Sustainability made simple

The 8 Best Eco-Friendly Backpacks for Kids and Adults

eco-friendly backpacks
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash /Juliane Liebermann

Backpacks are practical whether you’re heading back to school, hiking, or wandering around a city. If you need a new one, consider buying an eco-friendly backpack.

If you’re in the market for a new backpack, invest in one that will last. Though buying one secondhand is the most sustainable option, it isn’t always possible. So whether you’re searching for a school bag, a bag to take to work, or something to go adventuring with, choosing an eco-friendly backpack is always a good idea. We’ve compiled a list of some great choices for both kids and adults alike. 

1. Fjällräven Vardag Mini

Fjällräven Vardag Mini is a great kid’s option as it’s the ideal size for even the smallest of adventurers. The straps are fully adjustable, so you may find yourself borrowing this eco-friendly backpack from time to time. This 6L backpack comes in 7 great colors and is made from a combination of recycled polyester and organic cotton. A fun feature of this bag is that it comes with a seat pad for taking a break out on the trails. Fjällräven also offers lifetime repairs for their products, which makes this one of the best eco-friendly backpacks on the market. You can purchase it on Amazon** or directly from the Fjällräven website

2. Eco-Friendly Backpacks: STATE Kane Kids

The Kane Kids backpack from STATE is an ideal choice for kids heading back to school. There are 4 different size options ranging from pre-k to middle school, and over 40 bright colors and patterns to choose from. These eco-friendly backpacks are made of 90% recycled materials and can be personalized to add your child’s initials to the bag. The larger versions of this bag can fit a lunch box, pencil case, books, and even a 13″ laptop or tablet. The side pockets are ideal for reusable water bottles so your kid can stay hydrated. For each bag purchased on their website, STATE supports American families in need. Shop their Pre-Loved section, or sell your old STATE backpack on the platform.

3. The Denim Drive Mini Royal Beekeeper Backpack

The Denim Drive Mini Royal Beekeeper Backpack has a unique pattern that is made up of leftover textile waste destined for the landfill. This eco-friendly backpack is part of Beekeeper Parade’s ‘Masterpiece Range’, which are often one-offs, as they are upcycled from designer fabrics donated to the company. This bag features a secret upper zip pocket, a laptop compartment, and two side pockets which can each hold a 25 oz. water bottle. Each backpack purchased helps children in rural Cambodia access quality education. If the denim patch backpack isn’t the right fit for your child, check out the rest of their bright and colorful range on the Beekeeper Parade website

4. Duluth Pack Standard Backpack

What makes the Duluth Pack Standard Backpack a great eco-friendly backpack option for kids is that it’s made out of durable American-made canvas material. There are 3 different sizes available, and these bags will be at home in school hallways or out on the trails thanks to their double-canvas bottom layer. Duluth Pack has been manufacturing its products solely in the United States since 1882. Each bag is built to last and comes with a lifetime guarantee, making it a very sustainable option. You can find this eco-friendly backpack on Amazon** or the Duluth Pack website

5. Solgaard Lifepack

The Lifepack by Solgaard is a well-kitted-out eco-friendly backpack for adults made from upcycled ocean plastic. In fact, each item sold saves 229 plastic bottles from the ocean! This 18L bag features drop-proof storage for laptops up to 15″, 4 secret pockets for important items, and an expandable side pocket that can fit your reusable water bottle. It comes in 5 different colors, has a water-resistant bottom, can stand up on its own, and has an anti-theft lock. If that isn’t enough for you, it also comes with solar charging and an integrated USB port that can hold up to 5 phone charges. You can find this eco-friendly backpack on the Solgaard website

6. Eco-Friendly Backpacks: Terra Thread Earth Backpack

Terra Thread’s Earth Backpack is one of the most eco-friendly backpacks on the market. It is made of Fair Trade and GOTS Certified organic cotton canvas and is made in a Fair Trade Certified factory in India. The company itself is also Certified Carbon Neutral, so you know they have the environment in mind when creating their products.  The Earth Backpack is 16L and comes in 15 different colors. It features a large external pocket, two pockets on the side that are ideal for water bottles, and a padded laptop sleeve. You can find it available on Amazon** or shop the Terra Thread website

7. Tentree Mobius Backpack

Tentree is known for making sustainable and eco-friendly products, and their Mobius Backpack is no different. This 35L bag is made from recycled materials including fishing nets, plastic bottles, and textile waste. It features a padded 15″ laptop section, adjustable straps, plenty of exterior pockets, and space for your reusable water bottle. This eco-friendly backpack is ideal for heading out to explore the wilderness, as it is also compatible with water reservoirs. The one downside is that it’s only available in black. Tentree is also a Certified B Corporation and a Climate Neutral Certified company. You can find the Mobius Backpack on the Tentree website

8. United by Blue Commuter Backpack

The Commuter Backpack from United by Blue is a great eco-friendly backpack for adults. As stated in its name, it’s ideal for your daily commute – this backpack gives you exactly the right amount of space without any of the bulk. This 15L backpack comes in 6 colors and features padded and adjustable shoulder straps as well as a padded interior pocket for a 13″ laptop. It’s ethically manufactured in Vietnam out of recycled materials, is vegan, water and stain resistant, and comes with a lifetime guarantee. United by Blue is a Certified B Corporation that is committed to eliminating all single-use plastic in their operations – they’ve already reduced it by 80%! For each product purchased, they remove 1 pound of plastic waste from the ocean, so head over to the United by Blue website to purchase your eco-friendly backpack. 

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** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

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