While developing his tents, Åke Nordin had gathered a number of different test fabrics from across the world that were piled up in his basement. One day, not long before he was going to head out on one of his countless mountain treks, he happened to see a roll of olive green tent material. The supplier had praised the fabric’s durability, but Åke did not think it was right for his tents. It was too heavy to make a lightweight tent, which was his goal. He un- rolled some of the material and felt it. The tight weave of cotton and polyester was both waterproof and breathable. He pulled a little on the fabric. It did seem to be undeniably strong. He placed the roll on his back and carried it upstairs to the sewing machine in his apartment.
After his successes with the Greenland expedition in 1966 and following long conversation with expedition team members Hasse Hellström and Per-Åke Sjöman about equipment and clothing, Åke had begun to seriously consider making a jacket for mountain climbing. Drawing on Hellström’s knowledge in the area, he sketched a pattern for a functional jacket to be worn when on vertical walls of rock. He put two large pockets on the chest, one for maps and one for cigarettes.
He reasoned that side pockets were unnecessary since mountain climbers often wear a harness and therefore would not be able to access them. He started pumping the pedal on his Singer and watched as the needle strenuously moved across the strong fabric. He sewed a hood into the collar that would follow the movements of the head. The jacket was given the name Greenland Jacket and immediately became a favourite among climbers and, after a few modifications, for general outdoor life in forests and fields. Today the jacket is just as popular, although most people have realised that there are much better uses for one of the breast pockets. A compass, for example.