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23 Top Rated Women’s Hiking Backpacks on the Market

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You hike for the sense of freedom that can only be found when surrounded by Earth’s elements. But sometimes you just don’t get that sense of liberation due to all the stuff you have to carry on these journeys. From why you need a hiking backpack for women to the features to look for when buying a new lightweight pack, we’ll get you started with the best women’s hiking backpacks. 

When you add extra layers to snacks, sleeping bags, and water, the pack weight adds up quickly and can become uncomfortable and cumbersome when carrying heavy loads. But it won’t if you have one of the best hiking backpacks for women.

If you’re looking for more comfort and ease in an ultralight daypack, then you’ll find everything you need to know right here in our buying advice for some of the best backpacking brands. 


What is the Best Women’s Hiking Backpack?

If you’re looking for quick referrals, consider the following list of the best women’s hiking backpacks:


23 Best Hiking Backpacks for Women

Here are 23 hiking backpacks for women that have received top marks in customer reviews. Both hiking daypacks and multi-day packs are included.

Hiking Daypacks

Kelty Riot 15 Backpack, Deep Teal

Features:

  • Weight 1.1lbs
  • Volume: 15L
  • Zippered Closure
  • Hydration reservoir storage, up to 2L 
  • Shove-it pocket
  • Expanding Water bottle pockets
  • Exterior pockets
  • Adjustable hip, shoulder & sternum straps
  • Vest suspension system

The Kelty Riot 15L women’s hiking daypack is best for easy day hikes. Known for being incredibly light, the Riot does not have a frame, leaving more room for your gear than you would typically find in a bag of a similar size. Adding to the roominess of the pack is an external hydration reservoir, so you don’t have to take up precious internal space with your water bladder. 

This is a great backpack for anyone looking for something stylish and functional. It features a large main compartment with a secure zip closure to keep your essentials safe, as well as a padded sleeve for laptops or tablet up to 15 inches.

There is also a pocket for keeping your phone or other small items close by. The Riot also has a water-resistant pocket for keeping your phone safe from the elements. Additionally, the pack features side compression straps that can be cinched to keep your load snug and secure.

The camping backpack is made of 1680 denier fabric, which is a high-quality fabric that is both durable and lightweight. With the Riot, you can rest assured that your belongings are safe thanks to the small hiking daypack anti-theft design.

Kelty Riot 15 Backpack, Deep Teal
Kelty Riot 15 Backpack, Deep Teal

What We Do Like:

  • Adjustable for an individual fit and ample storage
  • Lightweight hiking daypack
  • Storage compartment for hydration reservoir
  • Shoulder harness light
  • Fits larger water bladder

What We Don’t Like:

  • Waist belt not padded
  • The sternum strap rides up too high
  • not friendly for plus size women
  • Not water resistant
  • no pocket for water bottle

Users of the Kelty Riot 15L daypack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “What I loved about it the most besides its durability is it’s not full of overly small pockets. I hate trying to remember where everything is. One large pocket with a couple of little spots on the inside and a great hidden one on the side for phone or billfold.”
  • 4 Stars “Excellent quality build, not big people friendly.”

Best for Easy Day Hike

Cotopaxi Luzon Daypack - Del Dia 18L - One of A Kind!

Features:

  • Weight: 0.66lbs
  • Size: 18L
  • Hydration storage, up to 3L
  • Front zippered pocket
  • Top drawstring closure
  • Internal hydration sleeve
  • Mesh shoulder harness

See prices and more colors on Cotopaxi | Moosejaw | REI

The Cotopaxi Luzon Del Dia 18L women’s daypack is best for easy day hikes. Each pack is one-of-a-kind, as the employees who make the bags select the color scheme. Adding to the uniqueness of this pack, the Luzon Del Dia is eco-friendly due to being made out of fabric scraps, and remnant materials sourced from around the world that would otherwise go unused.

Each pack in the Del Día Collection is made by employees who have creative control over its final look. This means that no two packs are alike. From fabric to thread, your Del Día is one of a kind.

It’s water-resistant, offering users peace of mind that their gear will survive a sudden downpour. The main compartment easily accommodates two day’s worth of clothes and gear, while the front zippered pocket keeps small items at your fingertips. The top drawstring closure allows for quick access to your gear.

Cotopaxi Luzon Daypack - Del Dia 18L - One of A Kind!
Cotopaxi Luzon Daypack - Del Dia 18L - One of A Kind!

Ultralight mesh shoulder straps are breathable so they don’t get too hot when you’re hiking or walking around town all day long.

What We Do Like:

  • Lightweight and attractive 
  • Recycled materials- eco conscious
  • Fun colors
  • Can be used as a hikers daypack- roll into your backpacking pack

What We Don’t Like:

  • Very few storage compartments
  • No back padding- not comfortable for long hikes

Users of the Cotopaxi Luzon Del Dia 18L daypack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “The message that the Cotopaxi company stands for is what got me hooked before I bought the product.”
  • 5 Stars “Very light and comfortable.

CamelBak Women’s Helena 20 Hiking Hydration Pack - 85 oz

Features:

  • ‎18.5 x 1.52 x 9.84 inches
  • Weight: 1.5lbs
  • Volume: 17.5L
  • Zipper closure
  • Hydration bladder, 2.5L
  • Pocket: Essentials & hip belt, Water bottle pouch
  • S-curved harness provide a women-specific fit
  • Removable sternum & adjustable strap
  • Load bearing hip belts
  • Breathable mesh back panel
  • partially made from post-consumer recycled materials.

See prices and more colors on Backcountry.com | CampSaver | BassPro Shop

The CamelBak Helena 20L women’s daypack is best for easy to moderate hikes. Users of the Helena rave about the amount of storage the pack offers, noting that they could fit not only a few snacks but also extra clothing and miscellaneous gear without feeling like the pack was bulky or overloaded.

The CamelBak Helena 20L Backpack is a lightweight, versatile pack that lets you customize your hydration and storage. The breathable Air Mesh harness and back panel transfer heat and moisture away from your body for cooling comfort, while the high-capacity reservoir has a 2.5L capacity to keep you hydrated on long days in the field.

CamelBak Women’s Helena 20 Hiking Hydration Pack - 85 oz
CamelBak Women’s Helena 20 Hiking Hydration Pack - 85 oz

An Essentials Org pocket keeps small items organized, while a removable sternum strap offers a range of adjustments for a custom fit and increased stability. Attachments are located on both sides of the pack to let you customize it with additional pouches or accessories depending on what you need to carry. There are also external loops at either end of the bag that allow you to attach additional gear such as sleeping pads or trekking poles if required

What We Do Like:

  • Hydration bladder included
  • Removeable Sternum Strap: Offers a range of adjustments for a custom fit and increased stability
  • Load Bearing Hip Belt with Cargo: Transfers weight to hips and offers additional storage.
  • Cargo Compression: Keep gear close to your body for better balance and increased stability.
  • S-curved harness – great for petite bodies

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not completely waterproof…but it does dry fast
  • Non-zip hip pocket pops open when you place items in it

Users of the CamelBak Helena 20L daypack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Great bag for petite bodies!”
  • 4 Stars “Good for small torsos.”

ALPS Mountaineering Chili/Gray, 20 Liters

Features:

  • Weight 1.3lbs
  • Volume: 20L
  • Zipper closure
  • Hydration reservoir storage, up to 3L
  • Hip belt & stretch side pockets
  • Daisy chain
  • Built in Rain cover
  • Sternum strap
  • Removable hip belt
  • Trekking pole holders

See other colors and prices on Moosejaw | Amazon

The ALPS Mountaineering Canyon 20L women’s daypack is best for easy to moderate hikes. If you’re looking for a light pack that offers a fit customized to your body, then the Mountaineering Canyon pack may be a great choice for you, thanks to a mesh suspension system to protect your shoulders. In addition, it has a removable and adjustable waist belt.

The women’s hiking backpack also comes with a built-in rain cover to keep your gear dry on wet days.

