There’s nothing like the frustration of digging around in your purse or backpack for the one thing you need — especially if you’re in a hurry.
Chances are, you’re due for an upgrade in the bag department. We want to make sure you get everything you want and need in a bag, while expressing your unique style.
And most of all, we want to make sure you stay comfortable.
Whether you’re planning to hop on a plane for a spring break getaway or are searching for the perfect bag for college or work, you need something that can hold all the essentials — without making your shoulders sore.
As an active woman, you’re likely carrying a lot throughout your day — laptop, gym clothes, baby gear, the works. From backpacks to cross-body bags to purses, whatever you’re toting around can sure get heavy.
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.
How to Break Up with Your Bad Bag
The American Chiropractic Associated found that 50% 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 the 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 heavy, we’d also suggest opting for any of these ergonomic bags below. And they’re not just ergonomic either — they’re super cute and stylish for the active woman-on-the-go.
When looking for your next purse, crossbody, or women’s commuter bag, make sure to look out for these ergonomic-friendly signs to keep you feeling relaxed and energized while conquering your day.
Best Ergonomic Work Purses
Dr. Karen Erickson, a New York-based chiropractor, suggests never carrying more than 10% of your body weight — and as little as 5% when it comes to purses.
If you actually weighed your purse, you might be shocked 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.
Look for purses that have many strap options, so that you can switch it up from carrying it in your hands to swinging it over your shoulder. Switch it up with the Rebel purse >
Structure is also something to consider with an ergonomic purse. Slouchy bags can cause your items to move around while you walk, and throw you off balance.
A cross-body configuration can also help even out the weight of your pack and improve your posture.
A strapped bag is fine, just make sure it’s got a sturdy base and some pockets to keep things in place.
For that, we love the Sadie with plenty of pockets >
Best Travel Backpacks
When it comes to travel and getting where you need to be, we’re not messing around with our bags.
Our Indie pack with comfortable straps and even distribution are the best way to go when you’re on-the-go.
The key is to adjust your backpack straps so that the bottom of the bag doesn’t hang more than 4 inches below your waist.
When this happens, you’ll start to lean forward to compensate and hunch your back — not a good look.
If you’re the outdoorsy type (ie. a quick romp to the Swiss Alps), get a backpack with hip or chest belts or a sturdy pack, like our Quest AT.
And of course pockets are a plus, especially if you’re taking your work remote on the plane and need to store that heavy laptop.
The Camden can carry laptops, cameras, and more >
Best Carry-ons and Overnight Bags
If you’re trying to stuff your bag into the overhead bin and throw out your back in the process, we know how you feel.
For your daily hustle, we recommend a lightweight do-it-all bag like the Sola TVK. Whether you’re running to the yoga studio, jetting off for a weekend getaway, or finding the perfect bag for your next gig or graduate class — you don’t have to sacrifice comfort with Sherpani.
The Sola even has a hidden shoe compartment, which we love by the way.
Make sure you go for a bag you can see the bottom of, that’s important. We also love waterproof material, just in case you run into any inclement weather!
Headed back to school? The Teacher's Tote is sustainable and fashionable >
Best Cross-Body Totes
Cross-bodies 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 straps so that the bag falls comfortably by your side, and the cross-body structure steers you clear of those pins and needles we talked about before.
For a cross-body travel purse, remember: compartments are your friends.
Whether you’re carrying a laptop, textbooks, or baby bottles, look for bags with built-in compartments with Velcro or zips to hold everything in place.
Our Vale is convertible, try it crossbody or on your shoulder >
These are also great bags for travel. You can see all your belongings and an added flap will ward off any would-be pick-pocketers.
The Milli has a secret hidden zipper and comes in three colors >
Get Comfy with an Ergonomic Bag for Any Occasion
The ergonomics of your purse, backpack, and travel bag are important. And not just during your hectic workday, but for your health in the long run.
The best bags for active women should be fabulous and comfortable, functional, and get the job done.
Make sure your next bag fits your lifestyle, and your body. Shop our Featured Collection for the best ergonomic bag for you >