The backpack is the new handbag. Working remotely, backpacks are the easiest way to store and carry your everyday essentials, including your laptop, books, and gym stuff.
But can we do it in a vegan way? Absolutely. And the choice is endless.
Find the best vegan backpacks in all shapes and sizes made from innovative cruelty-free materials.
What Makes A Backpack Vegan?
A vegan backpack is a rucksack made with synthetic or plant-based materials. This means that no animal materials or glues have been used in the production.
The most common non-vegan materials used in backpacks are leather and suede (the underside of leather). Leather is derived from the skins of calves, sheep, goats, pigs, and other animals.
Adhesives in backpacks may also contain animal-derived ingredients. Typical ones are isinglass, made from fish bladders and pig or cow remains, as well as casein made from animal milk.
Instead of leather, vegan fashion brands use synthetic leather and nylon or plant-derived materials such as cotton, cork, and hemp. As for adhesives, synthetic glues are used.
Most of the vegan backpack materials nowadays are eco-friendly. Instead of virgin plastic, sustainable vegan backpacks are made from recycled plastic bottles and bio waste.
Best Vegan Backpack Overall
Best For Women
Best For Men
Best For Kids
Best For School
Best For Work
Best For Gym
Best For Travel
Best For Hiking
Roll Top Backpack
What To Look For In A Vegan Backpack?
Before shopping for a new vegan backpack, you need to decide the purpose of it.
If you are carrying heavy items such as books and a laptop, you need to look for a more durable and stronger material such as nylon or polyester.
If you are looking for space for your gym clothes, look out for spacious vegan backpacks. If you need a hiking backpack, do not forget water resistance.
Also, we definitely recommend a quality-over-price strategy when choosing a vegan backpack.
Most cheap backpacks are usually made of vegan materials by default. Yet, they are often produced rather poorly in unethical conditions.
Do your research beforehand and choose an ethical vegan backpack. That way, you’ll do a favor to the animals, the people, and our planet.
Best Vegan Materials For Backpacks
The best materials for vegan backpacks are simultaneously durable and sustainable. Here are our favorite vegan materials for eco-friendly and cruelty-free backpacks.
- Econyl: recycled nylon fabric made from discarded fishnets, carpets, and other nylon waste. Durable material for vegan packpacks, see 457 Anew, Pacsafe, Stella Mccartney Falabella
- Recycled Polyester: ecological alternative to virgin polyester, used in vegan backpack linings, see Expressions NYC, Matt & Nat, Ecoalf Michi
- Apple Leather: biodegradeable vegan leather derived from fruit waste, see Votch The Give Backpack, Luxtra Farrell Backpack
- Grape Leather: luxurious bio vegan leather made from grape skins, stalks, seeds, and other leftovers from the wine industry, see Alexandra K Backpack, Etereo Maxi Backpack
- Cactus Leather: innovative plant-based leather made from cactus leaf fiber, see Dieter Desserto, AC Official Darcy Daypack
- Canvas: strong and lightweight cotton fabric, excellent for vegan backpacks, see Willow Earth Hastings Backpack, H&M Cotton Canvas Backpack, Johnny Urban Luke Backpack
- Cork: eco-friendly fabric derived from the cork oak tree bark, see Cork Street Organic Vegan Backpack, Corkor Vegan Backpack
- Hemp: natural plantbased fabric that is durable, lightweight, water-repellent, and antimicrobial, see Maha Bodhi Hemp Backpack, Proud London Hemp Backpacks
- Paper: a new hit material for vegan backpacks, paper is naturally durable and biodegradeable, see Doshi Debut Paper Backpack, Paper & Sons Rolltop Backpack
- Silicone: vegan polymere made mostly from sand (silica). Nontoxic, waterproof, and easy to wipe clean, see Fablou Cosmopolitan Backpack
Best Vegan Backpack Brands
Here are the best brands for vegan backpacks in 2021. These companies are 100% vegan and offer a wide range of trendy cruelty-free backpacks.
Immaculate Vegan is an online store with the best collection of vegan backpacks. You will find the most contemporary and sustainable backpacks from their selection.
From apple leather to piñatax, discover only the most innovative and ethically made vegan backpacks. Canussa, Boita, Svala – they include vegan brands from all over the world.
If you are looking for a vegan backpack made in the USA, Immaculate Vegan also carries a selection of those. Vegan brand Svala makes beautiful vegan backpacks in Los Angeles.
Matt & Nat
Ethical vegan backpacks from Matt & Nat are loved all over the world. The vegan cult brand was established as early as 1995 in Montreal, Canada.
Since 2007, Matt & Nat are making vegan backpack linings out of 100% recycled plastic bottles. We love the nature-inspired colors and textures of the bags.
From Tokyo Bags, you will find high-quality vegan leather backpacks in beautiful minimalist designs. Their backpacks are the same time sophisticated and functional.
As the name suggests, Tokyo Bags is an ethical Japanese brand. They focus on sustainability and making vegan backpacks that never go out of style.
Doshi is an American fashion brand from California that makes quality non-leather backpacks, handbags, belts, and other vegan accessories.
