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Best Sustainable Backpacks for Eco-Friendly Travel

Looking for sustainable backpacks for your everyday carry? Sustainable backpacks are a great choice for your baggage needs. Also, they are ethically made and are a great pick if you want to play a part in saving the planet. There are many brands, both large and small making sustainable backpacks in various ways. Some use natural, eco-friendly materials while others produce recycled backpacks, or support local communities.

Ethical backpacks allow you to enjoy their versatility and functionality without impacting the planet negatively. Whether traveling, hiking, going to school, or needing something to carry your laptop around, they are a great deal.

We have researched the most sustainable backpacks that you can use on the go. Our list features ethically made backpacks and bags from various sustainable brands.

Here is a brief look at our favorite eco friendly backpacks:

Best All-Round Sustainable Backpacks

Best Sustainable Backpacks for Travel

Best Sustainable Backpacks for Hiking 

Best Eco-Friendly Backpack For Kids

Best Sustainable Backpack for School

 Best Sustainable Laptop Backpacks

 Best  Sustainable Backpacks for Everyday Carry

Best All-Round Sustainable Backpacks

All-round backpacks are ideal for a variety of purposes, from grocery shopping and outdoor adventures to laptop hauling. Our favorite sustainable backpacks that you can use for all your baggage needs include:

Terra Thread Sustainable Backpacks for College and Everyday Use

Best All-Round Sustainable Backpack

Best for: School, Laptop, Shopping

Ethics: Ethically made with organic cotton, GOTS certified, carbon neutral brand, Fairtrade backpack factory, B Corp certified

Terra Thread has some of the most ethically made backpacks you can find. The Terra Thread Sustainable Backpacks for College and Everyday Use are among the most durable and spacious. Thanks to the heavy-duty organic cotton canvas, it feels comfortable, spacious, and practical. They double as eco bookbags and everyday carry backpacks for laptops, groceries, and more.

Like all other Terra Thread products, these natural backpacks are free from plastics. Ideally, the brand aims to make eco-friendly products for individuals who care about the planet.

Shop Terra Thread Backpacks

Camelbak Rim Runner™ 22L 85 oz Hydration Pack

The Camelbak Rim Runner has a Built-in Beverage Reservoir

Best For: Hiking, Mountain Climbing, Camping

Ethics: recycled materials, reformulated with safer chemicals, designed to be repaired and reused

The 22L Camelbak Rim Runner is a versatile and handy hiking backpack. It’s minimalist, attractive, and has a large capacity to pack enough gear. To ensure you have maximum hydration while hiking, this backpack comes with a built-in 85 oz. CRUX™ beverage reservoir.

It ranks among the top-of-the-range backpacks made from recycled materials. On top of that, its large size ensures you can pack huge loads, while the breathable air mesh back panel provides maximum aeration. It has a versatile design and exterior pockets where you can quickly stash a few accessories.

Shop CamelBak Backpacks

HydroFlask 14 L DownShift™ Hydration Pack

The 14L HydroFlask Downshift Backpack Features a revolutionary Cold Flow™ System

Best For: Outdoors – camping, hiking, mountain adventures

Ethics: Partnership with Surfrider Foundation for ocean trash removal, supporting nonprofit organizations focused on maintaining and restoring parks,

HydroFlask backpacks are great for adventure. The 14L HydroFlask DownShift backpack is well suited for outdoor activities. It has the HydraPak® IsoBound™ 2 L Insulated Reservoir for storing water and a unique Cold Flow™ System that keeps it cold for 4+ hours. When hiking and traveling, you can be sure of a cold quench regardless of where you are adventuring.

Another impressive feature is the fully adjustable straps for the shoulder, sternum, and hip. These straps enable easy carrying, allowing you to hike longer and more comfortably.

Shop HydroFlask Backpacks

Bagmaya Dakhla Backpack

The Bagmaya Dakhla Backpack is Made from Organic Hemp

Best For: Laptop, everyday use

Ethics: Sustainably handmade, natural hemp fabrics, natural dyes made from flowers, recycled paper tags, plastic-free packaging

Are you looking for a versatile, sustainable backpack for your day-to-day baggage needs? The Bagmaya Dakhla Backpack is a 100% natural backpack made from organic hemp. It was designed for almost all carry needs, from work and school to shopping and outdoors.  

This backpack was ethically handmade in Nepal. It has a thick and durable material to ensure it can withstand the stresses of everyday use. Also, it has waterproof internal layers to protect your items from rain or snow. On top of that, Bagmaya uses natural dyes extracted from flowers rather than synthetic dyes that can be harmful to the environment during the production and waste process.

