Best Backpacks for Bad Backs | Tested Practically & Reviewed In Detailed

best backpacks for bad backs

Last Updated on October 15, 2020 by Michael J. Branco

There are many reasons behind bad backs, but bad backpacks are among the most common reasons behind bad backs and shoulder pain, although there are many different reasons behind back pain, apart from backpack. Here, we will tell you the importance of comfortable best backpacks for bad backs. People, who use heavy backpacks, generally complain about the shoulder, back and lower back pain.

Having back pain issues does not mean that you should avoid using backpacks, but you should look for a better option while buying a backpack. There are many backpacks with back support that are comfortable to use, shoulder and neck friendly.

A bad backpack, along with a bad-back is not a good combination, and using a bad backpack, will make the situation worse for your bad back by damaging your back and increasing your pain. It would help if you thought of a good, comfortable and supportive best bag for back pain. Always select an easy-going backpack for your use if you need it for your school, office or travelling. It’s very important to choose the right one. The best backpacks for bad backs are designed to provide you relief from back pain; it divides the load on your back and relieves you from the strain.

Table of Contents

How Can a Quality Backpack Reduce Pain?

backpacks with back support

Best backpacks for bad backs help to reduce strain due to their elegant design. There are many backpacks designed for the comfort of the people.

A quality backpack has the following advantages,

  • Padded back
  • Wide and padded shoulder straps
  • Hip-belt
  • Chest strap
  • Lots of compartments

Features like waist strap, chest strap and padded shoulder straps. The waist strap is very beneficial in a backpack, it diverts the load and pressure of backpack on shoulders and hips, chest strap shoulder straps are used to adjust the backpack high on your back, it provides comfort to your body. A backpack should be two inches below your shoulder while it should not extend past your waist. A high-quality backpack has lots of compartments of different sizes in it, which help to divide the weight into different parts of the body so that it cannot cause strain.

A backpack with a padded back provides high comfort and reduces pain; wearing a backpack lower than waistline can damage your shoulders and lower back; the human body leans forward due to strain on the lower back.

Best backpacks for bad backs are very necessary if you use it daily, it prevents your muscles from strain, and you feel relaxed while wearing a backpack. 

How to Choose the Best Backpack for Bad Backs?  

Purchase the Correct Size Backpack and Put Correct Load in it

Choosing the correct size backpack is possible by knowing your body size. You need to measure your torso length from your neck to the waist. Most of the good shops for outdoor gear check your torso size and then recommend the best backpack size suited for you. When you put your backpack on, it should feel comfortable. The top of your backpack should ride a little below your shoulder level, and the backpack’s bottom should sit at your waist level.

This same rule works for both children and adults alike. If you are a parent buying a school bag for your child, make them try it on before buying to be sure that the backpack is not bigger than their back, with the backpack’s top riding slightly below their shoulders and its bottom at their waistline. 

Remember that a backpack size is not the same as its capacity or how much stuff you can put inside it. A small sized backpack can have a capacity between 18 and 35 liters. 

You may want to load more stuff in the bags with more capacity. However, according to experts, your backpack load should not exceed fifteen percent of your body weight.    

If you have to carry more weight, then experts suggest distributing the weight evenly. The heavier items should be placed in the center, so they stay near the backbone. This way, the backpack will feel lighter, and the spine will bear less stress. 

best backpacks for bad backs

Pick Up the Backpack Correctly, Without Twisting Your Spine

You may pick up the bag quickly from the floor or a chair in the spur of the moment without thinking about how it affects your back. Improper lifting techniques can cause back pain, especially if your backpack is heavy.

To lift your backpack, stand with your feet wide apart, and face your back. Squat by bending your knees so that your body weight is on your heels and your back is straight. Get close to your backpack and lift it using both hands. Never lift a backpack from your side or while twisting yourself.

Stand upright and then swing the backpack on your back.     

backpacks with back support

Do not wear a Backpack on One shoulder

Properly wearing a backpack is as important as properly lifting it. Your backpack straps are meant to go on both of your shoulders. It is happening in a way that the bag’s top sits a little below your shoulders, and its bottom goes above your hips. 

You do not want the weight of the backpack to go on one side or another. Your backpack should be centred to avoid chronic back pain.

If you wear your backpack on one shoulder, it hurts your ribs, spine, neck and shoulders. Your bag should be placed in a way that you can move your arms freely while walking normally. If you restrict your arm movement, it can lead to a phenomenon called spinal fixations where your spinal bones lock up, resulting in other dangerous conditions like scoliosis, breathing problems and overall body tension.

