Best Backpacks For Women

If you are an avid outdoor enthusiast, you’ve probably realized one of the most important gear items you’ll need to have is a backpack. If you are very active and busy, you know you’ll want to stay hands-free when you carry your important items around with you. Finding a great backpack is the best solution to handling that issue.

Today we are focusing on the best backpacks for women. When you start searching around for a great backpack, you know you might need to take a few hours to do the proper research to figure out what you really need. However, nowadays it can be difficult for people to find the time. So, to help you find what you need easily, we’ve created a list of the ten best backpacks for women. After you peruse our list for a bit and figure out what products you like, we’ll cover some important criteria points you’ll want to evaluate so you make the best decision and purchase the right backpack for you.

Osprey Aura 65
  • Osprey Aura 65
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Great ventilation
  • Price: See Here
MH Ozonic OutDry
  • MH Ozonic OutDry
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Adjustable
  • Waterproof
  • Price: See Here
Thule Versant 60
  • Thule Versant 60
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Backpacks For Women

 

 

Osprey Aura AG 65

Osprey’s Aura AG 65 Women’s Backpack offers several specific features that women love, which makes it one of the most popular backpacks on the market today. This backpack is designed to be very light, flexible, and also comes with a lot of storage space. Plus, it offers a lot of pockets that help keep items easily organized. Plus, it comes with Anti-Gravity features and an excellent suspension system.
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Comfort:

Designed with shoulder straps that are made with women in mind, you also get a great suspension system with this backpack. Plus, there is a mesh system running throughout the backpack that gives it great breathability. The material in the backpack also feels very soft, and there is plenty of comfort featured in this backpack’s design.

Weight:

This particular backpack is made to be lightweight so that it is easy for women to carry. It weighs a little over four pounds, meaning it is designed to be very light and easy to carry. There aren’t many other backpacks on the market made to be as lightweight as this one.

Ease of Use:

Designed with a lot of versatility in mind, this backpack comes with a lot of adjustable features. It might take a little while to understand all of the straps and adjustments, but once you’ve mastered it, it is quite simple. Also, it features so many pockets that it makes it very easy for you to organize your items.

Features:

This backpack comes with a bevy of organizational features that makes both carrying and finding items easy. It features a main compartment that is easy to access when you are on the go, and a bottom compartment designed to hold a sleeping bag. You also get a mesh pocket, and two zippered pockets.
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Great ventilation

  • Comfortable

  • Easy to adjust

Cons
  • Hip belt pockets run small

  • Waistband could be designed better.

 

Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 60 OutDry

Mountain Hardwear is a brand that is well-known for making great gear, and the Mountain Hardwear Ozonic Outdry 60 is no different. This backpack is great for any season, and designed to be waterproof with a lot of durability. It’s also very comfortable, and adjustable.
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Comfort:

This backpack is designed with a lot of features that help make it a comfortable choice. It features great padding on both the hip belt and shoulder straps. Also, since this backpack is designed for women, it won’t rub or chafe. It also has a decent ventilation system, and a rigid back panel.

Weight:

This backpack is extremely light, and weighs in at 3.81 pounds. It is designed to be durable and features waterproof fabric that makes it seem like it should weigh more, but it doesn’t. It works well for mid to heavier packing.

Ease of Use:

The Ozonoic Outdry backpack comes with a lot of adjustment features that make it easy to use. It also has a reversible lid, and excellent shoulder straps that are easy to adjust. This backpack is designed to make access easy while you are on-the-go.

Features:

The Ozonic backpack comes with a lot of pockets that make it very easy for any woman to organize her items. It features a total of six compartments that help keep everything organized and safe. Also, the backpack is designed to give you access to things you’d need while you are on the move.
Pros
  • Nice adjustability

  • Waterproof

  • Simple design

Cons
  • Not great when the weather is warm

  • Doesn’t work with a hydration pack

 

Thule Versant 60

Thule’s Versant 60 is designed to be a versatile backpack that will work well for any woman. It features waterproof material and is also designed to be very long-lasting. You get a very comfortable backpack with this one, and it has nice padding to make it more comfortable.
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Comfort:

This backpack comes with small shoulder straps, but they are actually padded quite well. Plus, the straps feature a mesh material, and that makes the backpack more breathable. It also is very easy to adjust, so you can get a great fit with this backpack.

