From the stylish to the practical, I’ve scoured the web and compiled a list of the best convertible backpacks in 2021.

All the bags on this list can be worn in at least two ways.

But there are some that can be worn up to four ways, making them versatile for different occasions. 

Excited?  

Let’s dive into the best convertible backpacks- ideal for commuting, working out, traveling, or even more.

Table of Contents

12 Best Convertible Backpacks

Check out this quick list of top convertible backpacks if you’re in a hurry, or continue scrolling to see my full list with in-depth reviews. 

  1. Best overall: Cluci Backpack Purse
  2. Best EDC: Bivy Tote Backpack
  3. Best laptop convertible: The Rowledge Backpack
  4. For Him: Hideout 5-Way Commuter
  5. For Her: Cheruty Women Backpack Purse
  6. Best for travel: Caraa Studio Bag
  7. Best convertible briefcase: CoolBELL Convertible Backpack
  8. Best secured: Pacsafe Citysafe CX Antitheft Convertible backpack
  9. Most rugged: Carhartt Hybrid Convertible backpack Tote
  10. Most versatile: Samsonite & Sarah Jessica Parker: The Carried Away Convertible
  11. Best sustainable United By Blue Convertible Carryall
  12. Best compact: KL928 Canvas Sling Bag
Convertible backpacks: Cluci Backpack Purse
Credit: Amazon

Summary: A cute and practical leather backpack that is super handy for everyday activities.

The Cluci backpack purse tops the list of best convertible backpacks because it is very versatile.

In fact, tons of users have praised how easy it is to use for different purposes. From traveling to commuting to the office or being a diaper bag, it is a super handy everyday bag.

And the best part?

I like that you can choose to carry it as a tote, backpack or a shoulder bag, thanks to its detachable shoulder strap.

Lightweight and water-resistant, the pack is made of high-quality soft PU leather, with metal accessories and fabric lining.

And it’s got a decent storage capacity. 

There is room and pockets for all of your must-haves—including laptops, water bottles, books, and umbrellas.

Convertible backpacks: Cluci Backpack Purse

The padded shoulder straps take care of your upper back muscles so you won’t feel stressed when carrying it for hours.

Additionally, there are several different color options to choose from, which means there are a number of different ways to make sure you’re reflecting your own personal style when you wear it.

What we also love

At under $38, this elegant bag is a real steal!

And guess what?

This pack spots an anti-theft design.

The main zipper closure is located at the back to deter sneaking fingers.

What’s not great

This backpack can’t stand upright it is not fully packed!  

Also, there are complaints about defective zippers.

Convertible backpacks: Bivy Tote Backpack
Credit: Troubadourgoods.com

Summary: Streamlined and practical, the Bivy Tote backpack is a go-to bag for all seasons.

This cool Bivy Tote Backpack is worth your consideration for everyday convertible backpacks to take to work, the gym, and even a day trip.

It’s super stylish, comfortable, and functional for everyday carry.

Its convertible design gives you the versatility to choose between hands-free backpack carry and a sophisticated tote when needed. 

A great EDC, the pack has a 21L capacity main compartment that will fit an iPad, a change of clothes, a water bottle as well as a protected 15.4” laptop pocket.

It also has two retractable bottle holders, and a large external pocket with two zipped openings for easy access to your smaller valuable.

What’s more?

The Bivy is not only durable and ecofriendly but also comes with waterproof fabric, zippers and lining and zippers, which ensures that your items will always stay dry.

Convertible backpacks: Bivy Tote Backpack

The addition of padded shoulder straps, a contoured back panel, and a padded grab handle means you won’t even feel the weight of a fully loaded pack.

What we also love

I like that you can zip away the shoulder straps for a more streamlined profile when carrying as tote.

With a bag as stylish and functional as this, you can take it to the office (looks very professional), the gym and even a day trip!

What’s not great

It’s great, but only if you can afford to splurge a little.

Convertible backpacks: The Rowledge Backpack
Credit: Loandsons.com

Summary: Sleek and versatile, it’s a tech-friendly backpack you can use for work, or travel.

