14 Sustainable Backpacks to Help You Carry a Cleaner Conscious

Updated on August 14th, 2023 by Brett Knighton

A man walking on a hiking trail through a dense forest, wearing a sustainable backpack showing his conscious lifestyle.

Backpacks are more than just a practical necessity for carrying our essentials; they're an extension of our personal style and, increasingly, a reflection of our values. As awareness grows about the environmental impact of our choices, many of us are seeking more sustainable alternatives to everyday items.

This includes the humble backpack, which has been reinvented by innovative brands committed to eco-friendly practices. These brands are creating sustainable backpacks that not only serve our needs but also contribute to the well-being of our planet.

Most Versatile

Pacsafe Venturesafe® EXP35 Backpack

Venturesafe

EXP35 Backpack

Eco-Friendly

Laptop-Friendly

Anti-Theft Tech

Best For Camping

Passenger Wayfarer Recycled 65L Backpack

Wayfarer

Recycled 65L Backpack

EcoShield Fabric

Ample Storage

Comfort Air System

Best For Laptops

Maika's Sierra Laptop Backpack

Sierra

Canvas Laptop Backpack

Recycled Canvas

Technest Storage

Ethical & Vegan

For Day Ventures

GOT BAG Rolltop Backpack

Rolltop

Recycled Backpack

Ocean Plastic

Adventure-Ready

Waterproof

Best For Traveling

Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor

Lifepack

Endeavor 35L

Upcycled Material

Travel Closet

Easy Transitions

What Makes a Backpack Sustainable?

The choice of a sustainable backpack goes beyond a mere fashion statement. It's a conscious decision that significantly impacts our planet and our health. Traditional backpacks, while functional, often involve processes and materials detrimental to the environment and can be a huge source of waste.

They may be made from synthetic materials derived from petroleum, produced in factories with poor labor conditions, and designed in a way that contributes to our throwaway culture.

In contrast, sustainable backpacks are eco-friendly and crafted with a deep regard for both people and the planet. They're made from recycled or upcycled materials such as post-consumer plastic bottles, discarded fabrics, or recycled nylon.

They are produced under fair labor practices and designed to be durable with a focus on the entire lifecycle of the backpack. By choosing a sustainable backpack, you're not just reducing waste and pollution; you're also supporting brands that prioritize ethical practices and environmental responsibility.

Are you ready to make a choice that actually carries some weight?

In this article, we'll cover fourteen sustainably made backpacks that combine style, functionality, and environmental responsibility. Whether you're a student, a professional, an adventurer, or a fashion-forward individual, there's a sustainable backpack for you. Let's dive in and explore these eco-friendly options that are kind to our planet and perfect for our diverse needs.

What Are The Best Sustainable Backpacks?

These 14 sustainable backpacks were chosen based on their brands' dedication to recycling, use of eco-friendly materials, and efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Each backpack stands out not only for its functional design but also for its positive impact on the environment, making them ideal choices for conscious consumers looking to lighten their environmental load.

*Any product links are merely suggestions to help you and we strive to give you the most eco-friendly options. When you purchase through referral links on our site, we will earn a small commission.

1. Out of the Woods Washable Paper Backpack

Best Sustainable Backpack for Everyday Use

From Out of The Woods

Out of the Woods Washable Paper Backpack Out of the Woods Washable Paper Backpack Out of the Woods Washable Paper Backpack Out of the Woods Washable Paper Backpack
Images by Out of The Woods

The Out of the Woods Washable Paper Backpack is an ideal choice for anyone with a busy, active lifestyle. Made from their innovative Supernatural Paper®, a material made from sustainable fibers, this shell backpack is not only durable but also unique in its design. Its simple, classic look makes it a great match for any outfit.

Inside, the backpack is designed with your needs in mind, featuring a padded compartment for delicate items and a large front pocket for easy access to your essentials. This makes the Out of the Woods Washable Paper Backpack a trustworthy partner for everyday use, no matter where in the world you are.

Features
  • Supernatural Paper® Material: The backpack is made from an innovative material derived from tree cellulose. This material, sourced from well-managed forests, is not only sustainable and durable but also lightweight and washable. It offers a significantly reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional leather, making it a more eco-friendly choice.
  • Minimalist Design: With its clean lines and classic silhouette, the backpack offers a timeless and understated style that complements any outfit.
  • Machine Washable: Unlike traditional backpacks, this one can be tossed in the washing machine, ensuring it stays fresh and clean with minimal effort.
  • Dimensions: 11.6”(W) x 15.7”(H) x 4.7”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

Out of the Woods is a sustainability-focused company that's making a difference with its innovative products and ethical manufacturing practices.

Their mission is to inspire sustainable living and protect the Earth by making everyday products using materials from renewable resources or plastic removed from the ocean.

On top of creating backpacks, they also create stylish tote bags, insulated coolers, and office accessories from their signature Supernatural Paper®, a material made from responsibly sourced trees. This innovative material has an 84% lighter carbon footprint than traditional leather.

Their manufacturing process is water-efficient, as they can recycle up to 93% of the water used. They are committed to ethical manufacturing, ensuring that their products are not only good for the environment but also produced in a manner that respects human rights and fair labor practices.

They're also part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, pledging to donate 1% of their annual sales to environmental nonprofits, demonstrating their commitment to making a positive impact on the planet.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


2. Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP35 Backpack

Most Versatile Sustainable Backpack

From Pacsafe

Pacsafe Venturesafe® EXP35 Backpack Pacsafe Venturesafe® EXP35 Backpack Pacsafe Venturesafe® EXP35 Backpack Pacsafe Venturesafe® EXP35 Backpack
Images by Pacsafe

The Venturesafe Backpack from Pacsafe is a versatile and sustainable choice for the modern individual with a busy lifestyle. Made from 37 recycled plastic bottles, it's a nod to the eco-conscious design that comes from Pacsafe products.

