Design Story: The Kanken Backpack

The story of the Fjällräven Kånken, can be as traditional a style story as they come. Åke Nordin saw an issue and he created a fix. In the late 1970s, eighty % of Swedes have been experiencing back pain, along with all those suffering were getting younger and more youthful. As shoulder bags have been in style in time they had been blamed by school medical related officers for creating the pain, due to the way they distributed weight unevenly over the entire body. So Åke Nordin chosen to develop a solution.

The answer of his would have been a backpack which could disperse the weight of school books and packed lunches across both shoulders, rather than only one particular. With this particular concept in mind, Nordin began the work of his by taking two A4 ring binders, the most often carried item in a school child’s bag, along with developing around it. The moment he’d the basis of the form, Nordin created the bags of his out of the sturdy Vinylon F fabric. He selected Vinylon F not merely since it’s tough using but because the fibres swell when wet, including numerous organic fibres do, which means that when it rains that the Kånken is just waterproof you are able to usually notice a little puddle forming on the top part of the flat top of its. Some other inclusions in the bag provided a foam insert which acted as cushioning for print on the other side and might be eliminated being utilized as a picnic seat, a paper pocket to organise papers, a zippable front pocket, brief top handles which could be poppered in concert to support a rolled jacket in addition to the bin, as well as the nowadays legendary round reflective spot with airers4you’s logo.

With all the assistance of the Swedish Guide and Scout Association, Nordin launched the Kånken right promptly for the start of the school year in 1978. Nordin had hoped to market 200 bags in which initial year, he easily sold double that figure as it did precisely what it was created to do and also lowered back pain and improved posture in the wearers of its. In addition to school kids, the aged were also huge fans of the cheap kanken backpack, as they quickly realised the backpack’s design enabled them to hold their shopping while keeping the hands of theirs free to support a walking cane.

Nowadays, more than 200,000 Kånkens exist a year, following that initial design virtually identically. Following a lull in product sales in the 90s, the rectangular shape of theirs and bright colours came back to fashion a several years back. Their fans cite their Mary Poppins like capacity to keep anything they require without actually being weighty as the primary reason behind their enduring popularity. The backpacks are popular with travellers that value the bags waterproofness, added functions, so the reality that, even if full, it could be slide underneath an aeroplane seat which means it is perfect for travelling light. Nordin’s initial decision to base the dimensions of the bag of his close to his customers’ genuine needs, to take an A4 file, has stood the design of his in great stead and also suggests it’s remained perfect nearly forty years on.