What Is the Best Backpack Purse? 

 April 8, 2023

By  Diane Wuthrich

Backpack purses have become the bag of choice for many discerning women. They are big in style and small in size, but also very functional. However, what should one be looking for in the best backpack purse?

There are a few notable features that define a quality backpack purse. They are compact but should have the right capacity for your day’s needs. Choose durable and functional fabrics that will last you a long time. It should also have appropriate pockets and comfortable straps.

Read on below to learn more about the factors you should consider before buying a backpack purse.

How To Choose the Best Backpack Purse

Backpack purses come in a range of styles and designs.

These types of backpacks are versatile and can be used in a number of ways. They are different from other kinds of backpacks because they are smaller and more compact. That’s why they are called backpack purses: these are the ideal middle ground between a backpack and a shoulder bag.

Below are the features you should consider when shopping around for the best purse backpack:


Backpack purses vary greatly in capacity.

Smaller, mini-designs can carry as little as 4 to 12 liters. For some, this is just right for carrying the day’s essentials, such as your wallet, mobile phone, toiletries, and cosmetics. However, there are those who prefer 13 to 20 liters because they need plenty more space to carry everything including a tablet or laptop, sweaters, snacks, water bottle, and other necessities.

Think about the purpose of your backpack purse, and what items exactly you need to carry. If you are using your bag for school or work, you may need something bigger. On the other hand, bags that you’ll use for errands or casual meals with friends may be smaller.  

There is no wrong or right answer: the proper capacity for a backpack purse is one that caters to your needs. 


A durable backpack purse ensures that your investment will last you a long time.

You want a backpack that is strong enough to carry your belongings without them breaking down. If you intend to be carrying heavy items in the backpack, such as a laptop, camera, or books, it’s recommended to invest in long-lasting fabrics such as leather, Cordura, Rip-Stop nylon, nylon, wax-coated cotton canvas, and Pack Cloth to name a few.

More durable fabrics and designs will cost more. However, many consider it an investment toward the safety of their belongings.

You can also check the stitching: how well a backpack is stitched together is a sign of quality and durability. Stitches should be clean and precise, or at least high-density. They should make sure that the stitch points help release pressure on several areas instead of just one, which ensures that a backpack will last longer.

Last but not least: assess the quality of the zippers. Poor-quality zippers will deteriorate the longer you use a backpack purse. The last thing you want is for zippers to break down while you are using it.

The best zipper brands, renowned for quality, are: YKK, Max Zipper Co., Olympic Zippers, Riri Group, and Tex Corp Limited.


Backpack purses are designed to carry a limited number of belongings.

For this reason, they are not as big as travel or hiking backpacks. But the organization is essential whether you use a small or a big bag. This is where pockets come in.

The best backpack purses should have at least one pocket for smaller items. It can be in the bag’s interior or exterior, designed to help you easily find smaller things such as your keys, passport, earphones, and flash drives. Other backpack purses will have two or three pockets inside, outside, or both. 

Side stretch pockets are commonly used for storing water bottles, though they are flexible and can also be used to keep a map, notebook, or other smaller belongings. If you are carrying valuables, you may want to go the extra mile and use a backpack with hidden pockets to prevent theft. 

Specialty pockets are increasingly popular in backpacks. Some users may find that dedicated pockets for a tablet, laptop, keys, and credit cards ensure that they are safer and well-protected. 

Comfortable Straps

The best purse backpacks always have comfortable straps. These make it easy to wear your backpack without digging through your shoulders.

If your backpack purse is under 12 liters, you can comfortably use thin or narrow straps. However, heavier backpacks should have wider, padded, and adjustable straps that alleviate pressure on your back and shoulders. The straps should also be adjustable so that you can tailor their fit based on the heaviness of the pack.


The quality of materials used in a bag’s construction gives you a good idea of how durable it is. There are pros and cons to each type of fabric, which are important to understand because some are better suited for certain lifestyles than others.

For example, nylon and polyester are the most common choices used in backpacks. Both of these synthetic fabrics are durable, though nylon is stronger and more expensive compared to polyester. However, polyester is easier to clean and has better water repellency.