Shop Bagmaya Backpacks

Best Sustainable Backpack for Travel

Long trips and air travels go well when you have the right backpack. As long as it’s eco-friendly and large enough to carry all your items, you are good to go. And since you are in for a sustainable lifestyle, here are some of the best backpacks you can choose to pack and carry your items:

Green Guru Commuter 24L Backpack

The Commuter 24L is Made From Recycled Vinyl and Nylon

Best For: Outdoors- Hiking, camping, traveling

Ethics: Recycled materials, B Corp Certified

The Green Guru Commuter 24L Backpack is an ideal choice for travel. It’s made from recycled Nylon and Vinyl and has the right features to make your travel expeditions hassle-free. The backpack is super durable, and thanks to the large capacity, you can carry all that you need for your travel.

You can carry this backpack anywhere you want. The carry handle makes hand-carrying free, and besides, it’s also lightweight, measuring about 935 grams. Above the superior design is a lot of experimenting and testing to ensure the backpack is extra-reliable and holding up very well.

The bag was designed from recycled materials such as tubed and nylon, ideal for eco-friendliness. Besides, Green Guru has a Gold Level status with the Colorado environmental leadership program in an effort to promote a green sustainable world.

You can find more backpacks from Sustainable Travel & Living here.

Solgaard LifePack Backpack

Best Sustainable Backpack for Travel
The Solgaard Lifepack has Anti-Theft Protection and Stylish Design

Best For: traveling and outdoor adventures

Ethics: recycled materials

The Solgaard Lifepack Backpack is the ideal traveler’s choice. It packs a wide range of features, from anti-theft protection to solar power that allows you to charge all your devices anywhere you go. Ideally, it was designed to keep you organized, stay charged, and keep up with your on-the-go lifestyle.

This adventuring backpack was made from Shore-Tex, a fabric made from recycled ocean plastics. It has a drop-proof laptop storage compartment and a water-resistant bottom that keeps your items safe from water.

The power unit, which includes a solar panel and a removable battery, and a USB charger, comes in handy when on outdoor travels. The anti-theft lock and four secret, patented pockets keep all your valuables secure.

Thanks to the intuitive, stylish design, you can carry it anywhere, from the café to the airport. The plush shoulder straps ensure seamless carrying. When not hauling, you can place it anywhere. It stands on its own, and with the water-resistant bottom, you don’t have to worry about the safety of your valuables.

Check out Solgaard for more sustainable backpacks

Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack

The Kanken Design is Timeless and Long-Lasting

Best For: Traveling

Ethics: Sustainable materials (recycled wool, organic hemp and Tencel®)

The Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack is a versatile choice for travel. Made from hard-wearing Vinyl, it offers both sustainability and longevity. Its timeless design and perfect construction deliver unfailing sustainability for daily use. The iconic Kanken design, which stretches several decades ago, gives this adventuring backpack a stylish appearance.

If you are looking for a highly functional backpack, the Fjallraven Kanken Classic is what you need. Its ergonomic shoulder straps are what you need for long hauls. On top of the excellent straps are dual top snap handles for quick hand carry.

The bag has a main zippered compartment, two open side pockets, and a front zippered pocket to keep your travel organized. It is water and dirt-resistant and cleans with a quick wipe.

Don’t forget to check out Fjallraven Kanken for more sustainable backpacks!

Best Sustainable Backpack for Hiking

Hiking isn’t complete without a handy backpack to haul your outdoor essentials. Of course, you need to carry the tactical items needed and some sustainable water bottles to sustain your hiking expedition. If you are an avid hiker, here are the best backpacks to try:

Herschel Little America Backpack

The Herschel Little America is a Classic Mountaineering Backpack

Best For: Hiking, Traveling

Ethics: Recycled fabrics

The Herschel Little America Backpack is a classic mountaineering-style backpack designed for almost all baggage needs. It features a drawcord cinch closure and a strap detailed top flap. Its bright colors and color variations further enhance its aesthetic appeal.

You can use the Herschel Little America Backpack for your everyday adventures. Its padded and contoured shoulder straps ensure you can carry comfortably. It has a front pocket for storing small essentials on the go. Additionally, it has a padded and fleece-lined laptop sleeve to secure your laptop.