 However, this daypack can definitely be improved by adding an elastic band would be nice on the outside to shove in a jacket or something that you want in easy reach. Also, the torso may be too long for petite (5’2″) women

ALPS Mountaineering Chili/Gray, 20 Liters
ALPS Mountaineering Chili/Gray, 20 Liters

What We Do Like:

  • Padded hip belt
  • Nice zippers
  • trekking poles holders
  • lightweight

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not enough compartments
  • Narrow shoulder straps dug into trap muscles

Users of the ALPS Mountaineering Canyon 20L daypack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Very light and good look, could use a front storage pocket. Has awesome hidden pockets.”
  • 4 Stars “Nice pack but not versatile.”
  • 3 Stars “Backaches.”

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Ultralight Day Pack, 20-Liter, Lime

Features:

  • Weight: 2.5 oz
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Zipper closure
  • Bike light attachment points
  • Aluminum carabiner
  • Water-resistant
  • Rain cover sack

See other colors and prices on REI | Sea to Summit |Sea to Summit on Amazon

The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Ultralight 20L women’s daypack is best for easy to moderate hikes. What’s more, it’s great for traveling, too, as the pack weighs only 0.15 lbs and folds down to the size of a tennis ball for easy storage.

This ultra-minimalist daypack has no excess strings, zips, pockets, or anything else that could possibly be removed. The result is a small pack with a single main compartment large enough to hold your essentials and nothing more. Weighing in at only 230 grams (that’s about half a pound), the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack is perfect for those who prefer to leave their heavy backpacks at home.

Keep in mind that a lighter pack comes with fewer features, so if you’re looking for pockets aplenty or long-lasting durability, maybe reconsider the Ultra-Sil Ultralight Day Pack.

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Ultralight Day Pack, 20-Liter, Pacific Blue
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Ultralight Day Pack, 20-Liter, Pacific Blue

What We Do Like:

  • Ultralight
  • No excess strings, zips, pockets, or anything else that could possibly be removed
  • Packs down to a small size

What We Don’t Like:

  • No pockets
  • Straps can be uncomfortable with heavy loads

Users of the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sul Ultralight 20L daypack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Great minimalist choice.”
  • 4 Stars “Good, but always crumpled and very warm.”
  • 3 Stars “A lot smaller and thinner than I expected.”

Osprey Packs Tempest 20 Women's Hiking Backpack, Mystic Magenta, Ws/M,...

Features:

  • Weight 1.84lbs
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Zippered closure
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Hipbelt, shoulder, Shove-it pocket
  • Adjustable torso length
  • Adjustable shoulder, sternum straps and hipbelt ∙
  • Padded mesh back panel for ventilation ∙
  • Trekking pole/ice axe attachment
  • Blinky light holder

See other prices and colors: Osprey Packs | REI | Backcountry | Moosejaw

Who says you can’t have it all? The Osprey Women’s Tempest 20 pack is the perfect panel-loading, day-hiking, biking or peak-bagging carry solution. With a women’s-specific fit, it features a continuous-wrap harness and hipbelt, plus an injection-molded AirScape™ back panel that moves as you move down the trail.

Attachment for trekking poles, an ice axe, a bike helmet and blinky light make this lightweight pack one of the most versatile technical packs ever created. Moreover, it’s made from high-quality bluesign®-approved recycled high-tenacity nylon for durability and environmental responsibility.

Osprey Packs Tempest 20 Women's Hiking Backpack, Mystic Magenta, Ws/M,...
Osprey Packs Tempest 20 Women's Hiking Backpack, Mystic Magenta, Ws/M,...

The Osprey Tempest 20L women’s daypack is best for easy to moderate hikes. Across the board, reviews of the Tempest give the pack 5 stars. Why? Probably thanks to the pack having so many features despite its small size. 

With an adjustable torso to durability and an adjustable shoulder harness, the Osprey Women’s Tempest 20L is one of the best women’s daypacks on the market. 

What We Do Like:

  • Adjustable torso and shoulders for a perfect fit, storage options
  • Women’s specific fit
  • MInimalist

What We Don’t Like:

  • Higher price
  • Poor hydration bladder storage

Users of the Osprey Tempest 20L daypack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Earned an A+ for my 15hr Adventure Race.”
  • 5 Stars “Lightweight for women.”
  • 5 Stars “Perfect daypack for women.”

Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack, Acorn Red/Tunnel Vision Grey, O/S

Features:

  • Weight 1.3lb
  • Capacity 20L
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Mesh water bottle & shove- it pockets
  • Sternum strap
  • Foam ventilation
  • Key clip
  • Attaches to compatible Osprey pack

See more colors and prices: Osprey | Moosejaw | Campmor | Amazon

The Osprey Daylite Plus 20 women’s daypack is best for easy hikes, with a potential loss of comfort over longer hikes thanks to thin straps. The pack is made with recycled materials and can be clipped onto larger packs for extra space for that backpacking woman.

It also has a laptop sleeve, water bottle pockets, and an organizer for small items. The Daylite Plus is best for light loads up to 10 pounds.

What’s more, it’s a comfortable pack for most day hikers thanks to its padded mesh back panel, padded shoulder straps, and sternum strap. However, the straps are thin and tend to dig into the skin.

Daylite Plus also added an elastic sternum strap for better weight distribution. All in all, this pack is best for easy hikes and travel. It’s not meant for overnight trips or backpacking.

What We Do Like:

  •  May be used as a standalone pack or added to a multi-day pack
  • made from sustainable material

What We Don’t Like:

  • Thin straps may cause discomfort over longer hikes, not adjustable for individual fit

Users of the Osprey Daylite Plus 20 daypack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Awesome backpack, better suited for smaller body types.”
  • 5 Stars “The “grab handle” presses uncomfortably into the lower neck/upper back.”
  • 4 Stars “Nice bag but very small.”
Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack, Cosmic Red, One Size
Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack, Dream Purple, One Size
Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack, Tortuga/Dustmoss Green, O/S

MYSTERY RANCH Coulee 25 - Women's Daypack Built-in Hydration Sleeve, Shadow...

Features:

  • Weight 2.64lbs
  • Capacity 25L
  • Zippered Closure
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Shove-it pocket
  • Water bottle pockets
  • Essentials pocket
  • Hip belt pockets
  • Removable hip belt
  • Adjustable torso length
  • Adjustable shoulder straps

See more colors and prices on Mystery Ranch | Moosejaw | Backcountry

The Mystery Ranch Coulee 25L is a women’s large hiking backpack is best for easy to moderate hikes and comes with multiple options for adjustments to achieve a customized fit. To clarify, adjustments can be made to the hip belt, torso length, and shoulder harness.

What’s more, a cool detail of uniqueness to the Coulee, is a three-zipper system that provides access to the pack’s main compartment and a clamshell-style lid. Without a doubt, no more struggling with buckles!

MYSTERY RANCH Coulee 25 - Women's Daypack Built-in Hydration Sleeve, Shadow...
MYSTERY RANCH Coulee 25 - Women's Daypack Built-in Hydration Sleeve, Shadow...

What We Do Like:

  • Easily accessible gear with their Y-ZIP design.
  • Ample compartments- Stay organized with easy access to all your gear.
  • Micro adjusts to your torso length for a more comfortable carry.

What We Don’t Like:

  • On the heavier side for a day pack

Users of the Mystery Ranch Coulee 25L reviews have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “FANTASTIC & MADE FOR FEMALE SIZING ~ LOVE IT.”
  • 4 Stars “It feels smaller than the 25L, but not incredibly so. And you can definitely get stuff into it, just perception wise, maybe due to the sizing, it feels smaller.”
  • 3 Stars ” Hydration bladder NOT included!”

