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15 Hand-picked Best Backpacks for Back Pain in 2021

If you struggle with back pain, it can be an absolute nightmare trying to find a backpack that will offer you good back support and distribute weight evenly across your body. Whether you are looking for a hiking backpack or an everyday backpack, you’ll want to find a pack with comfortable shoulder straps and a padded back to provide you with relief and comfort no matter how long you have to wear it for. Today we’re going to look into the best backpacks for back pain, so you’ll never have to struggle again with discomfort after a long day out.

What to look for when comparing the best backpacks for back pain?

Backpacks have been used for decades by adults and children alike and are one of the best bag options for organizing your belongings and carrying them around all day. However, they can be incredibly uncomfortable if not fitted correctly and can exasperate any issues with your back or shoulders. When comparing ergonomic backpacks, you should look for a bag that is thickly padded and has wide shoulder straps. A waist or chest strap can help reduce the pain, as this will distribute weight evenly across your upper body. Below you’ll find listed the most important features and considerations to compare when looking at our best backpacks for back pain. As well as relieving your pain, you want to focus on finding a hardwearing backpack that will last you for many years to come.

Build and Design

A backpack with an S shape back will be one of your top options, as these follow the natural curve of the spine and offer good back support. Adjustable straps for your shoulders are essential for comfort, and these can help to fit the backpack to your body. The sturdier the pack you can find, the better, as these will help you to retain good posture and won’t bend as you carry a heavy load. Ultimately, you’ll want to be careful how much you are carrying on your back and ensuring you distribute the weight evenly. Try to find a bag with multiple compartments, which will allow you to spread your belongings throughout its various pockets and sections evenly.

Straps

When it comes to your comfort and support, the more straps you can find on a backpack, the better. Look for thick shoulder straps that are also padded, as these will help distribute weight across the two sides evenly. A hip strap or chest strap can be another beneficial addition and can be fitted to your body shape to provide further relief for your back. The more straps you have, the lower the chance of your bag moving as you walk, which is essential for reducing rubbing and back problems.

Size

Size is a huge factor when it comes to deciding whether a bag will be good for your back, but you can still find large backpacks that are comfortable to wear thanks to their good design and features. Looking at ergonomic backpacks is the key to your success, regardless of what size bag you need to suit your intended purpose. If you need a large hiking backpack that will fit all of your camping gear, just ensure it has plenty of straps and padding to reduce the potential pain from a heavy load.

Purpose and Organizer Functions

Before purchasing your new backpack, you’ll want to have an intended use in mind for it. Whether that’s camping, hiking, or traveling, this can help you to decide what size and style pack you are looking for. For those looking for an everyday work bag, you’ll want to look at laptop backpack options, which are specifically designed to hold a laptop and may include anti-theft properties. A hiking backpack will be created for extended use and should provide you with comfort when on the go, regardless of how strenuous your hike is.

Material

Finally, although comfort may be your key concern, you’ll want to find a backpack that is going to last you for years to come and that is constructed from durable and hardwearing material. Nylon and polyester are popular options for backpacks, and you’ll want to find a high-density material that won’t easily tear or get damaged. If you are planning to use your backpack outdoors, you’ll want to find one with water-resistant or waterproof material. These can help your precious belongings stay safe and dry during unexpected downpours, and waterproof material, in particular, can reduce the chance of your electronics getting damaged by water.

The Top 15 Best Backpacks for Back Pain

1 – Osprey Atmos AG 65 Men’s Backpacking Backpack

If you are looking for a hiking backpack with a large capacity, this Osprey pack is our top choice for the best backpacks for anyone suffering from back pain. You’ll feel like you are carrying far less weight than you are, thanks to the suspension system used in this backpack.

Materials & Design

Available in three different sizes to fit your needs, these backpacks are ideal for anyone going on a hiking or camping trip. You can comfortably carry between 30 and 50 lbs of equipment, and yet the pack itself only weighs 4.56 lbs. The product dimensions vary depending on which option you choose, but the medium bag is 34.25 x 15.35 x 16.14 inches. You can accommodate plenty of belongings in the multiple compartments, including a hydration bladder up to 3 liters in size. The side pockets make it easy to access your bottle on the go, and the front pocket is great for storing your rain cover.

