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Best Women’s Backpack for Work – To help you cut through the clutter, we turned to real reviews from customers to find out which work backpacks are equal parts functional and fashionable. Not only do these beloved carryalls have thousands of glowing customer reviews between them, but they also have near-perfect ratings to boot.

What’s more, they are super practical, too, with enough space to carry everything you need, including laptops, gym clothes, and an extra pair of shoes for your commute.

Overview

Thankfully there are a slew of great backpacks in stores now that are specially designed for adults—you know, the chic kind that you can carry with you wherever you go, including the office.

1. Dagne Dover The Dakota Backpack Check Price
2. Black Structured Backpack Check Price
3. PINCIL Backpack Check Price
4. Herschel Nova XS Check Price
5. Madewell Lorimer Backpack Check Price
6. Longchamp 3D Check Price
7. The Zoe Check Price
8. Calpak Kaya Faux Leather Backpack Check Price
9. Kaya Faux Leather Laptop Backpack Check Price

9 Best Women’s Backpack for Work: Round UP

Whether you’re a jet-setter who’s always on the move, a freelancer who frequently calls co working spaces home, or a settled in 9-to-5er, the right backpack is out there.

1. Dagne Dover The Dakota Backpack

Best Womens Backpack for Work 1

Made from premium neoprene, this modern, minimalist bag is ideal for both the day to day commute and weekend adventures. The shock-absorbent material provides peace of mind by keeping items safe. Durable and versatile, this bag is the ideal addition to your workday wardrobe.

Padded shoulder straps enhance the comfort of a classic laptop backpack crafted from sporty neoprene. Tonal hardware and a dedicated spot for every necessity—gym sneakers, up to a 13″ laptop, wallet, phone, lip balm, keys—make this sleek style perfect for walking around the city or heading to the gym.

  • Two-way zip-around closure
  • Top carry handle; adjustable, padded shoulder straps
  • Exterior front zip pocket, two side pockets; two hidden back pockets
  • Three interior zip pockets; secure 13″ laptop sleeve; neoprene zip-top pouch; nylon zip-top shoe bag; stretch key leash
  • Neoprene
  • Imported
  • Handbags

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2. Black Structured Backpack

Best Womens Backpack for Work 2

Who says backpacks can’t be sleek? This 100 percent saffiano leather option from The Daily Edited is super smooth and structured for an elegant touch. As with most pieces from the brand, you can get this backpack monogrammed for that special touch. This bag can fit a 13-inch MacBook and an A4 notebook, and more.check price button

3. PINCNEL Backpack

Best Womens Backpack for Work 3

This adorable backpack from PINCIL is lightweight, waterproof, and pickpocket-proof, making it a great option to use on long commutes. Although it only weighs 1.5 pounds, it’s still roomy—and since the bag opens from the back, you have to take it off to access its contents, which adds an extra layer of security. Along with adjustable straps, the backpack also boasts a spacious main compartment and plenty of pockets to store your smaller items.check price button

4. Herschel Nova XS

Best Womens Backpack for Work 4This compact backpack is ideal for those who want to keep their things together without bulk. The sleek and slim design is ideal for those who use mass transit and need to save space.

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5. Madewell Lorimer Backpack

Best Womens Backpack for Work 5This popular best-selling bag is back with an updated Italian leather flair. The triple-looped handle provides a slightly sporty vibe while still looking stylish enough for the office.check price button

6. Longchamp 3D

Best Womens Backpack for Work 6Rustic souls will love the coloring on this Longchamp backpack, which comes with two accessible front pockets and adjustable straps. If you’re not into this shade for the office, it comes in other wearable colors, like midnight blue and brown.check price button

7. The Zoe

Best Womens Backpack for Work 7Designed for busy working women, this artisan, hand-crafted backpack is even more functional than it looks. An extra strap in the back allows you to easily slide it over your suitcase handle bars; you can attach a rolled-up yoga mat to the bottom of your backpack; and the side compartments are big enough to hold a change of shoes. I’m not done: You can also stick a 15-inch laptop in there along with other things.check price button