If you use just one strap, your spinal alignment will change, and your muscles and spine posture will change gradually with time.       

best bag for back pain

Avoid Your Backpack Hanging Too Low on Your Back

Just like properly balancing the bag’s weight on two shoulders is important; similarly, the weight management from top to bottom is also crucial. You do not want to drag down your body because of your backpack hanging too low. 

Tighten your shoulders straps so that your backpack doesn’t hang lower than your waistline. This way, there will be no unwanted pressure on your shoulders and neck and no banging on your sacrum and lumbar spine. Your walk should be straight. When you backpack hangs too low, you have to lean forward, which disturbs your balance. 

Leaning forward can result in a hunched posture and muscle pain; tighten for backpack straps to avoid the hunch.

Chest straps and hip belts are also useful for this purpose. While you won’t look super stylish wearing all those straps, using them will keep your backpack’s weight stabilized.

Your backpack is meant to make your life easy by carrying all you need the whole day long. Make sure it works for you instead of working against you. It should be smaller in size as compared to your torso length. It should want on both shoulders, and it should sit below your shoulders and above your hips. The weight of your loaded backpack should not be more than 15 percent of your overall body weight. Look for comfortable shoulders straps and chest straps, and hip belt, especially if you are going to carry heavy loads in the bag.

best ergonomic backpack

Comparison Table for Best Backpack for Bad Backs

Photo
Best Pick
Osprey Farpoint 55 Men's Travel Backpack
Best Pick
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack - Hiking, Backpacking, Travel...
Osprey Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Rigby Red, Medium
JanSport Unisex-Adult Agave, Black, One Size
Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack
Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking Backpack
Title
Osprey Farpoint 55 Men's Travel Backpack
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack - Hiking, Backpacking, Travel...
Osprey Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Rigby Red, Medium
JanSport Unisex-Adult Agave, Black, One Size
Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack
Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking Backpack
Capacity/Volume
55 Liters
49 Litre
60 Litre
32 Liters
44 Liters
26 Liters
Weight
3.9 pounds
3 lbs 3 oz / 1.4 kg
4.56 lbs
700 Grams
40 Ounces
1.6 Pounds
Straps
Two internal compression straps hold contents securely
Hip belt stabilizer straps, sternum straps,
Dual upper and lower side compression straps
Padded shoulder straps, sternum strap,
Sternum strap, Load lifter straps
Sternum strap with whistle
Frame Type
Internal
Internal HDPE frame
Not Specific
Not Specific
Internal
Internal
Carry-on Compatible
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Dimensions
25"H x 13"W x 13"D (M/L)
20 x 15 x 15 inches
34.25 x 15.35 x 16.14 in
15" x 11" x 1.9"
25 x 15 x 12 in
23 x 13 x 5 in
Best Pick
Photo
Osprey Farpoint 55 Men's Travel Backpack
Title
Osprey Farpoint 55 Men's Travel Backpack
Capacity/Volume
55 Liters
Weight
3.9 pounds
Straps
Two internal compression straps hold contents securely
Frame Type
Internal
Carry-on Compatible
Yes
Dimensions
25"H x 13"W x 13"D (M/L)
Details
Best Pick
Photo
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack - Hiking, Backpacking, Travel...
Title
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack - Hiking, Backpacking, Travel...
Capacity/Volume
49 Litre
Weight
3 lbs 3 oz / 1.4 kg
Straps
Hip belt stabilizer straps, sternum straps,
Frame Type
Internal HDPE frame
Carry-on Compatible
Yes
Dimensions
20 x 15 x 15 inches
Details
Photo
Osprey Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Rigby Red, Medium
Title
Osprey Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Rigby Red, Medium
Capacity/Volume
60 Litre
Weight
4.56 lbs
Straps
Dual upper and lower side compression straps
Frame Type
Not Specific
Carry-on Compatible
Yes
Dimensions
34.25 x 15.35 x 16.14 in
Details
Photo
JanSport Unisex-Adult Agave, Black, One Size
Title
JanSport Unisex-Adult Agave, Black, One Size
Capacity/Volume
32 Liters
Weight
700 Grams
Straps
Padded shoulder straps, sternum strap,
Frame Type
Not Specific
Carry-on Compatible
Yes
Dimensions
15" x 11" x 1.9"
Details
Photo
Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack
Title
Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack
Capacity/Volume
44 Liters
Weight
40 Ounces
Straps
Sternum strap, Load lifter straps
Frame Type
Internal
Carry-on Compatible
Yes
Dimensions
25 x 15 x 12 in
Details
Photo
Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking Backpack
Title
Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking Backpack
Capacity/Volume
26 Liters
Weight
1.6 Pounds
Straps
Sternum strap with whistle
Frame Type
Internal
Carry-on Compatible
Yes
Dimensions
23 x 13 x 5 in
Details

