How To Make A Backpack Easily Outlive Its Lifespan

Have you ever made use of a backpack that did not last longer than you expected it to? One of the most reoccurring complaints I have heard about bags is that they are not able to last for a very long time. Would you be willing to learn some ways that you can actually make use of to enable your backpack to outlive its normal lifespan?

Picture of a backpack on a wooden bench

If your answer is yes then trust me when I tell you that you have definitely landed on the right page because I am going to reveal to you some methods you can use to make your backpack last longer. The idea to create this post came to mind when I wrote on some luxury backpacks for men.

While creating that post I came across some specific instructions on how to maintain some really expensive leather backpacks which can actually make it last longer.

We buy a backpack, it stays at most a year and then that’s it. Sometimes some people are not even lucky and their backpack ends up giving way before a year.

When this happens what next? Do you put your hands into your wallets and make another purchase or do you try fixing it yourself?

The picture of a lady thinking

If you decide to make another purchase that is totally up to you but at least try to fix the backpack yourself.

If you are not able to then you can decide to purchase a new backpack the choice is really yours.

If you decide on fixing the backpack yourself you can check out a post I created on how to repair a backpack it would be helpful to you.

Do you think it is really possible to make a backpack last longer? If you are in doubt then read on as I show you some ways that you can actually use to make a backpack last for a long time.

Go For Quality Not For Cheap

First of, let me just get this out of the way. If you intend on buying a new backpack, one of the best ways to guarantee your backpack to last for a long time is buying a quality backpack.

A lady wearing a high quality backpack

Most of the time, quality is always attributed to been expensive. This means that we always believe that expensive items are of very high quality.

Although this is not always true, most of the time it usually is. I created a post that deliberated on expensive backpacks and if they are really worth it.

You should try to read it as I tried to explain why it might actually be worth investing in an expensive backpack.

This is not a myth as it has been proven that most expensive backpacks are of high quality which inevitably leads to the backpack lasting for a very long time.

I see people talking about why they cannot bring out $100 and above to purchase a backpack.

While you can also find good quality backpacks for less than $100, if you really want your backpack to last longer then you would have to pay well for it.

We have no problem investing more than $200 in the new yeezys or even on phones and we end up changing these things on a regular basis.

Some of them we use for at most two years and then we abandon it and move on to another expensive shoe or phone or other items.

But why are we so afraid to invest in a quality backpack that we can use for a very long time. I really don’t understand this because it is baffling to me.

Do we actually prefer buying backpacks on a regular basis or do we consider it as an item that is not so useful?

Backpacks are not as they once were. They are now been used as an accessory.

Backpacks are now even been created to look stylish for women and men and even recently high tech backpacks are been created.

With all these do we still actually think the prices of backpacks would remain very low?

You get what you pay for. If you want your backpack to last then pay for a backpack that is slightly pricey.

We are not saying that you need to break the bank to get a good backpack but still you don’t need to buy a cheap backpack just because you plan on saving money.

Most of the time you really do get what you pay for so my advice to you on a way to make your backpack last longer is to buy a backpack with really good quality and if possible go for a slightly pricey backpack.

You don’t expect a backpack of $20 and that of $250 to be of the same quality now, do you?

In this case, penny wise pound foolish should be the other way round. It should be pound wise penny foolish. You should be ready to buy backpacks frequently if prioritize cheap over quality.

Make Your Purchases From a Reputable Brand

Some brands are known to produce quality backpacks, that’s just how it is. They have been around for a long time and know quality over quantity is important.

Putting their customer’s satisfaction first before their own profits is what they really care about.

There are some brands that are just coming up that have some really quality products and it is OK to go with them after making sure you have done research on the quality of their products.

There are review sites that review products where you can find mentions of reputable brands.

Also, there are forums and discussion boards where such topics are talked about.

You need to make sure to do your research before buying your bag as that is one of the ways you can go for a company that produces quality bags which can in return make your backpack last for a very long time.

Most of the backpacks I review on this blog are from Amazon and I really like using Amazon because most of the products sold on their site have reviews written by others where you can be able to find out if a product has good quality.

From places like Amazon you are able to get the names of some really good brands producing backpacks and you can learn about the backpacks they produce by reading through the reviews of other previous customers.