REI Co-Op Trail 25L

REI Co-op Trail 25 large hiking Pack Women's
Frosted Meadow

Features:

  • Weight 1.3lbs
  • Capacity 25L
  • Zippered Closure
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Side mesh pockets
  • Interior pocket for valuables
  • Trekking pole holders
  • Removable rain cover
  • Mesh ventilation
  • Removable waist strap, sternum strap

The REI Co-Op Trail 25 women’s daypack is best for easy to moderate hikes and comes with a removable waist pack. Worried that REI Trail 25 is too small for your hike? The Trail pack has room for all your trail essentials, including gear, food, extra clothes, and water.

We’d like to point out, this hiking pack is made from recycled material and includes a rain fly for rainy day hikes. We do note that some users of the pack find external storage difficult to access. 

If you are a taller lady, then consider the men’s REI Trail 25L due to the the longer 4 inch longer waist belt. It is the only difference between the two packs.

rei hiking backpack
hiking backpack rei

A few things we would change is adding a keyring clip in the outside pocket, as opposed to the inside one. In addition, including a front stuff pocket for quick access to things like bear spray or a front mesh panel would be nice. Also, the pack is bulky and top-heavy, which ends up making the front fold over when you open the main compartment.

What We Do Like:

  • Mesh ventilation, removable waist strap, rain cover, made from sustainable material
  • Whistle and sunglasses loop
  • trekking poles attachment
  • Padded mesh back
  • Well padded shoulder harness
  • included rain cover
  • Gender neutral

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not enough compartments
  • No front mesh panel
  • Zipper at bottom of interior mesh pocket design allows for items to fall through

Users of the REI Co-Op Trail 25L daypack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Comfortable, well-designed, and light.”
  • 4 Stars “Solid, basic backpack.”
  • 3 Stars “Not enough pockets/compartments.”

Image

Fjallraven - Women's Kaipak 38 Backpack, Redwood

Features:

  • Weight 3.5lbs
  • Capacity 38L
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Front zippered, side, hipbelt pockets
  • Trekking pole holder
  • Sternum strap
  • Whistle
  • Rain cover

See prices and colors: CampSaver | Moosejaw | OutlandUSA

The Fjallraven Kaipak 38L women’s daypack is best for long day hikes or single-night backpacking trip. Many reviews emphasize that the pack can also be used for a multi-day trip if you pack light.

But if you overpack a bit, the Kaipak’s side compression straps can eliminate the bulk to provide more stability and balance. And, let’s not forget, the pack comes with a rain cover for damp treks.

What We Do Like:

  • Lightweight,
  • whistle
  • Rain cover included
  • Easily converted to a backpacking pack for light packers
  • Roomy side pockets

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not adjustable for an individual fit
  • no compartment for sleeping gear

Users of the Fjallraven Kaipak 38L daypack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Fantastic fit on female body.”
  • 5 Stars “Best hiking backpack!”
  • 3 Stars “The wearing comfort is not particularly well thought out. Or not cut to every back.”

Multi-Day Packs

Gregory Mountain Products Women's Octal 45 Ultralight Backpack

Features:

  • Weight 2.4lbs
  • Capacity 45L
  • padded shoulder harness
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Pockets: Shove-it, water bottle, side mesh, sunglasses
  • Moisture-wicking ventilated back panel
  • included Rain cover
  • Removable lid
  • Trekking pole holder

See prices and colors: Moosejaw | Outland USA | Amazon

The Gregory Octal 45 women’s backpacking pack is best for weekend backpacking trips. It offers a wealth of storage options with offsetting load management systems for comfort. Users of the Octal cite the pack as a great option for winter hikes, thanks to ample room for snow gear, including an ice ax and trekking poles.

It has a fully featured suspension system and a long list of amenities that make it comfortable enough to carry all day on the trail, while still being light enough to take on an airplane and use as a carry-on bag.

Gregory Mountain Products Women's Octal 45 Ultralight Backpack
Gregory Mountain Products Women's Octal 45 Ultralight Backpack

What We Do Like:

  • Ventilated suspension system keeps you cool on the hottest days.
  • Stowaway rain cover
  • Stretchy side mesh pocket
  • Lightweight
  • Plenty of pockets

What We Don’t Like:

  • Sternum strap has 2 issues: it loosens up when on hikes and moves up or down on the shoulder straps
  • Side pocket strapping system: it’s a great idea but a real P.I.A. since the strap on top of loosens if not fully secured
  • Shoulder harness, though padded, can dig into shoulders if fully loaded

Users of the Gregory Mountain Products Octal 45L pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Lightweight.”
  • 5 Stars “LOVE this pack.”
  • 4 Stars “Wonderful pack except for bunching of fabric in shoulder straps.”

Best Backpacking Backpack for Petite Women

Osprey Kyte 46 Women's Backpacking Backpack, Ice Lake Green , X-Small/...

Features:

  • Weight 3.4lbs
  • Size: 46L
  • Hydration pack (3L) compartment behind adjustable torso.
  • Top compartment is zippered.
  • Hip belt, full length, water bottle pockets
  • Mesh compartment on underside of top lid has a red clip
  • Integrated removable rain cover
  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Ventilated mesh back panel
  • Trekking pole holder

See additional sizes, colors, and prices: Osprey Packs | REI

The Osprey Kyte 46L women’s backpacking pack is best for a weekend backpacking trip.

We love the ability of the Osprey Kyte 46 to handle extra technical gear with ease because of all the features and straps integrated into the pack. It offers a high level of comfort under moderate loads, and it’s still above average in comfort when overloaded. Its 46-liter size means you’ll need to pack small and light.

This pack is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want a durable backpack that can handle any terrain for 3-4 days. The Osprey Kyte 46L, in particular, has many features that make it ideal for a variety of activities. Such as, a fixed top lid, dual tuckaway ice tool attachments, external reservoir sleeve, and zippered sleeping bag compartment. What’s more the backpack also comes with compression straps on the sides and front, as well as a hipbelt pocket for easy access to your belongings.

Osprey Kyte 46 Women's Backpacking Backpack, Ice Lake Green , X-Small/...
Osprey Kyte 46 Women's Backpacking Backpack, Ice Lake Green , X-Small/...

However, if you’re the type of person that needs the features and durability to carry technical gear, but doesn’t want a heavy pack weight, or you’ve got a light-and-fast backpacking setup, look no further than the Kyte.

What We Do Like:

  • Adjustable for an individual fit
  • sleeping bag compartment
  • rain cover, ventilated
  • Weight feels evenly balanced on hips, with very little pulling on shoulders.
  • No break-in period needed
  • Straps are very easy to tighten. Clasps snap into place without effort.
  • Seams and zippers well-sewn.

What We Don’t Like:

  • No removable pieces for customization and weight distribution
  • A bit of the heavy side

Users of the Osprey Kyte 46L reviews of the pack have the following to say about their experience:

  • 5 Stars “5’1 female- fits perfectly.”
  • 4 Stars “Overall the quality was fine, it was really just that more space was needed.”
  • 3 Stars “Great pack, poor rain cover.”

hiking backpack osprey

Features:

  • Weight: 2.45lbs
  • Capacity 48L
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Dual Side mesh pockets
  • Shove-it pocket
  • Removable daypack
  • Removable sleeping pad straps
  • Trekking pole holder
  • Sternum strap wit safety whistle

See more prices and colors on Osprey Packs | Amazon | Backcountry | AppOutdoors

The Osprey Eja 48 women’s backpacking pack is best for weekend backpacking trips. A top seller, the Eja pack’s back panel protects your back from gear digging into pressure points, while also providing options to adjust the torso for further comfort. A further bonus? The pack is partially made from recycled fabrics.

The Eja 48 Osprey does not have hip belt pockets and is heavier than other hiker bags of similar capacity. It’s designed for a day hike or a multi-day trek, with features like AirSpeed™ suspended mesh backpanel that keeps the pack off your back, so you won’t be too sweaty on warm hikes.

Osprey Eja 48
Osprey Backpacking Backpack for women

In order to utilize every square centimeter of space, it’s necessary to get creative because of how the shape of the bag attaches to the frame. However, don’t try to fill every nook and cranny of your pack since the extra weight can dig into your shoulders.

