Now is the season when backpacks are on everyone’s mind. Of course, students are getting into back-to-school mode all the way from preschool through graduate school. More than that, as the world gradually reopens for business, more and more of us are carrying our work documents, laptops, and supplies in backpacks. A great many of us have focused in on pure hemp backpacks, and rightly so. In this article, we’re going to list 10 of the best hemp backpacks available. For good measure, we’re going to explain why hemp fabric and backpacks make such a great combination.
The history of hemp in the United States is an amazing story, one you want to hear since it’s an ongoing saga of which you’re a part. The backstory of backpacks is intriguing as well. We’ll share this information along the way as we deal with important details about why hemp is so eco-friendly. First, let’s talk about some of the best available hemp backpacks.
Four Best Hemp Backpacks
There are many excellent hemp backpacks to choose from. Here are four of the very best Himalayan bags we selected for you to examine. Note as we begin that all these backpacks sport a very affordable price.
1. Himalayan Group Multi-Pocket Pure Hemp Backpack
This backpack grows softer with use, giving extra comfort without a decrease in durability. The interior pockets are lined with soft cotton. The hemp backpack comes with a unisex hemp hippie decal and is available in different sizes. This is a fair-trade product
This bag is ideal for office work as well as outdoor backpacking. It’s made from top quality hemp and has a carry handle and a zipper front pouch closure. It has a unisex design and is hand-made so that no two of these bags are identical.
The Eco-Friendly hemp backpack is intended for the workplace, school, travel, or outdoor activities. It bears the ASATRE logo and inside the bag has the Hemp leaf and 100% Hemp logos as well. It has a padded center compartment and a side pocket large enough to accommodate an umbrella.
4. 100% Natural Hemp Canvas Backpack
They make this backpack from canvas hemp, meaning it is especially rugged. It has multicolored panels trimmed in natural colored hemp. The interior is lined with heavy-duty cotton. Intentionally produced as an alternative to plastic and leather backpacks, it has a 100% wild hemp exterior.
The History of Hemp in America
For 77 years, the United States cut itself off from one of the most versatile, economically viable, environmentally useful plants ever cultivated. Now, however, hemp is making a comeback. Throughout recorded history, going back to ancient China through the era of the Scandinavian Vikings up through the American Revolution, hemp was the go-to crop. It became swaddling clothes for infants and shrouds for the dead. Like many other seafaring peoples, the Vikings made sails from hemp. The word canvas comes from the root word for cannabis: both hemp and marijuana emerged from the Cannabis Sativa species, only they were cultivated for very different purposes.
From the very beginning of European settlements in North America, the British monarchy decree that hemp be grown in the colonies to provide ropes and sails for the British Navy. The first American flags were hemp and hemp was a major cash crop. The American affection for and use of hemp came to a crashing halt in 1937 with the passage of The Marijuana Tax Act, which slowly strangled the production of hemp in the US. Apparently, legal authorities had a hard time telling the difference between marijuana and hemp, so Congress just outlawed both.
The absurdity of hemp being declared illegal was pointed out continually over the 75 years that followed. Beginning in 2014, Congress allowed nine states the privilege of cultivating hemp. Hemp is still not a legally cultivated plant in some American states, though it continues to make inroads. Perhaps one day, every American state will have the same rights they all enjoyed in 1936: to grow hemp.
A Hemp Backpack—The Natural Choice
While hemp weathered its pointless ostracization in the US, another quiet trend took over. It started on the West Coast in the early 1970s when students at the University of Washington began to carry their books to class. Not in their hands or strapped together, but in a redesigned backpack. Made of nylon, it was significantly smaller and lighter than the heavy canvas backpacks used by hikers. This device allowed individuals to carry essentials on their backs while their hands remained free. Over the next decade, the backpack became a revolutionary carrying instrument. By 1980, throughout the US, the back-to-school supply list for elementary children included a backpack.
In the 40 years after it became a default requirement for students at all levels, the use and design of backpacks grew exponentially. Because of the wide-ranging uses, materials, and designs, inevitably the new wave of carrying devices encountered the timeless hemp fabric. The hemp backpack came into being.
What About Laptop Backpacks?
You are out of luck if you try to find a student-sized laptop or computer tablet for sale these days. Laptops aren’t just for the business elite anymore. With distance group learning apps and the online posting of assignments and reports, laptops are at a premium. Transporting them safely is also a great concern. With this in mind, here is our list of three of the very best hemp laptop backpacks. Of course, they all have side pockets as well. Just remember to keep your water bottle closed when you’re packing your computer.
Three Best Hemp Laptop Backpacks
Many of these Nepalese hemp backpacks are designed specifically to carry laptop computers. Here are three of the best we’ve found in a side-to-side comparison, after which we’ll fill in some details:
This vividly colored, over-sized hemp backpack is designed to furnish safe transport for your laptop while offering extra storage capacity. Meant for outdoor use at festivals and on hikes, this bag is THC free and is a fair-trade product. Because each bag is handwoven, no two will be exactly alike.