I have made use of this medium several times and I have been able to find out some really good brands producing some really good backpacks.

You can also do these things so you can get a brand that produces backpacks that last long.

Avoid Overpacking Your Backpack

Sometimes, we feel we can only be pleased if we can actually fit our houses into our backpacks. If we are not able to do that then we would just not be contended.

I remember the movie Mary Poppins whereby she is able to put almost everything into her bag.

I have a picture of that somewhere on this website. To check it out you can click here. Just scroll down the page that opens and you would be able to see what I mean. It is a really old movie and I think they just recently re-made it.

Anyway, in that particular scene if you have checked out the picture she was able to put almost anything she wanted into her bag and it never gets filled up.

For some of us, if our backpacks are not like the bag of Mary Poppins we just cannot be satisfied. We want to put so much into our backpack that if possible we would put every single thing we own into it. While this is not good for your health it is also not good for your backpack.

An overpacked backpack

It is not like a backpack made of complete metal or iron has been created that can be able to take a lot without breaking down and I seriously doubt we would be able to carry a metal backpack unless we all have our own personal robots to assist us.

When we overpack our backpacks on a regular basis it can actually end up damaging the zip lines of the backpack and if the backpack is heavy it can end up also damaging the backpack.

Some really high-quality backpacks might be able to withstand these but it can end up giving way in the near future.

If you expect your backpack to last long and you are in the habit of overpacking then you are definitely on your way to experiencing your backpack live a very short lifespan.

So my advice to you on a way to make your backpack last long is to try to make sure we don’t overpack our bags. This is for our own health and for prolonging the length of the lifespan of our packs.

You Really Don’t Need To Over Use Your Bag

You bought two shoes $100 each with the same quality and out of 7 days in a week you wear one of the shoes 6 times and you wear the other one ones a week.

Let me ask you a simple question, which out of these two shoes do you think would last longer?

Is it the one you wear 6 times or the one you wear ones a week? 99% of the time the one you wear ones would definitely last longer than the one you wear 6 times.

It is pretty simple. If you want your backpack to last longer then don’t overuse it. It is as simple as that which is why I always encourage people to have more than one backpack.

I have a shoe that actually cost a lot and another shoe that doesn’t cost as much. I wear the shoe that does not cost much more than the one that actually cost a lot.

Out of those two shoes the one that still looks as if I just bought it is the one that actually cost a lot.

I wear it but not as often as I wear the other shoe that doesn’t cost much. Though the shoe that does not cost much still looks OK, it is beginning to show signs of wearing out. Putting quality aside, what is one of the reasons you think this is happening?

One of the reasons is that I have obviously overused it and the moment you start to overuse any time it must definitely start to show that it is been overused and this can lead to cutting the lifespan of that particular item short.

I would mention this again, you don’t have to have only one backpack. There is nothing wrong in having more than one backpack so you can alternate them to make sure they don’t become overused which can lead to them lasting longer.

Give your backpack some breathing space to actually rest. You don’t need to make use of it every day. Some backpacks especially those that are expensive comes with protective pouches.

You can use these to store the backpack when it is not in use to keep it fresh and also give it that fresh new backpack feel.

Get A Backpack With A Warranty

I consider this a way to make a backpack last longer although some people might not and I would explain why I do. Most of the time a lot of brands promise that their products are of great quality.

We end up purchasing some of these products and they turn out not been of the quality we expected.

This in turn makes the bag give way before we even properly make use of it.

For some of these brands to back up their claims of great quality they always attach a warranty period to any of their purchased products.

If I bought a backpack and it does not live up to my expectations and ends up getting damaged without my doing then you can be rest assured that I would return the backpack and claim my warranty for a new backpack.

Getting a new backpack to me has increased the lifespan of my backpack because I did not make that purchase. It was actually used to replace my previous backpack and there is a high chance that I would get a backpack with even better quality.

Some brands even offer backpacks with lifetime warranties which is just amazing and some of them replace your backpack for you no questions asked.

        –>Click Here For Brands Producing Backpacks With Lifetime Warranties<–

Even if my backpack is not replaced and they fix it instead I think it is still a win for me because I won’t have to purchase a new backpack which would end up costing me money.