What We Do Like:

  • Whistle
  • Well thought out pockets
  • removable day pack, and sleeping pad straps
  • Fits petite women nicely

What We Don’t Like:

  • Could use more loops on outside
  • Narrow width: its tricky to pack sleeping gear
  • Shoulder harness caused excess pressure on collar bones

Users of the Osprey Eja 48L pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Very comfortable fit for women hiking.”
  • 5 Stars “Must get your torso measured as the packs aren’t adjustable.”
  • 4 Stars “Tricky to pack, comfortable load to carry”

N NEVO RHINO Internal Frame Hiking Backpack 40/50/60/65/80L, Mountain...

Features:

  • Weight 3lbs
  • Capacity 50L
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Internal frame
  • Water bottle, hip belt pockets
  • Adjustable shoulder and sternum straps
  • Isplit dual wishbone waist pad with ndependent top and bottom hip adjustments
  • Mesh ventilation 
  • Waterproof cover
  • Whistle

The N Neveo Rhino 50L women’s backpacking pack is best for weekend backpacking trips, up to four days. If you have 17 inch torso, then this may be the right fit for you, but not for those who are longer or shorter. Often considered comparable to higher-cost choices, though admittedly missing some bells and whistles.

To my surprise, this product surpassed my expectations. The back support function is a nice bonus. Every part of this bag is well-designed and functions efficiently… there is no wasted space in any part of this bag. The material is water-resistant, but the waterproof packable cover is included (It also takes up little space or no space at all). I’ve never heard of this brand before, but it appears to be of the same quality as well-known brands for a fraction of the price.

N NEVO RHINO Internal Frame Hiking Backpack 40/50/60/65/80L, Mountain...
N NEVO RHINO Internal Frame Hiking Backpack 40/50/60/65/80L, Mountain...

With its suspension system and padded hip belt, the Rhino 45 distributes weight evenly and prevents strain on your body. Indeed, these features make it great for long hikes or a weekend backpacking trip. And with its many compartments and pockets, you can store everything from food to cooking supplies.

If you are on a budget or want to get started backpacking and want an affordable pack, then N Nevo Rhino is a good backpacking backpack on the market.

What We Do Like:

  • Budget friendly and starter pack
  • safety whistle, ventilation
  • Back support is adjustable
  • Lightweight
  • Generous sleeping bag compartment
  • Lower compartment can be unzipped on the inside to allow it to connect to the main compartment
  • Roomy large waist strap
  • Detachable floating lid

What We Don’t Like:

  • Adjustments are limited
  • Poor seam stitching

Users of the N Neveo Rhino 50L pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Super durable.”
  • 5 Stars “Affordable and reliable.”
  • 4 Stars “The price is really the best part because it’s comparable to much more expensive backpacks.”

Osprey Women's Renn 50 Backpack, Cinder Grey, One Size

Features:

  • Weight 3.31lbs
  • Capacity 50L
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Hip belt & dual Mesh side pockets
  • 3-D Mesh LiteWire Back panel
  • Integrated Rain cover
  • Intuitive torso adjustment system
  • Sleeping bag compartment 
  • Removable sleeping pad straps

See more prices and colors on Osprey | Backcountry | Amazon

The Osprey Packs Renn 50L women’s backpacking pack is best for weekend backpacking trips. Although the Renn sports a minimalist aesthetic, its features are many, including a LiteWire Mesh frame that transfers weight from your shoulders to your hips and a built-in rain cover. Damp sleeping bag? Not today!

When it comes to women’s-specific sizing and fit, Osprey provides the AirSpeed rear panel with an intuitive torso adjustment system. Also, the top lid has a zippered pocket, and the Daylite is compatible with the front panel cord loop attachment points.

You’ll find dual upper and lower side compression straps, a zippered sleeping bag compartment with a floating divider, removable sleeping pad straps, dual mesh side pockets, zippered hipbelt pockets, and an integrated removable raincover.

The bag in basically one compartment, though it has a removable flap at the bottom for the sleeping bag compartment. Still, the flap is too small to remove a sleeping bag and you’ll need to remove all items in teh pack to access it.

Osprey Women's Renn 50 Backpack, Cinder Grey, One Size
Osprey Women's Renn 50 Backpack, Cinder Grey, One Size

The straps are fully adjustable and tiny person such as myself, weighing 103 pounds and standing 5’2″, was able to adjust the torso to its smallest and the hip straps to their tightest in order to fit properly. What’s more, I was able to fit a heavy duty sleeping bag, snacks, and dry socks into the unused spaces in my pack using the floating divisor.

If you want to attach gear such as ice axe, crampons, and helmet, then purchase some elastic shock cords and cord locks to hold down the panel cord loops.

Obviously, nothing is perfect and there are a few complaints. For starters, the mesh on shoulder straps are scratchy as well as spaced too close. It is difficult to access as well as opening the brain of the pack from all angles when it is on the ground. Also, It would also be nice if it could be detached.

What We Do Like:

  • Mesh back panel sits off away from your back
  • Sleeping bag compartment as well as removable sleeping pad straps
  • Two ways to pull out water bottle
  • Torso adjustment straps
  • Pack compression strap located on top inside

What We Don’t Like:

  • Side pockets aren’t secured all the way around, so items might easily fall out.
  • Not enough access from different angles when the pack is on the ground.
  • Not enough pockets

Users of the Osprey Packs Renn 50L pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Great back pack. So much support and breathable!”
  • 4 Stars “Super sturdy bag, almost too sturdy! This bag definitely needs breaking in before use or things will be really tight.”
  • 1 Star “I’m very disappointed in the overall fit and material of the Renn 50. Even on the largest torso length the hip belt doesn’t reach my hips.”

DEUTER Unisex – Adult's Aircontact Lite 50+10 Trekking Backpack,...

Features:

  • Price $200
  • Weight 3.86lbs
  • Volume 60L
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L (water hose pocket on the right side only)
  • Sternum strap
  • Hip belt pockets
  • Trekking pole holder
  • Ventilated back
  • Adjustable torso length
  • Removable daypack
  • Whistle
  • Separate compartment for sleeping gear

See more colors and sizes on Amazon | EMS

The Deuter Aircontact Lite 50+10 women’s backpacking pack is best for backpacking trips up to a week-long, though it’s easily adapted for use on easy to strenuous hikes. The pack’s fame comes from its Backsystem, which provides a weight-distributed fit to minimize shoulder and back strain, and a ventilated back panel for airflow.

Firstly, you will like the weight of the pack being transferred to the hipbelt. Additionally, you can fine-tune the fit using the adjustable fit system by making small adjustments until the pack felt absolutely perfect. Whether you use it backpacking in the desert or wilderness, the Deuer Aircontact Lite 50 is more comfortable than other packs, even with an extra 13 pounds of water.

Secondly, the +10L system is brilliant. The bag can be tightened to accommodate either a 50L or 60L load by pulling on two different cords at the top of the bag (under the lid). It was simple to decrease the size of the pack after eating some backpacking meals, thus you can adjust the size of the pack to the new volume.

DEUTER Unisex – Adult's Aircontact Lite 50+10 Trekking Backpack,...
DEUTER Unisex – Adult's Aircontact Lite 50+10 Trekking Backpack,...

Since the Deuter Aircontact 50 is much taller and thinner than most packs, you’ll need to walk around for a while, to get use to the weight being a little more vertical.

Need more space? The “+10” of the Airontact Lite refers to a top lid that extends to make room for an additional 10L of space. Heads up that the pack does not come with a rain cover.

What’s to Like:

  • Safety whistle
  • sleeping gear compartment
  • removable daypack
  • Slanted hip wings
  • ventilated 

What We Don’t Like:

  • Only has a water hose loop on the right side.
  • No rain cover- must purchase separately
  • No full-length zipper on the side for easy access

Users of the Deuter Aircontact Lite 50+10 backpack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Very comfortable, breathable, backpack.”
  • 5 Stars “This is a great backpack — the extra 10 liters you can add on the top (space that expands) is fantastic. Makes it so you can have a larger bag when you need it, but not always have a massive pack when you don’t need as much room.”
  • 4 Stars “There [is] no water hose loop on the right side, only on the left shoulder strap? Now I need to tape my tube there or add a noise producing clip, nicht happy.

