12 Best work backpacks for women to buy in 2021

COMMUTING is a lot more enjoyable when you're wearing one of the best work backpacks, avoiding backache whilst looking great in the process.

Whether you're lugging your laptop back and forth or hauling a hefty folder, nifty two strapped designs look after your posture and are a lot easier to carry.

If recent runway shows have taught us anything, it's that just because a rucksack is functional, doesn’t mean it can’t look chic and stylish.

With the rise in flexible hours and freelancers bringing in relaxed office dress codes, workwear isn't what it used to be either so you can have fun with your fashion choices.

There are even some smart sportswear options which could add a sleek streetwear edge to your office's smart-casual dress code.

Not just reserved for "gap yah" students, hitchhikers or boy-scouts, rucksacks can look chic and sophisticated too.

Just take a look at our list: we’ve found all the best bargains and fashion statements available online now.

What features should I look for in a work bag?

The features of your work bag are highly dependent on your job and your habits.

You might need to carry a laptop, notepad or water bottle; in that case, it's best to choose a backpack with a padded laptop pocket and additional storage space.

But if all you need is your purse and your phone, you might get away with a stylish smaller model.

Some backpacks are also specifically designed for runners or for those who run-commute.

On hectic days like these, you need as many pockets and dividers in your bag as possible, to ensure easy access and organisation for those flustered and stressful moments.

1. Best desk-to-dinner bag: Longchamp Le Pliage Club Backpack

  • Longchamp Le Pliage Club Backpack, Black, £90 from John Lewis – buy here

If you pack light for the commute, then you can get a little more chic with the Longchamp Le Pliage Club Backpack.

Decorated with tonal leather trimming, this bag has adjustable shoulder straps and enough room for essentials like notebooks, water and even your iPad too.

As it's so sleek, we can definitely see this being taken from the desk straight for dinner, no questions asked.

2. Best soft backpack: Seasalt Cornwall's Island Tradition Backpack

  • Island Tradition Backpack, £45 from Seasalt Cornwall – buy here

A little traditional Cornish style is always a good thing, especially in the summer. We're loving this roomy backpack by Seasalt Cornwall, which proves that backpacks don't have to be hard of fabric and sharp of edge.

Made from pure cotton with an adjustable roll-top and straps, this features a zipped side compartment, water bottle pocket and an internal slip pocket for your phone. It comes fully lined too—great value.

3. Best work & weekend backpack: Accessorize's Judy Backpack

  • Judy Backpack, £35 from Accessorize – buy here

The Judy backpack from Accessorize will complement a range of outfits.

Made from faux leather, it has zip fastenings to keep your laptop safe and a top handle so you can take it off when squeezing on to the Tube.

So technically, by buying this bag, you’re thinking of your fellow commuters.

4. Best bargain rucksack: ASOS DESIGN Canvas Backpack with Laptop Compartment

  • ASOS DESIGN Canvas Backpack with Laptop Compartment in Black, £25 from ASOS – buy here

Looking for an affordable go-to for stocking your laptop whilst travelling to and from the office? The ASOS Design Canvas Backpack is just £25.

Complete with a top handle and back straps, this all-black design has adjustable straps and sturdy closure with front clasps and a press-stud fastening.

It might look like a no-nonsense work backpack but this one definitely ticks off the utility-fashion trend too.

5. Best designer work backpack: Radley Doddington Medium Zip Around Backpack

  • Radley Doddington Medium Zip Around Backpack, now £150 from House of Fraser – buy here

When it comes to Radley bags you can pretty much guarantee great quality.

The Radley Doddington Medium Zip Around Backpack is made from soft grainy leather and has a luxurious grosgrain-lined interior, decorated with an adorable Radley dog charm.

It's got space for all your work essentials and isn't too bulky if you're squeezing onto packed public transport: ideal.

6. Bestseller work backpack: Fjällräven's Kanken Classic Pink Backpack

  • Fjällräven Kanken Classic Pink Backpack, £69.99 from Amazon – buy here

This list would be incomplete without a trusty Fjällräven Kanken backpack, aka those stylish Swedish bags you see absolutely everywhere.

Dating back to 1978, this brand makes backpacks for school kids and commuters alike.

From the top handles to the reflective iconic badge on the front, they’ve really thought of everything for your journey to work.

We love this one in a beautiful candy pink tone; it will add a bit of pizzazz to even the most ordinary work-wear wardrobes. Plus there are many more colours to choose from.

7. Best backpack for work and gym: Adidas by Stella McCartney Backpack

  • Adidas by Stella McCartney Backpack, £130 from adidas – buy here

Classify yourself as a certified gym bunny? The Adidas by Stella McCartney Backpack is the coolest gym-to-work backpack around. And it's made from recycled fabric.

Featuring a simple black design, this sturdy, water-resistant bag is big enough to fit a change of clothes, your water bottle and a towel too.

You'll thank yourself in years to come when this is still looking after your sports gear in style.

8. Best mini backpack: Boohoo's Metal Bee Mini Rucksack

Boohoos's Metal Bee Mini Backpack is for those who travel light, but want to make an impression.

  • Metal Bee Mini Rucksack, £14.40 (was £18) from Boohoo – buy here

The five metal bees make this standout backpack a winner, and extra cute given the diminutive size.

Measuring 28 x 20cm, the bag features two compartments fastened by metal zips, as well as two shoulder straps and a main strap with stud detail.
If you're pro-bee (and who isn't?) what's not to love—the bag is faux leather too, for extra animal-friendliness.

9. Best for runners: Sweaty Betty's Running Backpack

  • Running Backpack, £95 from Sweaty Betty – buy here

With lives getting busier and busier, many runners have found that running to or from work is a really efficient way to get in the miles.

If that's you, then it's well worth investing in Sweaty Betty's icon backpack.

It's designed in a super lightweight, breathable fabric for on-the-go comfort and comes with adjustable padded shoulder straps as well as a secure chest and hip strap.

There's plenty of space to fit your water bottle, your work gear and even a laptop—a must for every runner.

10. Best for space: Herschel Supply Co's Dawson Backpack

  • Dawson Backpack, £70 from Herschel Supply Co. – buy here

Herschel Supply's backpack is good for those who need a large bag to carry everything: from their laptop and office essentials to gym gear.

It might be pricey but it is a solid investment that comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Made from a lightweight fabric, this Herschel backpack features signature striped fabric lining, a 13" laptop sleeve, adjustable drawcord closure as well as external storage compartments, a classic woven label and a sturdy reinforced base.

It's ideal to go from the gym to the office or to take with you on a weekend adventure.

11. Best for rainy weather: Rains's Backpack Daypack

  • Rains Backpack Daypack, £64.90 from Amazon – buy here

Cycling to work come rain or shine? We would recommend investing in a Rains backpack.

In addition to being completely waterproof, this bag also feels like a bottomless pit that you can keep loading without it ever feeling bulky.

We love the cream colour, but it's also available in blue, scarlet red and black.

12. Best laptop backpack: M&S's laptop backpack

  • Laptop Backpack, £45 from Marks and Spencer – buy here

This black laptop backpack from Marks and Spencer is the perfect office accessory.

Made from black nylon (which is all the rage thanks to Prada), it features a plethora of zipped pockets plus a load of compartments and interior card slots for organising your stuff.

If all that wasn’t enough, it has a water bottle holder, plenty of pockets, and it’s water-resistant.

We’re also obsessed with the popping orange interior.

Enjoyed our roundup of the best work backpacks for women? Check out the best women's handbags here.

We've also rounded up the best summer dresses here.

Looking for some inspiration for a wardrobe revamp? Check out our dedicated Sun Selects fashion section.

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