It can easily transition from a work bag to a travel backpack, catering to various needs and lifestyles, making it an ideal choice for professionals, gym enthusiasts, and adventure seekers.

But the standout feature comes from the focus that Pacsafe puts on advanced security. The backpack is equipped with RFID-blocking pockets, a self-locking zipper, a cut-resistant strap, a secure locking system, and a puncture-resistant zip.

These features ensure your belongings are safe and secure, whether you're commuting to work, traveling across the globe, or exploring the city.

This backpack is a statement piece that reflects your commitment to a dynamic, on-the-go lifestyle and a sustainable future. With its blend of eco-conscious materials, easy-transition design, and security features, it stands out as the most versatile sustainable backpack on the market.

Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP35 Anti-Theft Backpack Review / Tour - Backpackies
Features
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: Constructed with robust, water-resistant recycled polyester, from 37 recycled plastic bottles, making it an environmentally friendly backpack for conscious consumers.
  • Adaptable Design: Packed with unique features, including a shoe pocket, luggage slip, adjustable sternum strap, and external attachment points for small items. It also has external compression straps that secure and stabilize contents for ease of carrying.
  • Laptop-Friendly: Includes a padded sleeve that can accommodate a 16-inch laptop, as well as internal pockets to keep your gear organized, making it ideal for work or study.
  • Anti-Theft Technology: Comes equipped with the latest in Pacsafe anti-theft technology, including RFIDsafe™ blocking pockets and material, self-locking zipper, Carrysafe® slashguard strap with Dyneema®, eXomesh® slashguard, Roobar Deluxe locking system, and puncture-resistant ToughZip.
  • Dimensions: 12.2”(W) x 20.5”(H) x 7.9”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

Pacsafe is committed to protecting what’s valuable, and nothing is more valuable than the planet we travel. They are continuously switching out any plastic components that are sourced from raw materials, with high-quality recycled materials. Their goal is to make every Pacsafe bag a recycled product. They also use ECONYL®, made from discarded fishing nets and recycled nylon waste, in some of their products.

They donate 1% of their online sales to turtle conservation projects through the Pacsafe Turtle Fund. They are also committed to making sure that working conditions throughout the Pacsafe supply chain are ethical and safe and that the manufacture of Pacsafe products is environmentally responsible.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


3. The Anywhere 50L Duffel / Backpack from Pakt

Best Convertible Backpack

From Pakt

The Anywhere 50L Duffel / Backpack from Pakt The Anywhere 50L Duffel / Backpack from Pakt The Anywhere 50L Duffel / Backpack from Pakt The Anywhere 50L Duffel / Backpack from Pakt
Images by Pakt

The Anywhere Duffel Bag / Backpack from Pakt is a unique bag that can effortlessly convert from a duffel bag to a packable backpack, making it adaptable for any journey. It's versatile enough to hold all the clothing you'd need for a month-long adventure, yet you can compact it to serve as your carry-on for a weekend trip.

The bag provides flexible access and multiple organization possibilities. By unzipping the bag down the center, you'll find two dividers that help seperate your items on either side. If you require more space, you can easily fold down the dividers, lock them in and access the bag's full depth from the top using the wrap-around zipper.

For carrying comfort, it comes with padded straps featuring an adjustable sternum strap, and a removable cross-body shoulder strap for added convenience.

The bag also includes two hidden quick-release straps on the top, providing additional packing options to securely hold gear such as a yoga mat, tripod, or sleeping bag, ensuring everything you need for your journey is within easy reach. Extra-long top handles are also provided to carry it over your shoulder.

The durable and water-resistant fabric is made from recycled single-use plastic, making it a great choice for eco-conscious individuals who require a backpack with convertible options.

The Anywhere 50L Backpack - Paktbags
Features
  • Recycled Material Construction: The bag is made from rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), a material made from single-use plastics that can be recycled indefinitely. Its 150D grey polyester interior complements the exterior, while a durable water-resistant coating and a heavy-duty TPU bottom panel ensure protection against poor travel conditions.
  • Innovative Design for Easy Packing: It can be converted quickly from a duffel bag to a backpack for smooth transitions mid-trip. Its wrap-around zipper allows for suitcase-style packing and easy organization. The compartments and mesh divider inside the bag enhance packing efficiency, while the roll-away dividers provide flexibility for larger items.
  • Adaptive Comfort Features: Comes equipped with padded backpack straps that include an adjustable sternum strap for personalized comfort. A removable cross-body shoulder strap and extra-long top handles provide multiple carrying options for convenience.
  • Pakt's Lifetime Assurance: Pakt provides a lifetime guarantee for their products, reflecting their confidence in the quality and durability of their bags. They promise to address any issues that may arise with your bag, ensuring it accompanies you on a lifetime of adventures.
  • Dimensions: 22”(W) x 12.5”(H) x 10”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

Pakt is committed to creating unique, refined, and responsibly-sourced products. They ensure that all Pakt products are produced under safe, fair, legal, and humane working conditions

They prioritize fair working conditions for factory employees and have fostered close ties with their manufacturing partners to ensure this. Their dedication to the environment extends to their packaging as well, opting for 100% plastic-free packaging to protect our oceans. This is in collaboration with their sister company, SeaHive, which focuses on combating plastic pollution.