Most Customizable Backpacking Backpack

REI Co-Op Flash 55 Pack

REI Co-Op Flash 55 Backpacking Pack for women

Features:

  • Weight 2.6lbs
  • Capacity 55LF
  • Roll-top closure
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Removable shoulder and hip belt pockets
  • Side Water bottle pockets
  • Shove-it pocket
  • Watershield lining
  • Ventilated back
  • Removable daypack
  • Trekking pole holder
  • Packmod pockets on the shoulder straps and hipbelt
  •  Packmod compression straps 

The REI Co-Op Flash 55 is a women’s backpacking pack best for trips up to a week long. This REI FLash 55 pack is customizable, with compression straps for adjusting the shape of the bag to your needs. It also includes removable features that can reduce the weight of the pack by 7 oz.

Worried about rainy days leaving you with soggy clothes and snacks?  The pack also has a waterproof top lid to keep all your gear and goodies dry, plus a rain shield chest pocket.

The daisy chain loops on the outside of the bag are great for hanging your trekking poles, as well as, the ability move the compression straps around to compress whatever you want. My tent poles in the outside pouch needed a bit more compression near the top of the bag to prevent them from flopping around, so I moved one of the compression straps up to accomplish that.

REI Co-Op Womens Flash 55 Pack
REI Flash 55 Pack

If you’re 5’9″ with a torso 17 inches long and 150lbs, then a small size will fit perfect since the hip belt may sit right on top of your hips. Also, the belt curves over the hip bones to hug them, which means they can help support the weight of your pack. The shoulder straps are just the right amount of cushion.

All in all, the REI Co-Op Flash 55L is excellent for all body types from pear shaped, hourclass, straight or curvy. DO NOT remove the metal frame, even though REI’s cleaning guide says its possible. You won’t be able to get it back in.

What We Do Like:

  • Best drink bottles pockets
  • Removeable daypack
  • Ultralight
  • Comfortable shoulder straps
  • compression straps
  • Stretchy back pocket to for easy storage of layers
  • ventilated
  • Removable pockets if you don’t need them
  • Easy to reach pockets
  • Turn the backpack brain into a fanny pack

What We Don’t Like:

  • Roll top may not stay snugly shut
  • Older models fabric would tear easily.
  • Hip belt slips- needs frequent adjusting

Users of the REI Co-Op Flash 55L pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Stil in great shape after three years of regular use.”
  • 5 Stars “Love where the hip belt sits (actually on top of my hips) and the belt has a cutout in the foam to allow it to curve over the hip bones to actually hug them. The shoulder straps are padded but not overly so. “
  • 4 Stars “Don’t get if your ribs are close to your hips.”

REI Co-Op Traverse 60 Pack

REI Traverse 60 Pack

Features:

  • Weight 4lbs 3oz
  • Capacity 60L
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Shove-it pocket
  • Water bottle pockets
  • Hipbelt pockets (1 mesh, 1 ripstop)
  • Adjustable torso length
  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Removable daypack
  • Packmod compression straps
  • Trekking pole holders
  • Raincover

The REI Co-Op Traverse 60L women’s backpacking pack has all the features you want for any length of backpacking trip — including thru-hikes. The Traverse is specially designed for comfort, with a curved back panel that balances the pack’s load against a woman’s center of gravity, further aided by the padded hip belt.

It is great that REI has finally acknowledged that short, curvaceous women hike too. The xs torso and medium hip belt alternative is wonderful.

There are numerous compression straps to hold extra gear as well as gear/daisy loops. While the the top of the pack is large, easy to open and cinch shut, you can access the sleeping bag area or from the bottom. There is a rain cover compartment on the lower right side that can hold a few smaller items.

The REI Traverse 60 has a lid that detaches to become a small daypack which you can store valuables in it at night and shove it down the bottom of your sleeping bag. Also, the slightly angled water bottle pockets are extremely simple to reach, allowing you to take your Naglene water bottles .

If you prefer to use several types of hydration systems, then there is a snap to take up the extra space for skinnier bottles and small hook to hang a water bladder. Additionally, there is a big, open pocket next to each water bottle pocket which provides fast access.

REI Traverse 60 Hiking Pack Women
REI Women Traverse 60 Hiking back Pack

On the negative side, the shoulder straps are a bit too short if you are busty and will land around your armpits, a typical issue for large-busted ladies. Although the hip belt is wider, after a while, it begins to dig in to the hips. It will probably become more comfortable as the padding breaks down a little, but you should try this pack on in a store if you can to see if it is a good fit for you.

Despite this drawback, this pack is well designed and the rain cover is awesome! It has an elastic velcro strap on the top to keep it in place, as well as elastic loops for your hip belt to slip through, which helps keep it in place.

The best part? The pack is made with recycled materials, so you can enjoy and protect nature at the same time.

What We Do Like:

  • Removable daypack
  • angled water bottle pockets 
  • compression straps
  • sleeping bag compartment
  • great for short curvy women

What We Don’t Like:

  • Elimination of lumbar pad creates extra drag onto shoulders
  • Hip belt doesn’t fold easily for air travel

Users of the REI Co-Op Traverse 60L pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Everything you want and nothing you don’t.”
  • 5 Stars “Thru-hiked the AT with this pack!”
  • 3 Stars “Carried very heavy.”

Osprey Women's Lumina 60 Ultralight Backpack, Cyan Silver, Small

Features:

  • Weight 1.8lbs
  • Capacity 60L 
  • Hydration sleeve storage, up to 3L
  • Fabric side pockets for water bottles
  • Internal main compartment compression strap
  • Zippered top pocket
  • Shove-it pocket
  • Mesh ventilation
  • Daisy chain for extra gear
  • Sternum strap has integrated safety whistle

See more prices and colors on Osprey | REI | Backcountry

The Osprey Ultralight Lumina 60L women’s backpacking pack is best for weekend backpacking trips. An ultralight pack without the bells and whistles of a more robust backpacking bag.

The zipper cover on the main flap’s top pocket ensures that water won’t leak out (a nice touch). You can store your raincoat, wet or dry, in the large outer pouch, as well as two side pockets measuring over a foot deep (to hold a Nalgene bottle or other stuff).

Also, you can store stuff in the small inner pocket, but it is essentially one big compartment. The 3D mesh backpanel is firm and will keep sweating to a minimum and off the pack. The belt is lightly padded. It’s designed to keep water bladders in place.

Osprey Women's Lumina 60 Ultralight Backpack, Cyan Silver, Small
Osprey Women's Lumina 60 Ultralight Backpack, Cyan Silver, Small

While this pack doesn’t have many bells and whistles, it undoubtedly makes this pack lightweight, due to its simplicity and thin material.

The thinness of the material, while nice, is a drawback. If you are going on a thru-hike or alone for one to two weeks, a tear in the material could occur when brushing against a boulder or from a squirrel looking for trail mix. With this in mind , bring a repair kit. garbage bag, as well as some duct tape.

What We Do Like:

  • Ultralight, ventilated 

What We Don’t Like:

  • No compartment for sleeping gear
  • No hip belt pockets
  • Very thin material

Users of the Osprey Ultralight Lumina 60L pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Lightweight, attractive and sturdy!”
  • 5 Stars “This really is a very lightweight backpack — I was surprised at how light it felt even when stuffed full of my stuff.”
  • 4 Stars “Ultralight = no bells and whistles, and the fabric is VERY thin…”

Most Minimal Backpacking Backpack

Hyperlite 3400 Junction

Features:

  • Weight: 2.0lbs
  • Capacity: 55L
  • Daisy chains on shoulder straps
  • Top Y-strap compression 
  • Loops for ice axes and grab loop
  • Large External pockets
  • Top rolls down to make pack more compact
  • Rain resistant
  • Four exterior triglide buckles
  • Roll top closure

See more prices and sizes on Hyperlite | Backcountry

This pack is incredible. It holds everything in a compact manner and makes a fantastic place to rest your head when the trail is a little longer than you had imagined. It’s easy on your shoulders; sufficiently lengthy to make the most of your spinal column.

