The brand’s classic Kanken backpack is probably one of the most popular, and it’s easy to see why. It’s both good-looking and highly functional for all your daily needs. Fjällräven Kanken backpacks seem to come in just about every colour under the sun, so you’re spoilt for choice and there’s a pack to suit everyone’s style.
The classic backpack is tall enough to fit a 13-inch laptop, which is ideal if you have a laptop or a MacBook or something similar. Larger laptops may struggle to fit, but you could probably squeeze a 15-inch in should you need too. If you’re particularly precious about your laptop, you should opt for the Kånken Laptop, which comes with a dedicated laptop sleeve.
There is a lot of color variety. I don’t dare say too much, but there is plenty. I guarantee that you will find your favorite color.
Sturdy materials. The Vinylon-F is a staple shell material of Fjallraven backpacks. It is made from weaved synthetic fibers, which actually swell when they get wet. That just makes the weave tighter, and helps the backpack resist rain showers without any additional coating.
That’s what makes the Kanken water-resistant. Vinylon-F is also a really strong and durable material, and there’s no doubt that your backpack will live through all the torture you can put it through. The shell of this pack for built to withstand dirt and wetness, which is exactly what you want out of your everyday backpack.
What’s even better is that it is super easy to maintain. You can clean the backpack with just some soap and warm water, and it will be as good as new. Overall, the Kanken gets an A+ for its durability, especially because a school backpack needs to be really tough.
Spacious main compartment. The main compartment of this back is really spacious. It features a two-way zipper, and when you unzip the front panel you have easy access to everything inside the pack. But that’s because there’s nothing else inside it.
What you can do is remove the foam cushion and use it as a sleeve for your electronics. But then that device will lie flat against your back, which certainly won’t feel comfortable.
Exterior pockets. There are two side pockets on the Kanken packs, and one zippered pocket on the front. The side pockets are great for any smaller items you want to keep handy, like pens or water bottles. On the other hand, the front pocket is large enough to fit your phone and wallet, but I honestly wouldn’t put anything so valuable in a compartment that everyone else can access very easily.
There is a single front pocket on the Kanken backpack. It’s zippered, and it is fairly large, for a front pocket at least.
It’s great for any smaller things you would want to keep separate from the stuff in the main compartment, but I wouldn’t put anything too valuable inside it.
There are no anti-theft features, and it is pretty easy for others to open it without you noticing when you’re wearing the pack.
You also have two side pockets on the Kanken. They are pretty tall, but they aren’t really stretchy – you can’t really fit a water bottle in them.
You could probably fit a small umbrella, or maybe gloves and hat. But since they are pretty rigid, they are not really that great for school.
However, they are good for travel – they are large enough to fit your passport and boarding ticket. Plus, since the pockets are open, you can access those things in a matter of seconds.
Multiple carrying options. So, you can carry the Kankens on your back, just like you can traditional backpacks. But, what makes these stand out is that you can also use the double carry straps, and carry it around like a purse. This will probably be more appealing to the female population that’s reading this, but nonetheless its a cool option.
The foam in the back of the pack also doubles as an impromptu seating cushion. Which can be pretty useful on outings, or when you find your school chair super uncomfortable.
It is a pretty thoughtful feature, but how often are you really going to take out that cushion? It would mean that you have to mostly empty the pack, and then do it all over again when you want to put the foam back in the sleeve.
It just seems like too much hassle for me. But in emergencies when you really need something soft to sit on, the Kanken has your back(side).
The Kanken backpack features two carry handles on the top. They are pretty useful and actually make the pack slightly more versatile – if you want to use it for travel or just as an everyday backpack, these help a lot. Especially when you don’t really fully pack it.
However, if you do manage to squeeze a bunch of things inside the pack, you’ll see that the carry handles aren’t that comfortable after all. They start to hurt your hands after some time, since they are not padded or anything.
But you can secure them together with a snap, which is actually really convenient. It also acts like a sneaky anti-theft feature – the main compartment of your pack can’t really be opened without tampering with the carry handles. And you would definitely noticed if someone was trying to do that.
The reflective logo. The Fjallraven logo on the front of the packs is reflective, and will definitely stand out in the dark. But other than that, it will also help others notice you in the night, which is helpful if you tend to commute home at that time. And especially if you often ride a bike!