Fjallraven Kaipak 28 Backpack Review

Fjallraven Kaipak 28 Backpack (Reviewed & Tested)

The Kaipak 38 from the Swedish outdoor manufacturer Fjallraven is a simple and robust hiking backpack. It is ideal for day and hut tours as well as smaller hiking tours. The upper is made of the proven G-1000® Heavy Duty Eco material. We will come to the remarkable properties in detail later. If the topic of sustainability is important to you these days, you should continue reading. Because the Swedes know what they are doing.

Fjallraven Kaipak 28 Backpack Review

fjaellraeven kaipak 28 backpack

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Tech Specs:

  • Height:  65cm
  • Width: 32cm
  • Depth: 27cm
  • Weight: 1600g
  • Volume: 38L
  • Manufacturer Color: Stone Gray (also available in Pine Green)
  • Features: Pole/pike holder, compression straps, gear loops, hydration system compatible, organizer compartments
  • Carrying system: Fixed
  • Back length: 48-52 cm
  • Rain cover: Yes
  • Female model: Yes
  • Activities: Hiking & Trekking
  • Properties: can be treated with Greenland Wax, breathable, durable, water-repellent, windproof, quick-drying

Pros

  • Chest strap with whistle
  • Rain cover included
  • Simple and detachable design
  • Well-constructed
  • Reasonable price
  • Perfect for a long day hike

Cons

  • Not repairable
  • Designed for taller people

The Fjallraven Kaipak 38 hiking backpack can be best described as simple. It maintains a straightforward design without unnecessary frills, yet incorporates all the essential features of a reliable hiking backpack. Even elements such as the logo featuring the iconic Arctic fox and the backpack’s name exhibit a sense of restraint.

Weighing 1600 grams, this backpack may not be considered lightweight for its 38-liter size, but it exudes a sense of quality when handled. The Kaipak 38 impresses with its meticulous craftsmanship, evident in the well-designed buckles, straps, and zippers that are both user-friendly and visually appealing.

The carrying system is easily adjustable to improve the overall comfort and functionality. These thoughtful details, which will be explored further below, enhance the overall positive impression of the Kaipak 38.

G-1000 Heavy Duty Eco S – Robust Outer Material

If you know Fjallraven, then G-1000 means something, doesn’t it? This substance is used by the manufacturer in almost all products. It is robust, breathable and windproof. It can be protected even better against wind and weather by applying Greenland’s own wax.

Fjallraven Kaipak 28 Outer Material

The G-1000 Heavy Duty Eco S material is a mix of recycled polyester and organic cotton. Greenland wax has already been applied to both sides at the factory for impregnation. This makes the G-1000 material even more durable, ideal for backpacks and ideally lasts a lifetime.

In addition, the G-1000 material does not require a plastic coating. This means that no coating can peel off or stick together over the years, as can be the case with other materials. The bottom of the backpack is made of 100% polyamide 500D. 500D stands for the thread strength of the Cordura fabric. It is extremely abrasion and tear resistant and therefore ideally suited to protect the backpack from the ground.

Carrying System with Fixed Back Length and Stable Hip Belt

The Fjallraven Kaipak 38 has a carrying system with a fixed back length. So when buy it, make sure that the backpack fits your back and body size perfectly. The carrying straps, as well as the shoulder and hip areas of the carrying system, are well-padded. Carrying slightly larger loads is therefore not a problem.

Fjallraven Kaipak 28 Straps and Small Pockets

However, a maximum weight of around 12 to 15 kilograms is recommended. This load is remarkable for the size of the backpack and can hardly be found in other models. If you want or have to carry more weight around with you, a larger backpack is recommended anyway.

Air can circulate between the hip and shoulder pads for ventilation. The hip belts, each with a small compartment, are stable and flexible at the same time. Thanks to the compression straps, the hip straps of the backpack can be quickly adjusted to the hip circumference of the wearer.

