I am all things hygge…. soft textures, check……warm and cozy, check…...ultra-comfort, check…..high quality, check. One might say I am a little obsessed. Maybe it's the fact that I am 74% Scandinavian, according to my recent Ancestry DNA test, but really, who isn't into soft, warm, pretty things that make you comfortable? So, when I learned about Akiv and their passion for premium Scandinavian clothing, I was all in. Plus, folks with a vision for something extraordinary and the courage to make that dream a reality deeply inspire me- and that is just what the founders of Aktiv, Leslie and Nate, did.
While living in Oslo, Norway, for a year and spending every weekend hiking in the forests of Norway, cross-country skiing across the frozen lake of Sognsvann, or walking the cobblestones of old cities, Leslie and Nate noticed the unique style of Scandinavian living. Simplicity, practicality, and excellence were the norm. When their time in Norway ended, and they needed to return to Colorado, to their dismay, they discovered the clothing they had grown to love overseas was unavailable in the states.
The idea to bring it here was born.
Today, Aktiv provides a carefully curated line of Scandinavian-designed, mostly European-made clothing to American consumers. Their main mission is to "focus on clothing conducive to exertion, exploration, and relaxation. The brands are out-of-the-ordinary; the makers focus on responsibility, durability, quality, and always—style." Currently, thirty-five brands from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are available.
When browsing the brands for the first time, I was so impressed. Everything looked so well made and stylish. I wanted one of everything! But since it is summer here in San Diego, and I knew I wouldn't have much use for winter clothing for a while, I settled with some summer pieces and one warm base layer for an upcoming backpacking trip in the Sierra. After placing my order, I started looking at booking a trip to Norway, which has been on my bucket list for years. At least I would now have some clothing (and ancestry) to fit right in!
So, what items did I get? Below is a list of all the clothing I got from Aktiv and my review for each piece. SPOILER ALERT: I was NOT disappointed. Every piece was super high quality, felt intentionally designed, fit extremely well, and lived up to every hygge expectation I had. I completely understand why Leslie and Nate wanted to share these brands with us. Overall I liked everything very much, with my favorite brand being Klättermusen because of the extremely high quality and features of their clothing.
Odlo Women's BL Top Crew Neck S/S Merino Light
This ultra-lightweight short sleeve crew neck top from ODLO is a perfect shirt for hotter temperatures. The shirt is made from "Cool Wool Jersey" and offers a natural body temperature control and cooling effect. It provides a natural anti-odor control and a more fitted design for a feminine look. I loved this shirt and found it to be highly comfortable. It did not smell (besides the natural wool smell) after three days of continuous wear while backpacking, including sweaty, long days. Materials: 50% Lyocell TENCEL™ 50% Virgin Wool (Merino)
Odlo Women’s BL Top Crew Neck L/S Blackcomb Eco
Designed to deliver cozy warmth on cold days, this base layer is great for those chilly mountain days! Extremely comfortable due to the seamless construction. Organic body mapping provides unrestricted mobility and makes it a great shirt for layering. "ZeroScent” anti-odor technology incorporates silver ions that inhibit microbial growth, so there are no odors. I stayed warm, waiting out multiple storms in my tent at 10,000 feet. Materials: 66% recycled polyester/24% recycled polyamide/7% recycled elastane/3% polyamide
This lightweight, technical T-shirt is exceptionally comfortable. Made from polyester and wool, this shirt provides durability and temperature regulation. Its quick-dry ability and naturally antibacterial and odor-resistant properties make it an excellent hiking shirt. The mesh back provides airflow for hot days but can also be worn as a base layer for additional warmth. Material: Wool/Polyester
Misty 2.0 Trekking Knickers
Trekking Knickers? I'm in! These technical pants are amazing. Cut for mobility with pre-bent knees for additional movement; they feel entirely unrestricted. Extremely high quality and rugged enough for the wild, but super comfortable and can be worn for extended periods (long hikes/ days long backpacking trips). The reinforced rear and knees and elasticated and adjustable hem add to the design. And pockets? The pants feature large, zipped leg pockets (big enough for a phone) and one secure back pocket. Materials: WindStretch™ material uses bluesign® approved Ultramid® Bio-Mass Balanced Polyamide.
Marketed as “airy and flexible women's climbing pants, perfect for summer use”, I found these pants to be extremely comfortable. While I am not a climber, I can appreciate the features of these pants for hiking (and everyday activities… like wine tasting). Made from organic cotton and spandex, these pants are both breathable and flexible. I love the simple design of the pants, with large back pockets, cute details, and leg pockets as well. These pants are perfect travel pants that are packable and light. Materials: Organic Cotton/Spandex
L.I.M. Fuse Shorts
Lightweight, breathable, and comfortable these shorts are a must for Southern California summers. I have been living in them when I travel to the desert. They are so comfortable and feel like wearing air! Features include recycled materials, lightweight durability, comfortable stretch, and moisture-wicking ability. Fluorocarbon-free DWR treated surfaces help repel water and dirt, comfortable elastic waist, one zippered thigh pocket, reflective trims for safety, bluesign approved fabric. Materials: Climatic 93% Recycled polyamide, 7% Elastane