Last Updated: December 1, 2023
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Best Backpacks Like the Fjallraven Kanken

In as much as we all love the Fjallraven Kanken, not everyone is willing to shell out over $100 for a backpack. There are lots of alternatives in the market now that jumped on the Kanken wagon. In fact, you can even get almost the exact same look without the logo. But before you grab the cheapest lookalike, there’s more to the appeal of the Kanken than a cool design and fun colors.

Fjallraven dates back to the 1960s when the company wanted to create the perfect rucksack. After several iterations, the iconic Kanken was released in the 70s. Its claim-to-fame was its extremely lightweight frame and roomy interiors. It was originally intended for school children carrying around tons of books.

Our Top Picks

The backpack effectively distributed the weight of the bag to both shoulders, which travelers and adventurers eventually found useful as well. Couple this highly functional design with a growing list of colors and combinations to choose from, and it’s not difficult to see why the Fjallraven Kanken has become a household name. If you want the Kanken but not its high price tag, here are some backpacks like the Fjallraven Kanken. Packs that come extremely close to the original.

Top 4 Backpacks Like Fjallraven Kanken

anello #AT-B0197B Small Backpack with Side Pockets

anello #AT-B0197B small backpack with side pockets (Charcoal gray)

It’s not exactly cheap, but at least it’s cheaper than a Kanken. Anello is a homegrown Japanese brand that has earned a cult following all over Asia. Trust the Japanese to design something both functional and beautiful. This backpack is made of nylon-polyester blend material, making it both sturdy and slightly water-resistant.

The backpack has a top opening with a zipper closure. This particular product can hold 10 liters, but it comes in varying sizes. Inside is a slot for laptops and tablets, plus three outside pockets to further organize your items. There isn’t much to match the weight-distribution technology of the Kanken, but this backpack from Anello is definitely lightweight.

It currently comes in 14 colors, both muted and loud. The backpack is quite roomy and can hold a day or two’s worth of clothes for travel, but is also compact enough for everyday use.



Lily & Drew Small Travel Backpack

At under $25, this backpack is a steal without being a cop-out.  Standing at a height of 12 inches, it’s more of a mini backpack and best used for day trips or daily commutes. Despite its affordable price tag, it does come with impressive features. The polyester material has a rubberized surface coating for waterproofing. It also has YKK brand “hidden” zippers to improve water resistance. The inside is thoughtfully done as well with a  silky-smooth, light-colored polyester to contrast well with inside contents.

The wide shoulder straps let the backpack sit comfortably on the shoulders, especially with a heavy load. The bag is also reinforced in stress areas for durability. When not in use, you can pull the straps to its shortest length and secure with the built-in snaps.

The strongest point of this bag is the pockets. There are four pockets on the outside:  one large zippered pocket on the front, two side pockets, and a “hidden” pocket on the back perfect for wallets or mobile phones. Inside are a whopping 10 pockets: two zippered pockets, a padded tablet or laptop sleeve, four slip pockets, two mesh pockets, and a tether for keys. If you’re big on organization, then this is definitely the backpack for you.


Himawari Waterproof Backpack

himawari Laptop Backpack for Women&Men Travel Backpack With USB Charging Port Large Business Bag Water Resistant College Bag Computer Bag Doctor Bag (1881-Violet)

Another Japanese-made bag, Himawari is another great alternative to the Fjallraven Kanken. It’s marketed towards girls (their tagline is “for gals on the go”), and they make it very obvious with the pastel color combinations of their bags. However, they’re built pretty well and men can comfortably use this backpack as well. If pastel isn’t your thing, they also have solid and plain colors to choose from.

The name is a little misleading as the bag is more water-resistant than waterproof. The main material is nylon with leather accents and metal zippers. The wide straps are padded and so is the back for better comfort.

It also has great organization. It fits a 14″ inch laptop inside a padded sleeve. There are several inner zipped, slip, and mesh pockets for all kinds of items. Outside, there are two side pockets and a large front pocket with faux leather straps. The front pocket actually closes with a snap.



Kah&Kee Polyester Travel Backpack

Kah&Kee Polyester Travel Backpack Functional Anti-theft School Laptop for Women Men (Yellow, Large)

This nifty backpack from Kah&Kee is a thoughtfully designed bag. It seems to have gotten all the best features of the other bags and loaded them onto their backpack.

It comes in 30 solid and combination colors, most of which are a darker hue. It has double-padded and reinforced straps for durability. It can fit a 14-inch laptop in a padded sleeve. It has tons of pockets, including a secret pocket in the back and a hang loop in one of the side pockets. It also has a zipper opening at the back so you can access the contents of your bag without fully removing the backpack from your shoulders.

The canvas material is great for durability and is slightly water-resistant. The bag also has a slim profile that keeps it from getting too bulky when jammed with stuff. Quality seems to be inconsistent, though, but Kah&Kee offers 30-day returns.


