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 more chic 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.
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 sick 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.
DAVIDJONES Women’s Faux Leather Mini Backpack Shoulder Bag Purses
We’ll start with one of the smallest backpack purses on this list for those who like to carry just a few essentials wherever they go. The DAVIDJONES Women’s Faux Leather Mini Backpack Shoulder Bag Purses are from an Australian brand that has recently entered the US market. This bag measures 7″ L, 3.5″ W, 8.6″ H, weighs about 0.7 lbs and can hold an iPad Mini inside the main compartment.
Choose from several chic colors that will go well with any travel or office outfit. The exterior is made of soft faux PU leather and the interior is lined in polyester with the signature David Jones print.
The main compartment opens via double zippers with large tassel pulls. Inside is a slip pocket for your smartphone and a zipped pocket for loose change and small items. The sides are gusseted so that nothing falls out if you open the compartment fully. The front exterior sports a zipped pocket for snacks or a pair of sunglasses.
You can carry the purse either by its short top handle or worn as a backpack with the adjustable shoulder straps.
Dasein Classic Convertible Backpack
For those who have to carry a few extra items wherever they go, a slightly bigger purse is needed. The Dasein classic backpack for women is designed to convert between backpack and a sling bag because the straps feature a zipper that you can use to zip them up to make a single strap for a sling version. For carrying comfort, the bottoms of the straps feature 4 snap buttons each to allow you to adjust their lengths through two D-rings at the bottom of the pack.
You have an amazing range of 13 colors to choose from and the faux leather exterior comes in one of two subtle textures. Some colors also feature a subtle black edged trim to give the bag a sharp and polished look. Another small difference is in the hardware – some have a gold-toned finish, while a few have a silver-toned finish. The front flap with buckle is purely decorative and does not go over the main compartment zip closure which opens on top. The zip can’t be opened without removing the pack and loosening the backpack/sling strap through the single top ring. This is a great protective design feature.
There are three exterior zipped pockets on this bag. All are vertical – one on the back and one on each side. The one on the back is an excellent place to store your wallet, as it makes it tough for anyone to get to it without you knowing – another good protective feature. Inside the main compartment are a zipped back wall pocket and a front wall slip pocket. There is enough space here for a mini tablet, clutch purse, phone and other odds and ends.
This bag measures 8″ L, 5 “W, 12” H.
WINK KANGAROO Fashion Shoulder Bag Rucksack
This WINK KANGAROO Fashion Shoulder Bag Rucksack in PU leather 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 backpack straps there is also a sturdy top carry handle.
This bag measures 12.2″ high * 10.2″ wide * 6.3″ deep.
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 Nylon Casual Travel Daypack Backpack Purse
We’ll start with a casual backpack style purse. Over 500 customers cannot be wrong if they rate this option almost 5 stars on Amazon. This Nylon Casual Travel Daypack Backpack Purse by Lily & Drew features quite a few trendy details that make a statement, from the canvas-like textured nylon shell and straps to the oversized 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 pocket on the front is good for snacks, while the 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 1 zippered pocket, 1 sleeve and 1 tethered keychain clasp. The sleeve fits an iPad mini.
Its dimensions are 8″L, 10″H, 5″W (7″ including front pocket), and it weighs just over 0.8 lbs. It is water resistant and can be hand washed but not machine washed. There are two ways to carry it – by the top handle or by the backpack straps. Choose from 8 chic colors.
This backpack is also available in a larger size with an extra front pocket that made our list of best travel daypacks.
ECOSUSI Women’s Fashion Purses Nylon Backpacks
It’s not often that you’ll find a nylon washable backpack that looks chic, but this ECOSUSI mini backpack for women with polyester lining does. Just don’t use hot water! All the zipper pulls are made of washable synthetic leather and the hardware
There are three ways to carry this pack – either by the top grab handle, or by the lightly padded two-in-one backpack straps. These adjustable straps can be joined or separated by a zipper. When separated, each strap can be attached to their own D-ring at the bottom of the pack via a Carabiner clip. When zipped up into a single strap, you can unclip one of the straps from the bottom and clip it together with the other one to make a single sling strap.
There are two external vertical zipped pockets, one in the front and the other at the back. The main compartment opens via a full U-shaped double zipper with the top of the bag thinner than the bottom. Inside this compartment are 5 pockets – one large mesh with zip and the rest are smaller slip pockets.
This bag measures 9 x 3.9 x 12 inches and is available in beige, brown, purple and black.
Baggallini RFID Inspire Backpack
The Baggallini RFID Inspire Backpack is another successful bag from the popular brand that specializes in water resistant nylon bags. You can get this in black, charcoal grey, magenta or pacific blue. The hardware on all the bags are silver-toned. This bag’s dimensions are 11.5″ x 12″ x 4.8″.
This is another pack that can convert from a double backpack strapped bag to a 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 front pockets. The main compartment opens via two zips and this space features several slip pockets and a zippered pocket for organization. There is also a detachable wristlet tethered to the inside and it has RFID protection, so you can use it for your cards and passport.
Tumi Nadia Convertible Backpack
If you want to stick to a bag from a well known high end luggage brand then you can’t go wrong with the Nadia Convertible Backpack by Tumi. It is a nylon backpack with real leather trim. For a professional look get the plain black or plain blue purse, but for a more casual look, the grey floral patterned one is great.
This is a convertible backpack purse because the padded 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 are two exterior pockets – one u-shaped zipped one on the front, a slip pocket above that, and a pocket on the back with a discreet vertical zipped opening where you can store your valuables. The main compartment can be accessed by a double zippered u-shaped opening at the top and features good organization. There’s a large zipped wall pocket, a smartphone pocket, pen loops and a key ring. A decorative mirror tag finishes off the look.
This backpack purse measures 9″W x 14 ¾”H x 3″D and weighs 1.4 lbs. Customers love the number of pockets and the fact that you can fit a lot in it without it getting heavy. they also love that there are two ways to wear the pack. The fact that it’s Tumi means that this backpack will last a longg time.
Small Leather Backpack Purse
There are plenty of leather backpack purses for women and a few are handmade, so we decided to make a separate review list for those.