15 Best Eco Friendly Sustainable Backpacks [2024 Guide!]

Bradley Williams
Written By:
Bradley Williams
Last Updated:
May 15, 2024
Here's a rundown of the best co friendly, sustainable backpacks you can currently buy. Learn what's on offer & how to choose the right brand for you.
best eco-friendly sustainable backpacks

Eco-friendly products are becoming increasingly popular.

Especially in the travel space, there are now a number of brands producing good quality, sustainable products.

And why not?

With climate change an ever rising issue, coupled with unethical brands using bad quality production processes.

We are also putting more and more focus on purchasing from sustainable, eco-friendly brands.

And the same goes for backpacks.

Below is a rundown on what we believe to be the absolute best eco-friendly, sustainable backpacks you can currently buy.

Reviewing things like:

  • Quality of manufacturer
  • Sustainability
  • Variety in products

Let's get stuck in!

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How To Choose The Best Sustainable Backpacks

When searching for the best eco-friendly backpack, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a wide range of backpacks available on the market, each with different features and functions.

Let’s break down all these important factors you should know about environmentally friendly backpacks to make your decision easier!

1. Capacity & Size

Consider the purpose of your backpack and what items you will be putting inside. For example, if we're exploring a city, even for a day bag we need to carry our blogging camera, laptops, travel drone, and sometimes more. So we opt for a larger 20-30L bag as standard.

But if you're only looking for a bag for a daily commute, ore a few hour hike, then you can get away with something smaller.

The capacity of backpacks can range anywhere between 10L and 60L. You really don’t want to be trying to stuff 20L worth of luggage into a 10L bag, so make sure you choose wisely! 

2. Material

Most of the bags we have included in this guide are made from recyclable materials or organic fibres. Many of the sustainable backpacks on the market are vegan or made out of fabrics such as organic cotton canvas. 

Try to look for materials that are not only renewable but also non-toxic. 

Additionally, it would help if you took some time to understand how each company is eco-friendly and what they do to reduce carbon footprint and make their backpacks more sustainable for the future.

3. Number of Pockets

It’s essential to consider the number of pockets each backpack offers. 

Internal pockets within the sustainable backpacks ensure your belongings remain organised, and it is easy to find things such as your keys and wallet when you require them. 

If you carry a laptop with you, a major requirement might be a padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment to keep it protected. 

4. Comfort

When it comes to choosing the best eco-friendly backpacks, you’ll want to consider the comfort and support of the bag, including airflow in the straps.

A backpack that has a sturdy build will help your posture and ensure you don’t have any back pain.

Look out for sustainable backpacks equipped with padded hip belts, padded backing, and adjustable padded shoulder straps, which will all assist in distributing the weight evenly.

5. Weatherproof

If you love hiking and outdoor adventures, choosing one of the weatherproof eco-friendly backpacks is a must. In case of weather changes, you are well prepared, and it will ensure no damage to your belongings.

It is important to know that water-resistant and waterproof materials are different. In instances such as light rain or snow, water-resistant means it will repel water to a certain extent.

Waterproof materials will provide extra protection and resist much harsher weather conditions such as sudden downpours or heavy snowfall. 

15 Best Eco Friendly Backpacks

1. Tropicfeel Shell Backpack - Best Sustainable Backpack

Tropicfeel Shell eco friendly bag

Capacity: 22 to 40 Litres

Weight: 1.5 kg

Size (expanded): 23(D) x 60(H) x 30(W) cm

The Tropicfeel Shell is definitely our top pick for those looking for a backpack made of recycled materials. You can use this backpack as a 22L, 30L or 40L backpack. This fantastic backpack is an all-in-one versatile and functional bag that offers something for everyone!

Featuring a clamshell opening, the most impressive feature of the bag is the inbuilt wardrobe system which helps save up to 20% more space within the backpack. The wardrobe can is filled with compartments to store your belongings and can then be hung up in the closet.

