Fjallraven has always had a knack for creating some of the most functional, hardwearing and aesthetically pleasing products on the market.
There is no doubt that they tend to take a different approach to many of the other outdoor gear makers, their G-1000 fabric range is utilized throughout many of their garments and packs.
It is an adaptable fabric which much like a waterproof would need reproofing, will need topping up with Fjallraven’s greenland wax in order to keep its water resistant finish. The advantage with this is that you can carefully select where to apply more or less wax where you need it in order to prioritize water resistance and breathability in different areas where they’re more needed.
It should be stressed that none of the G-1000 products within our range are waterproof but instead take on a traditional approach which really shine in more varied conditions than just rain. It particularly shines in the cold, dry conditions of its home in Sweden.
This totepack is a special version of the iconic Kanken that can be both a backpack and a shoulder bag.
It is made from hardwearing, water-resistant Vinylon F fabric. This functional fabric acts like a natural fibre and swells when it gets damp. Moisture actually makes the fabric weave tighter, so that it resists water without the need of a coating. The result is a lighter and more durable materials that doesn’t need reproofing and proves its durable functionality, year after year.
The zipped main compartment features an inside pocket with a padded base for a laptop and a removable foam seat pad so you can take a seat, wherever you are.
As well as webbing shoulder straps that convert into long carry handles, additional webbing grab handles offers addition carrying option.
A zippered front pocket and two open side pockets keeps belongings to hand.
If you’re a fan of the classic, boxy look of the standard Kanken pack, then you’ll appreciate this tote pack’s aesthetic. It looks at home in casual environments, whether you’re walking through campus or commuting to the coworking space.
You can pick up this pack in a lot of different colors—whether you’re looking for something bright like Ochre that will stand out, or something muted like Graphite that blends into the crowd.
As for material, this tote pack is made with Fjallraven’s G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco fabric, which a mix of 65% recycled polyester and 35% organic cotton and can be found on many of the brand’s packs. We love seeing brands take a sustainable approach to their materials, and this is a great example.
There are several other iterations of this fabric, some of which include Original, Lite, and the HeavyDuty version you’ll find on this pack. It’s also impregnated with their Greenland Wax for some added durability and water-resistance, which has a smooth, waxy feel to it.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of this material is that you can pick up some extra Greenland Wax and give the outside of the pack another coating or two when you know you’re going to be out in some rainy weather. The more wax you add, the more weather-resistant the material will be. We appreciate having the ability to customize this pack’s protection to our needs!
The shoulder straps on this pack are essentially just some nylon webbing, so you don’t have any real padding to help with comfort or mesh for breathability. The bag sits pretty high up on the back, and since the straps aren’t adjustable, there’s no way to wear it lower. We can feel them dig into our shoulders after a bit when we’ve got the bag fully packed out, at which point we’ll typically switch up our carry.
Similar to the standard Kanken pack, you do have the option to pick up some attachable padded straps if you want that extra comfort when you’re wearing it on your back. You won’t be able to transition into the different modes of carry without removing the straps, but you may feel the added effort is worth it—it all depends on your preferences!
You can also take this Seat Pad out and use it as intended, which is as a cushion to sit on when you’re out and about. Set it on a bench so you have a comfortable spot to take a rest. Lay it down in the park when you can’t find a comfy patch of grass. Set it in your lap and use it as a flat surface for your laptop when catching up on some work. It’s a unique integration that we don’t see with many other bags, and we appreciate the structure and comfort it offers both inside and outside of this tote pack.
The webbed handle on the back strap gives it some added structure, which makes converting the tote pack to a backpack and back again an easy and painless maneuver. It also ensures that the newly-formed backpack straps are always the same length, so one doesn’t get longer or shorter while you’re wearing the bag.
When you want to wear it as a standard tote, pull the strap up by this handle and use it along with the front strap to throw the bag over your shoulder. They’re not comfortable for long, as again, they don’t have any padding—but we’ve found them to be convenient for when we’re just running into the store or—similar to the shoulder straps—when we want to give our hands a break.
Another small note we have regarding these handles is that the front longer handle doesn’t hideaway. So when you’re wearing this thing as a backpack or carrying from the grab handles, this longer handle is dangling on the front.
Then at the top are two grab handles that connect via a fabric welt and snap fastener for when you’re carrying this bag like a true tote. We’ve done most of our testing in this mode of carry as these handles are comfortable in hand and easy to grab. We haven’t found them to be a big hassle to disconnect when we need to get inside the main compartment, although you may find it to be a nuisance to undo if you’re looking for as quick and easy access as possible.
Currently, the Kanken Totepack comes in two sizes:
- Regular (14L volume)
- Mini (8L volume)
For ease of comparison, the regular-sized Kanken Classic is 16L, and the Kanken Classic Mini is 7L.