mouth. I’m not doing the latter but I’m not against it. I went a different route with the footwear because not everyone in Calgary owns cowboy boots so there needs to be multiple alternatives. These Toms are beyond comfortable and I know I can two-step the night away or cruise the midway for worldly treats.



Overalls have a juvenile reputation but let me know tell you, trends repeat themselves. I wear all the same styles I did when I was 6. Kidding, sort of. I think I actually cut off a pair of overalls into shorts when I was a youngster. So it’s probably not surprising that I’m not a fashion designer and stick to putting outfits together as a fashion stylist but this is still a charming and enjoyable summer trend.


Versatility is my favourite word to use in my closet because not only is it key to have pieces that will last you through the summer months but it’s important to be able to wear these pieces when the leaves fall and our tans fade. Brrr. I just got cold thinking of that. Anyways, I don’t believe in overhauling my wardrobe from fall/winter to spring/summer because ain’t nobody got time for that. I think it’s important to be able to wear what you buy. No, this isn’t always going to be appropriate from minus 30 to 30 above but versatility within your wardrobe pays off. My point is, when I was planning these outfits, I was able to pair everything together and switch their combinations. Summer is roughly 12 days long here so make the most of it with your threads and don’t forget your sunscreen.


style by jr

C81HVCAUQAAPnDYJulie is a Calgary-based fashion stylist with a background in event management and administration. She is a sparkle-loving, gold enthusiast who had a vision of styling more than just herself. While working for a leading boutique public relations agency in Calgary, she was recognized by top-tier clients to assist with their styling needs. Balancing current trends with classic pieces, Julie will ensure your wardrobe is a genuine reflection of your unique personality while helping you radiate an inner self confidence. Regardless of age or body type, Julie will help you feel your absolute best through a relaxed and comfortable process. www.stylebyjr.com

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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!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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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