A Mini Backpack is a vital part of our modern, “on the go” society. Basically, it is a pack, which is designed to be lightweight, convenient and portable. You can take essential items on the go, and not have the hassle and bulk of a ‘full-size’ backpack.
They can be especially indispensible for travelers, because of their small form factor and ability to easily integrate as part of a luggage ensemble.
The best chart
|Everest Junior Backpack||4.2||$$$|
|Goson Leather Mini Backpack||3.6||$$|
|SnowWhale Travel Backpack||4.0||$$|
|JanSport Half Pint Classic Daypack||4.3||$$$|
|Rothco Vintage Canvas Mini Backpack||3.9||$$|
|Adidas Alliance II Sport Sackpack||4.6||$$|
|Mato & Hash Drawstring Tote||4.1||$|
Which Mini Backpack is going to be right for your needs? With our chart, you can easily see which popular backpacks will provide you with the features and value you need.
Advantages of a Good Mini Backpack
The main benefit you get with the right Mini Backpack is convenience. Whether you’re a more petite person, or just don’t like carrying a heavy pack around, a mini pack is the solution you’re looking for. They are far lighter, easier to carry, yet most still have enough storage space to satisfy the modern “on-the-go” individual.
Cost is also a factor. A Mini Backpack is typically far cheaper than a full-size pack, unless you are looking at a designer style. You can also get a greater value for money, due to many features incorporated in Mini Backpacks, which usually command a premium price in full-size packs.
Finally, time and stress are benefits you may not have considered. When you have finite space in your pack, as in a Mini Backpack, you have to pack carefully, in terms of keeping to your planned and essential items. Combined with enhanced durability of most mini packs, you have a worry-free pack, which is storing what you need. Otherwise, you would have a bulky full-size pack, which could have many items you need to wade through, just to find the right one.
A Mini Backpack can be a simpler tool that also does a better job of organization.
How to find the best Mini Backpack for me
The first factor you want to identify with the right Mini Backpack for you is storage size. Typically, Mini Backpacks are rated in Liters (L), with a good rule of thumb as follows: 0L means no capacity, 6L means very small, 12L means small, 18L means standard and 24L and above meaning large.
For most people, a pack around the 15-20L range will suffice for general needs.
However, a vital thing to do is assess your needs. Are you looking for a purse replacement? Do you want a lighter gym bag?
Depending on your scenario, you may need a heavier or lighter pack, and other features may come into play. Here’s a short breakdown of some:
Storability: Most empty mini packs will have almost no footprint in a closet or drawer, and in most cases will sit in existing luggage. They also feel a lot better on the shoulders!
Self-storage: Basically, the pack will fold up inside one of its’ pouches. This is extremely convenient on holiday or as part of a busy day!
Water resistance: Rare but useful, it could be the difference between the contents of your pack being wet or dry!
Durability: It can be tough to find one universally tough Mini Backpack, due to their form factor. However, many packs have a particular forte in terms of workmanship that gives them a reason to buy over a competitor.
Use these four guidelines to make the right purchase when selecting your Mini Backpack.
Common Problems with Mini Backpacks, and how to avoid them
Once you have a Mini Backpack, they essentially function like a traditional “full-size” backpack, only smaller and more convenient. So how can you go wrong? This section will try and detail caveats in the buying and real-world side of things.
The main major issue customers run into in the use of their Mini Backpack is overloading. When you first get a mini pack, it is easy to want to treat it like a smaller version of your gym bag, school bag, purse and so on. Due to their smaller nature, mini packs are not designed to store singular weighty items, like a 2-liter soda, or heavy school textbook. The material will not instantly give out, but will wear quicker over time and you will not get the longevity you would otherwise.
The other is size. As in the previous guide, determining what you will be using the pack for is essential to figuring out what size is right for you. Too small and you run the risk of not having enough space to carry what you need. Too large and you lose some of the advantages of having the mini pack in the first place.
Finally, a general recommendation is that if you are a traveler, and purchasing a value-oriented pack, purchase a backup to store in your luggage. The price is right, and they will add almost no weight and take up minimal extra space – but will be a lifesaver if something happens, or you just want to take a second pack out with you on a particular day.
Our Quick Reviews
Lightweight, waterproof, durable, a variety of colorful options, you name it! The Outlander backpack is an extremely popular and versatile pack.
The 20L size should be fine for the majority of people, for example, a traveler was able to store a change of clothes plus accessories for an overnight trip, but if you need to stash some serious goods, we recommend the 33L size, which is currently only a dollar more.
One highly desirable feature of note, relatively uncommon to mini backpacks, is the collapsible nature- it folds in on itself to fit in its’ own storage pouch, which will in turn fit in your pocket, or any small compartment of your luggage. Very convenient!
Some issues to be aware of include the comfort of the straps. Making sure some clothing is worn where the straps will be riding seems to be a must.
