Inspired by a United States Marine Corps. Veteran, The Bowery Pack was designed and engineered to not only sustain our homeless veterans during their time on the streets but also serves as a vessel suitable for your travel, hiking, and everyday needs. The Bowery Pack is the backpack that keeps on giving. Support this American Made, Patent-Pending Pack, built by the hands of military veterans and in turn, help thousands of homeless veterans get back on their feet.

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A backpack designed and engineered with a homeless veteran in mind yet suitable for your travel hiking and everyday needs.

The Bowery Pack Artwork. Courtesy of  Sammy Alexander

The Bowery Pack Artwork. Courtesy of Sammy Alexander

TSA Compliant Carry-On Size: 21” x 12.5” x 7”

Despite the thousands of backpacks on the market, there isn’t one that specifically caters to veterans in need. This product was designed with ample storage, durable materials and added security features to make living on the streets a bit easier for our homeless veterans. While fitted and designed for a veteran, The Bowery Pack was also specifically created to cater to all walks of life, including the urban dweller whose constantly on-the-go and the trailblazing adventurer. 


With a prototype in hand since March of 2018, and with the help of our seasoned manufacturing team, we have carefully crafted, critiqued, and made all the necessary adjustments in every stage of The Bowery Pack’s development with the hopes that this pack is the best possible version of itself. Our manufacturer has multiple years of experience in fabricating workmen’s gear, outdoor shelters, and industrial grade bags, all of which are designed to withstand against the harsh elements of the outdoors. The manufacturing facility currently operates a vast portfolio of products, handles order fulfillment and prides itself on American made quality products. 

While creating The Bowery Pack, we focused on the quality of materials & meticulously emphasized the craftsmanship and design features. Instead of adding tons of pockets & devices that can become obsolete over time (which you may never use anyway), you have the choice to customize your backpack and add accessories that fit your specific lifestyle. 



The production of this backpack will be happening on the great soil of America at a manufacturing facility called Tsuga, located in Boone, North Carolina. Our production will be operated by transitioning military, who are looking to get into the manufacturing industry. Through a training program, operated by OVAAT (One Veteran At A Time), our production will not only be providing a training opportunity but eventual full-time positions for veterans to have a hand in what will be the first ever backpack designed with a veteran in mind.

We’re most excited to share that with the expansion of our manufacturer’s facility, our team will be taking over a 1,000 square foot space designed to cater to The Bowery Pack production, quality check, and fulfillment processes. With each backpack we are providing a place for veteran employment, a sense of community and a production cycle that continues to give; to our veterans in our facility and those veterans on the streets.

The Bowery Pack Specs:

  • Patent Pending US# 62/753,669

  • TSA Compliant Carry-On Size: 21”x 12.5”x 7”

  • Lightweight & Collapsible: 3.8 lbs; 30L Body; 3L Lid

  • Detachable lid for a portable mini bag or toiletry kit

  • Overall shape of backpack supports even distribution of weight 

  • Locking cable: attach to a post with a lock to keep belongings safe (lock not included)

  • ¼ Inch Cell Foam Collapsible Sleep Mat: 61.5" x 23"

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The Story

Sgt. Brett D’Alessandro returned home from a 7-month deployment in Afghanistan to what he thought was the end of a long road. He learned very quickly that an even longer road filled with struggle and confusion lied ahead. Unfortunately, this story is all too familiar for many of our returning veterans. After a challenging deployment, Brett and those who he returned home with, were now facing the hardest part of deployment; reintegrating into their civilian lives while battling with the hidden wounds of war.

After having a face-to-face encounter with a homeless veteran on the streets of Rhode Island in the winter, something resonated with Brett. It was not just him or those he deployed with or this man on the side of the road…it was MANY veterans, nationwide, dealing with the issues of coming home and not knowing where to turn. Brett took this moment as a sign to do more and be more for his fellow servicemen and women.

