About IVAR

Before founding IVAR, I observed how traditional backpacks let your cargo fall to a disorganized mess at the bottom with all the weight focused on your lower back. As a solution, I developed the IVAR-LIFT design — an internal backpack structure offering perfect organization, weight distribution, and ergonomic comfort.

Today, IVAR is sold throughout a network of specialty retailers and our website. We remain an independent company based in San Francisco. IVAR has also given back over the years. Since our start, we've donated over 2,000 IVAR backpacks (over $120,000 in product) to in-need youths primarily in Africa.

Much gratitude — Ian Ivarson, Founder


IVAR is a family owned, San Francisco brand with an uncompromising focus on innovation, design, and product quality.

Since its founding in 2006, IVAR has developed a reputation for backpack innovation and incredible quality. With the patented IVAR-LIFT internal design, IVAR is the only backpack offering a truly unique internal structure for organization, weight distribution, and comfort. Family owned, the brand maintains a commitment to quality over profits, and has been recognized by customers and retailer partners for the durability of its backpacks.

IVAR is based in San Francisco and is managed by a small network of product passionate professionals.

Ian and Kristin Ivarson

Help Me Decide

Which IVAR Backpack is Best for Me?

Differences in Size.

All the current 2017 IVAR backpacks are virtually the same size with the exception of the Urban 20 model. The Urban 20 is 17" tall by 11" wide whereas the other models are approximately 19" tall by 12" to 13" wide. We consider the larger bags "standard day-pack" sized backpacks. The Urban 20 is considered a slightly smaller — yet a great size — backpack.

Which Size is Best for Me? — Size Guide

Our backpacks fit everyone, generally speaking. However, we like to make the following recommendations:

If your height is 5' 7" or taller, we recommend any of the current 2017 IVAR backpack models. Your choice will come down to styling, design, and colors offered — and size. The Urban 20 model is slightly smaller (17" tall by 11" wide) where as the other IVAR models are approximately the same size (19" tall by 12" to 13" wide). If your height is 5' 6" or shorter, we recommend the Urban 20 model. It's our slightly smaller backpack at 17" tall by 11" wide and would fit a body that's 5' 6" or shorter best. For adult women, we recommend the Urban 20 because, generally, it is the most appropriate backpack size for a woman's body. That said, if you don't mind a larger backpack that's 19" tall by 13" wide, one of the other backpack models would also work! For adult men, all the current 2017 IVAR backpacks would fit. As mentioned above, your choice will come down to styling, design, and colors offered — and size.

For smaller children, we recommend the smaller Urban 20 for the reasons expressed above. The Urban 20 fits a smaller body much more appropriately.

Best Choice for Everyday Urban Commuting.

Any of our backpacks would work! Your choice comes down to colors, styles, and size. Please the "Size Guide" above for our recommendations.

Best Choice for Travel.

For travel, you may want more capacity to carry your cargo. As such, we would recommend any of our backpacks. Take in mind that the Urban 20 model is the slightly smaller backpack option, yet still has great capacity. If you are carrying a lot of stuff, we would recommend one of the other models, however.

Best Choice for School or University.

Any of our backpacks would work! Your choice comes down to colors, styles, and size. Please the "Size Guide" above for our recommendations.