7 Brands Making Ethical and Sustainable Travel Backpacks

7 Brands Making Ethical and Sustainable Travel Backpacks

You’re here because you’re looking for a sturdy, stylish and sustainable backpack to take with you on your travel adventures. You’ve landed on the right page. We’ve curated this comprehensive list of ethically-made and eco-friendly travel backpacks just for you! We hope it makes shopping for one that much easier.

1. WAYKS Travel Backpacks

For the sophisticated traveler, we recommend WAYKS Travel Backpack. Thoughtfully-designed, these sustainable backpacks are made from fabric that features recycled PET bottles and is responsibly produced by a factory in Vietnam that adheres to fair labor standards.

These stylish backpacks are also weatherproof, have lots of compartments to hold your laptop, travel documents, chargers, bottle water and much more. It also has removal padding if you prefer a more streamlined look. You can even purchase additional accessories such as travel storage blocks that fit in to the backpack if you want to be super organised.

Price starts at €229.00 (US$255). Purchase the backpack from the WAYKS website here.

2. United By Blue Day Backpacks

United By Blue is an outdoor apparel company that holds a B-Corp certification identifying that the for-profit enterprise meets high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. 

Their backpacks feature eco-friendly fabrics such as organic waxed cotton canvas, vegetable tanned leather and recycled polyester made of plastic bottles. With a range of designs to choose from, you’ll be sure to find a style that suits you. Whether you’re after a backpack in classic black or one that’s a bit more colourful, you’ll find a style that will suit you. For travel or hiking, our pick is the 45-litre Range Daypack which has lots of pockets, has large carrying capacity and ideal for long trips and has adjustable cross sternum and hip straps to hold in place if you’re covering long-distances on foot.

Prices starts US$128. Browse the entire range of ethical backpacks here.

3. Looptworks Upcycled Backpacks

This Oregon-based business upcycles and repurposes abandoned, excess, deadstock or high-quality pre and post-consumer materials that would otherwise have been incinerated or landfilled. Looptworks turns these materials into fashionable, limited edition premium products and accessories; responsibly producing them in factories that adhere to fair labor laws. If you prefer unique items and want peace of mind knowing that there will be few people in the world walking around with the same backpack as you, Looptworks is the sustainable backpack brand for you!

We’re eyeing off the Springwater Rolltop Backpack (comes in navy and brown) which is made from upcycled pre-consumer excess materials from the outdoor industry, has metal buckles, side pockets and has a removable waist belt. It’s designed for long-haul use, whether you’re hiking or commuting by bike, and comes with a lifetime guarantee too!

Prices starts US$145. Browse the entire range of ethical backpacks here.

4. Kathmandu Outdoor Adventure Backpacks

At the cutting edge of outdoor apparel and adventure travel products is Kathmandu, a brand investing in sustainable design and the use of innovative eco-friendly fabrics such as recycled polyester, REPREVE a material made from recycled plastic content, and even ripstop nylon which is a woven fabric known for its reinforcing technique that reduces tearing and improves. Kathmandu produces a range of unisex, men’s and women’s travel backpacks for all types of adventures, whether you’ll be going off-grid on a hiking expedition or just need one to lug around as you backpack through Europe.

We’re especially loving the Federate Adapt backpack made from recycled polyester, which can be used for travel, work or school. It’s versatile and adaptable – transforming from a 50 litre heavy-duty backpack to a 38 litre carry-on bag, to a 28 litre day pack. It’s got zip pockets and compartments galore for storing drink bottles, battery packs and other travel accessories. For practical eco travel chic, this is our pick of the Kathmandu backpack range.

Price range A$71.99 – $599.99. Browse Kathmandu’s broad range of backpacks here.

5. Timbuk2 Backpacks and Knapsacks

This San Francisco company has been making durable backpacks fit for outdoor adventure enthusiasts since 1989. Whether you’re a traveler, cyclist, hiker or just need a stylish one for work or school, Timbuk2‘s high-quality backpacks are designed with durability and longevity in mind. All backpacks are ethically made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty.

For adventure travel, check out the Wander Backpack Duffel (in black or gunmetal grey colour). Designed to be used as either a backpack or duffle bag, it has a 40 litre capacity for light or heavy packing and has lots of compartments for easy storage.

Backpack prices start at $129. Check out all the Timbuk2 backpacks here.

6. Millican Eco Travel Backpacks

For stylish, minimalist design, you can’t go past Millican‘s  heavy duty and waterproof canvas backpacks. Made from superior fabric blends and features materials such as cotton, metal buckles and reinforcement, recycled polyester, paraffin wax and leather trims, their range of backpacks are produced for year-round use and is versatile enough to be used for camping, hiking, cycling, work or school. 

Available in a variety of capacities (15, 18, 25, 28, 32 litres) and a range of classic hues such as navy, black, moss and rust, the backpacks are responsibly made by skilled garment specialists in the UK and in Vietnam and it comes with a lifetime warranty for peace of mind. It’s hard to pick a fave so we recommend you browse their range and decide whether you prefer roll tops, rucksacks and duffle styles!

Backpacks come in a range of classic and trendy colours. Price starts £115.00 (US$147). View the range here.

7. Fjallraven Hiking Backpacks

Producing functional travel and outdoor equipment for men and women is Swedish brand Fjallraven. These hiking and travel backpacks have been designed with durability and sustainability in mind. Its range features heavy duty materials designed to last, recycled nylon, fabric blends of recycled polyester and organic cotton, and G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco which is a mix of polyester and cotton stress-tested to withstand extreme weather conditions and everyday use. Fjallraven is also committed to sustainable design, belonging to both the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Fair Labor Association

With such a broad range of classic and technicolor travel backpacks to choose from, you’re bound to find something that suits your taste, preferences and travel occasion, whether you’re hitting the ski slopes, going on a mountain trek or planning a weekend in the great outdoors. Our picks? The Keb and Abisko styles which feature clean designs, lightweight sustainable fabrics and ideal for day hikes and adventure travel.

Backpack prices start from €129.95 (US $148). Styles are available in a wide range of colours. Browse the entire backpack collection here.

‘Keb’ style

Never miss our posts. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and receive our free sustainable lifestyle guide when you do. 

Recommending reading:

Disclosure: All prices are correct at time of publishing. This curated list does not fully take into account all the ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying special attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. This list also includes affiliate links. Click here to read more about our policies.

Feature image via Millican.

Enjoyed this post & want to show your gratitude? Then please support Eco Warrior Princess on Patreon!

More from Ethical Fashion