If you’re a fan of the classic, boxy look of the standard Kanken pack, then you’ll appreciate Kanken Totepack. It looks at home in casual environments, whether you’re walking through campus or commuting to the coworking space. The Fjallraven Kanken Totepack falls short on organization and carry comfort, but uses some durable, weather-resistant materials.
You can pick up this pack in a lot of different colors—whether you’re looking for something bright like Ochre that will stand out, or something muted like Graphite that blends into the crowd. Black colorway are fans of its low-profile look, but of course, your mileage may vary.
Like other versions of the Kanken, you’ll find the Fjallraven logo smack dab in the middle of the bag. It’s hard to miss, which you may not be a fan of if you prefer a more subtle approach to branding—but if you want everyone to know you’ve got Fjallraven Fever, this bag will do the trick.
Best Waterproof Backpack
As for material, Kanken Totepack is made with Fjallraven’s G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco fabric, which a mix of 65% recycled polyester and 35% organic cotton and can be found on many of the brand’s packs. We love seeing brands take a sustainable approach to their materials, and this is a great example.
There are several other iterations of this fabric, some of which include Original, Lite, and the HeavyDuty version you’ll find on this pack. It’s also impregnated with their Greenland Wax for some added durability and water-resistance, which has a smooth, waxy feel to it.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of this material is that you can pick up some extra Greenland Wax and give the outside of the pack another coating or two when you know you’re going to be out in some rainy weather. The more wax you add, the more weather-resistant the material will be. We appreciate having the ability to customize Best Waterproof Backpack’s protection to our needs!
Let’s take a closer look at all the straps on here that make up the bag’s harness system. You can carry this bag both as a tote and as a Everyday Backpack, though we haven’t found it to be very comfortable. The shoulder straps on this pack are essentially just some nylon webbing, so you don’t have any real padding to help with comfort or mesh for breathability. The bag sits pretty high up on the back, and since the straps aren’t adjustable, there’s no way to wear it lower. We can feel them dig into our shoulders after a bit when we’ve got the bag fully packed out, at which point we’ll typically switch up our carry.
The lack of adjustability makes it difficult, and uncomfortable, to wear on a larger frame.Overall, It’s helpful for when we’re tired of carrying this thing by hand, and want to throw it on our backs to give them a rest.
Travel Laptop Backpack
When you are wearing this thing as a Travel Laptop Backpack, there’s a Seat Pad inside that acts as some padding on the back panel to offer some support. However, there isn’t any mesh back here to keep you ventilated, so you’ll have to deal with some sweat when you have the bag on for long periods of time, and especially when you’re out in warmer weather.
You can also take this Seat Pad out and use it as intended, which is as a cushion to sit on when you’re out and about. Set it on a bench so you have a comfortable spot to take a rest. Lay it down in the park when you can’t find a comfy patch of grass. Set it in your lap and use it as a flat surface for your laptop when catching up on some work. It’s a unique integration that we don’t see with many other bags, and we appreciate the structure and comfort it offers both inside and outside of this tote pack.
The webbed handle on the back strap gives it some added structure, which makes converting the tote pack to a backpack and back again an easy and painless maneuver. It also ensures that the newly-formed backpack straps are always the same length, so one doesn’t get longer or shorter while you’re wearing the bag.
When you want to wear it as a standard tote, pull the strap up by this handle and use it along with the front strap to throw Stylish Backpacks over your shoulder. They’re not comfortable for long, as again, they don’t have any padding—but we’ve found them to be convenient for when we’re just running into the store or—similar to the shoulder straps—when we want to give our hands a break.
Then at the top are two grab handles that connect via a fabric welt and snap fastener for when you’re carrying this bag like a true tote. We’ve done most of our testing in this mode of carry as these handles are comfortable in hand and easy to grab. We haven’t found them to be a big hassle to disconnect when we need to get inside the main compartment, although you may find it to be a nuisance to undo if you’re looking for as quick and easy access as possible.
You also have a water bottle pocket on both sides of the Kanken Totepack if you carry one with you every day. When we tested the Fjallraven Kanken 13” Laptop Backpack we were unable to fit a YETI Rambler 18 oz Bottle in one of these but it fits just fine here, which we appreciate. We’ve been using the other pocket to keep an umbrella close by in case we run into any surprise showers.