Review: Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack - Deep Red (2023)

You know style or trends must come naturally to you when, out of a billion brands and bags in the world, you pick one that is not only unique in name, but which is one of the trendiest backpacks available right now. Not blowing my own trumpet. Of course.

Review: Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack - Deep Red (1)

  • Save

What happened was that I decided not very long ago, that I wasn’t cut out for stylish travel. It’s such a lovely ideal to parade around the cities of the world, or stroll through airports in lovely outfits that you can shoot OOTDs of while toting your favourite designer bag in the crook of your arm. I envy all the fashionable people who do so, but I know my limits.

After a few attempts, I’m back to my “ugly tourist” self in my comfortable but unstylish clothes, and this time, toting a backpack instead of a fashionable tote. Well, I already have one sturdy one that I overnight with sometimes, but I wanted something a little more fun that I could carry around for the day without looking like a backpacker (nothing wrong with looking like one, but those giant backpacks do get in the way!) One day, I stumbled on the Fjallraven Kanken backpack and for some reason, I was drawn to it.

So apparently, is every trendy hipster in the world. So I’m not unique after all, damn! LOL! :D

(Video) Fjallraven Classic Kanken Backpack Review

It turned out that the Fjallraven Kanken, or affectionately known as the Kanken backpack is a brand that hails from Sweden, and these backpacks have been the staple of Swedish school children since the 1970’s when it was first introduced. A school bag as a day pack. No better bag right? :)

So on impulse, without ever having heard about this brand or even without seeing it in person, I purchased one online in time for my trip to Tibet, where I intended to put this through its paces. It was pretty brave of me, since I wasn’t even sure if it would be suitable or comfortable or practical.

Review: Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack - Deep Red (2)

  • Save

As it turned out, I ended up rather liking it!

I got the Kanken Classic in Deep Red, which isn’t as big as it looked in the pictures. So I was initially a little sceptical about whether it would serve its purpose. However, what it has going for it is roominess. The Kanken Classic has a large main compartment, which opens up fully in front (not just from the top like with regular day packs) and you can fit quite a lot in there. There is also a zippered pouch in the front where you can keep stuff you want to get hold of easily – lipbalm is a good choice!

(Video) HONEST FJALLRAVEN KANKEN bag review | Is it worth the money?

For a short trip, here’s what I fit in my bag.

Review: Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack - Deep Red (3)

There’s my money wallet, travel wallet with my travel documents, a rolled up shawl, water bottle, foldable bag, wet wipes, tissue paper, sunglasses, phone, charger and a cardigan. When I was in Tibet, I fit in a foldable jacket and my toiletries as well.

The bag is made out of a water resistant fabric that is very light, so the bag itself doesn’t weigh down your shoulders. I suppose if this was made originally for school children, they would need something light and waterproof. I found it a little stiff when I first got it, but after bashing it around good and properly, it’s now much more pliable, just the way I like it. I plan to give it a wash soon and I can easily toss it into the washing machine, which is of course, another plus point! I hope it softens even further to be honest.

On the inside, is a flap with a detachable plastic sheet that they call a seat pad. I think it’s to allow you to remove it and use it to sit on surfaces. I just leave it in the bag to act as back support. This means you can also carry a small tablet or laptop in there.

(Video) Fjallraven Kanken 2 Backpack Review

But roominess and weight aside, I actually found myself liking the Kanken because it was fairly practical. When I wanted to keep my hands free, I’d lengthen the straps and strap it on my back, where it sits very comfortably without straining at my shoulders. Apparently, it’s designed to distribute weight evenly across your shoulders so you don’t feel the strain. I will attest to that. The double zip of the main compartment is also quite handy, to allow me to access to bag from its side. As it opens all the way, you can just slip your hand into the side to get the item you need and want, instead of opening it up from the top and digging around.

But I also cheated, and used the Kanken Classic as my “handbag” as a carry on. To fake this, I shortened the straps and buttoned them up so they lay flat, buttoned up the 2 handles at the top, and carried it as a hand-held tote.

Review: Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack - Deep Red (4)

  • Save

It’s not overly large, and looked fairly compact, so I got away with carrying 2 backpacks as carry on plane luggage. This fits nicely under the airplane seat, and looks just like a large tote bag, so really, you’ll get away with it, and is so much more practical than a regular tote!

The only thing I’m not big on are the nylon straps. They are fairly thin and narrow and if you wear a sleeveless top, it can cut into your shoulders and feel uncomfortable. But if you wear something with sleeves, then it feels comfortable enough. I packed up my bag quite full and weighed it down but it still didn’t make my shoulders feel uncomfortable. But again, that’s provided you keep your shoulders covered.

