5 Best Fjallraven Kanken Backpacks: Reviewed & Compared

Sweden is the land of lingonberries and mouth-watering meatballs, not forgetting tasty Rakor and jaw-dropping sights. However, one of the most fantastic Swedish creations to emerge in recent years is the Fjallraven Kanken backpack, the most iconic Swedish backpack of all time. But what makes it the best bag anyone can own, you may ask?

Well, this gift from the Swedish gods is the most trend-setting, stylish, spacious and durable bag that anyone could wish for. It offers its users convenience, compactness and an incredible range of colors. There’s something to suit everyone’s personality.

With that in mind, we’ve reviewed and compared some of the most popular Fjallraven Kanken bags to help you find the one that will suit your needs and style best. Let’s get started!


What Makes the Fjallraven Kanken Backpack Brand Popular?

The name Kanken is a Swedish name that means “the lug,” lugging something, and it is the brand name of one of the most incredible backpacks worldwide.

The Fjallraven Kanken backpack brand is one of the most popular bags in Sweden thanks to its timeless style, durability, and quality construction. The Fjallraven Kanken bag has been a popular option for both adults and kids for a while now, especially throughout Europe and North America.

Once the territory of the true hipster, it's very much moved into the mainstream, as pointed out in this tongue-in-cheek Huffington Post piece. However, just because it's no longer considered particularly indie doesn't mean it's going anywhere. The Fjallraven backpack line has been a success for a good reason! 

Fjallraven Kanken backpacks are a functional brand with an impressive spacious design, especially the central compartment, making it easy to carry large items. These backpacks manage the impressive feat of being both lightweight, whilst being constructed from heavy-duty materials for impressive durability.

The original design of the Fjallraven Kanken backpack was conceived to help improve back health and posture among students, but with time it has grown to be the most sought-after backpack for everyone from college students to parents to photographers. Once you’ve tried a Kanken Backpack, you’ll never go back!

women wearing a fjallraven kanken backpack

What We Looked At: Fjallraven Kanken Backpack Buying Guide

During our Fjallraven review, we looked at several important factors to determine if these backpacks were up to par.

Materials

Most of the Fjallraven Kanken backpacks are made of heavy-duty materials, which makes them strong, sturdy, and durable. We also considered the sturdiness of the Fjallraven straps and handles and the ease of opening and closing the zippers. 

We also examined the water-resistance and waterproof nature of the bag, since no one wants a bag that risks leaking, thus ruining their documents and items.

Straps

When looking at the Fjallraven Kanken backpack straps, we considered their adjustability, comfort, and any other extra features they might have offered. For example, the Fjallraven Greenland backpack comes with Greenland wax that provides extra protection for its handles, straps, and the body of the bag.

Comfort

During our Fjallraven review, we looked into the comfort features of these backpacks. You need your bag to be comfortable, especially if you plan to carry a heavy load or wear it often.

The Fjallraven backpack range is known for their comfortable shoulder straps and great balance when on the back. Even the carrying handles were comfortable enough to carry all day.

Size

When it comes to size, we looked at the volume of these Fjallraven bags. Some people may prefer the Fjallraven Raven backpack with a 28-liter capacity, which is one of the most spacious bags, but it is still manageable as an EDC bag.

Some people may want even more space like the Fjallraven Greenland backpack, which offers a whopping 30 liters of storage. If you don't need to carry many items, then the Fjallraven Kanken No. 2 may work better for you.

Compartments

We also looked into the number of compartments each Fjallraven bag offers, including a laptop sleeve, side pockets, and a water bottle compartment. If you plan to carry a laptop to school or work everyday, then a laptop sleeve is essential. All of these Fjallraven Kanken backpacks come with a laptop sleeve included.

We also looked at the external compartment organization and storage. You need a place to put your phone, wallet, and keys while you're on the go.

Style

If you're a fashion lover, you need a bag that accentuates your fashion sense. So we considered the number of colors each Fjallraven bag has to offer. Some of them have 13 while others have ten, nine, seven or six. 

You can't have a backpack that cramps your style, and none of the Fjallraven bags will. If how you can match this bag with the rest of your wardrobe is a priority, then check out these tips for how to style your Fjallraven bag

Price

While we agree that Fjallraven backpacks tend to be a bit more expensive than other bags, we think they are worth the extra money. If you consider the value of your Fjallraven bag, you won't have to buy another backpack for many years.

They also tend to offer different size backpacks for different budgets, which makes them suitable for everyone.

Warranty

As for warranty, Fjallraven backpacks come with a limited lifetime warranty when purchased from an authorized seller. We recommend contacting the seller if you experience any manufacturer defects with your new Fjallraven backpack.

woman wearing a black fjallraven kanken backpack

5 Best Fjallraven Kanken Backpacks Reviewed

1. Fjallraven Raven 28L Backpack

Best For Students
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant
  • Number of Compartments = 4 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Colors Available = 6 +
  • Size = 28 Liters
  • Warranty = Limited Lifetime
Who is The Fjallraven Raven Best for?

