The Fjallraven Kanken is something of an iconic piece when it comes to back packs. The design is an absolute classic – squared off at the edges, utilitarian looking, built with the practicalities of carrying stuff around. I recently got my hands on the Fjallraven Kanken Mini, the baby in the Kanken family.
Ah the golden light of mid-winter, perfect for taking photos of bags for blogs!
I’ll be honest with you right from the start here. This is going to be a good review. A very good review. The fact is that I have been lusting after one of these cooler-than-cool everyday rucksacks for years. And when I was asked if I wanted one to review here on Splodz Blogz I practically smashed through the computer screen to give the guys over at Outdoor Supply a big sloppy kiss. I know I am a very fortunate blogger, and I am quite happy to admit that.
Fjallraven is a Swedish brand that has been making high quality and durable outdoor products for over 50 years. They know what they are doing. And they speak to me and people like me in their values and design. Even with those rose tinted spectacles I am always honest, and thankfully on this occasion the product met with the expectations I had placed upon it.
Since receiving my pack last month I have used it SO much. It has definitely been put through its paces. I’ve used it for work, for taking to the shops, for days out, and for carrying much needed tea and snacks on winter walks. It’s been used in all weathers, dropped on the floor (and in the mud, oops), thrown into the car, stuffed into other bags, and been given the same treatment every other piece of gear I own is given. Outdoors gear is there to be used, not to look pretty – but here is a piece that seems to do both.
It certainly is a great looking pack. And one that has been very well made. The squared edges and solid construction provide a bag that will last for years. The stitching is well finished, the material thick and durable, and the zip works perfectly well. Despite being the “baby brother” to the classic Kanken, the Mini is given the same attention to detail you should expect, including press stud fastenings to keep the top loops and shoulder straps tidy, and a reflective logo to keep you visible. Oh and it comes with a foam pad in the back of the pack that makes an ideal sitter when you want to have a cup of tea to take in the view.
At just seven litres it’s not going to carry a huge amount, but this size is just perfect as both a handbag replacement and as a day pack for short urban or countryside adventures. As someone who prefers a rucksack to a shoulder bag most days of the week, it is the ideal size; big enough for the essentials, not so big that it becomes cumbersome or my stuff gets lost in the pockets.
Speaking of pockets, the Kanken Mini has one main compartment with a double zip closure, a small pocket on the front with a zip closure, and two open side pockets that will just about take a small bottle of water, some snacks, or just some bits and bobs you want to get to easily.
You’ll know from looking at the photos that this isn’t a technical pack designed for expeditions or carrying equipment for miles and miles; it doesn’t have a hip or sternum strap or lumbar support and isn’t lightweight. But it is an incredibly practical everyday pack for when you don’t need to worry about the technical capabilities that performs incredibly well for all kinds of outings.
It is worth noting that the way the straps are designed means the Kanken Mini would make a great school or outdoors backpack for kids as well as being a useful bag for adults. The easy to adjust system means you can cross the straps over to tidy away what would otherwise be very long dangly ends (technical description…). I have the straps extended all the way and the bag sits perfectly on my back, even with a thick jumper and coat on.
I was able to choose the colour myself and went for the bright orange (officially “burnt orange”) as I thought it would be a fab pop of colour whatever I was doing and whatever I was wearing. The pack actually comes in a huge range of colours, plain and patterned, meaning you can pretty much get a Kanken Mini to suit your taste.
The Fjallraven Kanken Mini Backpack is not cheap, coming in at the £70 mark, but you get something that is superb quality for your money. For something you can use everyday for school, work or simply carting your stuff when you’re having a day out, it is a classic that is worth the outlay.
Thank you SO much to Outdoor Supply for sending me the Kanken Mini backpack to review. I love it. I really do.