May 1, 2015

Fjallraven Kanken Classic Bag Review


Photography by Erika Pham

If you know anything about us RF girls, you know that we love a good backpack. Being the slightly clumsy ladies we are, we truly need to have both arms free for balance and a large compartment for storing a densely-packed makeup bag for when we realize that our eyeliner flicks were not as even as we thought.

However, I thought there had to be fashion sacrifices made in exchange for a backpack's functionality and comfort -- and then, the Fjallraven Kanken bag snuck into my tundra of conundrum, like the arctic fox it is named after.


Materials: Kanken is made of waterproof fabric which makes it a great city or outdoor bag. I use mine primarily as a work bag and it has protected my belongings against light rain. The outer shell feels very sturdy and resistant to holes or rips, but don't be surprised if your bag looks wrinkly when it first arrives. Once I filled it up, the creases came out but as you can see in the photos, the bag always has a crinkled texture.

I also found that the outer shell's fabric attracts surface stains frequently. Many times after my commute, I've looked down to see my bag has some mystery marks. (Don't ever change, public trans!) I was pretty disappointed by this, but fortunately the surface stains do not penetrate easily, and stains can be rubbed off with your hands or a dry towel. I've spotted some Kanken's in the wilds of San Francisco and seen that lighter shades show the most stains, so keep in that mind when selecting your color.

Comfort: For such a no-frills bag, is it amazing how comfortable it is! The Kanken is incredibly lightweight even with all it's sturdiness. I thought the simple non-padded straps would cause shoulder pain but I've found it more comfortable then some more cushier straps. What's also great is that you can carry the bag briefcase style with the two upper straps, if you need to give your back a break. There also a removable padded insert for added comfort, but I was surprised that it was just a slab of squishy plastic foam. I almost threw it away thinking it was included in my package to keep its shape! But hey, the thing works.

Design: Absolutely minimalist, I must admit it was the Kanken's looks that initially drew me in. There are 36 color variations and I went with 'Graphite' after at least 3 days of rumination. (I don't do well with too much choice.) The runners up were 'Frost Green,' 'Sky Blue,' and 'Fog.' The bold branding is absolutely adorable and the logo is reflective in the dark!

The sizing is perfect for the urban commute -- it fits my 13 inch Macbook Air (be sure to use a laptop sleeve for extra protection though), water bottle, mini-umbrella, makeup bag, wallet, and notebook with room to spare. The front pocket is great for stashing a metro pass for quick access. The not-too-big, not-too-small sizing of the Kanken Classic is lovely, because you can securely bring your essentials to work without being the dick on the train whose bag smacks fellow passengers at every stop.
 
Overall, I have to say I'm in love with my Kanken Classic Daypack and I will certainly be a customer for different sizes/colors in the future!

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19 comments

  1. Love your style and the review, I have a Forest Green Kanken and agree 100%. Cheers from Brazil!

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    1. Oooh! Great choice. I love that shade! I'm glad you liked our review. :)

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  2. I just bought my Kånken. Love it!

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    1. Oh that's great! :D What color did you end up getting?

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. I ended up with the black colour, because I own a mostly black clothes. So simple. :D Your Kånken is very stylish!

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  3. Hi i noticed your kanken is charcoal, but i cant seem to find charcoal anywhere? is it the same shade as graphite? or navy? sorry ive been wanting your colour but im not really sure which it is :) wud really appreciate a reply haha thank you!

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    1. Hi! The "Graphite" and "Charcoal" are the same. The site I purchased mine from mis-named the color. Sorry about that.

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  4. Is the charcoal kanken the same as graphite? haven't seen it before!

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    1. Hi there! Yes, there are the same. The site I purchased mine from mis-named it as "Charcoal". Ignore my earlier reply. :)

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  5. Hi, just wondering if your kanken is the kanken classic or kanken big size?

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  6. if the front logo is not reflective in the dark. is it fake one? please help! :( thank you.

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    1. Hi, no it is not fake. Fjallraven puts a number of different logos on their bags. For the classic kanken typically the logo is on a white plastic type material on the front of the bag as shown here https://bagxi.com/kanken-backpack-graphite.html. The Re-Kanken's made from plastic bottles have a sewn on logo as shown here https://bagxi.com/re-kanken-backpack-slate.html. Some even have a leather patch with the logo like with the Kanken No. 2. https://bagxi.com/kanken-no-2-black.html. Hope this helps.

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  7. I have a question, is the texture rough? i bought mine from fenix outdoor, china which im not sure its a outlet in china.

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    1. It's a little rough in texture. Definitely not smooth. It should feel that way due to the waterproof coating. Hope that helps! ❤️

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  8. Hi! Nice review! I bought my kanken classic ox-red, but I think is it ok if we use this bag without shoulder pads? As you know if we bought classic, we didn't get shoulder pads like kanken laptop. So, if we want to add it we must buy the stuff but it so expensive too. I don't want to spend my money just for it. But, it will be pain for our shoulder if we bring too much stuff, include laptop. :( CMIIW
    I wish, I got Kanken Laptop but, I didn't. I got classic, because online store that I trusted didn't sell the kanken laptop. cheers from Indonesia ^_^

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  9. I love the styles.Very good design by designers.Thanks for sharing :)

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