Product Reviews of 6 Best Backpack for Bad Backs

01- Osprey FairPoint 55 Men’s Travel Backpack 

best backpacks for bad backs

Features

  • It has a capacity of 55 liters.
  • Weighs 3.9 pounds.
  • It comes with two internal compression straps hold contents securely. 
  • Lockable Zippers.
  • Removable hip-belt at the bottom.
  • Comfortable compression system.
  • Foam padded shoulder straps.
  • Opens like a suitcase.
  • Sternum strap with an emergency whistle.
  • Lightweight.

Description

Osprey Fair Point 55 Men’s Travel Backpack is a lightweight and friendly backpack with extra compartments; you can add extra items to your list for your trip. It has a unique design, and it is suitable for short or long trips. This backpack has one more advantage: it opens like a suitcase to carry it like a backpack and use it just like a suitcase. It has a comfortable compression system, which makes your trip easy and comfy.

Pros
  • Detachable daypack
  • Padded straps provide more comfort
  • Lockable zippers for safety
  • Large compartments
  • Dual front mesh pockets
  • Laptop and tablet sleeve
  • Padded top along with side handle
Cons
  • Only one zipped daypack
  • Hard compression straps

BEST SUITED FOR?

Its capacity and sturdy built, along with its ergonomic features, make it the best bag for back pain and long term travel.

NOT SO GOOD FOR?

This isn’t something you’d want for casual use. It is for heavy-duty jobs where you want good capacity and properly adjusting for long trips or travel. 

FINAL SUMMARY

Osprey FairPoint 55 Men’s Travel Backpack is a lightweight and easy-going backpack for travelling. It is found to be comfortable and reliable and undoubtedly one of the best backpacks for bad backs. You can easily store 50 pounds in this backpack. There is a mesh pocket for small items. Features like padded straps, lockable zipper compression straps will help you throughout your tour.

02- Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack

best backpacks for bad backs

Features

  • It has a capacity of 49 liters.
  • It weighs 3 pounds.
  • Hip-belt, Shoulder straps, Waist belt, and Ventilated back panel.
  • Full-access U-zipper.
  • Zippered side pockets.
  • Zippered secret pocket.
  • Large front pocket with organization.
  • Shoulder straps, waist belt.
  • Sternum strap.
  • Strong Airflow back panel.

Description

Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack is designed with all the features required in a good quality backpack. You can use it for travelling or hiking, you can travel city to city, or wherever you want, this backpack will provide you extreme comfort for your back. This bag is organized to provide complete comfort. It comes with a hip-belt, Shoulder straps, Waist belt, and Ventilated back panel, which helps you divide the backpack’s load. This backpack has a Full-access U-zipper, zippered side pockets and has some secret pockets to store your valuable items like cell phones etc. It has a big front pocket to store your keys or other important items.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Removable hip belt
  • Long-lasting
  • Plenty of internal space
  • No-Hassle Compression Straps
  • User Friendly
  • Strong Zippers
Cons
  • Larger than standard size
  • No lockable zippers

BEST SUITED FOR?

These are great backpacks for hiking and trekking with its multiple pockets and back and neck friendly features.

NOT SO GOOD FOR?

This is a heavy-duty travel best bag for back pain, not meant for casual use.

FINAL SUMMARY

You cannot find a better travelling backpack than this one, designed with many options to utilize for comfortable and strain-free travelling. It is very easy to use, wear, hang and grab while travelling. It is specially designed for hiking and trekking with huge compartments and space to store your belongings. If you are travelling and looking for the best backpacks for bad backs, check out this one. 

03- Osprey Atmos AG 65 Men’s Backpacking Backpack

backpacks with back support

Features

  • It has a capacity of 60 liters.
  • It weighs 4.56 pounds.
  • Comes with Dual upper and lower side compression straps.
  • The main compartment is padded.
  • Anti-gravity suspension to make it lighter.
  • Incredible Ventilation system.
  • Sternum straps.
  • Hip-belt.
  • Dual mesh side pockets.
  • Removable sleeping pad straps.

Description

Osprey Atmos 65 backpack is a well-designed pack with plenty of pockets; it has an anti-gravity suspension system. Your backpack makes you feel relaxed, lockable zippers for safety, removable sleeping pad straps. It distributes the weight evenly if you pack your stuff correctly in it.

