Fjallraven Classic Kanken Backpack Review

Let’s first chat about what kind of Fjallraven backpack I have: the Classic Kanken Backpack in Ox Red. I purchased this backpack from Nordstrom because I wanted to try the backpack on and see the colors true to form. I also know and trust the Nordstrom return policy and was there already!

Here’s a link to the Fjallraven website where you can see all of the colors. All of them are on the website, but various sites like Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters (and it looks like Urban Outfitters is having a sale right now!) have select colors.

There are a lot of other products from Fjallraven – from fanny packs to larger and smaller backpacks and more – but I haven’t owned those products so I can only speak to my personal experience.

The Good, The Could-Be-Better, and the In-Between

Easy to clean. All I do when it looks a little dirty is wipe it down with a cloth.

I love the front pouch. It’s the perfect place for my frequently used items like my wallet, keys, and Apple Airpods. Fun fact: my apartment building code reader can read my fob from in my backpack so I generally just turn around and put my backpack level.

This backpack is very light. When it is empty, it’s almost like you’re holding nothing.

The backpack is water resistant. I’ve been caught in the rain many times and nothing inside has gotten wet.
There are water bottle holders on either side of the backpack that are for easy access, but they’re just a little too small for all of the water bottles that I own.

The straps don’t come padded on the Classic Backpack, though you can buy the attachments. I haven’t noticed needing them, but if you tend to carry fairly heavy items that may be an issue.

Either a pro or a con, depending on what you’re looking for:

  • It just barely fits my 13 inch laptop in front of the pad at the back.
  • It’s the same color inside as outside. This makes it harder to see the inside if you own a dark colored one, but also harder to stain (and vis versa).
  • The back straps secure themselves and tuck away when you don’t want them. I’ve never used this feature because I don’t ever use this bag as anything other than a backpack.

My Favorite Feature of the Backpack

Let’s chat about my favorite feature, which may be one of the weirder features – the back/seat pad. There’s a pad that fits in a slot in the back of the inside of the backpack that provides a lot of structure to the shape, but also doubles as a pad to sit on. I use this pad when I go to the park or anywhere else where there’s uneven or uncomfortable ground.


The Kanken Classic does fit my 13 inch MacBook Pro, but there isn’t a specific compartment for it. If I bring my iPad, I’ll touch that in the back pouch with the back support pad.

The backpack also fits my 32 ounce Hydroflask! I typically tuck it in one of the back corners, as the width of the backpack is perfect for fitting my water bottle and a journal or book.

Here’s what I have in my backpack at any given time: my Hydroflask, a journal, a book, snacks, a pouch filled with toiletries (hand sanitizer, BandAids, concealer, etc), pens, reusable bag, reusable silverware, and more.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this backpack and it has become a staple in my collection. I wear this backpack to work (business casual), to church, the grocery store, the park, hiking (short ones), and everything in between. I don’t typically wear it to concerts or sporting events, however, due to typical restrictions on bag size.

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