Leather is always a classy choice, and it will last you a lifetime. Leather backpacks are pricey, but if you are willing to make an investment in a quality leather bag, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a great choice for urban and city use, plus it only gets more beautiful with time.

Cotton is a good eco-friendly and natural fabric. Depending on how the bag is made, cotton backpacks may be durable. Cotton canvas is also popular, and a great choice for women with active lifestyles. 

Fabric linings are also just as important, especially if you are bringing along gadgets such as a tablet or laptop. Ideally, backpack interiors should include protective padding and lining if you are carrying electronics around with you. 


Maximize the value of your backpack purse by getting one in a color and style that matches most of your outfits. Neutral colors, such as black, tan, and beige are always practical choices, since they go with most other colors. 

However, if you only be using your backpack purse occasionally or have a colorful wardrobe, then you can opt for colorful prints and patterns. 


Beautiful and high-quality backpack purses don’t have to be expensive. There are many affordable choices out there, especially for women who don’t want to spend loads of cash on something that won’t be used often. In fact, you can find a great backpack for under $40.

If you need a backpack purse for daily use, you may want to invest in a high-end model from a brand that is well-known for its superior quality and durability. It’s also worth splurging on a versatile bag that can be worn as a tote bag or shoulder bag too.

Optional Features

Now that you know the important features to consider before buying a backpack purse, below is a list of optional features to think about: 

Convertible straps: Convertible or detachable straps make a backpack so much more versatile. Many backpacks allow you to wear a bag in many stylish ways: like tote bags, handbags, or even crossbody bags. Being able to wear your backpack in various ways depending on your needs and style truly maximizes your investment. 

Opening design: How a bag’s main compartment opens and closes is important for some people. For example, some find that drawstring closures are the most efficient way to pack and unpack small or soft belongings. Then there are those who prefer zippered compartments because it’s easier for loading wide items, such as a laptop or tablet. 

Water resistance: If you plan to travel or head outdoors with your backpack purse, choose one whose fabric is at least water-repellent. On the other hand, city use doesn’t require a backpack to be water repellent. 

Care and maintenance: Depending on the materials that go into a bag’s construction, some backpack purses are easier to clean than others. Keep in mind that most backpacks aren’t machine washable, and the best way to clean most of them requires wiping them down carefully. You have to be especially careful with high-maintenance materials such as leather. 

Our Recommendations For The Best Backpack Purse

Shopping around for the best backpack purse can be overwhelming with all the choices out there. To make your shopping easier, read up on the list below which includes many well-loved products with high review scores.  

Kipling Women’s City Pack Mini Backpack: The Kipling City Pack is a gorgeous mini backpack that you can take traveling or during errands. Made from durable nylon, this pack is extremely lightweight at just 0.93 lbs. Despite that, it has a capacity of 9L. 

As its name suggests, this is the ideal companion for city trips. There’s just no need to lug around tote bags that are too large when you simply need a small pack to keep wallets, makeup, some wipes, and your mobile phone. It’s suitable for women of almost any age! 

Even if it’s small, this backpack is both functional and elegant. Featuring front and back zip pockets, plus two side pockets and adjustable backpack straps, this cute backpack can fit a surprising amount of belongings. The main compartment opens with a drawstring cord, allowing you to easily load and unload the pack.

The Kipling Women’s City Pack also has a sporty look to it, suitable for active women with busy lifestyles. They come in beautiful metallic colors too!

Cluci Convertible Backpack: The Cluci Convertible Backpack is a stylish and fashionable backpack whose functional features can be appreciated by women living a variety of lifestyles. This is an incredibly versatile backpack purse, made from quality PU leather, and it won’t break the bank.

The Cluci Convertible Backpack features a removable, convertible strap that allows you to wear it as a shoulder bag and as a backpack. There are several compartments inside to help women on the go stay organized at all times; these include 2 interior zippered pockets, a front zippered pocket, 2 interior slot pockets, a back zippered pocket, and a buckled front pocket. In addition, the two side pockets are the perfect place to keep an umbrella or small water bottle.

