When you’re traveling, it can be nice to have the option to switch from a tote bag to a backpack and back again. Why choose between one type of bag when you can have one that offers versatility and great travel-friendly features?
A convertible backpack is a great option for your personal item, as they are often sized to fit under your airplane seat. The ones with luggage sleeves are a perfect companion to your carry on in the airport. Keep reading to find the right convertible backpack options for your next trip.
If you are looking for a travel purse instead of a convertible backpack, check out these posts for some inspiration:
- Best Purses for Travel: Stylish and Anti-Theft Options
- Best Single Strap Backpacks for Comfortable Hands-Free Travel
- Best Sling Backpacks for Travel
Top Picks for The Perfect Convertible Backpack
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Travelon bags are well-known and a brand that’s shown up in my review posts before, so it should be no surprise that they also make a tremendous anti-theft convertible backpack for travel. Travelers can wear this bag in two ways: a shoulder bag or a backpack. It has a mesh pocket for your water bottle, which I count as a plus. It also has an RFID-blocking zipper pocket to protect your credit cards. When looking for anti-theft bags for travel, Travelon is always a good choice.
Another great option by Baggallini is this 3-in-1 Convertible Backpack. Like some other Baggallini products, it’s a little pricey, but I think the features and versatility of this bag make up for the price. Traveling with this bag will be incredibly easy due to the luggage handle/trolley sleeve so that you can slip your backpack over your carry-on suitcase. It also comes with a removable wristlet to keep your essential small items handy.
With more than 30 different color options, this CLUCI backpack purse may be one of the most versatile bags on this list. In addition to tons of color options, this convertible bag offers a secret anti-theft pocket and water-resistant design. The PU leather is not as durable as genuine leather, but this bag is an excellent option for the price.
I love everything Fjallraven makes. They’re another high-quality outdoor brand like Patagonia that creates a range of clothing items that keep durability, style, and function in mind. This Fjallraven Totepack bag is canvas instead of leather, which may not appeal to everyone. Still, it’s incredibly durable and comes with a ton of storage space (including an interior security pocket).
Others may try to replicate it, but there’s no substitute for Italian leather. While it may cost more than some other bags on this list, The Banuce backpack purse is stylish and high quality. This bag is on the smaller side, but it comes with great organizational pockets on the inside and works great if you’re an essentials-only kind of traveler.
Fossil is another brand you know you can count on for years to come when it comes to leather goods. This Camilla Leather Tote is a high-quality, genuine leather convertible bag that can be worn as a backpack, tote bag, or shoulder bag and is large enough to fit most electronics and essentials you’ll need while traveling.
One drawback to this bag is that it doesn’t offer much organization with only one pocket, so you may have to do some digging around if you like to put a lot of things in your purses.
If you work outside, you’re surely acquainted with Carhartt by now. And even if you don’t, Carhartt beanies are becoming so popular that you’ve probably heard of them or bought one for yourself. Either way, you should know that Carhartt makes products to withstand the elements and hold up when used heavily. In addition, unlike many other leather backpack purses on this list, this bag is made with rain-resistant polyester material. So your belongings will stay dry while commuting or traveling.
Unfortunately, this Carhartt Legacy Women’s Hybrid bag doesn’t come in many fun colors, but the design and quality will make up for your lack of color options.
When traveling, you never know what kind of weather you will have. This PINCNEL backpack purse is waterproof and, as a bonus, comes with anti-theft features to help you feel extra secure while you’re traveling. The back zipper allows you to store a small laptop discreetly. However, it won’t fit one larger than 9.7 inches.
This convertible purse also has excellent organizational features, and the straps are comfortable enough for you to wear it all day.
CLUCI has a few backpacks on this list, and after looking at them, you’ll understand why. This particular CLUCI bag is in the mid-range for price and is a very stylish option. A few things that I like in particular are the many organizational pockets and the fact that it’s big enough to be a carry-on bag during travel. One potential problem identified with vegan leather is that it may wear down faster than genuine leather. But this convertible backpack appears to be well made.
Next up is the ZOCILOR Backpack Purse. This option is rated highly on Amazon. People.com dedicated a whole article to it. This travel backpack is very budget-friendly and durable — sometimes, you can’t get both. I like the multicolored strap for a pop of color and the fact that it’s made with vegan leather, although some critics say that sustainable leather wears down faster than natural leather.
If you’re looking for a convertible laptop backpack for work or long weekends, check out the CoolBELL Convertible Backpack. In addition to holding clothes and toiletries, this bag also accommodates larger laptops and electronics. The exterior zip pockets will also help by providing easy access to smaller items like your phone or credit cards.
Although this convertible backpack is excellent for people who work on the go, the design of a messenger bag makes it a little bulky, so you won’t get the compact storage you do with some other bags on this list.
If you’re a mom that loves to travel, this ALLCAMP convertible diaper bag will be the perfect travel accessory. And although this bag is technically a diaper bag, you can also use it as a backpack or tote bag. So it’ll be useful long after you stop buying diapers.
The organization of this bag is also great, and it’s machine washable. It also comes with some accessories, including a changing pad. Some of which may not be helpful unless you’re a new mom.
Another CLUCI option is the Leather Backpack Purse. The number of color options for this bag is very diverse and impressive for a leather bag. There are also multiple exterior and interior pockets, so you don’t have to toss everything into one large compartment. In addition, the canvas material of the shoulder straps and crossbody strap make them much more durable.