They also work to improve their supply chain and products by constantly looking for lower impact replacements for materials and processes. This ensures that customers purchase items that are genuinely beneficial for the environment and built to last.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


4. Patagonia Refugio Daypack 30L

Best Sustainable Backpack for Organization

From Patagonia

Patagonia Refugio Daypack 30L Patagonia Refugio Daypack 30L Patagonia Refugio Daypack 30L Patagonia Refugio Daypack 30L
Images by Patagonia

For those who need a sustainable bag with exceptional organizational features, the Patagonia Refugio Daypack 30L is the perfect choice. It's the perfect bag for those who crave order and efficiency in their daily routine.

With its thoughtful design, this shell backpack has all of the compartments and pockets you need to ensure that everything has its place. The unique 'Desk Caddy' compartment gives you access to two drop-in pockets and a large zip pocket to hold all of your desktop essentials. This can also be easily removed whenever you need the extra space.

It has an external front bungee cord giving you the option to increase your carrying capacity along with two side pockets for your water bottle. It also comes equipped with a pass-through water hanger to make it easier to hydrate on the go.

Whether you're juggling work essentials, travel items, or outdoor gear, this backpack's organizational features make it easy to find what you need when you need it.

Its eco-friendly construction and Fair Trade Certified™ manufacturing further enhance its appeal, making it a responsible choice for those who value organization and sustainability.

Patagonia® Refugio Daypack 30L - Patagonia
Features
  • Built to Protect the Planet: The bag is constructed from 100 percent recycled polyester with a PFC-free DWR finish, making it a superb choice for environmentally conscious consumers. The side panels are made with a blend of 84 percent recycled nylon and 16 percent spandex, and the webbing is 100 percent recycled nylon.
  • Efficient Day Organizer: Designed with an emphasis on organization, it features a dedicated compartment that can hold a 15" laptop and your other desk accessories. Additionally, it has a zip-secure pocket at the top for smaller items and an external bungee cord for quick storage. This thoughtful layout helps maintain order in your day, ensuring your essentials are always close at hand.
  • Trail-Ready Hydration and Ventilation: Comes trail-ready with a hydration hanger with pass-through access and features a breathable back panel, making it an ideal companion for both daily commutes and outdoor adventures.
  • Cyclist Companion: It includes a bike-light clipping point at its base, enhancing its versatility and making it a great choice for those who prefer to travel more sustainably.
  • Ethically Produced: This ethical backpack is made in a Fair Trade Certified factory, which means that the workers involved in its production were paid a premium for their labor.
  • Dimensions: You can choose from two different sizes giving you options based on the amount of gear you plan to lug around.

    26L: 12”(W) x 18”(H) x 6.5”(D)
    30L: 12”(W) x 19”(H) x 6.5”(D)

Sustainability Initiatives

Patagonia is leading the way in environmental responsibility, aiming to be carbon neutral by 2025. Their commitment includes using recycled or renewable resources in all products and advocating for environmental activism and fair labor. Their "1% for the Planet" initiative has contributed over $140 million to environmental groups worldwide.

Their Patagonia Action Works program connects individuals with environmental organizations to take action on the most pressing issues facing the world today. This initiative empowers individuals to get involved in environmental activism in their own communities.

They've also established a 'Worn Wear' program that promotes the reuse of Patagonia gear, allowing customers to trade in used items for credit towards new or used products. This not only prolongs the lifespan of their products but also significantly reduces waste, which aligns with the principles of a circular economy.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


5. Canussa's Vegan Urban Backpack

Best Sustainable Business Casual Backpack

From Canussa

Canussa Urban Backpack BLACK/RED - VEGAN LAPTOP BACKPACK Canussa Urban Backpack BLACK/RED - VEGAN LAPTOP BACKPACK Canussa Urban Backpack BLACK/RED - VEGAN LAPTOP BACKPACK Canussa Urban Backpack BLACK/RED - VEGAN LAPTOP BACKPACK
Images by Canussa

The Canussa Urban Backpack is more than just a modern bag; it's a statement of conscious living. It's crafted to create the perfect blend of professional aesthetics and eco-consciousness, making it an ideal choice for the business casual environment.

Whether you're in a rush to get to your next appointment or walking through city streets, this vegan backpack is equipped to handle any kind of business lifestyle.

The backpack's design is not only practical but also aesthetically pleasing, with its sleek black exterior accented by a pop of red.

Its vegan-friendly material, coupled with a design that accommodates all your work essentials, makes it a reliable companion for the working professional.

With the Canussa urban backpack, you're not just carrying your essentials; you're also carrying your commitment to a more sustainable future.

Urban Vegan Backpack - Canussa
Features
  • Material: The outside of the backpack is made from a waterproof fabric that looks just like natural leather. This vegan-friendly alternative to leather is washable, light, and very durable, even against chemicals. It's also certified by STANDARD Oeko-Tex 100, which means it doesn't contain any harmful substances. The inside is made from SEQUAL yarn fabric that is a 100% recycled material.
  • Design: The backpack is designed to comfortably fit a laptop of up to 15 inches, and it has plenty of inside pockets for all your work and personal items. It's also easy to carry, with a handy front pocket that's easy to reach.
  • Maintenance: Very easy to keep clean. Just wipe it with a damp cloth and keep it in the dust cover provided to keep it looking its best.
  • Dimensions: 13.7”(W) x 16.5”(H) x 3.3”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

Canussa is dedicated to making their bags in a way that's good for people and the planet. They make their products in Spain, which reduces their carbon footprint and supports local craftspeople. They also aim to produce zero waste in their manufacturing process and use up to 10 recycled plastic bottles in every bag they produce.

They are committed to promoting gender equality, with a team made up entirely of dedicated and empowered women. They're proud to be part of the United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) initiative.

