Have you ever gone backpack shopping? Chances are that you paid more attention to the style and look of the bag than looking at backpacks that are good for your back. Not to worry, though. You’re not alone. This is a common mistake.
In a generation where people are constantly on the move, it is only normal. You might’ve been excessively drawn to function, fashion, and maybe even popularity. So much so that you neglected one of the most important factors – health.
Whether male or female, backpacks are used by everyone these days and act as our best friends during work or leisure travels. But did you know, that carrying a backpack in the wrong way, or even carrying a wrong backpack can hinder your back and eventually your health? It is for this reason that we will be telling you everything you need to know about the best backpacks for your health. So, without further ado, let us dive right in.
Our Top Three Picks
Before we begin, we have a little something for you. These days, it can be a bit tedious sorting through the information overload on the internet. So, we did all that work for you and came up with the top three backpacks that are good for your back. Here they are:
- Northport Day Pack Omni-Shield Backpack: With its water-resistant features and its versatility, it is easily one of our top three.
- NEVO Rhino Hiking Backpack: This backpack is perfect for hiking. It is tough and can withstand the rigors of outdoor travel. In addition, it has a minimum of 45L storage capacity. To top it all off, it protects your back by distributing weight evenly.
- ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack: If you enjoy packing your luggage neatly and carefully, this backpack is for you. It has different pockets for organizing your belongings. What’s more? It comes with a 90-day warranty.
Useful Tips to Get Backpacks That Are Good for Your Back
Human backs have some of the strongest muscles in the body that help with various movements. However, their strength does not mean that they are not susceptible to damage. The truth is that there are many things we do that are detrimental to our backs.
Unfortunately, one of the most common ways you could hurt your back is by using the wrong kind of backpack. For that reason, you should not just buy these bags haphazardly without due consideration for what’s important. Here are a few tips for choosing the best backpack for your back.
1. Smaller is Better
As a parent looking to buy a backpack for your child, or even an undergrad who needs one for yourself, you might be a bit confused by “smaller is better.” In that regard, we can’t blame you. After all, most people in school do not have cars or nice little office lockers. As such, their backpack often contains a relatively large portion of their lives. By every reasonable logic, you should go for a backpack that is big enough to contain as much stuff as possible.
While this makes sense in a way, it is not the best idea. The reason is that, especially for kids, a backpack should not weigh more than 10% of your total body weight. Now, when you combine that fact with some people’s inclination towards overpacking, getting smaller backpacks doesn’t seem so bad anymore. So, even if you want to pack a “back-breaking” amount of load, you’ll be forced to use only the amount of space you have.
2. S-Shaped Shoulder Straps
One common thing about backpacks is that people don’t really put a lot of thought into inspecting its shoulder straps. For many, if it is strong enough to hold all their luggage, then it works! However, it goes a little bit beyond that.
For starters, the straps should be well-padded. And did you know that S-shaped shoulder straps exist? That is, when you put it on, it should curve away from your neck. Then, when the straps are descending towards your chest region, they should curve back inward, forming an S. This does not directly translate to better back health. However, it can take away unnecessary pressure from your neck. Thus, completely removing whatever discomfort it would have caused your neck if it was shaped otherwise.
Another thing with shoulder straps is that they should be wide enough. An acceptable standard is that they should be as wide as your index, middle, and the fourth finger combined. That way, you won’t be feeling the unnerving pain that comes with thin straps biting into your shoulders.
3. A Well-Structured Interior
Generally, when packing your luggage, you need to ensure that you are doing it properly. Here, “properly” means effective use of space as well as adequate attention to back health. The way to achieve this is by packing items that are heavier into the part of the backpack that is closest to your body.
A backpack’s interior should be structured in such a way that it helps you to pack intuitively. One essential component in this regard is a compartment for your laptop. That way, your laptop, which is probably the heaviest thing in your bag, would lie flat against your back.
It might seem pretty harmless, but backpacks without good structures like this can be dangerous. They can leave your luggage tipping awkwardly away from your back and redistributing your weight. The problem with this arrangement is that you, too, will begin tipping in the direction of the luggage. Eventually, it starts to affect your posture and might even cause back pain.
Best Backpacks That Are (Actually) Good For Your Back?
Now, it is easy to give instructions for purchase and wearing of backpacks all day long. However, considering the myriads of brands that claim to be the best, we wouldn’t be doing you much good. So, to save you the trouble of searching for the best backpack for posture and whatnot, we have compiled a list. Here are seven of the best backpacks that are good for your back.
1. Northport Day Pack Omni-Shield Backpack (Best water-resistant)
As long as you don’t intend to overpack, this is one of the best college backpacks for your back. The bag is a particularly excellent choice if you are the type of person who carries their bag around very often. The back that is padded with foams, as well as the contoured shoulder straps, make it such that you feel little to no discomfort while wearing this backpack.
