Backpacks are no longer reserved for school children, as over the past three years, designers have slowly introduced “grown-up” convertible backpacks purses into our lives. Honestly, we’re better for it.
While research firm NPD reports that sales of women’s handbags are down over 20%, sales of backpacks for women were up by 28% in 2019. This was largely driven by office working women trading their handbags for something a little more practical.
Backpacks allow students, office workers and gym goers alike to carry all our essentials in a comfortable manner. Convertible backpack purses offer the same convenience yet still give users the ability to fashionably carry a purse when needed. There are a few different styles of convertible backpack purses to consider when purchasing your first one. Here are some of the options:
- Dual-Handled Bags: These bags are ready to go out of the box as backpacks or handbags. They usually have both sets of handles permanently attached to the body of the bag.
- Bags with Moveable Straps: Such bags usually have clipped-on straps that allow you to rearrange them to create an over-the-shoulder bag or a backpack.
- Sling Bag/Backpacks: For a sportier look, some backpacks can be converted into sling purses. These usually have backpack straps that zip together to create one cross-body strap.
- Sliding Straps: Occasionally, these bags will feature a long strap fed through two o-rings that can be slid from a backpack position to a cross-body position.
If you’re totally on board with the new convertible backpack purse trend, consider these 15 bags. Each one can be carried either on your back or over your shoulder, giving you a wealth of options. As an added bonus, these purses all cost less than $50.
1. Cluci Backpack Purse
The Cluci Backpack Purse is designed to keep you fashionable and safe. First and foremost, this Cluci backpack purse boasts a back zipper closure, making it difficult for thieves to access your belongings. In addition, the entire bag is water resistant, keeping your valuable items dry. Finally, this backpack features a removable shoulder strap so that it can transition from backpack to shoulder bag in an instant.
2. PINCNEL Backpack Purse
The PINCNEL Backpack Purse is an affordable, multifunctional purse. Designed from waterproof nylon fabric, this bag features a large main pocket accessible from a back zipper. Inside that main pocket, you’ll find one zipper pocket and one slip pocket for your phone. Additionally, the bag features sturdy backpack straps alongside a removable top strap for carrying it over the shoulder.
3. ArcEnCiel Canvas Rucksack Shoulder Bag
BEST CASUAL DESIGN
For a backpack with a design that stands out yet is perfectly casual, consider the ArcEnCiel Canvas Rucksack Shoulder Bag. The canvas bag features removable straps with clips for either a backpack configuration or a crossbody set-up. There’s a large main pocket for housing your tablet, wallet and other essentials. There’s also a zippered side pocket for your phone and an exterior pocket with a buckle closure for everything else. This casual convertible backpack purse is available in two different colors.
4. Travistar Multifunction Daypack
The Travistar Multifunction Daypack boasts a super simple design that works as a backpack, a handbag or a crossbody bag. The top handle is fixed, while a longer handle feeds through two loops at the top of the bag. Pull it up through the loops, and you’ll get a long strap to throw over your shoulder. Keep the strap down through the loops, and that creates the two straps of a backpack for you to carry the back on the bag. The interior pocket is large enough for a small laptop and your other essentials, making this a great bag for a day trip of city exploration or other adventures.
5. Left Coast Original Mini Convertible Purse
Don’t need a lot of space to carry your essentials but still want something you can carry on your back? Take a look at the Left Coast Original Mini Convertible Purse and Shoulder Bag. This bag isn’t as big as some of the others on our list, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in style. The leather bag is available in several pastel colors and can function as a shoulder bag or backpack. The main compartment is secured by both a zip and a flap closure. Plus, the purse also features a hidden, zippered phone compartment on the back for easy access. And, as an added bonus, this “leather” purse is completely vegan friendly.
6. JOSEKO Leather Flap Backpack Purse
If you’re looking for a leather convertible backpack purse, look no further than the JOSEKO Leather Flap Backpack Purse. This bag is sleek and stylish as it’s made from synthetic PU leather. Measuring 11 by nine inches, the main compartment can hold an iPad, while the two interior slip pockets and the zippered pockets can organize your other essentials. Thanks to its design, this bag can go from backpack to crossbody purse in a matter of seconds, allowing it to fit your lifestyle as you need it.
