A mini backpack purse for women is a great alternative to a shoulder handbag if you need to have both hands free for all your other pieces of luggage. If it is styled to be chicer than a regular daypack that is specifically sold for travel, you can easily use it as your purse that holds your small essentials either while in transit or even while out and about in a city.
A good backpack purse should be big enough for maybe a small tablet, a snack, sunglasses, lotion, etc., but not so big that it looks exactly like a travel backpack. Those are good but they have their place. Plenty of women want to look stylish at all times, so why not when traveling too?
You can find plenty of nice mini backpacks for women online, but we’ve picked just a few that we think are perfect as a small women’s backpack purse.
Table of Contents
- 1 Are Backpack Purses in Style? Why the Mini Backpack Purse Has Become the New “It” Bag
- 2 What to Look for When Choosing a Travel Purse Backpack
- 3 In Faux Leather
- 4 In Nylon or Polyester
- 5 Small Leather Backpack Purse
Baggallini Naples Convertible Backpack
Herschel Nova Mini Backpack
Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack
EMPERIA Kayli Faux Leather Mini Backpack
Are Backpack Purses in Style? Why the Mini Backpack Purse Has Become the New “It” Bag
While the mini backpack is nothing new, it has become all the rage after the oversized shoulder tote caused a few sore shoulders and backs. Women who were perfectly capable of packing just the essentials for their day at work or leisure were suddenly throwing everything but the kitchen sink into their bags. Well, those large totes are fewer now and we’re so glad that these cute backpacks that look like purses are more common. They’re no longer meant only for the college crowd or travelers. Anyone can use them for almost any reason.
With a backpack, you can have both hands free and you don’t have to lean one way or the other to prevent a strap from falling down your arm. It is ergonomically better for you too. By keeping the size small, there’s no danger of carrying too heavy a load on your back. This is great particularly when sightseeing because you need to carry a few essentials with you, but since you’ll be on your feet for hours at a time, you want to keep the load light and your bag easy to carry.
If you’re worried about sticky-fingered thieves slipping a hand into the pack in a crowded train or attraction, you can carry it in front of you too, as its size is small enough not to obscure your vision or make it uncomfortable to carry this way.
There are quite a few styles to choose from. Maybe a designer convertible backpack purse is to your taste, or maybe a boxy style with oversized zippers. Maybe a cute print is what you’re after, or maybe something sleek and professional-looking. Whatever your preference there’s sure to be a good small backpack purse for you.
What to Look for When Choosing a Travel Purse Backpack
In Faux Leather
A small leather backpack purse is always a good choice, but they can be expensive and if there’s a chance that it will get wet, it’s better to avoid them. Here are some synthetic or PU leather options that you could choose from instead.
Emperia Kayli Faux Leather Mini 3 Way Carry Backpack
We’ll start with one of the smallest and most versatile backpack purses on this list for those who like to carry just a few essentials wherever they go. The Emperia Kayli Faux Leather Mini 3 Way Carry Backpack measures 7.5″ L, 4.7″ W, 9.5″ H, weighs about 1.6 lbs and can hold an iPad Mini inside the larger main compartment.
There are two main compartments and they both open via single zipper pulls. Inside one is a slip pocket for your smartphone and inside the other is a zipped pocket for small items that are easy to lose. A unique feature is that the front exterior sports a slip pocket that has a zipped coin purse tucked in. The purse is attached to the bag by a chain snap.
You can carry the purse in any of three ways. There is a short top handle, but it can be worn as a backpack with adjustable shoulder straps or converted to a crossbody bag. The way it works is that the straps can be detached from the bottom rear of the bag and reattached to the side D-rings so that you can sling it across your body and over one shoulder. To change it back to being a backpack, the straps loop through the two rings at the top before attaching each end to the carabiner clips on the corners at the back.
Choose from a variety of colors that will go well with any travel or office outfit. The exterior is made of soft faux pebbled leather that is easy to wipe clean and the interior is lined in polyester. All the hardware is gold-toned, including the little feet on the bottom that prevent the bag from getting dirty when setting it down.
