If you suffer from back or shoulder pain, going to work, college or for a day out can become a dreaded task. Why? Because these tasks all require carrying extra weight on your back.
Fortunately, there are a range of backpacks on the market to help make the task of carrying your books, laptop and travel luggage less of a burden.
So what are the key things to look for when choosing a backpack when you suffer from back pain? For starters, backpacks with suspension systems can help you redirect the weight from your shoulders to your hips.
Shoulder straps should be padded and made of a breathable material like nylon to avoid sweat. There are a range of other features like size, weight and interior layout to consider.
To make things simpler, we have selected 15 backpacks designed for comfortable wear and explained why each is suitable for sufferers of back pain.
JanSport Odyssey Backpack
At the top of the list is the JanSport Odyssey Backpack, which incorporates many (if not all) of the features you ought to look out for if back pain is an issue.
The wide, S-shaped strap curves out away from the neck, which is far more comfortable than a vertical strap. In addition to adjustable straps, there are sternum straps with semicircular cross-sections, which help to redirect the weight of the bag to the hips.
The backpack is also lightweight and contains multiple sections so you can arrange heavy items at the back and put lighter items in the outer pockets.
Finally, the padding is made of breathable material so you won’t get too hot carrying it in the summer.
The product is ideal for a range of uses and is durable, fashionable and most importantly – comfortable.
HICKPRO 20L Travel Backpack
The HICKPRO backpack is very impressive, especially considering that it is one of the most affordable products on this list.
It is incomparably lightweight and folds up to pocket size. This makes it ideal for traveling as you can pack it in another bag to reduce space when you are not using it.
The wide and adjustable, breathable mesh shoulder straps are comfortable to wear, just like all HICKPRO products. The material is also waterproof and comes in a range of colours.
There are no sternum or chest straps but for an average load, this product is fantastic.
JanSport Big Student Backpack
JanSport are a reliable brand who have been making backpacks since 1967. This has given them plenty of time to nail their design for maximum comfort and practicality.
The straps are that ideal wide S-shape and the straps are adjustable and breathable. There is plenty of room for all your books and different pockets so you can spread the weight appropriately.
JanSport aim to be a lifetime brand so they will repair any breaks, although the product is highly durable so it is unlikely you will need this service.
High Sierra Loop Backpack
The high Sierra Loop backpack is suitable for a range of lifestyles. Its comfortable size, multiple pockets and key fob hook make it a good choice for a day hike as well as your daily trip to college or the office.
There is a dedicated spot for your tablet and the hook makes attaching camping and hiking essentials like water bottles or torches simple to attach.
The backpack is equipped with a suspension system to transfer the weight from your shoulders to your hips, reducing the burden of your load.
All straps are adjustable so you can find a comfortable fit and the backpack is strong, affordable and highly durable, even in wet weather.
It also comes in a range of colors and designs so it really is suitable for all.
KOPACK Slim Business Laptop Backpack
This backpack is not only a great choice if you suffer from back pain, but it’s ideal for the urban consumer who rates savvy features for added convenience.
The design is water resistant and includes a hidden laptop zone so you can hide your valuable items. It also comes with a detachable USB charger port so you can charge up your phone on the go.
There are 17 slots overall so if you’re a dedicated organizer, you will delight in the opportunity to find a place for all your things. In terms of the ergonomic design, KOPACK have taken care to make sure the backpack is as comfortable as possible.
The adjustable straps enable users to redistribute the weight so there is less strain on the back and shoulders.
The S-shape padded shoulder straps and padding also mean the product is extremely comfortable to wear.
The breathable fabric will combat sweat on a hot day too, so you won’t feel the need to wear the bag on one shoulder to cool down.
KOPACK Anti-theft Laptop Backpack
Out of the two KOPACK backpacks on this list, it’s entirely a matter of subjective opinion which you prefer. Both are highly rated and come with a tonne of pockets and added features.
This backpack claims to be theft-proof and if you try to find the zipper on the image, you will see why.
There is no way for pickpockets to easily get in. The straps are adjustable and breathable, just like with the previous backpack and the padded shoulder straps join at the top, to ensure that weight is evenly distributed on both sides.
This is actually pretty handy as it makes it easier to find comfort without having to meddle with the adjustable straps.
eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack
This product from eBags has comfortable, padded straps and an air-mesh back panel. It has an added feature of a removable, adjustable sternum strap which helps to prevent the bag from slipping.
This is an attractive feature for those who suffer back pain as it means that the weight won’t shift back up from your hips when you are in a hurry.
As well as the precautions taken to ensure comfort, eBags have also included several easy-access department and an AC-adaptor garage.