Weight:

The Versant is manufactured to be very light, and weighs in at a little over four pounds. For how lightweight it is, it still offers a lot of room to carry along your important items. It’s also very easy to compress this backpack down when you need to.

Ease of Use:

This backpack is easy to use, but it could have an easier waist belt adjustment system. Some of the adjustments might take some getting used to on this backpack. However, once you get it adjusted, it can easily stay put. Other than that, this backpack has a nice design.

Features:

The primary compartment of this backpack has two access points, and the backpack is designed so it is very easy for you to access your items. You get a large lid with two oversized zipper pockets on the inside that you can get to easily. You also get a nice, detachable lid.
Pros
  • Versatile

  • Easy to use

  • Comfortable

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Could have a better frame

  • Shoulder straps are thin

 

The North Face Terra 55

The North Face Terra 55
The North Face has long been recognized as a great manufacturer of fantastic outdoor gear products. Their Terra 55 Backpack is very affordable, and still offers a lot of versatility as well as a great design. It offers many great features, and is designed for durability as well.
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Comfort:

The North Face’s Terra backpack has narrow shoulder straps, which may seem small to some but actually provide a nice boost of comfort, especially if you don’t have much experience backpacking. There is also a nice mesh panel in the back of this pack, which helps keep the ventilation going. Also, there is plenty of great foam padding where you need it, making this a comfortable backpack choice.

Weight:

The Terra weighs in at a little over four pounds, which makes it a lightweight backpack. You won’t feel weight down when you use it. It features an ideal weight range, and is designed to carry loads very well. You’ll love its durability and simplicity.

Ease of Use:

This backpack gives you a nice, simple design that makes it very easy to use. It’s not complicated at all, and it provides the user with a lot of stability and comfort. It is adjustable, but may not feel quite as adjustable as some other backpacks in our review. It does feature a lot of access points to the main compartment as well.

Features:

The Terra offers a lot of simplicity, but it also offers all of the features you’d ever want to have in a backpack. You get water bottle holders on both sides of the pack as well as a hydration lid. There are also plenty of pockets for easy organization.
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Easy to use

  • Durable

Cons
  • Adjustment features may feel limited

  • Shoulder straps may feel small

Arc'teryx Bora AR 61

Arc'teryx Bora AR 61
Arcteryx is a great outdoor gear manufacturer that is well-known for their quality products. Their Bora AR 61 is a nice backpack that is designed to be lightweight, and also features a great hip belt that won’t chafe and is very comfortable. This backpack does run on the expensive in, but it offers so much comfort and durability, it is worth the price.
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Comfort:

The Bora backpack is designed with a huge emphasis on comfort. It features a lot of foam padding on the waist belt as well as the shoulder straps. The straps might feel bulky to some, but if you want a lot of cushioning on your backpack, then this one has that.

Weight:

This backpack weighs in at just under five pounds, which means it isn’t the lightest backpack in our review, but it is designed for durability. Plus, with the extra cushioning added to the pack, it is very easy to carry this pack along with you. It also doesn’t feel too heavy when you put it on.

Ease of Use:

Arcteryx’s Bora backpack comes designed to be very easy to use. It is very adjustable and also built to provide maximum comfort. You get a lot of adjustability in the shoulder straps. The waist belt also comes adjustable. You get three easy to use compartments with this backpack, which offers plenty of organization.

