Fjallraven Kanken Mini Review

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A simple, white circle with a little red fox curled up like a crescent moon in the center. I first encountered this charming Fjällräven logo three years ago during my time in Edinburgh, when I crossed paths with a Norwegian flatmate just moments before she headed out to class. Strapped over her shoulders was a vibrant yellow backpack with that same tiny fox staring up at me–and as a lifetime fan of all things vulpine, I wondered where I could get one of my own.

Fast-forward ahead to 2015, and these kankens are well on their way to world domination. I’ve spotted them around the campus where I work countless times, and their presence on the internet is absolutely inescapable. After wondering what all the fuss was about, I did a little research and immediately fell in love with the idea of a bag that has been celebrated for its functionality, durability, and reliability for decades. When an unexpected Amazon gift card suddenly entered my life a few weeks ago, I decided that there was truly no better time to launch myself into the world of Fjällräven. Yes, I kanken. 

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Here’s the little guy, fresh out of its packaging! I ordered the Kanken Mini, an utterly more adorable version of the “grown-up” kanken that can be used as a purse (or a child’s backpack). Although their beautiful array of hues was part of what attracted me to the kankens in the first place, I chosen to stick with a black colorway–boring though it may be, it’ll show stains less and will work better as a neutral (incidentally, I do hope to use this on a daily basis!).

 

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It arrived from Amazon in rather good form: I’d read other reviews in which the bags showed up looking a bit flat and crinkled, but my kanken appeared adventure-ready from the moment I unwrapped it. (A note: although there are many different ways of obtaining an Amazon kanken, I chose to only consider those options that were directly fulfilled and shipped by Amazon. Some of the other choices, though much less expensive, seemed like they might also prove less genuine.)

In terms of size, I was very impressed by this baby kanken’s roomy capacity. It can easily fit standard “purse things” (for me, a wallet, hairbrush, phone, keys, etc.) as well as the other large object of your choice. My Nikon D3200–to my great delight!–tucks into it quite snugly, and I could even slide a little Moleskine or thin paperback behind the camera to make any daily outing complete.

I do dream of the day when I could have a kanken that fits my laptop, but for now, I’m happy with this little friend instead: as an avid museum-goer, I feared that using a Kanken Classic as my “purse” would lead to front-desk frowns and requests to leave my oversized bag in a locker. Hey, I can’t stand it when people try to bring in huge backpacks to the museum where I work either–I don’t want to become my own worst nightmare!

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I can already think of scenarios in which this kanken will come in handy–a forest hike, a beach walk in autumn, airplane travel in general (isn’t this the perfect size for that “one personal item” requirement?), typical days at work when I just want to carry in a book and my lunch…the list goes on! I’m just as impressed with the quality and appearance as I hoped I would be, and am so glad to have finally reunited with Fjallraven after a few long years.

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