Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Skinny on the Kanken Women's Backpack

Women's Backpack

The Fjällräven Kanken backpack is all the rage, the whole world over.  I've seen them EVERYWHERE: Hong Kong, Portland, Dublin, Edinburgh.  Truly an international trend.

When I first started noticing these a few years ago, I dismissed them as a fad.  While in Dublin earlier this month, however, and in desperate need of a new backpack (my cheap eBay pack was breaking in critical areas), I decided to pick one up.  I purchased mine at Basecamp Outdoor Store, and it cost about $100.

Now I understand why these backpacks are so trendy: they're great!  

Fjällräven started selling the Kanken backpack in 1978.  It was designed for school children, and intended for back safety.

Here is a simple review of the Kanken.  You may find it's just what you're looking for in a small day pack!

Ins & Outs  

This rectangular backpack consists of one large compartment, a very small front pocket (the zipper is only 7", so it's hard to fit even a long pencil in there), and two deep outer side pockets.

Kanken Backpack
The interior consists of one large compartment.  
girls backpack
I love these deep outer pockets on the Kanken.  They're deep enough to hold an iPhone without the top sticking out.  (With another backpack of mine with shallow side pockets, I nearly had my phone stolen while hiking through Bilbao, Spain!) 
Day pack
The inside of the Kanken has a sleeve with a cushion inside.  This cushion is, in part, what prevents the Kanken from destroying your back as you wander around town.  You can tuck other things into the sleeve, too, but only thin items like a notebook.  
women and girls backpack
The handles at the top of the backpack snap together, enabling the pack to be carried like a bag.  And the straps can be snapped up as well (as in the photo) and moved out of the way. 

Materials & Craftsmanship

The Kanken is made from a thick waterproof material.  The nylon straps and thick zippers feel durable as well.  And the straps have been sturdily stitched into place.  

Clearly, the Kanken isn't simply ornamental, but is built to last and carry some weight.  When I've filled it with books and a computer it weighs around ten pounds, which it can easily handle.

Perfect Carry-on Size

For a small backpack, the Kanken can really hold a lot.  I've packed it with the essentials for a simple overnight, including pjs, toiletries,  snacks, etc.  

It's about 15" by 10" by 5", and so just the right size for an airplane carry-on.  

Pretty Peachy

I like the peach pink color, and it matches most of my clothes as I've been wearing a lot of lavender and teal lately.  
The Kanken's available in dozens of colors, and I was very conflicted about what to choose, debating between magenta, grey, and peach pink. 

I decided to go with peach pink since it was my favorite.  However, it scuffs pretty much immediately.  I can't believe how many scuff marks are on this pack and I've only had it a few weeks.  I'm dreading what it will look like in six months. 

Had I known it'd scuff like this, I'd have picked a deeper purple color, or even grey. 

Talking to You!  

What's your current go-to when you need to carry more than a wallet and sunglasses?  Are you a purse or backpack kind of a girl?  


  1. Oh I love this backpack! Especially this color, so I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems with scuffs. With it being a waterproof material, maybe you can use a fabric cleaner or just scrub it to remove? I think if you paid almost $100 for a backpack, there's probably a great support system online. When you want pinky/peachy colors, the dark ones just aren't going to do it for you. I have a black backpack for my camera, but I'd love to have a smaller sized one to use as a purse. I'll have a look at this brand for sure (which I hadn't heard of before and I'm surprised because they've been around for a very long time!). I love the look of it with that sweater you're wearing!


    1. Great suggestion, Ruth. There's probably a wealth of information online on how to keep this backpack clean. Yeah, sometimes you just want a light, happy color. Do look into the Kanken--they're available in several sizes.

  2. Such a cute backpack.
    Love the color
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  3. This isn't because of pack innovation as much as headways in outdoors gear. Tents are lighter, as are camping beds, stoves, and so on.mens leather backpack


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