Backpacks vs. Shoulder Bags: Which Is Better?

Are Shoulder Bags Or Backpacks Better?

Carrying a handbag is widespread for individuals, whether students, workers, or celebrities. Smart women have a common trend to prefer backpacks to shoulder bags due to health reasons and comfort.


Women, primarily, are known for their love for bags, whether shoulder bags, cross bags, handbags, backpacks, and totes. Most factors that drive ladies to purchase bags are the style, material, price, function, and brand.

Most working-class ladies, or ladies who travel a lot, are known to go for more functional bags than just classic bags. Two of the most popular functional bags are backpacks and shoulder packs.


Are backpacks better than shoulder bags?

If you have a long-distance to cover and always pack many items, then backpacks are better for your health and comfort. Shoulder packs are excellent for short distances, let’s say from the car to the office.

In today’s article, we will be talking about shoulder backs and backpacks and evaluate which is better and why.


Shoulder Bag

As the name implies, shoulder bags are bags that you hang on your shoulder. It can either be the left or right shoulder. No strict rule dictates the shoulder where the bag must be hung.

A major disadvantage of a shoulder bag is that the weight of the load rests on one shoulder, which may cause permanent postural damage or severe back pains which may affect your spine. There is a saying that when the shoulder bag is hung on the right shoulder, the effect will be more negligible than when it is hung on the left shoulder. But this statement is false. No matter the side of the shoulder, the effects are always the same.

Is this to say that shoulder bags are dangerous to carry? No, they aren’t. You can do some things to lessen the effects of the bag’s weight on your body. When carrying a shoulder bag, ensure you consistently switch it on both shoulders. Also, you should try increasing or decreasing the strap length at a regular interval. You can opt-in for light-weight designer shoulder bags as it has more benefits than regular shoulder bags, although the benefits are temporary.


Additionally, try your best not to carry too many items in your shoulder bag. If the items are less in weight, the effects will be minimal.


As the name states, Backpacks are bags worn over the back. It is usually worn for hiking, schooling, camping, trips, and work (especially for commuters). Backpacks are the preferred choice of bags for carrying medium-to-heavy-weight items. For instance, a laptop, an extra pair of clothes, some files, books, makeup items, and others.

The major advantage of the backpack is that, unlike the shoulder bag that rests the whole weight of the bag on one shoulder, the backpack evenly distributes the weight of the load on your back. They feature multiple compartments, which help you better organize and arrange your stuff in them.  Also, Backpacks are more versatile in function than shoulder bags, and you can easily carry a heavy load without feeling the impact of the weight.

The Differences Between Backpacks and Shoulder Bags

One of the significant differences between the two bags is their appearance. Both of them have the same function, but their uniqueness differs. Below are the differences that exist in both bags.

Wearing method


A backpack is worn over the shoulder and features adjustable shoulder straps. The weight of the load is divided between the two shoulders. You can easily carry heavy items seamlessly. While wearing a backpack, your hands are free to work; you can ride a wheel or walk on your pad with both hands.

Shoulder bag:

Depending on your personal preference and the nature of your items, a shoulder bag can be a good option. If you carry a lunch box or a few groceries or books, you can try out the shoulder bag. With the shoulder bag, you can effortlessly carry lightweight items over a short distance.  The distance must be short – shoulder bags are not healthy and comfortable to be carried over a long distance. If you always carry a shoulder bag for long distances, you might start developing slight body pains, which may get serious if prolonged.


The advantage of a shoulder bag over the backpack is that you can easily open it to get something, unlike the backpack, when you have to take the bag off, bring it to the front, and open it.

Diversities/ Styles


A backpack comes in various styles, colors, and shapes. You can get backpacks with the embosses of your favorite movie character. It can go with any style of outfit. A basic color backpack can go with particularly any type of outfit, either for work or school. You can get a trendy or colorful backpack to spice up your dressing for attending occasions. It gives both casual and work vibes.

Shoulder Bag

The majority of the shoulder bags come in neat primary colors that go with work outfits. It is mainly regarded as a suitable companion for workers. Shoulder bags come in limited colors and styles, unlike backpacks. You can’t carry a shoulder bag for a casual occasion like a backpack.

Also, it features a detachable shoulder strap that can be removed, and your bag is automatically turned into a briefcase. However, the shoulder bag gives you the flexibility to easily access your items more quickly than in the backpack.

Which is better – Backpack or Shoulder bags?

Shoulder bags are easier to access and suitable for gadgets like laptops, phones, notepads, etc., but backpacks are far better when it comes to comfort and health. The backpacks give you greater comfort to multi-task. With the bag lying comfortably over your shoulder, you can be busy with your hands.


I advise you to go for designer shoulder bags or backpacks with advanced features to improve their functionality. A better option is to go for convertible bags that you can easily convert to shoulder bags or backpacks.

Which Bag Should You Choose?

To choose either of them, you have first to ask yourself a question, which is, why do you need either a backpack or shoulder bag? What is the quantity of load you carry daily? What is the distance you cover every day on foot? Do you have to look formal and semi-formal? If you are to appear very formal at all times, you can go for shoulder bags which you can quickly transform into a briefcase. When you have answered this question thoroughly, you can know which to go for.

Shoulder bags and backpacks are both functional and beneficial in their unique ways. Your functionality and environment will determine which to go for. However, the backpacks are better than the shoulder back in terms of comfort, diversity, and style.

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