Best Backpacks for Neck Pain

Pros and Cons

Neck pain, among many reasons, can be a result of poor torso conditioning. If it persists for long, it can result in a rather serious and painful experience.

The neck is a rather strong part of the body as it holds the weight of one’s head which is about 11 pounds. This weight can also lead to some common neck problems such as strain muscles and tension.Neck pain is experienced by most people and usually it does not indicate a serious health problem. However, if the pain persists for a few days, you should see a doctor to find out exactly what is causing it.

Often, neck pain does not last for long and can happen at any point during your daily routine. There are ways to overcome neck pain such as using a soft pillow while sleeping and so on. However, an important everyday activity that could either be causing neck pain or could lead to a worsening of an existing neck pain is the backpack you are using.

It is important to consult your doctor before deciding if you should buy an ergonomic backpack or not. These are specially padded and adjustable backpacks that come with features that provide adequate support to your neck, back, and shoulders. At the same time, there are many backpacks that come with ample adjustable features that can provide your neck the right amount of support to allow you to travel comfortably and safely.

Before we look at some of the best backpacks for neck pain, we go through some factors that are essential in determining a quality backpack that can reduce pain and what you should look for in such a backpack. Moreover, there are also some tips you can follow to prevent neck pain that may be a result of wearing a backpack.

Why do some backpacks cause pain?

More than often, the reason for this is poor design. Backpacks that lack adjustability features or have shoulder straps that are too thin or not padded well enough place too much strain on the shoulders and back which can also cause neck pain. This can also lead to stiff muscles or bending of the spine and bad postures, both of which can lead to both back pain and neck pain.

If this continues for a few days, it can make it difficult to sleep at night and ruin your travel comfort as well. As such, it is important to wear a quality backpack that has ample support for appropriate weight distribution.

Yet another reason why backpacks can cause pains is because of how they are worn. Backpacks that are worn incorrectly, for instance, if a backpack is worn with only one shoulder strap, this would lead to undue weight resting on one shoulder that would eventually lead to other more serious pains. As such, it is also important to wear your backpack correctly, making sure to adjust the straps such that you feel comfortable while wearing it.

What to look for in a backpack for neck pain?



A primary indicator of how comfortable a backpack would be is its design. A lack of sufficiently padded straps and adjustable features usually reveals this aspect of the backpack. A comfortable backpack usually comes with adequate features such as ventilated back panels, well-padded shoulder straps, some even come with a sternum strap and a hip belt.

While an ergonomic backpack comes with all such features, other backpacks that are designed with the user’s comfort in mind also include some of these features.


A key aspect of design is straps. A thinly strapped backpack would not be able to adequately distribute weight across your torso and place strain on your shoulder muscles as well as your neck. As such, a backpack with well-padded straps is an essential feature to watch out for when determining which backpack to buy.


A smaller backpack is much easier to carry around as it is lightweight as compared to a bigger one. However, larger backpacks can offer the same level of support if they are designed with user’s comfort in mind, with adequate padding features and so on. However, the size of your backpack is usually dependent on the duration of your travel or visit.


Weight itself is not a deciding feature in determining which backpack will be more comfortable and easier to carry around. Rather, it is appropriate weight distribution which is done so by the backpack’s design. A good backpack distributes weight evenly across your body, regardless of how heavy the luggage is. Usually, this can be achieved by means of internal pockets. If different luggage items are placed in different pockets, sleeves, or compartments in the backpack, not only does it ensure an effective organization of the contents in the backpack but rather also guarantees that the weight is distributed properly and does not place any undue stress on any part of the body


Padded straps are particularly helpful in combating neck and shoulder pains. Padded straps spread the weight evenly across your shoulders and because of this, your muscles are not under undue pressure. This is a really important factor to watch out for if you are expecting to carry heavy items every day.

The Purpose

While backpacks can usually work as multipurpose carriers that can come in handy for all kinds of trips and errands, knowing the primary purpose for your backpack is important. How often would you be using it? What items would you be keeping in it? What places do you intend to visit with it? And so on.

This is because most backpacks are designed according to purpose. The main categories are laptop backpacks, travel backpacks, and so on. As such, this reason is among the topmost factors that can help you decide which backpack you should opt for and then see if it has the relevant design features that would prevent neck pain.


Our Picks for Best Backpack for Backpain

  1. SwissGear ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
  2. Incase Icon Laptop backpack
  3. Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack
  4. Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack
  5. Osprey Fairpoint 55


1. SwissGear ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

This backpack comes with ergonomically contoured shoulder straps and a highly padded back panel for ventilation.