Fjallraven Kanken is one of those brands that really care about the design of their bags. All of their products are good-looking, marking the pace in the fashion industry when it comes to backpacks. This model is no exception!

It is made with a mix of polyester and cotton, and provides a very simple yet resistant design. It's excellent for college students who need the convenience of a backpack that lets them navigate through campus easily and with comfort as they carry their most loyal companion: their laptop.

The Fjallraven Raven 28L backpack is also a great carry-on bag for those who make short business trips and don't need to take that many items with them on the plane. It has a 28-liter capacity, so it can still fit several basic essentials.

It features a comfortably padded back panel and shoulder straps so that you can carry it around with you anywhere without feeling a load in your back. Finally, it comes in three different colors, so you don't have to settle for a style that doesn't suit you!

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Water-resistant
  • Stylish, simple design
  • Lightweight
  • Spacious

Cons

  • Wears out within a short period
  • Gets dirty quickly

2. Fjallraven Kanken No. 2 Backpack

Best For Work
  • Waterproof = Yes
  • Number of Compartments = 4 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Colors Available = 13 +
  • Size = 16 Liters
  • Warranty = Limited Lifetime
Who Is The Fjallraven Kanken No. 2 Best For?

We feel like this Fjallraven bag has a little more casual design than the previous one, but still works perfectly for a variety of situations (and the good-looking characteristic is for sure still there!)

The Fjallraven Kanken No. 2 is excellent for urban commuters, business professionals, students, photographers, outdoor enthusiasts, and parents who need the convenience of a bag that allows them to travel comfortably and the capacity to carry baby must-haves like diapers, wipes, and clothes.

The two handles on the top make it easy to transport, especially when your back is too tired or you're carrying another bag. It also features a front zippered compartment and two easy-access side pockets, so everything inside the bag will be easy to organize and find.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Waterproof
  • Affordable and versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Straps cannot be adjusted
  • Stitching on the top handle can come apart

3. Fjallraven Kanken Big Backpack

Best For Travelers
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant
  • Number of Compartments = 4 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Colors Available = 3 +
  • Size = 20 Liters
  • Warranty = Limited Lifetime
Who Is The Fjallraven Kanken Big Backpack Best For?

Yeah, we know what you're thinking right now: didn't we just review this backpack? And the answer is: sometimes the bigger, the better. Yes, the design is pretty much the same, but this model stands out because it offers a greater capacity and allows you to carry even more items.

Because of its spacious design, this one is excellent for parents, business professionals, students, photographers, outdoor enthusiasts and urban travelers. It's ideal for folks who fancy fashion and love the convenience of moving from one place to another swiftly.

All of this without having to choose which of their essentials they have to leave at home. Due to the increased capacity of 20 liters, you can carry what you need in a manageable and easy to wear backpack.

The Fjallraven Kanken Big backpack allows you to store a 15-inch laptop in its own padded compartment, keeping it safe from undesired impacts and scratches. It still has the main compartment and three additional pockets for everything else!

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fashionable
  • Lightweight
  • High-quality
  • Roomy and holds all the basics

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Gets dirty quickly

4. Fjallraven Greenland Backpack

Best For Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • Waterproof = Yes
  • Number of Compartments = 4 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Colors Available = 7 +
  • Size = 30 Liters
  • Warranty = Limited Lifetime
Who Is The Fjallraven Greenland Best For?

Those of you who are looking for a different, less rectangular design, will want to look at this one. The Fjallraven Greenland, in particular, was inspired by the design of a jacket - and now that you read it, we bet you can't unsee it!

It's a pretty variation of the Fjallraven Kanken classic backpack. It features two front pockets which are great for keeping your smaller essentials, such as earphones and keys that tend to get lost easily inside spacious bags.

This Fjallraven bag is excellent for parents, business professionals, urban commuters, outdoor enthusiasts, and photographers who require a highly waterproof bag. The Fjallraven Greenland allows them to have peace of mind knowing that their expensive equipment is safe and sound.

It is also great for those students who head to a sports practice after class because the bag will fit everything they need and won't get wet if they need to leave it on the grass, or anywhere else near the field.

Pros

  • High-quality
  • Lightweight
  • Very spacious
  • Functional and easy to clean
  • Breathable material

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Narrow, so it's hard to get your things out with ease

5. Fjallraven Totepack No. 2 Backpack

Best For Everyday Carry
  • Waterproof = Yes
  • Number of Compartments = 4 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Colors Available = 9 +
  • Size = 16 Liters
  • Warranty = Limited Lifetime
Who Is The Fjallraven Totepack No. 2 Best For?

This one is another quite different but still beautiful backpack from Fjallraven. As its name describes, it was designed with everyday use in mind. It is built with polyester and cotton, a strong G-1000 fabric, and it's meant to last.

