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Top Small backpacks Reviews and Buyer's Guide

Last updated May 9, 2019

PS: We have checked 6,177 reviews to make this top 1 list!

RankSmall BackpackRating
1Zomake UltraZomake Ultra
Available on Amazon
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4.25
6,176 reviews

Buyers Guide to Small Backpacks


Regardless of whether you’re a master-hiker, adventurer, or backpacker, or simply need something that would be great for both classes and trips away, small backpacks are undoubtedly useful in more ways than one. And as with most things today, this too comes with a host of choices, in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and capabilities.

The right backpack can make all the difference between a lousy camping trip and a good one. It should be comfortable, sturdy, and rigorous, whilst also being effective and convenient. Choosing such a backpack can also be a confusing task, which is why this guide has been so helpfully drawn up so you can have a comprehensive look at the subject for yourself.

Your Guide to Buying a Small Backpack

No matter what your needs may be, what matters at the end of the day is that you have a small travel backpack that’s right for you. Naturally, this means that as with most other products and services today, we need to survey details, pros, and cons efficiently. Whilst there isn’t anything particularly devastating about not acquiring such a backpack, it’s a whole lot easier when it’s around. So with that, let’s take a look at the points below:

It is also useful to take a look at where this backpack would come in most handy when taking your daily life into account. What sort of things do you do? Are you very outdoorsy or sporty? Maybe you like to travel a lot and so just need an easy way to lug your belongings about. Or perhaps you’re looking for something that suffices for sleepovers.

These are just a few ideas to get the ball rolling. Identifying your needs will make things so much more convenient, as will breaking the backpacks down for a better understanding of what you can expect.

Backpacks are in general very popular because they tend to stay in good shape, and are always with you. If you take suitcases, for instance, think about how much abuse they endure whenever you have to travel. Plus, people tend to be generally careless with suitcases and so toss them about without much thought, often damaging them or your precious belongings inside. Of course, they’re alright for when you need to spend a long time away, but if you’re going to be hopping about, you’d rather opt for a backpack. Besides, can you imagine what a nightmare it’d be to hike with a suitcase bumping alongside you?

A Few Crucial Things to Look For

When choosing a backpack, as mentioned above, there are many things to look for. However, some of these things are more important than others, and as such have to be considered a priority. Think of it this way: once you’ve eliminated the points listed here, you can factor in the rest of your backpack criteria. Not until then though. Be it a mini backpack or larger backpack for that matter, these still count.
  • Water Resistance: Backpacks big or small, come in a multitude of different materials, which no doubt make them quite interesting and diverse, but you’re also looking for usability, so don’t forget that. Which means that you need to be on the hunt for water-resistant backpacks made of water-resistant material. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be 100% waterproof; even semi-waterproof material is fine. You just want it to withstand unexpected showers or moisture.

  • Double-Zippers: No matter how much of an honest, responsible traveller you might be, unfortunately not everyone else is, and that’s a fact. Theft and other complications are all too rife, so you need to protect yourself every step of the way. If you travel between countries a lot, for instance, you want to ensure you opt for one that comes with two zippers, so they can be locked together. You can then invest in special travel locks that will allow you to easily open up when your bags need to be checked, without destroying the lock itself.

  • Several Compartments: What good is a backpack that doesn’t have any compartments in it? The whole point is to be able to carry many different things at the same time, without jumbling them all up. This makes it a whole lot easier to access what you need when you need it, especially during an emergency. You don’t want to be rummaging through your bag during a crisis now, do you?

  • Padding For The Straps: Sure this is a mini backpack, so you may not think you need to bother with this whatsoever, but you’ll soon find that padding really does make it all better. This is particularly useful when going hiking or camping, so you can enjoy your adventuring without dealing with raw, painful shoulders. It can be difficult to be on your feet with a backpack weighing you down, especially if the said backpack is not very comfortable either.