The company was created with the aim of offering sustainable fashion to people with religious, eco-friendly, or ethical beliefs. The brand is vegan and cruelty-free to its core.
Doshi has great vegan travel backpacks as well as trendy daypacks for men and women.
If you are looking for affordable vegan leather backpacks, Ecosusi is the brand for you. The company is 100% vegan and has a great range of backpacks perfect for school and office.
Discover beautiful and functional backpacks made with quality synthetic leather. Ecosusi has classic daypacks as well as vegan laptop backpacks and convertible backpack purses.
Expressions NYC offers ethical versions of the accessories you would typically see on the streets of New York. The vegan brand has one of the best range of vegan backpacks.
The PETA-approved vegan company has a goal to introduce the greener and kinder world not only to customers but also to employees in production and administration.
They do not use any animal-derived materials. Instead, they invent new materials from ultra-fine fiber, cork, high-grade PU, recycled PU, and recycled bottles.
Gunas was created in the USA in the city of New York in 2009. The PETA-certified vegan brand offers fantastic faux leather vegan backpacks for men and women.
The goal of Gunas is to be the voice of the animals. The company offers a large selection of different vegan backpacks as well as wallets, tote bags, satchels, and more.
Best Vegan Backpacks
Here are the best vegan backpacks for 2021. Discover high-quality and durable backpacks made from premium cruelty-free materials.
Shop vegan backpacks for school, office, gym, and travel. Or go hands-free this season and replace your handbag with a modern vegan backpack.
Best Vegan Backpack Overall
This vegan backpack from England is a clear winner on our list. It is beautiful, practical, comfortable, sustainable, natural, and 100% plastic-free.
The handmade rucksack is made with natural cork and cotton canvas. It has two patches for tablets and a safe zippered pocket. Under the flap hides a secure drawstring closure.
The bag is designed in East Sussex and ethically made in India. We love that the cork used in this backpack is a by-product of the bottling industry.
The unisex vegan backbag is available in indigo and rust. To further waterproof the bag, Willow Earth also sells their homemade soy wax for maintenance.
Best Affordable Vegan Backpack
This vintage-inspired vegan backpack from Modoker is a bestseller on Amazon for a reason. Made with 6000D nylon canvas, the bag is super durable, lightweight, and costs only $30.
This affordable vegan backpack fits a 15.6-inch laptop. It features a USB charging port and 6 total compartments. The nylon bag is water-repellent and tear-resistant.
The Modoker bag is good for school, work as well as hiking, and traveling.
Best Luxury Vegan Backpack
Looking for a vegan backpack that is also a statement piece?
This chic yet modest and sporty vegan fashion backpack is a legendary Stella Mccartney accessory. It goes best with casual clothing and it fits everything you’d put into a purse.
The black vegan backpack is made with recycled nylon, polyurethane, and polyester. It has a classic front pocket, adjustable straps, and an internal pocket with a zipper.
Best Vegan Backpack For Women
Our favorite women’s vegan backpack is timeless, minimalist, and surprisingly spacious for its elegant size.
The black vegan backpack is made with quality vegan leather and polyester lining created from recycled plastic bottles. The bag is PETA-certified vegan.
It has an elegant black and silver detailed design, one zipper pocket, one slide-in pocket, and plenty of room to fit all of your important essentials.
Best Vegan Backpack For Men
This dark grey vegan backpack is for men is an eyecatcher. It is made from plant-derived vegan leather called Mulbtex – a natural fiber derived from mulberry leaf pulp.
It has adjustable shoulder straps and a lot of pockets to fit a 15’’ laptop, chargers, mobile phone, keys, wallet, and all other important belongings.
Best Vegan Backpack For Kids
JanSport offers fun and sustainable vegan backpacks for the whole family. Our favorite is the Super Break children’s backpack that is mostly made of recycled nylon.
The vegan backpack has a simple but comfortable design and is therefore well suited for children. It has plenty of space for books, toys, and can also hold a laptop.
You can store a pencil case or other important accessories in the front pocket. The backpack has straight-cut padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel.
This bestselling vegan backpack is available in many fun and bright colorways that both children and adults can enjoy.
Best Vegan Backpack For School
Created after a traditional Japanese school bag, this vegan backpack is designed for carrying heavy books and notebooks. The bag is comfortable, durable, and practical.
Made from water-resistant vegan microfiber, the vegan bag has a modest unisex design that we love. It is available in black and dark brown.
Best Vegan Backpack For Work
With an elegant design, this vegan leather backpack is perfect for the office. It fits a 13’’ laptop and notebooks, as well as other essentials.
The vegan backpack has comfortable adjustable straps, a front pocket, and two practical side pockets. It comes in man different nature-inspired colorways.
The fashionable unisex bag is made with durable planet-friendly vegan fabric from recycled water bottles.
Best Vegan Backpack For Gym
The sporty vegan backpack holds everything you need for the gym with a spacious duffel bag design. You can carry it on your shoulder or as a backpack.
It fits your sportswear, a towel, shoes (it even has a special shoe pocket), shampoos, and everything else you need to take with you.