Pros
  • It has an amazing Anti-Gravity suspension
  • Lots of compartments with more capacity
  • A removable flap jacket to minimize your weight
  • Stretch mesh side pockets
  • It has zippered belt pockets
  • Removable top lid
  • It has a removable sleeping pad straps, sternum straps and an emergency whistle
Cons
  • It cannot handle the weight of more than 40 pounds.
  • Hip belt makes noise while walking with the pack as a result of its sturdy structure

BEST SUITED FOR?

This keeps your back at ease and is great for hiking and trekking with superb suspension. 

NOT SO GOOD FOR

While it keeps you free of the burden in hikes and treks, it is not as good for loads heavier than 40 pounds.

FINAL SUMMARY

Osprey Atmos AG 65 Men’s Backpacking Backpack is a complete backpack for hiking and trekking; due to its anti-gravity suspension, you feel less weight, and your body feels relaxed. You can easily enjoy your trip with this backpack without any inconvenience. This amazing backpack offers incredible ventilation, a set of pockets and padded straps along with an emergency whistle. It is a complete package with all features.

04- JanSport Agave Backpack 

best ergonomic backpack

Features

  • It has a capacity of 32 liters.
  • It weighs 700 grams.
  • Comes with padded shoulder straps, sternum strap, 
  • Two large main compartments (Zippered)
  • Adjustable sternum straps
  • Pockets on both sides for bottle bottles
  • Padded sleeve that can hold tablet or laptop
  • Side compression straps
  • Air-core shoulder straps
  • Front and a top pocket

Description

Apart from travelling and hiking, it would help if you also had a good backpack for everyday use. JanSport is a very well-known name. This is the best ergonomic backpack designed to provide high comfort and ease. It has two main zippered portions, a padded sleeve that can hold a laptop of a maximum of 15 inches. It is a durable backpack that can easily fulfill your requirement for casual use. Air-core shoulder straps, side compression straps make this backpack better for weight management.

Pros
  • Easy and comfortable
  • Good straps
  • Lightweight
  • Laptop sleeve
  • Water-resistant zippers
  • Thickly padded back and shoulder straps
  • Expandable main compartment
Cons
  • Not enough compartments
  • Light duty nylon

BEST SUITED FOR

These are great for school, travelling, shopping alike where you want something that doesn’t strain your back and gives a relaxed feel to your shoulders and neck.

NOT SO GOOD FOR

These aren’t the best things for long-term travelling as they aren’t very spacious for loading luggage. 

FINAL SUMMARY

JanSport Agave Backpack comes with many features, and you can use it for many different purposes like schooling, traveling, shopping, etc. This bag will ease and make you feel relaxed with its foam-padded back and shoulder straps. It has a versatile padded sleeve designed to fit a 3 liters hydration system so you can keep drinking your fluids all day long. Its expandable main compartment allows you to pack what you wish without loading it a lot.

05- Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack

most comfortable backpack

Features

  • It has a capacity of 44 liters.
  • It weighs 40 ounces.
  • Comes with a Sternum strap, load lifter straps.
  • Its suspension features are amazing.
  • Laptop sleeve.
  • Zippered slash pockets.
  • Zippered side pockets.
  • Water bottles pockets on both sides.
  • Removable waist belt.
  • Lightweight and more capacity.

Description

This travelling backpack is a complete package for travellers; it has large compartments, padded straps, and many other features that make this backpack unique. The fact that the main compartment pen exposes the entire compartment is great. You can carry some extra stuff if you want.

Pros
  • It comes with pass-through pockets.
  • It is very lightweight.
  • Available at an affordable price.
  • Versatile for traveling
  • Dual side pockets with compression straps
  • Sternum Straps and load lifter straps
  • Comfortable for long-term wear
Cons
  • Larger than standard size
  • No rain covers

BEST SUITED FOR

With its high storage capacity, comfortable straps and lightweight, this ergonomics backpack is ideal for hiking and trekking. It is larger than usual heavy-duty bags, so these are ideal for people with broader frames and taller heights going on a hike or travelling. 

NOT SO GOOD FOR?

You cannot carry it for office or job as it is meant to carry a lot of weight and comes with straps and waist belt which isn’t everyday use stuff.

FINAL SUMMARY

Kelty Redwing 44 traveler’s backpacks come highly recommended for traveling and hiking, for their high comfort and durability. This backpack allows you to travel with ease with its padded back and straps. It comes with a large number of pockets outside the backpack. This backpack is durable for consistent use. You can take it on long trips without any worries.

