Eco friendly backpacks

13 Eco Friendly Backpacks For Every Occasion

Are you looking for eco friendly backpacks for your next travel adventure?

As more people are becoming more conscious of the importance of taking care of the environment, they are looking for ways to be more eco-friendly in their everyday lives

One of the things that each person can do is to buy eco-friendly products that will have less of a negative impact on the environment. 

Here is the content that will be covered in this guide to help you find the best eco friendly backpack:

  • The Top 13 Eco Friendly Backpacks
  • What Are Eco Friendly Backpacks And Why Do You Need One?
  • The Different Types of Eco Friendly Backpacks
  • 5 Benefits Of Using Eco Friendly Backpacks
  • 5 Things To Look For In A Good Eco-Friendly Backpack

DISCLOSURE

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The Top 13 Eco Friendly Backpacks

  1. United By Blue

United By Blue is committed to protecting the environment through its pledge to remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every single product that is purchased. 

As a Certified B Corporation (meets high standards of social and environmental performance – more information can be found later in the article), United By Blue backpacks are made from recycled and sustainable materials such as recycled polyester, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton, and aluminum. 

Their (R)evolution Collection is made from single-use plastic such as water bottles.

Backpacks from United By Blue are durable and come with a lifetime warranty.

United by Blue also produces eco-friendly apparel and accessories.

Pros:

  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Zippered large compartment
  • Multiple smaller compartments
  • Water-resistant
  • Available in 3 colors
  • Convertible from a backpack to a tote

Cons:

  • Might be too large for petite people
  1. Patagonia

Patagonia is an established brand for sustainable travel backpacks and apparel. 

Patagonia is committed to making a positive impact in the world through its Material and Environmental Programs and its Social Responsibility Programs.

Patagonia is also a well-known Certified B Corporation.

There are a variety of sustainably made backpacks available for everyday use as well as travel and hiking. There is even a range of backpacks that was developed specifically for women.

Patagonia backpacks are made from recycled materials such as nylon and polyester.

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Some smaller compartments
  • Water-resistant
  • Padded straps
  • Sternum strap for better weight distribution
  • Available in 6 colors

Cons:

  • The main compartment may be hard to organize
  1. STATE

STATE produces backpacks from organic materials, vegan materials, and recycled materials. There is a large variety of patterns and colors available to fit every style.

STATE also has a range of backpacks made specifically for kids.

For every bag that is purchased, STATE supports families and children in need by donating fully packed backpacks as well as through special projects with partner schools and charities.

Like many other eco friendly backpack brands on this list, STATE is also a Certified B Corporation.

Pros:

  • Laptop sleeve
  • Large main compartment
  • Multiple smaller compartments
  • Sternum strap for better weight distribution
  • Water-resistant
  • Padded straps
  • Available in 2 colors

Cons:

  • Warranty is only for 1 year 
  1. Lo & Sons
Eco friendly backpacks

Lo & Sons is extremely committed to honoring the environment by having sustainable business practices. 

They are taking steps to increase the amount and types of recycled and organic materials that are used in their products. 

They currently have products that are made out of recycled plastic water bottles as well as canvas made from cotton that is grown without the use of harmful pesticides.

Cost: $70 – $395

Pros:

  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Multiple smaller compartments
  • Expandable side pockets
  • Water-resistant
  • Padded straps
  • Available in 3 colors

Cons:

  • Might be too bulky for some people
  1. Solgaard
Eco friendly backpacks

Solgaard is a well-known brand that produces backpacks, suitcases, and other accessories. Some of their products are made from upcycled ocean waste.

Through their partnership with Plastic Bank, Solgaard can remove 229 ocean-bound plastic bottles for every item that they sell.

Apart from that, Solgaard also ensures that their products do not have any single-use plastics.

Cost: $95 – $225

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Multiple smaller compartments
  • Sternum strap for better weight distribution
  • Padded straps
  • Removable hanging closet system
  • Expands by 40%
  • Available in 2 colors

Cons:

  • Higher price for the bags with more features
  1. Fjällräven

Fjällräven (pronounced FEE-EL rahr-ven) is a sustainable Swedish brand that produces outdoor clothing, accessories, and backpacks.

