Trakke Canna Backpack (V2) Review
The Trakke Canna Backpack (V2)’s rectangular shape is more efficient to pack than the original while still preserving the heritage style we like.
- Rectangular shape easy to optimize with packing cubes
- Comfortable, simple, yet stylish harness system
- Laptop sleeve very close to main compartment opening
- Front pocket’s top area underused since most items settle at the bottom
- Hard to feed straps through the metal adjusters
- Main compartment pockets hard to reach
1.5 lb (0.7 kg)
14.2 in x 9.84 in x 5.12 in (36.1 x 25 x 13 cm)
Waxed Canvas, Cotton, YKK Zippers, Metal
Laptop Compartment Size
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We think ideas should be open to refinement, and it seems Trakke thinks so too. The original Canna Backpack wasn’t perfect, but it had clearly defined strengths: heritage styling, quality materials, and an easy-to-carry design. That’s all it needed to stand out in a sea of nylon-clad daypacks. Now, we have the Canna Backpack (V2), so what’s new?
Back with a more rectangular shape and a few visual tweaks, the Canna Backpack (V2) feels more evolutionary than revolutionary. The straps are still narrow, and the tight-fitting water bottle pockets are still snug. The rectangular shape is the most significant visual change, simultaneously optimizing the Canna (V2)’s for squared-off packing cubes and distinguishing it from the original.
Visually speaking, the most significant shift from the original Canna is its more rectangular shape. Gone are the arched top and protruding front pocket. Instead, it now has a taller profile with a plainer front design. If you think they got rid of the front pocket entirely, don’t worry. Trakke simply made it more stealthy. Generally speaking, though, nothing else has drastically changed about the aesthetics.
Whether you like it or not, Trakke’s sticking to its signature heritage styling. This approach calls for the brand’s usual ingredients: dry-finish waxed canvas and cotton straps with metal hardware. The fabric carries most of the appeal. It feels premium and gets that marked-up look usually associated with heritage-style bags. However, it’s also quite the pet hair magnet. It’s easy to remove with a lint roller, but it’s something to keep in mind if you have a cat or a dog who loves to sit on bags. For colorways, you can choose from Black, Whisky, Olive (greenish-brown), and Port (burgundy), all available at the time of writing.
The Canna (V2)’s dry-finish waxed canvas also means it’s less likely to absorb light splashes in case you get caught in a sudden downpour. By the way, dry-finish means there’s none of that residue-y feeling whenever you touch the fabric, nor do you have to reapply the wax once the existing coating wears off.
Another familiar sight is Trakke’s ring zipper pulls, paired with zippers from YKK. The zippers have historically been reliable, based on all the bags we’ve tested that use them. That said, we’ve had one of the ring-shaped pulls on Trakke’s Vorlich break off after a year, though that’s more of an exception than a rule.
The front Trakke logo is now removable, a neat little customization feature we like since it lets us use our Pack Hacker patch. It’s not that Trakke’s logo looks gaudy; the serif typeface definitely fits the styling. But once you’ve had a bag for multiple years, even changing the logo can freshen up the look, don’t you agree?
Trakke retains two water bottle pockets for this iteration of the Canna, with one on each side. These pockets can fit 18-ounce insulated water bottles, though the fit is quite snug. If you recall, the bottle pockets on the original Canna were similarly tight, causing bottles to dig into the main compartment’s space. Trakke added gussets and elastics to the bottle pockets, which keep the side flat when the pockets are not in use.
Up at the top are the two carry handles, securely stitched along the front of the bag. The only deviation from the original here is that the straps are now straight and feature more prominently as part of the look. The handles are still thin and widely spaced, but that’s definitely more than enough for a 12-liter backpack. Luckily, in case you were wondering, the rear handle doesn’t brush against the neck.
As for the harness system, Trakke still maintains a relatively simple setup. You won’t find anything fancy like thick padding, a hip belt, or a sternum strap. There are two shoulder straps, and that’s it. In fact, not much has changed from the original Canna, for better or for worse. Some padding would have been welcome, but it’s not necessarily needed, as we’ll see in the fit notes section.