(Video) Fjallraven Kanken Classic, Mini and Laptop 15 Backpack Comparison |

The other thing to note, is that there are 2 pockets on the side, which in an ideal world, I’d use to hold a water bottle. However, if your main compartment of the bag is stuffed, then you can’t fit any bottle in those pockets. I get around it by not stuffing the main compartment, but it is inconvenient in that sense. You might be able to fit a small foldable umbrella in there and I know for a fact the pocket holds my phone comfortably.

If you’re walking in a crowded area, know also that you can carry the Kanken on your front quite comfortably as well. Some backpacks are comfortable when carried on your back, but are unwieldly in front. This one is compact enough not to get in the way as you walk about (the thin straps are a boon then), and you can keep an eye on the zips as well to ensure no one pickpockets you. Pays to be vigilant when you travel!

I think the Kanken Classic makes a good travel day or city-pack (a friend even uses hers as a handbag now) and because it’s enjoying a “cool” status now, it means you’re in trend toting it around. While I won’t replace my handbags (I’ve invested too much into my bags to not use them LOL!) I can see the merits of using this as one, were I to commute by public transport daily. But otherwise, I’m enjoying using it as a travel “handbag” and above all, enjoying the hands-free freedom it gives me :D

I don’t know where you can buy this locally, but I got mine from this site(priced in GBP with discounts if outside the EU and has free international shipping but takes a while to arrive) and it’s also available on Shopbop (priced in USD and offers free 3-4 day international shipping for purchases over $100). It’s also available in a mini size, which is adorable but doesn’t suit my purpose.

Have you ever heard of the Fjallraven Kanken backpacks? Do you travel with a backpack?

For some insane reason, I’m tempted to pick up another in a different colour (there are so many pretty colours!), but I’ll be good and not do it since I won’t use it enough. But switching back to using a backpack when I travel has to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. Sure, I don’t look fashionable nor fashion blog OOTD-worthy, but I carry everything I need comfortably, my hands are kept free and my shoulders don’t hurt. Now with my fashionable Kanken, maybe I could even be OOTD-worthy eh? LOL! :D

Paris B

Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack Price:€69.95 |£65 | US$75 Availability: ShopbopandI Love My Kanken ship internationally for free and also available at various other online sites


[show_shopthepost_widget id=”833323″]


Is a Kånken backpack worth it? ›

It's decent enough for school and it even works well as a carry-on, since it's basically weightless and you can fit a bunch of stuff in it. On the other hand, it's pretty expensive for pretty much a piece of fabric. With so little pockets and extra features, it's kind of hard to justify such a high price tag.

Are Fjallraven Kanken backpacks still cool? ›

Fjällräven's Kånken backpack has been a staple for Swedes since the 70s and is still a great backpack for kids and adults alike. The fairly high price is counterbalanced by its iconic look, ergonomic features, great durability, ease of use, water resistance, modular design, and light storage.

Are Fjällräven backpacks good quality? ›

People give glowing reviews to Fjällräven for its high-quality materials, long-lasting products, and water and dirt resistance. Comments suggest their stylish products are great for bag organization and are extremely versatile. However, some reviews are floating around that don't put Fjällräven in the best light.

What is the most popular Fjällräven backpack? ›

The Fjallraven Kanken backpack was born back in 1978 to help Swedish school kids with their posture.

Why is the Fjallraven Kanken so popular? ›

It's a design classic

There's a lot to be said for keeping it simple. The Kånken is a great example: rectangular, even boxy, with a small front pocket, a circular badge, no-nonsense shoulder straps and a carry handle. Minimalistic. That's what makes the Kånken a true design classic from an aesthetic perspective.

Can I put a laptop in a classic Kånken? ›

Don't put a laptop in a regular Kånken, either. That back pocket is made for folders, note pads, perhaps a tablet computer, but not a laptop.

Is Fjällräven a luxury brand? ›

Fjällräven (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈfjɛ̂lːˌrɛːvɛn], Swedish for 'The Mountain Fox') is a Swedish brand specialising in outdoor equipment—mostly upscale clothing and luggage. It was founded in 1960 by Åke Nordin (1936–2013).

Do Kånken backpacks hurt? ›

Is the Fjällräven Kånken comfortable? The built in straps can easily hurt when you carry a heavy load, but if you spend the extra €20 for the shoulder pads it is as comfortable as can be.