Why Not Try Fixing Your Backpack

One of the ways to make you bag last longer is to actually get it fixed if it experiences an issue.

You don’t have to be thinking of buying a new backpack every time your pack becomes torn or if the straps come off or the zippers or any other issue that may develop.

You can either get it professionally fixed or you fix it your self.

                    –>Click Here To Learn How To Fix Your Backpack Yourself<–

If you click the link above you would be able to get some methods on how you can fix some of the issues of a backpack.

If you are not able to find any solution peculiar to your backpack you can always do a google search or even video search to know how you can fix your pack.

You don’t need to spend money to get a new backpack every time your bag becomes damaged. Get creative and try to fix your backpack.

Picture showing a thread, a needle, a measuring tape and a timble

If you feel it is not a job for you then try to get it professionally done or you can even return it to the brand of the backpack and they would fix it for you either free or you would have to pay a small fee.

This is definitely one way to make your backpack last longer and it is something I have personally done to my own backpack.

A lot of us don’t have a lot of money in our bank accounts so it is not advisable to buy a pack on a regular basis especially those that are expensive.

Please note that if your backpack is really expensive I would not advise you try to fix it yourself. I would advise you send it back to the brand of the backpack so they can get it fixed for you.

Don’t make use of anyone else outside the trained teams of a brand. Most of them designed these backpacks so they should know exactly how to fix it.

Maintain Your Backpack The Right Way

How do you actually maintain your backpack? Do you hand wash, use a washing machine, a clean cloth, do you brush your bag?

Not knowing how to actually maintain our bags can end up reducing the lifespan of the bag. Why on earth would you use a washing machine to wash a leather backpack or why deep it into water to hand wash it.

                     –>Click Here To Learn How To Wash A Backpack<–

Doing these can actually lead to your backpack not been able to last long. I am glad some newly purchased backpacks come with care instructions that show you how to take care of the pack.

Unfortunately, this is most common with expensive backpacks.

Expensive backpacks due to the money spent in purchasing them mostly come with care instructions on how to maintain your backpack and if they don’t you should be able to find some of them on the product page of that backpack on the official website of the brand.

Please, it is imperative that you follow the care instructions of the bag so you know exactly what to do when you decide to clean or wash your backpack.

Using a brush on some packs can scrub off the color of the bag so before you do this you should be sure that it is the right thing to do so you don’t have a backpack with washed off color.

I have experienced this because of using a brush on my backpack and trust me when I tell you that it was definitely not a good idea.

It actually made me abandon the backpack and had to switch to another backpack.

The way you maintain a leather backpack is not the way you maintain a canvas or nylon backpack or even a mesh backpack.

Before you decide to maintain your backpack please do some research so you know what to do because the lifespan of your backpack can depend on this.

Also, know that it is not a must to regularly wash your pack as this can actually make the fabric of your backpack become weak which can lead to the backpack getting torn rather easily.

How About Raincovers

I have actually stopped making use of a backpack I owned because it was drenched under rainfall. Drops of rain don’t actually bounce off all the backpacks out there and some of them can actually get drenched to the point that it drips water.

A guy with a slightly wet backpack

If your bag becomes very wet and you don’t air dry it, your backpack can end up having a really bad smell that can take weeks before becoming normal.

This has made some people to actually abandon their backpacks especially those in areas where there is constant rainfall.

So how can you avoid this? My answer is through rain covers. Some backpacks actually come with rain covers such as this Kopack anti-theft backpack.

So what you do is whenever rain is falling or about to fall and you don’t want your backpack to become wet you just take out the rain cover and use it to cover the backpack.

This would prevent both the items in your backpack and your backpack itself from becoming wet. This can be of huge help and can make your backpack not to suffer from the impact of water.

I do not advise that you regularly sun dry your backpack as this can degrade the fabric of the backpack.

In Summary…

Making your backpack last longer is actually not rocket science. Following some simple rules can make you enjoy your money’s worth from your backpack.

There are several other rules that were not listed here that might still be of great importance on making your backpack last longer.

If you follow the methods listed in this post your backpack would live long to your satisfaction. Just a reminder on some of the rules or methods you need to employ to make your backpack last longer.