Vaschy Faux Leather Small Backpack for Women
For those who have to carry a few extra items wherever they go, a slightly bigger purse is needed. The Vaschy Faux Leather Small Backpack for Women is designed with a classic mini dome top for a stylish yet practical look. You have a good range of 8 colors to choose from and the faux leather exterior comes in a subtle edgy sheen. All feature silver-toned hardware and extra-long zipper pulls. The lining inside is cotton.
There are two main double zippered compartments. The one in the front is the main one and features two slip pockets and space for quite a few items. The one at the back has two zippered pockets and is large enough to carry your phone, an iPad, a power bank and your wallet. Since this compartment always faces your body, it is pretty secure for these valuables.
A front external pocket with a single zipper is perfect for small snacks, cosmetics, and sunglasses. Two ruched top side pockets will keep your small water bottle and compact umbrella secure.
The shoulder straps are adjustable and there’s a small top carry handle too. This bag measures 10″ L, 5.2 “W, 11” H and has a capacity of 9 liters.
Amelie Galanti Vegan Leather Small Backpack for Women
For those who have to carry a few extra items wherever they go, a slightly bigger purse is needed. The Amelie Galanti Vegan Leather Small Backpack for Women< is designed with a narrow top for a stylish yet practical look. You have a good range of 8 colors to choose from and the faux leather exterior comes in a choice of two textures – quilted or plain. Both feature a subtle sheen. All feature dark silver-toned hardware and long faux leather zipper pulls. For a professional look get the plain textured purse, but for a more casual look, the quilted patterned one is great.
This is a convertible backpack purse because the soft shoulder straps are designed so that they can be zipped together partway if you want to create a single strap, which you can then sling across your chest or wear over just one shoulder. Both straps are adjustable and detachable at the bottom so that you can hook a strap around an immovable object to prevent someone stealing it when you’re not looking or clip both straps to one D-ring at the bottom. There’s also a single carry handle on the top.
There’s a U-shaped zipped pocket on the front. There are no exterior side pockets, but there’s a unique middle compartment that features an extended flap with a metal ring through which a security clasp is hooked to keep it secure. The clasp is attached to a loop on the top of the bag. This compartment is perfect for storing a water bottle and compact umbrella.
The main compartment is just behind the open compartment and its double zippered opening is hidden behind the flap. This is spacious and can fit an iPad along with other items. There’s a large zipped wall pocket for small items that tend to get lost inside cavernous interiors. Finally, there’s a pocket on the back with a vertical zipped opening where you can store your phone and wallet.
This backpack purse measures 9.84″W x 12.4”H x 5.9″D and weighs 1.5 lbs
KARRESLY Women’s Mini Shoulder Bag Rucksack Purse
This KARRESLY Women’s Mini Shoulder Bag Rucksack Purse is a real looker and is available in several different colors with a few prints thrown in there. All of the hardware is gold-toned and the rest of the design features are also in the same synthetic leather. It is designed so as to deter theft of your belongings.
There are no pockets on the front exterior but there’s one zippered pocket on the back that’s big enough for your wallet, phone and passport. The main compartment features a faux leather drawstring opening on top that is hidden by a magnetic closure flap that falls to the front. The opening can be first narrowed by two vertical side zippers and magnetic clasp buttons to prevent items from falling out from the inside. The drawstrings can be tightened and they stay in position by the dual tether. If you need more room near the top of the bag, you can leave the zippers and buttons open.
There are plenty of pockets inside: 2 zippered, 2 slip, and 1 large slip. This space is not big enough for a full-sized tablet but a smaller one would go in easily.
In addition to the two sturdy and adjustable shoulder straps there is also a sturdy top carry handle.
This bag measures 11.8″ high * 9.5″ wide * 6.3″ deep.
In Nylon or Polyester
For a completely water-resistant option, a nylon bag is your best bet. These can come in a casual look or a more formal look.
Lily & Drew Small Casual Lightweight Mini Travel Backpack Purse
We’ll start with a trendy backpack style purse. This Mini Travel Backpack Purse with Top Handles by Lily & Drew features quite a few nice details that make a statement, from the luxurious nylon shell and polyester lining to the wide reinforced straps and YKK metal zippers.
