Backpack manufactures are constantly changing the way they source and produce their products, making it a challenge for parents to figure out what is and is not safe. When it comes to safer backpacks for kids the main thing to avoid is PVC, but other nasty chemicals to avoid include phthalates, BPA and lead (with lead the best option is to choose lead free or lead safe).
A thing to note about making selections when it comes to supplies and gear for kids. Choosing a product is tough sometimes, and while I only list products that the companies claim to be PVC, Lead and Phthalate free – it is a matter of trust too. Some companies hide behind a broad “meets the standards” statement and other sing it loud and proud that they are completely free of toxins and have ethical practices. It’s up to us as consumers to put our money where we think it’s best deserved.
I always wonder why I have to go digging within a company hotline or live chat to find out that the product is safe from lead or PVC. If it is like they say, why not boast it right in the product description page like the small businesses that take care to avoid those things for us? Why make it so hard for us to find out? In cases of the bigger vendors I noticed that the customer service reps were a little non-chalant about their answers.. “Yeah sure it’s free of all that stuff” or in some cases they’d tell me yes they were free of lead, phthalates, etc but couldn’t cough up any solid information about 3rd party testing. So keep that in mind when making selections.
Some things should be seen as an investment. I’m on a budget too but you can be budget conscious while supporting the companies that really care.
Backpacks Free from PVC, Phthalates, Lead and BPA.
- Beatrix New York
- LL Bean
- Zippee Backpacks
- Dabbawalla Backpacks
- Dwell Studios Backpacks
- EcoGear Backpacks
Backpacks Free from PVC, Phthalates, BPA and lead safe
The following are companies that provided a bit of a “murky” definition of what is and is not used to produce their backpacks, but all of the below are PVC free.
- Lands End (We would like to reassure you that the Lands’ End lunch boxes and back packs are not made with PVC. In addition, we have an independent lab that tests our lunch boxes, backpacks, and diaper bags and they confirm that our product not only meets, but also exceeds all safety requirements for lead. Because lead is a naturally occurring element, we are not able to guarantee that any of our lunch boxes is 100% lead free, but there were no detectable levels of lead in them. We test all water bottles, insulated containers and plastic containers for BPA. All lunch box liners and trim is tested and meets the United States federal safety standards for phthalates.)
- Garnet Hill (Garnet Hill’s backpacks are PVC Free and BPA, phthalate and lead safe.)
- High Sierra (All items advertised via HighSierra.com are BPA and PVC free with very low lead (levels)).
- Jansport (Thank you for contacting JanSport. Our company made a decision some years ago to change all of our products to PVC free. You can rest assured that our product will not contain traces of it. As Far as BPA, phtalates and lead there is not a 100% guarantee that our packs would not have any traces in them.)
- Hanna Anderson (Thank you for taking the time to e-mail us today. All Hanna backpacks and back pack products meet or exceed the “safe for children” CPSIA (Children?s Product Safety Improvement Act) limits for lead, phthalates and BPA. All are PVC free except the rolling bag.)
Looking for safer Lunch Gear options? SafeMama Lunch Gear Cheat Sheet to the rescue.