The Types of Backpacks and All You Need To Know on Them

In this post, I am going to show you the types of backpacks that are currently available.

An adult holding a kind of backpack

A piece of advice:

There are a lot of backpack types that it is going to be a very difficult task identifying every one of them.

But what you need to know is that most of these bags fall into the categories and types that we have listed below.

If you are aware of any backpack type that was not listed here please you can leave a comment in the comment section below.

Before we list the different types of backpacks we are first going to talk about the categories most of these backpacks fall under.

Backpack Categories 

Here is the deal:

It does not matter the type of backpack that you are in the market for. Whatever type of backpack you might be looking for it should fall into one of the categories listed below.

Convertible Backpacks

Convertible backpacks are backpacks that have several carry styles. Some carry styles of a bag are:

  1. Both shoulder straps carry style
  2. Tote backpacks carry style
  3. Crossbody carry style
  4. Top and side handle carry style in the form of a briefcase
  5. Messenger bag carry style
  6. etc

The original idea of a backpack is to be carried with both shoulder straps on ones back but due to the demands of the modern era, some backpacks have been designed to have more than one carry style based on your immediate need.

For example, a briefcase is thought to be the ideal carryon if you plan on going to a business meeting because it makes people take you seriously.

The type of backpacks that is convertible

This idea has been implemented into some backpacks by including side handles and top handles on the pack. Some designers even go the extent of providing a place to hide the shoulder straps of the bag so it would almost be identical to a briefcase.

By so doing you can convert your backpack to a briefcase while going for your business meeting and afterward you can take it back to a carry style making use of both straps of the bag.

It also applies to the other carry styles of a bag such as a tote, crossbody, messenger bag carry style, etc.

Anti-Theft Backpacks

By looking at the word anti-theft you should have an idea of backpacks that fall into this category. The idea behind an anti-theft backpack is simple.

It is a pack designed to either prevent or reduce illegal access into your bag. Some people might consider this category of bags not to be of much importance but from my personal experience, I can tell you that a backpack with anti-theft features can go a long way in protecting the items in your bag.

Anti theft backpacks

Anti-theft backpacks come in different formats with the sole purpose of making it difficult for pickpockets to have access to the items in your bag.

One of the basic features of anti-theft backpacks is to have their compartments and pockets hidden from the outside world.

Think about this for a second:

If a pickpocket is to gain access into your bag and they don’t find any access point then how on earth are they going to be able to gain access into your bag?

If they see that you are making use of a theft-proof bag then they would be very reluctant in even attempting to steal from you.

Depending on the place you are going to you would do yourself a favor by getting a bag with anti-theft features.

Some anti-theft features in some backpacks are:

  • Cutproof shoulder straps
  • Slashproof fabrics
  • RFID protection pockets
  • etc

Regular Backpacks

These are the most popular type of backpacks from these categories that you can find daily. You see them everywhere you go and they look like a regular backpack with some of them having features for a better backpack experience.

You have the typical main compartment with a few pockets both inside and outside the bag. Some designers of these type of bags tend to go a bit overboard and include features in their bags that would look attractive to people.

Most of the time most people can do without these features but other times they tend to be enticing to some people.

Some useful features might be included in this category of bags such as a padded laptop compartment to protect your laptop, exterior side pockets that can serve as a beverage or water holder, quick access pockets for placing items you need quick access to, etc.

These type of bags can be used for school, work, traveling, shopping, etc.

Some of them are even used for hiking and adventuring.

They are the most common type of bags and their price is based on their quality, craftsmanship, features and in some cases the brand name.

Backpacks for Specific Purposes

Have you ever heard someone going to the gym that might say something like this:

“I have that particular item in my gym bag” or “I am going to be making use of my gym bag”.

What this means is that they have a bag that is meant to be taken to only the gym.

Of course, these bags can be used for other purposes and they would work just fine but they were designed for a specific purpose.

There are some backpacks like this such as a gym backpack, a camera backpack, a pet backpack, diaper backpack, military backpacks, etc.

A pet carrier backpack

These type of bags are designed to satisfy a specific need.

In most cases, these backpacks can be used for other purposes but in some cases, it might be a bit inconvenient to make use of them for other purposes.

For example, making use of a pet backpack as a work backpack can never be considered as a good idea.

Anyone able to pull this off should be given a standing ovation.

That is just my opinion anyway as I feel a pet backpack should never be used as a work backpack.

Likewise, if you have a pet and you intend to carry your pet in your work backpack I would say you should try to avoid doing that as there are backpacks designed specifically for pets.

Backpack Purse

A lady wearing a backpack purse which is the type of backpack that can be used as a purse

I think I should classify this as a convertible backpack because they can be used both as a backpack and also as a purse bag. This means that they have more than one carry style.