Mesh, material, and the hiking backpack waterproof capabilities are all superb. Also, the hip pockets are large enough for items, even a smartphone! It’s a comfortable pack despite it’s minimal framing. If you’re adventure racing, then the rolltop of the 3400 makes it suitable for short 12hr races to multiday expeditions, with the capacity to carry all the gear needed.

Hyperlite 3400 JUNCTION TRAIL PACK
Hyperlite 3400 Junction Hiking trail Backpack

The pockets are especially good for storing a lot of things. In spite of the Hyperlite 340 Junction’s design simplicity, its easy to organize gear because of its main inner compartment and two exterior mesh pockets.

However, the front mesh is not as durable and becomes fuzzy after normal rubbing. This 3400 Junction pack could be improved by using all-Dyneema pockets rather mesh in the front.

What We Do Like:

  • Adaptable to differences in gear capacity
  • Lightweight
  • Large center mesh pocket on the back is incredibly versatile 
  • Durable and rugged
  • Thicker bottom
  • Virtually waterproof
  • Form-fitting
  • Minimalist design makes the pack feel more like a part of you.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Sternum strap could be tighter

Users of the Hyperlite 3400 Juntion pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “The One! The ability to expand/compress the pack based on what’s being carried is a huge plus”
  • 5 Stars “I am so impressed with this backpack it far exceeded my expectations.”
  • 4 Stars “Love the simplicity of this pack. Overall seems very durable, even when abraded against sandstone and foliage.”

The North Face Terra 55 Pack

North Face Terra 55 Best women's hiking backpack

Features:

  • Weight: 3 lbs 9 oz
  • Capacity: 55L
  • Women-specific shoulder straps and torso length
  • Breathable mesh back panel to date
  • Full J-zip gives fast access to the main compartment
  • Large front stash pocket
  • Floating lid – to store sleeping bag or tent
  • Molded hipbelt provides support and comfort
  • Hydration sleeve
  • Sternum strap with whistle buckle

The North Face Terra 55 is a versatile women’s pack that can handle just about anything. It also has ample storage options, so you can bring along all your gear without worrying about running out of space.

The bottom of the bag is divided into two compartments, with a divider separating the wet stuff from the dry stuff. The top of the bag has lash points for a sleeping bag or pad while the bottom has adjustable straps for a tent or pad.

However, since this pack has a large main compartment, you likely don’t need to attach anything to the outside. The hip pockets are large, but they aren’t waterproof because they are made of mesh. Also, the front pocket lacks a zipper.

What has changed is the molded hip belt, which is less substantial, compared to the older Terra 55 designs. Another change is that the frame is not adjustable, which may have been an issue for some people with the old ones.

The suspension system on this pack provides excellent comfort and support while hiking since shoulder straps are designed to keep you upright while walking. Coupled with the stretchy mesh backpanel, air flows freely over your back, keeping you sweat-free. Also, the women-specific fit harness straps are also very comfortable, thanks to the thick padding construction.

The backpack also has a built-in rain cover, so you can keep your gear dry even when the weather takes a turn for the worse. One of the features we love is the side zip opening, unquestionably, no other pack comes close to the efficiency and easy access convenience these packs provide.

There are several key features that make the Terra 55 backpack such a great choice for women:

What We Do Like:

  • Super stylish and comfortable
  • Large hip pockets
  • Sturdy
  • Great compartments
  • Lightweight
  • Build in spot for hydration

What We Don’t Like:

  • Waist straps may be too large on petite frames
  • 3L Water Bladder won’t fit
  • Top cover should be removable

If you are looking for a hiking backpack that is comfortable and has plenty of room for all of your gear, then the North Face Terra 55 is a great option.


Osprey Packs Pack Aura Ag 65 Backpack, Challenger Blue, Small

Features:

  • Weight 4.5lbs
  • Capacity 65L
  • Zippered access
  • Hydration reservoir up to 3L
  • Shove-it pocket
  • Hip belt pockets
  • Sternum strap
  • Trekking pole holder
  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Waterproof rain cover included
  • Mesh ventilation
  • Anti-gravity suspension to ease the weight of the backpack
  • Adjustable hip belt
  • Removable floating top lid

The Osprey Aura AG 65L women’s backpacking pack is best for backpacking trips up to a week long. A very popular bag (we guarantee you’ve seen it on the trails before), the Aura features an AntiGravity suspension system designed to make the pack’s load feather-light. In addition, the backpack has a removable top lid, allowing users to lighten the weight of the pack for shorter trips.

The pack fit was good, keeping the weight close to my body while giving me ventilation because the AntiGravity suspension lifts the Aura AG 65 away from the back. Therefore, allowing airflow which reduces back sweat issues.

Although there is no top compartment that converts into a day pack, as on other Osprey packs, this does have a bottom divider to help force organization. Equally, the outside zip pockets on the back made getting the GPS navigation and feminine items easy.

The AG construction of this pack makes it excellent for long hikes. It is possible to load up to 55 pounds without any problems. I’ve yet to discover a day pack as comfortable as this one, even when comparing other AG Osprey backpacks. If you like to do serious hiking, climbing, and other outdoor activities, then this bag would be a superb choice. Since it naturally balances its weight, it can be strapped to a kayak without tipping over.

What We Do Like:

  • Easy to adjust
  • Good suspension
  • Easy To Load
  • Large Capacity
  • removable lid
  • sleeping gear compartment

What We Don’t Like:

  • The brain comes off
  • Squeaks when on hikes
  • no integrated pack cover
  • Hipbelt pockets are difficult to zip when the pack is on

Users of the Osprey Aura AG 65L pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Carries all the weight comfortably on your hips.”
  • 4 Stars “The suspension really does its job of evenly distributing weight while keeping your back cool [with] the majority of the weight on your hips.”
  • 3 Star “It’s probably not intended for a curvy body like mine.”

Mystery Ranch Glacier Pack

MYSTERY RANCH Glacier Hiking Pack for Women

Features:

  • Weight: 5lbs 9.6oz
  • Capacity: 70 liters
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment
  • Removable daypack
  • Reservoir compatible
  • 4 stays
  • Pack access: Top/side
  • Adjustable torso length

The pack weighs about 6 pounds, 6 ounces when dry. It’s both water-resistant and virtually bulletproof, given that Mystery Ranch builds packs for the military and emergency medical personnel.

However, it’s not light. It can carry everything. In addition to a dedicated sleeping bag compartment with internal compression straps, there are external straps that hold everything. Additionally, it has daisy chain to hang external pockets to stash snack bottles, satellite messenger, and GPS. It’s strong enough to even haul a four-season tent.

There are also two water bottle pockets on the exterior. The nylon webbed compression straps on the sides of the pack mean you can either attach a foldable sleeping pad or backpacking shovel or tighten the bag to shrink the volume of the bag.

Also, the hip belt is particularly cushioned! You’ll love this pack, but if you’re a tough sale customer, you will need to try it out first. It may be used in any environment since every bell and whistle is built in. It can even stand on its own! If you are headed into rainy weather, you’ll need to purchase a raincover since the bag is water resistant, not waterproof.

