I’m quite a fussy person, which often can make shopping challenging. Recently I’ve been hunting for a new backpack, which alongside my usual fussy tastes had to hit some specific criteria, which meant finding the perfect bag took quite some time. After much deliberation, research and searching, I settled on the Fjallraven Kanken. It seems to have almost cult status in some places, but there appears to be a good reason for it’s popularity. I thought I’d share my thoughts in case it helps anyone with a similar shopping dilemma.
I was looking for a hardwearing, comfortable bag that could house my laptop, camera, and regular daily contents, while still being relatively attractive. I bought the Fjallraven Kanken Laptop 13 Inch in Graphite, and bought a separate camera compartment on Amazon. Fjallraven do make camera inserts that fill the whole bag, but as I usually just carry one body and 2 lenses maximum, I wanted to retain space in the bag for other items so opted for one that would only take up the bottom half. It’s roughly the same size as the classic Kanken backpack, but comes with a padded compartment at the back for a laptop. It’s water resistant and the material itself feels strong. It has lightly padded straps and is extremely comfortable to wear even when filled with heavy equipment.
One of my concerns was that I didn’t want a bag that looked too big, bulky, or looked like I was a turtle carrying a shell around. The bag is a good, neat size and doesn’t look too huge at all. For reference, I am 5’1, and the bag feels as though it fits me perfectly.
The bag has one large compartment that zips all the way around, with a pocket inside that comes with a piece of removable foam, which you could fit your laptop into if you needed. This version has a separate zipped compartment at the back for laptops, which fits my 13″ Macbook Air perfectly. There’s also a zip pocket on the front where I keep my keys, headphones and various random bits and pieces.
When neatly packed, I can fit the camera bag insert, my camera (which is a Canon 70d, so slightly larger than the one I’ve pictured to demonstrate, but still fits!), my laptop, a portable hard drive, two notebooks, a water bottle, my wallet, makeup bag and pencil case. When fully packed it’s heavy but still comfortable to carry. If you were after a bag for more serious camera equipment, this might not be the one for you, but for day-to-day items it is perfect.
I’m generally really pleased with my purchase, and although it was rather expensive, it’s exactly what I have been looking for and hopefully will last me a very long time!