Whether your next trip takes you to another continent or just the town next door, you’ll want the right carry-on bag for the job. We’ve picked four of the best choices that combine functionality with eco-friendly construction. And remember, materials and manufacturing are only half of what makes a travel bag environmentally friendly. A durable and versatile design is “green”, since it means luggage will last and won’t need to be replaced anytime soon.
Patagonia MLC Wheelie Carry-On Bag
Patagonia’s MLC (Maximum Legal Carry-On) wheeled bag combines a whole host of nifty features into a sleek package. The 1,200-denier shell fabric is made from 100% recycled polyester (plastic bottles, scrap fabric, and even worn-out clothing), and features a water-resistant coating to help keep your stuff safe. Inside, three zippered pockets organize your belongings, and a separate pocket holds a laptop (up to 17″ size). Exterior pockets include a fleece-lined sunglass slot, and hidden backpack straps add even more versatility to this bag.
Patagonia MLC Wheelie stats:
Dimensions: 22″ x 14″ x 9″
Weight: 5 lbs 14 oz
The Patagonia MLC Wheelie is available for $229 from Amazon.
Mountainsmith ReDura Approach 35 Carry-On/Backpack
Since 2007, Mountainsmith has been steadily increasing the use of recycled materials in their products, and a third of their line now uses ReDura recycled fabric. The super-versatile, expedition-ready Approach 35 is constructed of 450d recycled PET cloth(that’s roughly 18 plastic bottles that can be carrying your stuff instead of sitting in a landfill). The Approach 35 is compact enough to be FAA-approved for airline carry-on use, while its expandable size, suspension frame, and top-panel access let the bag do double duty as a legitimate trail backpack.
Mountainsmith Approach 35 stats:
Dimensions 23.25” x 9.5” x 11.75” 59 x 24 x 30 cm
Volume: 2135 cu in (38 L)
Extended Volume: 2868 cu in (47 L)
Weight: 3 lbs 4 oz
You can find the Mountainsmith Approach 35 at Amazon for $93.99.
Sherpani Meridian Ultralight Wheeled Carry-On Bag
Sherpani is another company committed to using recycled source materials, and the Meridian Ultralight bag is constructed of 67% recycled PET fabric (colored with non-toxic dyes) and 30% recycled aluminum hardware. The stylish duffel-style bag is sleek enough to carry on a plane, but skate-style wheels and the retractable handle make heavy loads easy to handle. Reinforced construction and a skid plate on the bottom add durability, and the internal mesh divider helps keep contents organized.
Sherpani Meridian Ultralight stats:
Dimensions: 22″ x 14″ x 9″
Volume: 3650 cu in
Weight: 7 lbs 2 oz
The Sherpani Meridian Ultralight Wheeled Carry-On is available for $199.95 at Amazon.
Traveler’s Choice Eco-Traveler Hemp Carry-On Luggage Set
This two-piece carry-on luggage set is constructed of 100% hemp canvas, which is an extremely durable and earth-friendly fiber. The foam padding and interior lining are PVC free, and recessed wheels and corner protectors add durability to the main bag. The large main compartment is expandable for oversize loads, and the side handles are cushioned for comfort. Two front pockets, a shoe pocket, and a zipper mesh lid keep things organized within. Finally, the smaller 10″ tote bag is perfect for use around town or keeping essential items handy while traveling.
Traveler’s Choice Eco-Traveler stats:
Dimensions: 8″ x 21″ x 14″
Weight: 9 pounds
Traveler’s Choice Eco-Traveler Hemp Luggage Set, $99 at Amazon.