Made from recycled polyester, the bag is lightweight, heavy-duty, and easy to clean.
Best Vegan Backpack For Travel
Our favorite vegan travel backpack comes from Doshi. This one is designed so that everything fits comfortably and you can find all you need easily without making a mess.
This vegan backpack is made from microfiber leather and nylon. It fits a laptop and has multiple interior, exterior, and hidden pockets to organize your things safely.
We also love that the bag stands up by itself and holds its shape at all times.
Best Vegan Backpack For Hiking
This large vegan backpack for hiking and backpacking is a bargain. It is super affordable yet comes highly recommended by many experienced hikers.
Made with strong nylon, this 50-liter hiking backpack has a lot of space. It stores everything you need for at least a 1-2 week trip or a hike.
The padding is specially designed to make your hiking more comfortable. The backpack also comes with a rain cover to make your carry-on waterproof.
Best Vegan Laptop Backpack
Dr. Martens is known for its bold yet timeless designs. This vegan backpack is not even made with laptops in mind but it still fits 13’’ and 15’’ laptops.
The Cambridge Brush synthetic vegan material is strong and durable and thus keeps expensive technology protected from external factors.
The vegan bag has adjustable straps, buckle fastenings, and an external pocket for the charger. It looks polished and extremely chic.
PS if you are looking for anti-theft RFID vegan backpack for your laptop, we also love the Kenneth Cole On The Track Pack.
Best Mini Vegan Backpack
If you are looking for a small vegan backpack that fits all your essentials, check out this cutie from Matt & Nat.
The mini vegan backpack has a drawstring closure with a hidden tab under the flap. It also has adjustable straps and an exterior back zipper pocket.
The bag is made from durable vegan leather with linings made from 100% recycled water bottles.
Best Slim Vegan Backpack
Canussa Urban vegan leather backpack is super slim and modern. A true contemporary accessory for the daily commute.
The backpack has multiple internal pockets and it also fits a 14’’ laptop. The recycled vegan leather is waterproof and washable.
The bag is ethically made in Spain from Oeko-Tex certified fabrics. It is available in red, brown, black, and black & yellow.
Best Convertible Vegan Backpack
We love vegan backpack purses, especially this one from Ecosusi. With a smart design, this convertible vegan bag can be worn as a backpack, shoulder bag, and handbag.
The tote backpack has one large compartment with 6 interior pockets. It also has an external zippered pocket, and padded laptop compartment that fits up to 14″ laptop.
Made with durable matte vegan leather, this backpack purse makes a versatile urban accessory. You can get it in brown, black, and wine color.
Best Vegan Briefcase Backpack
This eco-conscious vegan leather backpack has multi-purpose. Depending on the situation, it can be worn as a backpack or a briefcase.
The vegan backpack has many great features, including a secure laptop pocket, adjustable straps, magnetic handles, and protective base studs.
Made from polyurethane vegan leather, recycled bottles, and plant-based foam padding, this bag is definitely a statement.
You can get the backpack briefcase in classic black or limited edition olive color.
Best Roll Top Vegan Backpack
This beautiful roll-top backpack is vegan, cruelty-free, and 100% made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s perfect for everyday wear and for traveling.
We love that this vegan backpack is spacious yet comfortable to wear with no strap ends hanging around. The bad is also completely waterproof.
The smart bag fits 18 liters rolled and 22 liters unrolled. It has internal pockets, a laptop pocket, and adjustable padded straps.
Best Drawstring Vegan Backpack
This drawstring vegan backpack is the simplest way to carry your essentials and gym stuff. The bag is modern, stylish, durable and easy to wash.
This vegan backpack is made with strong cotton canvas with vegan leather detailing. The cords of this one are super soft for extra comfort.
This perfect vegan daypack comes in multiple urban colorways.
Best Vegan Diaper Backpack
Made from premium vegan leather, this diaper bag is specially designed for new moms considering any needs that may arise.
The vegan diaper backpack has plenty of space, it’s easy to open, long-lasting, comfortable to wash, and looks stylish.
Oh, and you can wear it three ways: as a backpack, purse, or a cross-body bag. We love the color options of this one.
FAQ About Vegan Backpacks
Backpacks are vegan if they are free of animal materials (e.g leather and suede) and animal glue. Common materials used for backpacks – polyester, nylon, and cotton – are vegan.
Vegan backpacks are made of synthetic leather, nylon, or plant-derived materials such as cotton and cork. A lot of vegan backpack materials are made from recycled plastic bottles.
The best vegan backpack is the Expressions NYC Upper West Side Backpack.
We would say no. Though Kånken uses seemingly vegan materials, the company has refused to confirm to us that the bag is vegan-friendly. This means Kånken may include animal byproducts and animal glue.
You can repair your vegan leather backpack using vegan glue or a thread and a needle. If a larger hole needs to be repaired, it is always possible to cover it with a patch. For best results, you should take your backpack to a professional for repair.
We hope you found your new favorite vegan backpack! As we said before, the selection of vegan backpacks is insanely wide and seems endless. However, it’s good to know that the choice is growing and ethical fashion is gaining the popularity it deserves.