Kjarakär Vintage Backpack School Bookbag

Kjarakär (pronounced as care-a-car) promises to be the best travel companion as it translates to “well-traveled”. Whether it’s the “best” is up to you, but the bag does have some great features (and reviews).

The backpack is pretty versatile in function, but it does only come in one color which is light pink. It’s only big enough to fit a 13″ laptop, but the sleeve is padded. It has a total of ten compartments that includes side pockets, slip pockets, zipped pockets, and a mesh pocket. The straps are padded and reinforced for even weight distribution and durability.

The bag is a little smaller than many of the bags in this list. It also comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee in case you decide that this bag is not for you.


Zicac Unisex DIY Canvas Backpack

Zicac Unisex DIY Canvas Backpack Daypack Satchel Backpack(Natural White)

The Zicac is a great, washable canvas bag that has the most unique offering – DIY backpacks. It comes in two styles (one that’s an imitation of the Kanken and another that looks more like a standard backpack), and three colors: white, grey, and black. If you’re the crafty kind, this is the perfect backpack to personalize and customize to have one like no other.

Since we’re talking about Kanken alternatives, let’s talk about the Kanken lookalike. In terms of organization, it doesn’t offer a lot. It has one front zippered pocket, 2 interior slip pockets, and a laptop slip pocket (not padded) that can fit up to 15 inches.

What it lacks in organization, it makes up for in make. All seams are double-stitched and reinforced. The interior of the bag is also lined with fabric to protect items from scratches. As with most versatile backpacks, the straps are padded and reinforced for durability.


LuckyZ Backpacks Canvas Backpack

LuckyZ Womens Casual Lightweight Canvas Backpack School Bag Travel Daypack Small Handbag Purse, Green

Another contender in the “affordable” category is the LuckyZ Canvas Backpack. The canvas material is very soft and lightweight, which is one of the best features of the bag. It doesn’t have the gazillion pockets of other items in this list, but the organization is sufficient. Inside, it has one main pocket that can fit a 10″ tablet, and one slip pocket. On the exterior are two side pockets and front zipper pocket.

The backpack is more of a purse than a day bag but has enough room to carry items around the city or to a quick day hike. If you’re used to carrying around your laptop or using this as a carry-on in the plane, then you might lack the necessary space and organization from this bag. However, for those looking for something small and less bulky, then this backpack is a great Kanken alternative.


WindTook Laptop Backpack

Taking more off of Herschel than of Kanken, the WindTook laptop backpack is a great rucksack to have for any occasion. The oxford material gives it a richer look and feel, and is also water-resistant. The inner polyester material gives the contents a layer of water protection as well.

The bag has a top opening that you can roll and secure with a buckle. It also has a hidden back pocket for more valuable items. On the side, it also has a USB port so you can charge your phone without taking out your powerbank.

There are several inner pockets in this bag for great organization, including a padded laptop sleeve that can fit a 15-inch laptop. Capacity is impressive and makes for a great travel or hiking bag. With 12 dark and light colors, this bag is a good buy for any traveler, male or female. In the event you don’t think so, the company also offers a 90-day return or refund policy.



Doughnut Macaroon Backpack

Doughnut Macaroon 16L Travel Backpack Ladies College Lightweight Casual Daypacks Bag Backpack

One of the backpacks that is really taking off as a Kanken alternative is the Doughnut backpack. Not as affordable as the others but still costs less than the Kanken, the Doughnut backpack is almost an exact replica of the Kanken.

As the name suggests, the Macaroon backpack is much known for its range of colors: solid, pastel, contemporary, dark, light. It offers a little bit more than the Kanken in terms of pockets and organization. It can fit a 14-inch laptop in a padded laptop compartment and has an additional slip pocket that can fit an iPad, plus several other pockets for small items.

Able to carry 16L in volume, the Doughnut Macaroon Backpack is very roomy and still very lightweight. The zippers open all the way down, making it easy to access all items inside the bag. It’s also proven to be very sturdy, thanks to the material and all the reinforcements in stress areas.



Herschel Little America Backpack

Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack, Navy/Tan Synthetic Leather, Classic 25.0L

It may not be the perfect imitation, but you can’t talk funky backpacks without throwing Herschel on the list. The Herschel Little America Backpack is a classic rucksack known for its style, comfort, and durability.

As in true Herschel style, the backpack comes in tons of colors and color combinations, secured with leather straps. It also comes in two sizes: 17-L and 25L.

Both bags have padded 15-inch laptop compartments that are lined with fleece to protect your device. It has a small media pocket for your phone and a hole to loop through cables or headphones. It also has a large front pocket.

The best part about this backpack is the padded, contoured shoulder straps. With the large capacity of the bag, this extra back support and weight distribution is quite necessary especially if you’ll be carrying the bag the whole day.


N0 matter which of these backpacks you grab, they are all just like the Fjallraven Kanken in more ways than one. Of course, they are all usually cheaper which helps, but maybe you still want the original Kanken?