Shop Herschel Backpacks

United by Blue 22L Trek Pack Backpack

This Backpack Has Expandable Side Pockets to Carry Hiking Essentials

Best For: Hiking, camping, adverse outdoor conditions

Ethics: Sustainable materials (organic cotton, recycled polyester, natural Tencel™), B Corp certified, ethical manufacturing

The United by Blue 22L Trek Pack Backpack is a modern outdoor bag with numerous features for hiking. It features 100% recycled materials from polyester linings and nylon straps. You can carry water bottles in the expandable bottle pockets. The adjustable cross sternum straps allow for hassle-free carrying, especially during long hiking trips.

The 100% vegan hiking backpack makes hiking a lovable experience. It has a durable water repellent (DWR) coating that gives it maximum water resistance. While hiking, you don’t have to worry about your essentials getting soaked. The DWR coating doesn’t compromise the bag’s breathability, making it an ideal option for adverse backcountry conditions. The incredibly crafted zippers secure all your traveling essentials in place.

United By Blue has a wide variety of sustainable backpacks for all your needs!

High Roller 36L Convertible Pannier

You Can Convert The Green Guru High Roller from a Backpack to a Pannier

Best For: Outdoors, All-weather hiking

Ethics: Made from upcycled bicycle inner tubes, B Corp Certified

Made from recycled inner tubes, this backpack is a durable pannier designed to make your outdoor expeditions hassle-free. It is an ideal option if you want to trek, camp, or explore the world.

The Green Guru High Roller 36L Backpack pannier has a simplistic, convertible design. You can convert it from a backpack to a pannier easily and carry on with your hiking activities. The adjustable webbing compression strap and envelope-top design give more flexibility. The envelope-top design coupled with the TPU laminated nylon liner makes the backpack weather resistant. Even if it’s raining or stormy, your essentials remain well protected.

The High Roller eco backpack has a set of side pockets that hold in place all items such as water bottles. Each side pocket has a wide loop to hold substantial items that you need to access quickly without opening the backpack.

Check Green Guru for more sustainable backpacks like these!

EcoGear Grizzly Sustainable Backpack

The EcoGear Grizzly Sustainable Backpack is Available in Numerous Sizes

Best For: traveling, outdoors, large capacity storage

Ethics: natural, organic, recycled, eco-friendly products, recycled materials

The EcoGear Grizzly Sustainable Backpack is a great way to organize your outdoor expedition. Whether you are prepping for a weekend getaway or normal traveling, it navigates through your day seamlessly. Constructed from 600D polyester and recycled bottles, it’s an ideal on-the-go partner.

The Eco-Gear Grizzly sustainable backpack offers maximum storage. Its storage compartment features a front elastic bungee, dual mesh pockets on the sides, and a padded laptop and tablet sleeve. The large compartment allows you to pack more items that would be impossible to carry in smaller bags.

With ergonomic shoulder pads, this eco friendly backpack was designed to deliver maximum comfort. It also has an air mesh back and molded foam back panel that adds comfort. The adjustable waist and sternum straps give a comfortable fit ideal for long hiking expeditions.

This eco gear backpack is hardy and was made to withstand all conditions. It protects your items from the scorching sun or the stormy rainfall perfectly. The versatile design ensures you can use it anywhere you want.

Find out more eco-friendly items from the Ultimate Green Store.

Osprey Archeon 70L Backpack

The Osprey Archeon is a Sturdy Sustainable Backpack for Rough Outdoors

Best For: Rough outdoors, traveling, large storage

Ethics: bluesign®-approved and recycled materials

The Osprey Archeon 70L Backpack packs everything a mountaineer or hiker would want. Featuring a heavy, durable construction, this eco-friendly backpack for men was designed to help hikers navigate through the rough outdoors. It was forged for the wild and features the ultimate aspects for every day’s backpacking.

This backpack is tough and strong. It was constructed from high-quality, non-toxic materials to withstand all difficult conditions. While it is a bit heavy, it’s what you need for trouble-free hiking, not to mention the beautiful retro appearance. It doesn’t matter whether you are mountain-climbing or passing through thorny thickets, it delivers absolute reliability.

The 70l storage capacity can hold almost everything you need for hiking. That big storage compartment is further enhanced by deep side pockets. Yes, they are deep enough to carry a hot flask during winter. 

Carrying this backpack feels great. The metal hooks, rather than plastic ones, look not only great but also robust. The straps ensure you get a comfortable fit for all-day hiking.

You can find more hardy backpacks here.