The Rowledge is a step up from your average bag thanks to its durable nylon and leather construction, organizational features and sophisticated look.

As one of the best convertible backpacks, this innovative tote bag-slash-backpack offers two bags in one, so you decide how you want to carry it.

It’s also tech friendly.

It can fill any role that involves transporting your tech about safely, be it as a daypack, a work bag or a reliable travel companion.

There is a separated and padded 13″ laptop sleeve at the back. 

Inside you’ll find a roomy 21-liter main compartment, a document sleeve, and plenty of zippered pockets for organization.

On the exterior is a zippered stash pocket, two expandable side pockets and a front zippered pocket to keep items you need easy access to.

This cute bag has a total of 12 pockets!

Convertible backpacks: The Rowledge Backpack

What we also love

Its other handy features include adjustable shoulder straps with memory foam and a luggage trolley strap for convenient airport movement.

It also has a smaller version if you want something chic and compact.

What’s not great

The Rowledge is quite expensive and is designed for women.

Convertible backpacks: Hideout 5-Way Commuter
Credit: everyman.co

Summary: The Hideout-5 Way is versatile carry that fits five different styles.

True to its name, the Everyman Hideout 5-Way Commuter Pack has five different carrying mode to suit any lifestyle.

You can use it as a backpack, a briefcase, a messenger bag, a crossbody sling, or clutch, making it one of the most versatile convertible backpacks.

This is a bag that’ll conveniently handle all your office and occasional overnight commutes.

The outer coating isn’t just clean and professional looking, it’s also well-made and weatherproof with 1680 ballistic nylon exterior, stainless steel hardware and waterproof zippers.

After all, your valuables deserve the best.

And man, you’ll appreciate its robust organization.

At 18L, it’s the perfect size for fitting the bare essentials (laptop, notebook and stationery), and still room for gym kit or travel essentials, if needed.  

Convertible backpacks: Hideout 5-Way Commuter

The main compartment features a clamshell opening with compression straps and 5 packing cubes so you can better organize to your heart’s content.

Furthermore, it has a wooltech, TSA approved suspended laptop sleeve for added protection from drop impacts.

There are also designated storage compartments for pens, magazines, notebooks, and other accessories.

What we also love

You can tuck away every strap that’s not in use for a clean exterior.

It’s also comfortable to wear with padded straps.

What’s not great

The Hideout 5 Way is only available in one color-black.

Convertible backpacks: Cheruty Women Backpack Purse
Credit: Amazon

Summary: The Cheruty Backpack Purse is the necessary features you need in a backpack to help you own the day like a boss. 

For a more sophisticated look, the Cheruty Backpack Purse makes the list of the best convertible backpacks for women.

It is a leather bag that can be worn three ways- as a tote, backpack and as a handbag- which gives you the triple threat advantage.

This combo means it’s great for walking around town all day as a backpack, or as a cute shoulder purse for an evening outing or a tote for groceries shopping or travel companion.  

Designed around style and utility, the bag spots a waterproof PU leather exterior with an antitheft pocket and a profile that’ll make you stand out.

How much can it hold?

This medium sized women’s pack can easily fit items such as a tablet, books, work files, extra clothes, or a lunch.  

It also offers 6 pockets for organizing essentials like a phone, umbrella, water bottle, house keys, etc. 

Convertible backpacks: Cheruty Women Backpack Purse

If this size is a little too small then make sure to check out the larger Cheruty Backpack Purse which can fit a 13” MacBook/tablet and has more internal storage room.

What we also love

This is an Amazon highly rated top choice bag so you know you’re getting a good deal.

Plus, it is affordable with dozens of beautiful colors to suit.

What’s not great    

Some users bemoaned the poor zipper quality of the Cheruty Backpack Purse.

Convertible backpacks: Caraa Studio Bag
Credit: Caraastudio

Summary: The Caraa Studio bag is a carryon, a duffel, a backpack and a cross-body all in one package.

Does it get better than a versatile bag that does it all? 

