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What is the Best Travel Backpack For Women?
Long-term travel is difficult.
You must pack the appropriate clothing, footwear, and everything in between.
There are also questions about where you’re going: will it be hot or cold?
And once you get there, what sort of activities might you do?
The best travel backpacks for women are more advanced than they used to be.
They have compartments for laptops, straps that support your back when the backpack is heavy, and they’re even waterproof!
That’s why we’ve provided you with all of the information you require before making any purchase and created the list of the 11 best travel backpacks for women.
Should I use a women’s travel backpack or a unisex backpack?
Backpacks for women are tailored to the shape of a woman’s body and vary in the weight they carry.
The bag needs to match your center of gravity, and it is different from men’s bags in padding, length, and straps.
One of the most important things when buying a backpack is that it fits.
You should be able to wear it all day long and not have any pain.
If you’re a small woman, it’s not going to be comfortable wearing a large backpack built for men.
If I had my choice of travel backpacks again, I would go with a women’s specific one.
You’ll find that many brands make both unisex and women’s models of the same bag, so don’t get too hung up on finding your perfect fit.
Types of Backpacks
Weekend (1-3 nights; 30-50 liters)
For a one- or three-night excursion when you’re packing as light as possible, a standard 30-50 liters pack is appropriate.
With a bag in this size range, newer, smaller “women’s” travel backpacks can help you keep things minimal on one- to three-day trips.
Packing lightly on your hiking trip requires self-discipline and careful planning, but it is well worth the effort.
Multiday (3-5 nights; 50-80 liters)
The most popular backpacking packs are Osprey Exos 58 AG, Wild Idea 3500 HC, Kelty Redwing 50, and Gregory Baltoro 65.
These are great alternatives for three-day warm-weather treks.
Women’s Travel Backpacks in the 50 to the 80-liter range are also fantastic for day trips when you want to travel a little more lightweight or multisport activities like alpine skiing.
Extended-trip (5+ nights; 70 liters or larger)
It is a good idea to pack some clothes for a five-day or longer trip.
Especially if it is going to be windy, cold, and wet (or warm and dry), you’ll want a backpack that can hold more clothes.
The required minimum volume for a 5-day trip is 70 liters, although most hikers choose to take more.
These are typically the preferred option for extended winter treks beyond one night in duration.
They’re an ideal alternative for parents who wish to backpack with their children because they usually carry a lot of kid’s equipment while traveling with kids.
Overall Picks for the Best Travel Backpacks for Women
The North Face Terra 40L Travel Backpack (Best Outdoors)
This travel backpack is a great choice for those who want to hit the road and go on long trips.
- The main compartment has plenty of room for clothes, books, or anything else you might need during your journey.
- The front external pocket is a good place to store small items such as pens, keys, and other things that somebody can quickly reach without opening up the whole bag. This way, it is possible to keep everything well organized and at hand when needed most!
- The back panel features ventilated mesh padding with airflow channels which keeps you cool while carrying heavy loads over long distances.
- The waist belt on this backpack is adjustable because it fits different heights.
- The North Face Terra 40 travel backpack has an adjustable belt, so it will always fit around your hips, no matter what height you are.
- This is not designed for business trips or commuting. However, if you need to carry your laptop and camera alone while flying between countries, this would be ideal because it has numerous compartments where you can keep them.
Osprey Fairview 40L Women’s Pack (Best Mid-size)
The Osprey Women’s Fairview 40L pack is one of the popular best travel backpacks for women hikers, campers, and backpackers.
The Fairview Series is a compact travel bag for globetrotters on the move.
Despite their low weights, these women’s full-featured packs have enough organization and transportable features.
When you check your bag, the stowaway harness and hip belt disappear for safekeeping, and durable fabrics offer added protection.
- The main compartment is accessed via a large zip panel.
- The slider on the main compartment zipper is lockable.
- Dual front compression straps.
- Two front mesh pockets, one on each side.
- Heat-embossed scratch-free zippered slash pocket.
- Padded top and side handles for increased comfort.
- Stowaway back panel, harness, and hip belt with zippered rear flap for protection.
- Laptop and tablet compartments are securely stored in a lockable chamber.
- Two internal compression straps keep everything in place.
- It has a zippered mesh pocket inside the front flap.
- Slightly heavy for a travel backpack for women.