It's excellent for parents, business professionals, students, urban commuters, photographers, and outdoor enthusiasts who need a comfortable and easy-to-carry backpack. The Fjallraven Totepack will allow them to conveniently keep their water, snacks, phones, and cameras close at hand, allowing them to have an easy, fun time enjoying the great outdoors. 

It is, for example, one of the best bags that you could take to the beach. Because of the material, the sand won't get easily attached to it and it is also fairly easy to clean (especially the bottom).

Even indoors, the bag is a perfect choice. It can be carried by hand, on the shoulder, or as a backpack; so it couldn't get any more convenient.

Pros

  • Compact and light
  • Secure and spacious
  • Easy to use and carry
  • Versatile and durable
  • All-weather resistant

Cons

  • It has a drawstring that's difficult to open quickly
  • Pricey

Who Are Fjallraven Kanken Backpacks For?

The Fjallraven backpack range is well suited to a range of consumers including:

Students

Those college or high school students who need a stylish-yet-functional bag that can hold books, stationery, and small laptops, the Fjallraven bags are perfect for you. Depending on how many books you need to carry, you should opt for either the Fjallraven Raven or the Kanken No. 2.

Business Professionals

Fjallraven bags are perfect for professionals who need a bag that offers them the comfort and convenience of a backpack without sacrificing their personality or professional appearance.

Since all of the Fjallraven backpacks come with a laptop sleeve, they are great for commuters who bring their laptops with them to work.

Parents

If you're tired of hauling around a cumbersome diaper bag, the Fjallraven Kanken's spacious interior offers any parent plenty of space to comfortably carry baby essentials like diapers, wipes, and clothes.

Diaper bags should be functional and look good, and Fjallraven bags deliver. We recommend going with the Fjallraven Totepack No. 2 if you're a new parent.

Photographers

When going for shoots at some inconvenient locations, photographers need a bag that gives them confidence that their items are safe and sound at all times. Fjallraven Kanken bags are durable and sturdy, thus making them the best option no matter what conditions you’re shooting in.

We recommend opting for the Fjallraven Kanken Big Backpack to carry your DLSR, extra lenses, and tripods. It is durable and easy to carry, which makes it great when you're on location.

fjallraven kanken backpack

How Do These Fjallraven Backpacks Compare?

Size

Amongst the five models reviewed, the Fjallraven Greenland Backpack is the most spacious with its 30-liter volume. You can fit practically anything you might need in the main compartment. The one with the most constrained space is the Fjallraven Totepack No. 2, since it has a narrow design that makes it difficult to unpack your things in a hurry.

Price

The most expensive backpack on our list is the Fjallraven Greenland Backpack, which is priced at around $200. The most affordable model in this review would be the Fjallraven Raven 28L Backpack which sells at around $100.

Functionality

The Fjallraven Raven 28L backpack is the most functional backpack. It gives you enough room for your laptop, camera, phone, keys, extra sweaters or diapers. It also has the water bottle compartment that allows you to carry your H2O safely and is convenient for easy access. The least functional is probably the Fjallraven Totepack No. 2 Backpack.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are Fjallraven Kanken backpacks good quality and durable?

Yes, they are. Most are heavy-duty materials that aren't only waterproof but also all-weather resistant, thus making them excellent for snow, rain, extreme heat and windy conditions.

Are Fjallraven Kanken backpacks good for school?

Yes. The Kanken school backpacks are one of the best school bag brands, being originally designed back in the 70s so that Swedish school children wouldn't experience back problems. They allow students to carry their books, notepads, small laptops and other school essentials conveniently, not forgetting their signature trendy style.

I need a large backpack. Will this brand be good for me?

Yes. Most of these backpacks have a capacity of more than 15L, a volume that allows one to carry a large laptop or camera equipment easily. They also have a width that can accommodate essentials like a sweater, bottle, phone and keys, as well as other things you might need.

Can you take the Fjallraven Kanken backpack and a carry on on airplanes?

These bags are usually considered a separate carry-on piece and most airlines will allow hand baggage plus this backpack. It’s always best to call your airline prior to flying to get an exact answer as each company’s policy can vary.

How do you wash or clean a Kanken backpack?

According to the manufacturer's guide and some Fjallraven backpack experts, cleaning this bag is as easy as winking. All you have to do is to ensure that you follow some simple instructions like:

  • To maintain the fantastic color of the bag, soak your Kanken in lukewarm water when washing and gently rub the surface with a soft brush. You must also make sure that it's thoroughly dry before filling it with your items and strapping it on your back.
  • Never put it in the washing machine since it will reduce its longevity.
  • Finally, don't leave your Kanken in direct sunlight since the heat will make the perfect color fade. Kanken backpacks prefer the shade or low-level sunshine.
Where can you buy Fjallraven Kanken backpacks at cheap prices?

You can find some of the most affordable, new or used items on Amazon.


Conclusion

The best Fjallraven Kanken backpacks are ideal for students, parents, hikers, business professionals, and urban commuters.

They're a worthwhile investment. So get your wallet out and purchase your favorite model today. You won't regret it!

  • Updated August 26, 2021