The Caraa Studio bag works as a duffel, a backpack, a gym carry, a travel bag, and everything in between.

As one of the best convertible backpacks, you can carry this bag in 3 carrying modes: satchel, backpack or crossbody by just manipulating the straps.

What’s more?

This sucker is made of durable Italian leather with nylon, and has a water-resistant exterior against unpredictable weather.

This means it’s as tough as you need it to be.

Not to mention, a stylish design that is hard to miss. 

The Caraa bag also has thoughtful organizational features.

A deep main compartment, a waterproof shoe pouch, an easy-grab external side pocket, breathable vent with an antimicrobial interior lining to keep your content neat and cool.  

And yes, a padded 13” laptop sleeve.

Convertible backpacks: Caraa Studio Bag

What we also love

With padded shoulder straps specially engineered to avoid pressure points, it’s as comfortable as they come.

Also, there are three size models to choose from depending on your needs- a small, medium and big.

If you want a big travel convertible bag, the Studio bag is your best bet.

What’s not great

It’s an expensive bag.

Convertible backpacks: CoolBELL Convertible Backpack
Credit: Amazon

Summary: With the Coolbell pack, you get to look good for every official duty in and out of your city.

If you happen to work in an office or jet set from city to city or cross-country, and need a work briefcase, the Coolbell back pack is your best bet.

As one of the best convertible backpacks, it has three carrying styles.

You could use it as backpack, shoulder bag and messenger bag for those treks in the office, or airport.

And it spots leather accents that just gives it this professional look.

You’ll also like that the straps can be hidden away when carried as a messenger or shoulder bag.  

The bag fits a laptop size up to 17.3″, and still has space for your adapter, charger, some paperwork and other work essentials. 

Additionally, there are six separate pockets in the front which allows for organized storage on the go.

Beyond this, CoolBELL claims it can hold 2-3 days’ worth of items for business trips, work or travel.

Convertible backpacks: CoolBELL Convertible Backpack

What we also love

The utility of this bag does not take away from its style.

It comes with easy grab handle and ergonomic design for comfort.  

Plus, you have the option of two sizes and five colors. 

What’s not great

It’s better suited for men.

Convertible backpacks: Pacsafe Citysafe CX Antitheft Convertible backpack
Credit: Pacsafe

Summary: The Citysafe backpack will keep your valuables safe as you go about in the city.

As one of the best convertible backpacks, the Citysafe bag can be worn as a backpack or folded down into a handbag.

Cool right?

It is the only bag on this list with such design and I quite like it.

What this means is that it’s great for transitioning from a day out to a night out.

And the best part?

It is designed to protect your valuables from thieves.

Its antitheft features include a cut-resistant exterior material, RFID-protected pockets as well as zippers you can lock for additional peace of mind.

Apart from these, the shoulder strap is also cut-resistant and is lockable around a fixed object so your bag isn’t taken away, in an unguarded moment. 

At 8 liters, this is a small-sized functional pack that easily fits a tablet, camera, phones, wallet, credit cards, passport, snacks, and other bits and pieces.  

And construction-wise, the bag is made of water-resistant nylon and polyester material.

And yes, the Citysafe backpack is sustainably made.

Convertible backpacks: Pacsafe Citysafe CX Antitheft Convertible backpack

Plus, it’s pretty stylish and comfortable too.

What we also love

This pack is available in four cool colors so you can pick a style you are comfortable with.

I like that bag’s design is clean and minimal, and that you can detach the strap and tuck it away.

What’s not great

The Citysafe anti-theft backpack is really small and so doesn’t have room for a laptop or a ton of gear.

Convertible backpacks: Carhartt Hybrid Convertible backpack Tote
Credit: Amazon

Summary: If you want something a bit more rugged, the Carhartt Convertible pack is your guy.

If you are after convertible backpacks that you can rely on to survive a few trips and withstand serious wear-and-tear, look no further than the Carhartt backpack.

Made from heavy duty polyester with rain defender durable water repellent treatment, this backpack is a solid choice for heavy-duty uses both in the outdoors and city life alike.  

