DENVER — No matter what you’re doing or where you're going, a good backpack is essential in Colorado.
You’re in good company, too, because a local startup is making backpacks that give back, so your adventure will always carry with it a greater impact.
Kelly Belknap and Matilda Sandstrom have traveled the world together, and each morning before their journey, they would pack meals into their bags.
“Whenever we saw anyone that was in need, we would take these meals that were packed into our backpacks, and hand them out to anyone who needed,” said Belknap, who co-founded Adventurist Backpack Company with Sandstrom.
Those random acts of kindness became the inspiration for their Colorado business. Now, Adventurist Backpack straps goodwill to your shoulders anywhere you go.
With every purchase of one of their backpacks, the company donates 25 meals to those in need.
Their goal this year is to donate 250,000 meals.
“If we started a business, we wanted to give back,” Belknap said. “We didn't just want to make a great product. We also wanted to help our community and our country in a bigger way.”
The backpacks themselves are made for any occasion.
They are minimalist by design, built with all-weather material, and they fit conveniently under the seat of an airplane.
“We always wanted something that you could take from exploring during the day, straight to if you're going out to the bars at night,” Sandstrom said. “Or if you're going hiking, or that you could use when you get back from your travels.”
Starting the company right out of college, Belknap and Sandstrom also saw a need for an affordable backpack.
So, each of their three size offerings cost less than $100.
“We knew that you could still make a high-quality backpack and sell it for less than $100,” Belknap said. “So we wanted to do that for anyone like us who needed a backpack for their travels, or school, or work, or whatever.”
So no matter where life takes you, Adventurist Backpack is there to hold all your gear and harness a big heart at the same time.
“Companies should be held to a social and environmental accountability,” Belknap said. “And as entrepreneurs, we should be giving back and helping solve problems.”
Adventurist Backpacks are available through their website and urbanoutfitters.com.
They’re also available in bookstores at about 12 different college campuses, including Colorado State University in Fort Collins.