Trakke Canna Backpack Review
The 11-liter Trakke Canna Backpack may be small, but it’s surprisingly roomy and is packing a heritage styling courtesy of dry-finish waxed canvas.
- Front pocket feels roomy even with main compartment packed out
- Dry-finish waxed canvas provides weather-resistance
- Generally spacious for an 11-liter daypack
- Takes some fiddling to detach keys from the keyring
- Main compartment eats into the water bottle pockets when packed out
- Thin, unpadded shoulder straps can dig in after prolonged use
10.5L main compartment | .5L front pocket
1.43 lb (0.6 kg)
13.8 in x 9.84 in x 4.33 in (35.1 x 25 x 11 cm)
Canvas, Cotton, YKK Zippers
Laptop Compartment Size
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Trakke’s gear lineup is one of the more, shall we say, interesting ones out there. You have the likes of the Pencil Case, a small sausage-like pouch for pens and pencils, but we like using it as an ultra-compact tech pouch. The Bannoch Backpack, which we’ve noted for its excellent quality and heritage styling. Then there’s the Banana Crossbody Bag which we cannot help but mention because of its quirky name, among many reasons.
They’re all well-made, stylish, and capable bags (and a pouch), for sure. So we’re inclined to see if their Canna Backpack follows or bucks the trend.
On the face of it, the Canna features a similar heritage styling, headlined by its dry-finish waxed canvas and tote-style handles. Pictures don’t really do it enough justice, but this is a petite little daypack, so space is a primary concern. Thankfully, Trakke manages to allocate the Canna’s limited 11 liters well. Some compromises abound, however, especially when you’re dealing with a small backpack like this. To see what they are, let’s jump in and take a closer look at the Canna.
Materials & Aesthetic
Among a sea of urban-styled backpacks, the Canna sure does stand out. The tote-style handles, curved front pocket, and vintage look in general just scream “different” to us. Well, different enough from a ton of other bags we encounter on a regular basis. Trakke has always struck as a brand that puts as much attention on their gear’s styling as the functionality side of things.
Arguably carrying the Canna’s look is the fabric. Long-time readers of ours already know our opinion on waxed canvas: we like it! If done right, the heritage styling adds a ton of personality to the bag, and this is something Trakke really does well. Of course, the waxed texture won’t cater to everyone’s taste. It marks up relatively easily, giving the bag a more worn-in look. Some people like it, some people hate it, so you’ll have to decide which camp you land in.
Those who hate waxed canvas would most likely point to the waxy residue the fabric has. Fortunately, this is a dry-finish waxed canvas, so residue is not an issue, nor is there a need to reapply wax after some time.
From a practicality standpoint, the only real downside to the Canna’s waxed canvas is that it picks up pet hair easily. It’s equally easy to remove by using a lint roller, but it is something worth noting if you’re living with pets. Other than that, the fabric’s durability isn’t suspect despite the emphasis on styling. The patina it’s developed over the course of testing is purely cosmetic in nature, with no serious damage whatsoever. Plus, did we mention the fabric’s weatherproof since it’s waxed?
The colorway we’re sampling in this review is Port (burgundy) which we think goes really well with the waxed canvas. You can also go with either Whisky (brown) or Olive to achieve a similar vibe. That said, there’s also the Black option if you want to keep things low-key.
The zippers are from YKK, which is reassuring since they’re pretty much the gold standard for zippers. They’re AquaGuard-style, which prevent moisture from seeping in. While the zippers themselves are fine if a bit stiff, the ring pulls raise some doubt.
We’ve seen these ring pulls on Trakke’s other backpack, the Vorlich. In that backpack, one of the ring pulls broke after a year of use, though thankfully, that hasn’t happened with the Canna (yet). Another gripe we have is that they’re quite thin, making them somewhat uncomfortable to pull on, given the slight stiffness of the zipper’s travel.
Before we tackle the harness system of the Canna, it’s important to keep in mind that, at the end of the day, this is an 11-liter backpack. It’s certainly a petite little bag, so we’re not expecting a whole buffet of straps here.
