The best backpacks for working women: We pick practical and stylish commuting bags

These are the best backpacks for working women: The 11 brands you need to know about

best backpacks for working women include Michael Kors and Sweaty Betty
(Image credit: Michael Kors and Sweaty Betty)

A backpack doesn't mean back-to-school, as our research into the best backpacks for working women showed. We found a range of backpacks that are stylish and a sensible way to carry your essentials.

While we love our best tote bags for unrivaled sartorial style, when it comes to practicality on the day-to-day commute, sometimes we have to admit defeat and opt for one of the best backpacks to lug all our essentials around. The best backpacks have a space for everything. From your laptop to your gym kit and even your lunch, a practical option, you can team it with one of the best crossbody bags to keep your wallet, phone and keys close by.  Backpacks also offer added health benefits as they spread the weight of what you're carrying across your back, leaving you largely hand-free. The padded straps can help prevent digs and pain too. 

If you're style-conscious and have always associated a backpack with back-to-school, have no fear, some of the best designer bag brands also produce backpacks for working women to keep you looking chic on the go. When shopping for the best backpack consider what you'll need to fit in and when you'll use it to ensure you get the right fit and style for you. According to the British brand Aspinal of London, the average woman carries 17 items in her handbag at any one time, weighing roughly the same as three bags of sugar. So getting a good fit is a must. If you're worried about trying to fit too much in, you could also look at some of the best laptop bags to help spread the load. From super stylish to waterproofed fabrics and practical fastenings, these are our best backpacks for working women.

Best backpacks for working women, as chosen by our fashion team 

The best backpacks for working women should combine style and practicality. Versatile designs can also double up as the best weekend bags, with waterproof detailing making them also ideal companions for camping and adventure. The best backpacks should be roomy enough for your essentials, with plenty of practical storage solutions to help you organize your life, but without compromising on design. These are our favorites...

Best backpacks for women hunter

(Image credit: Hunter)

1. Hunter

Best water-resistant backpacks

Specifications

RRP: $$

Reasons to buy

+
Water-resistant
+
Well-known brand
+
Highly practical 

Reasons to avoid

-
Some designs not as smart

When it comes to British clothing brands, Hunter has a strong and well-respected heritage. Loved by everyone from the Royals to the best fashion bloggers, you'll recognize Hunter's infamous wellington boots from magazines and festivals, as they are the comfortable flats to be seen in for tackling wet weather. Making some of the best waterproof jackets, the brand also does some practical and stylish water-repellent backpacks that will keep your belongings dry on your commute. 

Browse all Hunter backpacks from $60 / £45 (opens in new tab)

Hunter backpacks: fashion editor's picks


Sweaty Betty convertable totebag backpack for working woman

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

2. Sweaty Betty

Best sporty backpacks

Specifications

RRP: $$

Reasons to buy

+
Can be used for running
+
Versatile
+
Chic designs 

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited colors

Sweaty Betty is responsible for some of our best leggings outfits, with clothing that takes you from workout to sidewalk with ease, but the brand's bag collection is also worth checking out for milti-use totes and water-resistant running backpacks that offer a sporty and sleek aesthetic. Lightweight and durable, this is the ideal backpack for those that go from office to gym (or vice-versa).

Browse all Sweaty Betty Backpacks from $108 / £85 (opens in new tab)

Sweaty Betty backpacks: fashion editor's picks


Best backpacks for working women include this grey backpack from Fjallraven

(Image credit: Fjallraven)

3. Fjallraven

Best durable backpacks

Specifications

RRP: $$

Reasons to buy

+
Very practical
+
Popular
+
Lots of color options

Reasons to avoid

-
More casual

Scandinavian clothing brand Fjallraven makes some of the best backpacks for working women. Lightweight and spacious, its designs span many iterations, with over 18 colors in the brand's best-seller Kanken design, there is a Fjallraven for every taste. With a focus on practicality, designs are spacious and secure with lots of zipped pockets to help you organize your backpack. 

Browse all Fjallraven backpacks from $50 / £55 (opens in new tab)

Fjallraven backpacks: fashion editor's picks


The Cambridge Satchel Company green backpack for working woman

(Image credit: The Cambridge Satchel Company)

4. Cambridge Satchel Company

Best classic backpacks

Specifications

RRP: $$$

Reasons to buy

+
Long-lasting
+
Vintage style
+
Classic, timeless design

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive

Cambridge Satchel Company, as the name suggests, specializes in satchels with a vintage aesthetic. Playing into the handbag trends 2022, there are lots of silhouettes available, the smaller of which are more practical for weekend use. When it comes to the best backpacks, however, the kitsch nostalgic designs are sweet and playful, with lots of colors available from bold hues to classic neutrals and fashion color trends 2022 favorite - pastels. 

