A backpack purse is a handbag that looks like a small backpack. Backpacks, also called knapsacks or rucksacks, are relatively large packs that people carry on their backs by slinging two separate padded straps around each arm. The pack rests against the back of the person, leaving the arms free for other tasks. Purses are handbags meant for carrying personal effects, such as money, cosmetics, notepads, pens and other items, and women usually carry purses while both men and women use backpacks. There’s no official size for backpack purses, so it’s not unusual to find companies advertising what look like slightly small regular backpacks as backpack purses.
While two straps are very common on these purses, some models have only one, which the wearer slings across the chest. It is possible for the wearer to use a one-strap backpack purse like a shoulder bag instead, keeping the top of the strap and the purse on the same side of the body. The straps on a backpack purse are usually not padded because the number of items the purse can hold is substantially smaller than what a regular backpack can hold. The reduced weight places less stress on the wearer’s back and lessens the need to protect the wearer’s shoulders from weighted-down straps that can pull on skin and clothing.
An advantage to using a backpack purse instead of a regular purse is that the longer straps allow the user to secure the purse to her body without grabbing it in her hand. She can place it on her back or across her chest and keep her hands free. Regular purses can slip down the user’s arm if the strap isn’t long enough for the user to wear it diagonally across her chest.
Backpack purses are too small, however, for the wearer to use for larger items like books and notebooks. They are not meant to take the place of regular backpacks for school or work use. This means the wearer needs a second bag large enough to carry such items if she wants to have with her. These purses also don’t always have the best security, with some fasteners being nothing more than a magnetically secured top flap covering a zippered compartment.