If you’re looking for a new travel bag but don’t want to break the bank, check out this Cheruty backpack purse. This convertible bag is a steal at around $25. Its design allows the traveler to wear it in three different ways. It also comes in 16 different colors and is made with sustainable vegan leather. Unfortunately, although the interior looks spacious in photos, it won’t fit electronics bigger than 10 inches, which could be a negative if you like to travel with your laptop.
If you’re looking for a more sporty look, try out this KL928 Canvas Sling Bag. This convertible bag can be worn as a backpack or crossbody bag and is great for any outdoor activities you’re planning on doing while traveling. It also features a hidden anti-theft pocket for valuables and a water bottle holder. One downside to this bag is that it is smaller, so it won’t fit much more than the essentials for a day out.
If you’re looking for a sleek, stylish, no-frills design, check out this convertible backpack by ECOSUSI. This leather bag is a backpack, shoulder bag, and crossbody bag. The interior of the bag is compact and organized so you can keep important items easily accessible, and the price isn’t bad either! My only issue with this bag is that the crossbody strap is thin and unpadded, so it may dig in and be uncomfortable if you’re carrying a lot.
If you like your backpacks and purses to have a little flair, look no further than this convertible travel backpack/purse combo by Roulens. This bag comes in many fun colors, has a significant amount of storage space in the main compartment, and includes interior and exterior pockets for organization.
Because of this bag’s size could get heavy if you’re carrying it around all day. Additionally, due to the thin and unpadded shoulder straps, it has the potential to be uncomfortable when packed full.
This Vera Bradley convertible shoulder bag is another incredibly versatile travel bag. At first glance, this Vera Bradley product looks like it’s just a shoulder bag, but the shoulder straps allow you to wear it as a backpack as well. Another plus is that this is a sustainable bag made with recycled cotton. I personally don’t love how the straps look when it’s converted to a backpack, but I think this could be a great choice for some travelers.
If you’ve read my blog posts before, you know I’m a fan of Baggallini and this convertible backpack is no exception. This bag is closer to $100 on the price scale, but if you’ve read my review of the Baggallini Criss Cross bag, you’ll know that I feel confident about their products. The adjustable straps allow you to wear the bag a bunch of different ways and it comes with built-in RFID protection with RFID-blocking technology to protect your personal information.
Made for travel days and anyone in your life who needs a backpack, this Tzowla backpack purse is a steal. At under $50, you don’t have to think too much about whether your new bag will break the bank. This convertible backpack purse also comes in two different sizes and is made with water-resistant material so all of your belongings stay dry. It only comes in black, which works for a lot people. If you’re looking for a pop of color, unfortunately, you won’t find it here.
Tote bag or backpack, this Timbuk2 bucket bag will fit everything you need for the day. I think this travel bag would work great as a carry-on for any flights you have coming up due to the casual design. The main compartment is big enough for a laptop and the exterior zipper pocket is great for smaller items like travel documents or your cell phone.
It is on the higher end of the price scale, but the design is great and the materials that it’s made with are high-quality so you won’t have to replace it any time soon.
If you’re willing to splurge, check out this Timbuk2 convertible backpack. This bag, along with a lot of Timbuk2 products, are pretty expensive, but they make up for it with style and details. In the interior of this bag, there’s a padded laptop sleeve to keep your electronics protected, as well as high-quality zippers and closures. The backpack straps and detachable shoulder strap are also fully removable so you can wear the bag however you want.
No matter what you need a bag for, this Telena backpack purse will fill your needs. Whether it’s a diaper bag for work, or for classes, this convertible bag can be worn as a backpack with the backpack straps, has a top handle, and has a convertible strap so you can wear it as a crossbody bag. It’s a little higher on the price scale, but I really like all of the internal and external pockets for storage in addition to the main compartment.
Another great anti-theft bag is this BROMEN backpack purse. This bag is a little bit more expensive than some of the others on this list, but I think the anti-theft features make up for that. The main compartment is more secure due to the design. I also like that this bag is made of vegan leather and comes in a ton of different colors besides black and brown.
Some of us go for maximum storage space while others prefer a more compact way to carry our belongings. If you’re looking for a lightweight option, this environmentally friendly Sherpani Mini Convertible Backpack with Coin Purse is for you. Like some other crossbody purses, this one could be a bit bulky if it’s stuffed to the brim, but when you only need to carry the essentials, the organization of this bag will work great.
Frequently Asked Questions: Convertible Backpack
Buying a new purse can be a difficult decision, especially when you’re trying to do it online. Whenever you’re in the market for a new travel purse, consider a convertible backpack purse. It will give you additional flexibility and storage during travel days and when you’re exploring new cities.
What is a convertible purse?
A convertible purse is one that you can wear in multiple different ways. It is not only meant to be worn as a backpack or as a shoulder bag. You can also find many different options of convertible purses that can be transformed from one different style to another.
What is the safest type of purse to travel with?
A lot of women will tell you that a crossbody bag is the most secure option when it comes to travel. The comfort of having your belongings close to your body helps put many of us at ease and makes you less of a target for pickpockets. If you don’t want to wear a crossbody all of the time, you can choose one of these convertible backpack purses. They let you switch up the style of the bag depending on your activities that day.
How do you wear a crossbody backpack?
Depending on which bag you choose from the list above. You’ll have a lot of different options on how to wear your bag. The straps should be self-explanatory for the most part. If you need additional help setting up your bag straps, there are a ton of tutorial videos online.