06-  Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking Backpack

ergonomics backpack

Features

  • It has a capacity of 26 liters.
  • It weighs just 1.6 pounds.
  • Comes in 5 different colors.
  • Built-in waterproof rain cover.
  • Mesh side pockets.
  • Sternum straps with a whistle.
  • Ventilated Airspeed Mesh back panel allows air to pass through your back and pack.
  • Appropriate hydraulic reservoir.
  • Removable hip-belt.
  • Padded hip-wing.

Description

Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking backpacks with back support can be used for trekking, hiking, office, and school. This backpack provides convenience, comfort, durability. High-quality material is used in this backpack. It has all the pockets required in a backpack, the size and the support frame are perfect, and you can carry it easily. This is one of the best backpacks for bad backs.

Pros
  • Very comfortable in use
  • Very Lightweight
  • Highly adjustable
  • Compression straps
  • Good suspension system
  • Easy to carry
  • Pole attachment for trekking
Cons
  • Cannot carry heavy loads
  • Not enough pockets

BEST SUITED FOR?

This is the best ergonomic backpack, great for travel and day hikes with its ergonomic design and waterproof cover. You can also use these at schools. They keep you relaxed and pain-free for the whole day as long as you pack light. 

NOT SO GOOD FOR?

You don’t want to pack heavy loads to your trip in these as they have a capacity of just 26 litres. Likewise, these aren’t meant for long trips or travels as you can only pack the essentials in this. 

FINAL SUMMARY

Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking Backpack is a very well-designed backpack that is ideal for day hikes and can be carried for daily use. This backpack can be used for school trekking and day hikes. Its ventilated airspeed back panel continuously allows air to pass between your back and pack. It is the most comfortable backpack in use and easy to carry.

BUYER’S Guide for Best Backpacks for Bad Backs

Backpacks and bad backs will never be a good combination, and it’s even worse when you use bad backpacks for your bad backs. If you are suffering from back pain and back injuries, your backpack will make the situation more terrible; it is just like adding fuel to the fire. Before buying yourself a backpack, beware of the pros and cons of a backpack,

We have collected some information for you here about the best backpacks for bad backs, helping you pick the best backpack for your back.

If you are suffering from back pain, you should look for the one that suits your back and make your back feel relaxed and free from strain when travelling with a backpack. There are many different backpacks and the design best backpacks for the comfort and relief of the people suffering from back pain.

Here are some significant points to note about a good and friendly backpack; if you are looking for a comforting backpack, you should consider the following tips before buying a backpack:

The Capacity of a Backpack

A backpack’s capacity is very important; different companies manufacture backpacks with their standard sizes like small, medium, large, or extra-large. You must be careful while picking the right one according to the list of your items. If your items are more than the backpack’s capacity, then the backpack cannot fulfill your need.

It would help if you had different sizes for different purposes. If you need to carry a laptop, tablet or some books to your school or college, the small one will be good according to your requirement. If you plan to travel out of town for adventures like hiking or trekking, you will need a different size to fit in your items according to your need. Try to reduce the weight of your backpack by removing unnecessary items from the backpack. Having a backpack with more capacity does not mean that you should carry insignificant things.

best backpacks for bad backs

Compartments in a Backpack

The number of compartments in a backpack is very important. A backpack with many compartments is very good; you can expand your load evenly. A backpack distributes its load according to the number of compartments. It would help if you kept this in mind before you pick one for yourself.

When you have different compartments of various sizes, you can easily specify pockets for your items. By dividing compartments for your items, you also divide the load in your backpack. Larger compartments should be used for heavier items and lighter items in small compartments, respectively. You can organize your backpack in such a way that it could not put a strain on your body. Your back and shoulder feel relaxed when the load is divided evenly on the whole back.

The Cost of Backpacks That Are Good for Your Back

The cost of a backpack varies according to the quality and service of the company. Different companies charge according to their quality and service. There is a wide range of prices for a backpack. Backpacks with many features are respectively more expensive. The higher the comfort level, the higher will be the prices.

You can search for prices by surveying the internet and easily pick a backpack within your range. There is no harm if you spend some more money to buy a good quality backpack for your comfort. 

It would help if you researched the prices before finalizing one for yourself.

Torso Length

It is the most important thing to consider when you are buying a backpack. Measure your torso length and match it with the length of the back. Wearing a backpack that is bigger than your torso length affects your back and lower back. If you want to learn more about torso length check our expert guide.

Chest Straps and Shoulder Straps

Always purchase a backpack with chest and shoulder straps. Chest straps and shoulder straps are very useful. Chest straps provide support for the rest of your body. These straps help you to adjust your backpack in the right way on your back. When the pack is placed correctly, it cannot hurt your back. You can make shoulder straps and back panel more comforting by foam padding them.

best backpacks for bad backs

Ventilated Back Panel

Ventilated back panel helps air to cross through between your back and pack. Foam padded back panels provide high comfort and support to your back and lower back.

