Fjällraven Kånken
Fjällraven Kånken (Courtesy of Fjällraven)

What’s the best new commuter bag?

I need a cool, new commuter bag. What do you recommend? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

Fjällraven Kånken

It was designed in 1977, but the Kånken’s longevity is a testament to just how cool this backpack is. Made by Fjällraven, the Patagonia of Sweden, the Kånken ($110; is made out of a super-strong Japanese fabric called Vinylon F that, counter to what you might expect, actually gets stronger as it ages because the fibers weave more closely together. That, and its retro-cool look is the reason you’ll see thirty-something Swedes still carrying the Kånken they used in Kindergarten. A few additional bells and whistles have been added, however, like padded shoulder sleeves and a padded computer sleeve, so you can rest assured that your hardware will get to work in one piece.

Fjällraven Kånken

Fjällraven Kånken Fjällraven Kånken

The poetically inclined will be excited by the daily inspiration in the form of a quote running down one side of their new Rumi messenger bag ($109; “In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and watch how the pattern improves.” This roomy shoulder bag is inspirational for other reasons as well—it’s made out of recycled plastic, has a beautiful branch motif embroidered on the front flap, and is roomy enough to hold a laptop and can accommodate a yoga mat with extra-long straps. Now you have no excuse not to do it all in one day.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: Courtesy of Fjällraven