When Liz Haywood released her zero waste Compact Backpack, I bought it immediately as it was just what I’ve been looking for! It can be made of any material, and I particularly like Liz’s version made from men’s jeans, but I really wanted to make one from waterproof fabric to carry my swimming stuff to and from the pool when it’s raining.
This is the backpack with all my stuff in it. Just for information I have in here underwear, a towel, a hair towel, toiletries, sunscreen, a pair of fins, a pair of hand paddles, goggles and bathing cap. In the pockets I have a glasses case to hold my sunglasses so they don’t get scratched, and a wallet with my pool access card in it. The towel probably takes up the most room as I hate small, thin towels.
I love the fact that the backpack can be rolled into a compact shape for carrying in a handbag. I can see that this will accompany me on my travels – if I ever travel again!
Having fossicked all through the house for fabric I could use for this lightweight backpack, I found three different lots of suitable fabric at the local op shop, with one piece of ripstop actually being made in Australia, so can’t think how old that will be! All this fabric cost me $2 and I have loads left for more bags, or even a rain jacket.
I finished up using all secondhand or thrifted materials in this bag, including the zip, which is a funny colour but it was the perfect length and other colours I had put me in mind of a school uniform. The webbing for the straps came from a shopping bag, and the D-rings came off something that I had found at the op shop.
I missed a couple of rows of topstitching which was actually lucky because I noticed that I had a nasty pucker on one of the seams. I had to unpick quite a lot of the seam (and overlocking) to fix it, but it was worth it. I have forgotten to take an after photo and am now 300 kms away from my backpack, but trust me, it’s sorted.
I like to keep my access card in a pocket so I don’t have to go hunting at the pool, but it’s easy for the pouch to slip out, so I simply used the tie for rolling up, and threaded it through the zip. The tools in the photo are unrelated!!
The bag is really comfortable to wear as it has wide straps at the top, unlike other foldable backpacks I’ve had which have skinny straps which tend to dig into my shoulders.
I think if I were to make the bag again I would make the pockets a little deeper and also add one on the inside, but this is nitpicking as it’s pretty much perfect as it is.
The backpack uses a tiny amount of fabric. Mine was a touch wider, so this is the sum total of my scraps.
At the moment this pattern is 25% off and at $12.38 Australian, it’s an absolute bargain. This would make a perfect daypack for walks in the countryside or even for carrying the shopping home in.
10 thoughts on “Zero waste compact backpack”
I’m amazed at just how much you have packed into the backpack. It looks really good 😊
Thank you Kim, I can get it all in on the way to the pool, but not on the way back! I’m going to make another one but 10% bigger. I’ll be sure to post how it goes.
Lovely job Sue, and I’m thrilled you used all second hand or thrifted materials.
Thank you Liz. I have another one cut out, also from second hand materials. I can see a few of these in my life…
This is a amazing backpack and that is a lot of stuff in it.
Thank you Sharon, I can get it all in on the way to the pool, but can’t fit it all in on the way home, so a bigger one is in order!
It’s such a great pattern isn’t it Sue! I love yours (especially the zip 😍) I’ve made a couple now, planning many more 😅
I’m making a bigger one – I increased the size to 110% so I can get my wet swimming things in. They take more room apparently!
That’s great! I’ve been tinkering with the pockets! It’s so adaptable!