Best Ergonomic Bags for Women and What to Look For

There’s nothing like the frustration of digging around in your purse or backpack for that one thing you need, especially if you’re in a hurry.

Are you due for an upgrade in the bag department? We want to make sure you get everything you need in a bag. Something that’s functional for work, play and travel; all while expressing your unique style.

Mostly, we want to make sure you stay comfortable. Don’t opt for a bag that weighs you down. Whether you’re trying to see the world or tackle a semester of grad school, you need something that can hold all the essentials - without making your shoulders sore.

What’s inside the bag of an active woman? Laptop, work phone, gym clothes, gear for the kids, water bottle, medication, current read, that thing you have to drop off at the post office, sheer determination to make it through the day…

If it’s any or all of the above, the weight of what you carry around is bound to take its toll.

When you’re out and about, you might not realize the toll this can take on your body. That’s why we recommend looking out for ergonomic bag options that can improve your posture and keep your body strong and healthy, no matter what you’re toting around.

A woman stands in front of a lake and smiles, she is wearing Sherpani sling backpack the Esprit

Break Up With Your Bad Bag

The American Chiropractic Association found that half of working Americans report back pain.

One of the main causes is heavy bags that throw off your balance and put pressure on your neck and shoulders.

So how do you know if a bag isn’t good for your back or posture?

For starters, you’re probably experiencing back pain and poor posture while wearing your bag, or even after you take it off. There are other sneaky health consequences of having a bag that’s not well-suited for your body and lifestyle, too.

Heavy purses worn over your shoulder can cause pressure on the nerves in your neck and shoulder, which can restrict blood flow. This can cause that “pins and needles” feeling in your arm.

One-sided heavy bags also change the weight distribution of your body. This can cause neck and back pain, and even migraines after taking your bag off your shoulder.

In addition to trying not to pack your bag so heavily, we’d suggest opting for any of these ergonomic bags below. And they’re not just ergonomic but super cute and stylish, made for the modern woman on the go.

When shopping for your next crossbody purse, convertible backpack, commuter bag, or do-it-all tote, be sure it’s ergonomic-friendly. Spot the signs of ergonomic design and stay relaxed and energized while you conquer the day. Your shoulders can thank us later.

Best Ergonomic Work Purses

Dr. Karen Erickson, a New York-based chiropractor, suggests never carrying more than ten percent of your body weight - and as little as five percent when it comes to purses. If you actually weighed your purse, you might be shocked at how much you’re toting around with you every day!

To trim some of those bag pounds, start with a purse that isn’t heavy by itself. Stay away from big designer bags that have heavy fabrics, thick zippers, or flashy studs. You’ll also want to opt for wider straps, as this distributes the weight more evenly across your shoulder.

Even better, is a purse that has different strap options. The Soleil has a three-in-one convertible design; you can switch it up from carrying it by the tote handles to swinging it over your shoulder as a backpack to wearing it as a crossbody bag.

A model smiles over her shoulder at the camera, she is wearing Sherpani bag the Soleil as a backpack

Another factor to consider in an ergonomic purse is structure. Slouchy bags can cause your items to move around while you walk, and throw you off balance. A crossbody configuration can help even out the weight of your pack and improve your posture. A bag with a shorter shoulder strap is fine, just make sure it’s got a sturdy base and some pockets to keep things in place. We love the Sadie for this, with its many pockets and the adjustable strap that gives you the option to convert from shoulder bag to crossbody.

Close up view of Sherpani crossbody the Sadie

Best Travel Backpacks

When it comes to travel, Sherpani has got you covered on all fronts. Get where you need to go with confidence or get where you want to go without a worry on your mind. We’re not messing around with our state-of-the-art travel bags.

(Psssst, we also have the Sherpani Travel Blog for extra inspo!)

The key is to adjust your backpack straps so that the bottom of the bag doesn’t hang more than four inches below your waist. If your bag hangs lower than this, you’ll start to lean forward to compensate and hunch your back - not a good look.

Sherpani backpacks have adjustable, comfortable straps that ensure even distribution.

Of course, pockets are a plus, especially if you’re working remotely from the plane and need to store that heavy laptop. We love the padded laptop sleeve in the Camden; this best-selling bag can carry laptops, cameras, and more!

A model facing away from the camera is wearing Sherpani backpack the Camden

Best Carry-ons and Overnight Bags 

If you’ve tried to stuff your carry-on into the overhead bin and thrown out your back in the process, we know how you feel. Shop Shrerpani luggage to discover our lightweight, smooth-rolling suitcases and rolling duffle bags.

A model walks with Sherpani checked bag the Hemisphere

For your daily hustle, we recommend a lightweight do-it-all bag like the Sola. This adorable duffle is a great overnight bag, take it from the yoga studio to the office to happy hour to your favorite staycation spot. It holds everything you need but omits the aches and pains. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort with Sherpani. The Sola even has an outer compartment perfect for storing your toiletries!

A woman crouching down is looking into Sherpani duffle the Sola

Make sure you go for a bag you can see the bottom of, that’s important. Sherpani bags are all smartly designed to have a light-colored interior, so you can easily see your belongings. The Dispatch features a doctor-bag opening, the ultimate way to see right to the bottom of your bag.

The doctor-style bag opening feature of Sherpani bag the Dispatch

Best Cross-Body Totes

Crossbody bags are a spectacular solution to back pain. Distributing weight across your body keeps you comfortable and upright when running around town. And as a bonus, they’re super cute!

You can easily adjust your crossbody strap so that the bag falls comfortably by your side, and the crossbody structure steers you clear of those pins and needles we talked about before.

For a crossbody travel purse, remember: compartments are your friends. Whether you’re carrying a laptop, textbooks, or baby bottles, look for bags with built-in compartments that will hold everything in place.

These are also great bags for travel, especially the crossbody bags in our Anti-Theft Collection, which have added security features to discourage petty theft. Check out the Prima, the Geo or the Vale for a crossbody you can take anywhere! (We know, it’s hard to choose.)

A woman looks at flowers in a market, she carries Sherpani Anti-Theft crossbody the Prima

Get Comfy with an Ergonomic Bag for Any Occasion

The ergonomics of your purse, backpack, and travel bag are important. Not just during your hectic workday, but for your health in the long run. Your bag should do its job - keeping you comfortable while you do yours. The best bags for active women should be fabulous and functional.

Make sure your next bag fits your lifestyle, workplace and travel needs, without being harmful to your body.


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By women for women, the Sherpani Travel Blog talks about all things travel (and all things Sherpani!). From unique travel guides to general travel tips to personal stories from women in our community, this is a space to celebrate our belief that travel restores the human spirit.

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1 comment

Mari Jo Vernarsky

Mari Jo Vernarsky

I love the blue flowers and the light green keep bringing the pretty colors.

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