The Fjällräven Kånken backpack turns 40

Oh hello, have you met the Fjällräven Kånken? I’m sure you’ll recognize this iconic little backpack – it’s been having a bit of a hipster moment recently, but its design heritage goes way back to the 1970s.

The cheerfully coloured Kånken rucksack is everywhere at the moment, but these bright, boxy backpacks are more than just style statements – the perfectly sized Kånken (read my full review here) from Swedish outdoors brand Fjällräven is a useful bit of kit for little adventures.

First created in 1978, the Kånken was designed by Fjällräven’s founder, Ake Nordin, after learning that back problems were becoming more common amongst Swedish children due to the popularity of shoulder bags. The simple, affordable and folder-sized Kånken was born. 40 years later and the collection now includes the Re-Kånken, made from recycled plastic bottles, and a larger laptop size Kånken perfect for commuting.  Wondering about the cute little fox on the backpack’s logo? Fjällräven is Swedish for the Arctic Fox, and the fox logo on each rucksack is reflective.

On the road with my Fjällräven Kånken


The small simplicity of the Fjällräven Kånken makes it perfect for travel. I love to pack m Kånken inside my cabin bag – as well as wearing my more technical backpacking rucksack on the plane, it means I have a well-sized, simple, lightweight bag to take with me on city adventures and day trips once I get to my destination. My laptop is pretty dinky, so I can fit that in when I’m working on the road, too. And I love packing my Kånken for wild swim walks – it’s the perfect size for carrying a towel, a swimsuit, a water bottle and a book.

Shop the Fjällräven Kånken collection here

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