Women these days like convenience and this is one of the reasons a lot of women prefer using backpacks.

But what happens if a woman never wants to give up making use of a purse?

This is where a backpack purse comes into play.

It is a bag that can be used both as a backpack and also as a purse.

It was designed in a way that either provides additional straps or can be adjusted so it can be used as a purse bag.

That is how it is being done in this century as most items we purchase is all due to making our lives easier.

I mean why have a backpack and a separate purse when you can just have a backpack that can be converted to a purse.

Pretty cool, right?

Mini Backpacks

Mini backpacks can be considered as a fashion backpack and they are pretty small. You can find some men making use of these type of backpacks but they are mostly used by women.

They are designed to be stylish and fashionable and you are not able to put much of your items into them.

If you are a college student I would not encourage you to make use of this type of bag except you plan on holding your books with your hands which defeats the idea of having a backpack.

The Types of Backpacks

The types of backpacks currently available are quite much but most of them fall into the categories listed above. Either they were designed for a specific purpose like a military or tactical backpack, or they might be a regular backpack that can be used for work, school, traveling, etc.

They might be a convertible backpack or an anti-theft backpack. Whatever might be the case we have been able to come up with some types of backpacks currently available.

Please if we don’t list any that you might be aware of you are free to mention them in the comments section below.

1. Daypacks

A lot of regular backpacks that we make use of can be considered as day packs. How do we explain what a daypack is?

A daypack can be said to be the smaller version of a backpack. They normally don’t exceed 40L in capacity.

Of course, they are also backpacks because they have the features of a backpack but they are referred to as day packs because they were designed to contain items that are to be used for just one day.

If you intend on going on a day’s trip or you need a small-sized bag then a daypack is what you should be in the market for. A backpack is not a daypack but rather a daypack is a type of backpack.

The types of day packs are listed below:

General DaypacksA lady wearing a daypack

These are the most common type of day packs and although some of them are designed for specific use most are not designed to have a specific use. General day packs can be a student’s daypack, shopping daypack, traveling daypack, work daypack, camera day packs, etc.

Some of them might have a unique feature depending on what they are to be used for.

For example, a work, school and travel daypack might have a padded laptop compartment to protect a laptop from getting damaged while in your bag.

Most of the types of backpacks that can be considered as a general daypack can be used for multiple purposes although some of them can be used for specific purposes.

Hiking Daypacks

As the name suggests, these are packs that are more suited for hiking. Their structure is a bit different from that of general day packs.

For any serious hiker looking to go for a day’s trip, they would be better of making use of a hiking daypack than a general daypack.

Why do this you might be wondering:

Daypacks are known not to have an internal frame because they were not designed to carry heavy items but there are some exceptions to this due to the reason a daypack might be used for.

For example, even a day’s hike might require carrying more items than expected. For this reason, internal frames are included in a good hiking daypack to help provide support with a sturdy and stable structure to carry your load.

Ski DaypacksA skiing daypack

Backpacks in the form of day packs have been designed to better suit anyone involved in this type of sport or activity.

Most normally come with some features for the skier such as a vertical snowboard and snowshoe fastening straps for carrying your snowboard and your snowshoe with some even having a place you can store your skis.

Climbing Daypacks

These are packs better suited for the climber. It has features to make your climbing experience easier such as daisy chains and lash point attachments.

They were designed in a way that would give you that flexibility while you climb.

Trail Running Daypacks

Trail running day packs are packs that are meant for runners. They are very light and can even be considered as being the lightest of the other types of day packs because while making use of this type of pack you are meant to carry only your essentials.

2. An Overnight Backpack

Overnight backpacks can be considered as what comes after a daypack. They are slightly bigger than a daypack and although they can also be used as a daypack they are best suited for an overnight trip due to their carry capacity which is usually in the range of 30L to 50L.

A girl wearing a regular backpack

An overnight backpack has just enough space to contain your items and also some clothing that can be used for an overnight trip.

If your trip is going to take you more than one night then it would be best you go for a pack that is bigger than an overnight backpack which brings us to a weekender pack.

3. A Weekender Pack 

In case you might be asking yourself, what type of backpack/backpack size do you need for a weekend trip?

The answer is a weekender backpack and they have a carrying capacity of 40L to 70L.

I consider a weekender pack to be a bag I make use of on a weekend trip or when I travel for a 2 to 3 days journey.

I do know some people can pull off a 3 days journey with a 30L pack but you need to have some experience on how to do this before you can make it work.

Trust me when I tell you that not everyone can pull this off.

To be more comfortable you are going to need a pack of at least 40L and depending on how much you carry it might go up to 70L.