Carrying & Comfort

The suspension system is one of the biggest benefits of this backpack, and you’ll feel like you are carrying far less weight than you are. The hip belt can be adjusted along with the harness to give you the best fit for your body shape. There’s plenty of padding on the hip straps and shoulder straps, so you don’t have to worry about the bag rubbing when you’re out on a long hike or adventure.

Pros

  • Thanks to the suspension system, you’ll enjoy a weightless feeling regardless of how much you are carrying in these backpacks
  • A lightweight pack which weighs only 4.56 lbs
  • Three different sizes of pack available

Cons

  • High price point due to the style and size of the pack

 

 

2 – The North Face Recon Laptop Backpack

This classic backpack from North Face comes in a wide variety of colors and has a good 30L capacity. With various compartments to choose from, including one for your laptop, you’ll be able to store all of your belongings easily in this bag without causing strain to your back and shoulders while wearing it.

Materials & Design

With a volume of 30 liters, this bag is ideal for everyday use, including for school or work. It’s made from polyester fabric and is durable and hardwearing. The bag’s dimensions are 19.25 x 13 x 7 inches, making it a reasonable size for carrying around all day without being oversized to cause more pressure and back pain. One of the best things about this bag is its selection of pockets and compartments, including two water bottle pockets, a padded tablet sleeve, and a laptop compartment.

Carrying & Comfort

This bag is designed for a comfortable experience and has multiple options for carrying. When you’re in a rush, use the top handle to grab your bag on the go. You’ll appreciate the FlexVent suspension design of this bag, with custom shoulder straps and a padded back panel. For further support, there’s a lumbar panel that is both breathable and ventilated. To give you extra support and distribute the bag’s weight evenly, you’ll use the waist belt to fit the backpack to your body. There’s also a sternum strap, which gives you further protection, especially if you are using this bag for active adventures.

Pros

  • Shoulder straps and back panel are designed with comfort in mind
  • The waist belt and sternum strap help to distribute weight evenly
  • Available in a wide selection of colors

Cons

  • Not the cheapest option on the market, so it might be a little pricey for a school bag

 

 

3 – Osprey Farpoint 40 Men’s Travel Backpack

If you are a hiker or looking for a great backpack for weekends away, consider the Osprey Farpoint 40. You’ll appreciate its suspension system and frame, which helps to distribute the weight evenly over your hips and body. This bag is the correct size to use for carry-on luggage, so it is great for traveling and will last you for years to come.

Materials & Design

Available in two sizes and three different color options, this is a versatile bag that is designed to fit a man’s body and reduce back pain. You can fit a laptop up to 15 inches in size in this pack. The laptop pocket can be locked and zipped, meaning you’ll feel secure when using the organizer pockets in this bag. Water bottles can easily be stored on the outside, so you’ll stay hydrated on the go, and your sunglasses or phone will be safe in the scratch-free pocket.

Carrying & Comfort

This pack is ergonomically designed and offers a mesh back panel for good ventilation. You won’t feel rubbing on your hips when wearing this bag, thanks to the mesh on the hip belt and hip straps. The suspension is hidden under a zippered pocket, and you’ll find this pack to be lightweight and comfortable to wear even over extended hours of use. The padded shoulder straps will reduce the chance of shoulder pain, and as the bag can also be carried over one shoulder, you’ll be able to mix things up when you’re on the go if you are experiencing shoulder pain.

Pros

  • Padded shoulder straps provide a comfortable carrying experience, or you can also carry the pack on one shoulder
  • Mesh back panel offers good ventilation and comfort
  • Multiple compartments to choose from for storing and organizing your belongings

Cons

  • The pack can’t stand up easily by itself as the base is slanted

 

 

4 – JanSport Agave Backpack White Storm

For a reasonably priced laptop backpack from a brand you’ll know and trust, consider this JanSport backpack. You’ll appreciate the laptop compartment this bag offers, as well as the high quality material it’s constructed from.