Suspension System

The suspension system of a backpack plays an important role in dividing a backpack load evenly on other parts of your back. The right suspension system makes your body relaxed when you carry a backpack.

Hip-Belt

The hip belt is the most important suspension system of a backpack. When you carry a heavily loaded backpack, the hip-belt divides the weight, and approximately 80% of weight falls over the hip belt. Backpack designed for trekking and hiking has a heavily foam-padded hip-belt that wraps around your hips.

Why Do Some Backpacks Cause Pain?

Bad backpacks are the most common reason behind a bad back. A bad backpack cannot distribute the weight properly and make things difficult for you. Carrying a heavyweight backpack puts a strain on your muscles, joints, and ligaments, due to which tissues are damaged across your entire back, lower back, shoulders and cause problems. Using an uncomfortable backpack for hours during school, office, or travelling can badly hurt hamstring muscles, you, it can cause some significant pain. Wearing a backpack lower on your back puts heavy strains on your shoulder, which results in back pain. Lower back pain is a serious problem that most people ignore, and it hurts a lot after some time.

Excessive weight of a backpack can cause some of these problems:

  • Spinal Injuries (Fractures)
  • Spinal positioning problems
  • Disc herniation (pain occur due to strain on the spinal cord)

Research states that people who carry a backpack, weighing more than 10% of their body weight, suffer from back pain. Spinal injury in childhood can result in a long-term problem. To avoid back pain from a backpack, you must look for a few things like,

  • Always use a backpack with padded straps
  • A backpack must have wide straps
  • A backpack must have several compartments, as it distributes the weight properly

How to Avoid BackPain and Shoulder Pain from Carrying a Bag?

A backpack is a necessary item used daily. To avoid shoulder and back pain, you cannot get rid of a backpack; however, you can get rid of the pain by considering a few significant points.

  • Chest strap and Hip-belt
  • Eliminate unwanted items from your backpack
  • Stretch out regularly to relax your muscles
  • Proper backpack fit
  • Do not wear a backpack lower than your waist
  • Look for the Torso size

Sometimes wearing a heavy backpack causes serious back pain and shoulder pain due to strain on muscles. The following tips can help you to prevent your body from this problem.

Heavy Weight

Carrying a backpack weighing more than 10-15 percent of your body weight puts a strain on your back and shoulder; the best way to overcome this pain is by lightening the weight of your backpack by removing the unnecessary items regularly.

How to Carry

Some people hang their backpack on one shoulder; it causes strain on your shoulder and back, contributing to spinal injuries.

Well-Padded Straps

Use a backpack having well-padded straps and adjust the straps so that the weight can be distributed accordingly.

Waist and Chest strap

Having a waist and chest belt in a backpack is an advantage. By using the waist and chest belt, you can divide the weight evenly.

What are the common neck, back, and shoulder problems?

Back Pain

Back pain is considered a very common health issue, which, on rare occasions, causes muscle spasms too. It can be lower or upper, depending upon the factor from where the pain initially started. Most often, lower back pain is caused due to body weight, age, and, in rare cases, obesity. It affects people from all walks of life irrespective of their gender or age. Many people suffer from back pain and lower back pain due to a bad backpack, which puts a strain on your spine and damages your back, and lowers back. A backpack that divides load into different parts of your back is ideal; it does not put a strain on a particular area. It can be chronic if the backpack would not be changed according to the need.

Neck Pain

Neck pain is quite common among adults who are affected by it for once in their lifetime. Numerous studies are being carried out, which shows that approximately 60% are affected by neck pain. Worrying or stressing over things might end up in neck pain Teenagers who experience neck pain are likely to have chronic neck pain in adulthood. Neck pain is also caused due to incorrect fitting of a backpack or a heavy backpack’s daily strain. Carrying a bag that does not distribute the load can cause neck stiffness and may occur in tissue injuries. A bad backpack can also result in persistent neck pain, which also damages the joint.

Shoulder Pain

The most known reason for shoulder pain due to a backpack is wearing a backpack, most of the people do not adjust the backpack properly on their shoulders, and it puts continuous strain over shoulders, which results in shoulder pain. Many teenagers suffer from shoulder pain due to their heavy backpack; a person who carries a heavy backpack daily for a prolonged time often faces serious shoulder pain; due to heavy load regularly, a human body leans forward. One more reason for shoulder pain is the wrong size of a backpack. A backpack should be used according to the torso length.

