- Buyer's Guide
Best Sustainable Backpacks for EDC
The items you carry daily are important. Not just in the functionality they provide, but in how they are made and affect the world too. Pulling the trigger on new gear can sometimes feel like a contradiction when we want to trim our environmental impact. However, by opting for ethically-made pieces that are designed to last a long time, it’s a small but meaningful way we can do our part to help protect the planet and the people on it. So with these thoughts in mind, we’ve selected our top picks for the best sustainable backpacks for EDC…
Osprey have always been big on enjoying and protecting your surroundings, from the great outdoors to the urban jungle. With their Arcane Large Daypack you can do both. Made from 100% recycled materials, a PFC-free DWR coating, and durable metal hardware, it’s built to last while minimizing environmental impact. The pack has padded storage for your tech, quick-access pockets for frequently used items, and a pared-back form that helps it move easily between urban and outdoor settings. Add in the AirScape™ back panel with integrated foam ridges and you get comfy carry for active and everyday use.
Designed with a women-specific fit in mind, the Patagonia Women’s Refugio Backpack 26L combines everyday comfort and functionality with sustainable construction. The bag is made in a factory with vetted, fair labor practices and safe working conditions. The pack body is a 7.4-oz 630D 100% nylon (50% recycled/50% high-tenacity) plain weave fabric, while the lining is a 3.3-oz 200D 100% recycled polyester. Both the body fabric and lining have a PU coating and a DWR finish for dependable protection from the elements. The bag’s main compartment offers a 15″ padded laptop sleeve and a lined tablet pocket. Smaller items are easily organized thanks to the front organization compartment, as well as front and side quick-access pockets. The pack is also hydration bladder compatible, making it a flexible piece for urban and outdoor use.
Incase and Bionic teamed up on a collection that not only helps clean up the oceans, but delivers clean elegance and functionality for EDC too. The Incase x Bionic Commuter Backpack features BIONIC® ripstop material which is made from plastic pollution recovered from marine and coastal environments. Crafted with the equivalent of twenty-six plastic bottles, the pack has a choice of internal organization pockets including storage for a 16″ MacBook Pro. An external magnetic water bottle pocket keeps hydration at the ready, yet stores neatly away when not in use for a sleek profile.
The 25L Patagonia Black Hole Pack salutes sustainability with thoughtful construction featuring a 100% recycled body fabric, lining and webbing. The body fabric is bluesign® approved and both the body fabric and lining offer protection from the elements with a DWR finish. The pack is hydration bladder compatible but also offers two side stretch water bottle pockets. For organization you’ll find a padded 15″ laptop sleeve and tablet sleeve in the main compartment, plus a zippered mesh pocket. Externally the pack provides front and top pockets, as well as daisy chain for securing bulkier gear. Handy for everyday, outdoor and travel use, it’s an adaptable pack for a variety of carry needs.
Bellroy doesn’t just bring classic style to the table with this pack but also a sustainable approach to your daily carry. The Classic Backpack is available in a durable, water-resistant polyester made from recycled plastic bottles. The clean aesthetics slip easily into work settings and downtime environments too, while thoughtful organization ensures all your gear is conveniently accessible when you need it. The pack has dedicated pockets for a 15″ laptop and iPad or A5 documents, along with additional interior and exterior pockets to keep your smaller essentials secure and close at hand. Lumbar support and contoured straps also help you comfortably haul loads, whether you’re on the daily commute or zipping off to the gym.
The United By Blue Westward 23L Rolltop Backpack offers great versatility but also supports a great cause too. For each product purchased, the certified B Corp removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. The water-repellent rolltop is responsibly made in Vietnam and backed by a lifetime guarantee, so you can enjoy many years of use from this adaptable pack. A range of interior and exterior pockets, including a padded 15″ laptop pocket, keeps gear tidy and accessible throughout the day. And with its smart-casual styling, it’s a bag that rolls easily between casual work and play environments.
Forming part of Millican’s Maverick collection, the Smith the Roll Pack 18L is designed with lightweight minimalism in mind. The bag’s tough construction features just a few panels of weatherproof, 65% recycled Bionic canvas, a 100% recycled polyester lining, and aluminum hardware for long-lasting durability. The pack has a roll-top main compartment, an external-access 15″ laptop compartment, and a quick-access pocket for small items. The front also offers a hidden reflector and bike light attachment to help keep you visible in low-light conditions.
Truce gives hard-working sailcloth a new lease on life by upcycling it into practical pieces like the Sailcloth Daypack. It’s made in the USA with an upcycled Dacron woven sailcloth for excellent durability and weather resistance. And due to the nature of the material, each pack is unique too. Designed to keep your gear easily accessible and tidy, the pack offers a wide-opening main compartment, choice of interior pockets, and an exterior 15″ laptop pocket. Rounding off the pack’s functionality are handy features including a reflective strip, sternum strap whistle buckle, and top and side grab handles.
The folks at Swiss brand FREITAG have stood out for years with their upcycled approach to carry. And with their distinctive styling you’ll easily spot a FREITAG bag in a crowd. The brand utilizes upcycled truck tarps and used safety belts to make burly bags like the F49 FRINGE. The backpack serves up a selection of interior pockets for day-to-day essentials, with external quick-access pockets for items you need on the fly. And since each pack is unique, it’s a fun way to add distinct character and playfulness to your daily carry setup.
QWSTION delivers a sleek, minimalist take on sustainability with their Zip Pack. A versatile bag for commuting with daily essentials or a weekend day trip, the pack is made with Bananatex® fabric crafted from 100% naturally grown Abacá (a species of banana plant). The pack also uses YKK metal zippers with cotton rather than plastic tape. Top and side access makes it easy to reach gear throughout the bag, with interior pockets for small items and a merino felt-lined sleeve for storing up to a 16″ MacBook Pro. You can also adapt the pack to suit different loads and silhouette preferences thanks to its adjustable shape, while a modular handle and adjustable shoulder straps provide portability tailored to your needs.
The Bellroy Apex Backpack represents the pinnacle of a decade of design insights from the Australian carry brand. Starting things off is a nod to sustainable construction. The bag is made with an innovative, specially designed Baida nylon made from 100% recycled industrial materials, as well as environmentally certified premium leather, and custom-designed hardware. Designed with clever patterning and access in mind, the pack offers an elegantly clean silhouette with rapid access to gear courtesy of the wide-opening main compartment. Pockets are intentionally positioned to help keep items out of the crush zone while ensuring they remain close at hand. And added features like magnetic buttons and an easily adjustable volume add to the enticing usability and flexibility of this sophisticated pack.
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