leslie nikole
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If you live in Montreal, I'm sure you've seen these bags around. Appealingly small, easy to tote bags of colour are in some what of abundance (although not nearly as much as Herschel) in the city, and after coveting one for the past few months, I finally know why. After recently blogging about wanting one after taking a closer look at my colleague's own Kanken (let's be honest, no one is calling it by its complete name), this lovely yellow one showed up at my door. Now that winter is here and seeing daylight is more or less impossible, yellow bags have been my strategy for not getting hit by cars that think it's okay to do Indy-500 speeds in residential areas. So far it's working.

The Fjallraven bags are pricey, let's just get that out of the way. The one pictured (that I have) is an Ochre Kanken Classic, which are available online at I Love My Kanken along with the option of free shipping and discounts based on what country you're shipping to. It's claimed to be waterproof, which I didn't find it to be when I tested it in the shower, but it is definitely water resistant. I wouldn't go without an umbrella with this one, but I'm confident on going through a light drizzle or going from a heavy snowfall into the underground city without brushing off the melted snow. These bags always look so small on people, but they definitely can pack a lot! My 15" MacBook Pro doesn't fit in the pocket (but a 13" probably would) but it does fit in the actual bag. Pictured below is only what I've been carrying to work now that I'm not in school, along with a medium sized Rubbermaid container for food, and I definitely still have a lot of space. I put it to the test a few weeks ago while taking advantage of the holiday sales, manging to pack in the entire Y: The Last Man softcover single volume series, three hardcovers, seven Murakami novels, four A6 notebooks, and one large candle. The key to the Kanken is literally it's boxed shape, making it quite easy to pack things into if you're good at Tetris. I think I will be going back to my Kanken once school starts back as well, only because of the great experience I've had with it. I've recently put back the padding in the pocket to make it a little softer against my back, but the bag barely bounces a all. At only 4'11/150cm, having a small backpack is a Godsend. I also really like the handles that allow it to become sort of like a tote, giving something to hold onto if you have to take of your bag to sit or moving into a packed area.

Luckily, I've survived the holiday season. This has been my first retail holiday season, and I really could wait a lifetime before working another one. I definitely raise my glass to anyone working retail, customer service, and anything else that involves dealing with people during this time. I can't wait to go back to when people have at least an ounce of common sense and courtesy. To all the lovely and patient customers I've met in the past ten days, thanks for making my job easier and come back once your credit card bills are stretched a little less thin!

I used to do "What's in my Bag?" posts when I ran BlackGirlDeMontreal, but I don't think I've done one yet. Now that school is out, minimalism is key for getting through crowds of shoppers and last minute seasonal job applicants (who will not get hired nine times out of ten), and this bag is definitely a winner for me.

From left to right:
Timolino Travel Mug - 12oz. DavidsTea (this one is amazing - stays hot for hours and doesn't spill even if you hold it upside down as long as you close it tight), Herschel Field Pouch (holding gum, toiletries, pill box, Lightening/Logitech Bluetooth keyboard charging cable and wall atachment, extra mini-lotion, and lip balm), MARK'S Storage.It International 2014 Planner (with Muji recycled 148x105mm notebook and Black Le Pen in outer pocket), Apple iPad Mini 64GB paired with Logitech iPad Mini Keyboard, A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, coin purse and card holder.  
Not Pictured in Front Zippered Compartment: Coconut Mini Body Butter, Pomegranate Raspberry eos, two reusable handwarmers from NPW, and a Pilot BL-G2-7-L.