Are Kånken bags uncomfortable? ›

A great addition to a great backpack

The original straps were not uncomfortable at all when loading the back with weight, but these shoulder pads alleviate any pressure making the pack a super comfortable carry.

Is Fjällräven made in China? ›

Fjallraven utilizes multiple manufacturing facilities that produce the Kanken both in China as well as Vietnam. This is the reason that some tags will list China, while others Vietnam.

Can adults use fjallraven Kanken? ›

A scaled-down version of the Kånken backpack with long shoulder straps that can be adjusted to fit both children and adults. Small front pocket, removable seat cushion and a reflective logo.

Are you supposed to keep the foam in a Kanken? ›

Seat Cushion and Back Pad. To keep the items in the backpack from jabbing into your back, the Kanken has a foam pad inserted into the back panel. This provides a bit of extra cushion without adding weight. The great thing about the foam pad is that it can be removed and used as a seat cushion wherever you go.

What does Kanken mean in Swedish? ›

Yes, derived from the verb kånka which means to carry something with you. Kånken is just a noun form of that; the thing you carry with you.

How long does a Fjällräven last? ›

Many reviews that I have found online claim that the Kånken lasts its owners a good 10 years easily. Some I hear, are even second hand owners of their parents' backpacks who used them in their school days.

Does a MacBook fit in a classic Kånken? ›

A: The Pink 15" Laptop Kanken is available on their website. A 15" Macbook Pro would fit in a Classic Kanken but there wouldn't be any padding that the Kanken Laptop bags offer.

How big is the Kånken Classic? ›

ROOMY: 16 L of storage space for everything you need and some things you don't. Measures 14.9" (38 cm) x 10.6" (27 cm) x 5.1" (13 cm). Weighs 0.7 lb.

How do you soften a Kånken bag? ›

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.

What is the most high class brand? ›

The annual report on the most valuable and strongest luxury & premium brands Ranking
23Louis Vuitton
21 more rows

What country is Fjallraven Kanken from? ›

About us. Hailing from the small town of Örnsköldsvik in Sweden, a place where mountains and forest meet the sea, Fjällräven is an outdoor clothing and equipment company that's committed to making nature more accessible.

How can you tell a real Fjallraven Kanken? ›

Genuine Kånkens have double-stitched seams that are straight, use YKK zips with the Fjällräven logo on one side and the Fox logo on the other, and product tags are made from thick card that show the bag colour and barcode.

Can Kånken bags get wet? ›

The Kånken is not waterproof but the bag's Vinylon F material is water-resistant. 2.2 How do I wash my Kånken? To wash your Kånken we recommend soaking it in lukewarm water and using a soft brush to get out stains. Hang to dry.

Which fjallraven is best for travel? ›

But if you really dig the aesthetic and don't plan on carrying it for long periods of time, then the Fjallraven Travel Pack may be a worthy pick-up. Durable and minimal, the Fjallraven Greenland Pocket is just the right size for urban adventures. It also makes a great personal item to hold your in-flight essentials.

Do Kånken bags bleed? ›

There can be some surplus dye. To avoid colour bleeding we recommend that you rinse the backpack in lukewarm water before usage. Take care when wearing with light coloured clothing.

What is fjallraven Kanken in English? ›

Easy peasy. Fjällräven translates as 'Arctic Fox', hence the adorable badge logo that we see stamped on all of the brand's coats, jackets and popular Kanken backpacks. And Kanken is pronounced more like 'Konken', by the way, if we're aiming for full pronunciation accuracy.

Which Fjällräven backpack is best for school? ›

The Fjallraven Kanken is a simple, well-made, classic looking backpack that feels light even when you pack it to the max. The sleek design, great color options, and trendy look of this pack make it great for school, extracurricular activities, camping, or anytime you need extra storage.

Is Fjällräven ethical? ›

Fjällräven has also been recognised for their industry-leading, transparent and ethical, down production process (detailed in the 'Fjällräven Down Promise') and a comprehensive sustainable and traceable wool range.

Which is the No 1 bag brand? ›

Samsonite, Skybags, American Tourister, and VIP are the four best travel bag companies in India. Other than these, there are various brands like Amazon Basics, Swiss Gear, Dussel Dorf, Aristocrat, and more that bring you sturdy suitcases, rucksacks, and duffel bags ideal for travel.

Which backpack color is best? ›

Choose a colour that goes well with 90% of the clothes you own. Black and navy blue backpacks are safe colours if your wardrobe's colour scheme is white, grey, blue, and black. For those with a more adventurous palatte, you can go for backpack colours like maroon, red, or teal.