Materials & Design

Every backpack from JanSport comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can use this pack for your next camping trip or outdoor adventure without worrying about its durability. The fabric is incredibly hardwearing, and the zippers and straps are built to last. This is a versatile pack that would be great for school or work, thanks to the 15″ laptop compartment. Alternatively, for use as a hiking backpack, you can add a 3-liter hydration system into this bag.

Carrying & Comfort

This backpack is designed to reduce the chance of back pain, thanks to the padded shoulder straps. You’ll enjoy good back support thanks to the design of this pack, and the strap across your sternum will reduce the chance of lower back pain or too much weight resting on your shoulders. When you’re in a rush or need to lift the pack, simply switch over to using the haul handle, which is also padded.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty included
  • 15″ laptop compartment which could also hold a 3-liter hydration system
  • Durable material is good for long term use

Cons

  • No sponge padding on the bottom of the pack, so you’ll want to be careful when placing your bag on the ground if it contains your laptop

 

 

5 – YOREPEK Backpack for Men Extra Large 50L Travel Backpack

For a large capacity backpack which will reduce your chance of back pain, consider this backpack which comes in at under $30. You’ll find it has many side pockets and compartments for water bottles, electronics, and anything else you might need.

Materials & Design

This is a TSA approved backpack that is ideal for traveling and anyone who wants to make sure their things are well organized during an adventure. If you are traveling with children, it would be a great backpack for storing all of their accessories and heavy items without adding extra stress, thanks to the backpack’s good back support. The product dimensions are 14.6 x 10.2 x 19 inches, so you’ll be able to carry a laptop up to 17 inches in size. With a fantastic capacity of 50 liters, this is your best backpack option for a low-cost pack with a great capacity. It’s constructed from polyester and high-density nylon, which is wear and tear-resistant. The USB cable port is a fantastic addition for anyone who loves to keep their electronics charged on the go.

Carrying & Comfort

This backpack helps to alleviate back pain with its U-shaped ventilation design, which will make the experience of using this pack comfortable and cooling. If you are looking to reduce the backpack’s size when traveling, the compression straps are great for this use. The breathable and molded shoulder straps can be adjusted to your size to reduce pain on the shoulders when you are walking long distances.

Pros

  • Compression straps help to reduce the size of this 50-liter backpack if needed
  • Adjustable straps to reduce shoulder pain
  • Plenty of pockets to store water bottles, a rain cover, and anything else you may need
  • Under $30 in price

Cons

  • Water-resistant material is not of the best quality, so you will want to be careful when using this backpack in the rain

 

 

6 – Mancro Laptop Backpack Water Resistant Laptop Bag with USB Charging Port

At under $25, this is one of the lowest-priced backpacks on our list and is ideal for college students and those on a budget. It is available in two different sizes to fit your laptop, and this pack features a USB charging port and anti-theft design, so it is ideal for people who love technology.

Materials & Design

The product dimensions of this backpack are 20 x 12.2 x 5.7 inches, so it’s ideal for college and business trips. The pack has great durability, thanks to it being made from water-resistant and eco-friendly nylon material. It’s the perfect size for everyday use and can fit a 15.6-inch device in the laptop compartment. You’ll feel very comfortable carrying your expensive devices around all day, due to the anti-theft design and lock included with your purchase. The zippers on the pack are also extremely high quality and durable, and you’ll enjoy the spacious main compartment for carrying your school or work equipment with you. Finally, for people who love their gadgets, you’ll appreciate the USB charger which is built into the backpack.

Carrying & Comfort

When it comes to buying a backpack to reduce back and shoulder pain, you’ll find this is a high-quality option as it offers padded shoulder straps with an S shape design. Back problems will be reduced with this comfortable design, so you won’t feel pain in your back muscles after a long day of wearing this backpack.

Pros

  • One of the cheapest and best backpacks for back pain, at under $25
  • The main compartment is spacious for carrying a large laptop
  • Padded shoulder straps with S curve design

Cons

  • If you are concerned for the safety of your laptop, ensure you put it in a padded case as this bag does lack some padding for your devices

 

 

7 – The North Face Women’s Vault Backpack

Designed with women in mind, this is one of the best backpacks for back pain and offers a stylish design with comfort and protection for your back. As this travel backpack comes in a wide variety of colors, it’s ideal for school, work and leisure. The 29-liter capacity will be able to hold all of your belongings for a day out, and the padded laptop holder will keep your device protected when you’re on the move.

