Best Backpacks For Seniors (Lightweight, Ergonomic, and Wide Straps!)

Certified Senior Advisor®
Senior Home Safety Specialist®
20 years of medical equipment experience
Compassionately helping seniors and their caregivers solve challenges of aging

Backpacks can be very useful for seniors, especially those with back pain. The best backpacks for seniors are lightweight, have padded, wide straps, and waist straps or rollers too!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Income Disclosure.
Best Backpacks For Seniors

While people often associate backpacks with schoolchildren, they’re handy bags that anyone can benefit from carrying. Backpacks are lightweight and typically have an ergonomic design. Seniors looking for a work bag or a travel bag should take a closer look at backpacks.

What Type of Backpack is Best for Seniors?

Of course, you won’t want to use just any backpack. You’ll want to find a bag that meets the needs of seniors. A heavy backpack can cause strain to the back and shoulders, which is why it’s important to find a backpack that is ergonomically designed.

It’s smart to look for backpacks with padded backs and wide shoulder straps. Backpacks with a waist strap can also be a good option; this strap can provide additional support. Rolling backpacks can be a smart investment for seniors that struggle to carry heavy backpacks.

Backpacks Help With Back Pain

Obviously, back pain is a major concern for many seniors. No one wants to use a bag that will make their back pain worse! However, neck pain should also be a consideration.

Remember, the average head weighs around eleven pounds! Wearing an ergonomic backpack can help you to avoid straining the muscles in your neck.

More than anything else, you should look for high-quality, well-designed backpacks that are designed to reduce and prevent pain. This is one reason that many seniors are replacing purses and pocketbooks with less painful backpacks.

Reviews: Best Backpacks for Seniors

Based on that criteria, here are some of the best backpacks for seniors.

The North Face Jester Backpack

Where to Buy:
Click to Compare and Save

The North Face is a brand that’s well known for its backpacks. This particular backpack comes in all kinds of colors and styles, including blue backpacks, camo printed backpacks, and bags in neutral colors. The bag is made from a durable polyester that’s easy to clean.

The shoulder straps on this backpack have FlexVent™ injection-molding, which makes the bag more comfortable to carry, even for an extended period of time. The bag also features a removable hip belt for additional support. There’s even a sternum strap with a whistle buckle.

The backpack offers quite a few compartments, including a padded compartment that can carry a 15″ laptop. It also has an organization panel that makes it easier to carry smaller items. There’s also an integrated key clip, which means you won’t have to worry about losing your keys when you carry this bag!

IVAR Alta 20 Backpack

This sleek backpack is made from incredibly resilient fabrics. The main part of the backpack is constructed from 420D Polyurethane Coated Nylon, while the bottom of the backpack is made from 1680D Polyurethane Coated Nylon.

This makes the backpack resistant to water. The durable fabrics will hold up even if the backpack is regularly used.

Beyond that, the backpack has a number of features that are designed to reduce and prevent back pain. IVAR uses a patented design that distributes weight evenly throughout the body. The thick padded straps are designed for carrying comfort.

With this backpack, you’ll also find that it’s easy to stay organized. The backpack has a number of compartments, including a padded compartment that is the perfect size for a 13″ laptop or tablet.

Even if you’re not the sort of person that normally carries a backpack, you may find yourself reaching for this bag all the time.

Osprey Packs Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

Where to Buy:
Click to Compare and Save

This is a very large backpack that can easily hold clothes, electronics, and other essentials that you’ll want to keep with you while you’re traveling. While this massive five-pound backpack won’t be a great choice for everyone, it is a great choice for any senior that needs to carry a lot of items with them.

Because this backpack has a hip belt, it’s able to distribute weight more evenly than other backpacks are able to. It also has thick, cushioned straps that can help to prevent shoulder pain.

You could even use this to replace your purse if you have arthritis pain. It’s one of the most comfortable backpacks of this size.