Although the bag has a minimalistic and simple design, the backpack will ensure you remain organized. This best eco-friendly backpack is also completely weatherproof and will protect your belongings whether it’s snowing or raining. This backpack would be ideal if you are going on a trip to places with unpredictable weather like Ireland.

There are many hidden pockets around the bag to keep valuables and smaller items such as your keys or wallet in a safe place. You can also add a toiletry bag, tech pouch, or camera cube to your purchase for better organization for a small extra fee. Helping to make this a viable camera backpack option too.

The Tropicfeel Shell is packed with a range of features to ensure the user feels optimum comfort when carrying this backpack. This includes adjustable sternum straps, dual handles, an offload mechanism to control the height of the bag and an ergonomic back panel with extra breathability.

Despite the higher price point, this bag will be the perfect investment for you. The Tropicfeel Shell is one of the best backpacks made from recycled materials guaranteed to last you a lifetime.

P.s. Tropicfeel have recently launched the Nest backpack. A smaller version of the Shell, but still sustainable and better for shorter trips. Check out our in-depth Tropicfeel Nest Backpack review for more details.

Pros of the Tropicfeel Shell Backpack: 

  1. Extremely comfortable and functional 
  2. Waterproof 
  3. Comes with a lifetime warranty 

Cons of the Tropicfeel Shell Backpack: 

  1. Expensive (but good value for money) 
  2. No side compression straps 
(or read our full review of Shell)

2.  Solgaard Lifepack Endeavour - most flexible eco-friendly backpack

Solgaard Endeavor eco friendly backpack

Capacity: 28-38 Liters

Weight: 1.6 kg

Size (expanded): 48.3 x 27.9 x 17.8 cm

If you are looking for something like the Tropicfeel Shell backpack to keep your belongings more organized but at a lesser price, you can consider the Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor.

We have reviewed all Solgaard backpacks, and this one is perhaps our favourite.

Suitable for both daily use or travel, this is a highly innovative and uniquely crafted eco friendly travel backpack. The shoulder and sternum straps are well padded for optimum comfort.

Similar to the Tropicfeel Shell, the standout feature of this sustainable hiking backpack is its removable shelving system to easily hang your clothes in the closet without unpacking any items.

We love that the bag has given so much thought and attention to little things such as a sunglasses pocket, a shockproof compartment for travel laptops and a document storage space keeping all paper wrinkle free.

The expandable zipper allows you to accommodate so much more without wasting any space. The bag is constructed with upcycled ocean bound plastic and certainly built to last. 

Pros of the Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor:

  1. Shoulder and sternum straps are well padded 
  2. Separated compartments inside, for easy storage 
  3. Shockproof compartment for laptop 

Cons of the Solgaard Lifepack Endeavor:

  1. Sticks out quite a bit when filled to maximum capacity 
  2. Not waterproof
  3. No wheels 
Use code DREAMBIGTRAVELFAR at checkout for 15% off your entire order! (minimum order value $250)

3. Salkan - Best eco-friendly hiking backpack

thebackpacker review

Capacity: 45 ltr + 10 ltr

Weight: 2.55 kg

Size: L66cm x W32cm x D22cm

A versatile hiking backpack that can make the perfect companion for long trails and can also be utilised for daily use with the additional daypack.

The Salkan backpack allows you to fit up to 45L of items inside, and you can expand this further if you wish.

salkan day pack

This makes it a perfect option for longer term backpacking travel.

The backpack's design allows you to carry a heavy load without any further stress on the body.

You can adjust the backpack for extra stability, which will bring the bag closer to your back. 

This is a super durable eco friendly backpack, both the mainpack and the daypack’s body fabric consist of 900D COTNA Polyester.

What this means, is the material is soft and extremely durable.

Not many backpacks on the market are made with this type of polyester, which gives the Salkan the edge in both appearance and durability.

The 900D COTNA Polyester is also wax-coated, meaning it’s suitable for wet weather, plus it comes with a rain cover for those extra heavy rain days.