Features:

The Bora backpack comes with several great features, and gives you plenty of pockets to help you stay organized. It also gives you a lot of space and it is very easy to access the inside of the backpack even while you are on the move. You also get plenty of room for storage and organization.
Pros
  • Lots of adjustments

  • Great fit

  • Comfortable

  • Plenty of space

  • Good design

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Requires a learning curve

Lowe Alpine Manaslu

Lowe Alpine Manaslu
Lowe’s Alpin Manaslu Women’s Backpack offers a nice backpack that is very adjustable and can get you both the fit and comfort you need. It comes with a nice carrying capacity, and has several straps and pockets for easy organization and carrying. Plus, this backpack feels very comfortable no matter what type of load you decide to carry with it.
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Comfort:

The Manaslu is designed with an emphasis on comfort. It features thick straps on the waist and on the shoulders that includes a lot of cushioning to help out these pressure points. Also, it comes with a breathable back panel that includes a mesh ventilation system for extra comfort. You won’t feel any rubbing or chaffing with this pack.

Weight:

The Manaslu is manufactured with comfort in mind, but it does run more on the heavy side, mostly because of all the strap and cushioning features that come with this backpack. This backpack weighs about four pounds thirteen ounces, and it can feel a bit bulky at times. While it would be nice for this backpack to be more lightweight, you do get plenty of comfort out of the design.

Ease of Use:

The Manaslu has a bit of a learning curve with some of the adjustment features it offers you. It can feel a bit complicated because of the extra straps and buckles, but once you get used to it and adjust it, you should experience a lot of comfort and a great fit. The adjustments can be hard to get correct the first few times, but once you get it right, you should be off with this backpack.

Features:

This backpack does weigh a bit more, mostly because of its extra straps and cushioning features. It does come with many pockets and it is easy to access the main compartment of this backpack. Also, you get a hydration sleeve and rain fly built into this backpack.
Pros
  • Inexpensive

  • Holds a lot

  • Comfortable

Cons
  • Runs on the heavier side

  • Waist belt feels stiff

  • Learning curve

The North Face Banchee 65

The North Face Banchee 65
The North Face’s Banchee Backpack is made to be comfortable and also offers a lightweight backpack that is easy to carry. There is a nice, large external pocket on it that you can use to fit just about anything. Plus, there are also several other great pockets throughout the backpack. You’ll love how great this backpack feels no matter how long your backpacking trip might be.
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Comfort:

The Banchee was made with comfort in mind, and comes with a nice aluminum frame that is made to fit a woman’s body. The backpack also has a mesh panel so you get great breathability and ventilation with this backpack for even better comfort. Plus, the Banchee also offers a design that is comfortable for your back, which is a nice extra as well.

Weight:

The Banchee is an incredibly lightweight backpack, so if you want something that weighs next to nothing, this might be the backpack for you. Even though it is lightweight, it also provides a lot of back support, which is very nice. Plus, even though this backpack is lightweight, it still offers some great storage features that will help keep you organized.

Ease of Use:

You’ll love how much organization you get with the Banchee, since you get a total of eight pockets. Not only do you get many pockets, but the pockets are also designed well so that they are easy to reach. So, you get tons of easy access as well with this backpack, and plenty of room for organization.

Features:

The Banchee gives you a lot of excellent features. The first, which we already discussed, is the bevy of pockets you get, and how easy they are to access. You’ll also get some nice water bottle holders, and a removable lid. We also really like the back panel that is designed with a breathable mesh material which helps to add to the breathability and comfort of the backpack.
Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Comfortable

  • Large pocket

Cons
  • Not durable

  • Feels small

Deuter ACT Lite SL

Deuter ACT Lite SL
The Deuter ACT Lite is a nice backpack that was made to fit a woman’s body with a lot of comfort. It’s an affordable backpack, but it still offers many of the same bonuses that some of the more expensive backpacks carry. The shoulder straps feature a lot of padding and comfort, and the overall design of the backpack makes it simple. It’s also lightweight, and offers a lot of durability.
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Comfort:

The ACT Lite backpack is made to be simple, and the backpack is also very adjustable, so you get the perfect fit plus a lot of comfort. There is also plenty of cushioning in the back area as well as the straps of this backpack, which gives it a very comfortable design. It’s a backpack that is also designed to fit the style of a woman’s body, so that she’ll get a lot of comfort whenever she wears it.