  • Contoured Backs: Chronic back problems are a widespread complication globally, which is why you should take this point seriously. Modern-day backpacks come with superior structuring, including contoured backs. This provides incredible support, ensuring you don’t experience any pains or complicate existing issues. Lumbar support is essential, and a primary guiding point of your purchasing decision.

At A Glance

Now that we’ve covered some of the intricacies of backpacks, we can look at a few other tips that’ll help you in your search. You’ll find that they’re simple, yet definitive points that will help you make a sound decision.

For starters, you should measure your torso. This helps you determine just the right size backpack for your body. If you neglect this, you’re putting your shoulders, neck, back, hips, and legs under a whole lot of strain. And if you’re always out and about, you’re going to speed it up even more. Why put yourself through this when you can remedy the situation with a simple solution? Grab a friend or family member to help you, and either use a tape measure or string to get the numbers. Take the measurements with you when shopping, so you can refer to them at any time.

Secondly, you want to look at capacity. With a mini backpack, there’s only so much capacity you can expect realistically, but you should still compare them with each other. If you get a backpack that’s bigger than your needs, you’re sure to fill it with junk, which means unnecessary weight to carry about. The unit of measurement used to measure capacity with backpacks is liters, though you also find them listed in cubic inches.

Types of Backpacks

The next thing to tackle would be the types of backpacks in the market. As you’d imagine, there are many different variations, even if you’re considering a mini backpack. Before you head out, it’s best to familiarize yourself with them so you know exactly what you’re looking for. Here you’ll find a list of some of the most common categories backpacks typically fall into, so you’ve some idea of what’s in store. That said, all backpacks are generally classified into frameless, external frame, internal frame, and bodypack. Something to bear in mind.
  • Hiking backpacks
  • Snow/ski backpacks
  • Biking backpacks
  • Business/work backpacks
  • School backpacks
  • Fashion backpacks
  • Traditional backpacks
These don’t really need extensive explanations, because well… they’re rather self-explanatory since their names imply their purpose quite clearly. What’s less obvious though is what sort of capacities and volumes you have to choose from. Here’s a basic guide to get you started.
  • Mini And Small Backpacks: Range anywhere between 6-10 liters.

  • Daypacks: The bigger ones usually clock in anywhere between 20-35 liters. A small travel backpack or daypack in this instance, is better suited for ½ day hikes and no more, mainly because you’d be limited in the amount of supplies you can carry. Which isn’t advisable, especially if you head off on remote camping trips and treks. Also as the name suggests, these are just for the day.

  • Weekend Backpacks: If you’re looking for longer trips away, you need to check out weekend backpacks. For a 1-3 day trip, a 40-50 liter backpack should suffice. Although of course this does mean that you cannot really opt for a mini backpack when it comes to this sort of thing. After all, you’re going to be carrying sleeping bags, stoves tents and so on, which isn’t very practical with something smaller.

  • Multi-Day Backpacks: The good thing about these names is that since they’re quite straightforward, you won’t be racking your brains to figure out which is which. This one is to allow you to carry more food and any additional gear necessary, with around 50- 70 liters of capacity.

  • Expedition Backpacks: These are pretty much the mammoth species of backpacks, and come in at a whopping 80 liters. Of course this also means you should have the stamina and strength to take on this sort of trip, because that much of weight is definitely not easy for someone who isn’t properly accustomed to it.

Measurement Of Backpack Volume

Whilst there are just two different ways in which backpack capacities are measured, there’s usually no knowing which of these methods has been used unless you ask the manufacturer yourself. One is, they use the total added volume of all closed storage, including every little compartment. Others use all of this, plus any open side pockets and so on, though these are the smaller-scale manufacturers. Though it’s unlikely you’d measure them yourself, it’s good to know how it’s done overall.

1 More Small Backpacks


Classic small backpacks and models that haven't yet got enough reviews to be ranked.

RankSmall BackpackRating
Fjallraven KirunaFjallraven Kiruna


List ID 174. Images from Amazon Product Advertising API and shop datafeeds.

Last updated on May 09, 2019