What We Do Like:

  • Quality construction
  • Thick padding on hip belt
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Convert backpack brain into hip pack

What We Don’t Like:

  • Weight
  • Cost

Ariel Plus 70 Womens Back packing Pack

Features:

  • Weight: 5.8lbs
  • Capacity: 70L
  • Water bladder reservoir: up to 3L
  • Hip belt pockets
  • Zippered closure
  • Mesh water bottle side pockets
  • Removable daypack
  • Adjustable torso length
  • Sternum strap
  • Compartment for sleeping bag
  • Trekking pole holder
  • Rain cover

The Osprey Ariel Plus 70 women’s backpacking pack is best for multi-day backpacking trips up to a week or longer. Out of all the large hiking backpacks, this is Osprey’s best backpacking backpacks: the Ariel 70. It’s is a sturdy pack, built to help you both maintain stability and comfort on long treks with heavy loads. And if top-loading bags aren’t your style, the Ariel Plus 70 offers side zipper access so you can grab a snack or a jacket with little hassle. 

To begin, this pack is made from high-strength nylon material and stitching (for example, substantial YKK zippers with corded pulls). Ensure you get a sleeping bag that is very compressible because the lower compartment is smaller than it appears and has a frame encroaching on it.

In comparison, the Ariel 65 is a little lighter, slightly smaller, and a better value for the money. The extras included in Ariel Plus 70 are unnecessary and bulky, and the day-lid would be better for multi day backpacking trips. For example, the day lid is removable and can be used as a daypack for hiking. However, I envision getting bored with unpacking, converting the lid, repacking, and repeating the entire process.

What We Do Like:

  • Get the right fit in seconds
  • Good suspension
  • Included rain cover
  • Removable backpack brain to use as hiking daypack
  • Pack weight evenly distributed
  • Zipper access to items in main compartment

What We Don’t Like:

  • Compression sack cuts across the side pockets

Users of the Osprey Ariel Plus 70 pack have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “The Best of the Best when your life is on the line!”
  • 5 Stars “Super durable material, the construction is very sturdy as well.”
  • 4 Stars “Lots of bells and whistles/compression strap cuts across side pockets.”

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Gregory Mountain Products Women's Deva 70 Backpacking Pack

Features:

  • Weight 5.22lbs
  • Capacity 70L
  • 3 adjustable torso sizes 
  • 3 adjustable torso sizes 
  • Auto-rotating, dual-density shoulder harness
  • Sunglasses, Water bottle, Mesh side, hipbelt pockets
  • Mesh ventilation
  • Wishbone internal frame for stabilization
  • Removable daypack
  • Rain cover
  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Solar panel attachment point
  •  Internal hydration sleeve with SpeedClip 
  • Floating top pocket has a large zippered compartment

The Gregory Mountain Products Deva 70L women’s backpacking pack is best for trips up to a week or longer and has a unique feature: solar panel attachment points. The Gregory Deva also has a removable daypack for short hikes while camping, a plethora of pockets, a TON of capacity, and all the fixings for comfort, including padded shoulder straps and a suspension system to protect your back and shoulders.

This pack takes the burden off your shoulders, whether you’re hiking the Presidential Traverse or trekking the Uinta Highline Trail. Overall, these trail backpacks were excellent! It was still comfortable, even when carrying 35 lbs. Everything fit properly, including large backpacking bear canister.

If you are one of those who try to be an ultralight backpacker, but end up packing a lot of clothes and carrying all hiking equipment, from tent to hammock to book. I strongly endorse this pack. If you’re torn between the Kalmia 60 and this one, then go with Gregory Deva 70.

What We Do Like:

  • Side pocket fits a 32oz water bottle without having to take the pack off
  • sleeping gear compartments
  • U-shaped front zipper opens up the entire inside of the bag instead of having to top-load
  • sturdy back support
  • Large hip pockets: stores phone AND snacks

What We Don’t Like:

  • Heavy
  • Add external daisy chains for carabiners to attach stuff
  • Add an integrated daypack as the pack’s brain
  • Add better colors for women

Users of the Gregory Mountain Products Deva 70L have the following to say about their experience with the pack:

  • 5 Stars “Comfortable and sturdy.”
  • 5 Stars “Sturdy, comfortable, and reliable.”
  • 5 Stars “It fit well on my shoulders and back and things are very easy to access because of the front opening.”

Why You Need a Hiking Backpack for Women

All bodies are different, and that’s especially true when comparing male and female body types. For example, women typically have proportionately wider hips than men, but men usually have wider shoulders relative to the rest of their bodies.

And given that good hiking backpacks are worn so close to the body, it’s no surprise that differences in the size and shape of the wearer require weight distribution.

In other words, although the difference between hiking backpacks for men and women may appear merely aesthetic, this is not the case. A hiking backpack for women features specific structural elements designed for pear shape, hourglass, or curvy bodies.

Also, certain design features allow for carrying heavier loads.

These include

  • Hip belts
  • Shoulder straps
  • Torso sizes

Let’s dive into each.

Hip Belts

Woman adjust small hiking backpack

A woman’s hips typically have a greater ability to bear more weight because she has narrower shoulders, while the opposite is generally true for men. To account for this difference, a hiking backpack for women is structured to distribute more weight on their hips than their shoulders.

Likewise, women generally have smaller hips than men, so the straps on the waist belt of a hiking backpack for women are thinner than on men’s backpacks. They also have more padding to prevent the thinner straps from causing discomfort, as a result, provide strong and comfortable suspension.

Shoulder Straps

A woman’s body usually has a narrower chest and smaller shoulders than her male counterparts. To account for this difference, hiking backpacks for women have back and shoulder straps positioned closer together than in men’s or unisex hikers back packs. Straps that fit properly help prevent both discomfort and chafing.

Similarly, both the padded straps on hiking backpacks for women are curved in the shape of an “S” to accommodate her bust, while men’s and unisex packs are fitted in more of a “J” shape. All of these design details make a more comfortable pack.

Torso Length

Since women tend to be smaller than men, a woman’s torso also tends to be shorter than the average man’s torso.

Accordingly, to ensure a pack doesn’t rub against the wearer’s neck or head or fall below the hips in such a way that inhibits range of motion. Measure your torso to determine which hiking backpacks for women are the right length and height. There are long torsos, shorter torsos, and average length.

To illustrate, if two women are the same height, the one with a shorter torso will have longer legs and her waist will sit higher and closer to her chest. While a woman with a longer torso will have shorter legs and her waist will be further from her chest.

How To Choose a Hiking Backpack

Just as not every hiking backpack is made for any Womens’ body type. As a result, most packs will have varying suspension systems, and organization elements, based on activity. A shorter hike means you’ll carry lighter loads, but a thru-hike means you’ll be looking at ultralight packs so you can handle the heavy loads.

The features of an ultralight daypack, for example, are different than what you would want in a multi day backpack designed for long trips and camping.

To point out, safety, comfort, and easy access to necessities are top priority. Undoubtedly, it’s important to pick a pack that suits your needs and body type. When shopping for a hiking backpack for women, make sure the pack has the features you want and need.

Parts of a backpack- Anatomy of a pack
  • Cost
  • Capacity
  • Fit
  • Design
    • Floating Lid, sometimes the Backpack Brain
    • Shovel Pockets, aka Shove-It Pckets
    • Ventilation
    • Hip belt and Gear Loops
    • Back, sternum and Shoulder straps
    • Daisy Chain Loops and Tie out Loops
    • Compartments for water reservoir
    • Water resistant Material
    • Compression straps
    • Rear Sleeping pad straps
    • Trekking Pole Holders
    • Frame
    • Mesh Backpanel
    • Padding

We’ll get into the details of each in the following sections.

Note: If you’re a beginner hiker and not yet ready to commit to a pack, then why not rent a pack before buying? REI Rentals and Arrive Outdoors are two hiking outfitters that provide this opportunity. Take a backpack for a test drive!

Price

Like most sports equipment, backpacking backpacks for women can be expensive. Hiking daypacks cost around $100, and backpacking packs can cost as much as $400.

If you hike often or tend toward longer treks, then a higher-priced backpack may make sense from a comfort and durability perspective. What’s more, some companies, such as Osprey, provide lifetime warranties on their hiking backpacks, helping to ensure the packs last for years to come.

