Choosing the Best Sustainable Luggage for Conscious Travelers in 2023

TL;DR: Choosing the Best Sustainable Luggage for Conscious Travelers. In an era where eco-consciousness dominates purchasing decisions, sustainable luggage stands out as a pivotal choice for travelers. This guide dives into the best sustainable luggage brands of 2023, focusing on eco-friendly materials and practices.

a man walking with sustainable luggage across the airport.

Intro

Sustainable travel bags & general eco luggage are undeniably important when it comes to future purchases for your next holiday.

As someone who travels around Europe often, I tried to ensure my travel companion (in most cases just a suitcase or duffel bag) is sustainable – i.e. made out of plastic water bottles or ist a completely ‘carbon neutral suitcase‘.

Where brands are trying to become more eco-conscious, the demand for products that align with these values, even in the realm of travel, grows exponentially.

But here’s the twist: What if you could embark on your journeys with luggage made from recycled materials, miles away from the environmental impact of traditional suitcases? Enter the best sustainable luggage brands of 2023.

It’s not just about reducing your carbon footprint; it’s about traveling with purpose, knowing that your choices are contributing to a healthier planet.

Imagine the peace of mind you’d have, knowing your suitcase is made from upcycled ocean-bound plastic or recycled polyester. With the rise of sustainable luggage brands, your travel gear can now reflect your eco-friendly values.

In this guide to eco friendly luggage, I’ll be looking at hand luggage, duffel bags & check-in suitcases.

Top Picks:

Best Overall Check-In Luggage: Horizn Studios Circle One
One of the best eco friendly suitcases in the luggage industry

Best Duffel Bag: The North Face Duffel Bag
The perfect sustainable weekender bag!

Best Hand Luggage: Solgard Carry On
Among the sustainable weekend bags, this one definitely stands out with it’s built in shelving system.

The Entire List of Eco-Friendly Luggage Brands:

Horizn Studios – Suitcase & Carry-On

Photo Credit to: Horizn Studios

Overview:

Horizn Studios is a German-engineered sustainable luggage brand that offers a range of eco-friendly luggage options.

Their luggage is made from sustainable materials and features recycled zippers, eco-friendly materials, and a lifetime guarantee.

The Circle One is Horizn’s most sustainable luggage option, made from BioX, a fully biodegradable material that uses flax suspended in resin paired with seed and nutshell-infused handles.

This check-in luggage is truly the definition of ‘sustainable luxury luggage’.

Horizn Studios also gives back to the environment through partnerships with their local Brooklyn Bridge Park and EcoHealth Alliance.

The Most Eco-Friendly Luggage Item:

The Circle One

What Other Eco-Friendly Products Do They Offer:

  • The H-series is crafted from recycled PET Plastic bottles.
  • It comes with TSA-approved locks.
  • The H5 Cabin Luggage is suitable for carry-on.
  • Made from aerospace-grade polycarbonate hard shell.
  • Features a water-resistant vegan pocket that fits up to a 15-inch laptop.

Key Benefits:

  • Recycled zippers
  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • BioX material used in Circle One is fully biodegradable
  • Magnesium telescope handle is removable
  • Plenty of storage in a protective, hard shell with integrated mesh luggage dividers

Sustainable Commitments:

Horizn Studios’ office and store are powered by green energy, and they subsidize bike rentals and public transportation for their staff. They also give back to the environment through partnerships with their local Brooklyn Bridge Park and EcoHealth Alliance. However, there is no information available on any carbon commitments made by Horizn Studios as a company.

Material:

Horizn Studios’ most sustainable luggage option,the Circle One, is made from BioX, a fully biodegradable material that uses flax suspended in resin paired with seed and nutshell-infused handles.

All parts of the Circle One are fully biodegradable except for the removable magnesium telescope handle.

Pricing:

The Circle One is priced at $550

Pros:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Recycled zippers
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • BioX material used in Circle One is fully biodegradable
  • Magnesium telescope handle is removable
  • Plenty of storage in a protective, hard shell with integrated mesh luggage dividers

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to other luggage brands

Paravel – Suitcase & Carry-On

Photo Credit to: Paravel

Overview:

Paravel is all about sustainable suitcases that offers a range of eco-friendly luggage, bags, and travel accessories.

The brand was launched in 2016 by co-founders Andy Krantz and Indre Rockefeller with sustainability in mind.

The Most Eco-Friendly Luggage Item:

An all-around great sustainable travel brand! All of their suitcases

The below points are relevant to both the carry-on and check-in

Key Benefits:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Eco-friendly designs
  • Thoroughly vetted and certified materials
  • Range of luggage, bags, and travel accessories to choose from

Sustainable Commitments:

Paravel is a purpose-driven company that is working every day to catalyze change across the industry and create a net positive impact on the environment.