Sustainability plays a major role in every aspect of their products. Fjällräven is committed to developing products with sustainable designs that are made with sustainable materials through sustainable production.

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Water-resistant
  • Very sturdy
  • Available in more than 40 colors

Cons:

  • Straps might not be long enough for some people
  • No additional small compartments inside the bag
  1. Terra Thread
Eco friendly backpacks

Terra Thread products are carbon-neutral and are made with Fairtrade Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton.

Terra Thread’s parent company, Gallant International, is also a Certified B Corporation. 

Apart from backpacks, Terra Thread also produces totes, cosmetic bags, duffle and gym bags, laptop sleeves, and face masks.

Cost: $60 – $425

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Lead-free zippers
  • Available in 13 colors

Cons:

  • Not many additional compartments 
  • Not water-resistant
  1. Dakine

Dakine makes backpacks from 100% recycled PET materials and also materials that are bluesign®-approved.

Dakine does not just produce eco-friendly products, they also ensure that their offices have sustainable practices and they partner with organizations that make a difference in the community.

Dakine has a large range of bags, sporting equipment, clothes, and accessories.

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Some smaller compartments
  • Water-resistant
  • Sternum strap for better weight distribution
  • Available in 4 colors

Cons:

  • No padding on the bottom 
  1. Paravel

Backpacks from Paravel are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic water bottles as well as other recycled materials. 

Apart from using recycled materials, Paravel also uses upcycled materials.

Each of their fold-up backpacks takes 15 plastic bottles out of the ecosystem. Paravel also produces a variety of bags, organizers, and other packing essentials.

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Some smaller compartments
  • Water-resistant
  • Ultra-lightweight and foldable
  • Available in 4 colors

Cons:

  • No padded straps
  • No sternum strap
  1. Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi uses remnant materials to make their products to reduce waste as these materials would otherwise be discarded and likely end up in overcrowded landfills.

Cotopaxi has taken steps to measure their carbon footprint and become 100% carbon neutral. They have recently become a Climate Neutral certified company. 

Cotopaxi is also a Certified B Corporation.

Cotopaxi produces many different types of bags, clothes, face masks, and other products.

The Del Dia range of backpacks is unique because no two products look the same as the employee making the backpack has total creative control over the combination of colors that are used.

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Some smaller compartments
  • Sternum strap for better weight distribution
  • Padded straps
  • Water-resistant
  • Internal hydration sleeve
  • One-of-a-kind color options 

Cons:

  • Not for you if you’re not a fan of bright, colorful bags
  1. Osprey

Osprey is committed to using the highest-quality materials with the lowest environmental impact in the products that they make. Osprey also uses bluesign®-approved materials in the production of their backpacks.

Through Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee program, damage to your backpack can be repaired for free. If they are unable to repair the damage, the backpack will be replaced. 

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Some smaller compartments
  • Sternum strap for better weight distribution
  • Padded straps
  • Water-resistant
  • Internal hydration sleeve
  • Can be attached to other Osprey travel or backpacking bags 
  • Available in 7 colors

Cons:

  • Side pockets may not be suitable for water bottles
  • Back padding might be too thin for you
  1. Duluth Pack

Duluth Pack is one of the oldest canvas and leather backpack makers in the US. The products are made with materials that are of the highest quality which makes their products extremely sustainable and durable.

Duluth Pack offers a lifetime warranty for hardware malfunction or failure and craftsmanship defects. They will either repair or replace the item at no cost to you.

Duluth Pack makes a lot of different types of bags from purses and totes to duffels and of course backpacks.

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Some smaller compartments
  • Water-resistant
  • Side zipper for easy access
  • Made to last
  • Available in 12 colors

Cons:

  • No padded straps
  • No sternum strap
  1. Bellroy

From recycled woven materials to environmentally certified premium leather, Bellroy is committed to using the best materials that they can in their products.

Many of their signature styles are now made from recycled plastic bottles. They have saved close to 4 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfills or our oceans.

Bellroy also produces other types of bags as well as tech, work, and travel accessories.

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Some smaller compartments
  • Sternum strap for better weight distribution
  • Padded straps
  • Water-resistant
  • Internal compression straps
  • Front pocket with key clip
  • Available in 5 colors

Cons:

  • More expensive  

….

