8 Backpack Line Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Start A Backpack Line

There is a demand for backpacks all year round, which increases during the camping season. As an entrepreneurial backpack company founder, you oversee design to bring functional style to an essential travel item.

Focus on creating versatile, durable, and comfortable backpacks suited for the daily commuter as well as outdoor adventurers by focusing on innovations in straps, padding, compartments, and lightweight but weatherproof materials.

Promote customized and made-to-order services to stand out while developing a direct-to-consumer model.

Whether aiming to outfit students, professionals, or travelers seeking hands-free convenience, building a backpack line from scratch aligns savvy business sense with a passion for accessories that organize and transport daily essentials.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a backpack line:

1. Tortuga ($3.6M/year)

Fred Perrotta, co-founder and CEO of Tortuga, came up with the idea for their business during a backpacking trip to Eastern Europe in 2009. Frustrated with the lack of suitable travel backpacks on the market, Fred and his friend Jeremy decided to create their own. Despite initial challenges in design and manufacturing, they persisted and eventually launched their flagship product, the Outbreaker Backpack, which has become a top recommendation in the industry.

How much they make: $3.6M/year
Current team size: 9

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How We Started A $300K/Month Business Selling Carry On Travel Backpacks

How Tortuga bootstrapped their way to seven figures in revenue, by solving a problem for travelers with their carry-on sized travel backpacks, after overcoming challenges in design, manufacturing, and advertising.

About
Fred started Tortuga almost 14 years ago
Revenue
Fred grew the business to $300K/month
Read by 11,791 founders

2. Gobi Gear ($240K/year)

Chez, the founder of Gobi Gear, came up with the idea for her business while preparing for a trip through Asia. Wanting to stay organized while collecting botanical specimens, Chez created a divided stuff sack to pack her gear efficiently. After receiving positive feedback from other trekkers, she decided to turn her idea into a business and launched Gobi Gear.

How much they make: $240K/year
Current team size: 1

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Starting A Travel Backpack Business And Growing To $20K/Month

Gobi Gear's founder, Chez, designed a unique organizational bag for her trek through Asia, and now, 4 years later, the company sells ultralight outdoor gear and is expanding to an everyday lifestyle line, having raised over $80k on Kickstarter, partnered with 1% For the Planet, and garnered support from major media outlets like Men's Journal and the Chicago Tribune.

About
Chez started Gobi Gear over 9 years ago
Revenue
Chez grew the business to $20K/month
Read by 9,931 founders

So... can you actually make money with a backpack line?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

3. Adventurist Backpack Co. ($300K/year)

Kelly Belknap and Matilda Sandstrom, founders of Adventurist Backpack Co., came up with the idea for their business while traveling between North America and Europe. They wanted to design a fashionable, high-quality, and affordable backpack that would blend the styles of Sweden and Colorado. Additionally, they wanted to integrate giving back as a key pillar of their business model, which led them to provide 25 meals to families in need for every backpack sold. Since launching 22 months ago, they have been able to provide nearly 100,000 meals and sell their backpacks in Urban Outfitters and eBags.com.

How much they make: $300K/year
How much did it cost to start: $7K
Current team size: 0

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How This Husband-Wife Duo Started A Backpack Brand That Gives Back

Adventurist Backpack Co has co-founders that have provided nearly 100,000 meals to families in need, which is done through their business partner, Feeding America, and have had their backpacks sold in Urban Outfitters, eBags.com, and over 50 universities and retailers across the US, bootstrapping their business from the beginning.

About
Kelly started Adventurist Backpack Co. over 6 years ago
Revenue
Kelly grew the business to $25K/month
Costs
It cost Kelly $7000 to start the business
Read by 7,317 founders

4. Lunchbox ($660K/year)

Tom Worcester, founder of Lunchbox, came up with the idea for his business after experiencing the top issues facing festival attendees - theft, security bag restrictions, and long water lines. He and his team developed the Lunchbox, an anti-theft festival hydration pack made of coated ballistic nylon with an inward-facing zipper system, faster refill capabilities, and insulated compartments. Since launching in April 2018 and completing a successful Kickstarter campaign, Lunchbox now generates $36k in monthly revenue and continues to attract customers through direct sales and event presence.

How much they make: $660K/year
Current team size: 7

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Inventing An Anti-Theft Bag For Music Festival Goers

Lunchbox, an anti-theft festival hydration pack, was created to solve the top issues facing festival attendees and has since reached $36k in monthly revenue after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

About
Tom started Lunchbox almost 6 years ago
Revenue
Tom grew the business to $55K/month
Read by 4,987 founders

So... can you actually make money with a backpack line?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

5. TRVL MORE ($19.2M/year)

Raj Mahal, founder of PlanMoreTrips, came up with the idea for his AI travel app after founding his previous company, TRVL MORE, and gaining expertise in the travel industry. His deep knowledge of frequent flyer miles from his travel blog allowed him to monetize his content through affiliate revenue, and he later enrolled in a coding boot camp to develop the skills needed to create his own app. Despite facing setbacks with his previous startup, Raj's passion for travel and desire to inspire others led him to launch PlanMoreTrips and continue his entrepreneurial journey.

How much they make: $19.2M/year
How much did it cost to start: $500
Current team size: 10

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How I Bootstrapped My Travel Gear Company To $20M In Annual Sales While Travelling The World

This case study follows the entrepreneurial journey of Raj Mahal, the founder of PlanMoreTrips and TRVL MORE, who bootstrapped TRVL MORE from $0 to $20,000,000 in annual sales and eventually launched PlanMoreTrips, an AI travel app that saves users money on flights and hotels.

About
Raj started TRVL MORE about 9 years ago
Revenue
Raj grew the business to $1.6M/month
Costs
It cost Raj $500 to start the business
Read by 1,674 founders