Want to get a mini backpack? Then you’re definitely in the right place since that’s exactly what we’ll be talking about in this detailed review!
At A Glance: Best Mini Backpacks
I’ve included all sorts of great mini backpacks, from excellent hydration bags to stylish backpack purses. Whether you’re looking to ditch your standard daypack for something smaller or just want a good bag for your kid, you will find lots of options below!
Best Mini Daypack
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Best Mini Anti-Theft Backpack
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Best Mini Backpack For Kids
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Best Mini Hydration Backpack
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Best Mini Backpack Purse
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The Kanken Mini is a smaller version of the classic Kanken backpack. It is made from the same high quality Vinylon-F material, and it’s just as durable as its bigger brother. If you want a casual mini backpack that is durable, water resistant and extremely tough, this is an excellent option for you.
This backpack has a spacious main compartment that can easily fit your classic iPad and even some smaller 10-11” laptops. There’s a sleeve inside the backpack that features a foam pad. The pad can be removed when you’re not wearing the backpack and it works like a sitting pad as well. But when you’re wearing the backpack it created the barrier between your back and the stuff inside the main compartment, ensuring that nothing is going to point you in the back.
That pad has its own sleeve, so you can also take it out and put your tablet or laptop inside the sleeve. That’s the only separate compartment inside the bag, so you might need to get creative when it comes to organizing the items inside. This backpack features an extra pocket on the front of the bag, which is great for any smaller items you might want to keep more easily accessible.
Kanken backpacks are generally praised for their toughness and durability. That’s the main selling point – it’s a pricey backpack but once you buy it, you’re set for the next five years at the very least. And I’m being modest there – people have reported using these backpacks for more than a decade at a time, so they’re certainly worth the higher price points.
Travelon makes great anti-theft backpacks and they come in many different shapes and sizes including mini backpacks. If you want a daypack that has great anti-theft features, this is a really good option. It has an RFID blocking pocket, it is made from extremely durable and slash resistant material and it has locks on the zippers.
Anti-theft backpacks are generally a good idea for people who spend a lot of time on crowded public transport or in areas that are full of pickpockets. If you want to be certain that stuff is not going to magically disappear from your bag, getting a pack with lockable zippers is pretty much the best thing you could do.
The backpack straps are also slash-resistant thanks to the stainless-steel wire inside them. Also, it is possible to lock the straps to a stationary object so you can literally leave this backpack unattended for a few minutes without worrying that someone is going to walk away with it. Pretty cool, right?
The other thing I like about Travelon backpacks is that they usually have great organizational features. This pack is no exception – it features multiple internal pockets (open and zippered) so you can easily organize your everyday necessities. The pockets include a spacious tablet sleeve, a smaller zippered pocket, and some extra space in the main compartment. There’s also a key attachment clip and two additional external zippered pockets, for the ultimate organization in a mini backpack!
On top of all that, you should also know that the straps can be removed. You can adjust them so that you have a standard crossbody bag instead of a backpack, and there’s also a handy grab handle at the top. Overall, you get multiple options for carrying the bag, which is super convenient.
If you want a mini backpack for your child, the Bseash pack is an excellent option. It has everything you get in a good backpack for adults, but in a smaller kid-friendly size. The bag is recommended for kids that are up to 4 feet tall, so bear that in mind.
The best thing about this mini backpack is that it has a padded and ventilated backpanel, for great carrying comfort. The shoulder straps are also covered with mesh and they are adjustable, so it should be pretty easy to make this bag fit your little one perfectly.
But the capacity is where things get interesting. The total capacity of the bag is some 10 liters, which is really good for its size. It has two main compartments that are surprisingly roomy, so you will be able to fit quite a lot of stuff inside the bag. The pack is big enough to fit a standard 9.7” tablets, but it’s not going to fit A4 format magazines.
Additionally, this backpack features two stretchy side pockets that can fit smaller water bottles, as well as a bungee cord on the front panel. The latter is great for storing a small jacket or hoodie, especially since the outerwear wouldn’t take up any space inside the main compartments of the bag.
The versatile design of this backpack is reason enough to get it for your child. It will work as a travel backpack, a hiking bag and even a school bag, thanks to all the different features. And it’s comfortable enough that your child won’t be inconvenienced by the bag, which is essential for getting them to actually carry it!
