What is the most popular backpack of the moment? Probably the Fjällräven Kånken!
Finding this beautiful backpack among the crowd of students is easy, but identifying an original Kånken from a fake is not so simple.
For this reason, today’s guide will help you in the arduous task of recognizing an authentic Fjällräven Kånken backpack from the numerous copies circulating on the web.
In fact, the great popularity and demand for these backpacks have inadvertently produced a counterfeit business that makes it difficult to distinguish an original from a fake one.
The iconic fox of the Swedish brand Fjällräven inspires freedom, joy and discovery. And the characteristic shape and nuances of the Kånken make it an absolute must-have among young people, mainly girls.
So, how to recognize an original Fjällräven Kånken from a fake one?
Closely watching every detail of the backpack: the design, the compartments, the zip closures, the handles, the braces, the logo, the packaging, the labels and the materials.
But before taking an in-depth look at all these elements, let’s first learn a bit more about the origins and history of this versatile backpack.
Table of Contents:
- 1. Origins of the Fjällräven Kånken
- 2. Before Buying: Find The Right Retailer
- 3. Design and External Structure of the Backpack
- 4. Inside the Backpack
- 5. The Packaging, Labels and Materials
- 6. Conclusion
1. Origins of the Fjällräven Kånken
The Kånken backpack is a creation of Åke Nordin, a Swedish man who loved nature and the outdoors. Nordin’s idea was to make the travel and exploring experience comfortable and accessible.
From the 1950s onwards, Nordin begins creating backpacks, tents and jackets designed for outdoor activities.
At the end of the 70s the well-known Kånken comes to light: a versatile and practical backpack to be used every day.
With this backpack the Swedish explorer wanted an accessory that was above all comfortable to carry on the shoulders.
Mr. Nordin had in mind a versatile and not bulky backpack, able to accompany the adventurous from the city to the great outdoors.
At the same time, he had thought of Swedish students, increasingly struggling with back problems and incorrect posture.
These requirements translate into a solid and light structure; as well as in the choice of quality local raw materials, therefore with low environmental impact, and in the development of super resistant and eco-friendly synthetic materials.
It did not take long before the backpack was desired not only by children but also by adults alike.
In fact, today the Kånken model by Fjällräven is appreciated by an ever wider audience and of different age groups.
The brand offers this backpack model in many different colors, about forty. It will not be difficult to find your favorite shade among these.
Speaking of models, apart from the classic, you can also find other “variants” of the iconic Kånken on the official website.
These “variations” come in different sizes (both larger and smaller) of the backpack, such as the Mini Kånken, different construction materials, or new patterns, such as the Kånken Art.
But the brand also engages in important causes such as that on the protection of the Arctic Fox.
Are you wondering how?
With a special edition of Kånken called “Save The Arctic Fox” where for each backpack sold, ten Euros will help finance research and protection projects for the Arctic Fox.
In this regard, let’s remember an interesting curiosity about the brand’s name: the word “Fjällräven” means “Arctic Fox” in Swedish.
2. Before Buying: Find The Right Retailer
The desire to have a Kånken at all costs can push you to make an impulse purchase, and the possibility of considerable savings can prove to be a deceptive temptation.
Before buying a Kånken backpack, evaluate the reliability of your retailer.
Be wary of some retailers present on large sales platforms, such as eBay, DHGate or Aliexpress, as well as some online stores and shop windows that could use the brand name arbitrarily.
If you choose Amazon, we suggest that you always do the necessary checks, also by reading the comments and user reviews of the product. Also, check out the seller and the reviews they’ve got from customers.
If you still have suspicions or if the price seems too cheap to be true, listen to your intuition.
Fortunately, Fjällräven has a detailed website and offers a list of authorized distributors globally, with a useful interactive map.
Now the time has come to discover all those aspects that make a Fjällräven Kånken an “original”.
The different sections below illustrate the main original elements of the Fjällräven Kånken, comparing them with those of the imitations.
To be more precise these different sections are as follows: external structure of the backpack, internal structure, packaging, labels and materials.
3. Design and External Structure of the Backpack
Before going on to check every little detail of this trendy backpack, let’s look at its design and then, its external structure.
This backpack stands out for its original rectangular shape.
In its classic version, its dimensions are: 27cm wide, 38cm tall and 13cm deep, and it can accommodate two A4 binders inside.
Then, its capacity is 16 liters and although its spaces may seem limited, its interior is quite large. When empty it weighs about 300 grams.
Externally it has two large handles, two open side pockets, two adjustable shoulder straps, an ergonomic “X” design to ensure optimal support of the backpack and its contents, and a front pocket with zip closure.
Now let’s move on to highlight the different aspects that make a Kånken an “original”, and not just another imitation.
3.1 Important Details That Make the Difference – The External Structure
In a fake Kånken it is possible to notice a significant reduction of the capacity of the different compartments.
A fundamental element of the exterior are the adjustable shoulder straps: the Kånken-s, genuine or counterfeit, are equipped with adjustable shoulder straps, firmly sewn on the backrest and equipped with buttons.
The difference lies in the material, workmanship and consistency of the shoulder straps: in the original models, the straps are made of propylene, thick and robust, and their texture has an ‘H’ weave.
The imitations have much thinner shoulder straps with a different texture and a glossy finish.