What Are Eco Friendly Backpacks And Why Do You Need One? 

A lot of people choose to buy environmentally friendly backpacks because they are trying to go green and protect the environment. 

So, what is an eco-friendly backpack? 

Merriam-Webster defines eco-friendly as “not environmentally harmful.” There are a few points that can explain what this means in more detail.

Does Not Cause Harm To The Environment

An eco-friendly backpack is made from materials that do not cause harm to the environment because they are recycled or more sustainable.

In contrast, regular backpacks are often made from polyester and other similar materials. Polyester is known to contribute to microplastic pollution when items made from it are disposed of.

Ethically Made

While many people and businesses place a lot of emphasis on the materials that are used to make the backpacks, it is also important to ensure that the backpacks are sustainably and ethically made.

A lot of regular backpacks are made by companies that participate in fast fashion. These companies often manufacture products overseas where the cost is lower and there are fewer regulations.

Ethical Working Conditions 

Labor laws in those countries often provide less protection to workers leading to unsuitable working conditions and worker exploitation. By buying an eco-friendly backpack, you will be able to support workers to have a fair wage and safe working conditions. 

Sustainable Materials

Apart from that, eco friendly backpacks made from certain types of materials are very durable and can last for a very long time. This is another reason why some people choose to buy eco friendly backpacks.

The Different Types of Eco Friendly Backpacks

There are many different types of eco friendly backpacks and you can choose the type that best fits your needs and style. 

Hiking Backpacks

It is becoming easier to find a sustainable hiking backpack that is affordable. 

As demand for sustainable products rises, more businesses are choosing to produce eco-friendly hiking and trekking backpacks. 

It makes sense that nature lovers who do a lot of hiking and trekking would want to use a backpack that does not harm the environment. 

Some brands that make eco friendly hiking backpacks are Patagonia, Osprey, and Kathmandu.

Casual Backpacks

Casual or everyday backpacks are the types of backpacks that you would use daily. 

Maybe you need a backpack to carry your laptop or school supplies every day. Or you just want a backpack to carry your daily essentials.

Then you are probably looking for a casual backpack.

Lots of brands such as Fjällräven and Terra Thread make casual backpacks.

Mini Backpacks

As their name suggests, mini backpacks are smaller in size and are often used to carry fewer items. Mini backpacks can be used to carry items for a day trip or school or a short hike. 

There are mini backpacks to fit just about any function, style, design preference, and budget range.

You can find some great mini backpacks from Adidas, Jansport, and The North Face.

Minimalist Backpacks

Some people prefer backpack designs that are simple while still meeting their needs. This has increased the popularity of minimalist backpacks.

Minimalist backpacks often have a sleek or neat design with all the functions that you would need from a backpack. They may have fewer compartments and pockets but there will still be sufficient space for all your items.

Check out backpacks from Bellroy and Osprey to find some great minimalist backpacks.

Tech-Friendly Backpacks

If you are the type of person who often needs to carry your laptop and other technology with you, then tech-friendly sustainably made backpacks might be what you are looking for.

As the name implies, tech-friendly backpacks have additional features for your technology. Here are some features that you may find helpful:

  • Sleeve, pockets, and pouches for all your electronic items and chargers
  • Built-in USB charging ports
  • Solar-powered chargers
  • Hidden zippers for extra security

Find great tech-friendly backpacks from Solgaard and The North Face.

5 Benefits Of Using Eco Friendly Backpacks

  1. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

More than ever, climate change is a big issue that many people are concerned about and are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprints.

When you choose to buy a backpack from one of the eco friendly backpack brands, you are deciding to actively reduce your carbon footprint. 

This small action that you take will collectively make a big difference to our environment both now and for future generations.

  1. Save Money

By picking up that eco friendly rucksack, you are going to be able to save money in the long run. 

Eco-friendly products are made to be durable so that they can last for a long time and reduce waste in landfills as you will not need to replace them as often.

By investing in a well-made eco-friendly backpack, you will be able to use your backpack for many years and not have to replace it every few years or so. 

Some eco-friendly backpack brands even have a lifetime warranty for their products.

  1. Be Healthier

Recycled backpacks are often made from natural materials and with fewer chemicals. 