What is the strongest brand of backpack? ›

  • Best Overall: Patagonia at ...
  • Best Overall, Runner-Up: Osprey at ...
  • Best Budget: Everest at ...
  • Best for Hiking: Deuter at ...
  • Best for Commuters: Timbuk2 at ...
  • Best for Students: JanSport at ...
  • Best for Versatility: ...
  • Best for Durability:
30 Sept 2022

How do I stop my Kånken from fading? ›

Don't leave your Känken in direct sunlight! If possible leave it in the shade, this will prevent fading and make sure your vibrant statement bag stays that way.

Can you fit a water bottle in a Kånken? ›

Fits water bottles up to approx. 1 liter. Fits Kånken, Kånken No. 2, Kånken Re-wool, Re-Kånken and Kånken Laptop 15” and 17”.

Should I wash my Kånken before using it? ›

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.

What does beautiful girl mean in Swedish? ›

beautiful girl vacker flicka gt.

Why was Fjällräven made? ›

The idea arose out of necessity: to create a backpack that swallowed up gear, but sat comfortably on his back. Åke knew there must be a way. With his mother's sewing machine and his father's tools, Åke created a wooden-framed backpack in his basement. And with it, the seed was sewn.

Why was the Kanken backpack designed? ›

The intention of the Kånken was to improve Swedish schoolchildren's posture and to solve the back-pain that many of them were suffering, supposedly due to the old-fashioned shoulder bags that were still prevalent at the time.

Which Kanken bag gives back to the Arctic Fox? ›

If you buy a Kånken Art backpack, travel wallet, pen case, toiletry bag or card wallet, a percentage of the sale will go directly to the Arctic Fox Initiative. That way, you give back to nature, which we all love so much! Our Kånken Art Mini backpack on top of the Vesuvius volcano in Italy.

How is IKEA actually pronounced? ›

It's pronounced "EE-KAY-UH," according to the company itself.

Are Kånken bags good for travel? ›

With a volume of 16 liters, the Kanken is better suited for day trips or as a small carry-on bag. It's perfect if you're the sort of traveler who wants a few essential items along, like a water bottle, a snack, and maybe a few other odds and ends.

Are Kankens good for school? ›

The Fjallraven Kanken is a simple, well-made, classic looking backpack that feels light even when you pack it to the max. The sleek design, great color options, and trendy look of this pack make it great for school, extracurricular activities, camping, or anytime you need extra storage.

Which Fjällräven is best for travel? ›

But if you really dig the aesthetic and don't plan on carrying it for long periods of time, then the Fjallraven Travel Pack may be a worthy pick-up. Durable and minimal, the Fjallraven Greenland Pocket is just the right size for urban adventures. It also makes a great personal item to hold your in-flight essentials.

Are fjallraven Kanken for adults? ›

Kånken was created in 1978 to help prevent back problems among Swedish school children and, since then, has become one of Fjällräven's most appreciated products. The Mini-version is suitable for small children as well as for full grown adults who are looking for a small backpack.

How much weight can a Kånken hold? ›

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.

Why did schools ban backpacks? ›

Historically, the need to ban bookbags at the end of the year came out of the need to minimize pranks and disruptions. Now, it's also part of the discussion on safety. "I brought this to Superintendent Cartwright as recommendations," said school board memember Lori Alhadeff.

What size is a classic Kånken? ›

ROOMY: 16 L of storage space for everything you need and some things you don't. Measures 14.9" (38 cm) x 10.6" (27 cm) x 5.1" (13 cm). Weighs 0.7 lb.


(Sterling W)
2. 2017 Fjallraven Kanken Backpack Review by Peter Glenn
(Peter Glenn Ski & Sports)
3. Fjallraven Kanken Classic Uboxing & First Impression || Daisy Blake
(Daisy Blake)
4. The Bag Everyone Bought! | Fjallraven Kanken 17" Review & Impressions
(SoHo Dream)
5. Fjallraven Kanken Backpack Unboxing & Review
(Liv Brown)
6. What’s in my backpack || Fjallraven Kanken
(Stephanie Lockhart)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Delena Feil

Last Updated: 01/14/2023

Views: 6047

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Delena Feil

Birthday: 1998-08-29

Address: 747 Lubowitz Run, Sidmouth, HI 90646-5543

Phone: +99513241752844

Job: Design Supervisor

Hobby: Digital arts, Lacemaking, Air sports, Running, Scouting, Shooting, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Delena Feil, I am a clean, splendid, calm, fancy, jolly, bright, faithful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.