Browse all Cambridge Satchel Company Backpacks from $210 / £150 (opens in new tab)

Cambridge Satchel Company backpacks: fashion editor's picks


Zara quilted cream backpack for working woman with gold chain

(Image credit: Zara)

6. Zara

Best stylish backpacks

Specifications

RRP: $

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable 
+
Trend-led
+
Lots of options

Reasons to avoid

-
May not last as long

Zara is our go-to when we want to translate the best fashion trends 2022 has to offer to our wardrobe at a budget-friendly price. One of the best Spanish clothing brands, Zara has a huge array of bags to choose from and although they probably won't last you quite as long as a designer iteration, if you like a quick fashion fix or want to trial the look, it's certainly a good place to head. From chunky chains to stylish quilting, Zara's bags will hit the mark for those that want to inject a little style into their morning commute. 

Browse all Zara Backpacks from $29.90 / £19.99 (opens in new tab)

Zara backpacks: fashion editor's picks


Best backpacks for working women include this navy rucksack from Longchamp

(Image credit: Longchamp)

6. Longchamp

Best designer backpacks

Specifications

RRP: $$$

Reasons to buy

+
Investment piece
+
Lots of colors
+
Desirable brand

Reasons to avoid

-
High-end price tags

French clothing brand Longchamp has some of the biggest cult bag buys around. The Le Pliage is a lightweight, foldable bag that draws inspiration from origami and is possibly the brand's biggest hit. Its high-end accessories are loved the world over and every bag can easily be filed under investment piece. Thanks to good design and classic craftmanship its brands will be ones you hold onto for years to come. While Longchamp's canvas designs are probably the most well-known, its leather interpretations are absolutely beautiful. Though they come with a higher price point, they are worth every penny. And if you buy a bag, check out some of the brand's best designer cardholders for a complete look.

Browse all Longchamp backpacks from $125 / £80 (opens in new tab)

Longchamp backpacks: fashion editor's picks


Best backpacks for working women include Herschel like this soft pink zip fastened backpack

(Image credit: Herschel)

7. Herschel

Best work to weekend backpacks

Specifications

RRP: $

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Lots of colors
+
Sporty feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as smart

Founded in 2009, Canadian brand Herschel is an expert at creating functional backpacks with a cool edge. With a sporty, skater aesthetic, if you want to lean fully into the look at the weekend, it's the ideal bag when it comes to how to wear Vans, making it just right for weekend excursions as well as daily use. With Herschel's instantly recognizable Little America buckle design bag to the more luxe-looking Orion, there is a style for everyone. And it isn't just winning on sartorial style points, it's practical too. With plenty of room for your laptop too, most designs feature an internal 13" sleeve and extra padding to keep it safe.

Browse all Herschel Backpacks from $31.99 / £30 (opens in new tab)

Herschel backpacks: fashion editor's picks

Best backpacks for women Katie Loxton

(Image credit: Katie Loxton)

8. Katie Loxton

Best smart backpacks

Specifications

RRP: $

Reasons to buy

+
Chic colors
+
Smart designs
+
Can be personalized

Reasons to avoid

-
May not fit all laptops

All Katie Loxton designs are created in-house by Katie and the team so expect cute details, chic colorways and high-quality craftsmanship. The backpack collection looks way more pricey than the tag suggests and many bags can be personalized, making them a fantastic gift too. Although they may not all fit your laptop in, they are big enough for the essentials and make chic day to night bags.

Browse all Katie Loxton Backpacks from $65 / £49.99 (opens in new tab)

Katie Loxton backpacks: fashion editor's picks

Knomo backpack for working women with leather trim

(Image credit: Knomo)

9. Knomo

Best for premium fabrics

Specifications

RRP: $$

Reasons to buy

+
Multi-pockets and sections for easy organization
+
Luxe fabrications
+
Classic designs, won't date

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Knomo is all about quality. From full-grain leathers, premium fabrics, and custom-made hardware, each bag is packed with functional pockets to help you get organized and sectioned spaces for laptops, to keep your tech safe. Sleek and discreet, this is the backpack for those women who felt that backpacks couldn't be given a grown-up polish.

Browse all Knomo Backpacks from $136 / £99 (opens in new tab)

Knomo backpacks: fashion editor's picks