Weight:

This backpack is designed to be decently light, and weighs about 4.31 pounds. So, it’s not the lightest backpack out there, but it is one of the lighter ones. It also offers a nice, simple design and the backpack comes with ample back support for those who really need it.

Ease of Use:

The ACT Lite is made to be easy to use, and the overall simplicity of the backpack makes it a nice choice. You get a backpack that can adjust, but it’s very simple to figure out how to make the fit work. Also, you get some pockets with this design, which helps to add to organization. If you sometimes struggle with figuring out how to adjust your backpack, the ACT Lite will make it very easy for you to figure this out.

Features:

Because of its simple design, the ACT Lite doesn’t come with as much pocket space and organizational concepts as some of the other backpacks in this review. However, it does offer three enclosed compartments, which is a nice feature to have in the design of this backpack. So, while you don’t get a lot of pockets, you do get enough to find enough space for organization.
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Comfortable

  • Simple

Cons
  • Seems small

Gregory Deva 60

Gregory Deva 60
Gregory Deva’s backpack is designed to easily carry large weights while providing an excess amount of comfort and a lot of support. This backpack is made for all seasons, and offers a lot of durability in its design. You also get comfortable shoulder straps that come with a lot of cushioning, and a backpack that is designed to fit a woman’s body. Plus, this backpack also has a great ventilation system, and a nice hip stabilizing system as well.
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Comfort:

The Deva offers a lot of comfort, and is designed to fit a woman’s body-shape. You get a pre-curved harness that also comes with a nice hip belt. Also, the backpack offers a lot of cushioning, stability, and support in the back area to make it easy to carry. Also, the shoulder straps come with a lot of padding to help take off the pressure points.

Weight:

The Deva runs on the heavier end of the spectrum when compared to some of the other backpacks in our review. While it is designed for comfort, the extra padding and cushioning makes it weigh a bit more. With backpacks, there is always a trade-off with extra padding adding to the weight of the backpack, but it all depends on if you want more cushioning or not.

Ease of Use:

This backpack does have a bit of a learning curve with ease of use, mostly because it has a lot of straps that make it extra-adjustable. However, the straps do require some time to learn and figure out. However, once you get the hang of the straps and get them to adjust correctly, you should be good to go. You’ll enjoy this nice, large backpack design once you get the fit down.

Features:

You get several nice features with this backpack, and a lot of pockets that give you some nice organizational potential. This backpack offers you a main compartment, two medium-sized pockets, and two smaller pockets. You also get a rainfly with this backpack. Plus, the backpack is large enough to provide you plenty of room to store everything you need.
Pros
  • Good stability

  • Very comfortable

  • Lots of space

Cons
  • Heavy

  • Expensive

  • Learning curve needed

Osprey Ariel AG 65

Osprey Ariel AG 65
The Osprey Ariel is a nice backpack that comes with a lot of features and also has a lot of room for adjustment. It runs a bit on the heavy side, but it comes with a lot of cushioning and padding that makes it comfortable to carry. It also offers a nice suspension system and a lot of durability. You’ll love how comfortable it feels each time you use it.
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Comfort:

This backpack was designed to be comfortable, and you get great padding on both the hip belt as well as the shoulder straps. You also get a lot of ventilation built into this pack to add to the comfort level. It’s one of the most breathable backpacks you’ll find on our list. Also, this backpack is designed with curves that are meant to conform to a woman’s shape.

Weight:

This backpack is designed with a great cushioning system, but like many other well-padded backpacks, it runs on the heavy side of the spectrum. The Ariel weighs about 5.31 pounds, which does mean it is a bit heavy. However, the padding and the zippers as well as the overall durability of the backpack all add to its weight, so you get a few trade offs here.