Since then, Brett has devoted his life to making sure no veteran has to suffer as he did by providing them with the correct tools to recover. Some of which include coaching veterans, networking with organizations that provide resources for veterans, breaking bread with veterans, making them feel human and letting them know they aren’t alone. This is done through countless hours of personal interaction and through the physical distribution of backpacks. Backpacks represent the first line of defense, a symbol of hope and much more to the team at Backpacks For Life. Now is the time to continue our reach, spread our story and let our veterans know that they are not alone.


I have always been looking for backpack that can haul all the gear that we take with us during our medical trips. We carry everything from medical supplies, photography equipment to solar lanterns and water filters. Our organization, The Black 6 Project is a veteran led nonprofit that conducts humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions around the world. During our most recent trip to the northern highlands of Benguet, Philippines we got to test out Backpack For Life’s flagship backpack. In my backpack I carried 30 solar lanterns, 7 Sawyer water filters, 2 large boxes of chocolates to give to kids, a rain jacket, a point and shoot camera, and a few maps. The trek to the villages weren’t far from where we’d park our vehicles. The backpack was a true gear hauler. My cargo weighed in about 30 pounds. All the supplies fit easily as I chaotically dumped all the supplies through its large top opening. The fabric handled the rain well as the water beaded off. The fabric also stood strong against sharp rocks and jagged edges as we had to hand the bag up to other team members while climbing up shear cliffs. The Bowery Pack will increase our capacity and ability to bring in more supplies to remote areas. I have faith that its durable materials will protect the supplies inside. Its cargo size will also allow us to sustain ourselves should we need to stay in those areas for extended periods.”
— Joseph Zoleta, Founder of Black 6 Project
The first time that I traveled with the Bowery Pack was on a ski trip to Squaw Valley, near Lake Tahoe in California. I didn’t have a proper ski bag and needed something that was carry-on approved. This backpack truly surprised me with how much I was able to fit inside. It housed my ski boots, my entire ski wardrobe (snow pants, jacket, layers, etc..,) and even a few books! The drawstring located at the top of the bag that helps to close it is one of my favorite features because it allowed me to fill the bag and compress my belongings with one easy pull. In addition, the lid that drapes over the drawstring closing mechanism ensured that everything was secure.


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Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Where do my funds go?

Great question!  Your funds go directly towards The Bowery Pack in two ways:

Make a Donation - Every Dollar Counts! Your contribution goes directly towards production of backpacks for our homeless veterans. These backpacks are then distributed to homeless veterans through our program.

 Preorder a Backpack - Get your hands on The Bowery Pack! With each pack purchased, one is donated to a homeless veteran. When selecting from our pre-order levels, you can opt to have your OWN bag donated to a veteran as well.

2. Why am I placing a preorder?

We are taking pre-orders so that we can raise the funds to purchase the materials and components to build these packs! We hope to reach our total fundraising goal of $120,000 in 3 months so we need YOUR help to spread the word and share our mission! Your backpack will be delivered to you approximately four months after we hit our total fundraising goal. We will communicate with our supporters frequently to advise of any improvements or delays in our schedule!

3. How does a backpack get to a veteran?

The Backpacks For Life team will be distributing backpacks to homeless veterans in 3 ways:

  • In partnership with accredited government programs, 501c3 nonprofits and veteran service organizations across the country

  • At Stand Down Events which are hosted across the country as a resource & opportunity event for homeless & at risk veterans

  • Through law enforcement officers who notify us of homeless veterans that they encounter

4. Does this backpack support veterans in more than one way?

It sure does! Aside from distributing these backpacks to homeless veterans, our organization is partnering with OVAAT, a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities to transitioning military veterans. We will be manufacturing our backpack in the US where veterans will be able to get hands on, technical training and skills in the manufacturing & textile industry.

Have additional questions? Email us at

Risks and challenges

One of our main challenges is marketing (as we are a small non-profit organization ourselves) and need sufficient funds to reach our goal of manufacturing The Bowery Pack and getting them to veterans in need as soon as we possibly can. With help of experts in various fields of production and manufacturing, Backpacks For Life has produced a realistic production timeline so that we can quickly pivot and assess any small challenges we may face along the way.