- Only one external pocket.
- The laptop sleeve isn’t padded enough to protect expensive equipment.
- This Osprey pack is not recommended for carrying a laptop.
- The Osprey Women’s Fairview 40L Pack is not waterproof.
- There are no exterior pockets or loops for extra storage like a hydration sleeve and gear attachment points.
- You cannot attach accessories such as a rain cover, sleeping bag compartment, etc., to this travel backpack because there are no external attachment points on the pack body.
Exploring the sandstone canyons of the desert, the women’s-specific Kyte 46 was designed for speed and mobility with a lot of power and precision.
Throwing through bush paths filled with shrubby brush and trees or clearing wilderness trails with a Pulaski ax in hand—this is what the Kyte 46 was made for.
Built with durable fabrics for demanding outdoor conditions and activities, the Kyte has all the features you need to enjoy the experience and get the job done.
- Sizing and fit are designed for women.
- The mesh back panel and adjustable-length torso provide breathability.
- External zippered pocket and under lid zippered mesh pocket were added to the top lid.
- Dual tuckaway ice tool attachments
- External reservoir sleeve
- Dual rear reverse and straight jacket side compression straps
- Dual lower side compression straps
- Fully zippered sleeping bag compartment with a movable divider.
- Extra-long sleep pad straps that are removable.
- Attachment for Stow-on-the-Go trekking poles
- Hybrid shove-it pocket on the front panel
- Side pockets with pull-tab design and stretch mesh on both sides
- Hipbelt pockets with zippers
- Dual front-panel daisy chains
- Rain protection is built-in. The rain cover can be removed manually.
- Side zipper access to the main compartment
- Side pocket with a full-length vertical zippered opening
- Osprey Kyte 46L is pretty expensive, and the price only gets higher as options are added.
- The Osprey Kyte 46L lacks a front mesh pocket to store essentials like water bottles, snacks, or even extra clothing.
- Osprey Kyte 46L also can be difficult to pack with.
THULE Landmark Travel Backpack 60L (Best Unisex Large Backpack)
If you are looking for a travel pack with a detachable daypack, built-in safety systems, and a comfy carry for months of passport-stamped adventures, then worry no further!
The THULE Landmark Travel Backpack 60L has got ya back!
- The SafeZone section of the SafePod provides protection and organization for a phone, glasses, cables, and small valuables.
- Keep money and a passport safe from snatchers in the CashStash concealment built into the SafeZone’s hidden MoneyStash compartment.
- With the detachable add-on daypack, you can carry everything you need for a day out on your back. It has a breathable back panel, 15″ MacBook® storage, and even a place to put money and personal items.
- Attach the add-on daypack to the front of the shoulder straps for a hands-free, balanced and secure carry.
- Tucking away the contoured shoulder straps and hip belt when not in use will help to minimize wear and tear.
- With LoopLocks, you can prevent theft by securing zipper pulls to the bag. Double zipper handles can also be attached (TSA locks are available separately).
- The cabin features internal compression straps and mesh storage pouches to organize belongings.
- The zippered side pocket will keep a water bottle and other tiny items safe.
- When the add-on daypack is removed, it may be used as a carry-on backpack and used as a personal item.
- For additional protection on any journey, simply move the sternum strap whistle from the main pack to the daypack.
- The 40L main bag and 20L add-on daypack have 60L of combined packing capacity, enough to stuff four fully packed 90+ days into a single luggage.
Cons of the THULE Landmark Travel Backpack
- The backpack is a bit bulky and may be too large for some people.
- The shoulder straps are not adjustable, so it can be difficult to find a comfortable fit.
- The hip belt is also not adjustable, making it uncomfortable for some users.
- When the add-on daypack is not in use, it takes up a lot of space on the main backpack.
- The zippers and zipper pulls are not sturdy and could easily break with extended use.
- There is no rain cover included, so you will need to purchase one separately if you plan to use the backpack in wet weather conditions.
Osprey Aura AG 65+ (Best Women Large Backpack)
The Aura AG 65 is the most ventilated, comfortable, and well-fitting women’s backpack ever produced for traditional backpacking excursions of up to a week or more in duration.
The AntiGravity suspension mimics the sensation of carrying less weight and wraps effortlessly around your body; this allows you to enjoy each mile more than ever before.