Material:

Paravel uses recycled and upcycled materials that are thoroughly vetted and certified by industry accountability stalwarts Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Global Recycled Standard, and Cleaner.

Pricing:

Paravel’s luggage and travel accessories range in price from $500 to $650.

  • Carry On: $510
  • Carry On Plus: $545
  • Grand Checked Luggage: $610

Pros:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Eco-friendly designs
  • Thoroughly vetted and certified materials
  • Range of luggage, bags, and travel accessories to choose from

Cons:

  • On the pricier side.

What Other Eco-Friendly Products Do They Offer:

Paravel offers a range of eco-friendly luggage, bags, and travel accessories, including:

  • Totes
  • Packing cubes
  • Passport cases
  • Foldable backpacks

Lo & Sons – Duffle Bag

Photo Credit to: Lo & Sons

Overview:

Lo & Sons is a sustainable luggage brand that offers a range of eco-friendly luggage, bags, and travel accessories. The brand was launched in 2010 by mother-son duo, Helen and Jan Lo, with the aim of creating stylish and functional travel bags that are also sustainable.

The Most Eco-Friendly Luggage Item:

There is no specific luggage item from Lo & Sons that is marketed as the most eco-friendly.

However, all of their products are made from sustainable materials, making them eco-friendly.

In this case we will be looking at their ‘weekenders’

Key Benefits:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Stylish and functional designs
  • Range of luggage, bags, and travel accessories to choose from

Sustainable Commitments:

They use sustainable materials in all of their products and are transparent about their supply chain and production processes.

Material:

Lo & Sons uses sustainable materials in all of their products, including recycled nylon, organic cotton, and eco-friendly leather alternatives.

Pricing:

Lo & Sons’ luggage and travel accessories range in price from $50 to $400.

Their weekenders are specifically between $129 – $135

Pros:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Stylish and functional designs
  • Range of luggage, bags, and travel accessories to choose from

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to other luggage brands

What Other Eco-Friendly Products Do They Offer:

Lo & Sons offers a range of eco-friendly luggage, bags, and travel accessories, including:

  • Duffel bags
  • Totes
  • Backpacks
  • Crossbody bags

Solgaard – Suitcase & Carry-On

Photo Credit to: Solgaard

Overview:

Solgaard is a sustainable luggage brand that offers a range of eco-friendly luggage, bags, and travel accessories. The brand was launched in 2016 by founder and CEO, Adrian Solgaard, with the aim of creating stylish and functional travel bags that are also sustainable.

The Most Eco-Friendly Luggage Item:

There is no specific luggage item from Solgaard that is marketed as the most eco-friendly. However, all of their products are made from sustainable materials, making them eco-friendly.

In this case we are looking at the carry-on closet and check-in closet

Key Benefits:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Stylish and functional designs
  • Range of luggage, bags, and travel accessories to choose from

Sustainable Commitments:

Solgaard is committed to sustainability and ethical practices.

They use sustainable eco-conscious materials in all of their products and are transparent about their supply chain and production processes.

Solgaard also partners with Plastic Bank to help reduce ocean plastic and support local communities.

Material:

Solgaard uses sustainable materials in all of their products, including recycled plastic and recycled aluminum.

Pricing:

Their carry-on closet is priced at: $345

and check-in closetis priced at: $395

Pros:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Stylish and functional designs
  • Range of luggage, bags, and travel accessories to choose from

Cons:

  • Some customers have reported issues with the durability of the zippers

What Other Eco-Friendly Products Do They Offer:

Solgaard offers a range of eco-friendly luggage, bags, and travel accessories, including:

  • Luggage
  • Backpacks
  • Totes
  • Packing cubes

United by Blue – Duffle Bag

Photo Credit to: United By Blue

Overview:

United by Blue is an outdoor lifestyle brand that offers sustainable clothing, bags, and home goods.

The brand was launched out of a desire to make a real, tangible impact on the oceans and the team pledges to remove one pound of trash from the ocean for every product sold.

The Most Eco-Friendly Luggage Item:

All of their products are made from sustainable materials, making them eco-friendly.

In this case we will focus on the duffle bags

Key Benefits:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Stylish and functional designs
  • Range of bags and travel accessories to choose from
  • One pound of trash removed from the ocean for every product sold

Sustainable Commitments:

United by Blue is committed to sustainability and ethical practices.

They use sustainable materials in all of their products and pledge to remove one pound of trash from the ocean for every product sold.

Material:

100% recycled polyester

Pricing:

United by Blue’s Duffel bags range from $78 to $148.