It comes along with a fifteen-inch compartment for you to keep your laptop. However, it does not just stop there. The Omni Shield feature helps to ensure that you never have to worry about your luggage getting wet in the backpack.
Additionally, the backpack comes with another compartment. You can use it for the separate organization of your luggage. Alongside all of these, the backpack has two pockets on its left and right side. They are elastic and allow you to fit in water bottles conveniently.
Dimensions: 18.8 x 12.3 x 6.3 inches
Weight: 1.2 pounds
Storage Capacity: 28.3L
- With such features as pockets for water bottles and a sleeve for a laptop, it is versatile.
- It repels water and keeps your luggage as dry as possible, even under the rain.
- The laptop compartment is padded for extra protection.
- It is quite small if you are looking to pack a relatively large amount of luggage into it.
The product is great for hiking as well as schooling. The size and sleek design make it such that you can carry it around comfortably and, to an extent, fashionably. Besides the relatively small size, which cannot contain much, it is an excellent backpack for your back.
2. AmazonBasics Classic School Backpack (Best for school use)
The bag is simple, comfortable, and offers just enough style for you to want to wear it around without getting self-conscious. Its size and organizational features go a long way in making it the best bag for back pain.
The bag’s exterior is black and well-designed for functionality. It comes along with a front pocket. This is great for keeping small things such as mobile phones, pens, keys, etc. within easy reach. Apart from that, there are two side pockets that you could use to keep water bottles. However, if you have different plans, the side pockets have Velcro closures. These ensure that whatever you keep inside doesn’t fall out in motion.
The backpack’s interior, on the other hand, offers a large and roomy environment to store your luggage. Within, there is a laptop compartment and just enough space left for textbooks, notes, etc. without things getting excessively cramped.
The bag uses a double zipper style to keep things within. It also has a padded cushion back for extra comfort during use.
Dimensions: 12.2 x 6 x 15.8 inches
Weight: 13.9 ounces
- It is useful for school as well as other simple functions.
- It is just large enough to contain essentials such as textbooks, a laptop, etc.
- The shoulder straps are adjustable to match the height of users.
- The bag is not a great fit for 15.6-inch laptops and above.
- It is not waterproof/water-resistant.
- It provides no extra protection/padding for the laptop on the inside.
It is evident from its minimalist design as well as its features that the bag is a simple bag for simple tasks. If you are inclined in that direction, and you merely need something to go to school and come back, this bag fits the bill perfectly. However, you might want to get a rain cover just in case.
3. NEVO Rhino Hiking Backpack (Best for storage capacity)
The bag is lightweight, but it has a pretty impressive storage capacity. While it may not be for children or taking one or two books to school, we cannot wave aside its quality. Even if you’ve got a history of back pains before, this backpack, with all its features, is easily one of the best hiking backpacks for bad backs. Why? Let’s find out.
For starters, the backpack is excellent at distributing luggage weight. That way, you won’t be putting too much pressure on your shoulders or your back. Additionally, the back of the bag is very breathable and allows for as much airflow as is logically possible.
Alongside that, the sewing reinforcement alongside the tough encryption material makes it quite durable. To top it all off, this backpack is waterproof. As such, you won’t have to worry too much about rain while exploring the great outdoors.
Dimensions: 21.65 x 13.9 x 7.87 inches
Expanded Size: 26 x 13.9 x 7.87 inches
Weight: 2.34 pounds
Storage Capacity: 45L – 55L
Material: Waterproof Nylon Material
- It is waterproof.
- It is durable.
- Its breathability enhances comfort.
- It is great for hiking.
- Its large size mightn’t be the perfect fit or choice for hiking kids.
This backpack has virtually everything a hiker wants. It’s sure to be your handy storage assistant on those extra-long journeys. If you aren’t looking to use it for kids, you can invest your money in it.
4. ZOMAKE Ultra-lightweight Packable Backpack (Best for durability)
This is the fourth on our list of the best backpacks that are good for your back. Its versatility makes it perfect for you if you are just looking for something you can pick up for use every now and then. It has a storage capacity of about twenty liters. Not all the space in the world but just enough for simple tasks.
Apart from these, it is great for organization as well. With a laptop compartment as well as several pockets for keeping different things, it really helps you put things in order.
Its tough SBS metal zippers resist abrasion to help them last longer. Besides that, it uses strengthened stitching in more than 28 different places for extra durability.
Despite all of these, it still has two big features. For starters, it is water-resistant, especially if you don’t intentionally expose it to rain for too long. To top it all off, you can pack the entire bag into a little sandwich-sized purse. Cool right?
Dimensions (Packed): 6.7 x 6.7 inches
Dimensions (Unpacked): 16.5 x 7.1 x 11.8 inches
Weight: 8.8 OZ
Storage Capacity: 20L
- It is water-resistant.
