submitted by Jonathan Tayag
Many of us are spending this Earth Day stuck at home, and while enjoying the great outdoors might be out of the question, we can still do our part to be kind to the environment. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that when we do go outside, the gear we bring along for the ride is made sustainably, and if possible, made out of recycled materials. If you’re wary about doing this out of fear the durability of your gear, you shouldn’t be. There are plenty of outdoors gear brands making high quality bags from partially or fully recycled materials . And whether your next excursion is out to the top of the mountain or down the street to your local supermarket, you have plenty of options for a bag made of recycled materials. To help you in your search this Earth Day, we’ve put together this guide containing our favorite recycled bags you can purchase today to make a positive impact.
The Best Eco-Friendly Bags
- 1 - Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L V2
- 2 - Osprey Arcane Large Day Pack
- 3 - Fjällräven High Coast Rolltop 26
- 4 - Bellroy Transit
- 5 - Pacsafe Vibe Econyl 25L
- 6 - Incase City Compact Backpack
- 7 - Cotopaxi Luzon 24L Hiking Daypack
- 8 - Patagonia Ultralight Packable Black Hole Duffel
- 9 - Alchemy Goods Pike Messenger Bag
- 10 - United by Blue Lee Hip Pack
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L V2PurchaseKey FeaturesBackpack, camera bagConfigurable with padded FlexFold dividersHolds up to a 16" laptopSpecificationsCapacity20LMaterials100% recycled 400D waterproof shellWeight3.42 lbsReviewsPrice$$$$Peak Design is well-known for making high quality EDC packs with special attention paid for the needs of those of us who carry cameras or drones on a frequent basis. But as a company they’re also committed to adhering to sustainable sourcing and manufacturing methods, and they also donate 1% of revenue every year to environmental causes. They’ve recently updated their Everyday Backpack line with a 20 liter bag that features a wide, 270-degree zipper for easy loading and unloading as well as side access when needed. It has a streamlined minimalist look that’s low-profile for the urban environment, but it can take on the elements wherever you find yourself with its waterproof 100% recycled 400D external shell.
Osprey Arcane Large Day PackPurchaseKey FeaturesDay bag, backpackQuick-release aluminum security hook on harnessStretch mesh shoulder strap sleeve for cards and small essentialsSpecificationsCapacity20LMaterials500D recycled polyester packclothWeight1.41 lbsReviewsPrice$$Osprey’s line of outdoors and travel bags are well-regarded in the community. Not only do they build their gear sustainably, but they also stand by their products with a lifetime warranty. They’ll repair any damage or defect to any of their bags or they’ll replace it if they cannot. Their Arcane Large Day Pack is made for frequent travels with 20 liters of space for your essentials as well as a padded laptop sleeve for up to a 15" device and a water bottle pocket to stay hydrated throughout the day. The bag itself is also made out of certified recycled fabrics: each one of these bags saves 10.5 plastic bottles from a landfill.
Fjällräven High Coast Rolltop 26PurchaseKey FeaturesWaterproof roll-top backpackSmall external zippered pocket for quick access to essentialsDetachable chest strap and hip beltSpecificationsCapacity26LMaterials210D Polamide, shell 100% recycled, durable base 30% recycledWeight1.04 lbsReviewsNo reviews yetPrice$$$Fjällräven is an outdoors gear and clothing manufacturer based in Sweden, and their mission as a company is to make long-lasting quality goods made sustainably and fit for any purpose. Their High Coast Rolltop 26 provides waterproof safety for the valuables you place inside of it, and it provides that protection using a mixture of fully and partially recycled materials in the manufacturing process.
Bellroy TransitPurchaseKey FeaturesCarry-on compliant travel backpackFits up to a 15" laptopFour external-access pockets that don’t break up the minimalist designSpecificationsCapacity28LMaterialsWoven water-resistant fabric made out of ~30 plastic water bottlesWeight2.42 lbsReviewsPrice$$$$You probably know Bellroy for their line of everyday carry wallets, but their new Transit line features recycled materials and stylish carry-on compatible functionality that you’ll want to take with you everywhere you go. With 28 liters of space and a dedicated compartment for up to a 15" laptop, the Transit Backpack is perfect for short weekend trips for work and play, and you’ll be able to get to point A to point B quickly and efficiently because it’s made to speed through security checkpoints. And because the fabric and lining of the bag is made out of recycled water bottles, you’ll be doing your part for the environment for picking one of these bags up if you need it.
