We’re not quite sure what it is about Kånken – maybe it’s the kaleidoscopic range of colours; maybe it’s the handy rectangular shape; perhaps it’s just that it’s got a long backstory; most likely it’s a combination of all three – but for whatever reason, Kånken has become our most popular backpack. In fact, it’s the most popular product in our entire range.
Little has changed since we launched Kånken in 1978. We now have more sizes and colours than ever; we have Kånken No. 2 – a more hardwearing version made using G-1000 Heavy Duty material – and in 2016 we added Re-Kånken, made from 11 recycled plastic bottles. But otherwise, the design hasn’t changed one bit.
Kånken was built to last. The Vinylon fabric Kånken original is made from and the G-1000 Heavy Duty of Kånken No. 2 are designed to stand up to wear and tear. But they’re not unbreakable. So if you really love your Kånken (and we’re sure that you do), you should really take good care of it. Here are some tips to help prolong the life of your favourite backpack.
To get those really vibrant colours, we use a special dying technique. But this does mean there is a chance the colour can run and could even rub off on your clothes – particularly light coloured clothing. So we recommend soaking your Kånken in lukewarm water before you start using it or gently rub the surface with a soft brush. And make sure it’s fully dry (hang it up in the bathroom) before filling it with fun stuff and strapping it on your back.
Whatever you do, don’t put Kånken in the washing machine. Instead, use a soft brush or sponge and lukewarm water to clean away dirt.
Don’t overfill your Kånken. We have loads of different sizes, so if you want to stuff it full of goodies then get a bigger size. The standard Kånken original backpack has a 16ltr volume, and although we don’t have an official max weight load, you should keep it to just a few kilos. And don’t put a laptop in a regular Kånken. That back pocket is made for folders, papers etc perhaps a tablet computer, but not a laptop. It puts too much strain on the straps and zips.
Speaking of zips, if you get something stuck in your Kånken zip avoid yanking it free. Instead, use a little bit of oil or clear lip balm to loosen the zip. Then gently try opening and closing it.
If tears appear, fix them straight away. The longer you leave them, the bigger they’ll get and then they’ll be almost impossible to repair.
And finally, don’t leave your Kånken in direct sunlight. The colour will fade. Kånken prefers the shade or low-level sunshine.
Text: Sarah Benton