Fjallraven Kanken Outlong review: modern twist on an iconic design

The latest addition to the Kanken family is perfect for commuting, hiking, and everything in between

T3 Platinum Award
Fjallraven Kanken Outlong review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
T3 Verdict

The Fjallraven Kanken Outlong offers a mature take on the iconic Swedish backpack, catering to adult adventurers with its spacious design and durable construction. Featuring multiple pockets and thoughtful compartments, it strikes the perfect balance between functionality and style. Available in a range of colours, it's the ultimate companion for urban commutes and outdoor excursions.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    More spacious than standard Kankens

  • +

    Side pockets are big enough for water bottles

  • +

    Organisational pockets galore

  • +

    Durable yet lightweight construction

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not waterproof

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The original Kanken by Swedish outdoor manufacturer Fjallraven was designed for school kids. It’s a small backpack with a couple of pockets only – it isn’t designed to accommodate a laptop, and the side pockets are only really big enough for small water bottles.

That’s because when the bag was designed, no one worried about those things. As long as the little Swedish kids could fit their school books and some other bits and bobs in the Kanken, it was good enough.

Of course, decades later, the iconic Kanken silhouette became popular all around the world, mainly among adults who loved the tiny form factor, the many colour options, and the comparatively affordable price point.

However, as cute as the original Kanken is, it lacks the functionality to make it the best backpack for carrying heavier loads or longer trips.

Enter the Fjallraven Kanken Outlong. This comparatively sizeable Kanken variety is designed for longer adventures and sports many pockets and webbing attachment points, enabling you to carry more than just the bare minimum when you’re out and about.

Most importantly, it’s a Kanken an adult can wear seriously, so to speak, since it doesn’t look and feel like a kid’s schoolbag – all without compromising what makes the original Kanken backpack so iconic.

Fjallraven Kanken Outlong review

Price and availability

The Fjallraven Kanken Outlong was launched in Q1 2024 and is available to buy now at Fjallraven UK and Fjallraven US for a recommended retail price of £150/ $155 (approx. AU$ 288). It’s available in five colours: Fog, Ochre, Black, Navy and Forest Green.


Fjallraven Kanken Outlong review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
  • Dimensions (cm): 42H x 41W x 21D
  • Volume: 18 l 
  • Weight: 500 g
  • Number of pockets: 6
  • Chest strap: Yes, detachable
  • Material: Vinylon F (100% vinylal)
  • Lining: 100% polyamide (recycled) 
  • Sustainability: Produced without PFCs, Recycled polyamide 

Design and build quality

Fjallraven Kanken Outlong review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

The Fjallraven Kanken Outlong is an 18-litre backpack made from durable Vinylon F fabric. Although the material isn’t waterproof, it should be able to resist brief showers.

I tried it, and the Kanken Outlong does keep water out of the bag in weather I would almost describe as a bit of a downpour. It probably wouldn't maintain its internal dryness after a full day of rain showers, but for shorter, drizzly trips, it's perfect.

Weighing only 500 grams, the Kanken Outlong is one of the lightest hiking backpacks I tried. It’s also one of the smallest, but despite its compact form factor, it has six pockets.

These include the main compartment with a laptop sleeve, a zippered internal pocket located on the flap of the bag, two adjustable side pockets big enough to fit a water bottle and a zippered front pocket.

The most interesting pocket can be found at the bottom of the bag. This zippered, expandable internal compartment can be used to keep stuff like walking shoes separate from the rest of your gear. It collapses completely when empty, allowing you to tweak your bag setup to your liking.

Unlike the original Kanken, the Kanken Outlong has padded shoulder straps, oversized zip pulls and webbing attachments. Granted, the bag isn’t big enough to store a ton of additional hiking gear, but it’s better suited for outdoor adventures than the smaller version.

Performance and ergonomics

Fjallraven Kanken Outlong review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

I always wanted a Kanken but could never justify paying for such a small backpack. I like my bags versatile, and the standard Kanken, albeit very cute, isn’t functional enough to be used for anything other than an accessory bag.

The Kanken Outlong is a different beast altogether. Retaining the classic Kanken silhouette, this small but mighty backpack is perfectly suited for commuting and solo day hiking trips.

I thoroughly enjoyed moving my stuff around the different compartments. It’s not just fun, but it’s also convenient to have these pockets. There is nothing worse on a hike, especially if it’s drizzly than having to empty the whole bag to find the one thing you’re looking for.

I recently tried the Fjallraven Skule Top 26 backpack and I struggled to stay organised with the bag only having two zippered pockets. You need a few compartments to separate small gear from food, spare socks from water bottles, etc.

I used the Kanken Outlong for commuting and outdoor excursions; it worked beautifully for both. Most people probably know this, but the foam insert in the laptop compartment can be used as a seat pad when you have to sit on something cold– a quintessential Swedish thing to include in a bag.

One of my favourite aspects of the Kanken Outlong is its lightweight design. At only 500 grams, it feels like you’re wearing nothing when the bag isn’t full. Thanks to the compact form factor and the sternum strap, navigating even tricky terrain feels easy with the Kanken Outlong on your back.


Fjallraven Kanken Outlong review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

I’m forever searching for the best backpack, and I’m yet to find one that ticks all the boxes. The Fjallraven Kanken Outlong comes very close and offers many features that make this compact backpack ideal for anything from commuting to hiking.

As expected from the brand, the Kanken Outlong is a sturdy backpack produced without PFCs using recycled polyamide, reducing its overall environmental impact. Of course, the only way for this to work is to avoid buying a new backpack every year. And with Kanken Outlong, you won’t have to, as it’s made to be used and repaired year after year.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.