All these compartments in various sizes are perfect for organizing a wide range of essentials. It also comes with a tablet or laptop sleeve for gadgets up to 14 inches. Choose a color that complements your style: this bag is available in tan, mustard, dusty blue, dusty pink, grey, and many more choices. 

This bag proves that functional backpack purses don’t have to cost a lot of money but they can also be elegant. 

TUMI Women’s Hilden Backpack: Tumi is a respected global brand name specializing in luxury bags and luggage. The Tumi Women’s Hilden Backpack is ideal for discerning women who need a durable yet elegant backpack purse for everyday use or travel.

The bag’s interior can fit lots of things, such as a 13’ laptop, plus several smaller pockets and compartments for your cards, water bottle, wallet, mobile phone, and much more. It’s constructed with premium nylon material, and the adjustable shoulder straps are comfortable to carry. Despite being practical, it doesn’t compromise style: it has a simple design with a logo of Tumi in the front, and you can choose from gold or silver hardware.

The Tumi Women’s Hilden Backpack is equipped with the Tumi Tracer for peace of mind whenever you travel by plane. Additionally, it has a collapsible interior pocket for water bottles, which is also water-resistant. Other great features of this bag include a key leash, a spacious padded open pocket, and a detachable leather key ring that can be monogrammed. 

Fossil Camilla Leather Convertible Backpack: The Fossil Camilla Leather Convertible Backpack is another convertible choice that women can take from the boardroom to errands. It has an elegant aesthetic but it’s extremely functional too – this bag can be worn as a shoulder or tote bag, crossbody bag, and a backpack.

Inside, it has room for a 13-inch laptop and tablet, small notebooks, plus your other daily essentials. Keep your stuff organized thanks to the back zipper pocket, interior zippered pocket, and two slide pockets. The top grab handle offers even more versatility, allowing you to wear it as a handbag or grab and go anytime you need.  

The Fossil Camilla Leather Convertible Backpack is available in black and tan, beautiful neutral colors that will go with any outfit. Though it does cost more, this is a bag that was made to last: Fossil is well-known for creating watches with amazing durability and longevity, but not too many people know they have fantastic bags too.

UTO Vegan Leather Backpack Purse: Women who are looking for a more affordable and eco-friendly alternative to pricey leather backpacks are recommended to try the UTO Vegan Leather Backpack Purse. Made from super soft vegan leather, this lightweight option is a dream to carry.

Inside, the spacious interiors allow you to organize your stuff with ease. The large zipper handles have a wide top closure, so you can even pack jackets, clothes, and other big items with no hassle. It also comes with anti-theft features, which include a hidden zippered pocket in the back for your valuables.

The UTO Vegan Leather Backpack Purse has a top grab handle, one detachable shoulder strap, and two soft backpack shoulder straps. This is one of the best vegan leather backpack purses on the market, and at a price you’ll love.

Roxy Shadow Swell Medium Backpack: For active and outdoor-loving women, the Roxy Shadow Swell is a fantastic choice for a backpack purse. It comes in beautiful, vibrant prints that you can take from the city to the beach. 

Constructed with durable 600D recycled polyester, this backpack can withstand prolonged use in the outdoors. Additionally, the reinforced rubber bottom ensures that it’s protected from scratches when you lay it down on rough surfaces. Several areas of the bag are thoroughly padded for maximum comfort: the back panel, shoulder straps, and laptop sleeve.

The Roxy Shadow Swell Medium Backpack allows you to stay organized easily with a zippered front pocket, two side mesh compartments, and two zippered pockets inside the main compartment. This is a wonderful backpack purse with playful elements, but it’s also highly functional.


Backpack purses are an elegant and stylish way to carry your things for the day. There are many beautiful options that can cater to a wide array of needs. Use this guide to help you find the best backpack purse for your lifestyle.

About the author

Diane is our head writer and researcher for our backpack informational content. Her everyday carry is a Herschel.

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