And you can carry this sucker as a backpack, a cross-body bag or as a tote, whichever suits you more.

While it’s not particularly a big bag, it’s spacious enough for your daily essentials.

The Carhartt pack has a large main compartment, with a 15” padded laptop sleeve and two additional pockets.

On the exterior, you get two slash pockets for bottles and a zippered pocket to keep your easily accessed items like phone, key, wallet, etc.

Convertible backpacks: Carhartt Hybrid Convertible backpack Tote


Rugged and reliable, this bag is perfect for daily use, and the occasional foray into the outdoors, which is why it qualifies as one of the best convertible backpacks for men.

What we also like

The Carhartt pack weighs just 1.5 lbs and is easy to haul around.  

What’s not so great:

The main downside is the poor design of the straps.

Users have complained about how it gets awkward to maneuver the straps into using as a backpack from tote. 

Most versatile: Samsonite & Sarah Jessica Parker: The Carried Away Convertible

Convertible backpacks: Samsonite & Sarah Jessica Parker: The Carried Away Convertible
Credit: Samsonite

Summary: The Carried Away Convertible is functional as it is versatile.

Carry it like a shoulder bag, a crossbody, a handheld, a backpack or a removable crossbody– the Carried Away Convertible is as versatile as you are!

That’s right.

The Carried Away Convertible can be worn five ways, making it one of the most versatile convertible backpacks for work, travel or play.

And on days you prefer to move as light as possible?

It comes with a removable clutch that’ll hold your very bare essentials. 

Talk of versatility.

The Carried Away Convertible is highly organized to fit your tech and every day carry.

The bag includes a 14.1” padded laptop compartment, a hidden pocket and many convenient pockets to carry everything for work, travel or play.

Convertible backpacks: Samsonite & Sarah Jessica Parker: The Carried Away Convertible

And a sleek modern design with water-resistant finish and a trolley sleeve, and you’ve got a bag you can take anywhere.

What we also love

Is black not your thing?

Don’t worry, this backpack is also available in three other colors.

What’s not great

It’s quite pricey.

Best sustainable: United By Blue Convertible Carryall

Convertible backpacks: United by Blue Convertible Carryall
Credit: Unitedbyblue.com

Summary: The Convertible Carryall looks great, will hold your essentials and is sustainably made.

It’s comforting to know the backpack you’re carrying have been constructed to have minimal impact on the environment and that’s exactly what the 25L Convertible Carryall is.

If you want sustainably made convertible backpacks, this backpack/hybrid tote from United By Blue deserves a closer look.

It goes without saying, you can carry it both ways- as a backpack or as a tote. 

It is made from recycled polyester with plastic bottles gotten from the oceans or landfill.

And the bag is also water resistant.

Don’t you just love that?

Convertible backpacks: United by Blue Convertible Carryall

The Westward has a lot of great features that makes it work for commute or hikes, including a padded 15” laptop sleeve, durable water-repellent finish, and useful pockets to stash your essentials.

What we also love

It boasts of padded adjustable shoulder straps that that won’t dig into you and that also pack away for “tote mode”.

And has a variety of colors and designs for your selection. 

What’s not great

The tote straps could be wider and use for padding for carrying comfort.

Best compact: KL928 Canvas Sling Bag

Convertible backpacks: KL928 Canvas Sling Bag
Credit: Amazon

Summary: Whether it’s day hiking or city breaks, the Canva Sling is loved for its versatility and unique design.

If you wanna keep it casual and trendy, it doesn’t get better than the effortlessly cool Canva sling pack.

The popular carry is one of the best convertible backpacks because of the ways it allows you to switch up a sling bag.

With its unique zippers, you can change the bag into a chest bag, crossbody bag or a small backpack.

All you gotta do is just zip or unzip to your desired taste.

It’s thus perfect for travel (compact enough to slide beneath the seat), festivals, minimalist hikes, walking the dog, or everyday use.

Also, it boasts of an impressive low-profile organization.