Top 10 Tips for Wearing a Backpack without Hurting your Back

There are many different reasons if your backpack hurts your back. Maybe it hurts due to unorganized adjustment, heavy loads or any other reason. Choose from the best backpacks for bad backs to avoid back pain. Other than that, it would help if you used the following tips to wear a backpack without hurting your back.

  • If you hang your backpack over one shoulder, it looks stylish, but it hurts your shoulder and back because it cannot divide the load properly on the whole back and it puts a strain on one shoulder resulting in pain in the shoulder and back. Both shoulder straps should be used while wearing a backpack so that the load will be divided evenly on both the shoulders and back.
  • Having a hip-belt or waist strap in your backpack is very good; it distributes the load on different parts. Chest straps are also useful; they keep the shoulder straps in the right place, so your back does not swing due to its load.
  • Shoulder straps help to adjust the backpack according to your torso length. The backpack should be placed 2 inches below your shoulder, and it should not extend past more than one or two inches below your hips. You can make your shoulder straps more comfortable by foam padding them.
Properly adjust straps when you are wearing clothes of different thicknesses; straps should neither be very tight nor too loose.
  • Tighten your shoulder straps in such a way that your backpack would not move side to side when you are traveling. It should be fixed and stable.
  • Note the weight of a backpack you are carrying should not be more than 15% of your weight; carrying a load more than 15% of your weight is harmful to your back.
  • Remove unwanted accessories from your backpack so that the weight limit would not exceed.
  • Forward posture while wearing a backpack sign that you are carrying a heavy load in your backpack, due to which your body leans forward. 
  • Carrying a backpack according to your torso length is the best way to avoid back pain from backpacks. Measure your torso length and find yourself a backpack having length according to your torso length.
  • Before buying a backpack, make sure it has all the features to provide comfort and convenience. It should be appropriate to carry for short and long travelling. It should not affect your posture

These are the tips that can help you avoid back pain and spine injuries. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Best Backpacks for Bad Backs 

Are backpacks bad for the back?

Bad backpacks are the most common reason behind a bad back; a bad backpack can damage your back and lower back very badly, carrying heavy backpacks for hours daily puts a strain on your spine. As a result, your body leans forward. To avoid back injuries from the backpack, you should look for a good backpack with an appropriate size, weight, straps and back panel.

Where should a backpack sit on your back?

Wear a backpack according to your torso length. Adjusting a backpack in the right place can save you from back pain. The backpack should be placed exactly 2 inches below your shoulder, and it should not extend past more than 2 inches from your hips. Use hip-belt if available in your backpack.

What is the most comfortable backpack?

A backpack with padded shoulder straps, back paddle panel, hip belt, chest belt and other features to adjust it for your convenience is the best backpacks for bad backs. It helps you to travel with ease and make your body relaxed and free from strain.

Osprey Hikelite 44 Hiking Backpack is a very comfortable ergonomics backpack. It has a ventilated airspeed mesh panel, allowing air to pass through between your back and pack.

Osprey Talon 44 Men's Hiking Backpack
  • Top-loader access to main compartment
  • External hydration sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold separately)
  • Adjustable shoulder harness to dial in perfect fit
  • Stretch mesh pockets on both sides of pack provide convenient storage for bottles and smaller items
  • Two zippered hipbelt pockets and LidLock helmet attachment
  • Stow-On-The-Go Trekking pole attachment allows you to quickly attach and carry trekking poles while wearing the pack

Are cross body bags bad for your back?

Yes, cross body backpacks are bad for your back as they cannot divide the weight into different parts of the body, cross body bags put a strain on one side, and it damages your shoulder and back badly. The best backpacks for bad backs are the ones that divide weight on your back evenly.

Are backpacks better for your back than purses?

Purses are most stylish, easy to carry and perfect for devices like mobile phones, but when it comes to comfort, backpacks are better than purses as you can adjust it on your shoulders for better comfort and convenience. Preferring a backpack is better as it helps keep your back free from strain because it divides the loads evenly on your whole back. You can carry more items in a backpack as compared to a purse. You have other advantages like carrying water bottles and rain poncho in your backpack.

What helps backpack back pain?

A backpack with a padded hip belt, shoulder straps, and a padded back panel reduces back pain. A well-organized backpack divides weight evenly. Heavy items should be placed close to the centre of the pack.

How do I make my backpack straps more comfortable?

Straps without foam are uncomfortable. They can be made more comfortable by foam padding, foam padded straps are soft, and it makes your shoulders free from strain. Chest straps can be used for a more comfortable backpack.

Is walking with a heavy backpack good?