The M.U.L.E. hydration backpack is a great option of cyclists. It’s a small bag with a generous capacity and a laser cut MOLLE panel all over the front pocket. The MOLLE panel lets you attach anything you want to the exterior of the bag with a carabiner, which is great for any bulkier items that won’t fit inside the bag.
You can attach an LED light to the MOLLE panel and even a helmet if you improvise a bit. That’s pretty awesome for a bag that only has 8 liters of storage for gear! The mini backpack has an additional 3-liter compartment for the Mil-Spec Crux reservoir, which is included in the purchase.
The gear capacity is spread across two different compartments, so you might even be able to organize it to a degree. Especially since the lower front compartment features two open pockets inside. On top of that, it’s worth noting that the entire bag is made from durable 500D rip-resistant Cordura fabric, so you shouldn’t worry about ripping the MOLLE panels.
The CamelBak hydration pack has thick padding in the backpanel and harness, for great carrying comfort. It even has a webbing hip belt, which ensures that the pack stays in place no matter what you are doing. This is particularly important for mountain bikers and cyclists, but it can also be helpful on light hikes.
As for the Mil Spec Crux reservoir, it’s as good as you would expect. It delivers 25% more water per sip than the old version, and that’s actually a 5% improvement over the basic Crux. But just like the basic Crux, this one lets you detach the hose from the reservoir, for easy refills and cleaning.
JanSport backpacks are popular for their insane durability, timeless design and affordable price tags. They are particularly popular among teenagers, since the staple design of roomy compartments is perfect for school books.
The Half-Pint daypack is a good option for you if you want something simple, classic and timeless. It will never go out of style and the durable material is tough enough to handle years of daily use. In fact, the premium Cordura fabric is so tough that you can easily clean this in the washing machine without any issues.
This backpack features adjustable shoulder straps and a web haul handle for easy carrying. It has a spacious main compartment that is big enough to hold standard-size tablets, and it might even fit some smaller 10-11” laptops. But that’s not guaranteed – the backpack is might narrower on the top than it is on the bottom, so you can’t be sure whether or not your laptop will fit until you actually have the bag in your hands.
There are also two extra pockets on the front of the bag, for any smaller stuff you would want to keep separate. The bigger pocket is zippered and it can hold a small wallet or keys and the other is an open pocket that can maybe fit a card and not much else.
The capacity of this backpack is a little over 10 liters, which is actually really good. Bear in mind that most mini backpacks have a capacity of 6-8 liters – this one is roomy enough that you can fit a hoodie and a water bottle inside. If you want a small backpack that’s functional enough you won’t miss your old big bag, this is definitely one of the top options. Especially at the $25 price point!
Herschel is another highly regarded backpack brand. They’re loved by young adults everywhere due to the stylish design and excellent quality of their bags. Herschel is probably best known for their staple striped cotton lining – that feature is the same on all of their bags from the mini options like the Heritage to the classic big laptop backpacks.
The Heritage mini pack features an internal storage sleeve that is big enough to hold your tablet or even a small, 10” laptop. I think you can’t fit 11” laptops in this big – an 11” MacBook Air is actually longer than 11”, and that’s the smallest and thinnest laptop in that category. It’s worth noting that the internal sleeve is lined so that whatever you put inside won’t slide around the compartment.
This backpack also features adjustable shoulder straps, a convenient grab handle at the top, and an additional external pocket. As far as mini backpacks go, the Heritage from Herschel is certainly one of the best options in terms of quality.
The tiny pack is also available in a wide variety of colors and prints so everyone can get something they actually like. I guess the main downside of the bag is that its price for what it is. Bear in mind that this pack doesn’t have that many more features than the JanSport Half Pint, but it’s nearly three times more expensive. If you want an affordable mini pack, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one.
Then again, Herschel usually makes up for their higher price tags with excellent quality and durability of their products. If you do end up getting this bag, I seriously doubt you will be disappointed with its performance.
In case you want a hydration backpack, the CamelBak Classic is one of the best options on the market. This brand is known for their high quality bags especially among cyclists and hikers. The Classic is a small and lightweight hydration backpack with a 2.5 hydration capacity as well as an extra half a liter for the absolutely essential gear you can’t leave at home.
That’s the only potential downside of the bag. And if you want a hydration backpack that has even more space for your gear, CamelBak has several other options worth considering. But if you just want a mini hydration pack, the Classic is the perfect option.