By buying and using an eco-friendly backpack, you will be exposing yourself to less harmful products and can protect your health more.

  1. Be More Socially Responsible

A lot of brands that make sustainable products also ensure that the employees who make the products have a safe working environment and a living wage. 

By buying an eco-friendly backpack, you will be supporting the livelihood of the people who make the bags.

  1. Contribute To A Better Future

It may be hard to imagine that something as small as using sustainable backpacks can contribute to a better future. 

But it is really these everyday actions that you take that will help to combat the negative impacts on the environment and the world around us.

By deciding to buy an eco-friendly backpack, you are not just choosing sustainable materials and reducing waste, you are also choosing to support better working environments for workers all over the world.

All these things will contribute towards a better world for future generations to live in.

5 Things To Look For In A Good Eco-Friendly Backpack

  1. Environmental & Social Impact

One of the main things that sets the best sustainable backpacks apart from other backpacks is the impact that it has socially as well as on the environment. 

The environmental and social impact often go hand in hand and there are many areas to look at.

The first area is of course the impact that the backpack has on the environment from the perspective of the type of materials used, manufacturing process, and sustainability. 

Eco friendly backpacks should be made from natural materials or recycled materials. 

The manufacturing process should also cause as little harm to the environment as possible by limiting the amount of energy and chemicals that are used.

Apart from materials, it is also important that you are buying ethically made backpacks. The workers who make the backpacks should have safe working conditions and appropriate wages.

A couple of global standards or certifications can be a helpful measure as to whether the product you are buying is eco-friendly and sustainable.

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is one of the most well-known processing standards for fabrics made from organic fibers. 

When you see that a product is 100% GOTS certified, you can have confidence that the product is made from the right fair-trade materials. 

The GOTS certification also requires that employees are provided with safe working conditions and a fair, living wage. 

More and more sustainable brands are ensuring that their products are GOTS certified.

To be a Certified B Corporation, businesses are required to meet social sustainability and environmental performance standards. 

These standards take into account various factors such as the environment, employees, customers, supply chain, and communities where they operate. 

Some well-known businesses that have this certification are Ben & Jerry’s, The Body Shop, and TOMS.

  1. Durability

Built-to-last eco-friendly products help ensure less waste, less pollution, and a healthier environment. You should consider looking for a backpack that is more durable to make a more positive impact.

While buying a more durable product may cost more initially, you will end up saving more money in the long run since you won’t have to replace the backpack for a long time. 

The buy once, buy well philosophy will help you reduce waste and have a great backpack that will last you for years. 

  1. Material

There are many types of materials that eco friendly backpacks are made from. Backpacks made from sustainable organic fibers and backpacks made from recycled materials are the most popular types of backpacks. 

You will even be able to find a variety of backpacks such as a sustainable leather backpack, a biodegradable backpack, or backpacks made from recycled plastic bottles. 

Depending on what you are going to be using the backpack for, you may want to ensure that the backpack is made from water-resistant materials.

  1. Weight

The weight of a backpack is a crucial factor to consider when buying any new backpack. 

An empty backpack usually weighs 1-6 lbs (0.4 – 2.7 kgs).

If you are planning to get a sustainable travel backpack, you must be able to carry the backpack comfortably for extended periods. 

If you are going to be traveling by air, you might also want to make sure that your backpack is light enough to be your carry-on bag. 

  1. Size

The size of the backpack you choose should depend on what you are going to be mostly using the backpack for. 

Backpacks are usually sized in liters (L). 

Common backpack sizes:

  • 10-30 liters – suitable for shorter hiking trips and day trips
  • 30-50 liters – suitable for multi-day camping trips and longer hiking trips
  • Above 50 liters – suitable for backpacking trips or for carrying more gear

Conclusion

Kudos to you for wanting to go green and buy an eco-friendly backpack! I hope you can find a backpack on this list of sustainable backpack brands that will fit your needs. 

You will not regret your choice as your new sustainable backpack will not only last you for a long time but will also help you contribute towards a zero-waste lifestyle, a cleaner environment, and a better future. 

Happy adventuring with your new eco-friendly backpack!

The Top 13 Eco Friendly Backpacks

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