One of the many great eco-friendly elements of the Salkan Backpack is the lifetime guarantee with every backpack, as they want the minimum amount of waste going to landfills, and they are part of the 1% for the planet scheme.

Pros of the Salkan Backpack

  1. Comfortable & lightweight backpack
  2. Full adjustable straps ensure no stress on back 
  3. Rain cover is included 

Cons of the Salkan Backpack

  1. Not as naturally waterproof as other backpacks
(or read our full review of the Salkan backpack)

4. Stubble & Co Roll Top - Most Durable and Stylish Eco-Friendly Backpack

Capacity: 20L (also available in 14L)

Weight: 0.9kg

Size: W 30 x H 44 x D 15 cm

Stubble & Co is a British brand that builds sturdy and durable bags which are highly efficient for travel or business purposes.

The Roll Top is an ultra-versatile and durable backpack that’s lightweight but still incredibly comfortable.

It can endure the outdoors come rain or shine, all thanks to its sealed seams, YKK Aquaguard Zips, and even reflective logos & trims for enhanced visibility while cycling.

Plus, there are bottle and bike lock pockets on the side.

In terms of ergonomics, it has breathable and cushioned paddings on the shoulder and back.

The additional straps also help even out weigh load.

The roll top itself means that the bag is extendable and very deep, which is always useful for packing purposes and fitting a lot of stuff and makes a great day bag option.

The 20L is a great size, but you can also get it in 14L for a more compact option.

Moreover, the main compartment features nice organisers with zippered sections and extra pockets to store your valuables.

There’s also a direct access 16-inch laptop pocket that lets you retrieve your computer quickly!

Not to mention the strong recycled materials and well-waterproofed body.

Overall, this Stubble & Co backpack will suit most needs.

Whether that’s for travel, gym, and remote working, as well as daily commute and cycling.

So far I've been testing it for gym, travel and remote working and I truly can't find any faults (you can read more in my review below)

Special features:

  1. Versatile all-in-one backpack
  2. Comfy & ergonomic
  3. Cycling-friendly features
  4. 16” laptop pocket
Read our full review of the Stubble & Co Roll Top!

5. Fjallraven Foldsack - Most stylish laptop backpack

Fjallraven Foldsack

Capacity: 16 Litres

Weight: 590 g

Size (expanded):  40 x 30 x 15 cm

Fjallraven Foldsack No.1 is another contender for the best eco friendly backpacks; as well as a great pick for those needing a laptop backpack. However, keep in mind this is a smaller capacity backpack fitting only 16L capacity.

Flaunting a minimalistic yet classic look, this is a unisex backpack suitable for anyone. The Fjallraven foldsack no.1 backpack features a flap on the top, which gives access to a spacious main compartment to place a 15inch laptop and other belongings. Any smaller items can be kept in the zipper pocket in the front.

The bag consists of extra solid G-1000 HeavyDuty fabric construction, which will ensure your backpack will last you for many years to come. Foldsack No.1 is water resistant and you can always add an extra coating to make it waterproof. You will receive a two years warranty with the pack.

Fjallraven firmly believes that with sustainable materials and reusing, repairing, and recycling, nature can be considered 'forever in our hearts. They have strict animal cruelty policies in place. 

The company is committed to ensuring the environmental footprint is as small as possible when designing and manufacturing the bags.

Available in four neutral colours, if you want an everyday bag with less capacity than the shell, this is a stylish, simple and no fuss sustainable backpack that might be more suitable for you.

Pros of the Fjallraven Foldsack No.1

  1. Simple and minimalist design 
  2. Sturdy build with 2 years warranty
  3. Four beautiful colours to choose from 

Cons of the Fjallraven Foldsack No.1 

  1. No internal pockets in main compartment 
  2. No water bottle pouch 
  3. Often doesn’t sit upright and falls to ground 

6. 8000 Kicks Everyday Backpack - Best Work-to-Hiking Sustainable Backpack

8000 Kicks Everyday Backpack review

Capacity: 18L expandable to 30L

Weight: 2.31lb

Size: 48-60cm height (expandable)

The Everyday Backpack by 8000 Kicks is a well-made and beautifully put together backpack that will serve your everyday needs and hiking adventures alike.