Pacsafe Vibe Econyl 25LPurchaseKey FeaturesAnti-theft travel backpackErgonomic padded frame with sternum strap and hip strap for stabilityHydration bladder compatibleSpecificationsCapacity25LMaterialsEconyl recycled nylonWeight2.14 lbsReviewsPrice$$$Getting your bag or its contents taken from you while you’re traveling is one of the worst things that can happen when you’re far away from home. That’s why Pacsafe designs their bags around dealing with that risk with anti-theft technology. Their Econyl line of bags gives you that security while also being made out of environmentally-conscious recycled materials. Take their Vibe 25L travel backpack for example: it’s made from recycled ocean waste but still provides cut-resistance via the steel mesh inlay and lockable zippers for TSA-approved padlocks. There’s even an RFID-shielded pocket to keep your passport and payment card information from fraudsters as you move about in public.
Incase City Compact BackpackPurchaseKey FeaturesLaptop backpackLaptop compartment padded on all sides to protect against damageDedicated mobile phone carrierSpecificationsCapacity21LMaterials63% recycled polyester, diamond ripstop weaveWeight3.05 lbsReviewsPrice$$You’re probably familiar with Incase for their line of tech-oriented laptop carry bags, but you should probably also know that some of their bags also have protecting the environment in mind during the design process. Their City Compact Backpack features a diamond ripstop weave material that’s made out of recycled PET bottles, and it’s water-resistant to keep the elements away from your precious 16" laptop in its dedicated plush fleece lined compartment. There’s also a dedicated pocket for your cell phone, and a large organizer compartment for smaller tech gear and stationery as well.
Cotopaxi Luzon 24L Hiking DaypackPurchaseKey FeaturesLightweight hiking day bagShoe pocketEach bag is unique due to the differing materials on handSpecificationsCapacity24LMaterials100% repurposed nylon fabricWeight0.93 lbsReviewsPrice$$Cotopaxi is an outdoors and adventure gear manufacturer that doesn’t just ensure that their products are made sustainably, they focus on the human element as well. They make efforts to make sure their supply chain is ethical, and they donate 1% of their revenues to humanitarian organizations as well. And their Luzon 24L Del Dia is quite literally one-of-a-kind because the repurpose fabric surplused from big production runs that other companies make. The use of remnant fabric in the design means that each bag has a different look and make up each time one is made. At just 0.93 pounds unloaded, the 24L Luzon has space for your essentials without weighing you down, and you’ll be able to count on this bag day in and day out because Cotopaxi will fix or replace your pack for its lifetime.
Patagonia Ultralight Packable Black Hole DuffelPurchaseKey FeaturesPackable duffel bagGood for use as a bag within a bag when you need extra spaceDWR coating for water resistanceSpecificationsCapacity30LMaterials100% recycled nylon ripstopWeight1 lbReviewsNo reviews yetPrice$$Patagonia’s line of outdoors and travel gear is always near the top of people’s minds when they get asked about the best gear for everyday carry. As a company, Patagonia is also concerned about keeping the environment safe and having our natural spaces remain that way as well. Their Ultralight Packable Black Hole Duffel is as it sounds: a generous 30 liter duffel bag that you can stuff full of gear as you travel but which remains extremely lightweight and packable due to its ripstop fabric design. But this bag is special in that the nylon ripstop is made out of 100% recycled material, making it a great choice if you’re looking to go green this Earth Day.
Alchemy Goods Pike Messenger BagPurchaseKey FeaturesMessenger bagMade in the USABuckle and hook and loop closureSpecificationsCapacity15LMaterialsRecycled bike tire inner tubesWeight1.49 lbsReviewsPrice$$$Alchemy Goods is a Seattle-based manufacturer that specializes in up-cycling bicycle tires into unique and durable goods, especially bags that are well-suited for everyday carry. Take one look at their zippered Pike Messenger Bag and you can clearly tell where the bike tires went, and they partner with bike shops to get their material on a regular basis. The bag features 15L of space, with dedicated room for a laptop and foam padding to keep your tech safe.
United by Blue Lee Hip PackPurchaseKey FeaturesHip bagDWR coated for water-resistanceEach bag removes 1 pound of trash from the oceanSpecificationsCapacity4.8LMaterialsRecycled PET nylonWeight0.4 lbsReviewsPrice$United by Blue is a clothing and bag manufacturer based out of Pennsylvania that focuses on using sustainable materials in the design of their products and supporting the removal of trash from the oceans with their revenue. Their Lee Hip Pack is made to carry your small essential gear including your phone and your wallet, and it’s made with recycled PET plastic water bottles, keeping them out of the oceans and the landfills.
Do you carry eco-friendly, recycled, or repurposed gear in your EDC? Tell us about them in the comments below!