The elements of the external structure to be careful are zips and buttons: it’s more difficult to imitate the smallest details.
The zip pullers, both in the original and in imitations, have a double impression: on one side the brand name, on the opposite side the fox of the logo.
In the original Kånken, the fox is always turned to the left, the YKK brand is engraved on the zips and a small relief is present along the edge of the zip pullers.
The zips of a fake Fjällräven Kånken come close to the original, but have grossly more marked engravings and mirrored foxes.
The snaps on the handles and shoulder straps show two identifying characteristics: the WASA 6 brand on the back and the visible arctic fox.
Over time, counterfeiters introduced the WASA 6 brand, but the buttons are made of a lighter metal and have poorly cared for carvings.
Important: in the original Kånken, the foxes are all aligned in the same direction!
The last indicator of authenticity is the logo on the front of the backpack: a round emblem with fox and brand name in dark red.
The logo is made of plastic material, but differs in its finish. The trademark of the fake models is in glossy plastic, while the originals have a semi-reflective logo, because they are designed for poor visibility conditions.
This logo is well sewn to the external structure in the original Fjällräven backpacks; not surprisingly, the seams are precious hidden elements to authenticate our Kånken.
At first glance, counterfeit models show little attention to finishing.
In the original, all the seams are concealed and the edges well hidden, while the imitations have visible and not very accurate seams.
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4. Inside the Backpack
The interior of the Kånken consists of a single compartment that is very spacious.
By opening the main zipper closure you have access to this main and unique compartment of the backpack where you can find a very useful internal pocket, on the back part.
The backpack’s capacity allows for a 13 inch laptop.
Once again the key to distinguish between an original and fake Kånken is in the details.
4.1 Important Details That Make the Difference – The Internal Structure
In the fake models the coating inside the backpack is shiny and subtle, while in the original it’s satin and thick.
In the center of the backrest there is a sewn elongated rectangular label with logo, brand name, a brief history of the model and a form for personal details.
Fake backpacks have a non-standardized label that differs in size and content. The original backpack shows a small Swedish fabric flag on the right side of the label as further proof of originality.
Important: The flag is present in the latest models. An original Kånken backpack of a few years ago did not have this detail.
This element is missing in the old fake packs, but it is present in the most recent models and differs from the original in the poor cut quality and dimensions.
Lastly, between the inner lining and the backrest, all Fjällräven Kånken-s have a pocket containing a gray PE padding to ensure maximum comfort and cushion the impact with the back.
The genuine protection panel is effective because it is quite thick, and has a circular sticker that the fakes do not have.
5. The Packaging, Labels and Materials
5.1 Important Details That Make the Difference – The Packaging and Labels
As we have already anticipated, further elements that allow you to identify a real Kånken are also the type of packaging and labels that you receive with the backpack.
The authentic Fjällräven Kånken is contained in a transparent plastic bag, with a rather anonymous appearance.
Only the original packaging has an adhesive label with the code and color of the model!
Even if a counterfeit Kånken does not always show spelling errors, pay close attention to the correct wording and the presence of special characters, umlauts (ä) and ring diacritic (å).
Fortunately, fake models can be exposed thanks to an interesting detail: the information slip.
The close link with nature and the love for natural textures are also noticeable in this element.
Every original Kånken has a double label printed on a brown cardboard (with a thick weight and texture), tied with a resistant string to one of the two handles.
The label, in the originals and in the fakes, briefly tells the story of the brand and the product, but the polychrome print of the Swedish emblem and a serial number and barcode sticker are typical of the original.
In imitations, the model code (if any) may be wrong and, if you pay more attention, fonts and sizes differ significantly.
Suspicious elements are a poor quality cardboard and the national emblem, hardly comprehensible and printed in red. To conclude, the cardboards of fake Kånken-s are secured with a fragile string and a fairly stocky knot.
Other important information labels are present inside the Kånken, sewn together along the left edge of the backpack: they recall those of clothing with washing instructions and product code, but only the originals are in fabric.
In addition, a Kånken backpack always includes an illustrative brochure with archival photos from the 70s and brand insights.
The colors of the photos are deliberately saturated and the false models have poor print quality with mediocre and dull shades.
Read also: Fake UGGs vs Real UGGs: How to Spot Them?
5.2 Important Details That Make the Difference – The Materials
Fjällräven has developed a high-tech material inspired by natural fibers meant to be light and resistant at the same time: Vinylon F (in some labels you’ll find it as “Vinylal”, like in the image below).
Although synthetic, Vinylon F is an extremely resilient fabric: it is not treated with chemical coatings but it is waterproof and, once wet, its fibers expand and stiffen to resist rain.
It is the external material of the Kånken that makes the difference between the original and an imitation.
How to recognize this fabric?
An authentic Kånken is rough and thick, cannot be easily creased; it is completely opaque and the water slips away.
Counterfeit Kånken-s are produced with a much cheaper canvas, similar to plasticized canvas, smooth and soft to the touch, very malleable, and with a glossy finish.
The backpack’s color is also a good indicator of its authenticity.
The Kånken is available in a range of pastel shades, while the imitations have paler colors or inconsistent with the model number.
With this guide we tried to give you all the details to make a thoughtful and safe purchase.
The apparent Kånken’s simplicity hides many quality details that can help you navigate among hundreds of imitations.
This backpack is cute and smart just like the brand’s fox 😉 !