All thanks to its 18L capacity that is expandable up to 30L, which can carry your 15-inch laptop in a padded compartment and still fit all your outdoor gear.

It’s the world’s first waterproof backpack made entirely out of hemp!

Plus, it’s dust proof and extremely easy to clean.

This is a truly all-in-one bag that can adapt to every situation, which I think is a huge plus for digital nomads or anyone who wants one bag to do it all.

There are awesome features like an embedded USB power plug, a roll top plus zipper for extra security, and an anti-theft pocket you can open only from the back side!

Not to mention the two water bottle pockets and a strap for putting it over your suitcase…

I love the Everyday Backpack because it’s eco-friendly but still comes with very thoughtful and functional features. All while being reasonably priced!

Pros Of The 8000 Kicks Everyday Backpack

  1. 100% waterproof hemp bag
  2. Spacious inside and expandable to 30L
  3. USB power plug
  4. Anti-theft pocket

Cons Of The 8000 Kicks Everyday Backpack

  1. Back padding could be thicker

7. Osprey Arcane Large Day Pack

Osprey Arcane Large Day Pack

Capacity: 20 Litres 

Weight: 0.63kg 

Size (expanded): 50 cm (L) x 35cm (W) x 7cm (D) 

The Osprey Arcane Large sustainable backpacks are sleek, stylish and great for everyday use or for business purposes. 

Osprey offers over ten vibrant colour options, with lots of internal organization pockets for storage.

The padded compartments work well to store all electronic devices; such as cameras, GoPro/alternatives, mics and memory cards.

In terms of sustainability, the backpack is manufactured using certified recycled textiles and recycled plastic bottles are used during the production process. 

If you have pets, unfortunately, the bag's material does pick up lint, dust and pet hair which can be frustrating, but it can easily be brushed off. 

The Osprey Arcane packs are not waterproof; you will need to purchase an additional rain cover for protection. 

Check our our full review here!
Osprey Arcane Large Day Pack

8. Wayks Travel Backpack Original

Travel Backpack WAYKS Original

Capacity: 25-45 Litres

Weight: 2.4 kg

Size: 13.4” x 30.7”

The Travel Backpack Original is the most sleek, diverse, and adaptable backpack I have yet to test. It has a complete premium feel to its weatherproof fabric material made from recycled PET bottles.

The bag transforms easily to adapt to you travel needs, from travel backpack to a smaller day pack PLUS an additional hard cube that can safely store items such as camera equipment, toiletries, food, drink, and whatever! 

The extra cube comes with a strap inside if you want to carry it separately, or you have the option to attach it to the bottom of the bag. 

Travel Backpack WAYKS Original Cube

This is definitely a handy feature when travelling as it gives you different bag options.

The backpack has a suitcase-style opening and roll top, which I love as you can secure it two different ways.

There’s also an added access point should you need access to things from the side.

One thing to note is that it didn’t come with printed instructions, although there are detailed videos on their website on how to attach and detach the parts.

The sternum strap is a bit too far up for my liking, and the adjustable straps weren’t as smooth to manouvre as other products have been, but that could improve overtime the more you use it.

Plus, there’s an optional hip strap and other straps for your use, as well as hidden pockets with a velvet fabric interior.

Overall, this WAYKS bag has a lot to offer if you want an all-in-one backpack.

I do feel like it’s a digital nomad’s dream. It’s suitable for city breaks, travel, gym and more!