This product is a little pricier than our former listings and it is the high quality and organized storage which you are paying for.
In terms of the ergonomic design, the product is certainly comfortable but its suspension system is not too different from the previous listings.
Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Backpack
This lightweight backpack can pack a punch. It is made of tear and water resistant material and includes a double-layer bottom piece so you can carry a heavier load.
The shoulder straps are adjustable and the sponge padding will relieve some of the stress from your shoulders.
There is also a chest strap which is a bonus if you suffer from back pain as it keeps the bag more securely in place.
There are plenty of pockets so you can spread the weight of your luggage and the bag folds up so you can avoid extra luggage fees if you want to take it on vacation.
At only 0.7 lbs, this backpack is a good choice if you suffer from back pain but don’t want to give up hiking on your vacation.
BOLANG Water Resistant College Backpack
This unisex backpack proves that you don’t need to trade in style for comfort.
The lightweight nylon bag is ergonomically designed to offer maximum back support and comfort. It contains 4 main pockets and 6 smaller pockets so it is ideal for college and work, but is suitable for travel too.
The breathable back padding is made of high density sponge, so it is surprisingly comfortable to wear.
In addition to comfort and utility, BOLANG backpacks are also conscious of aesthetics and their range of designs are highly attractive.
On top of all of this, their bags come with a one year warranty, which you shouldn’t need to use considering their backpacks are impressively durable.
CAMEL CROWN lightweight Hiking Backpack
The Camel Crown hiking backpack is ultralight and highly durable, thanks to its extra thick lightweight fabric.
One of the attractive features of this product is the fact it not only has adjustable straps, but utilises adjustable chest straps to keep the bag securely in place.
There are multiple compartments for all your things and the ventilated back structure will keep your back cool and relieve your shoulders of some of the burden.
At the end of the day, weight is weight, but at least with Camel Crown you can trust that the burden of this weight will not fall too heavily on your back.
Outlander Ultra Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack
The Outlander Hiking backpack comes in a range of colours and sizes, all made of water-resistant, durable nylon fabric.
This is another backpack which can fold down to pocket size, but not at the expense of much needed compartments and pockets.
The reason we have chosen this over the many other lightweight products on the market is down to Outlander’s reputation as a brand.
This backpack doesn’t come with chest straps like some of its competitors, the wide, adjustable and breathable straps but it’s still a good choice if you are seeking comfort along with practicality.
Mozone Casual Lightweight Backpack
This product from Mozone is also made of sturdy nylon and is lightweight, so if you’re already burdened with a heavy load, this backpack won’t add to it.
The padded straps are thicker than those on most backpacks, which means they are even more comfortable on your shoulders.
Another good feature is that the compartment for laptops has extra cushion so it’s protected if you are carrying a full load. The bag is quite attractive and has multiple compartments.
Again, if you are looking for a backpack which is fashionable but isn’t going to cause your back and shoulder pain to flare up, the Mozone backpack is worth investing in.
G4Free Large Lightweight Travel Backpack
This highly affordable backpack is made from high quality, water resistant fabric and aims to be ultra-durable while also being ultra-lightweight.
It is impressive how much you can actually fit into the bag, which claims to be able to carry 40L when full. The backpack is actually so lightweight that you can fold it into a pocket which will fit in your purse.
As well as being lightweight, the backpack includes adjustable and breathable padded shoulder straps so it is comfortable too.
Additionally, it includes chest clips so you can tighten the backpack to your body, meaning the weight is distributed all over and your shoulders consequently won’t be burdened with all the hard work.
It comes in a range of colors too.
INSOW Lightweight Packable Travel Backpack
In case none of the packable ultralight backpacks we have highlighted so far have stood out for you, here is the JINSOW take on the concept.
The ergonomic design is similar to the other backpacks on this list, with breathable adjustable shoulder straps. The additional sternum straps as we have said already, will redistribute the weight from your shoulders to your hips.
The bah is spacious and comes with lots of pockets and compartments with quick access. JINSOW backpacks are covered with a lifetime warranty and they promise a 100% money back guarantee.
XIANGI Packable Backpack
I have included this final backpack as it has quite a unique design. The backpack folds into a carriable briefcase size bag so you can carry it easily when the bag is empty.
The product uses nylon material which we cannot emphasise enough as a great material if you want something strong but breathable and lightweight.
The shoulder straps are S-shaped and made of mesh with plenty of padding.There is also a chest strap so the XIANGI backpack really does nail the key features you should be looking for if you suffer from back pain.
My only criticism is that it only contains one zipped compartment, so you can’t distribute the weight across the bag.
Nevertheless, with all its great features and a 100% lifetime warranty, this backpack is a strong contender.