The 10 Best Backpack Purses
Backpacks used to be banished to the playground, filled with heavy textbooks and jammed into lockers. But the fashion world figured out that bags that work this hard just needed a few stylish tweaks to appeal to traveling adults. For anyone thinking about investing in a practical and fashionable backpack purse, the news is good: the backpack has grown up. Shapes have been scaled down, textures are more refined, and the obvious no-hands convenience factor means that hardworking day- (or night)-time travel backpacks are now as likely to be seen in the first-class cabin as they are in the first-grade classroom.
No doubt you’ve seen more than a few of Fjallraven Kanken backpacks around town, and with good reason -- it’s classic, it’s stylish, and it was originally designed for mountain-climbing by a Swede in the ‘60s. The mini-version of the original Kanken has the same approachable design, but in a smaller version. A front zippered side pocket and two side pockets are as practical as the dirt- and water-resistant material. What more does a traveler need?
Best LBB (Little Black Backpack)
This little black backpack is big on both style and versatility. Baggu is known for making effortlessly cool and high-quality bags at affordable prices, and the Baggu Canvas Mini Backpack is no exception. It’s simple, lightweight, and durable – ideal for carrying guidebooks by day and your get-glam gear at night. The flap over the drawstring provides extra security and the silhouette has major ‘90s vibes. Pssst, it’s made of washable canvas.
A backpack that goes the extra mile to protect your valuables? Yes, please. The Travelon Anti-Theft Signature Slim Backpack does just that. Zippered pocket locks, RFID blocking (to prevent credit card data scans), and slash-proof body and shoulder straps are among the features meant to deter thieves. It’s nice and slim, as the name indicates, and the gold hardware provides a polished look. Take that, thieves!
Convertible bags are the ultimate in versatility: you get two bags for the price of one. Simply tuck the convertible straps inside the Kooba Calabasas Convertible Leather Backpack when not in use, and voila – you’ve gone from backpack to tote bag in seconds. Pebbled leather looks and feels luxe. Either way you carry it, it looks smooth.
Best for Laptops
These days, traveling with a laptop is almost a requirement. Whether you’re taking yours to the office across town or somewhere farther afield, the Knomo London Mayfair Harewood Totepack is the right bag for the job. The profile is particularly slim, and there’s still room for bulkier items alongside a 15-inch laptop. It can be worn on the back, or be carried via the top handle. We’re not the only ones that love it, Business Insider also made it their editors’ pick.
Tumi is synonymous with luxury luggage for a reason: the company makes well designed products out of expensive materials meant to last. The Tumi Voyageur Just in Case Nylon Travel Backpack was smartly designed to be stashed in your carry-on bag, just in case you need a backpack on the road. The beautiful nylon number weighs about half a pound and folds down completely flat. But with style like this, it’s more like ‘definitely’ than "just in case.”
Transparent bags are having a fashion moment, thanks to Prada, Gucci, and Valentino. But letting it all (neatly) hang out serves a dual purpose. With everything on the bag in full display, think of all the potential time saved in security lines. There are lots of budget-friendly options, but we like the AmazonBasics Stadium Approved Mini Backpack, with reinforced shoulder straps that no thief will be able to snatch off. Chic and secure, the best of both worlds.
Best Multiuse Budget Find
If you’re in the market for a backpack purse that’s affordable, stylish, secure, and waterproof – look no further than the Pincel Waterproof Rucksack. The central feature is the secure back zip entrance -- no one can access the inside when it’s on. It’s also lightweight, waterproof, and 82 percent of Amazon shoppers rated this a number one bestseller with five stars. The faux-fur tassel adds a dose of glamour.
Best Very Mini
Herschel Supply Co. is a favorite brand among discerning Millennials. The teeny-tiny Nova is sturdy, compact, and has adjustable shoulder straps. Its small size makes it an excellent going out companion, since the scaled down silhouette favors makeup and wallets over textbooks. The Nova comes in five colors and prints, including the subtly bold Desert Cheetah.
If you’re shopping for a beautiful bag first, and a backpack second, the See by Chloe Mini Olga Pebbled Leather Backpack is it. It features all the luxe details you wouldn’t normally associate with a backpack: rich leather, substantial gold hardware, and a chic silhouette that can be worn at the hip or on the back thanks to removable shoulder straps. Sure, it’s spendy, but it’s a practical choice and instantly upgrades any look.