Backpack Statistics [2024]: Consumer, Product & Growth Data

As more people are buying backpacks for a variety of uses, the industry is becoming more competitive, with brands vying for market share.

A few brands, like JanSport, have become household names, but many smaller startups are beginning to make serious inroads in the market.

Here are the key backpack brand statistics from our research.

Top Backpack Brands by Google Search Volume

One way to compare the top backpack brands is by search volume. While this isn’t a perfect metric for revenue or number of backpacks sold, it is an accurate way to gauge the interest and brand awareness in a particular brand.

I did in-depth Google search analysis to find the brands with the highest search volume on Google. Because many of the brands sell more products than just backpacks (like Nike, for whom backpacks are merely an accessory product), I used search terms that include the word “backpack” or “backpacks” (whichever ranked higher).

The table below shows the top 20 backpack brands rated by Google search volume.

Top Backpack Brands by Search Volume

Brand

Monthly Search Volume
1 Jansport

191000

2

Nike 90000
3 The North Face

83000

4

Lululemon 52000
5 Herschel

40000

6

Patagonia 35000
7 Osprey

34000

8

Carhartt 33000
9 Tumi

29000

10

Adidas 27000
11 Gucci

18000

12

Ogio 18000
13 Fjallraven

17000

14

Cotopaxi 15000
15 High Sierra

15000

16

REI 10000
17 NOMATIC

9800

18

Timbuk2 8000

19

Dakine

8000

20 Beis

7000

Interestingly, of the top 10 brands by search volume, only 3 specialize specifically in backpacks. Many of the top brands are apparel companies that have built out backpack product lines (Nike, Lululemon, and Adidas).

Within this top 20 list, there is a wide range of travel, urban, and outdoor brands.

The undisputed leader of the pack is JanSport, which has more than double the search volume of Nike backpacks in second place. This makes sense if you’ve spent much time in a school or college campus and paid attention to the backpack brands. That little JanSport patch is everywhere.

Top Backpack Brands by Category

Backpacks can be divided into three broad categories: everyday backpacks (which includes school, laptop, and commuting bags), travel backpacks, and outdoor backpacks. The table below shows the five most popular brands in each category.

Everyday Travel Outdoor
1 JanSport Tumi

The North Face

2

Nike Cotopaxi Patagonia
3 The North Face Nomatic

Osprey

4

Lululemon Timbuk2 Fjallraven
5 Herschel Beis

Cotopaxi

Note that The North Face appears in both the everyday and outdoor backpack lists. While The North Face originally started as an outdoor gear company, it has broadened its product range to include a variety of daily carry backpacks for school, commuting, travel, and laptop carry. This brought the brand more into the mainstream.

It’s also worth noticing that JanSport and The North Face are both owned by the same parent company: VF, which also controls Timberland and Eastpak. Between its varied brands, VF accounts for 55% of backpack sales in the US, according to the New York Times.

Backpack Brand Factory Locations

I analyzed 82 of the world’s most popular backpack brands to find their factory locations and see how backpack manufacturing is distributed around the globe. Some brands own a single factory and perform all product assembly under one roof. Others contract out to dozens or even hundreds of factories around the world to make their products.

The chart below shows the percentage of brands that rely on factories in each region.

% of Brands by Factory Location

Asia-Pacific

82.9%

North America

28.0%
Europe

13.4%

South America

4.9%
Africa

1.2%

Unsurprisingly, Asia has the highest concentration of backpack manufacturing by far, with 82.9% of brands using manufacturing facilities in Asian countries. China, Vietnam, and the Philippines account for the majority of backpack manufacturing in Asia.

28% of brands have some manufacturing in the United States, while only 9.8% manufacture exclusively in the US. For many of these brands (like GORUCK and Hyperlite Mountain Gear), “made in the USA” is one of their major marketing claims.


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