Fjallraven is highly regarded for its outdoor gear and quality materials. The Greenland Top backpack has a lot going for it, as seen in its numerous positive reviews online. If you’re looking for high-quality travel backpacks that won’t bust your wallet, this might be the one to get.

Consider the following scenario: You’re at the foot of a Scandinavian mountain, and the sun has just reached its highest point in the sky. The birds sing as an arctic fox emerges from its hole, searching for food. You’re taking in the beauty of the world around you suddenly. Unfortunately, you must have forgotten to turn in that project for work. So, how do you go about it? You dash back to town, rip open the closest café door, settle down at an available table, open your beloved Greenland Top bag, and turn on your laptop.

Why were you carrying your laptop up the mountain? Why not? Is a better question.

This laptop backpack looks outdoorsy but can function just as well in the city, whether you’re a college student, public transit commuter, regular trail adventurer, or just in urgent need of trustworthy vehicle camping equipment.

Aesthetics & Materials

Even if the design is recognizable, it isn’t something you’ll see very frequently in the twenty-first century. Zippers have mostly replaced hook and buckle closures on backpacks because they are simpler and faster. What you give up in terms of design, you make up for in terms of individuality. You won’t be able to get to your granola bars by opening the bag just a crack, but you will have a secure and safe backpack that makes it difficult for Joe Schmoe to get access without your awareness, which is ideal for regular travelers.

Fjallraven Greenland Top Backpack | Close Up of LogoThis backpack is made of G-1000 Heavy Duty Eco material, a combination of polyester and cotton that can withstand a lot of activity without tearing. It’s made from sustainable materials and is designed to last, hitting that sweet spot between purchasing another backpack and knowing it’ll last a long time.

The waxed material readily bends and stretches as you cram your belongings inside, but it might start to seem lumpy if you don’t plan ahead of time where you’ll place them. You can stuff it to the brim and still have some space left over on the bright side. The internal cinch top may be as loose or as tight as you need it to be, but we had no issue wriggling the lid over the top and securing it with the pull strings in any case.

Its metal hook closure may be a bit laborious at times, but you can be confident that it won’t fall off after you’ve gotten it through the loops and tightened it securely. If someone attempts to get into your bag, they’ll almost certainly create a disturbance and attract attention before they can get any valuables out and go.

Fjallraven Greenland Top | Backpack Drawstring OpeningEven though it claims to be water-resistant, windproof, and quick-drying, we didn’t find ourselves in any conditions requiring us to test those claims. Based on the material’s durability and the wax’s feel, we believe it’s fair to say the bag would be alright if caught in a shower, but we wouldn’t take it out in the rain if at all possible.

The lack of bottom support to retain the bag’s form is a big drawback. It does bend out into a beautifully rounded bottom, but it depends entirely on what you fill it with. When angular pieces are forced into accessible gaps or towards the bottom of the pack, they tend to stand out more, resulting in one region sticking out a bit more than the rest. The laptop sleeve does feature some cushioning at the base to support your electronics, but it isn’t much, and it seems to serve more as a form maintainer than as true protection for the laptop.

Fjallraven Greenland Top Backpack | Backpack Side View With Water BottleWe used this backpack to carry personal goods on casual camping excursions, lengthy car drives, and city outings during the last two months. The quality of the seams and hardware has not deteriorated with time. However, the bag has developed creases and discoloration. It almost seems to be dusty or unclean, but when you wipe it away, you can see that it’s occurring where the bag bends the most.

This isn’t necessarily a terrible thing for those who like the worn-in aesthetic of canvas and leather. The bag is still in excellent condition; however, some “new off the shelf” cosmetics have been lost.

Components from Outside

Left: Mark Hurrish, Height, 5’10” (178 cm), Torso: 19” (48 cm) | Right: Lauren Maternowski, Height, 5’6” (168 cm), Torso: 16.5” (42 cm)This isn’t the pack for external storage because of its basic design. Just below the opening of the backpack is a zipped pocket that runs to the bottom seam and can carry an 8.5 × 11 piece of paper without bending it. Because it’s a narrow pocket, it’s perfect for holding loose papers to prevent them from being damaged in the main compartment. If you’re using this pack for school or work, it’s also a fantastic spot to keep a notepad and pen.

A second pocket on the pack’s cover helps hold items that need to be accessed quickly, such as chapstick or vehicle keys. If the backpack is quite complete, you’ll be able to see a basic outline of whatever bulky goods are within. You can also see a tiny portion of the zipper pull poking out, which isn’t a big concern but should be noted if you intend on storing valuables in the bag while traveling. It’s not a visible pocket, but it’s also not hidden.

Fjallraven Greenland Top Backpack | Backpack Top ZipperBoth side pockets are deep – almost half the height of the whole pack – and have snap closures. They’re supposed to be water bottle compartments, but we couldn’t locate one that fits after the package was filled. A narrow 18-ounce screw-top bottle was the maximum we could comfortably accommodate before packing, but anything bigger or broader may be a hassle. If you want it to fit correctly, you should first load it around the bottle and then send out some positive feelings while attempting to cram it back in after a few sips.

While we removed the water bottle out of the pack when it was complete, the snap closure left a significant scratch on the water bottle. We’re not shocked since the bottle has a flat enamel design over stainless steel, but it’s logical to assume it might also scrape up other materials.

Fjallraven Greenland Top Backpack | Water Bottle Pocket Showing Scratches on BottleThe top carry handle is proper when you need to move the bag quickly, but it’s stiff and uncomfortable to hold for lengthy periods. This is the kind of function you’ll appreciate having when you need it, but it’s not a selling point in and of itself.

The cushioning on the back and straps is relatively firm, and the material does not differ from the remainder of the bag. However, because there is no mesh to wick moisture away, you won’t be able to ride the comfort wave on lengthy walks if you start to sweat. The straps may be adjusted to assist balance the weight depending on what you’re doing, but this pack is best for leisurely activities like a casual bike ride around town or a stroll along your favorite park path.

Fjallraven Greenland Top Backpack | Close Up of Shoulder Strap

The Inside of the Pack

This bag has no interior structure and just has zipped compartments on the exterior, allowing you to load your belongings any way you like. There’s a laptop case to keep your electronics secure, but you’re on your own regarding how and where you store your devices. The sleeve can hold up to a 15-inch laptop or tablet and is rather broad, accommodating a wide variety of devices, from Macbooks to LGs.

Fjallraven Greenland Top Backpack | Backpack Laptop CompartmentThe Greenland Top’s most significant flaw is the absence of small-item storage that does not alter the bag’s form. Depending on how full the bag was, we found ourselves opting for the top zipper or stuffing small items like our phone and chapstick into the side water bottle pocket. It was challenging to maintain consistency for those who often ask ourselves, “Wait, where did I put that?”

Although Fjallraven seems to have sacrificed function for form in crucial areas like storage and support, this backpack is still a pleasant bag to have for days around town when we know we’ll be out for a short time or when we need a secure pack that can withstand a few bumpy roads in style.

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