On the other hand, if you prefer occasional, short day-trip hikes, you probably won’t need to invest in a state-of-the-art pack.

The good news is that once you evaluate your needs and researching your options, you’ll find a quality backpack that suits your hiking style and your budget.

Capacity Size

As you’d expect, the volume of odds and ends you carry on a hike depends on the length of the journey. For this reason, you’ll find hiking backpacks for women available in many styles and capacities, from 10 liters (good for short hikes and walking around the city) to over 60 liters (good for overnight and multi-day trips).

Consider the following as a rule of thumb for determining what size hiking backpack to purchase:

  • Easy Day Hikes (10 to 20 liters) This hiking backpack is meant for lighter loads, with space for light clothing, snacks, and a standard first aid kit. Choose a hiker backpack wia th water bladder so you can ditch the bulky water bottle.
  • Moderate Day Hikes (20 to 30 liters) In this size backpack, you’ll indeed, have enough space for lightweight gear, extra women hiking clothing, snacks, first aid supplies, a hydration bladder, and a blanket. Many also have straps for a sleeping bag if you’re considering an overnight stay. 
  • Strenuous Day Hikes (30 to 40 liters) This backpack has room for light clothing, one or two meals, first aid kit for hiking, a large hydration bladder, a backpack quilt, and a separate sleeping bag compartment any extra gear needed for more challenging hikes, such as spikes.
  • Multi-Day Packs (40 to 65 liters) You can pack a lot in one of these backpacking backpacks. To point out, you’ll have plenty of room for multiple layers and changes of clothing, four to five days’ worth of freeze dried meals for backpacking, a light weight tent, a large hydration bladder, compact sleeping bag, bear canister, collapsible hiking poles, and camping sleeping pad.

Of course, there are larger sized options, but these can be cumbersome. Also, the more you pack, the more you will carry heavy loads. If possible, give a few backpacks a test run, before purchasing. 

How Should a Backpack Fit?

parts of a backpacking pack

An incorrect fit may lead to discomfort and consequently wasted money on a pack.

For the most comfortable pack, keep these general rules on backpack fitting:

  • The top of the hip belt should settle just above your hips.
  • Look out for a gap between your shoulders and the shoulder straps. This could indicate that the torso length of the pack is too long for your frame.
  • With the hip belt snugged up, get a feel for the shoulder straps. If they feel heavy compared to the weight on your hips and legs, the torso may be too short.

Tip: If you’re buying a hiking backpack for women online, then measure the length of your torso (from hipbone to collarbone) and compare the results against the length listed in the product’s specifications.

Design

Once you know your budget and capacity you need for your hikes, it’s time to consider the design elements you’d like to see in a women’s pack. Look for multiple access points, breathable mesh back panel, and easy to use closure system.

Certainly, prioritize the functional features you’ll use the most.

Besides the main compartment of the bag, organizational features often seen in other packs for women include the following sections:

Storage Space

From your phone, backpacking jacket, small two person tent, to carbon fiber bear canisters, you’ll probably want easy access to certain items while hiking. On the other hand, you might want some things kept separate from everything else, such as food and sanitary wipes. If that’s the case, then you’ll want a bag with ample pockets.

Exterior pockets on hiking backpacks for women come in multiple formats, such as:

Mesh exterior and water bottle pockets:

  • Shovel (or “shove it” pockets) are in the front of the pack, great stuffing gear like crampons or solar charging panels.

Hip belt pockets:

  • Great for keeping your sanitary items when you are camping on your period. Also great for stuffing snacks, compass, and phone, so the are easy to grab and away from the rest of your gear

Shoulder strap pockets:

For quick access to your camera, lip balm, and endurance gels. Some shoulder straps even include an attached carabiner (or coupling link) to keep your keys safe

If the pack you select doesn’t have all the pockets you’d like, then you might be able to buy the pockets separately for a customized design.

Ventilation

Hiking can mean perspiration, even on cool days. To avoid chafing and general discomfort, look for a hiking backpack with a mesh panel that provides ventilation between both your back and the pack. 

For total dryness — or as dry as possible if you’re hiking up a mountain on a hot day — go for a backpack with a full-length breathable mesh ventilation system. Without ad doubt, a dry shirt may be worth the extra expense and weight.

Hip belts

A hip belt or waist belt is a key feature of hiking backpacks for women. The belt will keep your shoulders from becoming tired and sore, because it shifts the weight to your hips. they’re definitely a “must-have” feature for carrying comfort.

Shoulder straps

For longer hikes or days when you’re wearing a tank top, both the shoulder straps should be padded and comfortable and are non-negotiable. Look for straps that have an “S” shape. This style will position your pack properly on your shoulders, but the benefit is that they won’t pinch or put pressure on your chest.

Hydration Compatibility Compartments

It doesn’t matter if the weather is either cold, hot, rainy, or dry. And it doesn’t matter whether hike is short, medium, long, or overnight. Any time you’re exercising, it’s easy to become dehydrated. And with the extra weight on your back, while hiking, you’ll need to be sure you’re drinking enough water.

Look for a pack with ample storage, to accommodate a water bladder. We offer tips on how to choose a water bladder as well as easy ways to clean a hydration pack once you’re home.

If you prefer hiking water bottles, then you’ll want a pack with exterior storage space that can be easily reached without taking the bag off. However, if you’d rather use a hydration system, then look for a hiking backpack with hydration bladder, with a clip inside to hold the 3L hydration bladder up, as well as a loop for the drinking tube to pass through for easy access while walking.

Water-Resistant

To keep the contents of your backpacking backpack dry choose a pack that has water protection that can withstand at least moderate rain.

For extra coverage on rainy hikes (looking at you, Pacific Northwest), many packs sell the rain cover separately. With this in mind, consider whether the high cost of a waterproof backpack is worth the investment. 

Sternum strap / Chest strap

If you want extra support and carrying comfort, then some hiking backpacks for women include a chest strap that buckles across the sternum to help balance the bag and ease the burden on your back.

And if safety is a concern, some sternum straps include built-in whistles.

Daisy Chain Loops

Loops sewn onto the back and sides of the backpack which allows you to clip carabiners for extra gear.

Trekking Pole Holders 

Sometimes foldable hiking poles are more annoying than useful. Sometimes a trail is suddenly flat and you don’t need trekking poles. But you don’t want to stop, put them in your bag, then onlytake them out again a few miles later.

If that doesn’t sound like much fun, and you know you’ll need walking poles, then daisy loops or straps on the outside of the bag are a must-have. They provide quick access points for your poles or use them to secure other items too.

Frame

If a day hike is your speed, then an internal frame probably won’t be necessary. If you are headed for longer a backpacking trip involving snow and mountaineering, then choose a mountaineer backpack. These have a frame which evenly distributes the weight of your gear. Keep in mind that a frame will make the pack heavier. 

Backpacking backpacks with a lightweight aluminum frame are available in two formats:

Internal Frame Types:

  • For more stability, internal frames are hidden inside the pack. They also help transfer weight to your hips rather than your shoulders.

External Frames:

  • These are best for trips when you’re carrying extensive gear. In addition, external frames or a back panel is visible on the outside of the pack.

Carrying Comfort

If it’s a multi-day backpacking trip, then look for an ultralight backpacking pack or a women’s specific pack. Certainly, the lightest packs should include padded straps for shoulders and waist belts, and padding on the upper back.


Ready For More Gear?

If you’ve picked out your best hiking backpack for women, and are ready to stock up on other gear, then check out The Hiking Adventure’s Tips & Tricks.

Join our Facebook Group – Outdoor Gear Reviews, Deals, Hacks & Advice- Backpacking, Hiking & Camping to get the latest reviews, deals, and discounts on backpacking, camping, and hiking gear. Share tips, and advice and to show our love, we also give monthly gear giveaways.

TheHikingAdventure.com

Nicole (she/her) is a certified running coach, PNW resident, and avid hiker. Nicole is featured in Adventures Northwest magazine’s Summer 2020 e

Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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