For every Canussa bag sold, a tree is planted in partnership with One Tree Planted. This helps to replant forests and create jobs that have a positive social impact. In 2022, Canussa received B Corp certification, which is only given to brands that have a positive impact on society and the environment.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


6. Passenger Wayfarer Recycled 65L Backpack

Best Sustainable Backpack for Camping

From Passenger

Passenger Wayfarer Recycled 65L Backpack Passenger Wayfarer Recycled 65L Backpack Passenger Wayfarer Recycled 65L Backpack Passenger Wayfarer Recycled 65L Backpack
Images by Passenger

The Wayfarer Recycled 65L Backpack is a game-changer in the world of zero-waste camping gear. Made from 100% recycled polyester, it's a sustainable choice that doesn't compromise on functionality.

Its 65L capacity is perfect for extended trips, and the thoughtful design features like hiking pole loops and a water bladder holder make it a practical choice for any camper. The packaway waterproof bag cover is a great addition for those unexpected showers, and the reflective print is a nice touch for safety.

Storage is a breeze with multiple adjusters and pockets, including two for bottles. The removable metal rods for back panel support and the half-moon zip at the front for easy access to the bottom of the bag are clever design elements that enhance usability.

Comfort is also a priority with the Wayfarer. The airflow back panel, adjustable straps, and padded waist belt ensure a comfortable fit, even on longer hikes. This makes this shell backpack a standout choice for any camping enthusiast.

Features
  • EcoShield Fabric: The backpack shell is crafted from 100% recycled polyester in 600D and 420D variants, coated with a layer of PU for water resistance. This eco-friendly material choice makes it an ideal companion for the green-conscious adventurer.
  • TrailMaster Design: This backpack is equipped with hiking pole loops, a holder for a water bladder, and a dedicated tube outlet. It also comes with a tucked-away waterproof cover in the bottom zip pocket, adorned with a reflective print for enhanced visibility and safety.
  • SpaceMax Storage: This backpack is a storage powerhouse, boasting multiple webbing and buckle adjusters on the side and bottom for additional space. It also comes with six pockets throughout the pack including one on the waist strap for easy access to essentials and one at the bottom of the bag.
  • ComfortAir System: The backpack incorporates an airflow back panel for superior ventilation, adjustable straps for personalized comfort, a padded waist strap, and iron rods for back support.
  • Dimensions: 11.4”(W) x 23.6”(H) x 11.8”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

Passenger is a brand that puts emphasis on sustainability and environmental stewardship. They plant a tree for every order, contributing to global reforestation efforts, and are proud patrons of The Rainforest Trust, dedicated to safeguarding rainforests and indigenous communities worldwide.

Their commitment to the environment is also reflected in their product line, with 80% of their range crafted from recycled materials, including Recycled Cotton, Recycled Polyester, Hemp, and Organic Cotton.

Beyond their eco-conscious practices, Passenger embodies the philosophy of "escapism," a concept that has been central to their identity since 2012. They believe in the restorative power of nature and the pursuit of passions, viewing these as pathways to mental and physical well-being.

Every product they create is a testament to this philosophy, each carrying a unique story of escapism. In essence, Passenger is not just a brand but a community for those seeking balance, connection, and a deeper relationship with the natural world.

Their mission is to inspire meaningful escapism, advocating for space, clarity, and a sustainable future.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


7. GOT BAG Rolltop Backpack

Best Backpack for Sustainable Adventure Seekers

From GOT BAG

GOT BAG Rolltop Backpack GOT BAG Rolltop Backpack GOT BAG Rolltop Backpack GOT BAG Rolltop Backpack
Images by GOT BAG

The Rolltop Backpack fromGOT BAG is the perfect companion for daily adventurers that stands out because of its eco-friendly spirit. Crafted primarily from Ocean Impact Plastic, it turns recycled polyethylene terephthalate from Indonesian ocean clean-up sites into a robust 600D yarn.

This makes up 59% of its fabric, with another 17% from other recycled materials. It's one of the best recycled backpacks you'll find on the market today.

The waterproof finish ensures your belongings remain safe and dry, even in unpredictable weather conditions.

And if you need to take your laptop with you, it comes with a removable sleeve that can accommodate up to a 15-inch laptop.

It's not just a backpack built to handle the challenges of the outdoors but a representation of the fight to protect our oceans.

GOT BAG Rolltop Review - Aaron @ Nomads Nation
Features
  • Ocean-Sourced Material: The Ocean-Sourced Material in the Rolltop Backpack from GOT BAG is a testament to proactive environmental stewardship. Originating from a hands-on clean-up initiative in Indonesia, the primary material, dubbed "Ocean Impact Plastic," is derived from meticulously processed recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) collected from coastal areas. This initiative engages local communities, curbs marine pollution, and boosts recycling education.
  • Adventure-Ready Design and Capacity: This adventure bag is designed for any journey, with a waterproof finish and a removable 15-inch laptop sleeve for versatility. It's lightweight at just 2.49 lbs, yet offers an expandable capacity of up to 31 liters, thanks to the flexible Rolltop and side clips.
  • Comfort and Weather Resistance: It features soft padded shoulder straps for a comfortable fit and an innovative PFC and PVC-free coating that keeps your belongings dry. The materials used are extremely waterproof and durable, protecting your essentials from wind and weather.
  • Dimensions: 13”(W) x Expandable 17-26” (H) x 6”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

GOT BAG is on a mission to clean up our oceans by tackling the issue of plastic waste pollution. They collect plastic in all shapes and sizes and recycle it by using it in their new products. Currently, they can process PET to rPET themselves, which typically makes up between 10% and 15% of the Ocean Impact Plastic used in their products.

