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The Best Mini Backpack

Last updated on September 1, 2022

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Mini Backpacks

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Fjallraven Kanken Water-Resistant Mini Backpack

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval


Kanken Water-Resistant Mini Backpack

Fjallraven's mini classic Kanken is a compact size of their classic large Kanken. This vinyl backpack is dirt-resistant and water-resistant, and it wipes clean so you don't have to worry about taking it on an adventure.

Overall Take

Four Pockets Hold MoreThis backpack features a two-way zipper with a rain flap for extra protection.

 Runner Up

JanSport Half Pint 600 Denier Polyester Mini Backpack


Half Pint 600 Denier Polyester Mini Backpack

This mini backpack from Jansport is the perfect carry-on for any traveler. A half-pint size makes it ideal for day trips to your favorite destinations.

Overall Take

Classic for a ReasonJansport has been a trusted brand for over 50 years, and this backpack lives up to its name.

 We Also Like

American Shield Lightweight Waterproof Mini Backpack

American Shield

Lightweight Waterproof Mini Backpack

American Shield's mini backpack comes in 10 designs and features an inner zippered pocket for safekeeping all of your belongings. Made with high-quality waterproof and tear-resistant material, this tiny bag is made to withstand daily use.

Overall Take

Stylish and FunctionalThis backpack measures 10 inches by 10 inches by 5.5 inches.

 Strong Contender

Madison & Dakota Padded Back & Straps Mini Backpack

Madison & Dakota

Padded Back & Straps Mini Backpack

Madison & Dakota's knapsack-styled mini backpack is perfect for daily use. This stylish bag comes in 3 colors and features padded back straps for extra comfort.

Overall Take

School and TravelTheir diamond-shaped lash tab is great for attaching keychains or ID cards.

Buying Guide

When it comes to backpacks, bigger is not always better. Smaller packs can be much more convenient, depending on your needs. If you’re looking for a bagto hold just a few items without jostling them around, then a mini backpack may be perfect for you!

While shopping for a mini backpack, be sure to keep a few things in mind. First, consider what you’ll be using your new accessory for.

If you’re looking for a bag to take on short hikes or walks, you probably won’t have a large number of supplies to carry. A mini backpack with fewer compartments may work best. However, if you’re planning on using your backpack for school or work, you’ll want to make sure it is big enough to fit all of your supplies.

Second, the material of your backpack is also essential to consider. If you are using your backpack in rough or rugged conditions, you’ll want one made from tough, durable material. Look for a pack that is weather or water-resistant to best meet your needs.

Shopping for a child or teen? A mini backpack can be an excellent option. These smaller bags fit tiny frames just a bit better than their full-sized counterparts. Still, be sure that a bag is appropriate for your child before you buy. For instance, a preschooler may be the right size for a mini backpack but may not need something made of leather.

What to Look For

  • The backpack’s material is crucial; you’ll want something durable that will last a long time. Canvas can be a good choice, as can leather. Faux leather may split or chip with use.
  • Make sure the backpack straps are comfortable to wear. Many can be adjusted  to your specific size, and this is important to do. They should rest on your shoulders but not be too tight. Too loose or slung over just one shoulder, and carrying the bag can harm your spine.
  • A mini backpack should be able to hold all of your essentials, but not so much weight that it becomes burdensome to carry.
  • Choose a backpack that reflects your personal style. There are lots of different designs and colors to choose from!
  • If you’re planning on using your backpack for hiking or other outdoor activities, make sure it is made from a durable, water-resistant material.
  • Pay attention to the straps and padding. They should be adjustable and well-cushioned.
  • If you’ll be carrying many heavy items, look for a backpack with a frame that can help evenly distribute the weight. 

More to Explore

The idea of putting things on your back to ease the burden of carrying them makes a lot of sense, and it’s been around for ages. Believe it or not, though, the version of the backpack as we know it today has only been around for less than 100 years.

Gerry Cunningham invented the first backpack with a zipper in 1938. Bags like this weren’t intended for every day or even weekly use; instead, they were geared toward hikers and campers who needed a durable bag for all-terrain excursions.

In the 1950s, kids started using backpacks to carry their schoolbooks. Prior to that, they used belts or straps to hold piles of their books together. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that companies started making backpacks specifically for schoolchildren.

Today, there are all sorts of different backpacks available on the market, from mini backpacks to fashion backpacks to ones that are specifically designed for travel, work or school. Choosing the right bag for you can be fun. You may even  need or want more than one, depending on what you will be using it for.

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