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Rugged Canvas Backpacks & Travel Rucksacks

Our rugged waxed canvas backpacks are made to stand the test of time and nature. With great attention to quality, we have crafted waxed canvas backpacks and rucksacks inspired by vintage military design and function. 

What is the difference between canvas backpacks and waxed canvas backpacks?

The thick cotton weave of canvas backpacks is extremely durable and tear-resistant, and caring for canvas backpacks is also fairly straightforward. Many canvas products can be thrown into the washing machine (check the label for directions on that!) or can be easily scrubbed with soap and water.  

Waxed canvas backpacks take all the best features of plain canvas backpacks and add some valuable features. Waxed canvas is actually used to make not only backpacks, but also tents, outdoor gear, and so much more. The wax coating amps up the wind resistance, repels water, and even ages beautifully. 

The aging of waxed canvas is actually more comparable to a high-quality leather than regular unwaxed canvas. Waxed canvas backpacks look and feel better the more you use them, even developing a fine patina over time. 

One important note: you definitely cannot machine wash waxed canvas backpacks. This may seem like a negative, but remember: because of the wax coating, scuffs and marks will actually add to the character of the backpack rather than making it look dirty, so, you won’t need to clean it very often anyway. 

How DO you clean waxed canvas backpacks?

One of the main advantages of investing in a waxed canvas backpack or rucksack is its durability. Simply put, it will not require regular cleaning like unwaxed canvas backpacks typically do. But when it is time for a cleaning, here are some tips:


  • Use a brush to lightly scrub away dirt or dried mud.    
  • Before using any soap, try plain (cold) water.  
  • If soap is needed, use a small amount of mild soap with cold water.   
  • Rinse, and allow the canvas to air dry.


  • Machine wash   
  • Machine dry   
  • Use warm or hot water   
  • Use detergent
  • Dry clean   

(Using any of the above methods will break down the wax coating, compromising the finish and water resistance of your backpack.)

As you may have noticed, you need to avoid heat when cleaning waxed canvas. But you don’t have to be worried about using your backpack in the heat. Waxed canvas backpacks are fine on a hike in the hot sun, but you may notice the material softening. This is not a concern, and the canvas will return to normal when it’s back at room temperature. But, on that note, take care to not leave your waxed canvas bag in your hot car all summer long.

Over time, you may find your backpack’s wax coating beginning to thin, or notice spots where the waterproofing has broken down. You can restore your bag by re-waxing it. This is a simple process which only requires a bar or tin of wax and a hair dryer to help soften the wax when applying. You can find details on how to re-wax canvas backpacks here.