The search for a perfect bag for everyday use seemed to be an ongoing battle for me. I’ve tried numerous bags but none of them met all my needs and wants. There was always at least one thing I wasn’t happy with or the bags would not stand up to everyday wear and tear. Simplicity and storage is a key requirement for me. I need a pack that is large enough to carry my laptop, basic camera gear, extra clothing and snacks for the day. I wanted a bag that was tough and that would put up with the abuse that I generally give my bags. Luckily, I recently found one that meets all of my standards.
Last month, I picked up the Fjällräven Kanken bag from their first Canadian store in Vancouver, BC. The company was started over 50 years ago, in Sweden. They excel at producing gear for the outdoors to the city. Their logo is an arctic fox and they are helping these endangered animals survive. An interesting fact, Fjällräven also means arctic fox in Swedish. Outside of producing gear for the outdoors, they share one of my passions, which is getting people outdoors, into nature and making sure the natural environment will be around for future generations to enjoy.
Fjällräven and I share the belief ‘’… That if more people spend time in nature, more people will be advocate its preservation.” -Fjällräven
I spent a couple of hours browsing their selection of jackets, and outdoor gear and talking to their friendly staff. I then had the dilemma of trying to pick out which bag and colour I wanted. After narrowing down my options, the Kanken was the right fit. The Kanken was originally designed for school children in 1978 and is a minimalist backpack that suits a variety of uses. It’s made from Vinylon F material, which repels moisture. I feel that it is extremely well suited for everyday use. With living in Vancouver, you never know when you will be hit by rain and everything inside my backpack has remained dry. It seems like it’s going to be able to withstand a lot of use, has a laptop pocket and enough room to store camera gear or supplies for a day hike.
I’ve been testing out the backpack around the city for the past couple of weeks. The zipper gives you full access to the pack, which is helpful if you tend to fill up the bag full, like me. The straps allow you to wear it as a backpack or carry it like a tote. When you are in a crowded place, it’s handy to be able to carry it for security reasons and make more room for others.
Besides city use, I need a bag that I can take with me when I escape the city for a day hike. The Kanken holds everything I need with room to spare. The only small criticism I have is that could be improve is the side pockets by making them a little bigger. I was hoping the pocket was large enough to hold my water bottle but my stainless steel one wouldn’t fit. Luckily, I have a thinner glass bottle that will fit. Again, this is my only criticism and it is very minor.
I love my Kanken. It has become my everyday bag over the past month and will continue to be. It comes with me to work, the farmers market, hikes and when I go to a cafe to get some work done. I finally found a bag that works for my life.
If you are looking for a city bag, I would recommend the Kanken. If you aren’t in Vancouver, BC or near one of the Fjällräven stores, you can order online. Fjällräven also has a large selection of outdoor gear to keep you warm and dry. The Kanken will be joining me when I head to Seattle in July, and on all my future adventures including a day bag for Cuba.
Disclosure: I received the Kanken free of charge however all opinions are my own.