Despite having a few minor drawbacks, the Aura AG 65 is still the top choice.
We honestly think the manufacturers of this travel backpack understand the assignment!
It has various pockets, including two within easy reach of your hand and an external pocket for extra storage.
For lidless usage, it has a FlapJacket that can be stowed outside the pack.
- Anti-Gravity suspension – This large backpack makes it feel like you are carrying less weight than there is in your pack.
- Removable floating top lid with two zippered compartments and web attachment points.
- Integrated FlapJacket protects gear when the top lid is removed.
- The Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment lets you tuck your poles away when going up steep terrain or whenever you want to use your hands.
- Adjustable harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hip belt for a precise fit.
- The hydration reservoir sleeve can accommodate up to a 3L reservoir.
- A front stretch mesh pocket keeps rain gear reachable when it starts to rain or damp clothing after the downpour has ceased.
- Side pockets with inside-out side straps allow you to store water bottles and other items.
- The double compression straps on either side distribute the weight and help you maintain a sleek profile.
- The dual hip belt pockets are zippered and keep food, and smaller items close at hand.
- The sleeping bag compartment is completely zippered, and the separator is detachable.
- Dual ice tool loops.
- The straps that hold the sleeping pad in place are detachable.
- Sternum strap with integrated safety whistle.
- shoulder straps are a bit too close together for people with broad shoulders.
- The hip belt pockets are difficult to reach when the pack is on.
- The sleeping bag compartment could be a little bigger.
- Some users have complained that the zippers aren’t very sturdy.
Hynes Eagle Carry On Travel Backpack (Best Carry on)
Hynes carry-on travel backpacks are designed to fit the needs of any traveler – from students to business professionals.
They offer several types of carry-on luggage, including duffel bags, cosmetic cases, and school backpacks.
The company’s goal is to make your product comfortable and safe. They do this by providing a backpack that has slots to hold your credit cards and passport.
This protects you from thieves who might steal them while traveling or at the airport.
- Water Repellent Polyester.
- Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.4 x 9.8 inches/51 x 34 x 25 cm
- Capacity: 40L
- It fits in the overhead compartment and the under-seat storage on most IATA flights.
- Multiple exterior compression buckle straps for adjusting the height based on your need.
- A true hands-free carry on with suppressible padded shoulder straps, easily converted from duffel into a backpack in seconds.
- One front zippered pocket with multiple interior slip pockets, the second compartment fits up to most 15.6-inch laptops.
- Side bottle pocket for extra storage, adjustable sternum strap and waist strap for stability, and upgraded strap buckle for durability.
- The backpack is not waterproof
- It doesn’t have a lot of compartments and pockets
- The straps are uncomfortable and dig into your shoulders
- The material is thin and feels cheap
Deuter Women’s *ACT Lite 45 + 10 SL (Best Hiking)
This lightweight hiking backpack has the Aircomfort back system, which provides maximal ventilation.
This hiking backpack has many different features, including VariQuick back length adjustment, an adjustable sternum strap, and ergonomic shoulder straps.
The top-loader design of the bag makes it simple to pack and unpack belongings.
Cell phones or snacks are readily accessible in the airy stretch mesh side pockets.
A helmet holder may also be attached to the front with special attachment loops.
- Perfect load distribution through the X-frame
- Pull-forward hip fins
- VariQuick System
- Load adjustment straps
- Adjustable sternum belt
- Height adjustable lid
- Attachment loops for the helmet holder
- Elasticated inner compartment for storing wet/sweaty clothing, water reservoir, etc.
- SOS label
- Separate bottom compartment with removable base
- Ice Axe Attachment
- Lid compartment
- Inside compartment to keep your valuables safe
- Compatible with 3.0-liter drinking system/bag
- Stretch side pockets
- snug hip fins
- Removal backpack lid
- Compression straps
- Double bottom
- Aircontact System
- PFC free
- No hip belt pockets.
- Limited external storage space.
- Lack of color options.
The REI Co-op Traverse 32 Pack is a women’s specific backpack perfect for weekend trips or short backpacking adventures.
It has a capacity of 32 liters and comes with all the features you need to make your trip comfortable and enjoyable.
The pack includes a padded hip belt and shoulder-padded straps for load distribution and a sternum strap for added stability.
There are also multiple pockets and compartments to store your travel gear, including a front zippered pocket for easy access to your belongings.