There is a spacious compartment and both internal and external pockets for your bare essentials, like tablet, phone, books, and even a water bottle! 

And it has a hidden antitheft pocket where you can stow away your phone, wallet or any small items from prying eyes and hands.

For good measure, it’s made of durable, water-resistant canvas material with sturdy zippers, so you know you can trust its quality day-in and day-out.

Convertible backpacks: KL928 Canvas Sling Bag

The straps have a nice, comfortable layer of padding and the pockets couldn’t be more easily accessible.

Plus, it is affordable.

What we also love

It has a pretty unique style that helps you stand out in the crowd of people while soaking in compliments here and there.

The bag also comes in seven vibrant colors so you can easily pick a style suitable for you.  

What’s not great

Some complaints about the bag’ bad smell that takes a while to wear of.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Convertible Backpacks

Convertible backpacks: Divinius The Everyday Convertible Bag

When looking for convertible backpacks, you will be spoilt for choice. 

But how do you choose one that you can count on to keep your essentials safe and accessible while being practical and suited for different occasions?

Getting it wrong could mean struggling to fit your stuff or worse, a low-quality pack you are too embarrassed to be seen with. 

When looking for the best convertible backpacks, here are features to look out for.

Quality

Convertible backpacks should be able to protect your expensive devices and withstand the demands of constant use.

A bag with a tough fabrics, easy-to-clean liners and reinforcements, especially in high-stress areas is recommended.

You also don’t want issues with a broken zip, damaged seam, or even a bag without weather protection.

All in all, the best convertible backpacks are durable, comfortable, and with protection from the weather.

Style and Design

Convertible backpacks are super versatile.

If you’re buying convertible backpacks, it will make sense to find one that will seamlessly blend with your overall look no matter what you’re wearing.

And of course, one that can go from office to airport and workday to weekend.

And if yours is more casual, a bag that you can take to the gym, carry stuff to the beach, take shopping, and in a pinch, travel with.

So consider the color, design and what style you can change the bag into.

Space for your essentials 

Take into account how many daily items you carry at any given time.

Determining how much gear you carry on the daily would affect the capacity of the bag you go for when shopping for convertible backpacks.

If you’ll be going about with your laptop, your backpack should have the capacity and a protective sleeve to hold your device.

Convertible backpacks: a woman rocking a convertible backpack in three styles

Comfort

Comfort is key, especially for a bag that you’ll wear on your back every day.

To avoid discomfort especially when worn for a long period of time, convertible backpacks should have padded shoulder straps with breathable back panel and even a belt strap. 

Equally important are detachable and adjustable straps you can easily manipulate to transform your bag into a backpack, tote, crossbody bag or sling.

Also, features like padded straps, padded back panel, and mesh material ensures your bag doesn’t weigh you down when loaded up.

Convertible backpacks with these features are much more comfortable to log about with.

The stitching quality

Convertible backpacks should be able to withstand the demands of constant use. 

If you are looking for the best convertible backpacks, look at their materials, zippers, and stitching, especially in high-stress areas.

Extra features

These days, there are handy features that have been incorporated into the designs of a backpack.

They could be a designated laptop sleeve, a water bottle holder, a key fob, a secret hidden compartment, a tech pocket, or weather-proof fabric for stormy weather.

And if you are a conscious shopper, you can go for bags that are sustainably made without damage to our planet. 

The best convertible backpacks should give easy access to your devices or other items you know you’ll be needing at a moment’s notice.

There should also be handy pockets inside and outside the backpack for carrying important items like credit cards and cash.

Go for one with features that best suits your needs.

Price

Would you rather have a bag that’s worth your money or one that’ll break down after less than two months?

While a bag’s price tag doesn’t translate to quality, an investment in a well-made bag always pays off.

What is a convertible backpack?

Convertible backpacks: Pacsafe Citysafe CX Antitheft Convertible backpack

Convertible backpacks are bags that you can convert from one type to another.

By changing up the straps, you can turn the bag into different styles, like from a backpack to a tote, a messenger to a backpack and even a backpack to a duffel bag or cross body bags.