For example, a hiking trip that would take you 2 to 3 days should require a pretty large backpack which depending on what you carry can require a backpack that is more than 40L in capacity.

4. An Extended Trip Backpack

A lot of hiking trips or adventures take more than 3 days. For this, you need a backpack that would be able to contain quite a lot of your belongings.

You should be looking at a pack with a capacity close to or higher than 70L. These type of backpacks are perfect for adventures but I have come across those that make use of them while they travel although it might look a bit awkward when on your back due to how large they are.

In that case, you might want to consider a wheeled backpack. These type of backpacks can go up to 150L in capacity and should be able to contain everything you need for your trip.

They can be considered as an ideal backpack for your travels if you normally travel for long periods and with a lot of your belongings.

They are also very convenient because you don’t have to put them on your back because of how heavy they can become with your items in it.

Due to their weight, you can decide to make use of the rolling wheels at the bottom of the bag.

Of course, if you don’t prefer making use of the rolling wheels you can always use the shoulder straps of the bag by carrying it on your back.

Wheeled backpacks also come in small sizes that can be used as a school backpack, business backpack, work backpack, etc.

Another type of backpack that can also serve as an extended trip backpack is duffel bag backpacks.

Yes, you read that right.

This is a duffel bag that allows you to be able to carry it in the form of a backpack. I can consider this to be a convertible backpack because they have more than one carry style.

They can be used both as a duffel bag and also as a backpack.

Of course, because of their carry capacity, you would need to be mindful of how they are used.

They can serve as a bag you use for traveling and can even be used as a gym bag.

You should not be thinking of a duffel backpack if you are in the market for a school bag. That would just be wrong.

Because of their carry capacity which is above 120L duffel bag backpacks are perfect to be used for extended trips.

5. Drawstring Backpacks 

Drawstring backpacks are a little different from your typical backpack. Instead of wide shoulder straps that a typical backpack makes use of they make use of strings or ropes as the straps of the bag.

The closure of the main compartment of the bag also makes use of a drawstring closure.

Some bags that make use of shoulder straps might also have a drawstring closure but a typical drawstring bag makes use of ropes as the straps of the bag and also has a drawstring closure that can be cinched to close the main compartment of the bag.


The types of backpacks that are currently available are quite much but most of them fall into the types and categories we have listed here.

For example, some backpacks are airport security friendly due to how they were designed. Some backpacks were designed for specific purposes such as a diaper backpack that is perfect for mothers because of their babies and also pet backpacks that can be used to carry pets.

Travel backpacks can fall under a weekender backpack or an extended trip backpack. There are also camera backpacks, laptop backpacks, gym backpacks, hunting backpacks, military/tactical backpacks, etc

7 comments on “The Types of Backpacks and All You Need To Know on Them

  1. I love the backpack purse so much because you get to be very free when moving around with it. Sometimes when I am going out with my backpack I don’t even notice I am having something on my back. Mostly I use this backpack when I don’t really have much to carry or sometimes I just carry it fashion because it matches my outfit and its just so cool going around with it on my back. 

  2. Wow! Isn’t this simply awesome. Who would have thought that we have types of back packs. Generally, I used just one backpack for multiple functions. Sometimes, for day packs, night packs or anything. This is simply awesome to know of and the various features and qualities that makes each and everyone very great. I wold definitely lookout for more of these types of backpacks as this post has widened my knowledge. Maybe when I have more cash, I will consider getting some more. Thanks

  3. We have lots of backpacks and I think most of them fall under the categories you’ve listed in this article. We should know that each type of backpacks have different purpose and use, so we should always consider the purpose before we buy any kind of backpack. The theft proof backpack is really nice, pick pockets are everywhere now and in order to be on the safe side, we should look out for bags with  anti theft features. This is a useful post and its interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Being on the look out for a new purchase of a backpack I thought it would be an easy job. It has to be said, I had no idea there were so many backpacks available. So many different styles and categories. We’re a family of six and all four of our children have used various types of back packs during their school years. I don’t think we’ve ever bought smart though.

    Almost every back pack we’ve had has ended up broken in some form or another. Possibly due to them being cheap but more likely, them not being fit for purpose. They were used for everything and were definitely not up for the task, with straps breaking and the fabric wearing through.

    I could do with an all purpose back pack that can also double up as a short stayaway bag, an overnighter, if you like. Suitable to carry a laptop and power supply along with water, snacks and a change of clothes. I also prefer just using one strap, for an over the shoulder style most of the time. The added security options is something I will be considering as well, now that I know it’s an option.

    1. A little bit of research can provide you with your ideal backpack. You can always check out our selections and see if anyone fits your criteria.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *