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9 Sustainable Backpacks for All Kinds Of Eco-Ventures

Jenny Bell


Whether trekking in the mountains or trekking to work, sustainable backpacks can help us pack our everyday essentials while leaving our eco woes at home.

Because hiking downhill is always more fun, we’ll start at the top—the top eco-friendly backpacks for work, college, travel, hiking, and more, that is.

Everything we recommend to you on Sustainable Jungle is independently researched and we ask all brands to confirm their claims. To avoid waste, we test products on an as needed basis. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about why we do this here.

The Best Eco-Friendly Backpacks For Conscious Carrying

Solgaard’s sustainable work backpacks get full marks for do-it-all designs and innovation, while using entirely recycled materials and renewable energy integration.

8000Kicks uses waterproof and dustproof hemp fabric to create durable, stylish, and everyday-practical packs.

For eco-friendly hiking backpacks, Patagonia’s recycled-material backpacks are comfortable for your back and the planet.

1. Solgaard

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About Solgaard

Price Range: $125–$245

Solgaard and their ultra-versatile “gear for global citizens” is your best bet. As an eco-friendly luggage brand, they offer a range of bags, big and small, including sustainable laptop backpacks.

We love the ultra-durable Lifepack, a feature-packed recycled backpack that we tested. It has a built-in solar panel and power bank, anti-theft lock, USB port for on-the-go charging, and optional integrated solar-powered boombox.

We’ve been using a Lifepack daily for about two years, and it still looks new. We’re so impressed with the durability of the backpack fabric and the integrated technology it features. The solar-power Bluetooth speaker is also regularly used at home outside the pack and on the go in it.

Solgaard‘s Ethical & Sustainability Practices 

Materials: 

Solgaard’s Shore-Tex™ environmentally friendly backpacks are made entirely of recycled ocean-bound plastic, so they’re on point when they claim they’re “Sustainable AF”.

The solar boombox encasement is also made of recycled ocean plastic called Shore-Plast™.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

As a Certified B Corp, factories and suppliers have to pass the highest standards of audits. 100% of travel gear factories have been audited within the last year. 85% of partners use reputable third-party audits like WRAP or ICAS. The aim is for this to be 100%. 

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Solgaard backs its ethical backpacks with a limited 2-year warranty (and luggage with a lifetime warranty).

A member of NextWave Plastics, Solgaard is plastic negative. Thanks to their plastic removal partnerships, they have helped divert 2.1 million pounds of plastic from our oceans and are working on becoming a climate-positive company. 

For each item sold, they remove up to 6 pounds of plastic trash from the ocean.

Community & charitable giving: 

Solgaard partners with Sungai Watch, an ocean plastic recovery organization based in Indonesia that employs locals and helps to restore mangrove ecosystems. They have also partnered with Greeneration to fund a project in Banuwangi, Indonesia, that turns ocean waste into eco-bricks.


2. 8000Kicks

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About 8000Kicks

Price Range: $139

8000Kicks wants you to “hemp yourself up from head to toe”. They’re not only one of our favorite sustainable hiking shoe brands but also offer sustainably-made backpacks to accompany you on that hike.

We tested both styles they offer and especially love the Everyday Backpack, thanks to its minimalist design with several stylish colorways to choose from. Did we mention it’s functionality is on-point?

They’re 18L but expand up to 30L, and feature a 15-inch laptop compartment, an embedded USB plug, and an anti-theft pocket. We love how easy this backpack is to use when out and about, not to mention how robust the hemp fabric is at keeping wear and tear to a minimum.

8000Kicks’ Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Hardware, straps, lining, and logo aside, each eco backpack is made of almost 70% durable hemp fabric with a PFC-free waterproof coating.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

8000Kicks manufactures in both China and Portugal. Both factories are regularly inspected, and an 8000Kicks representative is stationed in both locations. Free healthcare and education are available for the workers in the family-owned Portuguese factory.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Their Portuguese and Chinese factories use 45–55% renewable and 30–40% renewable energy, respectively, and 8000Kicks works with them to increase this number.

Because they never use leather, carbon emissions from producing their shoes are 1/20 that of leather shoes, and they offset all emissions through tree planting and hemp farming.


3. Patagonia

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About Patagonia

Price Range: $89–$299

We can’t mention any sustainable outdoor clothing or adventure-specific gear without a shout-out to Patagonia.

With well over 20 different packs, divided into casual and technical, Patagonia has your back quite literally covered. Their Black Hole® eco-friendly travel backpacks made from 100% recycled materials are a versatile all-rounder. These super durable packs feature a laptop pocket, breathable back panel, and stretchy side pockets for stashing items you want to keep on hand.

For a sustainable hiking backpack, check out the Cragsmith, designed to carry your eco-friendly climbing rope with ease.

Patagonia’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

For Patagonia’s backpacks, recycled materials (namely recycled polyester and nylon) are king, though you may still see some virgin synthetics used for the mesh pockets in some styles. The Black Hole® fair trade backpacks aren’t just 100% recycled but made of bluesign® approved recycled polyester, including the lining, ripstop exterior, straps, and external webbing.

All are PVC-free, phthalate-free, and treated with a PFC-free finish.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Patagonia is a Certified B Corp and a member of the Fair Labor Association.

85% of all Patagonia’s products are sewn in Fair Trade Certified™ factories. The Footprint Chronicles at the bottom of each product page share details about how and where each item is manufactured.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Not only are their backpacks made from recycled materials, but 98% of their line is, along with 100% of their cotton being recycled, organic, or grown via their regenerative agriculture program.

They use kraft paper hang tags and recycled poly bags and have solid climate goals, like reaching net zero by 2040.

Patagonia’s IronClad guarantee provides a lifetime guarantee of repair or replacement, and you can also send your old backpack to Patagonia Worn Wear for recycling or resale.

Community & charitable giving: 

As co-founders of 1% for the Planet, Patagonia is passionate about giving back. Not only are they now owned by two non-profits (meaning all profits are reinvested into climate-positive action), but they have always been politically active, fighting for the environment and promoting responsible business practices across the industry.

Visit the Patagonia Action Works page to learn how to get involved in your local community.


4. Lo & Sons

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About Lo & Sons

Price Range: $238–$485

Lo & Sons was founded by Helen Lo (a woman with an amazing life story) and her sons. Their mission?

“To inspire and empower people to go places, while leaving a positive impact on people’s lives and the planet.”

The minority-owned family business creates a handful of professional styles to choose from, most of which are unisex, like the Hanover Deluxe 2 that we have personally tested and love. It’s minimalist design is really well thought out with plenty of useful pockets including expandable side pockets (ideal for holding our eco-friendly water bottles in any shape and size), a padded laptop compartment, and a super handy adjustable luggage sleeve so it can sit on top of your suitcase.

But we especially love the removable inner padding in the main compartment. All it’s pockets are perfect for keeping things organized but then if we need a little more space and a little less organization, we can just pop it out.

Lo & Sons’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices 

Materials: 

You’ll find several backpacks made from recycled plastic bottles. In addition to this recycled polyester, they also use some virgin polyester, recycled nylon, Nappa leather (from Leather Working Group Gold-rated tanneries), sheepskin leather, and memory foam (for the straps).

79% of all their products are made with at least 70% sustainable materials and they’re working to increase this number.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

They keep their overseas factory closely monitored for fair labor practices though we haven’t been provided with further specifics.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Between solar energy in production, converting wastewater into drinking water, repairing and reselling used bags via The Renewal Workshop, and a growing Upcycled Collection, there are heaps of green initiatives in this future Certified B Corp’s brand ethos.

All of their plastic packaging is recycled and recyclable, and they use recycled paper hangtags printed with soya-based inks.

Community & charitable giving: 

Lo & Sons regularly donate products and funds to various non-profits.


5. Troubadour

9 Sustainable Backpacks for All Kinds Of Eco-Ventures Images by Troubadour Goods #sustainablebackpacks #bestsustainablebackpacks #ecofriendlybackpacks #ecofriendlybackpacksforschool #sustainablebackpackbrands #sustainablelaptopbackpacks #sustainablejungle
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About Troubadour

Price range: $195–$895

When their search for the perfect overnight bag proved fruitless, Troubadour’s founders decided to create their own. One thing led to another, and the brand now offers a range of stylish, performance-orientated bags that are equally at home in the gym or the boardroom.

We tried the Apex Backpack, a stylish yet super practical everyday bag with a minimalist aesthetic. It features a separate padded laptop section (that fits up to a 17″ laptop, meaning our burly work computer can go with us anywhere), plenty of internal pockets to organize your belongings, a zipped external pocket for valuables, side pockets for water bottles, and an integrated luggage handle sleeve.

Despite all these features and storage space, it’s remarkably sleek and low profile, so we love it for more profressional occasions where we need to haul a lot of things, but necessarily want to look llike a kid on the first day of school.

The waterproof fabric keeps all our belongings dry, the padded straps keep our shoulders comfy, and the sturdy vegan leather grab handle adds to the bag’s overall versatility and durability.

Troubadour’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Troubadour prioritizes using recycled materials (currently 95% of their products by volume). Nearly all of their backpacks are made from recycled polyester with a recycled polyester lining and a vegan leather trim. The Generation Leather Backpack is made from vegetable-tanned calfskin leather with a recycled polyester lining.

They have eliminated fluorocarbons from their water-repellent coating.

Supply chain & labor practices:

The Certified B Corp requires all suppliers to sign a Code of Conduct covering fair wages, working conditions, discrimination, child labor, forced labor, animal welfare, and anticorruption and bribery.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

To address its carbon footprint, Troubadour uses efficient production techniques, ships from local warehouses, offsets 100% of shipping emissions, and powers its London HQ and store with renewables.

Durability is a top priority and they offer a 5 year guarantee and lifetime repair service (free for the first five years). They’ll also buy back your backpack at end-of-life to sell, donate, or recycle. They come in 100% compostable and recyclable materials, 85% of which are recycled.


6. GOT BAG

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About GOT BAG

Price range: $69–$169

GOT BAG believes that “we all have to shoulder the great task of preserving the water quality for the future of flora and fauna.”

To that end, the Certified B Corp creates recycled backpacks made from Ocean Impact Plastic (plastic collected from the ocean and coastal areas).

We own their bestselling ROLLTOP backpack and love its flexible volume. Fully extended, it holds up to 31 liters but can be cinched down smaller with the compression straps, which we really appreciate as it adds to the overall versatility of this pack.

It features a removable 15″ laptop sleeve and comfortable padded back. It’s also fully waterproof, so there’s no worry about anything getting wet if caught in a heavy downpour. Plus, the inside is waterproof coated, too, so it’s our go-to if we’re heading out on a messy adventure like spring hiking, where we know we might be stashing muddy layers inside.

GOT BAG’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

The main material is a durable robust 600D recycled polyester yarn made from Ocean Impact Plastic. Depending on the model, the padding is PE, EVA, or PU, and the straps and mesh side pockets are also recycled polyester.

The material for the PETA-approved vegan ROLLTOP and WEEKENDER bags is TPU and PU-coated. Other products are PU-coated on one side with a DWR treatment on the other. All waterproof fabric coatings are PVC and PFC-free.

Supply chain & labor practices:

The ROLLTOP is manufactured in China, and other products are made in Vietnam. All suppliers must adhere to the brand’s Code of Conduct. They also have an employee in China who regularly visits their suppliers and prioritize suppliers with third-party certifications, including Bluesign, BSCI, Fair Wear, GRS, ISO, Oeko-Tex, SMETA, and TÜV.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

GOT BAG’s clean-up program in Indonesia collects ocean-bound plastic. In addition to collecting and processing PET, they ensure that all plastic collected is appropriately recycled (and sent for energy recovery if it can’t be) so none will end up back in the ocean. To date, they’ve recycled over 2,000,000 lbs of Ocean Impact Plastic.

Each comes with a two-year warranty that includes a free repair service for Germany-based customers. They also offer a spare parts service.

Bags are shipped in recyclable cardboard using DHL’s Go Green climate neutral shipping service.

Community & charitable giving:

GOT BAG supports various nonprofit organizations by donating a percentage of proceeds from product collabs. Partners include Sea Shepherd, Coral Gardeners, German Ocean Foundation, and Rick O’Barry’s Dolphin Project.


7. Fjällräven

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About Fjällräven

Price Range: $80–$400

From the idyllic mountains of Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, Fjällräven puts the environment first—with some of the best sustainable backpacks for all types of adventures. They even look like sustainably-made backpacks, thanks to earthy tones and rustic color palettes for the understated adventurer.

For a classic everyday pack, check out the Raven 28L Backpack. Made from a combination of recycled materials and organic cotton, it features plenty of pockets to keep your belongings organized, including a separate laptop compartment, an internal security pocket, a zippered front pocket with mesh organizers, and handy side pockets.

Fjällräven’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Fjällräven’s backpack materials include G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco (a densely woven blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton), recycled polyester, and Bergshell® (recycled polyamide). A few packs include wool, which is either recycled or sourced ethically, and/or an FSC-certified birchwood frame.

Their Kånken packs are made of synthetic Vinylon F, which swells when damp making the weave tighter and the product weather-resistant without chemical treatment.

The Fjällräven Chemical Guideline was compiled with the help of the Swedish Chemicals Group, and all products are tested rigorously in labs for non-toxicity.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

As members of Cascale (formerly the Sustainable Apparel Coalition) and the Fair Labor Association and committed to the UN Global Compact, Fjällräven has a “non-negotiable” Code of Conduct for which it provides compliance training and support for all members of its supply chain.

Suppliers are also subject to brand visits and regular third-party audits.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Through repairable designs, rigorous product testing, durable materials, and “emotional longevity” for timeless products that will never go out of style, Fjällräven ensures its gear will last for decades. And when it goes wear out, intentionally using just one or two materials makes their packs easier to recycle.

Direct operations are climate neutral, thanks to renewable energy and carbon offsets.

Community & charitable giving: 

Fjällräven means “arctic fox” in Swedish and in 2019, they founded the Arctic Fox Initiative, a grant program that supports environmental nonprofits. Past recipients have included The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, The 2 Minute Foundation, and WWF Finland.


8. Cotopaxi

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About Cotopaxi

Price Range: $40–$210

Cotopaxi, named after the iconic active volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes where founder Davis Smith spent a lot of time growing up, is on a simple yet inspiring mission to “do good”.

For low-impact lugging purposes, their Del Dia line “make leftovers shine” with their fun, one-of-a-kind color combos that’ll make you stand out on the trail, in town, or wherever you choose to sport it. Made from deadstock nylon and polyester, each maker is given full creative choice over the color combo. Cotopaxi hopes you’ll see it as a signature of the artisan behind it.

The Batac 24L Backpack (also available in a smaller 16L version) is their bestselling everyday pack. It features a 15″ padded laptop sleeve, a front zippered pocket, an adjustable sternum strap, and mesh side pockets.

Cotopaxi’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

All Del Dia eco-friendly backpacks are made from remnant and deadstock fabric. Most other lines feature recycled nylon and recycled polyester. A minority use virgin synthetics, but these are easy to avoid by checking the fabric details in each product description.

96% of products are made with deadstock fabric, recycled materials, or materials with sustainability certifications such as Fair Trade Certified™ or bluesign approved.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

As a Certified B Corp, Cotopaxi holds all factories to a rigorous code of conduct, verified by third-party audits. Backpacks are made in Bataan, Philippines. This Higg Index-assessed factory specializes in collecting fabric scraps, making the Del Dia line possible. 

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Committed to Net Zero by 2040, Cotopaxi tracks and publishes its yearly carbon emissions (Scope 1-3), has set Science Based Target initiative goals, and invests in carbon reduction strategies. Their environmental policy also addresses water use, chemicals, and biodiversity loss. You can read more about their efforts in their latest Impact Report.

Cotopaxi also offers product repairs and a trade-in program, and backs its products with the Guaranteed for Good™ promise.

Community & charitable giving: 

1% of their earnings go directly to the Cotopaxi Foundation, which awards grants to various nonprofits working to improve conditions in impoverished communities. They also donate money and emergency kits to refugees and disaster relief funds and encourage employee volunteering.


9. United By Blue

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About United By Blue

Price Range: $98–$118

Change comes in waves” thanks in part to the united efforts of United By Blue. Designed for casual or more technical use, their fun colorblock backpacks are suitable for hikes in both the mountains and the concrete jungle.

Their (R)evolution™ line is available in various colors, styles, and sizes. We tested the (R)evolution™ 25L Transit Pack over the course of two years to cycle to and from work and we’re still using itto this day. Aside from its 100% recycled body aside, we love its classic design, spacious main compartment, and extremely lightweight design that makes commuting a little less back-breaking.

United By Blue’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Each (R)evolution™ recycled plastic backpack is made from 10 plastic bottles, has a DWR finish and recycled nylon webbing.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

This Certified B Corp works with manufacturing partners across the globe (Turkey, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Italy, Romania, and the USA), and most hold multiple third-party certifications. Their backpacks are made in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, at a WRAP Gold and ISO9001 certified factory.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

UBB is committed to using sustainable materials, cleaner manufacturing, and plastic-free packaging. They’re also working to reduce CO2 emissions related to shipping, production, and energy use in their stores and offices, all tracked in their annual impact report.

Community & charitable giving: 

United By Blue removes one pound of trash from the ocean for every product sold. Beyond paying for that dirty work, they aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, too, with company-run and organized beach cleanups.


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