They strive to keep the CO2 footprint of their transports as low as possible, preferring to use ship and train connections. Their clean-up program is steadily expanding, and they are determined to explore more ways to use all of the plastic they collect.

They're also dedicated to creating products that are as sturdy and durable as possible, extending their longevity and reducing the need for replacement. They offer a two-year warranty and repair services to ensure their products can be used for as long as possible.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


8. Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor

Best Sustainable Travel Backpack

From Solgaard

Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor
Images by Solgaard

The Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor is a perfect travel buddy, combining practicality, eco-friendliness, and style all in one package. Its innovative built-in closet system - a 2018 award winner for Time Magazine's Best Inventions - simplifies packing, making it easy to keep your clothes organized and accessible during your travels.

This eco-friendly travel backpack is also versatile, with its ability to expand for additional storage. It makes the backpack adaptable to various travel needs, whether you're embarking on a weekend getaway or a week-long adventure. You can also choose between two different sizes (medium or large) for the best option based on the length of your travel.

The dedicated compartments for a laptop, documents, and other essentials ensure that your belongings are not only well-organized but also protected. Plus, the secret pockets provide a secure space for your important documents and valuables.

With the Lifepack Endeavor's thick shoulder straps and back support clip, you can travel with ease, knowing that your belongings are neatly packed and ready for your next adventure.

Eco-Friendly Travel Backpack - Endeavor Backpack with Closet from Solgaard
Features
  • Upcycled Material: The Lifepack Endeavor is made from durable Shore-Tex™ fabric, which is created from upcycled ocean-bound plastic, contributing to the reduction of plastic waste.
  • All-In-One Travel Design: It's engineered with a unique transportable, award-winning closet system that allows for easy organization and accessibility of clothes. It also features drop-proof storage for a 16" laptop, wrinkle-free paper storage, protected glasses pocket, and cable organization.
  • Easy-Transitions: This shell backpack is designed to transition from everyday use to travel mode in seconds, with an easy zipper expansion giving you 40% more space. It also includes four secret pockets for passports and credit cards, ensuring your valuables are safe and secure. With its suitcase seatbelt feature, you can attach the bag to your suitcase handle to take the load off while traveling through an airport.
  • Dimensions: You can choose from two different sizes giving you options that better suit your needs. The medium size can hold up to 5 days worth of clothes while the large can hold up to 7 days.

    Medium: 10.6”(W) x 17.1”(H) x 6.9”(D)
    Large: 11.8”(W) x 18.5”(H) x 7.4”(D)

Sustainability Initiatives

Solgaard, founded by Adrian Solgaard, is a trailblazer in sustainable travel gear. Born from the idea of creating the perfect backpack after a friend's backpack was stolen, Solgaard has grown to producing products that are loved worldwide. Their commitment to protecting the environment is shown by cleaning up 6 lbs of ocean-bound plastic for every purchase a customer makes.

They've established partnerships in The Philippines, Indonesia, and China, creating jobs to collect and upcycle plastic into useful goods. To date, they've saved over 1.4 million pounds of plastic from polluting our oceans.

Their innovative use of materials like Shore-Tex™ and Shore-Plast™, both made from ocean-bound plastic, and recyclable aluminum, showcases their commitment to sustainability. Beyond being a plastic-negative and carbon-neutral company, Solgaard extends the life of their products by repairing and donating returned items, embodying a true circular economy.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


9. GoSun Solar-Powered Backpack

Best Solar Backpack

From GoSun

GoSun Solar-Powered Backpack GoSun Solar-Powered Backpack GoSun Solar-Powered Backpack GoSun Solar-Powered Backpack
Images by GoSun

The GoSun Solar Panel Backpack is for those who love to stay connected while on the move. This solar bag is not just a backpack; it's a statement of sustainable energy and innovation.

The backpack's solar panel can be carabined to the front hooks, allowing you to passively store solar energy as you travel, hike, or simply stroll around campus.

Whether you're in the heart of a city or on a remote mountain trail, you can charge your devices directly from the solar panel's USB port or tap into the stored energy in the TSA lithium battery.

This solar charging backpack is designed with the modern traveler in mind. It is waterproof and features two water bottle holders, a dedicated space for a water filter, and a waist strap for added comfort and stability.

And that's not all - when you buy this backpack, you'll also receive a rechargeable LED camp light, a set of full-sized flatware, a USB cord, and a poncho kit.

Influencer Backpack - GoSun Solar
Features
  • SolarTech Integration: Seamlessly integrate solar energy into your travels. The solar panel ensures you're always connected, making it the best solar backpack for those always on the go.
  • ChargeFlex System: Choose how you charge. Plug your devices directly into the solar panel or use the TSA lithium battery for a consistent power supply.
  • Travel Ready Design:: With dual water bottle holders, a water filter holder, and a waist strap, this backpack is ready for any adventure.
  • Bonus Inclusions:: Illuminate your campsite with the LED camp light, dine with the full-sized flatware, and stay dry with the poncho kit. All are included with your purchase.
  • Dimensions: 13”(W) x 18”(H)
Sustainability Initiatives

Founded in a suburban garage in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Patrick Sherwin, GoSun has grown exponentially, thanks to its community of dedicated customers and shareholders. With a mission to serve the world with unparalleled clean energy solutions, GoSun has always been at the forefront of innovation.

Their commitment to making a difference is evident in their efforts to provide discounted solar products to those in need and their contributions to various charitable causes, including the California Fire Foundation and The Houston Food Bank.

