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Heavy purses can strain your back, but luckily, the best lightweight handbags can hold your stuff without sacrificing style. As a general rule of thumb, your purse shouldn’t weigh more than 10% of your body weight (including the contents inside), so when searching for a lightweight handbag, look for one that weighs far less than that. Handbags come in many styles and sizes with a range of materials and features, so choose one based on what aligns with your style and needs.
If you’d like a hands-free bag, you can’t go wrong with a cross-body bag or backpack purse. There are also shoulder bags and tote bags, some of which are roomy enough to hold a computer. For carrying the basics, clutches and wristlets are the smallest options, and usually the lightest, too. There are also a variety of closures to consider, like a secure zipper, an easy-to-use snap, or even an adjustable drawstring. Some handbags have convertible straps to wear the bag in different ways. If organization is a priority, look for a pick with multiple pockets. For a handbag to use while traveling, consider one with RFID-blocking technology to protect your information or a USB port for charging on the go.
You’ll also want to note the materials the bag is made from. In terms of durability, it’s hard to beat nylon or polyester. For an ultra-soft feel, consider suede or velvet. And for a luxurious look and feel, choose leather or faux leather. Handbags made from straw or rattan will give your outfit major vacation vibes.
There are so many handbags available, so to narrow down the options, I scoured Amazon and found these top 10 lightweight handbags — they’re all under 2 pounds, plus they boast rave reviews!
1. A Fan-Favorite Crossbody Handbag With A Cute Tassel Detail
- Weight: 0.55 pounds
This handbag from DELUXITY boasts a serious fan following on Amazon — it has more than 20,000 reviews, plus a solid 4.6-star rating overall — and it makes total sense that people are into it. For one, the bag features a cross-body design, allowing you to go totally hands-free while wearing it. And when it comes to style, this pick is basically the cutest. The handbag comes in a massive number of color options in one or two tones, all of which have fun tassels. The gold-color hardware pops, and the faux-leather material both looks and feels luxurious.
This pick has a zipper closure, a few pockets (including a zippered one for security), and an adjustable shoulder strap. The handbag is compact in size at 10 inches wide and 9 inches tall.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I tend to switch my purses out a lot and needed a new, more lightweight purse for fall. This purse was absolutely amazing! And the fact that it comes in so many different colors makes it even better! I have so many of the color options on my wish list now! This purse is great for traveling because it's so lightweight. I love all the pockets inside the purse itself. Will definitely purchase again in other colors!”
2. A Nylon Tote Bag With A Built-In USB Charging Port
- Weight: 0.65 pounds
If you need a good tote bag in their life, this one from Relavel has a lot going for it — and since it’s under $30, how could you say no? Made from a sturdy nylon fabric with a polyester lining, the handbag is water-resistant and supremely durable overall. The dual straps are made from sturdy faux leather, and the protective metal feet allow you to set this pick on the ground without worry of it getting dirty. When it comes to organization, this tote has you covered. The bag features a variety of interior compartments to easily stash all of your essentials. There’s even a cushioned spot to secure a laptop that’s 15.6 inches or smaller — just be sure to watch your bag’s weight if you’ll be carrying one. The built-in USB charger is wildly convenient, allowing you to easily charge your devices while on the go. And the black zipper closure will ensure that none of your valuables fall out.
Choose from two color options — black or navy blue.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Love the versatility of this bag. Many pockets and a light, sturdy construction. Just what I was looking for to carry multiple items plus my crossbody purse as one single bag for a recent trip. Highly recommend!”
3. A Faux Suede Bucket Bag
- Weight: 1.25 pounds
Made from a soft and smooth faux-suede material, this bucket bag from AFKOMST feels super luxurious, and yet it comes with a budget-friendly price tag. The handbag features silver-toned hardware that’ll pop against any of its six neutral color options. Multiple detachable straps are a huge plus with this pick, allowing you to wear it either on your shoulder (using the shorter strap with an 11.4-inch drop) or as a cross-body style with the longer strap that has a 23.6-inch drop. The bag’s drawstring closure is adjustable, and it also has a clasp closure.
