Art Day Out with Fjallraven Re-Kanken Mini

I recently got myself a Fjallraven Re-Kanken Mini to replace my Baggu backpack.

I loved the Baggu, it was made from recycled canvas, it was a great rusty brown color and it was super roomy. However, I think it was just a bit too big for me. No matter how tight I made the straps the bag would rub on my lower back in such a way that my skirts would always ride up. I wear dresses almost every day in the summer so it was super annoying to have to stop every ten steps to pull down the back of my dress. I also think the canvas material was to blame as the rough texture seemed to “grab” my clothes and contribute to the ass baring issues. (the Baggu is a great bag for winter though when I am always wearing a coat)

I read somewhere in an online forum that the Fjallraven Kanken Mini was a good option for short people who have the problem of backpacks touching their behind when they walk. So I went to check out this tiny backpack.

While the bag can look tiny and a little silly on normal sized adult people, on me it only looks a bit small, not mini. No one has commented to me that it is “cute” – I wouldn’t mind of course – but I like that it comes across as a bit more normal rather than a ridiculously tiny bag. I was concerned it would be too small to carry much, but due to the squared shape it actually fits quite a lot!

I decided to try packing it up for an art day out. Here we go!

All packed up with art supplies, the Kanken Mini is not at all full and can still easily fit snacks, a small sweater and water.

I often carry my pens, watercolor paints and brushes in a zippered pouch. I shoved a tiny sketchbook in there too. I also have a cup for water and a towel.

(wondering what I have hanging on the chain? it’s a cute keycap like this one)

My favorite sketchbook, the Strathmore 500 mixed media sketchbook,  just barely fits in the Kanken Mini, I was hoping it would fit in the back pouch but no go. At 20cm the Mini is quite narrow which means wider notebooks will fit tightly and bend a little. (the notebook is 22.86cm × 17.78cm)

However, my iPad Pro fit perfectly in the back pouch area. I also added the charger, spare battery and the iPencil. I use the iPad Pro and iPencil to draw and sketch. Usually I wouldn’t go on a day adventure carrying both the iPad and a sketchbook and paints but as you can see it all fits just fine. (the iPad is 23.9cm x 16.9cm)

In the little front pocket I would carry my point and shoot camera and in the side pockets my sunglasses on one side and a small water bottle on the other. My phone usually goes in my pocket and I’d throw my recycled Unbegun wallet in the bigger compartment as well.

My iPhone 6 fits perfectly in the side pocket. I don’t carry it like that when walking around in public where it could be snatched but when hiking or in a quiet area it is a great place to put it!

In case you are wondering, the 11-inch MacBook Air does not fit in the Fjallraven Re-Kanken Mini. It ALMOST fits but is just a few centimeters too large. Bummer, I might need to buy a regular sized Kanken too haha.

The Fjallraven Re-Kanken Mini is made of 100% recycled polyester and comes in 12 colors. Mine is the Slate shade, which is the perfect grey indigo color like Payne’s Grey, my favorite paint color. Each bag is made from 11 plastic bottles! The Kanken Mini also comes in a non-recycled fabric but why would you get that when recycling is so awesome! 😀

I’ve had the Re-Kanken Mini for about a year now and use it daily. It still looks 100% brand new! I do not baby it or clean it and it does not have one mark or tear or stain. The Slate is really a great color and the fabric is tough.

I like that I can carry it over one shoulder or with both straps and I often carry it in one hand like a tote by the top straps as well if I am just walking a short distance. The small size makes it easy to do so without dragging it on the ground.

Are your Kanken Mini straps too short for you? Extended all the way, the straps on my Kanken Mini are each 29 inches long or almost 74 centimeters. If you are curious if the straps will be long enough you can try putting a measuring tape over your shoulder. I think the straps are long enough to fit most medium sized adults, but if you have large shoulders that might be a bit too short and uncomfortable.

One thing I dislike about the Kanken is that the straps are not comfortable. Usually it is not a problem that they are on the thin side, it is more that they are sharp on the edges. The straps tend to hit me right in my armpit (I have big boobs) and the sharp edge can rub uncomfortably on my arm when I am wearing the backpack with a sleeveless top. An option would be to buy these little pads that go over the straps. Or I am thinking of buying or making a chest strap to hold the straps closer together in the front in the summertime when I am wearing tanks and sleeveless dresses all the time. Unfortunately that probably won’t look super attractive but I’ll likely only use it when walking longer distances. The straps are not a problem at all in the winter when I am always wearing a coat.

Check out these rad patches that would look great on the Kanken

The Kanken Mini is great for a day out sketching but I most often use it to carry my DSLR, or to hold stuff like extra camera batteries, phone charger, snacks and wallet while I have my camera around my neck. It’s very comfortable and I barely notice it is there at all. I highly recommend the Re-Kanken Mini for sightseeing and everyday use.

Fjallraven Re-Kanken Mini details:

Height: 29cm

Width: 20cm

Depth: 13cm

Volume: 7L

Weight: 340g

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