With its durable 1200D Ballistic Polyester fabric manufacturing, the backpack has a spacious main compartment. This main section comes with ample storage capacity as well as adjustable side compression straps that hold things together. Along with this incredible padding is the fact that the backpack is a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) friendly travel laptop backpack as it comes equipped with the ScanSmart lay-flat technology. This includes a separate laptop and tablet padded mesh compartment which ensures the backpack’s capacity as an ergonomic laptop backpack.

The padded contoured suspension system along with ventilation are features that make the backpack rate highly among the best backpacks for neck pain.




  • Durable polyester fabric
  • Padded adjustable shoulder straps and back panel that provide ample comfort
  • Sturdy metal zippers
  • Multiple sections that provide convenient organization


  1. A slightly heavier backpack option
  2. Metal zippers can create sound while walking

2. Incase Icon Laptop Backpack

The Incase Icon backpack comes with an ergonomic design and is ideal as a backpack for heavy books. This is a result of the backpack’s internal design which comprises a large internal pocket which can be used to keep a few large books. Along with it, there are also smaller pockets that can hold a laptop or an iPad.

Regardless of the backpack’s volume capacity, it still manages to look rather slim and lightweight. As such, this backpack works best for students and office workers who require a laptop backpack. At the same time, the backpack offers a classy look that can blend with different surroundings.

The numerous internal and external pockets in the backpack make it ideal for you to keep your belongings in a safe and organized manner. At the same time, the backpack has enough space to keep additional clothing items such as an extra sweater, or a shirt that you may need for work.


  • Laptop and tablet sleeves
  • Ergonomic design
  • Ample packets for effective organization of belongings


  • Not enough space for extra clothing items

3. Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack

The Kelty Redwing 50 backpack is especially designed for travelers. This backpack has a lot of specific features that are suited for this purpose which make it an ideal backpack for airport as well as road travel. As it is a spacious and roomy backpack, it may not be a very popular option for daily commuters be it students or office workers who would prefer a more compact option.

The backpack comes with two water bottle pockets on either side of the pack. A top loader and panel loader design means that there are two ways to access the backpack which make it convenient to use, especially during travelling.

Certain additional features such as the polyester material, dynamic airflow rear panel, a wide hip strap, and a lumbar pad designed to remove pressure from your back are all features that makes this backpack a comfortable and convenient design, especially from the point of view of potential neck pains and so on.


  1. Lumbar pad and removable hip belt
  2. Comfortable for travelling
  3. Comfortable design


  • Can be too large for younger age groups.

4. Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack

A lightweight ergonomic backpack with a classy design and two main compartments that are designed to cater to back and neck pain. The backpack consists of an internal mesh pocket and an external zip pocket that has a simple organization. The backpack’s shoulder straps also come with fabric cushioning as does the back panel. Moreover, the backpack is made of a durable 1260d Ballistic Nylon material and is ideal for climbers as there is no external option to carry any additional belongings.


  • A durable and lightweight backpack
  • Removed cushioned back panels
  • Removable hip belt
  • Adjustable hip belt and sternum straps


  • Doesn’t have a dedicated laptop sleeve

5. Osprey Fairpoint 55

The most attractive features of this backpack are its lightweight suspension frame, compression straps and its overall breathable and cool design. The Osprey Fairpoint 55 is nothing short of a classic backpack that is ideal for hiking with lighter luggage and without placing any excessive pressure or strain on the torso.

The smart LightWire frame suspension provides the backpack the feature of adequate weight distribution. This ensures that the weight is distributed evenly from the harness to the belt around the hips. At the front side are compression features which allow you to keep your belongings packed securely in one place. Because of these straps, the weight of the backpack remains equally distributed even while you are travelling or walking while wearing your backpack.

Along with the backpack comes a completely zip-off dap pack which is removable and can be used for travelling with a small bag or for shorter journeys where you wouldn’t need to carry your entire backpack. As such, this backpack offers a lot of versatility and options for the user.

Along with a hip belt and a buckle to be fastened across the chest, the Osprey Farpoint 55 holds against your body in a manner that is stable as well as flat. Additional comfort is added to the backpack by means of a breathable mesh material present along the inside. This keeps you cool and prevents any excessive sweating while the backpack is in use.


Physical comfort and safety are among the most important factors that determine the backpack most suitable for you. When it comes to neck pain, it is mostly a matter of adequate straps, padding of straps, and weight distribution that determine how comfortable or safe your backpack would be. Other than this, knowing the specific purpose for your backpack is a principle guiding factor in choosing the best backpack for neck pain

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