13 Best Recycled Backpacks and Bags (2023): Totes, Purses, Shopping Bags

WIRED’s gear team has tested dozens of backpacks, totes, purses, messengers, slings, and even reusable shopping bags. More and more of these bags are using recycled materials that come from plastic water bottles, old nylon, and even fishing nets retrieved from the ocean. It’s important to find ways to reuse what would otherwise pollute our oceans and sit in landfills forever

In this guide, we’ve pooled together our favorite bags that utilize recycled materials in some way, shape, or form. Not every bag is made of 100 percent recycled materials, but every little bit counts. But first, ask yourself: Do you need a new backpack? If the one you have now really isn’t working out and can’t be repaired, then you might get some peace of mind with our picks below. 

Be sure to read our guides on the Best Recycled and Upcycled Products, Best Recycled Clothing, Best Reusable Products, Best Laptop Bags, and Best Camera Bags.

Updated February 2023: We’ve added Verloops’s crocheted Mini Tote as a pick, plus the North St. LTD Davis Daypack and the SLNT Faraday Tote as honorable mentions. We’ve also updated prices throughout.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.


Author: showrunner