  • Make sure you buy quality backpacks and don’t go for cheap.
  • Buy backpacks from reputable brands.
  • Do not overpack or overuse your backpack.
  • Buy backpacks with warranties and if your backpack gets damaged consider having it fixed before deciding to purchase a new one.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to care for your backpack and try to use rain covers for your backpack.

To wrap this up I would repeat what I said earlier on. In this case of making your backpack last very long, it is better to go for the saying pounds wise penny foolish.

Get yourself a good quality backpack even if it is a bit pricey and maintain it the right way so it lasts for a very long time.

As usual, I would love to hear from my awesome readers. What do you think about this post? How long has your backpack actually lasted and what are some of the methods you employ to make it live a long life? I would really love to know so please live your replies in the comments section below.

27 comments on “How To Make A Backpack Easily Outlive Its Lifespan

  1. I agree that you get what you pay for in most cases, and if you do buy an expensive backpack and it breaks in a short period of time, I would take it back and lay a complaint.

    I think the biggest reason that backpacks give in so quickly is that people overpack them and also make them too heavy. I find my daughters school backpack often needs the straps fixed due to this reason. They are also prone to splitting if you try to force them closed.

    In a lot of cases, the backpack can be fixed and this option is certainly a better one than rushing off to buy a new one.

    1. Thank you Michel for your comment. We don’t always have to purchase a new backpack anytime our bags become damaged. We can always fix it and should only go for a new backpack when it is unfixable. 

      Making a backpack too heavy is really one of the reasons why they give way so easily because some of our backpacks might not be built to withstand heavy loads.

      We also need to try and make sure our kids don’t carry heavy backpacks as it can be bad for their health.

  2. Hi Manuel,

    Thanks for the great advice! I have gone through many backpacks. I usually use them in the gym or at jiu-jitsu so they take a beating. Maybe I’m just rougher on them than the average person, I don’t know. I really think these are going to help me with my current backpack. Particularly the part about not overloading it because I tend do to that a lot. Thanks again! I will definitely pass this on to others.

  3. Hello,

    I am a fan of repairing and maintaining most things in order for them to last longer, in this throwaway age it’s great to read an article that advocates care and maintenance of an everyday item. Backpacks get a lot of use, wear and tear are inevitable but this post explains how they can be made to last a lot longer.

    I agree too with quality over quantity.

    1. Thats right Louise, we don’t always have to throw away our backpacks whenever they start showing signs of wear and tear. We can always try and fix them to prolong their lifespans.

  4. Great info on backpacks. I personally use my packs for years. Because of that I was unaware of the smart packs! I think that is an awesome idea. Did you review a smartpack?

    I would really like to see what you think the best smart pack is. Do you have any recommendations as to where I can buy a smart pack?

    1. Hey Dennis thanks for your comment. I wrote about smart backpacks and why I think they are awesome. You can check that out by clicking here and here. Also, I have reviewed several smart backpacks and I picked some I think you would really appreciate. To see these please click here

  5. Yep, I can keep my eyes closed for pricey tags as long as I know it would last in my hands. When my husband was promoted and along with the promotion was the frequent travels, I knew he needed a handy room for most of his personal stuff during trips. I did not hesitate to grab that branded backpack which really excels in the durability department. And guess what? He’s still using it for more than five years now! It has indeed stood the test of time.

    1. I like that because that is one thing a lot of people just don’t do and are actually afraid to do. They just don’t want to spend on a quality backpack and forget that quality definitely beats quantity. I talked about why buying expensive backpacks can be a good idea in a recent post I published and I think it would be of benefit to a lot of people that are skeptical about buying quality backpacks that are a bit pricey.

  6. The Publisher of this article had really done justice to the topic.It is the joy of everyone to buy items especially backpacks and it long to our satisfaction and expectations, but the question is that are they ready to pay for the quality one that lasts longer?A rational human being will always want to pay less, for more/quality goods, but quality goods attracts more pay. Yes, am a victim of this act, when I bought a backpack during my first degree, in which I follow the saying, penny wise pound foolish, which eventually dissapoint me. Maintenance of a backpacks is also important, avoiding overpacking which may makes it to worn out, the method of washing it, buy backpacks with warranties and also from a reputatable brands. And heed to this corrected saying, pound wise penny foolish. Thanks.