The straps are still narrow, allowing them to sit pretty much anywhere on your shoulders. Bulkier straps usually fall into one place since they cover so much area. With thin straps like these, you have more room to adjust. Speaking of adjustment, the strap’s cotton material and relative thickness feed snuggly through the metal hardware. Making adjustments can be tough, so we recommend dedicating time to fiddle with it so you don’t have to later on.
Dialing in the correct fit takes some time, and the key to finding is striking a balance between two factors. The two primary causes for discomfort here are the straps’ metal adjusters, which sit somewhere near the armpits, and the Canna (V2) base, which can dig into the lower back if the bag hangs low enough. In other words, you have to tighten the straps enough to prevent the base from digging in, but raising it can also cause the metal adjuster to dig into your arms. After some adjustments, we’ve found our comfort zone, so you should definitely take the time to do so.
Not to blow things out of proportion—it’s important to remember that the Canna is a 12-liter daypack. It’s not a heavyweight, high-capacity backpack that needs a ton of support. Thus, the narrow straps still deliver satisfactory comfort despite their lack of padding. Still, if you pack the bag full enough and wear it for an extended period (say 12 hours), you will feel that pressure eventually.
Inside The Backpack
So, where did the Canna’s front pocket go? Is it even a “front” pocket anymore? Don’t worry, it’s there, and it’s definitely still a front pocket. The opening has moved to the right side, underneath a fabric welt. There’s also a welt on the opposite side, though this is just a gusset allowing the pocket to expand when packed. The gusset lets it retain independent volume without protruding as it did in the previous Canna. Aesthetically, this is a good change since it preserves the bag’s clean lines and looks less visually cluttered. However, the move to a side opening also has a disadvantage.
Since the gear tends to settle along the bottom, most of the pocket’s volume at the top remains unused. A top opening would’ve let us stack things, whereas a side opening like this runs the risk of items settled at the bottom falling out once we unzip it—except for keys since there’s a built-in key clip inside. It’s worth noting that there are no inner pockets like those found in the original Canna, but there are some in the main compartment.
The main compartment opens in a typical horseshoe shape, with the reverse-coil zippers going down the sides and just beyond the edge of the bottle pockets. The zipper track is recessed more towards the rear of the Canna, leaving you with a shallow cavity for the laptop sleeve area and a large one at the front side.
The Canna (V2)’s interior lining is bright orange fabric, which makes it super easy to see what’s inside. At the end of the day, it’s still a 12-liter backpack, so you’re not dumping too much gear inside, but good interior visibility isn’t something we’d say no to. We just wish Trakke also used this liner for the front pocket.
The Canna’s 12-liter capacity is increased from the previous version’s 11 liters. Where’d Trakke find an extra liter of space? We’re going to credit that to the Canna’s now-rectangular shape. Pushing out those corners helps, especially when it comes to packing. Thanks to this more squared shape, pouches and packing cubes fit a lot better than the more rounded shape of the original Canna.
At the back of the main compartment is the built-in laptop sleeve, rated for 14-inch laptops. Even though there’s no false bottom to elevate your device from the floor, it does have padding. That’s nothing to scoff at, as some brands tend to skimp out on padding for their smaller backpacks. We also like how easy it is to access the laptop sleeve since the zipper’s recessed towards the back.
On the other hand, the pockets on the front side of the main compartment are harder to reach since they’re further away from the zipper. Since the front pocket lacks inner pockets of its own, these are the logical substitute, so it’s a shame that they’re not as easy to access. Still, we like having the option to fill these pockets when not utilizing organizers. You can use them for beefy accessories like battery banks, but we’d reserve them for gear you won’t need to access frequently, like gloves or bits of toiletry.
- Canvas feels as durable as expected
- Digging the style—it’s a pretty solid redesign from the original Canna
- Minimal organization with not much variety in pocket size
- Material picks up pet hair easily, though it comes off quickly with a lint roller
- Square shape is easy to pack
- Gusseted front pocket provides plenty of space for storing quick-grab gear