Carrying a backpack may bring back memories of being back in school, but these days, comfort is just as important to you as style. A packed purse or tote can put a lot of strain disproportionately on one side of your body, and a sexy back is one that isn’t constantly achey or in pain. Besides, you’ve probably borrowed your kid’s backpack more times than you’d like to admit, because it fit all your stuff and was easy to carry, Paw Patrol design be damned.
Fortunately, there are plenty of backpacks that appeal to a grown up aesthetic and are designed to comfortably fit all the everyday essentials like your laptop, lunch, a pair of leggings, a bottle of wine, whatever. Let your kids keep their cartoon accessories and instead, pick up one of these nine women’s laptop backpacks that are high on function and fashion.
13″ Laptop Backpacks
Herschel’s Little America backpack has a “mountaineering silhouette,” but has urban features for those of us who don’t spend our afternoons trekking up and down peaks. The roomy interior compartment has a striped liner for a pop of color and can comfortably fit all your day’s essentials and more, and there’s a padded and fleece-lined laptop sleeve (the mid-volume fits a 13” laptop while the regular size fits a 15” one). To top it off there’s an oh-so-easy drawstring closure to make packing and unpacking a cinch, and a top flap cover to secure all your stuff inside. The leather straps fasten via magnetic closures and there’s a small front pocket with a key clip to store small accessories. And don’t worry about having sweaty backpack backs — there’s a mesh back padding and contoured shoulder straps to keep you cool and comfy.
The Dakota backpack is made from 100 percent premium neoprene, which is durable, water resistant, hand washable, and just plain fun to touch. For those of you that like things to be organized in their proper places, this clean and sleek backpack has a spot for everything: a big main compartment, a front pocket with a key loop, two exterior side pockets, and three zippered interior pockets. It also comes with a zip pouch and a shoe bag, so go ahead and pack that extra pair of party shoes. The medium size has an air mesh sleeve that can fit most 13” laptops, if you are inclined to bring some work along with you. Color options are great, Storm (purple) shown here and the Dune (blush) featured in top photo.
For something effortless, classic, and relatively affordable, the Kane backpack is a lightweight, classic-looking backpack that has an exterior zip pocket, two side pockets, and a laptop sleeve that fits a 13” laptop. The material is a durable nylon, and the straps are adjustable to let you wear the backpack at whatever height you like. Buying a STATE backpack also has the additional benefit of spreading some good in the world. The company partners with various charities around the US, and for every bag purchased, it donates one fully-packed backpack to American families and kids in need.
Parker Clay is a Santa Barbara-based small business and certified B Corp. The company designs its leather goods in California and ethically produces them in their Ethiopian factories, which employ and provide skills training to a large number of at-risk women. They create some amazing bags as well, such as the Miramar Leather Backpack, made from Ethiopian full-grain leather. It has adjustable straps and can fit a 13” laptop in the main compartment, and it’s so stylish that it will pair well with any outfit (yes, including leggings) whether it’s a workday or a weekend. And moms are fans too. One reviewer says, “Absolutely obsessed with this backpack purse. As a mom of two under three, I always need my bags to be convenient yet efficient. This is both. So well made.”
15″ Laptop Backpacks
Chances are, you’ve seen more than your fair share of Fjallraven’s square backpacks with the fox logo. The Swedish brand’s signature backpack was introduced in 1978 and has been carried by urban adventurers ever since. And when something aint broke, why fix it? This version of the Kanken backpack has the same practical and minimalist style it’s always had, plus an additional padded sleeve that fits a 15” laptop. The main compartment is roomy, and there’s a front and two side pockets to hold extra goodies. It’s made out of vinylon F, a synthetic fabric that’s durable, water-resistant, and ready to keep up with your busy schedule. Put on the padded shoulder straps to wear it around town, or grab the top handles for when you’re late and need to rush out the door (i.e., most days of the week).
With TUMI products, you’re paying for world-class, quality luggage, and their backpacks are no different. The Voyageur Carson backpack is a stylish everyday accessory with both form and function. There’s a separate zippered compartment for a 15” laptop and a big main compartment with an interior zipper pocket and tablet pocket. The front pocket has additional organizers for pens, cards, and small odds and ends. There’s a water resistant side pocket to hold water bottles, umbrellas, and more, and a quick-access phone pocket that lets you easily grab your cell without even taking the backpack off. One reviewer raves, “This is my third bag in a couple of years and I’ve definitely found the one. Perfect size, seems quite durable, all the right pockets in all the right places, and it’s beautiful. I’m a daily, public transpo commuter, and this is perfect for all of my day to day stuff, including extra shoes, my lunch and my 4 cans of LaCroix! Love it!”
Compact but surprisingly spacious, Topo’s Daypack is great for work, the gym, road trips, or a casual afternoon out. The padded internal laptop sleeve fits 15” laptops, and there’s an internal organization panel as well as a big front and two side pockets. The exterior is made with sturdy Cordura and has a leather base, so the backpack will maintain its shape no matter how often you toss it on the ground right when you get home. One reviewer says, “I’ve been looking for a stylish, small yet capable backpack for a month now. After ordering and returning about 10 of them, this pack is the one for me! I love it. The materials are excellent, the zippers are high quality, the lining is bright so that you can find your stuff, it has a great amount of space, and the colors can’t be beat. So happy!!!”
Lululemon’s City Adventurer Backpack is a great travel companion for adventures big and small. There’s an exterior padded pocket to fit a 15” laptop, a quick-access phone pocket, and internal water bottle holder. A separate expandable pocket can store sweaty gym clothes, your kids’ outdoor toys, or that sweater you accidentally spilled half your morning coffee on. The fabric is lightweight and water-repellent as well. One happy working mom says, “Love this backpack! It is super light…yet durable and easy to use. As a working Mom of two kids, it has become a part of my daily routine and goes with me everywhere. It carries my laptop with ease and still leaves plenty of room for snacks and diapers! Super versatile and the fabric is very soft!”
Patagonia’s Arbor Classic backpack is sporty looking, but like not too sporty. It has one large compartment with a 15” laptop sleeve and plenty of room to pack everything you need during the day, plus those you don’t but just want. The top flap has a zippered pocket underneath to hold valuables and the front pocket provides additional storage. There’s an adjustable waist strap to help keep your backpack in place (handy for those times you’re rushing around, especially with kids in tow). The material is 100 percent recycled polyester fabric with a water-repellent finish. And bonus: Patagonia has a lifetime warranty on its products, so you can wear this backpacK for years to come.
Well now that you have finally found your perfect work bag (for the office or home-office) check out some other fab mom fashion finds.