8. Calpak Kaya Faux Leather Backpack

Best Womens Backpack for Work 8If you have to travel a lot for work, this cute Calpak backpack is a great personal item to pack for a flight. Its exterior sleeve on the back can conveniently be slipped over the handles of your suitcase, and it also boasts a scratch-resistant material that will stay in pristine shape no matter how banged up it gets in transit. In addition to the bag’s style and durability, it comes in seven incredibly pretty colors that will match everything else in your wardrobe. One customer raved, “This bag is great for a personal carry on bag! It’s fashionable and cute but also super functional for travel. Plenty of room for a tablet, wallet and cosmetic bag. I will be using this a lot!”check price button

9. Kaya Faux Leather Laptop Backpack

Best Womens Backpack for Work 9This faux leather backpack will pair well with all your professional outfits, thanks to the neutral color and boxy shape. It comes in five colors and has a separate laptop compartment (can hold up to a 15-inch laptop) that keeps your tech protected while providing quick access to anything you need.check price button

Buyer’s Guide

When shopping for a pack, there are four major things to consider: type, fit, capacity, and features.

Comfort

Comfort is by far the most important factor in choosing a backpack. If it hurts your back, you’re at best not going to use it often.  At worst – you could injure yourself.

The build of a backpack contributes to user comfort, especially the shape of the backside, shoulder straps and padding.

Backpacks with a comfortable back panel, padded shoulder straps and an optional hip belt distribute the weight of the pack across the body.

  • Adjustable and padded shoulder straps ensure the backpack sits comfortably, reducing the strain on your back.
  • Contoured and padded backs follow the natural shape of your lower back adding to the comfort of carrying the bag. The shape allows for a natural arch to ensure no back pain.
  • Padded hip belts remove weight from the back and shoulders and places a larger portion of the burden on the leg muscles – allowing you to carry heavier loads for longer.

Durability

Quality backpacks are crafted using durable materials.

Heavy-duty backpacks are generally made of ultra-strong nylon material and YKK-grade zippers and straps of nylon. Nylon and polyester are the most popular pack materials. Heavier fabrics like canvas also make durable bags that you will be using for years.  Even leather works, although it can drive up the price of a bag.

The most common reasons men throw their old backpacks aside is tears on the shoulder straps, broken zippers and stitching that has come undone.

The shoulders straps are most susceptible to tears. Observe the sewing and thread material. Double stitching is preferred. Avoid carrying loads that the bag is not designed to handle. A seamstress can easily fix these tears for as little as $10.

Content Protection

Your backpack needs to be somewhat waterproof and requires padding to protect electronic or delicate equipment.

  • Water resistant material – You may not need a 100% waterproof backpack – but a bag made from semi-waterproof materials is going to protect the contents in an emergency situation. Bags made from nylon and polyester are better options for outdoor adventures and backpacking trips.
  • Padding – A padded compartment for laptops and tablets are common in backpacks. Ensure they are securely fastened to avoid your electronic equipment from jostling around in your bag.

Material

Match your needs with a backpack made from the right materials to ensure that it stays intact for years.