This bucket bag is larger in size than many of the other picks on this list — it’s 10.6 inches wide, 11.8 inches tall, and 5.5 inches in diameter — but it’s still lightweight at only 1.25 pounds. This pick boasts a decent number of pockets to organize your essentials, including a large main compartment, an internal zipper pocket, and two internal slit pockets.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Beautiful bag! [...] It has 3 pockets which is wonderful. It's very light weight and easy to hang around the shoulder. Comes with adjustable longer strap and an additional smaller one (which also looks nice).”
4. A Handwoven Rattan Shoulder Bag
- Weight: 0.62 pounds
Bring on the beach! This handbag from NATURAL NEO gives off some serious vacation vibes thanks to the natural rattan material that it’s made from — and it’s handwoven by Vietnamese artisans, too. Inside the bag, you’ll find a cute floral fabric lining. The bag features a unique round shape, and though its compact at 5 by 5 by 0.7 inches in size, many Amazon reviewers comment that it’s surprising just how much the bag can hold; it’s large enough for all of the main essentials, including your phone. A strong magnetic snap closure and two buttons ensure the bag stays closed, no matter how much you’re carrying.
This pick is considered a shoulder bag, but it has a fully adjustable strap that’ll allow you to choose a length that’s most comfortable for you. Choose from two color options: brown or white.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “This bag is just what I was looking for!!! Many boutiques are posting these purses but they all cost an arm and a leg. I am so happy I found this one!!! It is so cute and lightweight, it looks kind of small on the outside but is big enough to carry your phone, sunglasses, small wallet, keys and anything else you might need. I have not had it long but have already received so many compliments”
5. A Faux-Leather Backpack Purse For Under $30
- Weight: 1.23 pounds
The price tag of this backpack purse combination from Nevenka is seriously shocking… in all of the best ways! At under $30, this pick is a total steal — and it looks so much more expensive. Made from faux leather with an ultra-durable nylon lining, the backpack purse has adjustable shoulder straps (they can be adjusted from 15.75 inches to 31.50 inches in length), a secure zipper closure, and a variety of interior and exterior pockets to organize your items. The bag is compact in size — it’s 10.2 inches long, 3.9 inches wide, and 12.6 inches in height — and weighs just 1.23 pounds.
Choose from a wide range of solid color options.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Perfect size backpack purse. Not too small and not too big. Pretty and rich quality. Well made and light weight. Lots of pockets inside and outside. I like the zipper closures and especially the front one to carry my cell phone without it falling out when I take the bag off.”
6. A Velvet Clutch
- Weight: 0.55 pounds
With a combination of ultra-smooth velvet and gold-tone hardware, this clutch from Dasein is positively chic for any occasion. The clutch is compact in size (it’s 8.5 inches wide, 5 inches in height, and about 2 inches in diameter), but it’s still big enough for your phone, some cash, and a few other small necessities. The fold-over design secures with a magnetic snap, allowing you to have easy access to the items inside. The clutch has a handy strap, but if you don’t want or need it, then it can be easily removed.
Choose from this fun leopard print or a range of more than 10 solid color options like purple, camel, and green.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Perfect! I rarely leave reviews... But if you’re looking for a lightweight bag that looks great , and is big enough to carry your phone, some makeup and extras, this is the bag for you.”
7. A Great Shoulder Bag For Travel
- Weight: 0.66 pounds
This shoulder bag from Travelon has a lot of extra features that make it the perfect pick for traveling. For one, the exterior of the bag is made from an ultra-strong polyester fabric that’s slash-proof to help prevent it from getting stolen, not to mention water- and dust-proof. And the slash-resistant shoulder strap (which is adjustable for your comfort) can easily be locked onto a chair or another item when you’re relaxing. Inside the bag, the main storage compartment has an organizer with RFID-blocking technology to keep your personal information secure. This pick boasts a variety of other helpful spots for necessities, including two wallet pockets, a zipper mesh pocket, and two pen loops.