And if you need to hydrate on the go, the pack comes with an integrated water reservoir sleeve and hose port.
- The durable, bluesign®-approved ripstop nylon fabric ensures long life; most meshes were eliminated from this backpack for improved durability.
- The harness and hip belt are immediately comfy because they’re cushioned.
- The continuous padding from the hip belt to the lumbar region helps prevent hot spots and discomfort.
- You can run Packmod compression straps (included) from loop to any other loop for gear management and good balance so that you can sculpt your pack to the shape of your load.
- Generous zippered hip belt pockets are sized to store a phone and snacks.
- Water bottle pockets are tilted forward for easy access on the go.
- Trekking pole keepers and an ice ax loop make this a pack for a wide range of activities.
- Included rain cover lives under the top lid so that it is easily accessible during flash storms.
- Hydration compatible design features a tube holder on the shoulder strap (reservoir not included).
- Designed with input from the field and tested in Washington, Arizona, and Oregon over 305 combined miles of backcountry traversing, from high desert badlands to coastal forests.
- The product meets the bluesign® criteria, the world’s leading system for managing the environmental and human health impacts of textile manufacturing.
- The lack of color options,
- limited external storage space
- The biggest downside to this pack is that it doesn’t have any hip belt pockets. This can be a nuisance if you want to grab something while on the go quickly.
Osprey Sirrus 36 Travel Backpack (Best for Urban Travel)
The Sirrus® 36 is the ultimate choice for everything from short day hikes to lightweight overnights in the backcountry.
No matter how far or near, thanks to its adjustable torso lengths, it provides enhanced women’s fit and comfort and updated aesthetics.
Fear not when the weather changes – Sirrus® protects your equipment and backpack with an integrated rain cover.
Organized pocketing helps you keep all of your goods where you need them when you need them.
- Dual side compression straps
- Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment
- Ice tool loop with bungee tie-off
- Internal hydration reservoir sleeve
- Fixed top-lid with zippered slash pocket
- Front panel vertical center zippered pocket
Well, it’s a good backpack. But it’s not perfect.
Let’s take a look at some of the cons:
- The hip belt isn’t very comfortable.
- The back panel could be better designed.
- The zippers can be difficult to use.
- The pack can feel heavy and bulky if you’re trying to carry it for long periods.
What to look for in the best travel backpacks for women
There are many things to consider when buying backpacks.
You should think about how heavy the backpack is, the size and shape, and whether or not it will fit in an airplane’s overhead compartment.
When choosing a carry-on backpack, these factors are non-negotiable to check out before handing your monies over.
It is also important to consider your own needs, so think carefully when choosing between them.
The capacity of a travel backpack is how much it can hold.
The volume ranges from 35 liters to 80 liters, depending on what you use it.
Make sure you know the capacity before purchasing anything.
Large capacity backpacks are suitable for longer trips.
They will hold a lot more things.
But they are heavy and take up a lot of space.
Smaller bags can be better if you need to carry something every day.
When traveling, I prefer around 50 liters to have plenty of space for everything I need to take along with me, but not so huge that it’s hard to carry around.
The last thing you want is a ladies’ backpack that isn’t comfortable.
This will defeat the entire purpose if your backpack ends up being cumbersome or uncomfortable to wear all day long.
It should be ergonomic and fit with your body’s natural movements while distributing weight evenly across both shoulders.
Features are also important when choosing a backpack because they can make or break your experience with it.
For example, some backpacks have an inside frame, but others do not.
This is usually determined by how much you want to carry at once and how long you expect to be out in the field.
A good tip, though, would be if you’re only going away for one night, then go small, so there isn’t too much excess weight you have to carry around unnecessarily.
Number of compartments
The number of compartments in a travel backpack for women is important because it will affect how many items you can put in your bag when traveling with only hand luggage.
You might also want to go for travel backpacks with a sleeping bag compartment– This is a hidden zipper for your travel backpack.
It is a good idea if you want to keep your sleeping bag in this spot and not use a stuff sack, or if you want to reach it quickly without taking everything else out of the backpack.
This compartment could also have other things in it, even though it’s meant to be for carrying a sleeping bag.
Compartments keep your belongings organized so that finding them is easier when you’re on the go.
It also keeps valuables from being scratched or damaged by other items in your carry-on luggage.