This backpack comes with CamelBak’s redesigned Crux reservoir that now delivers 20% more water per sip. The Crux is generally thought to be one of the best hydration bladders on the market, due to the high quality construction and ease of use. It even has an ergonomic handle that makes it easy to refill the reservoir. Plus, the hose is easily detachable, so you don’t have to remove it from the backpack when you take out the hydration bladder.
In addition to that, the Classic pack features a ventilated mesh harness for excellent carrying comfort. The backpanel and the harness are both highly breathable, ensuring that this backpack feels comfortable on your body no matter what you are doing. The breathability is particularly important for physical activities, since it ensures that you are not going to sweat too much in the places where the bag touches your body.
The small pocket for additional gear is on the front of the backpack and it is separate from the hydration compartment. It will not fit a lot of gear, but it’s enough just for the bare necessities. On top of that, this pack also features an LED light attachment point, making it a decent option for mountain bikers who just want something to keep them hydrated.
Mini backpacks are a popular alternative to classic purses and I wanted to include a few of those as well. So here are the top three mini backpacks for women who just want a cute and stylish alternative to their existing everyday bags.Best Mini Backpack Purse
The Kate Spade New York backpack is sleek, stylish and simple. It’s made from leather so you know that it’s a very durable bag that you will be able to wear for years and years to come. The interior of the Jackson mini backpack is fully lined with jacquard fabric, so that leather is protected from the inside as well.
One thing I really like about this mini backpack is that it has two pockets inside the main compartment. One is open and the other one is zippered, so you should be able to organize some of your smaller items. Most mini backpacks include a single internal pocket at the most, so this is really convenient. There’s also an extra zippered pocket on the front of the pack, for the smaller stuff you want more easily accessible.
The thin leather straps of the Jackson backpack are adjustable with buckles, allowing you to customize how you want to wear the bag. There’s also a grab handle at the top, but it’s mostly just a decorative feature.
This bag is available in several different prints and solid colors, and the exact price varies depending on the style of the bag that you choose. It could be as little as some $100, or as much as $200.
Another important thing to note is that this is truly a mini backpack – it’s so small that it is not going to fit a standard tablet. You might even struggle to fit a bigger wallet inside the bag, especially if it’s not the only thing inside the bag. It’s not the best option in terms of pure functionality, but is that ever a priority when we’re shopping for purses?
The Barsine mini backpack is great if you want something stylish but affordable. With a retail price under $25, this tiny pack certainly doesn’t break the bank. And it has some excellent features for such an affordable bag!
The number of pockets on the Barsine faux leather pack is impressive. There are two zippered pockets on the front panel, the roomy main compartment, an extra zippered pocket in the back and a small open pocket on the side. Plus, the main compartment also features internal pockets for easy organization. A standard 9.7” iPad can easily fit inside this backpack – that should give you an idea just how roomy it is.
Another great thing about this mini backpack is that the shoulder straps are detachable. You can adjust how you wear them, and you can even transform the pack into a classic crossbody purse. The straps are made from nylon, so they are durable and water-resistant.
The backpack is available in several different color options, but the straps and zipper detail are black regardless of the color of the body. While that looks perfectly fine on the darker bags, I honestly think it looks rather awkward on the brown and white options. But that’s a matter of personal preference – the thing that’s great is that all colors cost the same, so you don’t have to make any compromises there.
The only downside of this backpack is durability. Depending on how often you wear it, you will notice signs of wear and tear on the faux leather. It might happen in six months, or it might happen in six years – the durability of faux leather largely depends on how you care for it.
The Aeeque mini backpack is a great option for women who want something cute and simple. This is an affordable backpack made from PU leather, and it’s the smallest bag featured in this review. It won’t fit an iPad or a laptop, but it will fit your phone, wallet, chapstick and a few other necessities.
This bag has three different zippered compartments, so you should be able to organize those essentials. Or at least you can separate your keys from your phone and avoid a disaster. One of the compartments even has a tiny hole for headphones, which might come in handy to those of you that still make use of the headphone jack on your smartphone.
The mini backpack has two long shoulder straps that are entirely removable. You can wear it like a standard backpack, or you can transform it into a simple crossbody bag. This actually lets you make the bag a little more formal, so you can get away with wearing it with fancier outfits.
And you can easily get this in a color you will love since there is at least seven different colors to choose from. There’s obviously a classic black option, but all the others are rather vibrant – this mini backpack is great for adding a pop of color to any outfit!