The shoulder straps are adjustable and the back and bottom are padded. For organization, you have a back and a front external zippered pocket and 2 external side slip pockets. The exterior pocket on the front is good for snacks, while the hidden zippered pocket at the back is perfect for anything valuable like a clutch purse and phone, as it will always be against your back and difficult to reach for anyone else. The two side pockets can be used for a 12 to 16 oz water bottle and travel umbrella. Inside the main compartment, you have 2 zippered pockets, 1 padded sleeve, 4 slip pockets, 2 mesh pockets, and 1 tethered keychain clasp. The sleeve fits an iPad.
Its dimensions are 8.5″L, 12″H, 5″W, and it weighs just over 1.2 lbs. It is water resistant and can be hand washed but not machine washed. There are two ways to carry it – by the dual Vegan leather top handles or by the backpack straps. Choose from 4 chic colors.
This backpack can also be used like one of our picks for best travel daypacks.
Herschel Nova Mini 9L Backpack
It’s not often that you’ll find a polyester washable backpack that looks chic and is waterproof, but this Herschel Nova Mini Backpack for women with cheerful red striped lining does. Just don’t put it in the hot cycle!
There are two ways to carry this pack – either by the top dual grab handles or by the slim backpack straps that are adjustable for length. All the zippers are hardy and made of durable gold-toned metal. The silhouette tapers towards the top for a nice streamlined look, which means that this 9L size isn’t suitable for carrying a tablet. If that is a must, then go for the Nova Small 14L backpack instead of this Mini, which is meant only for carrying essentials fora day of hands-free sightseeing or shopping.
There are two external vertical slip pockets on either side. These can hold a small water bottle each or a small snack. The front zipped pocket is great for your phone, small wallet or sunglasses. The main compartment opens via a full U-shaped double zipper with the top of the bag slimmer than the bottom. Inside this compartment is one large structured pocket.
This bag measures 8 x 4.75 x 11 inches, weighs 0.84 lbs, and is available in a variety of different colors and prints.
Baggallini Naples Convertible Backpack
The Baggallini Naples Convertible Backpack is another successful bag from the popular brand that specializes in water-resistant nylon bags. You can get this in only a few colors. The hardware on all the bags are silver-toned. This bag’s dimensions are 11″ x 12″ x 4.5″.
This is a pack that can convert from a double backpack strapped bag to a secure single strap sling bag by the pull of a zipper. The straps attach to bottom D-rings via Carabiner clips, so you alter the configuration easily. When you’re in crowded places you can wear it like a cross-body bag by zipping up the straps and keeping it in front of you. Unfortunately, the straps’ length cannot be adjusted by much and you may find them to be a bit long when worn as a backpack if you are a petite woman. However, this can be easily fixed at any shoe repair store.
There are two exterior zippered front pockets and one pocket above them that has a flap-over opening with a fastener. The main compartment of this small backpack purse for women opens via two zips and this space features several slip pockets and a zippered pocket for organization. It is large enough for an iPad. The sides are gusseted so that nothing falls out when you open it. This compartment also has RFID protection, so you can use it for your cards and passport.
Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack
If you want to stick to a bag from a well-known luggage brand and prefer a casual style, you can’t go wrong with the Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack. It is made of Vinylon F, the tough and durable manmade material that’s constructed from natural fibers. This backpack is the mini version of the classic Kanken by the Swedish brand, a timeless model that is very popular amongst international trekkers. It is long-lasting, resilient, and easy to take care of, as it is washable and quick drying.
This pack measures 11.4″ x 7.9″ x 5.1″ and weighs just 1/2 a pound! Anyone can use it and look good with it, whether it’s a child or a grown man. The way it works is that the shoulder straps are long but fully adjustable for any person’s size. When it is tightened for kids, the ends can be rolled up with a clasp so that they don’t dangle. There are also dual top handles with a snap button clasp to keep them together.
There are two side exterior pockets that can fit a slim and short water bottle or soda can in each. One zipped one on the front with a rain protection flap over it and the main compartment that’s double zippered and also protected by a flap complete the organization features. Inside this compartment is a sleeve with removable seat pad. This pad also serves to keep anything sharp you may pack from poking into your back. The generous width of the bag makes it pretty roomy for its small size, so even though you can’t fit a tablet in here, there’s plenty of room for essentials that you may need for a day out.
There’s also a name and address label inside and a reflective logo patch on the outside.
Small Leather Backpack Purse
There are plenty of real leather backpack purses for women and a few are handmade, so we decided to make a separate review list for those.