You’ve seen it in every international airport, across every #travelgram feed on IG and worn on the backs of those taking adventure as seriously as Carol’s tiger obsession. This iconic Scandi brand has transitioned into a label for the explorers among us and ranks pretty high in the levels of adventure gear. Fjällräven Kånken has got to be one of the hardest names I have ever tried to pronounce but, sur-prisingly, it’s pretty phonetic: F-i-ah-ll-r-ah-ven Kahn-ken. So, what’s all the hype about? It is a bag you need over your shoulder? Translating to Arctic Fox, Åke Nordin founded Fjällräven in the basement of a Swedish town in 1978, and is all about inspiring people to spend time outdoors – epic, right? Here is where I would normally tell you the name of the town but let’s just say it’s one big Swe-dish mouthful. Just imagine a name that would sound seriously sexy spoken with a thick Scandinavian accent, but just ridiculous pronounced by moi. Nonetheless, I was super interested in the latest product to join the Kånken family, the Tote-pack.
My partner has had the classic Fjällräven backpack for a few years now and it has been across the globe and back with us. Stuffed to the brim with clothes and toi-letries, it has replaced suitcases for our weekends away and has even journeyed with us close to its home-town, the Nordic landmass of Iceland. So, what makes the Kånken Totepack different? With the look and feel of the classic backpack, it’s also filled with epic features like two extra handles that transform it from a back-pack into a tote bag within seconds. Made from durable, water-resistant G-1000 Heavy Duty Eco S material, it has a zippered front pocket and open side pockets so you’re ready for any adventure. It also has a seat pad stored in the inside back pocket that keeps contents from pressing against your back. What a dream! Just fill out the name label inside and the Kånken Totepack is yours.
So, to test it out I spent four epic days with Fjällräven. Taking the Kånken Tote-pack on every possible adventure I could (while in iso) to test its limits. Here’s what my week looked like:
Day 1: Brookfield Reservoir
To start things off I hit my local reservoir, a large expanse of water surrounded by lush forest and walking trails for humans and horses. There’s nothing quite like the graffitied water tower first coming into view as you near the top of the hill, shad-owed by a large expanse of glistening water, winding out of view. Tote-turned-backpack over my shoulders, I had the essentials packed including my Cheeki insulated bottle, cap, towel, keys, phone, sunscreen etc. all tucked away in their own pockets. We tackled the steep rocky path until we had summited the hill for the ultimate view of the lake. I took off the backpack for a drink and a gaze with-out any rubbing or irritation from the handles on the walk. Venturing back down we came to a section of massive cascading steps, each two metres in height. We zipped our phones into the small pocket of the Kånken and jumped down each step until we reached the small stream at the bottom. Again, A+ for the handles and for the seat pad keeping things hella comfy. The Kånken had passed my first test.
Day 2: Everything’s gonna brie alright
Hitting the shops is about the only social activity allowed these days so I headed in to stock up on a few essentials. Pulling the handle free of the backpack straps, I turned the Kånken into a tote and filled it with ingredients to make sushi for lunch. The seat pad kept the shape of the bag, unlike my normal reusable bags, mean-ing bagging was done in record time (sushi = sooner), the seaweed didn’t get crushed and the bag never toppled when filled with groceries. What a treat!
Day 3: Parlez-vous francais?
While I may be in iso, my French studies are still going strong, meaning my bag got filled with manuels (textbooks), dictionnaires (dictionaries) and des cahiers (notebooks) as I took my solo study sesh outdoors. I pulled out the picnic mat, water bottle, snacks and all the study materials from my Kånken and got into it! Props for the design and shape, easily allowing me to haul bulky books. Bien joué Kånken!
Day 4: When in doubt, pedal it out
Come at me iso boredom! To mix up my routine of morning runs and arvo strolls, I dusted off my bike, dug out my white helmet from under the stairs and pumped up my tires. With few cars on the road, I put my Kånken on my back, filled with the regular picnic mat, water bottle, Lack of Colour fedora and copy of A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and headed to the park for a picnic, in awe at how much could fit in this bag.
Ultimately, the Totepack is a strong yes from me. It’s my new go-to for every weekly adventure and has gotten me outdoors more in the last four days than the last few weeks we’ve had of iso. Stay safe Stylers, but get outdoors!