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Best small backpack

Which small backpack is best? 

Backpacks are practical and convenient, but sometimes you don't want a huge backpack that will weigh you down and get in the way. Luckily, you can find small backpacks that are more compact in size and just right for everyday use. Backpacks of this size will fit essentials like your wallet, keys, phone, water bottle and a sweater in case it gets cold.

So, which is the best small backpack? There's no single best small backpack, but there are some excellent options out there to suit people with a range of styles and preferences. 

Best small backpacks

JanSport Half Pint Backpack

This compact backpack comes from one of the biggest names in backpacks. It has a simple design with one large compartment plus a front pocket to hold items you need easy access to. It comes in a range of cool colors and designs, including a galaxy print and yellow plaid.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl's

Under Armour Hustle Sport Backpack

This is a lightweight, water-resistant backpack that can stand up to wear and tear. This is arguably the best small hiking backpack or small backpack to wear while running or cycling, since it's relatively compact yet large enough to fit everything you need.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl's

Vera Bradley Performance Twill Small Backpack

Both practical and stylish, this backpack wouldn't look out of place with a smart-casual outfit but has the utility you want from a backpack. The side pockets are great for water bottles and similar, while the front pocket and inner pocket securely hold your phone, wallet or other small items that could get lost in the bottom of your back. It's available in a variety of great colors and prints.

Sold by Amazon

Adidas Linear Mini Backpack

An excellent choice for Adidas fans, this backpack has a bold text logo printed in a prominent position. You can choose from a selection of color combinations to best suit your usual clothing color palette. The front and inner pockets are perfect for holding small items.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl's

Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack

The perfect size for a daypack, this backpack is large enough to fit a decent amount, such as a book, large headphones, a sweater, snacks and a water bottle, alongside your basic essentials like your wallet, phone and keys. It's made from a highly durable vinyl material that's resistant to water and dirt and it has a large front pocket plus two side pockets. It's available in a large number of color combinations with some striking options.

Sold by Amazon

Everest Basic Backpack

This affordable backpack might not win any prizes for innovative style, but it's practical and great for casual use. It's not the smallest of backpacks — it fits a decent amount without being large, so it's a good choice if you want something that's bigger than a mini backpack but still quite small.

Sold by Amazon

Core Hemp Mini Backpack

If you're looking for an eco-friendly backpack, this should be high on your list. It's made from hemp, which is fast-growing and sustainable. You can pick from a variety of solid colors and prints. Its compact dimensions make it easy to carry anywhere, while the front pocket is handy for small belongings.

Sold by Amazon

Waterfly Crossbody Sling Backpack

Slightly different from your average backpack with a crossbody design that some buyers prefer to a standard two-strap backpack. There's a hand pouch on the strap around the chest area so you can access items quickly without even taking your bag off. It comes in several colors.

Sold by Amazon

Vera Bradley Microfiber Small Backpack

A fashionable backpack that comes in black but with a pop of color from the printed interior lining. Made from a microfiber material, it's machine washable and therefore easy to keep clean. In addition to the main compartment, it has two side pockets and a zippered front pocket.

Sold by Amazon

Herschel Classic Backpack

This mini backpack has a compact 9-liter volume, but you can also select a larger 18-liter mid-volume backpack if you want something that's larger than mini but still smaller than the standard 24-liter full-size backpack. It's well-made with easily adjustable straps and a spacious zippered front pocket. With several color options to pick from, you're sure to find one you like.

Sold by Amazon

Adidas Originals Santiago Mini Backpack

Made from polyester, this mini backpack is durable with a classic look. It comes in a range of colors and with various logo designs, including the iconic trefoil and the three stripes design. It is extremely small so you won't be able to fit much inside, but it's great if you just need to carry essentials like your wallet and keys.

Sold by Amazon

Nike Brasilia Mini Backpack

A small backpack from a big brand, this model is perfect for holding your sporting essentials or for general use. It's a compact backpack for adults or a perfect school-size backpack for elementary school kids who you don't want to weigh down with anything too large.

Sold by Amazon

Carhartt Mini Backpack

This bag has all the durability you'd expect from Carhartt but in a small package. This backpack measures almost 12 inches tall, so although it is compact compared to standard backpacks, it still fits a decent amount. It's water-resistant with a fleece-lined front pocket to protect your phone or other valuables.

Sold by Amazon

Travelon Anti-Theft Signature Nylon Slim Backpack

If you're searching for the best small travel backpack, look no further. It's a great choice as your personal carry-on item when flying, but it's also suitable for everyday use. The main compartment has RFID blocking card and passport slots to prevent your credit card or passport from being read and the locking compartments and slash-resistant straps help avoid potential thefts.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl's


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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