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Multi-colored pastel pattern from the 2021 Fjällräven Kånken Art Collection
Fjällräven Kånken

Fjällräven Kånken Art Launch Review

SmarterTravel

On June 8th—World Ocean Day—Fjällräven Kånken launched Kånken Art by Linn Fritz, a line of bags aimed at raising awareness surrounding plastic pollution in our oceans, available at retailers such as Nordstrom and at their online store.

What Makes the Kånken Art Collection Different from Other Fjällräven Kånken Bags?

This year’s Fjällräven Kånken Art collection, the third collection of its kind, is focused on raising awareness about the impact that plastic pollution has on our oceans. According to Fjällräven Kånken, by the year 2050 there will be more than 850 million tons of plastic waste in the ocean—that’s about 425 million garbage trucks worth!

One percent from each purchase from this launch will support environmental charities through the Arctic Fox Initiative, more specifically The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (Leave No Trace), a program focused on educating people on protecting the outdoors through their interactions with nature, and The 2 Minute Foundation, an organization encouraging citizens to take two minutes out of their day to clean up their environment.

Furthermore, the design itself is meant to get people thinking. “I wanted to bring some awareness to one of the biggest concerns facing our oceans and our planet today,” says Linn Fritz, the illustrator and animator commissioned to create the design for the launch, “and therefore, my Kånken Art became an abstract pattern inspired by pieces of plastic.”

In addition to the newly minted pattern, the bags themselves are made from recycled polyester and organic cotton.

How Does the Kånken Art Collection Measure Up?

A front and back view of the Kånken Art Mini Backpack
Fjällräven Kånken

Note: The bag referred to in the review portion of this article is the Kånken Art Classic. You can browse through the rest of the collection to find a bag that suits your needs here

Design: 10/10

I am all about color and pattern, so this bag gets a whole-hearted ten out of ten from me. Most of the bags in this collection come in Ocean Surface, a soft blue and pink pattern (and the one I opted for) or Ocean Deep, a darker, all blue palette—each designed by Linn Fritz. The Kånken Art Classic bag also comes in Blue Fable, Green Fable, and Birch Forest. If you’re more inclined toward solid colors but still want your money to go to a worthy cause, shop their Save the Arctic Fox page, where a portion of sales go to environmental and climate initiatives.

The Kånken Art Laptop Bag and The Kånken Art Mini
Fjällräven Kånken

The Kånken Art Laptop Bag in Ocean Deep (left) and The Kånken Art Mini in Ocean Surface (right) – Images Not to Scale

Functionality: 8/10

The Kånken Art Classic features one central zipper compartment, one exterior zipper pocket, two open top side pockets, carrying handles at the top, adjustable backpack straps (with buttons to keep the tails of the straps from dangling behind you), and a laptop sleeve with removable foam cushion that, while designed to be a convenient seat pad for when wearers find themselves sitting on a hard surface or at an outdoor event, doubles as extra protection for a smaller laptop or tablet. The front panel of the central compartment opens nearly all the way, making it much easier to sort through than a standard backpack.

When put to the test, the bag fit my 13” laptop along with some larger books, my wallet, sunglasses, and keys with ease. The side pockets can accommodate a small water bottle, but I wasn’t able to fit the larger, 40 oz. bottle that I usually carry in summer. The laptop sleeve is able to fit a 15” devices as well but it’s a tight squeeze and I wasn’t confident in the protection that just the sleeve would provide—if you’re looking for more space for your tech, I would recommend opting for the dedicated laptop bag. 

I am not a purse person. If pressed, I am a ‘shove all my belongings in my too-small pockets and lose my credit card’ person, so the manageable size and versatility of this bag is my favorite feature. I can carry it by the top handles or wear it as a backpack and keep my hands free. I can imagine this bag being the perfect option for some light hiking as well, a solid mid-point between my usual flimsy cinch bags and the bulky packs designed for heavy-duty climbers.

Cost: 9/10

The Kånken Art Classic is $100, with other bags in the collection ranging from $70 to $120, which is in line with (and in many cases less expensive) than other Fjällräven Kånken bags

Kånken Art Classic Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Made from recycled fabrics and materials
  • Can be carried multiple ways
  • Portion of the proceeds go to charity
  • Fjällräven Kånken is part of The Plastic Alliance, committed to eliminating single use plastic from their business and helping reduce upstream production waste

Kånken Art Classic Cons:

  • Fabric feels a little thin
  • Removable seat pad takes up already limited space

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