Pros:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Stylish and functional designs
  • Range of bags and travel accessories to choose from
  • One pound of trash removed from the ocean for every product sold

Cons:

  • No specific duffel bag options available

What Other Eco-Friendly Products Do They Offer:

United by Blue offers a range of eco-friendly bags and travel accessories, including:

  • Backpacks
  • Totes
  • Crossbody bags
  • Dopp kits

Anchal – Duffle Bag

Photo Credit to: Anchal

Overview:

Anchal is a sustainable brand that offers a range of eco-friendly bags and travel accessories.

The brand was launched in 2010 by sisters Colleen and Maggie Clines with the aim of creating stylish and functional travel bags that are also sustainable.

The Most Eco-Friendly Luggage Item:

All of their products are made from sustainable materials, making them eco-friendly.

In this case we will focus on their weekend travel bags

Key Benefits:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Stylish and functional designs

Sustainable Commitments:

Anchal is committed to sustainability and ethical practices.

They use sustainable materials in all of their products and work with artisan partners in India to provide fair wages and safe working conditions.

Material:

Anchal uses sustainable materials in all of their products, including organic cotton, recycled polyester, and eco-friendly leather alternatives.

Pricing:

Anchal’s bags and travel accessories range in price from $20 to $400.

Pros:

  • Sustainable materials
  • Stylish and functional designs
  • GOTS & Fair Trade Certified
  • Range of bags and travel accessories to choose from

Cons:

  • No other travel bag options

What Other Eco-Friendly Products Do They Offer:

Anchal offers a range of eco-friendly bags and travel accessories, including:

  • Totes
  • Backpacks
  • Crossbody bags
  • Clutches

The North Face – Duffle Bag

Photo Credit to: The North Face

Overview:

The North Face is a popular outdoor brand that offers a range of luggage and duffel bags.

The brand was launched in 1966 and has since become a go-to for functional and practical backpacks and outdoor gear.

The Most Eco-Friendly Luggage Item:

In this case, we will be taking the Duffel Bags into consideration

The brand has been making efforts to create more sustainable products, including using recycled materials in some of their products.

In this case the duffle bags are made out of 100% Recycled Material

Key Benefits:

  • Functional and practical designs
  • Range of different colors and sizes
  • Some products made from recycled materials
  • Includes compression straps

Sustainable Commitments:

The North Face has made some efforts to create more sustainable products, including using recycled materials in some of their products.

They also offer a lifetime warranty on their products, encouraging customers to repair rather than replace.

Material:

The North Face uses a range of materials in their luggage and duffel bags, including recycled polyester and nylon.

Pricing:

The North Face’s luggage and duffel bags range in price from $99 to $185.

Pros:

  • Made with 100% recycled body and boot materials
  • Sizes range from 31L to 150L Several color options
  • Extremely rugged and waterproof

Cons:

  • Limited information available on the sustainability of their products

What Other Eco-Friendly Products Do They Offer:

The North Face offers a range of eco-friendly outdoor gear, including:

  • Jackets
  • Pants
  • Shoes
  • Backpacks

Patagonia – Duffle Bag

Photo Credit to: Patagonia

Overview:

Patagonia is a renowned brand known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

While they offer a range of products, their duffel and travel bags are particularly popular among travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The brand emphasizes durability, functionality, and eco-friendliness in its designs.

The Most Eco-Friendly Luggage Item:

Patagonia is known for its commitment to sustainability, so many of their products are designed with eco-friendliness in mind.

In this case we are taking the duffel bags into consideration

Key Benefits:

  • Durable designs suitable for various travel needs.
  • Commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
  • Wide range of sizes: from 26L to 100L
  • They also have rolling bags

Sustainable Commitments:

Patagonia is deeply committed to environmental responsibility. They often use recycled materials in their products and have various initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainability.

Material:

 100% postconsumer recycled polyester 

Pricing:

$159 – $419

Pros:

  • Strong commitment to sustainability.
  • Recycled lining
  • Durable and functional designs.
  • Wide variety of options for different travel needs.

Cons:

  • A little bit on the pricier side

What Other Eco-Friendly Products Do They Offer:

Patagonia offers a wide range of eco-friendly products, including clothing, backpacks, and other travel accessories. Their commitment to sustainability is evident across their product range.

What Is Sustainable Luggage?

Sustainable luggage represents a paradigm shift in the travel industry, focusing on eco-conscious choices that have a minimal impact on our planet. At its essence, sustainable luggage is all about the materials.

Whether it’s a suitcase made from recycled poly, a sustainable suitcase that integrates negative nylon, or recycled luggage crafted from recycled single-use plastic, the focus is on repurposing and reducing waste. It’s not just about combating plastic waste; it’s about transforming it into quality luggage that travelers can rely on.

But materials alone don’t define sustainable luggage. Certifications play a pivotal role.

