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Fjallraven Kanken – the classic backpack


When he was young, Ake Nordin (founder of Fjallraven) was an absolute outdoor fan. Already in the 1950s he hiked through Swedish landscape as a pathfinder. It bothered him that backpacks of this time hung like bulky sacks on the bag. He always had to balance the package weight with his body and so trekking became hard and exhausting. So he decided to design an own backpack. He built a wooden frame in the cellar of his parent’s home and fixed a sack of durable cotton on it. With this construction he was able to convince the native reindeer owners, so that they bought the first Fjallraven backpack.

Kanken by Fjallraven combine functionality with classic design

Backpacks always played an important role in Ake Nordin’s life. You can see that in the development of Kankenbackpacks which started in the 1970s. Kanken was invented to prevent back troubles of Swedish pupils. Together with the federation of pathfinders Ake Nordin designed the classic square shape of Kanken. The revolutionary success of Kanken started in 1978 when the first pupils got this practical backpack. Kanken are extremely lightweight and durable thank to Vinylon F fabric. This unique fabric swells when it gets wet and prevents penetration of water. The zip-pockets are easily accessible and offer enough space for school materials. There are two additional side pockets and a very practical front pocket for little items. To increase children’s security in traffic, Kanken’sFjallraven logo is reflecting. The robust shoulder straps and the clever handle are made of one piece of fabric. Another smart detail is the removable seat pad at the back. With all these great and typical characteristics Kanken is the perfect backpack for kids on their way to school.


However the Kanken is not only a highlight for kids! Also adults love this cult item and use it every day! You can see Kankenbackpacks in cities all over the world.

Versatile shapes and colours

There are a huge number of different versions of Kanken. More than 35 colours ensure that everybody can get a Kanken in his own favourite colour. Moreover there are very chic two-coloured Kanken. Nowadays there are also some specialised models of Kanken, for example Kanken Laptop. It has an additional pocket for a laptop of up to 17 inches and its shoulder straps are padded to disburden the shoulders. Kanken Big and Kanken Maxi are bigger versions with 20 litres and 27 litres package volume. If you need a very small backpack for your daily life, we recommend Kanken Mini – not only for kids! There is a special model for kids (Kanken Kids) which is fitted to children’s ergonomics. Fjallraven is renowned for their engagement for animal protection and environmental protection. Therefore they created a Kanken which supports survival of the arctic fox: for every sold Save the Arctic Fox or Save the Arctic Fox Mini Fjallraven donates 10 €. If you look for an even more robust Kanken, you should choose Kanken No.2 which is made of G1000® Heavy Duty.

Kanken are versatile a stylish and the perfect backpacks for every situation. Explore the wide range of Kanken in our Fjallraven shop!

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