The best backpacks for women

These backpacks prove that you don’t have to sacrifice style for function.

Woman on lake with backpack
Now you can carry everything but the kitchen sink AND be stylish while doing so.iclipart

Once upon a time, you might have scoffed at the idea of a lady backpack. A purse was considered more stylish—or so the fashion magazines had told you—and modern. But then, over the years, your priorities shifted. Not only do you now need more space to carry your own wallet, phone and other must-haves, but also snacks, backup clothes and other must-haves for your kids. Maybe you want to throw a laptop in there, too. And if your back is not as strong as it once was, the appeal of the backpack—and the way your posture immediately improves whenever you wear a balanced one—becomes increasingly undeniable. Added bonus: enjoying the convenience of being hands-free and not having to worry about dropping your phone.

Sold on the lady backpack yet? Yeah, us, too.

If your desire to be stylish hasn’t diminished, however, you’re in luck! The women’s backpack has come a long way—and now comes in a variety of much cooler styles. Here are our editors’ hand-picked favorites.

women's waterproof backback
Cute and functional.Amazon

This women’s backpack is popular for good reason. It’s roomy enough to hold your books, iPad, cell phone, wallet, umbrella, glasses case, makeup and even a small laptop (9.7 inches or smaller)—and also has two zip side pockets and a place for a water bottle. Score! Perfect for travel and/or your commute to work, the bag features water-resistant nylon and smartly hides the main-opening zippers to discourage any potential pick-pocketers. As for that style factor, the backpack is surprisingly sleek and cool—and comes in a variety of neutral colors bound to go with most anything in your wardrobe. And you can’t beat the price!

Leather Backpack for women
A convertible bag that can be a backpack or a purse.Amazon

Reminiscent of a high-end brand—without the high-end price tag—this durable and chic backpack is deceptively big, deep enough to carry water and snacks to last all day, as well as an iPhone, a bag of makeup, wallet, glasses, a planner and even more goodies, if needed. Also offers lots of zip pockets for extra storage and a small hole for your earphones, should you want to listen to music. Our editors love this backpack because it also can be converted into a shoulder bag, taking you from day to night. Truly, high fashion at a great value.

UTO Women Backpack Purse
Lots of colors from which to chooseAmazon

This backpack is a winner, coming in a variety of beautiful colors (light purple, red and camel, for starters) and style options, with adjustable back straps and a shoulder strap. Our editors are particularly enthralled with its seemingly endless, deep, exterior pockets and size; this bag can even hold a laptop 14” or less. The UTO is incredibly soft and luxurious-looking, yet easily wipes clean and is water-and scratch-resistant, thanks to its hardy material that holds up in the worst of weather (and under the worst of treatment, should your toddler or dog get ahold of it!). Perfect for work, casual outings and parenthood.