​​Fjällräven Tree-Kånken Bag | Review - Outdoors Magic

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​​Fjällräven Tree-Kånken Bag | Review

One of the world’s bestselling backpacks is now more sustainable than ever, using low-impact fabrics derived from tree bark

Why We Chose It: Stylish, practical, sustainably made

Alongside the iconic Greenland jacket, the Kånken rucksack is probably Fjällräven’s best-known, best-loved and best-selling product. Its distinctive and unashamedly practical design was first developed for Swedish schoolchildren, but has since been co-opted by almost everyone, regardless of their age (though a certain breed of trendy twenty-somethings seems to particularly like them). The bag’s striking looks – including that cutesy circular Arctic Fox logo – are undeniably attractive, but the real reason that the Kånken has stood the test of time so well is down to its supremely functional appeal. It works brilliantly as a take-anywhere, do-anything pack whether you use it for school, college, uni, work, travel or everyday adventures

Photos: Chris Johnson

Eco Credentials

So, what’s with the Tree-Kånken then? Well, it’s an evolution of the classic Kånken design, sharing the same looks but with new, much more sustainable materials.

More specifically, the new Tree-Kanken is made from something called Pine Weave, a bio-based material that’s derived from cellulose fibres obtained from tree bark – Swedish tree bark, to be precise. Fjällräven get their wood for this collection from trees grown just outside the brand’s hometown and the foresting, according to Fjällräven, is all done sustainably and is fully traceable to its source.

As a brand, Fjällräven is an active member of numerous sustainability initiatives. This includes the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), an industry-wide group of more than 80 leading clothing and footwear companies and NGOs. They’re also part of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which focuses on promoting workers’ rights and improving working conditions globally. And they’re signatories of the UN Global Compact, a partnership between businesses and the United Nations in which members are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles relating to human rights, labour, anti-corruption and the environment.


As we said up top, this is a practical and versatile bag that is equally at home in everyday life or on more casual outdoor excursions. Its daypack-friendly size works well for school, office or toting around town. Use it to carry your college books, your work lunch, your travel essentials or your waterproof jacket.

The main compartment has a large zipped opening that makes the Kånken easy to pack and unpack, aided by its practical rectangular design. It comes with a foam pad that is stored in an inner rear sleeve. In use, this stops stuff from digging into your back – and when needed, you can simply whip it out to become a handy seat. Ideal for wet park benches and mossy logs alike.

The side pockets will accommodate a slim water bottle (take a look at Primus’ Klunken for the perfect partner) or an umbrella. There’s daisy chain webbing to fix a bike lock or to hang things off with a carabiner or two and there are also webbing straps along the base where you can quickly fasten a jacket or yoga mat.

Other details include a reflective logo, a handy zipped pocket at the front that’ll fit flat items like maps, books or work documents. There’s a decent bit of space here for any extra small items too. 

The carrying system is simple but functional with easy-grab top handles and flexible, adjustable shoulder straps. These are fairly spartan, being made from polypropylene webbing, but if you’re lugging a slightly heavier load, you can buy additional padding to make things a bit comfier, as well as a chest strap. In fact, there are a host of different accessories with which you can accessorise your Kånken, ranging from an internal organiser to a dinky gear bag.  


Sturdy, stylish and now sustainable too, there’s very little not to like about the Tree-Kånken if you’re in the market for a great little everyday carry pack. Our only slight gripe is that it’s a fair bit more expensive than the regular version, which is a bit of a shame, but we’d urge everyone to stump up the extra cost for the sake of the planet.

The New Re-Kanken

Bear in mind that alongside the Tree-Kanken, Fjällräven also have the Re-Kanken. With this new option the whole thing, including the main fabric, webbing and lining, is made from recycled materials. In fact, each individual Re-Kånken is recycled from no less than eleven plastic PET drinks bottles. This also improves the product’s circularity in terms of sustainability, since the bag itself is easily recyclable again at the end of its lifetime. So, in theory, we could all buy Re-Kånken for the rest of our lives without Fjällräven ever needing to use virgin polyester again.

“Sturdy, stylish and now sustainable too, there’s very little not to like about the Tree-Kånken.”

You’d be unlikely to get bored with the Re-Kanken either, since this special edition comes in a dozen different colours, ranging from the brand’s signature UN blue to a fetching emerald (our personal fave). Each colourway is created using SpinDye technology, which radically reduces the amount of water, energy and chemicals used to dye the fabrics. That’s a big step forward, since the textile industry is a massive contributor to global water waste, water pollution and energy consumption – a large part of which is down to harmful and inefficient fabric dyeing processes.

Fjällräven Tree-Kånken

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