Isn’t it amazing?

What this also means is that you can use one bag for several purposes.

Due to its versatile design, convertible backpacks are such that you can take to the gym, then convert to a backpack for official purposes and even use as a travel bag for weekend trips.

Convertible backpacks come in different sizes, colours and designs – and can be converted in different ways.

And just like regular bags, convertible backpacks come with features like water resistant fabrics, pockets, padded laptop sleeves, and compartments. 

How do you use a convertible bag?

Convertible backpacks: three women rocking a convertible backpack

Like I said earlier, convertible backpacks or bags are just like regular bags, but just with the advantage of turning it into to a slew of styles.

To that effect, you can use a convertible bag depending on whatever style or look you are going for.

For a tote/backpack combo for instance, you can also wear it backpack mode on your back to keep your hands free at the airport, or you could wear it on your shoulder when you’ve reached your destination.

Importantly, transform convertible backpacks into what you need most for whatever role you’re in, whether you’re a commuter, business professional, grocery shopper, or traveler, etc.

The style you opt for should be comfortable and fitting to the occasion, e.g. transforming your backpack into a briefcase for a business meeting.

Reference

Convertible bags by soerensencph.com

Why We Love A Convertible Backpack Purse (or Cross Body) for Travel by Nina Thomas

The Definitive Guide that You Never Wanted: Shoulder Straps by Pangolinswithpacks.com

The Definitive Guide that You Never Wanted: Environmental Sustainability in Backpacks by Pangolinswithpacks.com

Bottom Line

So, there we have it – 12 best convertible backpacks that are worth your money.

Most of the convertible backpacks on this list can also be carried as totes and crossbody bags and even slings, depending on your mood and preference.  

I have carefully selected these convertible backpacks to cater to various preferences and tastes.

I hope this list helps you to decide on the bag that suits your needs. 

Over to you, let me know in the comments if you agree with my picks or have any recommendations for the best black leather backpacks.  

Also, be sure to check out my detailed guide on the best sling bag for everyday carry review.




This article is not sponsored in any way by any company. These backpacks have been independently selected by myself and my team. And the only thing I receive is a small commission from our affiliate program if you buy any of them through the links and buttons on this page. It doesn’t cost you a penny. But it really helps me out as this money goes to paying for maintaining the website, editing software, my time, team and everything else that goes into preparing this post.

5 thoughts on “12 Best Convertible Backpacks for Work, Play and Travel in 2021”

  1. I like the look and functionality of the Hideout-5 Way commuter bag. However, I don’t know about getting it shipped to Southeast Asia where I am currently located. The price of shipping may make it too expensive.

    The next best option is the Coolbell pack, which is less than half the price. So with shipping, it would still be a reasonable price. The bag looks busier as it has external zip pockets, whereas the lines of the Hideout-5 look cleaner.

    I’ll check them out!
    Thanks for the information.

    Reply
  2. Hey Femi. Great, comprehensive review. Thank you for bringing me idea for Christmas present for my girlfriend. I really liked the first bag. I am just concerned about two things. 1) Is it big enough for bigger computer 13.5 inch?
    2) Do you think there is some Black Friday discount coming with it? As the day is approaching. Thanks in advance

    Reply
  3. I’ve been wanting to get a new backpack purse for a while and I really like the first one you listed! I’m always looking on Amazon for new deals so I’ve got this one saved in my cart incase they do a Black Friday deal on this one! I’ve been working in coffee shops a lot lately and love to have something versatile to travel with.

    Reply
  4. I just recently learned about convertible backpacks and was blown away by the idea. As a person who travels a lot, I’m always on the lookout for backpacks that will accompany me on my journey. I might even consider treating myself with a convertible backpack this Christmas! Your post here has given some great recommendations worthwhile considering. Great post as always! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  5. I just get excited just by looking at these bags. I like most of the bags they seem so fashionable and easy to carry. The convertible back packs are my favourite. Shipping might be my issue for me unless they have them on Amazon AU.
    Thank you for taking you time to research this.
    Love it.

    Reply

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