A secondary concern is durability, in terms of the water resistance, zipper and inner lining.
Thankfully, a major strength of this product is that it carries a lifetime warranty. Outlander promises to make good on any issue, with such issues being limited.
However, we do recommend purchasing a sturdier backpack for extended stays and the more ‘hardcore’ adventures.
All in all, a superb, all-round backpack, which should meet the needs of most travelers and is light and compact!
Very stylish, and compact! The DaKine backpack is a very petite pack, which is perfect for women on the go, who need to carry a small amount of accessories and personal items.
This pack is also suitable for young women/teenagers, and travel, where the goal is to carry a few essential items.
It’s not going to give you much space, or do the job for executives or students who have work to tote around, but that’s not what it’s designed for. At 6.5L capacity it’s more of a purse substitute than a bag substitute, so those looking for something to store anything and everything might look for something a little larger, such as the Outlander (which, although slightly less stylish, is a comparable product).
It will still hold your 10” tablet and a small water bottle, though!
Other features to consider are the high quality, “DaKine” apparently translates to “the best” in Hawaiian, and they have held their end of the bargain up well here.
Additionally, well-contrasted inside material color, so in poor contrast situations, such as a poorly lit room, bright beach, airplane, and so forth, you will still be able to see where your valuables are.
Finally, for our earth-conscious customers, you will be glad to know the material is made out of recycled plastic, so you can feel good as well as looking good!
All in all, a good-looking and lightweight pack for the modern woman!
A showstopper in class and elegance! The Goson backpack is an extremely good-looking pack that is surprisingly roomy and spacious.
While capacity specifications are tough to come by, manufacturer and customer descriptions would put it somewhere between 10 and 20L. Bigger than a day bag, big enough to be a purse for most women, for example.
As it is on the larger size, and made from leather, the weight is slightly heavier than those made of cloth materials, so keep this in mind if weight is an equal concern to style in this case.
This model also has lots of zippered pockets and comes with a sling, and side cell phone pocket, which should fit the smaller phones out there.
The major concern with the Goson is quality. Some never have a complaint, while others have had concerns of workmanship, particularly in relation to the straps breaking, or the zippers coming off their track. We recommend being fairly gentle with the zippers in particular. One customer recommends, if you’re handy with a needle and thread, sewing the zipper to the inside of the pack, to stabilize them.
Other issues include a chemical odor, which is likely from the leather material. Obviously, we don’t recommend purchasing if you are not a leather fan!
All in all, we would recommend for a medium-weight purse replacement or day bag, less so for travel. A great inexpensive purse/bag replacement for the Gucci and D&G style accessory bags, and backpack for women on the go!
Reliable, practical, modern! The Alliance backpack is a quality pack which combines a trendy look with a sporty design.
While capacity specifications are tough to come by, manufacturer and customer descriptions would put it somewhere between 15 and 20L. It’s a fairly roomy size, while not being the biggest on the market.
Although it is a durable pack which can hold a lot for its’ size range, it remains lightweight, making it good for all-round use.
As with most adidas fare, quality is a major feature, and from daily gym usage, to vacations, to some school use- the Alliance holds its’ own, making it one of the best in its’ price range.
Additionally, the Alliance carries a lifetime warranty, so any issues that may arise will be taken care of.
One minor concern we are aware of is the strap length. Some more petite-sized customers have reported that the above-average length straps caused the pack to sit awkwardly. Therefore, we would recommend this pack to most anybody, but would caution smaller customers to consider purchasing a slightly smaller pack.
Conversely, larger customers may benefit from the extended strap, so that could be a major product purchasing point if you fall into that camp, or simply enjoy a longer strap.
All in all, an excellent general purpose pack which gives bang for its’ buck!
A winner in the world of value-oriented mini backpacks! The Snowhale backpack is a convenient pack, which performs well across the board.
This is the 18L capacity version of the Snowhale pack. It is also available in 30L, which is an option, but probably too much pack for most buyers- 18L should be plenty.
It is extremely light, despite the large capacity. Additionally, it is water resistant, useful in a minor amount of rain exposure, for example.
Only found in a limited amount of mini packs, the Snowhale folds down into its’ own pouch for convenient storage. We always think this feature is desirable. It also sports a useful cell phone pocket, which unlike most, is of a reasonable size to accommodate most phones.
An issue with this pack worth mentioning, as with others in this price range, is the straps. They can fray and come out of the seam. One fix we are aware of is to tie some knots at the end, where they join with the pack. Sewing can be an option also.
Another recommendation would cautious with heavy items, even if they fit, because mini packs are not designed for it, and the aging process will accelerate.
Otherwise, this pack is of high quality, and very reliable.
All in all, a really solid pack which has several desirable features of packs in a higher price range. We consider it an excellent value!