We are not quite sure what it is about Kånken – maybe it’s the kaleidoscopic range of colours; maybe it’s the handy rectangular shape; perhaps it’s long backstory; most likely it’s a combination of all three – but for whatever reason, it has become Fjällräven’s most popular backpack. In fact, it’s the most popular product in our entire range.
Little has changed since we launched Kånken in 1978. Sure, there are some variations on the classic. We now have more sizes and colours than ever, and we have Kånken No. 2, which is a more hardwearing version made using G-1000 Heavy Duty material. In 2016, we added Re-Kånken, made from 11 recycled plastic bottles. The most recent addition to the family is Tree-Kånken, which is made of a new bio-based material, Pine Weave. But otherwise, the design hasn’t changed one bit.
Why? Because Kånken was built to last. The Vinylon fabric Kånken that the original is made from, and the G-1000 Heavy Duty of Kånken No. 2, are both produced to stand up to wear and tear. They are not however, unbreakable. If you really love your Kånken (what’s not to love?), you should take care to take good care of it. So, here are some tips to help prolong the life of your favourite backpack.
- To get those vibrant colours, we use a special dying technique, but this does mean there is a chance the colour can run or rub off on your clothes. Particularly light-coloured clothing. We recommend soaking your Kånken in lukewarm water before you start using it, or gently rub the surface with a soft brush. Hang up to air-dry completely before filling it with fun stuff and strapping it on your back.
- Whatever you do, do not put your Kånken in the washing machine. Instead, use a soft brush or sponge and lukewarm water to clean away dirt.
- Don’t overfill your Kånken. We have loads of different sizes, so if you want to stuff it full of goodies then get a bigger size. The standard Kånken original backpack has a 16-litre volume, and although we don’t have an official max weight load, you should keep it to just a few kilos. If you want to put a laptop in your Kånken, be sure to get a model with that function. The back pocket of the original model is made for folders, papers, and perhaps a tablet computer. Definitely not a laptop. It puts too much strain on the straps and zippers.
- Speaking of zippers, if you get something stuck in your Kånken zipper, avoid yanking it free. Instead, use a little bit of oil or clear lip balm to loosen the zip. Then gently try opening and closing it.
- If tears appear, fix them straight away. The longer you leave them, the bigger they will get, making them difficult to repair.
- Finally, do not leave your Kånken in direct sunlight. The colour will fade. Kånken prefers the shade or low-level sunshine.
- Don’t put Kånken in the washing machine.
Instead, wash dirty marks with warm water, mild detergent and a soft brush or sponge. When it comes to drying, you should hang up Kånken in a well-ventilated area that’s not exposed to direct sunlight.
- Soak your Kanken before you use it..
To get those really vibrant colours, we use a special dying technique. But this means there’s a chance the colour can rub off on your clothes – particularly light coloured clothing – so we recommend soaking Kånken for 30-60 minutes in lukewarm water before you start using it.
- Don’t put a laptop in a regular Kånken
That back pocket is made for folders, notepads, perhaps a tablet computer, but not a laptop. It puts too much strain on the straps and zips. Get a Kånken Laptop instead. There are three Kånken Laptop sizes to choose from, so you can find one to suit you.
- If you get something stuck in Kånken’s zips, avoid yanking it free. Instead, use a little bit of oil or clear lip balm to loosen the zip. Then gently try opening and closing it.