There are two compression straps inside the back, which can help you to keep your belongings secure. The backpack is made from a scratch-resistant fabric that is also resistant to water. If you do a lot of traveling, you’ll be able to use this backpack over and over again.

SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack

Where to Buy:
Click to Compare and Save

If you’re looking for a backpack that you can bring as a carry-on on flights, this bag from SwissGear is ideal. The back uses lay-flat technology and can easily be opened so that you can remove your backpack when you’re going through TSA screening.

ALSO READ: Tip for Air Travel For Senior Citizens

More importantly, this backpack is comfortable to carry. It has contoured shoulder straps that are made from a breathable mesh fabric. It also has a padded back panel that provides additional cushion and comfort. Adjustable side straps make it easy to ensure the perfect fit.

This is a fairly spacious backpack, but it isn’t as large and heavy as many other backpacks on the market. The bag also has a number of compartments, which make it easier to stay organized while you’re traveling. There are even two side compartments that are perfect for holding an umbrella or a beverage.

Tocode Large Laptop Computer Backpack

Even seniors like to make sure they stay connected when they’re on the go. With this backpack, it’s a breeze.

It has a built-in micro USB port, which will allow you to charge your phone, tablet, and other devices no matter where you are. While the backpack doesn’t come with its own power bank, you can easily buy one for an affordable price.

The backpack has an ergonomic design and a number of features that make the bag easier to carry. The bag uses ventilated padding, which provides support while allowing air to flow towards the bags.

Many backpacks can be uncomfortable to carry in hot weather, but that isn’t an issue with this bag. It also has an ergonomic top handle you can use if you don’t want to wear the backpack.

The bag is made from an Oxford fabric that’s water-resistant and highly durable. Water-resistant materials are used on the interior of the bag as well, which will give you extra protection from spills. This is a fashion-forward backpack that can be carried in a variety of situations.

JanSport Unisex-Adult Agave Backpack

Where to Buy:
Click to Compare and Save

This is a simple backpack that’s perfect for everyday use. It’s made from a durable fabric and comes in a variety of colors, which means seniors will be able to choose a backpack with the right look. It has a variety of pockets, making it a highly versatile bag.

More importantly, this backpack has a number of features that make the bag more comfortable to use. It has adjustable shoulder straps as well as an adjustable strap at the sternum. The shoulder straps are padded and the haul strap has padding as well.

The backpack is lightweight, which makes it more comfortable to carry. However, the bag is more than large enough to hold a laptop and other essentials. Jansport is a dependable backpack brand, and this bag is a smart investment.

senior couple with backpacks on a hike

The Best Travel Backpacks For Seniors

Traveling is a wonderful way for seniors to enjoy your golden years! Unfortunately, lugging around heavy bags can put a real strain on your back and body. You might find that carrying a backpack during your trip is your best option.

If you’re planning on carrying a backpack on a trip, a smaller backpack might not cut it. That’s why you’ll want to look at the travel backpacks above which are suitable for seniors. These backpacks are senior-friendly, have rave reviews, and are great for travel use by seniors too!


Don’t avoid backpacks just because they’re commonly worn by children. People of all ages can benefit from carrying backpacks. As you can see, there are a number of ergonomically-designed backpacks on the market that are perfect for seniors to carry.

Tell me: why are you considering using a backpack? What features do you think are important when shopping for backpacks for seniors?

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

Join Our Crew!

Enter your email address to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to get updates on new guides for seniors and the elderly and savings on senior-friendly products. And, of course, we will never sell or share your email address!

2 thoughts on “Best Backpacks For Seniors (Lightweight, Ergonomic, and Wide Straps!)”

  1. Probably for a carry on at airport, take to the beach, on a long walk, for a picnic, for a grab and carry besides a weekend travel bag, kind of an all around short travel bag, also instead if a pocketbook

  2. What is the best backpack for traveling ? I travel a lot – 2-3days at a time and prefer taking a backpack. I am 65 and a female who wants to look classy

Leave a Comment