The more pockets available, the better, but one compartment should be sufficient if you only have a laptop and tablet.
Another aspect to consider is comfort, which is determined by personal taste.
Choose something that feels right for you!
A travel backpack with a reduced weight is convenient.
When you walk, you can save energy by using less energy if the backpack weighs less.
This is good for long distances and busy streets because you won’t get tired as quickly.
The size of a travel backpack also depends on the length and width of one’s torso.
So check this before purchasing to ensure it fits well.
When shopping for a travel backpack to take with you on your trip, it’s important to consider size before anything else.
It should be big enough to fit into an overhead bin or beneath your seat without causing difficulties, but not so huge or heavy that it becomes difficult to travel with throughout the day.
Style is less important but still something to consider when buying bags as each person has different tastes and preferences.
So find out what style suits you best and choose accordingly!
Weight is one of the most critical considerations in choosing a travel backpack.
The weight of a travel backpack is affected by several factors like fabric, stitching, hardware, and design elements.
It would be best to go for a backpack that is easy to carry and has enough room to store all of your things.
The backpacks should fit your body frame comfortably.
In women-specific travel backpacks, the shoulder straps are often shaped/curved.
The sternum strap is designed to fit female chests better.
The shoulder straps are often set a little closer together since women tend to have narrow shoulders and necks.
The hip belt should be slightly narrower than the male’s version to distribute the weight equally across your hips.
They can also have extra padding for a bit more comfort.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable hip belt.
This is what helps take weight off of your shoulder so you can walk, hike, and climb comfortably, even with 35+ pounds.
Waterproof options or anti-scratch material
Waterproof options are also a necessity if you’re planning on traveling to places with high precipitation rates.
An anti-scratch material is perfect for carrying electronics or other valuables as it keeps them safe from any damage.
The lifespan of your travel backpack should be at least five years.
To ensure it is, buy a backpack made from quality materials so it doesn’t break or need to be replaced anytime soon.
If you want something more long-term without spending too much money, consider second-hand backpacks via sites like eBay or Craigslist.
This can be an economical option since prices will vary depending on condition & previous usage time frame!
It’s important to note that brands aren’t always consistent with quality control, and you may find a few defective ones.
However, this is still better than buying from an unknown brand that isn’t well established yet!
The last factor that should be considered before making any purchase decisions would definitely be the price.
You don’t want to end up spending over $100 or 50% of your travel budget on something that you aren’t pleased with.
FAQs about the best travel backpacks for women
Are Women’s Travel Packs More Expensive?
There are often times when women’s travel backpacks cost more than unisex bags for similar features.
The same thing happens with shoes- men do not pay as much for Nike running shoes compared to what I would call “Nike running sneakers,” which are marketed towards women at higher prices!
Some of the Best Backpack Brands like Osprey, for example, offer both types of packs, but the prices differ depending on gender.
In the end, it’s up to you whether or not this is a good deal for you, depending on your budget, needs, and travel style.
We suggest finding a bag with all of the most important features to you at whatever price point!
What Weight Should I Choose?
If a backpack is too heavy, it will wear out more quickly and will be hard on your body.
We want to avoid this when we take the backpack on a long trip.
We recommend measuring how much weight your backpack weighs without anything inside. Then you will know the size of the pack that will be right for you.
It should not seem confusing.
What Features Should I Look for in a Travel Backpack?
Here are some of the most popular features to look out for when buying your next travel backpack.
The first is the material itself, which can be a durable polyester or nylon.
This helps ensure that your backpack won’t rip too quickly and will last for years of traveling!
Another feature you might find on some packs is water bottle pockets located on either side of the bag, so they’re easy to access while walking around town or when in transit.
Packs with these features tend to cost more but make up for it by being more accessible and safer during travel- especially if performed often like long-distance biking (with hydration) trips!
Final thoughts on the best travel backpacks for women
No matter your budget, you will be able to find a travel backpack that fits the needs of any woman.
Whether you’re looking for an affordable and functional bag or something more stylish, we’ve compiled our top picks above so you can start shopping right away!
Take a look at these backpacks and see which one might suit your specific needs.
Remember: only women’s backpacks are included in this list because they have been designed with different features than unisex bags. (It doesn’t mean you can’t use them as a guy!).
Find out what’s most important to you and choose accordingly!