Fjällräven Kanken review

Fjällräven has been a classic backpack brand since the 60s, but is it still a strong contender in the backpack world? We take a look at their classic Kanken backpack to find out…

Fjallraven Kanken review
(Image credit: Fjallraven)
Reasons to buy
  • +

    Carry handle

  • +

    Cute branding

  • +

    Practical design

  • +

    Weather-resistant

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Lacks padding

Fjällräven is a popular backpack brand that is known for its trendy and versatile backpack styles. Both super stylish and functional, the Fjällräven has a variety of designs from a classic backpack for everyday use, to hiking and travelling backpacks that will see you around the world, but its most iconic design is the Kanken.

This brand has been around since the 60s, it was cool then, and it’s still cool now, but how do their backpacks really compare to the sea of other brands that are also on the market today? We round up some of the pros and cons of the Fjällräven Kanken collection to see whether it really is one of the best backpacks around. 

Fjallraven Kanken review

(Image credit: Fjallraven)

Fjällräven Kanken review: Design and functionality

The brand's classic Kanken backpack is probably one of the most popular, and it’s easy to see why. It’s both good-looking and highly functional for all your daily needs. Fjällräven Kanken backpacks seem to come in just about every colour under the sun, so you’re spoilt for choice and there’s a pack to suit everyone’s style. 

The classic backpack is tall enough to fit a 13-inch laptop, which is ideal if you have a laptop or a MacBook or something similar. Larger laptops may struggle to fit, but you could probably squeeze a 15-inch in should you need too. If you're particularly precious about your laptop, you should opt for the Kånken Laptop, which comes with a dedicated laptop sleeve.

If you’re not one for carrying tech, then you may prefer the Fjällräven Kanken mini backpack, which is simply a smaller version of the classic and great for carrying with you to run errands or just go out for the day. 

The classic backpack has several pockets, including one on the front panel which zips up and is perfect for your small personal belongings, while the side pocket can hold a bottle of water or a flask – great for easy access when on the go.  

Both the classic and the mini backpack are super-lightweight making them ideal for using on long trips, and loading them full of stuff without it becoming too heavy. The Fjällräven Kanken also comes with two carry handles at the top so you can either carry this bag on your back or by your side.

Fjallraven Kanken review

(Image credit: Fjallraven)

Fjällräven Kanken review: Comfort & durability

One thing we love about Fjällräven Kanken is the cushioned backs. This makes the backpacks super comfortable to wear and stops anything from poking through the back of the bag. This cushion is also removable should you decide you don’t want it. 

All of their backpacks are highly weather-resistant, made from tight woven Vinylon-F. This means that they will serve you well for years to come. If you’re someone who uses a backpack every day, then you’ll find Fjällräven Kanken to be very reliable and durable. 

We also love that because of the highly durable material, this also makes them really easy to clean with hot soapy water, so if you’re going on an adventure, you don’t have to worry about getting your pack a little dirty. 

Fjallraven Kanken review

(Image credit: Fjallraven)

Fjällräven Kanken review: verdict

The Fjällräven Kanken is still going strong since the 70s, and gets a seal of approval from us. The design is classic and timeless, it’s durable and versatile, and while the classic backpack may be a little smaller in terms of litres compared to other backpacks these days, it’s still got plenty of space and organisational features which make it the perfect backpack for a number of uses. 

Whether you’re using it for work, travel, school or adventure, Fjällräven Kanken has got you covered and is worth the price tag since it will stand the test of time.  They also have a wide range of sizes and styles of backpack outside of their classic backpack too.

If the design isn't for you, we'd suggest you check out T3's guide to the best backpacks and best hiking rucksacks, both of which contain plenty of advice to help you find the perfect luggage for your needs.

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Sarah-Jane Butcher
Sarah-Jane Butcher

Sarah-Jane is an experienced writer who has created reviews and buying guides for a number of publications including TechRadar, T3.com, Real Homes and TheRadar. She's a pro at finding the best products on the market and presenting them for your viewing pleasure.