7 Awesome Backpacks made from recycled materials

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In this post, we’ve compiled a selection of our top backpacks made from recycled materials.  Buying a backpack made from recycled materials helps to reduce waste in the environment while also boosting sustainable production.

With more businesses producing recycled-material backpacks, buyers now have a wider selection of options and designs to pick from.

Allpa Del Dia Travel Backpack Made From Recycled Materials

Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia Travel Pack

  • Activities: Travel
  • Best Features: Harness suspension system
  • Capacity: 35 liters
  • Material: Recycled fabrics

The Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia Travel Pack includes a backpacking-style harness and plenty of storage, plus it’s made from recycled textiles in one-of-a-kind color combinations. The Allpa Del Dia is the perfect size for carry-on convenience, and includes a number of clever features. 

On long or short hikes, the Allpa’s low-profile harness suspension system, contoured shoulder straps, air mesh back panel, adjustable sternum strap, and cushioned hip belt properly distribute weight and keep you comfortable.

Cotopaxi is committed to sustainability across all of its product line, and sources non-virgin and alternative materials for a large number of products. In addition, the company is transitioning to using 100% reused, recycled, and ethical materials by 2025.

Altvia BackPack Made From Recycled Nylon & Polyester
  • Activities: Hiking, Trail Running
  • Best Features: Lightweight, comfortable construction
  • Capacity: 17 liters
  • Material: Recycled nylon, Recycled polyester

Patagonia, a pioneer in sustainability for 40 years, offers a range of backpacks and outdoor gear made from recycled materials.

The Altvia backpack is made from 100% recycled nylon and recycled polyester. The pack is optimized for lengthy hikes, climbs and outdoor excursions. It is lightweight, provides lots of room for essentials, and has a ventilated back panel and shoulder straps for added comfort.

Archeon Backpack Made From Recycled Materials
  • Activities: Daily Use, Travel, Hiking
  • Best Features: Versatility, can be used for casual or high performance activities
  • Capacity: 30 liters
  • Materials: Recycled fabrics

The Osprey Archeon Backpack is sustainably crafted using Global Recycle Standard (GRS)-certified recycled materials and high-quality workmanship. It features a clean, simple design that is adaptable to a wide variety of environments. The backpack is well-suited for hiking, traveling, and city commuting, among other activities.

Osprey uses high-performance, technical materials with the lowest environmental impact. Their products are made using including bluesign®-approved and recycled materials, and the company submits these materials to third-party labs for auditing. Osprey has also made significant efforts to reduce their product packaging.

Bergtagen Backpack Made From Recycled Nylon
  • Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering
  • Best Features: Removable frame, adaptable construction
  • Capacity: 38 liters
  • Material: Recycled Nylon

The Fjallraven Bergtagen Backpack is a technical, high-performance backpack with waterproof Bergshell fabric designed for mountain climbing. The backpack is waterproof, rip resistant, and sustainably made from recycled nylon.

Fjallraven is devoted to sustainability from design to production. It prioritizes lifespan, recyclability, utility, and simplicity while using natural and recycled materials. The Fjallraven code of conduct encompasses human rights, animal welfare, environmental protection, sustainable development, and anti-corruption.

Guidewater Backpack Made From Recycled Nylon
  • Activities: Daily Use, Hiking, Fishing
  • Best Features: Certified submersible and 100% waterproof
  • Capacity: 29 liters
  • Materials: Recycled nylon

The Patagonia Guidewater Backpack is the ideal option when it comes to dependability and performance. The backpack fabric is made with recycled nylon, and is 100 percent waterproof and submersible. The back panel and shoulder straps of the Guidewater Backpack are constructed of hydrophobic textiles that do not absorb or retain water.

Everyday Backpack Made From Recycled Nylon & Polyester
Peak Design Everyday Backpack
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  • Activities: Daily Use, Travel, Photography
  • Best Features: Expandable compartments, water resistant 
  • Capacity: 30 liters
  • Materials: Recycled polyester, Recycled nylon

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 30L is intended for ease of access, organization, expansion, and protection. The backpack is manufactured with 100% recycled fabric that is water-resistant and bluesign® certified free of dangerous chemicals. 

Peak Design’s primary backpack fabric is a nylon/poly blend that uses 100% post consumer recycled polyester and 100% post industrial recycled nylon. To date, Peak Design has sourced approximately 3 million water bottles of recycled plastic to be used for their outer backpack fabric with their partners at Repreve.

Ruckpack Made From Recycled Nylon
REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Recycled Pack Made From Recycled Materials
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  • Activities: Daily Use, Travel
  • Best Features: Heavy duty construction, highly compressible
  • Capacity: 28 liters
  • Materials: Recycled nylon

The REI Ruckpack Recycled Pack is composed of heavy-duty recycled nylon that is rip-resistant and durable. The backpack offers ample storage and organization and features easy-access side panels, hydration system integration, a daisy chain to attach gear and compression straps and load-lifters to securely position the backpack.  It even includes a rain cover so that you’re always prepared for unexpected bad weather.

The backpack fabric is also bluesign®-approved to be free of dangerous chemicals. The REI Ruckpack Recycled Pack is a superb resource for multi-day expeditions.

Brands creating backpacks made from recycled materials

MONARC – Launched in 2020, Monarc’s flagship Settra Duffel Backpack is designed to be the world’s most eco-friendly 2-in-1 duffel backpack. The company calls their products the “World’s First Certified Plastic Negative Bags”.

Parkland – Established in 2015, Parkland Design & Manufacturing develops bags and accessories for daily living. The textile material used to create all Parkland items is created from 100 percent recycled water bottles.

How are backpacks recycled?

If your old backpack is still in usable condition, it can be donated to local charities like Out of the Closet or Goodwill. 

If the backpack is not in working condition, it may be accepted at a local municipal or private recycling facility. Once delivered to the recycling station, the various parts of the backpacks are manually or mechanically separated. If possible, the cotton, fiber, plastics, and metals will be collected, separated and melted to produce other useful items.

How many plastic bottles are used to make a bag?

The number of recycled plastic bottles needed to created a new backpack depends on the size and capacity of the backpack. On average, 10 – 20 recycled plastic bottles are needed to produce a 15 liter – 17 liter capacity backpack.

How are bags made from plastic bottles?

The clear plastic PET bottles are collected and cleaned in the recycling sorting plant. The bottles are also soaked in acid to erase the labels. 

The plastic bottles are crushed into little plastic flakes. The plastic flakes are melted into microscopic pellets. 

The pellets are heated again, then extruded and spun into thread. The thread is woven into cloth and dyed. The cloth is sewn together to create a new backpack.


If you like this article, check out our selection of tents made from recycled materials and hoodies made from recycled materials.

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