Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert (Small) Review

The Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert doesn’t have anything innovative going on—it’s simply a solid camera case to keep your gear safe and tidy on the road.

Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small In Detroit
Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small In Detroit

Our Verdict

8.2 /10

Form

83/100

Design

80/100

Value

83/100

Pros

  • Dividers allow you to customize the interior to your unique set up
  • It’s vegan-friendly (unlike a number of Fjallraven products)
  • Thick, soft padding will keep your expensive equipment safe

Cons

  • Exterior clings to dust far too easily
  • Exterior is difficult to clean
  • Takes up a huge chunk of space in most daypacks

Technical Details

  • Weight (lb)

    1.15 lb (0.5 kg)

  • Dimensions

    10.5 in x 9 in x 4.75 in (26.7 x 22.9 x 12.1 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    G-1000, Cotton, Polyester, Polyamide

  • Manufacturing Country

    Vietnam

  • Warranty Information

    Fjallraven Warranty Policy

Full Review

Unless the idea of breaking your camera gives you an adrenaline rush, you’re going to want a camera case as you traipse the globe with your camera. Enter the small Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert.

Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Flat Lay
Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Flat Lay

We’re usually fans of Fjallraven—the company tends to make quality gear that’s fun to use in the real world. Can the same be said for the Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert? Read on.

Materials & Aesthetic

To us, the Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert looks like a lunchbox. It’s square with a small handle on top. Not that the lunchbox aesthetic is a bad thing. In fact, we’re digging the simplicity. At the time of this review, it’s only available in two colorways: Black and Frost Green. While we could do with more options, these choices are pretty sleek.

Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Logo
Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Logo

In typical Fjallraven fashion, you’ll find the Fjallraven Arctic Fox logo front and center. But—instead of the usual leather tag—this one is synthetic and vegan. So all you Fjallraven-loving vegans out there, rejoice! You can finally be a part of the Fjallraven community.

The exterior is made from Fjallraven’s double-waxed G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco S fabric. There are some awesome things about this fabric. First of all, it’s durable and weather-resistant. You can also reproof it with the Fjallraven Greenland Wax to extend its life. And the “Eco” part of the name means the Kanken Photo Insert is made with recycled polyester and organic cotton, which is certainly something we can get behind.

Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Outside Material
Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Outside Material

But it picks up dirt, hair, and dust better than a duster. Seriously, Swiffer® may want to lease out the rights to this fabric. We would certainly use it to clean our floors.

Jokes aside, this is frustrating as the photo insert starts to look dirty after only a few days, especially in the black colorway we’ve been testing. And it’s surprisingly difficult to clean. You have to take a wet cloth to it, which isn’t ideal for travel.

Features & Usage

The Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert isn’t full of features, which is fine by us. It does its job nicely and that’s all we need and want in a camera case.

Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Inside Material
Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Inside Material

The interior is made from thick, soft padding. The dividers are secured with velcro, so you can make it work for whatever set up you’ve got. And you can ensure all of your equipment is tightly secured so they don’t jostle or break in-transit.

Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Open
Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Open

Currently, we have two mirrorless cameras inside the main bucket with some lens hoods and filters and extra batteries. In the zipper pocket on the interior of the lid, we have our smaller camera accessories, including SD cards and a wrist strap. We love that there’s a spot for your smaller items without too many pockets or organizational features cutting into the usable space.

Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Top Pocket
Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small Top Pocket

And again, you can make this insert work for you. It’s extremely versatile, which is definitely a plus. After all, your photo setup is as unique as you are (everyone now, awww).

With the segmentation and thick padding, you never have to worry about your camera breaking. It goes without saying that this is an important quality for what’s essentially a camera case.

Now, if you’re astute you may have noticed that this photo insert shares a name with the popular Fjallraven Kanken Backpack. There’s a reason for that—this insert has been specially designed to fit inside the Kanken.

Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small In Bag
Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small In Bag

But when you put this insert inside the backpack, it takes up about ⅔ of the useable interior space. At that point, your Kanken backpack is essentially a carrying case for your carrying case with a bit of extra room for a sweatshirt or something.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to note. We’ve preferred to use it with larger bags so we have space for our other stuff too. If we only wanted to carry a camera, we’d probably opt for a dedicated camera backpack or sling bag. But everyone is different.

Durability & Testing

We’ve been testing the small Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert for the past few months in Detroit, Michigan. And we’re happy to say that we have no durability issues to report.

Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small In Detroit
Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert Small In Detroit

It’s been a great camera case, keeping all of our expensive equipment safe and organized. While it takes up a little too much space inside smaller daypacks—and collects dust way too easily—it’s a solid camera case from a solid company. We expect it’ll hold up for years to come.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • Thick padding is great for protecting your gear, but it does make it slightly bulky.
  • The G-1000 material attracts a bit more dust than we’d like.
  • Very versatile and will work with multiple camera kits in a wide range of backpacks.
1 Month of Use

Condition: Excellent

Everything looks good!

2 Months of Use

Condition: Good

This thing attracts so much dust/hair/dirt! It looks like we’ve tried cleaning our floors with it.

3 Months of Use

Condition: Good

Solid overall, but it’s still attracting ALL of the dust and dirt.

Overall

The small Fjallraven Kanken Photo Insert is a solid camera case from a solid company. The exterior is made from Fjallraven’s durable and weather-resistant G1000 HeavyDuty Eco S fabric, while the interior is made of soft, thick padding. The dividers allow you to customize the interior to suit your setup. While we think it eats up too much space inside daypacks—and we’re frustrated with how much dust the exterior attracts—we like having all of our expensive camera equipment safe and organized as we travel.

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By Mark Hurrish
Created October 18, 2019 • Updated October 18, 2019