Fjallraven, Kanken Classic Backpack for Everyday

Fjallraven Kanken Classic was first introduced in 1978 and was designed for students to carry their school supplies comfortably and easily in a lightweight yet durable backpack.

Although the company has released several updated versions since the original was released (such as the Kanken Laptop and Kanken Mini), the Kanken Classic remains the most timeless in its collections. The Classic is similar in design to the first bag ever made by the Swedish company, and according to many product reviews by Fjallraven Kanken, the Classic is still the most popular of the company’s nine models.


In this test we will find out how this Classic backpack compares to hundreds of other popular brands on the market today. Is it a superior backpack to Northface and Osprey, or does its “classic” design mean it lacks modern innovations? Let’s find out!

Design and specifications

The design of most Fjallraven Kanken backpacks can be described as “pedestrian”. The frames of the bags are quite square, which makes them easily recognizable on other brands, whose bags tend to have a more elliptical frame. Furthermore, the red colored logo they stamp in the middle of each bag makes it easy to recognize each Fjallraven bag in a crowd.

The Fjallraven backpack is large enough for most school books and slimmer 13-inch laptops. Attaching a normal sized laptop (usually 15.6 inches) can be a little tight.

In terms of capacity, the Kanken backpack holds less than most standard backpacks today. For example, the average volume on the market is between 20 and 30 liters, while the large Kanken backpack has a volume of almost 16 liters. No doubt enough for school purposes, but Kanken does not have the volume to store clothes, a jacket or other bulky items. On the other hand, this bag is comfortably super light due to its minimalist design. Other bags available on the market usually have such a complicated design that they themselves weigh about 2 pounds.

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Comfort and durability

The fabric from which Fjallraven Kanken Mini and Classic bags are made is Vinylon, a material produced by the company itself. It is one of three types of fabric used in the production of Fjallraven backpacks. The material is known for its water resistance and strength. Even under stressful conditions it cannot be torn easily.

The feeling of the fabric is not the most pleasant; that is, it is not soft and comfortable like other fabrics. However, comfort has never been the main motive of Kanken backpacks – their bags are designed for durability, not luxury.

Another advantage of the strong fabric is that a damp towel can remove all stains without leaving marks on the Fjallraven bags.

The Classic backpack consists of four compartments, which are held together by two wide shoulder straps that run from top to bottom. There is actually a fifth compartment if you also include the inner cover with seat padding. There are two open pockets on each side of the main compartment and there is a zippered pocket on the front of the bag.

Another factor that sets these Swedish backpacks apart from other backpacks of today is the way the shoulder straps are arranged. In contrast to the straight pattern often seen in other brands today, the shoulder straps of Kanken bags are mounted in a cross pattern.

Because of this innovation, the weight of the bag feels even lighter than the same weight carried in a backpack with a different design.

The Kanken bag has two handles, one in the front and one in the back. It also gives the backpack the feel of a bag and distributes the weight evenly over the four joints of the bag. The two handles make for a more balanced handling.

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