What is the most popular backpack of the moment? Probably the Fjallraven Kanken! Finding this beautiful backpack among the crowd of students is easy, but identifying an original Kanken from a fake is not so simple. For this reason, today’s guide will help you in the arduous task of recognizing an authentic Fjallraven Kanken backpack from the numerous copies circulating on the web.
In fact, the great popularity and demand for these backpacks have inadvertently produced a counterfeit business that makes it difficult to distinguish an original from a fake one. The iconic fox of the Swedish brand Fjallraven inspires freedom, joy and discovery. And the characteristic shape and nuances of the Kanken make it an absolute must-have among young people, mainly girls.
So, how to recognize an original Fjallraven Kanken from a fake one? Closely watching every detail of the backpack: the design, the compartments, the zip closures, the handles, the braces, the logo, the packaging, the labels and the materials. But before taking an in-depth look at all these elements, let’s first learn a bit more about the origins and history of this versatile backpack.
1. Origins of the Fjallraven Kanken
The Kanken backpack is a creation of Ake Nordin, a Swedish man who loved nature and the outdoors. Nordin’s idea was to make the travel and exploring experience comfortable and accessible. From the 1950s onwards, Nordin begins creating backpacks, tents and jackets designed for outdoor activities. At the end of the 70s the well-known Kanken comes to light: a versatile and practical backpack to be used every day. With this backpack the Swedish explorer wanted an accessory that was above all comfortable to carry on the shoulders. Mr. Nordin had in mind a versatile and not bulky backpack, able to accompany the adventurous from the city to the great outdoors.
At the same time, he had thought of Swedish students, increasingly struggling with back problems and incorrect posture. These requirements translate into a solid and light structure; as well as in the choice of quality local raw materials, therefore with low environmental impact, and in the development of super resistant and eco-friendly synthetic materials. It did not take long before the backpack was desired not only by children but also by adults alike. In fact, today the Kanken model by Fjallraven is appreciated by an ever wider audience and of different age groups.
The brand offers this backpack model in many different colors, about forty. It will not be difficult to find your favorite shade among these. Speaking of models, apart from the classic, you can also find other “variants” of the iconic Kanken on the official website. These “variations” come in different sizes (both larger and smaller) of the backpack, such as the Mini Kanken, different construction materials, or new patterns, such as the Kanken Art. But the brand also engages in important causes such as that on the protection of the Arctic Fox. Are you wondering how?
With a special edition of Kanken called “Save The Arctic Fox” where for each backpack sold, ten Euros will help finance research and protection projects for the Arctic Fox. In this regard, let’s remember an interesting curiosity about the brand’s name: the word “Fjallraven” means “Arctic Fox” in Swedish.
2. Before Buying: Find The Right Retailer
The desire to have a Kanken at all costs can push you to make an impulse purchase, and the possibility of considerable savings can prove to be a deceptive temptation.
Before buying a Kanken backpack, evaluate the reliability of your retailer.
Be wary of some retailers present on large sales platforms, such as eBay, DHGate or Aliexpress, as well as some online stores and shop windows that could use the brand name arbitrarily.
If you choose Amazon, we suggest that you always do the necessary checks, also by reading the comments and user
reviews of the product. Also, check out the seller and the reviews they’ve got from customers. If you still have suspicions or if the price seems too cheap to be true, listen to your intuition. Fortunately, Fjallraven has a detailed website and offers a list of authorized distributors globally, with a useful interactive map.
Now the time has come to discover all those aspects that make a Fjallraven Kanken an “original”. The different sections below illustrate the main original elements of the Fjallraven Kanken, comparing them with those of the imitations. To be more precise these different sections are as follows: external structure of the backpack, internal structure, packaging, labels and materials.
3. Design and External Structure of the Backpack
Before going on to check every little detail of this trendy backpack, let’s look at its design and then, its external structure. This backpack stands out for its original rectangular shape. In its classic version, its dimensions are: 27cm wide, 38cm tall and 13cm deep, and it can accommodate two A4 binders inside.
Then, its capacity is 16 liters and although its spaces may seem limited, its interior is quite large. When empty it weighs about 300 grams. Externally it has two large handles, two open side pockets, two adjustable shoulder straps, an ergonomic “X” design to
ensure optimal support of the backpack and its contents, and a front pocket with zip closure. Now let’s move on to highlight the different aspects that make a Kanken an “original”, and not just another imitation.
3.1 Important Details That Make the Difference – The External Structure
In a fake Kanken it is possible to notice a significant reduction of the capacity of the different compartments.
A fundamental element of the exterior are the adjustable shoulder straps: the Kanken-s, genuine or counterfeit, are equipped with adjustable shoulder straps, firmly sewn on the backrest and equipped with buttons.
The difference lies in the material, workmanship and consistency of the shoulder straps: in the original models, the straps are made of propylene, thick and robust, and their texture has an ‘H’ weave.
The imitations have much thinner shoulder straps with a different texture and a glossy finish.
The elements of the external structure to be careful are zips and buttons: it’s more difficult to imitate the smallest details.
The zip pullers, both in the original and in imitations, have a double impression: on one side the brand name, on the opposite side the fox of the logo.
In the original Kanken, the fox is always turned to the left, the YKK brand is engraved on the zips and a small relief is present along the edge of the zip pullers.
The zips of a fake Fjallraven Kanken come close to the original, but have grossly more marked engravings and mirrored foxes. The snaps on the handles and shoulder straps show two identifying characteristics: the WASA 6 brand on the back and the visible arctic fox.
Over time, counterfeiters introduced the WASA 6 brand, but the buttons are made of a lighter metal and have poorly cared for carvings. Important: in the original Kanken, the foxes are all aligned in the same direction! The last indicator of authenticity is the logo on the front of the backpack: a round emblem with fox and brand name in dark red.
The logo is made of plastic material, but differs in its finish. The trademark of the fake models is in glossy plastic, while the originals have a semi-reflective logo, because they are designed for poor visibility conditions. This logo is well sewn to the external structure in the original Fjallraven backpacks; not surprisingly, the seams are precious hidden elements to authenticate our Kanken. At first glance, counterfeit models show little attention to finishing.
In the original, all the seams are concealed and the edges well hidden, while the imitations have visible and not very accurate seams.