Mini backpack is a very broad term. Do you want a tiny fashionable backpack that will look cute with your outfits, or a mini hydration pack that will hold only the essentials on short hikes? Maybe you want a smaller version of a classic daypack, but something that’s still roomy enough to hold an 11” laptop and a tablet?
I did my best to include as many different options as possible so that there’s really something for everyone. But it’s worth noting that the sizes of the bags range from it might fit your laptop to it’s not going to fit your wallet. Because of that, it’s important that you check the exact dimensions of each bag, so you can be sure that it’s going to fit all the items you want to put inside it.
I’ve also included lots of options for those of you who are looking for a mini daypack, from staple JanSport and Herschel bags to great anti-theft packs from Travelon. So, no matter what exactly type of backpack that you want, you should have plenty of options here.
No matter what type of backpack you want to get, it’s important to make sure that the quality and durability of the materials meet your expectations. The quality heavily depends on the exact materials the bag is made from, so that’s going to be a big indicator of what you should expect. And the price is a pretty big indicator as well – if you’re looking at a $15 bag, don’t expect it to last for years to come.
I’ve featured everything here, from those cheap $15 bags to super durable military backpacks that are well over $100. Obviously, a mini backpack for hikes and everyday use has to be more durable than a simple mini backpack that’s supposed to replace a purse you might use once a week, and it’s important to keep that distinction in mind.
As for the materials themselves, Cordura nylon is generally thought to be the toughest option there is. Ripstop nylon is also very tough and durable, and polyester is immediately behind it. Cotton is the least durable of all these fabrics, simply because the natural material doesn’t have the same level of rip resistance as the synthetic man-made fabrics
I’ve also included a few leather and faux leather packs. The difference between the quality of these is pretty big, but so is the price point. You can get about five faux leather packs for the price of one leather bag, Obviously, it’s better to get a genuine leather bag if you can afford it, but if you just want a cheap solution, faux leather will do just fine.
It’s always important to make sure you are getting a backpack that’s large enough to fit everything you need. I’ve indicated the capacities of these packs wherever possible, so be sure to check that before you actually buy anything.
Also, I would recommend that you check whether a mini pack can fit laptops or tablets since that’s a great indication of just how big it is. If you carry your iPad everywhere, it doesn’t make much sense to get a mini pack that can’t fit one inside.
It’s also important to check how many compartments and pockets you get on these bags. Just because it’s a mini backpack doesn’t mean you need to abandon all thought of organization – plenty of bags I’ve featured here include multiple internal and external pockets! Some of the bags even have external attachment points, so you can fit all those bulkier items on the exterior of the bag.
If you’re looking at hydration backpacks, it’s important to make a distinction between the hydration capacity and the gear capacity. They feature a dedicated compartment for the hydration bladder, and then an extra pocket or two – depending on the bag – where you’re supposed to store your gear. The gear capacity of these bags can range from 0.5 to 10 liters, so double-check that you’re getting a bag that’s big enough for your needs.
Still not sure which of these mini backpacks is the best option for you? Then get one of our top three picks, depending on the type of bag you need!
If you want a standard daypack in a mini version, I recommend the Travelon backpack. Carrying an anti-theft backpack just gives you peace of mind about your belongings, especially if you spend a lot of time on public transport. The pack is big enough to fit standard iPads, and it has several internal and external pockets for easy organization. That includes an RFID safe pocket, which is another great anti-theft feature in addition to the steel mesh and lockable zippers.
Perhaps you want a mini hydration backpack? The CamelBak M.U.L.E. is easily the top bag in that category. It is made from very durable materials, it features a laser-cut MOLLE panel on the front so you can attach more items to the exterior than you can fit inside the bag and it comes with the Mil Spec Crux reservoir. The backpack has a hydration capacity of 3 liters and a gear capacity of 8 liters, so it’s a great size for light hikes and mountain biking adventures.
Those of you that just want to ditch their everyday purse in favor of a cute mini backpack will love the Kate Spade New York Jackson pack. It is made from genuine leather, so it is remarkably durable, and it features one external and two internal pockets for easy organization. The shoulder straps of the backpack are adjustable, and you can get them in several different colors – one of those is bound to compliment your style!
Head over to Amazon to see the exact prices and different color options of all the mini backpacks featured in this review. And if you want to look at even more options, go check out our related posts!