Travel Backpack WAYKS Original Review
Read our full review of the WAYKS Backpack

9. Eco 25L Anti-Theft Backpack by Pacsafe

pacsafe backpack

Capacity: 25 Liters

Weight: 1.87 lbs 

Size: 19.7 x 10.6 x 7.5 inch

The Pacsafe Eco 25L Anti-Theft Backpack is a great compact backpack that’s designed for an active lifestyle and everyday adventures.

This is part of Pacsafe’s most sustainable collection as it uses only recycled materials and components, which includes 14 recycled plastic bottles that are turned into the lining, mesh, webbing, and labels.

It’s large enough to fit all your gear and essentials, and has plenty of organisational features. From spacious water bottle pockets and a laptop/ water bladder compartment, to exterior hooks where you can clip on any accessories or bags.

Even with all that, this 25L backpack is still surprisingly comfortable!

All thanks to the ergonomically designed shoulder straps and back panel with great airflow, which can adapt to hot or cold days well.

Pacsafe Eco 25L Anti-Theft Backpack

I also love the shape, style and colour of this backpack. I got it in Canyon, and I think the vibrant blue accents throughout really compliment the look.

If you're buying from the EU, you can use this link to get your Pacsafe bag!

Otherwise, this one is for those purchasing from the US.

Special Features:

  • Smart zipper security and cut-resistant materials
  • RFID blocking pocket
  • Excellent comfort and ergonomics
  • Great internal and external organisation features

Read more in the full review here!

10. Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L

Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L Review

Capacity: 25 Litres 

Weight: 650 g (1 lbs 6.9 oz)

Size (expanded): 22" x 10.5" x 5.5"

If you’re after one of the sustainable backpacks, the Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L is a lightweight and durable backpack perfect for outdoor adventures.

Its rugged and water-resistant exterior makes it a perfect backpack to use if you are going to encounter adverse weather conditions.  

The well-padded shoulder strap, sternum belt, and back panel for easy airflow and breathability all work together to make the backpack exceptionally comfortable for users.

Though if you're looking specifically for extra back support, then this backpack might not be for you.

You will have easy access to all your belongings with a roomy main compartment, which makes this bag ideal for a variety of uses.

There are interior zipped mesh pockets to store your smaller belongings such as keys, chargers, wallets or phones. 

It also features a padded laptop sleeve.

Moreover, all the materials for this bag have been made from 100% recycled fabric. Patagonia is a very environmentally conscious brand who is still great at ensuring that all their products are made with the highest quality. 

Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L
Make sure to check out the full Patagonia Backpack review!

11. Bagmaya Dakhla Backpack - 100% handmade hemp backpack

Bagmaya Dakhla backpack

Capacity: 25L

Weight: 0.8 kg

Size: 43 × 29 × 18 cm

The Dakhla backpack by Bagmaya is a fantastic 100% hemp backpack that could help you achieve the sustainable lifestyle you want.

Its vintage, rugged look evokes an old-fashioned charm that you might love.

The bag itself is durable and has waterproof internal layers (not the exterior though), which is fitting for work, school, and even travelling.

Without items in it, the bag doesn’t really have much shape and is very flat, though some people may prefer how this looks.

There’s a small zippered pocket on the front that’s cute and handy for smaller

Meanwhile, the back opens via clip buttons and a zipped top for added security.

Although the threading was untidy on the inside of the bag, it actually adds to the rustic look, which I surprisingly love!

There is a padded 17-inch laptop compartment and a secret pocket at the back.

As far as sustainability goes, Bagmaya plants a tree for every order, offers recyclable and plastic-free packaging, and donates 10% of their profits to Yuwa.

The Dakhla backpack is great for those who like unique colours while still being simple in terms of a no-fuss backpack. No high-tech or features, just something sleek and stylish for your sightseeing needs or everyday life!

Special features:

  1. 100% rainproof hemp backpack
  2. Vintage and rugged look
  3. Secret pockets
  4. Beautiful earthy colours

12. The Level Collective Winnats Roll Top

The Level Collective Winnats Roll Top Backpack

Capacity: 15 - 20 Litres 

Weight: 860g

Size (expanded): 60 cm (H) x 26 cm (W) x 13.5 cm (D) 

Enjoy this easily convertible bag, a simple yet well-equipped bag that is great for city use and outdoor adventures. 