This bag is 8.5 by 8.5 by 2 inches in size and it weighs less than one pound. Choose from a variety of colors and some print options, too.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I purchased this bag about 4 months ago and have used it on several business trips. It's lightweight, holds what I need and easy to pack away in my backpack to condense my bags. I recently used it on a trip to Belgium and felt very secure. It is sturdy, waterproof and easy to carry around. I felt like it held all I needed when walking around the cities”
8. A Popular Convertible Backpack Purse
- Weight: 1.54 pounds
With a whopping 4.7-star rating overall on Amazon, among 14,000 and growing reviews, this backpack purse combination from PINCNEL gets high praise on the site for being well-sized, high in quality, and fairly priced. Made from a combination of nylon and faux leather, the backpack purse is quite durable (it’s even waterproof!), but still has that luxe look and feel. This pick can be worn in multiple ways, since it comes with a variety of different straps, including two adjustable long ones, a detachable hand strap, and even a single shoulder strap. Both inside and outside the bag, you’ll have access to a variety of pockets for storage. The main pocket is even large enough to hold a 10 inch laptop or tablet. And the entire bag itself is large enough for a computer that’s up to 13.3 inches in size.
This pick is the large version of the bag (it’s 13.78 long by 6.69 wide by 14.17 inches tall in size), but it’s also available in a medium size, too. Choose from a variety of solid color options, all of which come with an adorable pom-pom keychain.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I recently took a two-week vacation and during the planning phase I was on the lookout for a daypack. I wanted something small, lightweight, water resistant, multipurpose, and theft resistant. This fit the bill perfectly. It's a nylon material, like the description says, but it doesn't look cheap; it also doesn't look like a school backpack, which was a worry of mine. It looks like the purse backpacks that are the new fad. But the real beauty of this thing is the functionality. The inside compartment is deceptively large. I could fit everything I needed for hikes, shopping, and travel in a cold climate. There's a somewhat hidden zipper compartment on on the front, which is perfect for the phone and wallet. And there are even side compartments for a water bottle (small one!) and umbrella.”
9. A Slouchy Handbag With A Detachable Strap
- Weight: 1.6 pounds
If you like the relaxed look of a slouchy handbag, this one from Realer is calling your name. The handbag is made from faux leather that’s water-resistant, and it features black metal hardware that’s a true showstopper. The bag has a short handle (about 7.9 inches), but you can also attach the included longer strap (which can be adjusted from 25.98 to 48.03 inches) to wear this pick on your shoulder. In terms of a closure, this pick has a top zipper to keep your items secure. Inside the bag, you’ll find a variety of pockets to organize essentials — this pick has a large capacity, so you can easily fit a tablet inside.
Choose from either a medium or large size handbag, and from a wide range of color options, too.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “This is a great purse. I have been carrying it for a month now and am really happy. It worried me to buy a purse online, but I am so happy with this purse I might buy it in other colors. It’s the perfect size -not too big so it’s overly heavy or bulky, but large enough carry all the necessary stuff. It also has enough zippered pockets to keep things organized.”
10. An Ultra-Lightweight Real Leather Wristlet
- Weight: 0.35 pounds
If you’re looking for the lightest handbag possible, then click “Add to Cart” on this pick from Befen. The wristlet weighs just 0.35 pounds, and it’s compact in size at 8.3 inches wide by 5 inches tall, with a 0.5 inch depth. Despite being compact, the wristlet is still roomy enough for the essentials — think a phone in the back zippered pocket, some credit cards (there are six built-in slots for these), cash, and maybe a couple of other small things. The exterior of the bag is made from genuine leather, while the interior boasts a fabric lining. A zipper closure, gold-tone hardware, and the detachable wrist strap are all features worth nothing.
This pick comes with a one-year warranty. Choose from a range of color options, including forest green, caramel, white, and black.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I’m tired of carrying heavy purses. This wristlet clutch holds my cellphone, lipstick, mirror, and credit card/ID/cash holder. It’s all I need... and no more sore shoulders!”
Son, S., & Noh, H. (2013, August). Gait changes caused by the habits and methods of carrying a handbag. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820208/.