Best Sustainable Backpack for Kids

Kids deserve the numerous benefits that come with sustainable backpacks. Whether they are carrying books, going on school trips, or even going outdoors, here are ideal options for them:

Apple Pack Raccoon Big Kids Backpack

The Apple Pack Raccoon Backpack is a Great Reward to Kids

Best For: Kids outdoors, school, 

Ethics: recycled materials, GOTS certified

The Apple Pack Raccoon eco friendly kids backpack is the ultimate choice for kids. The animal-themed backpack was designed with functionality in mind and is essential for school, daytime adventures, and trips.  It’s roomy without being large, and it’s also stylish, which suits kids perfectly.

The backpack’s main shell is 100% recycled PET. The inner packaging is printed on recycled paper with soy ink and is always shipped in recyclable packaging. None of the backpack’s components poses any health issues to your kids hence the ideal eco-friendly choice.

This eco friendly kids backpack was designed so that it’s easy to wash. You can do away with any mess easily, from stains to spills.

Reward your kids with extra eco-friendly products from Apple Park!

Best Sustainable Backpack for School

Going to school doesn’t have to feel cumbersome. Neither does carrying books, and other essential items have to be problematic. All you need is a light eco bookbag that can help haul all your necessary items.

Hamilton Perkins Earth Bag Recycled Plastic Backpack

Made from Recycled Billboards and Recycled Plastics

Best For: School essentials including books and laptops

Ethics: recycled materials

How about keeping it casual, trendy, and secure? The Hamilton Perkins EarthBag is among the most practical eco bookbags for daily schooling. You can use it to carry books, laptops, and lab equipment, and much more. Made from recycled billboards and recycled plastics, this sustainable backpack is what you need to haul your every day’s essentials.

With a large capacity, it can hold your schooling items and a few clothes. The bottom of this backpack is reinforced with waterproof padding to protect your laptop and books from water. Its straps are also padded for extra comfort.

And the best part? The bag is affordable for most highschool and college students. It fits perfectly in the school setup, thanks to the simplistic design.

 You can check for more sustainable backs for school here.

Best Sustainable Backpack for Laptop

Your laptop needs absolute care and maximum protection. The last thing you want is to drop your laptop down and break, have it rained or water socked, or have it stolen. To avoid all these mishaps, all you need is a quality, eco friendly laptop backpack. Here are some of the best laptop backpacks to consider:

Nisolo Cordoba Chestnut Backpack from Made Trade

The Nisolo Cordoba Backpack has a Cotton Lining to Absorb Shock

Best For: Laptop

Ethics: Ethical factory, leather certified by the Leather Working Group, beyond fair trade wages, healthy working environment, Climate Neutral Certified

The Nisolo Cordoba Backpack is a minimalist-style laptop backpack. It has an interior laptop compartment and cotton lining that absorbs shock and a large main compartment where you can pack other items.

This backpack’s design features a combination of classic design with extraordinary craftsmanship. The backpack’s classic design makes it timeless, while its high-quality leather provides the durability and practicability you need.

Shop Made Trade Backpacks

Alchemy Goods Brooklyn Backpack

Ideal Backpack to Protect Your Laptop

Best For: Laptop hauling

Ethics: upcycled materials

Enhanced for maximum laptop protection, the Alchemy Goods Brooklyn Backpack is sleek and spacious yet sturdy for your laptop. Whether you are carrying your laptop to the office, school, or normal daily activities, you have an ideal hauling partner.

This eco friendly laptop backpack was constructed from recycled bicycle inner tubes. The recycled rubber exterior is not only water-resistant but also durable and stylish.

To protect your laptop from any shocks, this backpack has heavy padding that minimizes impact. The padded internal sleeve holds laptops up to 15”. It has two inside slip pockets to hold both your laptop and its accessories. Besides, it has multiple smaller pockets for your phone, pens, and other small items.

Don’t miss out on the wide collection of Alchemy Good’s sustainable products!

Camden Sherpani Recycled Convertible Backpack

Best Sustainable Backpack for Women

Best For: laptop, light outdoorsy

Ethics: recycled fabrics, responsible manufacturing

If you are looking to haul your laptop safely, the Camden Sherpani Recycled Convertible Backpack is an ideal option. Featuring comfortable and fashionably crafted fabrics, the Camden Sherpani blends style and sustainability. You can carry as a tote, backpack, or shoulder bag, all comfortably. Ideally, it was designed for women who value a stylish outdoor lifestyle.

The storage compartment fits 15” laptops, while the extra pockets hold other smaller accessories and necessities. It is well-padded with recycled materials to protect your laptop from any type of shock. Soft, adjustable straps make this backpack easy to carry around.

The RFID protection is a great addition to this laptop backpack. It helps prevent theft significantly, securing your laptop and other essential items. The overall construction is sturdy enough to last long and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

 Find out more sustainable backpacks for women here!