The commonly used backpack materials are…

  • Cotton Canvas – Canvas is a heavy-weight, rough weave cotton material. Modern canvas is made from natural and synthetic materials – reducing weight and increasing waterproof capabilities and strength. Its main advantage is that it is an inexpensive material. Canvas packs are popular with college students and hikers.
  • Pack-Cloth Nylon backpacks are shiny and slick to the touch. The main advantages of pack cloth nylon are it’s ready acceptance of waterproof coating, abrasion resistance, and excellent puncture resistance.
  • Cordura – an “air treated” nylon fabric originally designed by DuPont. The chief advantages of Cordura fabric are its abrasion resistance and light weight. Used in higher end backpacks which are perfect for backpacking adventures.
  • Rip-stop Nylon – The “rip-stopping” design of rip-stop nylon can provide extra protection to help ensure that your pack won’t disintegrate in front of your eyes the first ten miles into an adventurous hike. The main advantages of rip-stop nylon are it’s excellent waterproofing and lightness in weight.
  • Polyester has a higher resistance to ultra-violet (UV) degradation than nylon but it is not the most rugged material for a backpack. However, it is strong and tough enough for little kids. Backpacks made of polyester are affordable, hold color well (meaning they can be very vibrant in color).
  • Leather backpacks are a stylish, although expensive alternative to the standard backpack. Full grain, vegetable-tanned leather is generally used for backpacks. This material develops a unique patina over time and gives the bags an organic quality. Leather backpacks are perfect for use in the workplace as they are usually the most formal style of backpack.

Organization

Some backpacks are bare on the inside. Some are highly organized with multiple pockets and compartments.

You might prefer a minimalist approach for a lighter load backpack or one with multiple compartments to store and easily access your utilities. The more compartments and pockets in a backpack – the better the distribution and accessibility of your items.

  • Multiple Compartments – allow for the contents of the bag to be organized in smaller sections for easier access.
  • Elasticized side pockets: These pockets lie flat when empty but stretch to hold a water bottle and other loose items.
  • Front pocket: Sometimes added to the exterior of a shovel pocket, these can hold smaller, less bulky items.

Style

Do you want to be the recipient of bag envy? Your choice might be determined first by the design of the backpack.

A backpack for the discerning man should balance practicality and sophistication on equal terms.

It should be expertly crafted so that whether you’re wearing it to the gym or on the daily commute – it should harmoniously blend into your overall look.

A leather backpack is the most stylish option – nylon would be the least although ballistic nylon in black is a decent option for the man on a budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before we can go on to help you find the right size, type, and color backpack for you, it’s important to understand the parts of backpacks, and what each part does for you. This will help you determine which features you need, and which you could do without

How do I find the right backpack for me?

We offer a huge selection of backpacks and bookbags for almost every need, style, and budget out there. Although we strive to bring you the widest variety and most options possible, navigating through them to find the right one for you can be overwhelming. So to narrow things down, it helps to consider the following when buying a backpack:

  • Body type – Great backpacks should fit your body and build. This helps to prevent back strain and muscle fatigue.
  • The type of activity you need the backpack for, and the things you’ll be carrying – The types of backpacks you look at, and eventually choose, should depend on what you plan carrying. If you need your laptop with you for work or school, you’ll need a bookbag with a laptop sleeve. These backpacks have vastly different features than a backpack for the person going on weekend hiking trips, and needs to carry an ice-pick, walking stick, and extra winter jacket.
  • How often you will be using the backpack – Those using a backpack daily will need one made of a stronger, more durable material. If you’re the type that only wears backpacks every few months for short day trips, durability and strength shouldn’t be as high of a concern.
  • Your personal preferences – Backpacks come in a huge variety of different styles, prints, colors, and designs. Once you have an idea of what type of bookbag will fit you, and what features you need, the only thing left to decide on is the look!

Backpack Features:

  • Water Bottle Pockets – Holds water bottles for quick hydration on hikes or long walks
  • Safety Whistle – A safety whistle attached to the sternum strap of backpacks in The North Face backpacks collection, helps to let people know where you are
  • Electronics Pocket and Media Port – Some bookbags include pockets to hold a phone or MP3 player, with a port for headphones to come out of
  • Board Carry – Skate and snowboard backpacks include two horizontal straps on the outside of the pack to hold your board
  • Shovel Storage Pocket – Brands like Burton Backpacks include a storage pocket for a small shovel in some backpacks, meant for building jumps or digging yourself out of trouble
  • Goggle / Sunglasses Pocket – Some brands include a fleece or plush lined pocket in their backpacks, designed to fit snow goggles or sunglasses, protecting them from scratches
  • Laptop Cord Pocket – Some bookbags include a separate pocket to keep your laptop cord from tangling
  • iPad Compatible – Recently, new backpacks are making padded pockets to accommodate an iPad or similar tablet device
  • Reflective Details – Designed to increase nighttime or low-light visibility, these details keep you safe while walking or riding at night
  • Webbing Utility Loops – Located on the exterior of the bag, these loops hold objects like trekking poles, ice axes, and other items you wouldn’t want to keep inside the backpack, and you would need quick access to
  • Drop / Stash Pockets – Exterior pockets on the front of backpacks allow easy access and quick storage of essential items
  • Exterior Bungee Cords – These cords give added structure to the bag and can also be used to hold bulky items outside of the bag
  • Rain Cover – Some hiking backpacks include a rain cover to pull over the bag to keep it and its contents dry
  • Shoe / Laundry / Wet Pocket – These pockets are often lined with waterproof fabrics, and work to keep wet, dirty, or smelly clothes or shoes separate from the main compartment
  • Insulated Cooler Compartment – These pockets keep your lunch or a beverage cool. Typically lined with waterproof fabrics, it can also act as a wet pocket
How do I find the right backpack to fit my body type?

Having a backpack that fits your body type is incredibly important to both your continued comfort and physical health while carrying the pack. Most backpacks and brands appeal to a wide variety of body types. Some brands make specific women’s backpacks, with curved, narrower shoulder straps, smaller profiles, shorter torsos, and wider hip belts to better fit a woman’s figure.

Before using your backpack, it’s important to adjust it to properly fit you. Put some weight in the pack to replicate its actual fit while in use, and adjust the:

  1. Hip Belt – These should fit snuggly around you waist when clipped together
  2. Shoulder Straps – These should be tightened enough so that the point where the straps meet the pack is just below the large bone at the base of your neck, at the top where your shoulders meet. The bottom of your pack should be pulled up to just above your hips, and should not droop past this point
  3. Sternum Straps – Fasten these to keep the shoulder straps in place. These should not restrict your breathing
How much room do I need in my bookbag?

This should completely depend on what you need to carry and how you’re using the bookbag. If you need a backpack for elementary school, then look for smaller, more durable backpacks. However, if you’re a regular hiker and camper, a large-capacity hiking backpack is best for you.

What materials are backpacks made from?

Most modern backpacks are made from different combinations of polyesters and nylons with varying deniers (D). Denier is a measurement of fiber firmness, and is typically measured in weight (grams). Denier is measured by the mass in grams per 9000 meters, so: 9000 meters of a 600D thread = 600 grams

A backpack’s fiber combination and denier thickness can affect its weight, durability, water and abrasion resistance, feel, color fastness, and most importantly, price! Check out the following charts to better understand the differences between the fabrics used in backpacks, and how denier thickness truly affects the make-up of the bag

  • Weight: It will have a heavier feel
  • Durability and Strength: The pack will last longer and the backpack can hold heavier loads without tearing or losing its shape
  • Water Resistance: The product becomes more water resistant
  • Abrasion Resistance AKA Tenacity: Because of its heavy weight, the bookbag will become more resistant to tearing
  • Solidity: The backpack becomes less sheer, will feel less soft to the touch, and will become sturdier and harder
  • Price: The price of the backpack will increase as denier increases
How do I know which materials are used in my backpack, and what they offer me?

Different backpacks, bookbags, and brands use all sorts of materials, outside of traditional polyester and nylon. Assess the following glossary to understand which materials are used in your favorite bookbags, and what they offer:

How does my personal preference, style, and aesthetics affect my backpack decision?

Backpacks come in all sorts of shapes, styles, prints, and colors! We even offer a few that are reversible, so you get two looks to choose the one that best suits your mood. Once you know which type of backpack you’re looking for, have fun choosing which style fits your personality!

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