Protecting Your Students and Your Tech with Clear Backpacks

In recent years, a growing number of schools have made a significant shift in their approach to student safety by opting for clear backpacks. This decision stems from a desire to create a secure environment and proactively address safety concerns within educational institutions. While this may sound like a sensible option, it can also be difficult to balance the benefits with the potential risks.

We will delve into the reasons behind the adoption of clear backpacks, as well as explore some of the downsides associated with traditional PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) backpacks.

The Rise of Clear Backpacks: A Safety Measure

  • Increased Visibility: The primary advantage of clear backpacks lies in their transparency. School administrators and security personnel can easily see the contents of each bag, allowing for swift identification of any potential threats. This increased visibility acts as a deterrent to students carrying prohibited items, such as weapons or contraband.
  • Prevention of Concealed Weapons: One of the main concerns in schools is the potential for students to carry concealed weapons. Clear backpacks provide a solution by minimizing the risk of hidden items, making it easier for school officials to identify any potential dangers before they escalate.
  • Promoting Accountability: Clear backpacks foster a sense of accountability among students. When they are aware that their belongings are visible to others, students are more likely to adhere to school rules and regulations, creating a safer and more disciplined school environment.
  • Efficient Security Screening: During routine security checks, the use of clear backpacks streamlines the process. Security personnel can quickly assess the contents of each bag, reducing the time and resources required for thorough inspections.

Downsides of Clear PVC Backpacks:

  • Privacy Concerns: While clear backpacks enhance security, they also raise privacy concerns. Students may feel uncomfortable knowing that their personal belongings are on display for everyone to see, potentially leading to a sense of vulnerability and invasion of privacy.
  • Limited Lifespan / Device Protection: Clear backpacks are often made of PVC, which can be less durable than traditional materials. PVC becomes brittle and can crack in the cold, if folded can haze (turn white) and has very little stretch. Most cases lack any padded protection, with only a thin layer of PVC between student devices and disaster.
  • Environmental Impact: PVC, the material most commonly used in clear backpacks, has raised environmental concerns due to its production process and non-biodegradable nature. Schools that prioritize sustainability may need to consider alternate materials such as TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane).
  • Health Impact: PVC off-gassing can be harmful, particularly in a closed classroom environment with 30 or more PVC cases. VOCs are released which can cause health problems ranging from eye, nose, and throat irritation to nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and memory impairments.

While clear backpacks offer a transparent solution to security concerns, it is essential to acknowledge the downsides if careful selection and recommendations are not considered during the purchase process. To address material concerns, schools should seek ROHS compliant, low off-gassing PVC or better yet, select TPU. TPU is a much more durable, flexible (stretches instead of cracks), and clear material that is not only more environmentally friendly to produce but has virtually no odor or off-gassing. It may also be recycled at the end of its useful life.

Protecting the bag's contents and tech devices is another consideration as the majority of clear cases offer no padding, with only a thin layer of PVC material between what’s inside and the ground.

Introducing the Higher Ground Safe N' Clear Backpack: Your Ultimate Solution for Student Safety & Gear Protection

Fortunately, Higher Ground Gear has a solution to address all of these concerns. Higher Ground’s Safe N’ Clear backpack is the only clear pack with patent-pending, triple-layer, expanded mesh construction that provides see-through padding along the bottom and sides to protect your gear.

While the padded welt protects your tech, Higher Ground’s materials help protect your student. Both ROHS-compliant PVC (low off-gassing and CA Prop 65 compliant) and TPU are available options depending on a school’s budget, with TPU costing only a few dollars more per case. Additionally, Higher Ground’s materials are 50% thicker than other so-called “Heavy Duty” cases, making them stronger and more durable.

For over 2 decades, Higher Ground has been providing award-winning technology protection for school devices and knows how to build gear that lasts. When clear materials are sewn, the needle creates small perforations along each stitch line, becoming potential tear points (like perforated paper). Higher Ground has addressed this by re-enforcing all critical stress points and seams with edge binding and by double wrapping webbing/straps around the seam, sandwiching the clear material in between ensuring optimal strength. Higher Ground’s straps are so strong, they resisted a loading weight of over 175lbs before any failure occurred.

Higher Ground's Safe N' Clear Backpack stands as a testament to innovation, durability, and a commitment to student well-being. It's not just any clear backpack; it's a solution that protects your students, your devices, and the environment.

In Summary

The adoption of clear backpacks in schools is a proactive step toward enhancing student safety. While they offer a transparent solution to security concerns, it is essential to acknowledge and address the potential downsides. Schools should provide clear recommendations to parents or better yet, assume control over the purchase process to reduce the chances of offending or underperforming materials entering the school environment.  Striking a balance between security measures and students' individual needs is crucial for creating a safe and supportive educational environment.

Ready to add Higher Ground Gear as your device protection solution? Fill out a request form online today or contact us at