Best Sustainable Backpack for Everyday Carry

Having a multipurpose non-toxic backpack for everyday use is essential.  A multi-purpose everyday carry backpack can help you get some groceries, hit the gym, or even carry a few clothes to the laundry shop. Here are some all-round options to think about:

LXY Vegan Leather Backpack

Best Sustainable Backpack for Durability

Best For: Laptop, books, travel, and work

Ethics: Natural leather

Designed to go beyond fashion, the LYX Vegan Leather Backpack is a minimalist bag for everyday use. It’s stylish and looks great.

You can use the LXY Vegan Leather Backpack for several purposes. This medium-sized multipurpose backpack carries books and other school items seamlessly. And when going to the gym or for some reaction, you can carry all the small items you need.

The vintage leather backpack is stylish and looks aesthetically appealing. Any hardware used is solid metal, which adds durability on top of style. The leather and band nylon shoulder straps make the backpack easy to carry. You can easily adjust the leather straps to get a comfortable fit and get going.

Check out Amazon for more sustainable leather backpacks today!

Eagle Creek Wayfinder 40L Sustainable Backpack

The Eagle Creek Wayfinder is made of recycled materials

Best For: Laptop and electronics hauling, outdoors

Ethics: Sustainable fabrics, PVC-free materials

The Eagle Creek Wayfinder 40L back is a solid choice for everyday hauls. Featuring a dry storage compartment, this sustainable backpack is ideal for carrying your laptop, groceries, hiking essentials, and much more.

Eagle Creek designed this backpack with sustainability in mind. It features recycled, PVC-free materials harvested from landfills to preserve the planet. All its fabric meets the BLUESIGN® criteria. With a padded back panel and shoulder straps, it combines comfort with sustainability.

The storage mechanism is simple. The front pocket is large enough and has a built-in drain duct to shed excess water. The 17” padded laptop compartment and additional tablet sleeve have waterproof zippers that secure your essential electronics. Extra hidden pockets ensure you can securely tuck your phone and listen to music hassle-free.

You can choose between several color options, from Sahara Yellow and grey to color lack. Eagle Creek’s ‘No Matter What’ lifetime warranty guarantees repair or replacement in case the backpack fails.

Look for more everyday-backpacks here!

How to Choose the Best Sustainable Backpack

Finding a sustainable backpack that fits your eco-friendly lifestyle can be difficult. Backpacks come in a variety of sizes, shapes, materials, designs, and more. Globally, there are many backpack brands available, which can make choosing the right one for you, confusing.

Here is a guide to help you choose the best sustainable backpacks for your ethical lifestyle:

Quality and Durability

Quality is critical in every product you choose. When shopping for sustainable backpacks, it’s best to choose the ones made from highly durable materials as they can last longer. Leather backpacks are more durable and can serve you for many years. There is a wide variety of fabrics that are long-lasting.

To acquire a durable product, check for its durability features. Check the quality of straps, stitching, inner panels, etc.

Intended Use

How do you plan to use the backpack? Are you going for a hike, camping, to school, or shopping? The majority of sustainable backpacks are multi-purpose and can fit almost all your baggage needs.

However, you may have to choose a backpack for specific purposes. For instance, if you are planning to carry a laptop securely, you may have to choose a laptop-specific backpack enhanced solely for that purpose. Similarly, it’s best to choose an outdoorsy backpack if you plan on hiking or camping adventures.

Sustainability

There are a lot of sustainable backpacks on the market. While some brands claim to be sustainable or ethical, that may not be the case. Ideally, a sustainable brand will meet a number of these criteria:

  • B Corp Certified
  • Climate Neutral Certified
  • Natural/ organic fabrics
  • Support for local communities
  • Carbon neutral
  • 1% for the planet

When looking for backpacks, it’s essential to consider the above factors. Backpacks made of recycled materials and natural fabrics are majorly sustainable. B Corp certified companies engage in environmentally friendly practices, and choosing backpacks is a great win for the planet.

Why Choose the Best Sustainable Backpack?

These backpacks combine fashion and elegance with sustainability and a low-waste lifestyle, and conscious fashion. While each brand has a unique approach to design, all backpacks were designed with sustainability in mind. Besides, they are made to last longer and help with carrying your essential items. As long as the backpack is suited for the intended purpose, you are good to go!

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Dennis Muvaa

Dennis Muvaa

Dennis is a full-time writer and content marketing professional. He loves traveling off the beaten path and is passionate about sharing tips to help people make the most of their travel experience. Dennis also loves sporty cars and soccer.

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