Their vision of a solar future is not just about products; it's about empowering individuals and communities. With over 50,000 trees planted and 1,500 cookers donated, GoSun is making strides in creating a sustainable future for all.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


10. Svala Gemma Backpack Purse

Best Backpack for Stylish and Sustainable Women

From Svala

Svala Gemma Backpack Purse Svala Gemma Backpack Purse Svala Gemma Backpack Purse Svala Gemma Backpack Purse
Images by Svala

The Svala Gemma Backpack Purse is the epitome of sustainable elegance. Handcrafted in Los Angeles from premium Italian vegan leather, this accessory exudes luxury while staying true to ethical fashion principles.

Its transformative design, shifting effortlessly from a backpack to a handbag, makes it a versatile addition to any fashion-forward woman's wardrobe. Whether you're heading to work meetings, music festivals, or art events, the Gemma Backpack Purse has you covered.

For a personalized touch, you have the option to select from a variety of designs. These include the black or cream faux snake-skin design or the unique hand-crafted design made from premium cork sourced from Portugal. This allows you to choose a style that best aligns with your personal look.

Despite its compact design, this ethical backpack offers ample space to accommodate all of your essentials, proving that style and practicality can indeed go hand-in-hand.

Features
  • Italian Elegance: Handcrafted from premium PVC-free Italian vegan leather, this bag provides a luxurious and cruelty-free alternative to traditional leather. The interior of the bag is lined with a blend of recycled polyester made from plastic bottles and organic cotton, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability without compromising on quality or style.
  • Fashion Adaptability: It can be transformed from a backpack to a handbag by simply adjusting the removable straps, making it adaptable for any occasion. The handbag strap drop is adjustable from 10.5” to 13”, ensuring a comfortable fit for any user.
  • Compact Yet Spacious: Although compact in design, this backpack purse can comfortably fit an iPad, making it a practical choice for both work and leisure. It also features an interior pocket to store your essential items like your smartphone and keys.
  • Dimensions: 10.5”(W) x 10”(H) x 5.5”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

Svala is a brand that prides itself on crafting top-tier vegan products, all locally handcrafted in Los Angeles using superior quality materials. They are strongly committed to ethical practices and sustainability. They contribute 10% of their profits to various charities and organizations, such as Wild Aid, a group committed to stopping illegal wildlife trading.

Their commitment to sustainability was recognized when they were named the Best Vegan Brand of the Year in 2020. This award was presented in Eluxe Magazines, Eluxe Awards, which are renowned as the world's first awards specifically honoring excellence in the sustainable luxury market.

Svala is also actively involved in a carbon offset initiative to minimize their carbon footprint. They meticulously calculate their shipping-related carbon emissions each month and purchase carbon offsets to neutralize this impact. In collaboration with Ecologi, Svala ensures a tree is planted for every order placed, further solidifying their commitment to environmental stewardship.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


11. The Sling Backpack from Monarc

Best Sustainable Backpack for the Modern Man

From Monarc

The Sling from Monarc The Sling from Monarc The Sling from Monarc The Sling from Monarc
Images by Monarc

Monarc's Sling Backpack is a fusion of practicality, versatility, and sustainability. Crafted from recycled plastic bottles and lined with rPET ripstop, it's a symbol of eco-consciousness.

The bag features a secure 13” laptop sleeve, an RFID-lined middle pocket for passports or credit cards, and a spacious compartment for essentials. Its adjustable strap allows it to be worn over either shoulder for flexibility.

Externally, it comes with waterproof zippers and water-resistant fabric, ensuring your belongings stay dry. It also features Molle webbing for carrying items on the outside of the bag and a hidden compartment with webbing straps.

A removable crossbody strap is included for easier carrying when the bag gets heavy adding a touch of convenience for the modern man.

Monarc Settra Sling Review - Aaron @ Nomads Nation
Features
  • Eco-Friendly Construction: Made from recycled plastic bottles, this backpack gives you a durable and sustainable option while also reducing plastic pollution. The interior features rip-stop material, a fabric woven to resist tearing, ensuring the backpack's longevity. To top it off, all external zippers are waterproof and the fabric is water-resistant, ensuring your belongings stay dry in any weather condition.
  • Adaptable Wearability: The backpack can be comfortably worn over either shoulder or across your entire body using the crossbody strap. This offers flexibility and convenience to adapt to your personal carrying preferences.
  • Versatile and Resilient Design: The Sling is designed with a focus on convenience, adaptability, and durability. It includes a removable magnetic FIDLOCK© keychain in the front compartment for easy access to your keys. The exterior features 3 rows of Molle webbing for securing clips for external carry, and a hidden compartment in the back with webbing straps and G-hooks, creating a versatile strap system.
  • Efficient Organization: Designed for the sustainable go-getter, it offers a front flat pocket with a large mesh quick-access zipper, an RFID-lined middle pocket for passports or credit cards, and an organized system for carrying everything from pens to hard drives. The middle pocket also provides ample storage space for items like a light jacket.
  • Dimensions: 10”(W) x 16”(H) x 4”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

Monarc is a brand that operates with a clear purpose. Their goal is to contribute positively to the world, and this focus is reflected in every facet of their operations. From their choice of materials to their business practices, sustainability is at the forefront.

Their environmental efforts have already resulted in the recovery of around 1.25 million single-use plastics from oceans and landfills, demonstrating their commitment to preserving our planet.

Adding to their sustainability credentials, Monarc has the 'Plastic-Negative Product' certification which means they remove more plastic from the environment than they contribute. They also meet the Global Recycled Standard. This means their products are made from recycled materials and are produced in a way that is socially and environmentally responsible.

