Sunday, September 23, 2012

the kånken backpack


The classic Swedish rucksack Kånken (which would translate something like The Lug) from company Fjällräven (The Arctic Fox) has been around since 1978 and came about due to the fact that (apparently) back problems had begun to appear in increasingly younger age groups in Sweden at that time. It's a simple, durable and very practical no-fuss design and it soon became a common sight at pre-schools and schools. 

I never had a Kånken when I was a child, I've never been much of a backpack-person nor have I had issues with my back. My mother is very much a backpack person though - thus it's a perfect gift to look for whenever we're travelling - and she has gone through several Kånken over the years.

Kånken is still a very popular rucksack model in Sweden and the other Nordic countries, extremely so  amongst the environmental movement people I'd say. Kånken does signal, rightly or wrongly, a certain type of person. Or at least it has. These days it's visible in all kinds of contexts and groups of people. A rather endearing sight I think. Almost 35 years old design and still going strong, in all age groups. These days it comes in many different sizes and lots of colours (not only the classic blue one), it's rather tricky to chose just one if you're about to get one.

As I did a couple of weeks ago. Yes, finally I'm also an owner of a Kånken. One reason being that it is after all quite practical to fit lots of stuff into a backpack (camera, lenses and computer) instead of jamming it all down a big handbag. And even if I mostly wear messenger bags with the strap across the chest it does take its toll on the shoulders and neck...

I and Prosit planned to get the classic large size Kånken, but ended up with the laptop "17 one. Even if I won't always carry the laptop with me of course it's a terribly practical way to carry it when you have to. Still good for business meetings, with or without computer.

Colour-loving me would have loved to have a green or blue Kånken, but I chose a practical colour instead - plus the "17 size one doesn't offer a lot of choices, which perhaps might be good. I bought the Forrest green one at first, but when I realized the dark colour might bleed on all my light coloured garments and stuff I exchanged it for the Sand coloured one. Still a practical colour, tad boring, but it won't look dirty as lighter, brighter colours might and it goes with everything. All year around.

With its cute, somehow huggable, design it gets the bobbaloo thumbs up. Although they thinks it's a perfect bag for ALL bobbaloos to tag along on outings and fika excursions instead of having to be confined to a small sized travel cabin. I do not agree. The Bobbaloo Travel Cabin has not been upgraded yet.

How's your relationship with backpacks, love or hate, indifferent?
Do you know Kånken, perhaps you even have one (or more) yourself?



Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Pia

I want this backpack!! I love L.L. Bean's backpacks and their lunch boxes.

Have a great day!

Tracy :)

dizzyme said...

I love backpacks especially for travel! My current favorite is a bright yellow one, which I use for all of my trips because I prefer carry-ons instead of checking bags in. =) But if I need to check it in, the color's perfect cos I can easily spot it from afar!

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