7. VX Backpack Purse for Women
The VX Backpack Purse for Women is available in four versatile colors, meaning no matter which one you choose, it’s easy to match it with a number of outfits. Inside, the bag sports a main compartment which is large enough to house a 9.7-inch iPad. You’ll also find a range of additional internal slots and zippered pockets for other items, like your sunglasses, an umbrella, smartphone and essential cosmetics. On the outside, there are two side pockets for quick and easy access to smaller items as well as a zippered back pocket to boot. Overall, this stylish two-in-one purse is ideal for all kinds of occasions, including work, school or travel.
8. Cluci Backpack Shoulder Bag
Large enough to carry a 10-inch laptop or a 9-inch iPad, this Cluci backpack works well as a school or work bag. However, it also boasts a removable shoulder strap, meaning it can transition easily to an around town bag or even a small carry on for a weekend away. The PU leather backpack boasts 9 pockets in total. In addition, the bag features fashionable metal buckles, heavy duty zippers and a fabric lining for durability.
9. Travelon Classic Small Convertible Backpack
Whether you’re traveling or just out and about, the Travelon Classic Small Convertible Backpack can protect whatever you need to carry with you. That’s because this bag is built with anti-theft technology. The entire main compartment is RFID blocking, so virtual assailants cannot access your data. Plus, the bag includes a tethered keyring with a built-in LED light and clasps for the zip pulls to prevent thieves from opening your bag when you aren’t aware. While comparatively small when sized up against the other bags on our list, the main compartment of this backpack can still hold a small tablet, and the mesh expansion pocket is big enough for a water bottle. To convert the bag from a backpack to a bag, simply unclip the straps and rearrange them.
10. KL928 Canvas Sling Bag
For a bag that really stands out in a crowd, it’s worth considering the KL928 Canvas Sling Bag. This compact bag sports a slim yet stylish design which works for both men and women. The bag features a main compartment as well as several smaller pockets, including a bottle pocket, a smartphone holder and a front-facing zipper pocket. It easily switches between a backpack and sling bag with the simple action of doing up or undoing the zipper found between the straps. Additionally, it’s available in over 10 colors, meaning there’s definitely a choice to match your favorite outfit.
11. SHANGRI-LA Purse Handbag
While many convertible backpack purses look more like functional backpacks than purses, the SHANGRI-LA Purse Handbag is just the opposite. This bag looks like an over-the-shoulder purse that can be worn as a backpack. The purse has a magnetic snap and additional buckle closure at the top as well as several zipped pockets on the interior and exterior of the main pocket. It’s big enough to hold a small laptop, water bottle and other essentials, but it will never be too bulky to feel comfortable on your shoulder or on your back. Furthermore, the high quality canvas ensures durability that other materials cannot provide. Altogether, this is one purse backpack that you’ll be using for years to come.
12. UTO Backpack Purse
One of the larger backpack purses that we’ve seen, this UTO version is capable of holding a 12-inch laptop or tablet along with all your essential items. The ultra soft synthetic washed leather boasts modern black hardware and a rivet studded design on the flap. Plus, the bag is waterproof and anti-scratch. In terms of converting from a backpack to a shoulder bag, this purse has 2 detachable back straps and 1 removable top loop handle.
13. UTO Washed Leather Backpack Purse
This convertible backpack is pretty much a bag in a bag. The over-the-shoulder handbag is secured inside the front of the backpack with a metal snap. Simply pull it out of the backpack to use it. However, the backpack itself is super spacious with a large interior, a hidden back pocket, side pockets and a front zip pocket. Whichever bag you choose to use, you can stay fashionable with any of the ten color options.
14. AtlasHandicraft Convertible Backpack
MOST WAYS TO WEAR
It’s one of the most expensive convertible backpacks on our list, but it’s one of the most convertible, too. This AtlasHandicraft Convertible Backpack boasts dual detachable straps that allow this bag to change from a modern backpack to an over-the-shoulder style bag. It also includes a smaller, fully detachable bag that you can wear across your body when you don’t need to carry much. Furthermore, the top zip closure helps everything to stay in your bag no matter where you wear it. The exterior of the bag is made from canvas in a minimalist design, while the interior has three smaller pockets and the exterior has five pockets for your convenience.
15. Sherpani Camden Convertible Backpack
A steal at its current price just under $50, the Sherpani Camden Convertible Backpack is one of the most functional items on our list. It can be carried as a tote, a cross-body bag or a backpack, and it features a huge main compartment with enough space for most standard laptops as well as a few other books, your wallet and your smartphone. While all the bag’s features are super impressive, the best part about this bag is that it’s made from entirely recycled materials. So, your eco-conscious mind can rest easy when purchasing this amazing convertible backpack purse.