Although this backpack is pricey, it’s essential to know that each bag is handcrafted with lots of time and skill in the UK. The sustainable materials used to create the pack aren’t so easy to source. The founder of the company strongly believes in supporting local businesses. 

The rolltop allows you to fit quite a lot of items. You have the option of either clipping the belt and leaving it rolled if you wish to use it as a daypack. Otherwise, you can expand the backpack if you want to fit more things. 

The backpack features a waxed cotton outer shell making it highly waterproof.  The cushioned straps are adjustable, offering extra lumbar support. The two side pouches are handy to fit your water bottles.

Don’t be alarmed about any material or workmanship defects; these can be repaired free of charge as the company offers a lifetime of repair services. 

13. Terra Thread Everyday Backpack

Terra Thread Everyday Backpack

Capacity: 16L 

Size (expanded): 40cm (H) x 30cm (W) x 12.7cm (D) 

The Terra Threads backpack is one of the eco-friendly backpacks which is trendy and versatile. It can be used for school or college as well as travelling or hiking!

This backpack is crafted with high-quality materials and is available in a range of vibrant colours. The best part is that you can purchase this backpack at quite an affordable price, meaning it could be a suitable gift for a backpacking friend who is eco-conscious.

 It features a padded laptop sleeve for extra safety, a large front pocket with a zipper, a hanging pocket on the interior and two side pockets to store your water bottle.

In terms of sustainability, all the backpacks are made from 100% Fairtrade GOTS organic cotton canvas. The company manufactures all their products at a Fair Trade USA certified factory in India.

We love most about this backpack because, for every backpack purchased, Terra Thread will donate enough money to Feeding America, which will provide 20 meals to seniors, families, or children in need. 

14. Jansport Recycled Superbreak Backpack

Jansport Recycled Superbreak Backpack

Capacity: 26 L

Weight: 0.45 kg

Size (expanded):  42 x 33 x 21 cm

This JanSport Superbreak backpack is quite popular amongst the younger crowd! It makes a great bag for school or daily commute. 

The capacity is only 26L, so we don’t recommend this for long hiking trips. 

Made from 100% polyester, the material might wear out over time. Although, Every JanSport backpack does come with a lifetime warranty for extra peace of mind. 

The backpack is easy to use and convenient to use. You can choose from 5 different colours. 

The backpack doesn't have any extra features. Overall, a simple lightweight option if you’re looking for one of the sustainable backpacks that won’t break the bank. 

15. Tentree Mobius

Tentree Mobius Backpack

Capacity: 16L to 35L

Weight: 1kg

Size (expanded): 30 x 20 x 59 cm

This Mobius backpack is relatively new to the market and is a great functional backpack with a large capacity of 35L. 

The main compartment of the bag opens in two ways. You can use the rolltop opening at the top of the bag or the clamshell opening. A padded laptop is located inside to keep your belongings secure. 

The front compartments also comes with many pockets so you can organize all your smaller items. Some users do wish that this backpack came with waist straps, so it is easier to distribute the weight. 

Sustainability is embedded in every aspect of production. These eco-friendly backpacks are made from 100% REPREVE® fabric, which is a form of fibre made from entirely recycled materials, including 31 plastic bottles. 

The padding of the backpack is made by collecting all extra algae, which in turn helps clean our environment. Tentree also plants ten trees for every item purchased!  

Which Eco Friendly Backpack Will You Go For?

There are so many eco-friendly backpack brands out there it requires hours of research to try and find the very best one!

We highly recommend the Tropicfeel Shell Backpack as the best sustainable backpack as it is high quality and sure to last you many years.  

Everyone has their own preferences, so we hope you found this guide helpful in choosing the best eco-friendly backpack that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Other gear guides you might like:

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