I've Used This Backpack for Everything From Office Commutes to Weekend Travel for the Last 4 Years

It’s the perfect under-seat carry-on bag.

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Photo: nordstrom.com

I'm a relentless over-packer. It doesn't matter if I'm simply driving to work, visiting a friend, or going to the gym, I usually pack everything I might need before I leave the house. Case in point: My purse is overflowing with lip balms, mints, lotions, pens, and masks. So, it's safe to say that packing for daily commutes, weekend trips, or long vacations is a skill I have yet to master. That's why I love finding bags and travel essentials that are easy to carry yet still accommodate my over-packing habits—and this backpack has been my favorite for the last four years.

The Fjällräven Kånken Laptop Backpack has a two-way front zipper that opens up like a suitcase, so I can lay it flat to maximize my jigsaw-like packing puzzle. I can easily fit two to three lightweight outfits, a pair of shoes, a cosmetic bag, chargers, my water bottle, and a Kindle in the main compartment alone. There's also a rear zipper for a 15-inch laptop and a deep front pocket for smaller items like a wallet, passport, masks, hand sanitizer, and more. While it's large enough for weekend travel, the backpack is also sleek, stylish, and lightweight for work.


To buy: $120; amazon.com or nordstrom.com.

It's made from water-resistant vinyl that feels like a lightweight canvas; through rain or snow, the material keeps my valuables from getting wet or damaged. The padded back and adjustable straps are comfortable and rarely strain my neck and shoulders. Plus, the top carrying handles are easy to grab while I'm on the go.

The brand even made a few updates to the design since I bought it four years ago, by adding a removable seat cover and two additional side pockets to fit a water bottle and an umbrella. The one drawback is that the side pockets are also made of vinyl with tight stitching, so a large water bottle like my 32-ounce Hydro Flask won't fit—luckily, the main compartment is big enough to handle it.

One thing that stands out is its durability. Over four years, the backpack hasn't shown signs of deterioration like loose stitching, finicky zippers, or sticky adjustable straps. The material can scuff over time, but spot-cleaning it with a damp towel usually does the trick. It comes in a variety of colors, too, like blue ridge, ochre, black, and super gray.

If you're looking for a reliable, sturdy, and stylish backpack that acts like a work bag or under-seat carry-on, head to Amazon or Nordstrom to shop the Fjällräven Kånken Laptop Backpack I use almost every day.

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