It’s been nearly two months since a strange little backpack–against all odds–became my new favorite accessory. Over these eight end-of-summer weeks, my Kanken Mini has accompanied me on everything from the commute to work to hikes up mountains, always proving itself mysteriously capable of distributing its weight and making me forget that I’m carrying a big old camera and several notebooks.
As my kankenversary approaches, then, I thought it might be good to follow up with a second mini-review to give you a sense of whether or not these foxy little bags can hold their own. (Spoiler alert: they can, mostly!)
One of the things I like best about the kanken mini is its surprisingly roomy capacity. Pictured above are some of my [letter] writer’s handbag essentials (Moleskine Volants, adorable harvest stamps, coral lipstick, and gel pens galore) that I can fit in my bag in addition to my camera.
Many people are displeased by the small size of the side pockets, and they are quite small–but the perfect size to carry lots of pens or an umbrella! I tuck my water bottle safely inside the bag itself, anyway.
I have also noticed, like many people, that the bag has a tendency to get scuffed up easily: my black bag has quite an army of little white marks by now, though they don’t bother me much. (They’re only visible when you examine it very closely!) I’m considering purchasing a full-size Kanken Classic to use as a real backpack for my upcoming vacation, and I’m tempted by the pretty peach and sky blue colors–still, I suspect any marks or scuffs might be even more noticeable on a shade that’s not so dark.
Scuffs and stains are just cosmetic, though: ultimately, the Kanken Mini is a wonderful bag for taking walks and a good alternative to a purse if side- or shoulder-bags make you ache after lots of wear. To be honest, I rather thought that my purchase of the Kanken would end up being a fad buy–after all, it’s quite expensive for a small backpack!–but I don’t have any regrets at all. After all, how many normal purses can take you to the office and deep in the woods?