Materials & Design

With a large main compartment including a padded laptop sleeve, this is the ideal pack for school or work. You can fit up to a 15″ device comfortably in this travel backpack, and the bag has a good capacity of 29 liters. The dimensions of this North Face backpack are 19.5 x 12.75 x 9.5 inches, and it’s constructed from 600D polyester material. If you like to keep well organized, you’ll appreciate the front compartment, which offers organization pockets and a tablet sleeve. There are two water bottle pockets on the outside, which could also be used to hold an umbrella.

Carrying & Comfort

This bag is designed with comfort in mind, and you’ll appreciate the shoulder straps which are injection-molded. The back panel of the backpack is constructed from mesh and is padded for your comfort and support. With a lumbar panel and sternum strap, comfort is one of the top priorities for this bag, making it one of the best backpacks for back pain. If you do need to pick this pack up in a rush, simply use the top handle, which is comfortable to grab on the go.

Pros

  • The pack can fit up to a 15″ laptop
  • It has a sternum strap and comfortable shoulder straps
  • Made from polyester, which is durable and hardwearing

Cons

  • If you need to carry around a lot of heavy textbooks for school, the capacity of this bag may not be large enough

 

 

8 – Eagle Creek Global Companion Women’s Ergonomic Travel Backpack with Laptop Sleeve

Designed for adventure, this is high on our list of best backpacks for back pain thanks to its ergonomic design. This pack is designed for women, and the shoulder straps and hip belt design reflect this. You’ll appreciate the high quality of this backpack, and many people consider this to be a worthwhile investment in order to reduce their back pain when using a backpack on a daily or regular basis.

Materials & Design

Made from 450D Geo Ripstop and 600D polyester material, this is a durable backpack that will withstand even the most adventurous excursions. The inside of the pack has a nylon lining, and the design of the bag was created with the intention of keeping your belongings well organized. While it may be one of the more pricey options on our list today, there is a lifetime warranty included from Eagle Creek. The bag itself is very lightweight at just 3 lbs and 8 oz and has a 40-liter capacity, and its dimensions are 13.75 x 21.5 x 8 inches.

Carrying & Comfort

This backpack offers durability and comfort for its users, and as it’s designed specifically for women, it features narrower shoulder straps and a tilted hip belt to fit women’s hips. You’ll be able to carry heavy items in this backpack without worry, thanks to the fixed suspension and padded straps. If you are using this bag for travel, you’ll appreciate the handles on the top, side, and bottom, which made it easy to use as carry-on luggage.

Pros

  • 40-liter capacity
  • Designed for a woman’s hips and body, with a titled hip belt and narrow shoulder straps
  • A lightweight pack that offers good durability
  • Lifetime warranty included with your backpack for back pain

Cons

  • One of the most expensive bags on the market

 

 

9 – MOUNTAINTOP 80L/55L Hiking Internal Frame Backpack with Rain Cover

Available in two different sizes, this is the perfect backpack for your next camping or hiking trip. With adjustable straps to fit your size and needs, you’ll find this pack will fit everything you require for your next adventure without causing extra pain to your back.

Materials & Design

Constructed from nylon and also featuring a nylon lining, this backpack has a divider between the main section and the sleeping bag compartment at the bottom. You have a choice between a 55L and 80L pack, depending on how much you need to carry on your trip. The 80L pack offers you the chance to have a zip in the middle of the bag on the outside, giving you easy access to your belongings.

Carrying & Comfort

The hip belt is adjustable on this backpack, and the pack is worn a little lower than usual backpacks to give good weight distribution. The best thing about these backpacks is the eight stage adjuster for your height on the back, which will be held in place securely to minimize movement of the pack. There are plenty of compression straps on the sides, and you’ll be able to adjust this backpack all over to find the perfect fit for your size.

Pros

  • Eight stage height adjuster
  • Two size options: 55L and 80L
  • The hip belt is adjustable and makes for a comfortable walking experience

Cons

  • Some of the stitching and clips are not of the strongest and highest quality

 

 

10 – The Friendly Swede Convertible 15 inch Laptop Backpack

If you are looking for a fashionable backpack that is versatile enough to use on a variety of occasions, consider this Friendly Swede backpack. With a modern and functional design, you’ll appreciate the soft material used, reducing potential back problems associated with heavy backpacks.

