Green Gear: Mountain Hardwear rEva

A laptop travel case made from backpack leftovers .
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A laptop travel case made from backpack leftovers .

Protect your computer and the environment at the same time with Mountain Hardwear's rEva.

When the padding for backpack shoulder straps, hipbelts and backpanels gets punched out of oversized slabs of EVA foam, even if the patterns are strategically placed for maximum efficiency and minimum waste, there are leftovers. Those leftovers normally get trucked off to a landfill where they are often burned. Mountain Hardwear is now reclaiming that waste. The company now has the waste gathered up from the factory floor and chopped into vaguely uniform pieces. They won't tell us what they do next--the next step is proprietary -- but it looks like they suck all the air out of the pieces somehow vacuum packing them into a "remolded" panel with a texture like a bunch of different kinds of dried beans mixed up inside. The remanufactured EVA is dense and protective, perfect for stashing a computer inside. Mountain Hardwear says the tech will soon appear in their backpacks, but we haven't seen it yet.

The interior, exterior, webbing and all cloth parts of the rEva are recycled polyester. It's good for the planet, good for your laptop, and good for Mountain Hardwear. The company makes packs in the same factory as Camelbak, Kelty, Black Diamond, Gregory and Arcteryx. When they pick up factory scrap, they're turning not just their own but turning others trash into their own free raw materials.

It's TSA-friendly (it can go though the scanner at airport security with a laptop inside), with a web carry handle, and D-rings for a shoulder strap (not included). In extra small, small and medium, $35-40. mountainhardwear.com.

-Berne Broudy