Small but mighty backpacks for all of your travel needs

They may be little but they fit the essentials.

When it comes to travel, backpacks seem like the best option, but lugging around a heavy and uncomfortable oversized backpack is not only inconvenient but a waste of space when it comes to packing.

Opting for a small and petite backpack will not only save your back during a day of travel and exploration but they tend to fit more than you expect and are often to be more stylish than your average backpack, which means they can double up for nights out at dinner without looking out of place.

So as long as you fit the essentials: wallet, phone, map, keys, a camera if you’re old school, then combine style and function with a backpack on the smaller side. Read on to find our favourite small backpacks that are great for travel, every day wear or even the office.

The best small backpacks to shop in Australia in 2024


Maison de Sabre The Mini Backpack

$289 at The Iconic

This small backpack is cute and compact but with all the functionality you need, no matter your plans.

There’s room for all the essentials in this bag, and it can be used from day to night.

Key features:

  • Gold accent hardware
  • Rolled top handle for comfortable in-hand carry
  • Four zipped pockets including priority phone pocket, main body compartment, internal zip pocket, and front pouch pocket
  • Three slip pockets including two side pockets and one internal pouch
  • Lined with premium cotton twill for easy cleaning and finished with a durable pebbled leather exterior
  • Internal key clip with lanyard
  • Two colours available: sandstone brown and black caviar
  • 3.5L capacity
  • Crafted entirely from sustainable leather

Available at:


Oroton Lilly Small Backpack

$279 (usually $399) at Oroton

This style from Oroton offers a luxurious alternative to the everyday backpack.

Featuring fine details, this backpack will easily become a practical and stylish staple in your bag rotation.

Key features:

  • Brass coloured hardware
  • Front zip pocket, two main compartments, internal zip pocket and slide pocket
  • Top zip closure
  • Brass coloured hardware
  • Cotton twill lining
  • Made from a combination of pebble leather and nylon


Peta and Jain Zoe Mini Backpack

$56 (usually $80) at The Iconic

Peta and Jain offer a contemporary take on the small backpack with this style.

The mini-scale Zoe backpack is a great casual alternative to the classic handbag.

Key features:

  • Gold-toned hardware
  • Double zip-fastened compartment
  • Twin detachable adjustable shoulder straps
  • Zip-fastened front pocket and internal zip-fastened pocket
  • Top handle 
  • Available in both white and black
  • Faux pebbled leather; lined


Cotton On Body Active Essential Backpack

$39.99 at Cotton On

This backpack is perfect for any excursion, but especially if you’re doing something active like going for a walk or on a hike.

It’s a super versatile option as you can wear it in multiple ways: as a backpack, or as a crossbody bag.

Key features:

  • Main strap can be worn as one large crossbody strap or two backpack straps
  • Large main compartment with secure zip closure
  • Front slip pocket and zip pocket
  • Available in two colours: french vanilla and black 
  • Made from 100% polyester 

Available at:


colette Green Bridget Backpack

$40 (usually $69) at colette by colette hayman

A fun and colourful option, this backpack is great if you love to add a pop of colour to your outfit.

This style is also super affordable (and on sale) so you can look good without breaking the bank.

Key features:

  • Green finish with gold tone hardware
  • Vegan leather
  • One main compartment and a frontal pocket both secured by a zip closure 
  • Internal zip and slip pockets 
  • Ivory lining
  • Available in three colours: green, white and pink

What size is a mini backpack?

Generally, small backpacks tend to have a 5L to 15L capacity.

They’re a great option as they’re fun, functional and have enough space to store your essential items.

No matter what activity is on your itinerary, mini backpacks are almost always the perfect choice.

Are mini backpacks still in style?

Small or mini backpacks have certainly become a popular fashion accessory in recent years, with many retailers creating fashionable and functional styles.

Small backpacks are still growing in popularity as a hands-free option for carrying your belongings, with bold colours, patterns, and embellishments becoming more trendy.

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