Carrying a heavy backpack is not good for your back. Backpack weighing more than 10-15% of your body weight can badly damage your back. It damages your back and lowers back by putting strain.

Do backpacks look unprofessional?

No, Backpacks are highly professional. Modern professional people usually take backpacks to their work. Carrying laptops or other devices is easier and comfortable in a backpack. You have options to carry more accessories easily in a backpack.

What backpacks are popular right now?

Osprey Hikelite 26 backpacks for hiking and Kelty Redwing 50 travellers’ backpacks are popular with many features and advantages. These backpacks provide high comfort and make you feel relaxed. The features of these bags are mentioned above.

Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking Backpack
  • Ventilated AirSpeed Mesh backpanel with side vents maintain a comfortable fit and keep your back cool
  • Integrated raincover keeps your pack and gear dry in inclement weather
  • Internal hydration sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold separately)
  • Stretch mesh side pockets for storing smaller items
  • Scratch resistant organization pocket for sunglasses and electronics
  • Trekking pole attachment with upper compression strap capture

Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack

Sale
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack, Twilight Blue
  • Redwing is a tried & true trail value for all day hikes or a quick overnight, a true multipurpose pack from international travel to a day on the trail
  • Perfect Fit Suspension supplies you w/ customized comfort without the hassle, accurate on body adjustments w/ 3 simple steps for pack fitting success
  • Features: Top Loading,Zippered side pockets, front pocket w/ organization, Stretch front pouch, Hydration Compatible
  • Suspension Features: Perfect Fit Suspension, HDPE frame sheet, Hex Mesh back panel, ventilating back , Sternum strap, Load lifter strap
  • Dimensions: Size (L x W x D) 26 x 16 x 12 in, Weight 3 lbs 11 oz, Volume 50 L, Torso Size 15.5 - 21 in
  • Pockets: 1 interior slip, 7 interior zip

Why Does My Back Hurt from My Backpack?

When you carry a backpack, which does not divide the weight properly, it will hurt your back, and your body bends forward. There are many different reasons behind if your backpack hurts your back. Backpack hurts when you wear it in an unorganized manner; it hurts when you do not correctly adjust the shoulder straps. When you hang a backpack over one shoulder, it puts all the strain over one shoulder due to which your body leans on one side to balance the other side. These are the things you should keep in mind to avoid back pain while wearing a backpack. Carrying a backpack in an unorganized way can badly damage your back, lower back, neck and shoulders.

Can a Heavy Backpack Hurt Your Back?

Yes, carrying a heavy back without dividing the load hurt your back. A heavy backpack makes your body lean forward due to continuous strain, and sometimes it is the reason behind serious back injuries.

How do I know if My Backpack is too heavy?

Shoulder straps leave marks behind if you carry a heavy backpack. You can feel strain while wearing a heavy backpack. It will be inconvenient for you to carry a heavy backpack. These are the signs which show that you are wearing a heavy backpack. Your body feels discomfort and inconvenience when carrying a backpack, which is more than 15% of your weight.

Our Recommendation for the Best Backpacks for Bad Backs 

You must choose your backpack carefully because it directly impacts you back. In this detailed guide, we had to cover everything you must know and learn to buy the best backpacks for bad backs. Now it’s time to make a decision. We had picked and reviewed the top backpacks from Amazon, which will help your back stay comfortable. You can pick anyone from above. Yet if you ask for our recommendation, we would say go for Osprey Farpoint 55 Men’s Travel Backpack.

It is easy to use a backpack, which will offer you easy access to the panels and compartments. Moreover, it will help you support your back with the added back panel, harness, and hip-belt for better comfort. The stowaway back panel, shoulder straps and hip belt with zippered rear flap for protection.

Osprey Farpoint 55 Men's Travel Backpack
  • Large, lockable U-zip duffel-style access to main compartment - 55L total volume
  • Detachable daypack with designated laptop and tablet sleeve and scratch-free stash pocket
  • Stowaway backpanel, shoulder straps and hipbelt with zippered rear flap for protection when checking
  • Lockable zipper access to padded laptop & tablet sleeve (fits up to most 15" laptops)
  • Lockable sliders on main compartment zipper
  • Scratch-free pocket for sunglasses or devices

Last Words

One of the most common reasons behind the back pain is that we don’t give the attention it needs. Hopefully, this article has helped you to overcome this problem and help you to choose the most comfortable best backpacks for bad backs. Suppose you are suffering from back, lower back, neck, and shoulder problems because of your bad backpack. In that case, you should search for the best backpacks for your bad-backs, which will help you reduce your pain; you should lookout for a better option, a comfortable backpack with many other facilities to prevent your body from pain.

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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