Frequently Asked Questions


Believe it or not, the development of IVAR and our IVAR-LIFT Design began in the late 1990s by Ian Ivarson and his family. The concept and mission has remained the same — an internal, tiered file-like structure, offering superior carrying comfort, weight distribution, and perfect organization. The design is patented.

IVAR’s first backpack model began shipping to customers and retailer partners in July 2006 from an office space in San Anselmo, California, just 20 minutes north of San Francisco. Today, our warehouse is in Vacaville, California, and the brand itself is managed by a small network of professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. At one point over the years, the brand reached a distributional height of over 300 retail doors throughout the world. Today, IVAR sells primarily online and through some existing retailer partners.

We are a privately owned, family company. Our passion lies in great product, design, and performance. Lastly, yet certainly not least, we’ve given back in a significant way. Since our founding, we’ve donated over 2,000 backpacks (over $120,000 in value) to in-need youths primarily in Africa.

Learn more at Our Story and The Backpack Reinvented. Thank you for your interest.

Please navigate to our Help me Decide page. We’ve put a lot of thought and detail into this guide and your answer should be there. You can always Contact Us should you need more help. Nonetheless, our product line is fairly simple and we’re confident there’s one (or more) IVAR backpacks with your name on it!

Order directly from us or from a retailer partner. Please go to our Shop page to view all our current backpacks. If you have any questions about the products, please view our Help me Decide page.

Once you’ve placed your order from our website, we will work to ship the order as soon as possible. Your order is generally packed up within one business day, yet may take up to two or three business days. We’ll let you know if there’s a delay.

After we’ve packed and shipped your order, within 24 hours of shipping, our system will send you a shipping confirmation email complete with a tracking number. We ship using UPS or the United States Postal Service. Your shipping confirmation email will tell you who the carrier is. Any UPS or USPS shipments may be tracked directly from their appropriate websites — and

We’re here to help. If you’re having an issue tracking your package or any sort of problem, please email us through our Contact Us page and we will help you immediately. More may be learned on our Shipping page.

We have a page dedicated to our Quality Guarantee. Please check it out.

Shipping. We ship to the continental USA for free via Standard Ground. Wow, how about that!?! Domestically, we also offer $15 expedited (2—3 day) and $50 overnight options. Internationally, we are beginning to ship to more locations as requests pile up. All information on shipping can be found on our Shipping page.

Returns. Rarely do we hear about a dissatisfied customer, however, we accept returns within 14 days of receiving your order. So, check out your order as soon as you get it! See our Returns page.

Cleaning your backpack. Use a towel, soap, and warm water to wash your backpack. While we can’t recommend it, some customers have reported the successful washing of their backpacks in their clothes washer. We can’t recommend this for liability reasons and because one customer said their clothes washer “ripped” the shoulder strap off their backpack. Nonetheless, proceed at your own risk. If you use your clothes washer, empty the backpack completely, keep all pocket zippers open, and wash on cold. Do not dry in your dryer. Hang dry. Again, if you use your clothes washer to clean your backpack, proceed at your own risk.

We don’t repair backpacks. The cost of shipping the product back and forth, labor, and materials is too high. If your backpack has a simple tear, we suggest you locate a local luggage repair shop. This is the most economical option. Search Luggage Repair in Google and call the local results.

Giving back is part of our mission. Since 2006, we’ve given over 2,000 backpacks to in-need youths primarily in Africa. The value of our donated product exceeds $120,000. All donations are of high-quality IVAR production backpacks. The charities we’ve supported, both past and present, include:

  • Mike’s Bikes Africa Program

  • The Guardsmen of San Francisco

  • The Ritter Center (San Rafael, CA)

  • The San Pedro School (San Rafael, CA)

  • The Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, “This Old Bag” (San Francisco)

  • Ivarson USA LLC Charitable Giving (San Francisco)

Requesting a Donation. Our charitable giving is organized by a separate party that’s independent from the one managing IVAR and our website. We receive requests for backpack donations from time to time — and such requests are sincerely appreciated. However, donation requests received via our Contact page do not reach those who organize IVAR’s charitable giving.

Please visit our Wholesale page for more information.