The most sustainable luggage brands often hold certifications verifying their commitment to environmental standards. From using vegan leather details to manufacturing eco-friendly luggage sets, certifications ensure that brands adhere to established sustainability benchmarks such as GOTS, OEKE-TEX, and Fair Trade.

Moreover, sustainable brands go beyond just product creation. They adopt a forward-thinking sustainability model, ensuring practices that range from manufactured ethically to supporting the Fair Trade Federation.

Whether you’re choosing a functional, sustainable travel bag or an eco-friendly weekend bag, understanding its origin, the materials used, and the certifications it holds is the key to making a responsible choice.

How Can Sustainable Luggage Benefit You?

Traveling with sustainable luggage isn’t just a nod to the environment; it’s an embrace of a lifestyle that prioritizes ethical consumption and environmental responsibility. First and foremost, sustainable luggage is often more durable. Brands committed to sustainability usually invest in quality luggage materials that withstand the test of time. This means fewer replacements and repairs, saving you money in the long run.

Moreover, sustainable luggage is a statement. Every time you travel with eco-friendly travel bags, you’re showcasing your commitment to the environment, making you part of a global community that values responsible choices. Additionally, many of the most sustainable luggage brands incorporate innovative features, such as removable compartments or vegan leather details, that enhance functionality and style.

Buyers Guide: How I Conducted My Research

  1. Materials Investigation: I delved deep into the specifics of the materials used in each luggage piece, prioritizing those crafted from sustainable sources or recycled components.
  2. Certification Scrutiny: I searched for recognized sustainability certifications, ensuring each recommended brand meets global eco-friendly standards.
  3. User Reviews Analysis: This played a large role in this article! Looking over what customers have already said and keeping a particular eye out for feedback on durability, design, and overall satisfaction.
  4. Wear and Tear Assessment: I evaluated the longevity of each luggage piece, considering factors like resistance to scratches, water, and general durability over time.
  5. Usability Evaluation: The functionality of each product was assessed from a personal perspective, focusing on aspects like storage capacity, accessibility, weight, and ease of transport.

While I didn’t purchase every single product on this list, I’ve had hands-on experience with several, ensuring my recommendations are grounded in both research and real-world testing.

Overall Summary:

Horizn Studios – Suitcase & Carry-On

  • Product Type: Suitcase & Carry-On
  • Best Feature: Made from BioX, a fully biodegradable material with sustainability features such as recycled zippers and eco-friendly materials.
  • Drawback: Higher price point compared to other luggage brands.
  • Price: The Circle One is priced at $550.

Paravel – Suitcase & Carry-On

  • Product Type: Suitcase & Carry-On
  • Best Feature: Uses recycled and upcycled materials that are thoroughly vetted and certified.
  • Drawback: On the pricier side.
  • Price: Carry-on ranges from $510 to $610.

Lo & Sons – Duffle Bag

  • Product Type: Duffle Bag (Weekenders)
  • Best Feature: Combines stylish and functional designs with sustainable materials.
  • Drawback: Higher price point compared to other luggage brands.
  • Price: Weekenders range between $129 – $135.

Solgaard – Suitcase & Carry-On

  • Product Type: Suitcase & Carry-On
  • Best Feature: Combines stylish and functional designs with sustainable materials.
  • Drawback: Some customers reported issues with the durability of the zippers.
  • Price: The carry-on closet is priced at $345, and the check-in closet is priced at $395.

United by Blue – Duffle Bag

  • Product Type: Duffle Bag
  • Best Feature: For every product sold, one pound of trash is removed from the ocean.
  • Drawback: No specific duffle bag options available.
  • Price: Duffel bags range from $78 to $148.

Anchal – Duffle Bag

  • Product Type: Duffle Bag (Weekend Travel Bags)
  • Best Feature: Uses sustainable materials, including organic cotton and recycled polyester.
  • Drawback: No other travel bag options available.
  • Price: Bags and travel accessories range in price from $20 to $400.

The North Face – Duffle Bag

  • Product Type: Duffle Bag
  • Best Feature: Duffle bags are made out of 100% Recycled Material.
  • Drawback: Limited information is available on the sustainability of their products.
  • Price: Duffel bags range in price from $99 to $129.

Patagonia – Duffle Bag

  • Product Type: Duffle Bag
  • Best Feature: Strong commitment to sustainability with products made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester.
  • Drawback: A little bit on the pricier side.
  • Price: Duffle bags range from $159 to $419.

Conclusion

As you can tell from the overall summary, when it comes to choosing sustainable luggage, there’s definitely an added cost.

Whether you’re looking at extremely functional sustainable travel bags from Solgaard or environmentally friendly luggage for weekend getaways, it is important to understand eco-friendly doesn’t always mean high quality – which is why particularly chose these brands so that you don’t need to watch out for this.