6. 100% Pure Hemp Natural Color Backpack
This hemp backpack is made with padded back support and has two mesh pockets on the exterior sides for water bottles. It is made for school, office, or outdoor use. The backpack was manufactured in Kathmandu at the Nepal Hemp House.
7. Himalayan Group All-Natural Hand-Made Multi-Pocket Pure Hemp
This is a large unisex backpack designed to carry a laptop and additional tech devices. A fair-trade product, this bag is will become softer with use without sacrificing durability. It is rugged enough for extensive outdoor use as well.
Are Hemp Backpacks Environmentally Friendly?
It’s estimated that around 25,000 products made of various synthetic could be manufactured from hemp instead, including hemp bags. There are many reasons for using hemp rather than other organic, and non-organic substances are eco-friendly. Indeed, merely growing hemp is good for the environment. Hemp stores proportionally vast amounts of carbon in its leaves and roots from the atmosphere as it grows. For this reason, hemp is a “carbon negative” plant. Research shows that switching from wheat to hemp returns about half a ton per acre or more of carbon to the soil through its root system. Hemp uses that carbon to become a marvellously fibrous, versatile material with countless uses. Unlike other substances that transform into plastics, hemp is 100% biodegradable.
Hemp Has a Multitude of Uses As Well as Backpacks
Apart from hemp bags, hemp is already used in an astonishing number of products. Indeed, you likely have been using hemp products without realizing it. Do you drive a Mercedes? How about a Volkswagen? For that matter, virtually every major car manufacturer in the world uses hemp resin in the construction of their vehicles, in no small measure because producing hemp is less expensive.
While manufacturers of large consumer goods like automobiles are interested in hemp because it can save them money, they are inadvertently doing good things for the planet. Hemp is eco-friendly because it grows in tightly bunched clusters that are weed and pest resistant, meaning you don’t have to use fertilizer or pesticides to promote its growth. It returns about two-thirds of the nutrients it uses to grow back into the soil. While some fabric manufacturers use non-organic techniques to turn hemp into a usable fabric, hemp works very well with plant-based dyes and chemical-free production processes.
Hemp backpacks, like other hemp fabric products, are not just eco-friendly, but human friendly. Hemp fabric is a soft, breathable material that is hypoallergenic and thus can be worn by those with sensitive skin. It’s unlikely to fall apart or tear on you either. Hemp fiber has eight times the tensile strength of cotton fiber. The feel of the fabric varies according to its weave, but wearers usually compare the feel of it to flannel. That does not mean it is strictly a cool weather wearable because its breathability makes it comfortable even in the heat of summer.
Three Best Small Hemp Backpacks
Not everyone needs to lug around a backpack. Small hemp backpacks are a new niche. They are cleverly appointed, and each is so unique you’ll know that it’s one-of-a-kind. Some women have begun to use them in place of purses. Here are our selections for the three best small hemp backpacks:
This mini backpack sports an elephant print design. It is fully lined and offers a fantastic range of storage compartments. It has a high-quality jam-proof zipper on its main compartment. The bag is intended for travel, school, or day trips.
This unisex mini backpack has a dream catcher decal. It is THC free, unique, rugged, and attractive. It features natural hemp coloring along with brightly colored panels. It’s intended for back-to-school use as well as for casual service, and travel.
10. Unique Tie-dye Mini Hemp Backpack
This is a double-stitched, hand-made, THC free mini backpack. It has a hidden anti-theft pocket as well as multiple storage pouches of different sizes. It can be hand washed or machine washed in cold water.
Where are Hemp Backpacks Made?
The short answer to this question is Nepal and specifically the Himalayan region of that nation. It’s pretty much universally agreed that the Nepalese backpack is state of the art globally. The Nepalese people have grown hemp and used it to make clothing and other fabrics for thousands of years. The backpack is a more recent addition to the traditional mix of hemp products, which includes clothing, carrying cases, slippers, duffle bags, jewelry, and hats.
Hemp backpacks from Nepal are made from plants cultivated specifically for that purpose. The fabric used in making backpacks, clothing, and other wearables is UV and mold resistant; it is antibacterial—hemp actually kills staph germs—and moisture-wicking. In Nepal, seamstresses have been making clothing and carrying bags from hemp for thousands of years. Turning the fabric into backpacks is a more recent development.
Perhaps the very recent legalization of hemp production in the US is the reason there are yet to be any American manufacturers of hemp backpacks. In the meantime, the standard for quality and beauty in hemp backpacks belongs to the Nepalese.
The story of the hemp backpack is the story of two emerging trends that came together synergistically and brought some real functionality, quality, and beauty into a niche of products that people everywhere use every day. Whether you are a student, an office worker, a hiker, or just someone who has better things to do with your hands that hold your gear, you can find a hemp backpack that’s perfect for you.
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