This all-round approach to sustainability shows just how committed Monarc is to creating a healthier planet.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


12. Maika's Canvas Laptop Backpack

Best Sustainable Backpack for Laptops

From Maika

Maika's Sierra Laptop Backpack Maika's Sierra Laptop Backpack Maika's Sierra Laptop Backpack Maika's Sierra Laptop Backpack
Images by Maika

This sustainable laptop backpack from Maika is an ideal choice for tech-savvy individuals who need a secure and stylish way to carry their laptops. Designed in Oakland, California, this backpack features the use of sustainable materials with its vegan leather trim, sturdy recycled canvas, and eco-friendly pigment inks.

The backpack's dedicated laptop compartment ensures your device is safe and snug, while the recycled canvas contributes to the overall durability of the backpack.

Its sleek design in combination with the unique 'Sierra' print, makes this canvas backpack a standout accessory that doesn't compromise on functionality. The backpack's compact size makes it easy to carry, yet it offers ample space for your laptop and other essentials.

Whether you're commuting to work, heading to a coffee shop, or traveling, this canvas backpack from Maika offers a blend of sustainability that's hard to beat.

Features
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: The backpack is constructed from eco-friendly recycled canvas, making it a perfect choice for those conscious of their carbon footprint. This material is not only sustainable but also waterproof and sturdy, ensuring the backpack can withstand daily use while reducing waste.
  • TechNest Compartment: It comes with a dedicated compartment that can comfortably fit your laptop, two interior pockets for your phone and sunglasses, two pen slots, and an exterior zippered pocket for keys or your phone. It's the perfect choice for students, professionals, and anyone else who needs to carry their laptop on the go.
  • Ethical & Vegan Design: The original hand-drawn, hand-printed pattern on this backpack showcases Maika's dedication to creating unique, artisanal designs. Made with vegan materials, ensuring no harm to animals in its production, this backpack also highlights the ethical and sustainable business practices of Maika.
  • Dimensions: 11”(W) x 15”(H) x 3.75”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

Maika is committed to creating products that are both functional and stylish, without compromising on sustainability. Using recycled canvas in the production of their backpacks reduces their carbon footprint, demonstrating a tangible commitment to the environment.

In addition to their sustainable production practices, Maika also gives back to the community. Each quarter, they select a charity or organization that aligns with their values and dedicate a portion of their proceeds to their cause.

Furthermore, Maika has chosen Planet Access Company as their fulfillment warehouse. This company provides training and employment opportunities to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, offering paid, train-to-work opportunities to up to 70 individuals annually.

This partnership aligns with Maika's belief that every thoughtful deed counts, furthering their commitment to making a positive impact on society.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


13. United By Blue (R)evolution 9L Sidekick

Best Sustainable Compact Backpack

From United By Blue

United By Blue (R)evolution 9L Sidekick Backpack United By Blue (R)evolution 9L Sidekick Backpack United By Blue (R)evolution 9L Sidekick Backpack United By Blue (R)evolution 9L Sidekick Backpack
Images by United By Blue

The United By Blue (R)evolution™ 9L Sidekick is a compact powerhouse, perfect for those who prefer to travel light without compromising on sustainability. Made entirely from recycled polyester, this backpack is a tangible reflection of United By Blue's dedication to eco-friendly practices.

Despite its compact size, the Sidekick is packed with features including a padded interior tablet sleeve, expandable side pockets for water bottles, and adjustable straps for personalized comfort.

Its resistance to water, tears, and stains further underscores its durability, making it a resilient companion for your daily adventures.

Features
  • Planet-Friendly Fabric: This backpack is made entirely from 100% recycled materials. The outer shell is woven from recycled polyester and the webbing is made from recycled nylon.
  • Space-Saver with a Punch: Don't let its compact size fool you. This backpack is a powerhouse of functionality, equipped with a cushioned interior sleeve for your tablet, adjustable straps for comfort, and expandable pockets for your water bottle. It's small but mighty.
  • Lifetime Guarantee: United By Blue puts a sustainable stamp on this everyday backpack with their lifetime guarantee coverage. They hold a high standard when it comes to their products and are happy to help replace or repair them if any of the seams or materials fail as well as any production defects.
  • Dimensions: 10”(W) x 13”(H) x 4.25”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

United By Blue made a name for themselves by incorporating 100% recycled polyester into all their products, significantly reducing their overall carbon footprint and showcasing their strong belief in a more sustainable world.

For every item sold, United By Blue takes it upon themselves to remove a pound of trash from our oceans and waterways. This hands-on approach makes a real difference in the fight for cleaner waters.

They strive to meet the highest environmental and social standards, as evidenced by their B Corp certification. This prestigious certification is a testament to their dedication to meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Their manufacturing practices are ethical, partnering with certified manufacturers who adhere to their supplier code of conduct, ensuring fair wages and healthy working conditions. They also plan to conduct comprehensive supply chain audits in the future to further strengthen their ethical manufacturing practices.

United By Blue is a company that is making a tangible impact on the environment through its commitment to a zero-plastic policy and sustainability initiatives.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


14. Terra Thread Earth Backpack

Best Sustainable Backpack for School

From Terra Thread

Earth Backpack - Sustainable Backpack for School Earth Backpack - Sustainable Backpack for School Earth Backpack - Sustainable Backpack for School Earth Backpack - Sustainable Backpack for School
Images by Terra Thread

The Terra Thread Earth Backpack is a student's dream come true. Its design is tailored specifically to meet the needs of a busy student's life. The backpack's laptop sleeve, which can comfortably accommodate a laptop of up to 15 inches, ensures your tech is always protected.

