Caring for your Kånken

By Kaisa, Kristine, and Marta.

I promised myself I wouldn’t get one upon my start at Open Air. The Kånken seemed that little bit too popular. The square backpack pops up everywhere; it’s carried by schoolkids, students and seniors (my grandma loves the handles at the top). As can be seen below I gave in, I saw the light, and when I saw this pattern it was just too darn cute not to have. Plus I had been worn down by its features; the practical design and the tough material of the bag being key points.

Funky, right?
Image: Marta Miracle

So having splashed out, I wanted to keep this rucksack going for as long as possible. Below are some key ways to make your Kånken last:

  1. Protect your Kånken from getting messy:
    • To start out with, make sure you keep your Kånken out of the mud and rain – a must if you cycle! Use the right rain cover for your bag size (the regular cover fits the Kånken originals, 13″ and 15″ laptop versions; for Kånken Minis you’ll want the mini cover; the 17″ laptop Kånken is just a bit big for the regular rain cover – you’ll want the 16-28 litre Räven rain cover instead). They come in three colours and the regular and mini versions have nifty press-studs at the top to stay attached.
Great for any backsplash from your bike!
  1. Wax your Kånken No.2 for more protection:
    • These bags are made of the famously sturdy Fjällräven G-1000 fabric and are suitable for waxing to protect the bag from rain.
    • Wax also makes the fabric more resilient to wear.
    • It’s very easy to do – all you need is a block of wax and an iron or hairdryer, and just follow this video:
If it all does go wrong, just use parchment paper and an iron to absorb excess wax.
  1. Your bag’s got stained despite your best efforts? Wash it! Here’s how:
    • Do not machine wash your bag! If you do, the fabric will lose its stiffness and will become much softer. This could make your bag lose its classic boxy shape.
    • Before you get started, remove the seat pad from your Kånken’s back pocket – it’s a foam pad in the original versions or a G-1000HD pad if it’s a No.2. Then follow this video:
I’ve found hanging it to dry in a sunny spot is ideal!
  1. Bored of the same old? Customise your Kånken:
    • Pop on some funky pins or iron on a patch. Keep in mind sewing it on too is a great way to secure it.
    • If you’re feeling more creative, why not embroider your Kånken to stand out from the crowd:
Use a cotton cloth to protect the patch when you iron it on!
Image: Marta Miracle

For some embroidering inspiration check out some of these Instagrammers:

Check out Hoops and Expectations’ page!

With these tips your Kånken should stay fresh and bring you many years of joy!

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