Fjällräven Kaipak 38 Review

By Phil on 2015.06.15 In Product Review

Here is my review of the Fjällräven Kaipak 38 rucksack following its first outing during my hike up Blencathra in the Lake District last weekend.


I ordered my Kaipak 38 from my friends at The Sporting Lodge after watching the official Fjällräven YouTube video about the rucksack and liking the features it has to offer.

The Kaipak comes in three different sizes of 28, 38 and 58 litre versions, various colours based on the rucksack size as well as Male and Female specific models. The outer material is made from the G-1000 Heavy Duty Eco material, which means it can also be waxed with Greenland Wax to give extra water resistance and protection.

The first thing I noticed when wearing the rucksack was how wide apart the should straps were compared to other day rucksacks I have used in the past. This made the rucksack feel a lot more comfortable on my shoulders. I often carry anywhere between 10-15kg on my day hikes, as I prefer to carry more equipment and clothing than required just in case the unexpected happens and my first outing with the Kaipak was no exception and felt very comfortable with the weight I was carrying. It also felt more narrow and compact on my back to my other day rucksack, which could come in useful when having to scramble down rocks and reduce the chance of rucksack getting caught.

One feature of the Kaipak that I really like is the ability to strap your walking poles to the side compressions straps via a separate attachment loop, which means you can loosen the compression straps when you stop without your poles sliding out or having to move them out of the way, something which often happens with other rucksacks I have used when not needing to use your poles during a hike.

Another nice feature is the large zipped pocket on the front of the rucksack which is ideal for storing things such as sit mat, gloves, waterproofs and other things you may want easy access to without opening the main body of the rucksack. The fact it is a zipped outer pocket as opposed to an expandable outer pocket means things can be protected more during changing weather conditions.

My favourite feature of the Kaipak is the adjustable rucksack lid which can be adjusted and lifted to give enough room to store a tent or sleeping bag on the top, or just to expand the main body of the rucksack, a feature I haven’t seen on other day rucksacks and a feature I like on the Abisko 75 and Kajka 75 I also own. The lid also has a large zipped pocket on the outside for storing things for easy access and a smaller zipped pocket under the lid.

Although the Kaipak comes with a rain cover, when I got caught in a short rain shower during my hike I didn’t need to use the rain cover as the G-1000 Heavy Duty Eco material provided more than sufficient water resistance. I would only expect to use the rain cover in more heavy rain conditions.

Summary of key features listed below:

  • Wide apart shoulder straps giving noticeable comfort
  • G-1000 Heavy Duty Eco material which gave more than enough protection in light showers I experienced and can be waxed for extra resistance
  • Additional Walking Pole or Ice Axe attached attachment loops on the side compression straps to help keep them more secure to the rucksack
  • Two covered hip belt pockets ideal for small snacks or GPS device
  • Two mesh side pockets on main body of rucksack
  • Adjustable chest strap with safety whistle
  • Pockets on outside and inside of lid
  • Rucksack lid can be raised very high to give overall extra rucksack space or store tent or sleeping bag across the top
  • Hydration system compatible
  • Large zipped outer pocket on front of rucksack for extra storage of easy accessible items


I love the Kaipak 38 rucksack and is perfect for day hikes, though with the highly expandable lid you could easily use this on an overnight hike. I think the additional walking pole/ice axe loop attachments is an excellent feature, which I haven’t seen before. The amount of room the expandable lid gives you is incredible and an excellent feature. I was well impressed also with the comfort of the wider shoulder straps, which I have only experienced on much larger multi-day rucksacks. I would thoroughly recommend the Fjällräven Kaipak 38 to anyone looking for day rucksack. I’m now wondering if should go for the larger 58 litre version for longer multiday hikes, given the features mentioned. An excellent rucksack.

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Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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