Ease of Use:

This backpack is designed to be easy to use, but it does feature some complicated features that require a bit of a learning curve to get used to. One thing that will take some getting used to is the adjustment features, since there are tons of them with this pack. With so many adjustable features, you will need to learn how to get your adjustments right. However, once you get the backpack adjusted so that it fits you correctly, you will get a great gift and a lot of comfort with this backpack.

Features:

This backpack comes with several great features. One of the things we like about this backpack is its use of four enclosed pockets plus three mesh pockets. So, you get plenty of room and space to organize your items, which makes this a nice backpack if you have a lot of things to carry. Also, you get a removable lid with this backpack.
Pros
  • Includes a hydration system with pack

  • Adjustable

  • Durable

  • Works well for heavy loads

Cons
  • Straps might take some learning

  • Pockets are a bit difficult

  • Heavy

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

When you are planning to purchase a backpack, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. First, we’ve covered backpack choices for women, so if you are purchasing a backpack for a woman, you do want to make sure you buy one that is made to conform to a woman’s body and shape. That will make it much easier and much more comfortable for her to carry the pack. So, we’ve provided a list of backpacks that are designed to fit a woman’s body type, and you certainly want to make sure you consider that before you make your purchase.

On our product review list above, we considered several factors and discussed each one as it applied to the product we reviewed. Those factors include comfort, weight, ease of use, and features. We’ll break down each one of these concepts in a bit more detail for you to help you understand the importance of each. Once you are able to understand each concept, you’ll be able to make the best decision about the type of backpack you should purchase.

Comfort

Comfort is probably one of the most important factors you’ll want to take a look at before purchasing your backpack. You need to consider the comfort of the pack when it is empty, when it is loaded, and if its comfort level can also vary depending on how much you pack. Some backpacks have pressure points on them that can cause bruising and rubbing, so you also want to make sure you check out your backpack for those issues.  When it comes to comfort, you might wind up having to trade off some comfort features if you prefer a backpack that is more lightweight. Backpacks designed to be lightweight typically don’t come with as much padding, so that makes them lighter, but far less comfortable.

Also, backpacks that are designed to be lightweight also are made to carry lighter loads. If you know you need to carry a heavier load, then you will probably want to opt for a more comfortable backpack that is made to handle heavier loads. So, make sure you also think about the overall amount of items you’ll be carrying. Plus, if you are planning on carrying heavier loads, you more than likely are going to need that extra cushioning and support.

Also, how much cushioning and support you get with your backpack will depend a lot on the overall cushioning on the hip belt and shoulder straps. Typically, the more padding you find there, the less chaffing and pressure points you will feel while you are on the go.

Another part of the backpack that dictates how much comfort you will get is the back panel, which adds to the suspension system on the backpack. Some of these backpacks are designed with back panels that feature a lot of cushioning so you always feel comfortable. Others are made to provide more stability and support for your back if you need it. Also, many of the backpacks on our list feature mesh panels for breathability on the back panel, so that you get the ventilation you need and don’t have to feel like you are overheating or getting covered in your own sweat. Having the ventilation can make you feel a lot more comfortable while you are on the move.

Weight

How heavy the backpack you purchase is can also determine a lot about the backpack itself. If you are opting for a more lightweight backpack, you are likely to get less cushioning, padding, and other features designed into your backpack. However, that choice is really up to you, and you just need to decide if you want something that is more comfortable, or more lightweight.

If you want a lightweight backpack, we offered three very lightweight ones on our review. Those three include The North Face Banchee 65, The North Face Terra 55, and Mountain Hardwear’s Ozonic 60. All three of these backpacks weigh about four pounds or less, so they are built to feel light when you wear them on your back.

Ease of Use

How easy your backpack is to you also becomes an important evaluation point. We took a look at the adjustability and simplicity of each backpack on our list. Some backpacks are far easier to use than others, and some are more difficult. What we discovered is that the more adjustability features that come with a backpack, typically the more difficult the backpack is to use. However, with that extra adjustability comes a nice fit as well, so once you get used to adjusting those types of backpacks, you’ll be able to settle on an excellent fit. So, there are positives and negatives to having this type of extra adjustability.