    1. There are a lot of ways that we can actually use to maintain our backpacks to increase its lifespan. By following some of the advice in this post we would be truly amazed at how long our bags can actually last

  7. There are some bags that I have bought in the past that I used close to 4 years +, one thing I think spoil backpacks quickly these days is water, especially during washing. That is the reason I go for the ones I don’t need to wash or if at all I want to wash it I use my hands to do that. I have tried using a washing machine in the past and it was a disaster.

    1. Depending on the type of backpack you own would determine if it should be hand washed or washed with a washing machine. Some backpacks are not fond of water and can only be maintained by using a slightly wet cloth to wipe their surface. Knowing the type of material a backpack was made of would enable you to know how it should be maintained.

  8. Hello Manuel, am a fan of backpack, I love putting every of my things inside. Wear and tear of material things is inevitable but this article has showed us ways to maintain a backpack. I repair every of my damage things.  How do I get a good lasting backpack at affordable rate? Thanks for this information, good write. Best regards 

    1. There are several ways to know if a backpack is of good quality. Very high-quality backpacks are usually a bit pricey and if you buy a backpack online the best way to know if it is of good quality is by reading the reviews of others that have already made use of it. It is easier spotting good quality when you can actually feel and touch the backpack. Also, knowing the materials used in making the backpack is also a good way to tell if it is of quality.

  9. Hi, I do a lot of traveling and use backpacks a lot.  I consider a backpack an ideal companion Where I can easily put a few things needed for my journey. I got a backpack two years ago and was disappointed that I had to buy another one in less than a year. I really appreciate this post. The one I’m using now has a year warranty, and I have been using it for over 18 months. it is more expensive compared to the one that lasted less than a year. 

    1. Thanks Tolu for your comment. I do emphasize in some of my posts that a backpack that is slightly expensive would most of the time last longer than a backpack is very cheap. It is as plain and simple as that. You hardly find quality products that are cheap. Sometimes we just have to spend more if we want our backpacks to last for a long time.

  10. I have been backpacking for most of my life using the Boulder 65 series pack and fully agree with you that if you buy cheap, then dont expect it to last. While boulder build a pack that is not going to damage easy, being overly careless or rough with it will always negatively effect the lifespan.

    Proper care, maintenance and yes, repairs will always been necessary in my view to maintain the pack in optimum condition. One key feature for me is the anti-tear cross-weave fabric that in my view is an essential component when I purchase a pack.


    1. Well said Richard, one should not expect a bag to actually last for a long time if it is actually cheap. When a backpack is of high quality and is maintained the right way it can actually last longer than expected.

  11. Backpacks are really good only if you purchase the original. I have one, and i have been using it for quite some time now, I can attest to that, it’s good. Thumbs up, at least people will see the need and importance to have one, not just any backpack but the right one.

  12. Purchasing low quality backpack really doesn’t last long. During the moment we think we are going to save some money, but practically it is topsy turvy. The another frequent cause about shortening the life of our backpack is over packing. Sometimes I did it myself… Above all these things what I really don’t like is it getting wet. so I always try to save my backpack from rain. Thank you Manual for your tips on making longer lifespan of our backpacks.Have a nice day.Rgpratap.

  13. I found that backpacks are good at carrying all types of things. One mistake that I’ve found to increase the wear and tear of my backpacks is to overstuff it causing the plastic zippers to bend and thus prevent the zipper to interlock properly. That would eventually render my backpack totally useless causing me to have to purchase a new one too soon.

    1. Thanks Craig for your comment. Overstuffing a backpack is definitely not adviced as it can actually lead to the zippers of the backpack getting damaged. I always try to avoid this as much as I can as I know if I continuously do it I would have to bring out my credit card to get another backbag.

  14. Hello,

    Thank you so much for your useful information. Buy quaility not cheap is good advice. Only 3 months ago ı bought a backpack , firstly ı was happy to find it cheap but now there is lost of quality issue. Repair cost make it more and more expensive. So I suggest yo guys here buy for quaility . 

    My learning point that I am not rich to buy cheaper (non quality) product … 

    Have a great day all!

    1. Thank you Gokhan for your comment. Buying quality backpacks that might be a bit pricey would definitely pay off in the long haul as it would be able to last longer than when you purchase a product that is cheap and of low quality.

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