Materials & Design

A great thing about this backpack is that it’s vegan-friendly, as the PU material used feels just like leather without harming animals in its making. The backpack is backed by a three-year warranty, so you can be sure you are purchasing a high quality backpack. It has a capacity of 14 liters, so it’s great for carrying small items, although it can still fit a 15-inch laptop. As it’s a smaller backpack, you’ll enjoy good weight distribution and limited stress and pain on your shoulders.

Carrying & Comfort

This is a convertible pack that has adjustable shoulder straps that are also padded for extra comfort. You can also carry it with the side straps or top strap for a handheld carrying experience. The soft and water-resistant material will ensure you don’t feel pressure and weight on your shoulders and will make sure you don’t experience rubbing while on the move.

Pros

  • Made from soft and vegan-friendly PU material
  • Features adjustable shoulder straps
  • Small size limits weight on your back and shoulders

Cons

  • Small 14 liter capacity
  • No compression straps or chest straps to reduce pressure on your shoulders

 

 

11 – YOREPEK Slim Laptop Backpack

For a slim and lightweight backpack that looks smart and professional for taking to work engagements and meetings, consider this best slim backpack from Yorepek. For under $30, you’ll have a high quality and secure bag that will minimize irritation and pain to your back.

Materials & Design

Made from 210D nylon, this is a soft and lightweight backpack that is also rain-resistant. You’ll appreciate the wide choice of pockets and compartments, as well as the USB charging cable for charging your devices on the go. It’s an anti-theft bag with a lock and good quality zippers to keep your belongings safe while traveling. The product dimensions allow for a 15.6-inch laptop to be stored, and it can carry up to 44 lbs in weight.

Carrying & Comfort

You’ll appreciate the shoulder strap design on this backpack, which allows you to adjust them to fit your size perfectly. They also have soft and ventilated padding on the straps, which gives you support and comfort on the go. Thanks to the compact size of this backpack, you’ll minimize the chance of experiencing pain and rubbing while walking around all day long.

Pros

  • Anti-theft bag
  • Compact design which is ideal for professionals
  • Under $30 in price

Cons

  • No chest straps to reduce weight on your back
  • Shoulder straps are quite straight as opposed to having the more comfortable S shape design

 

 

12 – Brenthaven Collins Backpack with Ergonomic Strap Fits 15 Inch Laptop

As a student or worker, you always need to have easy access to your laptop or personal devices, and this backpack is the ideal option for anyone looking to reduce their back pain while still carrying about their most important possessions. You’ll enjoy the soft yet durable exterior of this laptop bag, which will last you for years to come.

Materials & Design

The product dimensions for this laptop backpack are 16.5 x 12.5 x 6 inches, so it can comfortably hold a 15.6-inch laptop. It weighs just 1.8 lbs, so it is lightweight yet extremely durable and has soft outer material. You’ll appreciate the protection your laptop or tablet receives in its quilted pockets, and you can enjoy side access to the laptop compartment. On the outside, side pockets offer you easy access to your phone and accessories.

Carrying & Comfort

You’ll appreciate the soft exterior of this bag, which will be comfortable to carry on your lower back, reducing the chance of back problems. There is an ergonomic back and shoulder system within the bag’s design, so you can enjoy a stable and secure journey with your backpack. These best backpacks come with a 100% lifetime guarantee, so you can purchase with peace of mind.

Pros

  • 100% lifetime guarantee included
  • Lightweight at just 1.8 lbs
  • The ergonomic design will provide back support and reduce back pain

Cons

  • Much smaller pack than other best backpacks so is best for carrying small items

 

 

13 – SWISSGEAR 6392 ScanSmart Ultra Premium Large Padded Laptop TSA Friendly Backpack

Ideal for tech lovers, this backpack offers a laptop storage solution with TSA friendly ScanSmart. You’ll be able to use this as a great organizer backpack, thanks to the various compartments in this backpack.