Indeed, the only straps you’ll find on the Canna are a pair of shoulder straps, and they’re rather thin ones at that. They’re simple nylon straps that are looped through D-rings and adjusters. Admittedly, these seem to be designed with style rather than comfort in mind. Not only are they thin since there’s no padding, but they’re also quite narrow, so weight distribution isn’t exactly ground-breaking.
Surprisingly enough, the shoulder straps do a good enough job keeping the 11-liter volume in check even when it’s packed out. So while Trakke did tune these straps for styling’s sake, they didn’t forget about comfort—that is, in the short term. After a while, carrying a fully packed out Canna does get fatiguing as the strap slowly digs into your shoulders more and more. Additionally, the lack of a proper padded back panel means that the lower portion also digs in when the bag’s weighed down.
Getting the straps adjusted just right is a bit of a struggle as well. The metal adjusters are relatively stiff, requiring some work to get them to thread the straps. These aren’t the kind you can adjust while you’re carrying the bag, and we had to take it off each time we needed to make small adjustments. Fortunately, you won’t have to do this very often once you get the initial fit right. Silver lining: these straps won’t readjust by themselves by accident either.
Up at the top are the tote-style handles. Okay, they’re not really the kind of tote handles that you can hang off your shoulders, but you get what we mean. There are two of them, and they’re more prominently displayed than the typical backpack handle. They offer a well-balanced carry since there are two of them, and they’re relatively comfortable thanks to the thickness, courtesy of the folded nylon.
Lastly, on the outside are the two water bottle pockets, one on each side. They’re made of the same waxed canvas as the rest of the bag, but there’s no built-in elastic for stretch. That said, bottles that can fit inside will stay firmly in place thanks to how deep these pockets are.
The issue with these water bottle pockets is that they’re robbed of space once the main compartments are filled. The sides bulge out, leaving little to no space to squeeze in even our fairly slender 18-ounce Hydro Flask. Consequently, we opted to just throw our bottle in the main compartment.
Inside The Backpack
The front pocket opens up in a half-moon shape. The first thing that caught our attention the first time we opened it was the metal key ring in the top middle. This is the Canna’s key clip, and it’s very robust as far as key clips come and go. Taking keys on and off a keyring is a bit of a hassle, so we opted to attach a tiny Nite Ize S-Biner Microlock to speed things up.
Inside, there’s a drop pocket at the back with two liner pockets in front. Thanks to the way Trakke split the Canna’s volume (0.5 liters going to the front pocket, 10.5 liters going to the main compartment), there’s independent volume in here. This means even when we’ve fully packed the main compartment, there’s still enough space to fill out each inner pocket without much fuss.
The main compartment opens up horseshoe-style, as is the typical style for a daypack. The interior layout is relatively simple. The floor of the backpack is nicely squared out, so even packing cubes have no problem maximizing the space. Volume-wise, it feels a lot roomier than what you would expect out of an 11-liter backpack, much less a 10.5-liter main compartment. Keep expectations realistic, and the Canna won’t feel too limited despite the small liter rating.
Finally, we’ve arrived at the 14-inch laptop sleeve. It fits our 13-inch MacBook just fine, but it can go up to a 14-inch MacBook Pro as well. We like it whenever we see small backpacks that do not omit a laptop sleeve, and this one even has some padding, too. The only notable missing feature is a false bottom, but we’ll be a bit forgiving here since the Canna doesn’t have a ton of footprint to work with. That said, a false bottom may mitigate some of that digging in we mentioned in the previous section.
Functionality-wise, Trakke keeps things simple with the Canna without it feeling too restrictive. It has good usable volume in both compartments while keeping comfort at an acceptable level. If you like the functionality, then looks will be the next deciding factor. As divisive as the waxed canvas’s looks may be, Trakke does a good job leaning into it, so those who like it should find no problem adopting it.
- Minimal organization
- Waxed canvas is soft and feels durable
- Waterproof zippers are on the stiff side
- Material picks up pet hair pretty quickly but is easy to remove with a lint roll
- Starting to develop a very subtle patina in certain areas
- Shoulder straps can be difficult to adjust and requires a fair amount of fiddling to get the fit right