- It’s very durable.
- It is packable, thus, airport-friendly.
- It has a 90-day warranty.
- Might not have enough storage capacity for hikers.
- It can’t withstand long exposure to rain.
There are several thousand people who use this bag in the world today. That, in itself, is a testament to its quality. If you need something that’s packed full of features for everyday life, this is perfect.
5. Jester Backpack (Best suspension system)
Produced by the North Face, this bag is excellent for students, whether male or female. It is another bag that is carefully designed for organization. This laptop-friendly bag has multiple pockets for you to keep all the extra things you need on the outside and inside.
Alongside that, there is a bungee cord that is particularly useful for keeping spare luggage. Amongst others, you can employ it for wet/dirty items on a hike. Its design was done with a FlexVent suspension system that assists in weight distribution. Apart from the back and shoulder straps, the laptop compartment is also padded. This offers extra protection for your technological work/play space.
It has a strap for your sternum to help keep the backpack in place and distribute weight even better. The strap buckle comes with a whistle. We’ll leave the use of that to your imagination.
Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 6 inches
Storage Capacity: 28L
Material: Polyester fabric
- Just enough storage for short term hiking and school, too.
- It is durable.
- It comes with a bungee cord for storing things outside your backpack.
- It doesn’t provide adequate protection from water.
The backpack is useful for both boys and girls. Even though it’s not made specifically for hiking, it will still do for short trips. If you want something that offers this flexibility and functionality, you can go for it.
6. PUMA Men’s Contender Backpack (Best stylish design)
Puma, the manufacturer of this bag, is one of the most popular brands in this industry. Considering its superior quality and its attention to looks and function, it is no surprise that it is here on our list.
This fashionable polyester backpack has multiple pockets for organization. After organizing your luggage, the zipper closures help to ensure that nothing falls out. It is useful for school, sports, and a very short outdoor trip.
Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 6 inches
- It looks great.
- It is lightweight and helps you to organize properly.
- It is not very durable.
If you are a fan of Puma, its presence on our list is definitive proof that it’s good for your back. Go for it!
7. Ultralight Portable Packable Day Pack (Best airport friendly)
This is the last on our list of backpacks that are good for your back. It is an Amazon product that is useful for both school and short trips.
It’s packable and can conserve much more space at the airport. It has various compartments and a two-way zipper for proper organization and storage. The backpack’s main compartment is roomy, accommodating about 25 liters of luggage.
To top everything off, it has two pockets on the side, useful for water bottles, among others. You can use it to go camping or hiking.
Weight: 9.6 ounces
Storage Capacity: 25L
- It is well organized.
- It is very durable.
- Its lack of proper structural support makes it look awkward when full.
This backpack brings us to the end of our list. It is simple, functional, and relatively versatile.
How Do You Wear a Backpack Without Hurting Your Back?
Backpacks are quick solutions to luggage problems for mobile people. They help you to move things around while freeing up your hands. However, if you’re not careful, you could end up with those nagging back pains. They often stem from the wrong use of backpacks. As such, here are a few guidelines to follow to protect your back while using a backpack.
- Buy a good backpack: Earlier in this article, we mentioned the things that’ll make up a good backpack. In addition to that, your bag should have a few things. While they aren’t all compulsory, it won’t be a bad idea if your bag comes with a chest strap, waist strap, mesh back/shoulder strap, etc.
- Wear your backpack on both shoulders: The whole point of a backpack is to help distribute weight across your body. If you choose to use only one arm, you will be defeating the entire purpose. Worse still, you’ll be hurting your back.
- Do your best to ensure that you stick to the ten percent limit: It is understandable if you cannot. However, as much as you can, do not overload your backpack. A useful alternative is a bag with rollers underneath.
- Use the shoulder straps appropriately: The chances are that you probably never even paid much attention to them. However, they are particularly important for weight distribution. Use the shoulder straps to adjust the backpack such that it is no more than one inch below your waist.
- Don’t neglect the chest and waist straps. There’s a reason they come with bags. It is to provide comfort and protect your health. The chest strap, for example, helps to ensure that the bag is fastened to your body properly. That way, the range of motion that could be discomforting to your back will be reduced.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Are backpacks better for your back?
If you choose the right one and you’re wearing it right, then yes. It is better for your back. This is so because most other types of bags require that you pull them with one hand. Backpacks, however, distribute weight between your core muscles.
Q2: Is carrying a backpack bad for your back?
As long as it remains around 10% of your weight and you wear it right, it is not bad for your back.
If you choose the right one, your backpack can be convenient, stylish, healthy, and functional. Unfortunately, some people don’t see it this way, and they lose focus on health. That is why we’ve shared the best backpacks that are good for your back with you in this piece.