The front zipper pocket provides quick access to essentials, while the two side pockets are perfect for water bottles or umbrellas - a thoughtful addition for students on the go.

The generous dimensions comfortably accommodate books, notebooks, and other essential academic materials. The padded shoulder straps offer comfort for those long days on campus, and the top handle adds an element of convenience. Plus, its easy maintenance - being machine washable - is a bonus for students with little time to spare.

Sustainable Backpacks for College and Everyday Use - Terra Thread
Features
  • Eco-Friendly Fabric: The backpack is made from 100% Organic and Fairtrade Certified Cotton, making it a great choice for eco-conscious students. The material is also GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified, ensuring it's free from harmful substances.
  • Student-Centric Design: The backpack is designed with students in mind. It has a laptop sleeve that can accommodate up to a 15-inch laptop, a front zipper pocket for easy access to essentials, and two side pockets for water bottles or umbrellas. The backpack also features padded shoulder straps for comfort and a top handle for convenience, making it one of the best backpacks for school.
  • Hassle-Free Upkeep: The backpack is designed for easy maintenance. It can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent and air-dried.
  • Dimensions: 12”(W) x 17”(H) x 6”(D)
Sustainability Initiatives

Terra Thread is a Certified B Corporation, meaning they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. They are also a Fair Trade Certified Factory, ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions for their workers.

They support carbon offset projects and offer carbon-neutral products. They support a solar energy project in Rajasthan, India, which generates clean and renewable electricity, and a reforestation and afforestation project in India, which conserves and plants trees, naturally sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.

For every Terra Thread bag sold, they donate meals to those in need in partnership with Feeding America. So far, they have helped donate over 2 million meals.

Learn more about their sustainability initiatives here


How to Choose the Best Eco-Friendly Backpack

Choosing an eco-friendly and sustainable backpack isn't just about picking something to carry your stuff around. It's about making a choice that reflects who you are and what you believe in. It's about making a decision that's good for you, and even better for our planet. So, let's dive into how you can make a smart, eco-friendly backpack choice:

Identify Your Needs

The best backpack for you depends on your specific needs. Are you looking for a day pack for casual use or a more durable option for hiking and camping? How much storage space do you need? Do you require compartments for a laptop or other specific items? Identifying your needs can help you choose a backpack with the right size, features, and durability.

Check the Materials

Look for backpacks made from recycled, upcycled, or natural materials. Also, consider the durability of the material. Eco-friendly backpacks are made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp, or recycled plastics to eliminate the need for frequent replacement. Avoid materials that are heavily treated with chemicals or are derived from non-renewable sources. Checking the product description or tag should give you this information.

Research the Brand

Take some time to research the brand behind the backpack before making your purchase. Do they have a strong commitment to sustainability? What are their manufacturing processes? Are they transparent about their supply chain? Genuine, eco-conscious companies will usually share this information readily. All of the sustainable backpacks mentioned in our list come from brands that meet these qualifications.

Consider the Price

While sustainable backpacks can be more expensive than their non-sustainable counterparts, remember that by buying them, you're investing in a healthier planet. Additionally, a durable, high-quality backpack can last for years, saving you money in the long run.

However, it's also essential to balance your environmental concerns with your financial reality. There are affordable options available that still adhere to eco-friendly practices.

Make sure to compare prices, and aim to find a backpack that aligns with your needs, your budget, and your commitment to sustainability.

In the end, the best backpack for you is one that meets your specific needs, aligns with your values, and makes you feel good about your purchase. So, take your time, do your research, and choose a sustainable backpack that you'll be proud to carry. Remember, every sustainable purchase you make is a stride towards a greener world.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an eco-friendly backpack?

An eco-friendly backpack is a type of bag designed for sustainability and minimal environmental impact. These backpacks are often made from recycled or natural materials that are biodegradable or can be easily recycled. They are produced using processes that minimize waste, reduce carbon emissions, and conserve resources. Eco-friendly backpacks are a great choice for environmentally conscious consumers who want to reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainable living.

2. What are recycled backpacks made of?

Recycled backpacks are typically made from materials that have been repurposed or reused, instead of being discarded. Common materials include recycled plastic bottles (transformed into a type of polyester), reclaimed rubber, and recycled fabrics. The process of recycling these materials into usable fabrics significantly reduces waste and conserves natural resources, making these backpacks a more sustainable choice.

3. Are canvas backpacks eco-friendly?

Canvas backpacks can be eco-friendly, depending on how the canvas is produced. Canvas made from organic cotton or hemp, grown without harmful pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, is considered eco-friendly. Additionally, if the manufacturing process uses less water, energy, and produces minimal waste, the canvas backpack can be considered more sustainable. However, not all canvas backpacks are eco-friendly, so it's important to check the product details before purchasing.

4. What is the most eco-friendly bag material?

The most eco-friendly bag materials are those that are biodegradable, recyclable, and produced in a sustainable manner. Organic cotton, hemp, and jute are among the top choices. Organic cotton is grown without harmful chemicals, while hemp is a robust crop that requires little water and no pesticides. Jute, a type of plant fiber, is 100% biodegradable and recyclable. Recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate), made from recycled plastic bottles, is another eco-friendly material commonly used in bag production.

5. What are the reasons why people love sustainable travel backpacks?

People love sustainable travel backpacks for a variety of reasons. They are environmentally friendly backpacks, which means they help to reduce waste and conserve natural resources. Many of these backpacks are also designed to be durable, so they can handle the wear and tear of travel. Using a sustainable travel backpack can be a way to show that you care about protecting the environment. Plus, many sustainable backpacks have unique and stylish designs, making them not just practical but also fashionable.