Also, some backpacks make it easier for you to access your items in your pockets as well as your main compartments when compared to others. So, while you are on the go in the great outdoors, if you want to access your pack with ease, you’ll need to take a look at how easy it is to get your items out of your backpack without having to remove the entire backpack.

Features

Features include many things when we take a look at these backpacks. Features include pockets, buckets, straps, and a few extra concepts.  If you want a lot of organization built into your backpack, then you’ll need to look for something that has several pockets. However, just having a lot of pockets typically isn’t enough. The location of the pockets also becomes important. If you want to access your items easily while you are on the go, you need to make sure the pockets are designed with good placement that allows you to do this. So, that is certainly something you want to consider if you want to be able to organize your items easily.

Rain Covers

Many of these backpacks come with rain covers to help add to their water resistance. Most of these backpacks, except for the Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 60 which is fully waterproof, are simply water resistant and not waterproof. So, getting a rain cover with your pack can help you keep the rain away from your important items.

 

FAQs

Q: What do I need to know about the comfort level of my backpack?

Really, that will depend on how much padding you want, and how much weight you can take. If you opt to purchase a backpack that is designed for more comfort, it will feature more padding and stability options, and that will make the backpack weigh more. If you prefer a more lightweight backpack, then you will probably have to sacrifice some comfort to achieve that. So, depending on what you need, consider if you want to opt for a more lightweight backpack, or one with more cushioning and support. The choice is really up to you, and how much comfort you need alongside how much weight you can carry.

Q: Should I look for back panels that feature mesh panels, or is that important at all?

Yes, you should. Since hiking is a very aerobic activity, it can cause you to sweat quite a bit. You’ll want to make sure you have mesh panels on the back panel so you get the breathability and ventilation you need with your backpack to stay comfortable. You don’t want to find yourself overheating, or feeling like you are covered in your own perspiration while you are on the go. That can feel very uncomfortable, and it is a situation you want to avoid. So, to take advantage of comfort, make sure to get a backpack that ventilates well.

Q: What do I need to know about my pack load before I purchase my backpack?

You want to make sure you have a general estimate of how heavy your pack load will be before you purchase your backpack. You need to match the pack load to the backpack you want. If you plan on carrying heavier loads, a lightweight backpack probably isn’t going to work for you. However, if you do plan to pack light, then a lightweight backpack will work for you. So, take a close look at how much you will be carrying in your backpack, and factor that into your decision.

Q: What do I need to consider about ease of use when purchasing my backpack?

First, how much experience you have with backpacks can play a factor, as well as how much you are willing to learn. Most of the backpacks that offer extra adjustments and bonus features tend to be more difficult to learn how to use, simply because there is more available on the backpack to get used to. However, the nice thing about these types if backpacks is that once you get them to adjust, you also get the perfect fit. The adjustments are something you can consider depending on what you really want, but you also need to remember that some backpacks make it easier for you to access your items while you are on the go than others as well. So, try to factor in what you can take, and go from there.

Q: What do I need to know about pockets in a backpack?

Having a lot of pockets can be a great thing if you want room to organize your items, but remember, pocket placement is also a key here. Make sure the pockets are designed so that you can easily access them while you are on the go, and that can save you a lot of worries.

Q: Is comfort or weight more important?

While you do need to consider weight when you purchase your backpack, but you should really focus more on the comfort of your backpack. Remember, with lightweight backpacks, you are going to be restricted to carrying lighter loads and not having as much comfort and padding. So, make sure you figure out about how much you will be carrying, because that will also help you make your decision.

 

 

Sources

  1. Jane Jackson, The Best Women's Backpacking Packs of 2017 , Informational Camping Website, Nov 07, 2017
  2. Drew Zieff and Melanie Ott, The Best Hiking Backpacks, Informational Camping Website, Jul 18, 2017
  3. Julie Marks, The Best Hiking Backpacks for Women 2017, Informational Camping Website, Aug 19, 2017