Review: Kanken Laptop Backpack

kanken laptop backpack - full of space

Or How Much Weight Can My Fjallraven Kanken 17’ Laptop Backpack Carry?

The Kanken backpack
The Kanken backpack

The new, bigger Kanken has arrived. After careful colour consideration, I went for the classic black and proceeded to put it to vigorous tests.

Dutifully to its name, the 17″ Laptop bag has a big pocket at the back for a laptop. My laptop is a 17-inch (the maximum size it can fit) and it fits perfectly, not being too loose and leaving room for the power cord, as well. The extra padding really gives the protection that I wished for, mostly for my long train rides and packed tube commuting when there is a high likelihood of dings and bumps. Perfect! Now all I need to worry about is trying not to whack the fellow passengers with, what is admittedly, quite a sizeable bag.

There is a big main pocket and a little zipped pocket in the front where you can store your keys, oysters and bits and bobs. The zippers are study and quite loud so if anyone was trying to open the small pocket even in a loud place you’d be very likely to hear it, which for a Londoner is a plus!

So, after purchasing my long coveted Kanken, I’ve had some brilliant moments with it! I was caught in an absolutely drenching downpour without an umbrella with my laptop in my bag and obviously my biggest worry was the safety of my laptop. It was completely safe! There was no dampness inside the bag! What a relief!

Only thing that I have to remember to do, is to pull the zip covers over the zips when it rains because the only part of the bag that isn’t fully waterproof are the zips, unfortunately.

There is also a good size side-pocket on the side of the bag, which can fit a fairly slim water bottle or even better an umbrella!

The Laptop Back bags are the only Kankens that have padded shoulder straps to make carrying heavier things like books and a laptop quite comfortable. Thus, the next thing I put to test was the durability of the straps: I managed to stuff the bag full of heavy books – about 35 kg (*see note below!) – and carried it home from the library with minimal discomfort!

So all in all, I have been very happy in my Fjallraven Kanken, it is now my everyday bag and I can recommend it for anyone who needs a reliable and sturdy bag! I have no doubt that it will last for years to come! If you have a smaller laptop they also come in 15’ size and the Classic Kanken and even a Kanken Mini and if you’re planning to carry heavy stuff in the smaller bags there is also padding for the shoulder straps available to buy separately to maximise the comfort.

* Weight alert – Armi orginally claimed 35 kilos but this was the source of much debate around the office. She was never able to bring a fully-laden bag in to verify this claim and it has been widely disputed. A figure of more like 20 kilos has been our agreed revised figure based on contents Armi has brought in since. If you have ever tried to carry 20 kilos in a backpack you will know this is not an insignificant weight to haul around!

5 thoughts on “Review: Kanken Laptop Backpack

  1. Do you find that, with a laptop in the back compartment, it’s stiff and uncomfortable on your back when carrying it?

    1. I haven’t had any problems myself, I do have a large unwieldy laptop but I used the flat foam stuffing that came with the bag to help soften it a bit more between my back and the laptop. It may be also worth fiddling with the shoulder strap lengths to see if making them longer or shorter keeps it more comfortable?

      If you find another solution let us know!

      Faisal

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