Fjällräven’s Kånken Pack : A Retro Review

Credit author Marjolaine Samson

Fjällräven. Fjällräven’s Kånken Pack : A Retro Review

A Little Fjällräven History

Let me tell you a bit about Fjällräven Fjallraven, (meaning ‘Arctic Fox’ in Swedish) this brand started making framed backpacks over 50 years ago.  Since then, they have been making clothing and equipment, often out of  their waxed, and tough poly/cotton fabric. Whether it is a down jacket for frigid temperatures or an urban jacket, you will often find their G-1000 fabric is being used.  We also like that they keep the wilderness close to their heart and are trying hard to save the arctic fox from extinction.

Now, let’s take a look at their Kånken classic backpack!

The Kånken is a cool, minimalist backpack perfect for all sorts of people and adventures.  In 1978, this now iconic pack was designed for adorable little Swedish school children. Sorry, gear freaks need not apply.

I’ve been using the Kånken on a daily basis for a couple of months now and I totally love it. Its simple design makes its easy to carry tons of stuff around. I find it is better suited for the city but can still be used for a couple of hours out in the forest. For longer day hikes, I still go for my classic bag from The North Face. But I’m in love with both packs – I swear.

Made out of their Vinylon F fabric, the Kånken looks tough. Burly stitches are found across the board as well, and I have no fear they will come undone anytime soon.

What is really great about the pack is its carrying versatility.  It comes with an interesting set of shoulder straps which can be worn as usual or buttoned up at the shoulders when the pack is carried tote-style.  It can be carried as such because they have installed two loops at the top to do just that.  When school ends and you don’t want to hit the pub with your backpack (cause that just ain’t hip), you can switch to tote-mode.

Other mentionable features on this pack are the massive zipper that gives you access to the entirety of the contents (a feature I love, being a slob), the padded 3/4 inch foam removable insert in the back and the external pocket perfectly sized for my GameBoy and man-purse.

Overall we understand each other that the Kanken won’t be seen in the Adirondaks anytime soon, but don’t overlook this for a little day hike or two.  That being said, I loved the retro look, tough fabric and solid construction. The Kanken is a prime example of why we are seeing more and more Scandinavian brands hitting our shores in recent years.

The Kånken was more popular than expected! Our staff really wanted the model I had for my review…


Comments Tagline One Comment 11 Comments Tagline Two Comments Comments Tagline Three Comment “Fjällräven’s Kånken Pack : A Retro Review”.

    1. Hello Sarah, there is no feature on the backpack to hold the straps but you can twist or tie them at the bottom of the strap to keep them from swinging and getting in the way. Otherwise, you can create your own type of strap with an elastic band or hair tie and roll up the excess strap and fasten it.

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