Useful Equipment of the Fjallraven Kaipak 38

So let’s start at the top with the features of the backpack. The lid compartment, which has two pockets, is height-adjustable. This means that the volume of the Fjallraven Kaipak 38 can be expanded by around 7 liters. The rain cover is stowed in the outer compartment of the lid compartment. On the inside, there is a small storage compartment with a zipper.

Useful Equipment of the Fjallraven Kaipak 38

The large main compartment of the backpack, which is closed with compression straps and a drawstring, is located under the lid compartment. Both can be opened quickly and easily and provide a view of the inside. Here, in turn, a hydration bladder can be attached and stowed on the back. Otherwise, the main compartment offers enough space for everything you need to take with you on the tour.

An additional flat compartment on the front can be easily accessed via a zipper. This feature is handy for storing items such as maps, wind vests, or other essentials that you may need to quickly retrieve while on the move, without the need to empty the entire contents of your backpack.

There are also attachment options for hiking poles or an ice ax on the front. The larger loop for the ice ax can also be easily stowed away in a slot provided for this purpose. The smaller, always visible loops are used to insert the tip of the trekking pole. This is then attached with a metal hook slightly below the lid compartment.

Furthermore, the Fjallraven Kaipak 38 has a mesh pocket on each side. Here you can easily store drinking bottles, for example. So that they don’t just fall out on the go, the pockets can be made smaller with the help of a drawstring. A detail that I have never noticed with any other manufacturer.

On the go with the Kaipak 38 hiking Backpack

I went out into nature twice with the Kaipak 38 to test it. The weight in the backpack was between 8 and 10 kilos on the two tours. With the backpack’s own weight, the load on the back was 10 to 12 kilograms.

Rain Cover Pocket

With my height of 1.76 meters, the Fjallraven Kaipak 38 can be ideally adjusted to my back. The carrying system feels very good and does not pinch or pinch anywhere. The stable hip belts are also not in the way and the backpack always sits where it should.

In my opinion, the ventilation works reliably. Although I am someone who always sweats slightly on my back. It doesn’t matter which backpack or carrying system it is. That’s probably not going to happen entirely.

Personally, it doesn’t bother me in any way. Since I was out and about with the Kaipak 38 last fall, the temperatures were always in the double-digit plus range. If you then take a break and put the backpack down, I put on an insulating jacket while I do it so that my back doesn’t get completely cold.

I didn’t need the integrated rain cover. But it can be put over the backpack in no time at all and is quickly stowed away again in the lid compartment.

Speaking of rain! The Kaipak 38, or the material used, is already impregnated from the outset. If the weather forecast leaves something to be desired, you can additionally impregnate the backpack with Greenland Wax. In that case, you will most likely not need a rain cover afterward. However, to be on the safe side, it makes sense to use the rain cover when the sky gets wet.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a medium-sized hiking backpack and the topic of sustainability is important to you, then the Fjallraven Kaipak 38 is one of the models that you should take a closer look at. Here you get a simple but very robust backpack for day and/or multi-day tours.

The Swedish manufacturer Fjallraven is fully committed to longevity. This is an absolutely important point nowadays. The backpack definitely gets the rating from me – highly recommended! Incidentally, also for women. Since the model is also available in a women’s version.

A noteworthy detail that may be of interest is the frame length. With a frame length of 55 cm, the backpack, assuming the lid compartment is kept empty, is nearly suitable for hand luggage.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it suitable for long day hikes or overnight trips?

Yes, the backpack is well-suited for long day hikes and can serve as an overnight option for minimalist packers.

Is it comfortable to wear for extended periods?

Yes! The backpack is comfortable and well-constructed, making it suitable for everyday use or longer tours.

Are there any concerns about the durability of certain components?

While the upper material and overall workmanship are praised, there have been observations about the clip fasteners being relatively small and possibly susceptible to breakage under excessive stress. It’s advisable to handle them with care.

Can the back insert be adjusted for different heights?

The back insert is not adjustable and may be more suitable for individuals around 175 cm in height. Some users, particularly those with a height of 165 cm, have reported difficulties with the backpack slipping down, possibly due to the fixed back insert.

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