Materials & Design

These backpacks will keep your laptop or tablet safe and secure while on the go and offers good back support and distribution of weight. Two water bottles can be stored on the outside of the pack, making them easy to access when on the go. When it comes to airport security, you’ll appreciate the innovative design of these backpacks, which open up in half, similar to a suitcase, to give you easy access to the things you are carrying.

Carrying & Comfort

You’ll enjoy comfort all of the time you are using this pack, making it the best business and travel solution for anyone with back pain. The shoulder strap design features padded straps, which are molded shoulder straps and contoured to fit your body. The back padding is another excellent feature and gives you back support and comfort when on the go.

Pros

  • Padded straps for your shoulders which are ergonomically designed
  • A unique design, which means this is an ideal bag for taking through airport security
  • Great for anyone who loves an organizer backpack for keeping your things safe and secure

Cons

  • Stitching on adjustable straps may not be as strong as you would expect from this type of pack

 

 

14 – Kelty Redwing Backpack, Hiking and Travel Daypack

This high quality backpack is ideal for anyone suffering from back pain, and the adjustment system will allow for a properly fitted bag to reduce stress and pain. With plenty of side and front pockets to choose from, you’ll have somewhere to store everything you need for your next adventure.

Materials & Design

Available in different sizes to fit both men and women, you’ll find a design and color to fit your needs in this range. Each backpack offers plenty of side pockets for easy access, and you’ll find somewhere to store everything to give you good weight distribution. This bag is built to last you for years to come, making it the best backpack option for anyone looking to hike and travel regularly. You’ll appreciate the back padding, which is ventilated to keep you cool and dry while walking for a long time. The backpack features an external aluminum frame to keep you secure and reduce back pain.

Carrying & Comfort

This is a great backpack on our best backpack list, thanks to its ability to be customized to fit your body perfectly. It features a FIT-Pro adjustment system, so you can quickly and easily use the adjustable straps to make this a perfect fit for your body size. This will allow a comfortable fit around the torso, and the straps will be secure and distribute weight evenly. The chest straps will also make sure the pressure on your back is reduced, which is something people with back pain will particularly appreciate.

Pros

  • Great for people with back pain, thanks to the adjustment system for a good fit around your torso
  • Ventilated back panel
  • Separate models for men and women, so they will fit your size and posture well

Cons

  • At around $130, it’s quite a pricey backpack for a hiker who doesn’t go on trips regularly

 

 

15 – PacSafe Venturesafe X30-30L Anti-Theft Outdoor/Adventure-Ergonomic Design

Available in two different colors, this is one of the top ergonomically designed backpacks on the market, and the backpack helps to follow the curve of your spine for good weight distribution. Made from nylon and polyester, this is a long-lasting bag that will give you years of use and enjoyment.

Materials & Design

Constructed from polyester and nylon material, this backpack for back pain will offer you years of use. It’s water-resistant and easy to wipe down after a day outdoors. One of the best things about this bag is that it has a 5-year warranty included, which will help you to purchase with peace of mind. The dimensions of the bag are 21.3 x 10.6 x 8.3 inches, and it offers you multiple compartments to choose from. You’ll appreciate the spacious main compartment, as well as the interior pockets, laptop compartment, water bottle pockets, and two lockable compartments. One of the most unique things about this travel backpack is that it has an anti-theft design and includes an RFID blocking compartment for your credit cards.

Carrying & Comfort

This pack is ergonomically designed for those users needing additional back support from a bag. The bag’s design replicates the curve of the spine, which helps to distribute weight evenly. To keep your bag stable while you’re on the move, you’ll appreciate the metal frame. This backpack is incredibly lightweight, at just 2 lbs 14 oz, meaning it won’t add any additional body weight to your back. For your comfort, the shoulder straps can be adjusted and are padded to reduce shoulder pain. There’s also a sternum strap and waist belt, both of which will help to minimize lower back pain even if you are wearing this backpack all day long.

Pros

  • Ergonomically designed to follow the natural curve of your spine
  • Adjustable and padded shoulder straps and sternum strap help to minimize back pain
  • 5-year warranty included

Cons

  • One of the most expensive bags on the market, at over $170
  • Limited color options

 

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