Because you carry your hiking backpack for hours on a hike, manufacturers put great effort into making packs that are both practical and comfortable. They have wide, padded hip belts, ergonomically designed internal frames, and adjustable back lengths among other comfort-driven features. Modern packs are highly adjustable to fit your frame as well as possible. So it is no surprise that there are backpacks designed specifically for women on the market. They hug the curves of the female body and distribute weight accordingly.
If you are wondering how to find the best women’s backpacking pack, we have suggestions that will help you make the right choice!
How are women’s backpacks different from men’s backpacks?
Most packs are not labeled as men’s or women’s; they are universal. Even though everyone can wear a pack they like no matter how it is marketed, some models have specific features that make them a better fit for the ladies.
Women naturally have wider hips than men. Women’s hiking backpacks take advantage of that natural feature by putting most weight on the hips and keeping it off the shoulders and upper back.
Do you need to get a women’s backpack? If you like the fit, lightness or any of the special features – absolutely. However, a lot of women have found their perfect packs among the unisex or even men’s options so it really is a matter of preference.
If you are in a rush and do not wish to read the full article, here are the
top 3 hiking backpacks for women in our opinion:
Osprey Women’s Aura 65 AG is Ospreys one of the most popular backpack specifically designed for women. Anti-Gravity backpanel makes this backpack extremely comfortable.
Ergonomically designed hip belt, harness and back panel ensure comfortable fit and weight transfer to the large muscle groups in your legs, taking the load off your back and shoulders. Extremely comfortable if you need a pack that can carry heavy loads.
This backcountry backpack has the women-specific PerfectFIT technology making the pack highly adjustable. It is among the best budget backpacks for women.
The best women hiking backpacks
Aura is the go-to pack for many women who love hiking. Osprey has several backpacks that are specifically designed for women (Ariel, Xena, Tempest, Sirrus, Kyte, Eja, Fairview – each of them serves a different purpose and is made for different terrains and activities) but Aura AG is by far the most popular.
Weighing just a little over 4,5 lbs or 2 kg, this pack’s capacity is 65 liters. The design is tailored for the female body and together with innovative suspension system and world’s first fully ventilated hip belt, it ensures utmost comfort. Osprey’s InsideOut system provides good load support, reducing fatigue on long journeys and difficult terrains.
This pack has adjustable harness and hip belt so you can achieve nice fit for your waist circumference and torso length (see our article on how to measure it here). Is there really a difference between Osprey’s packs for men and women? The men’s version for this pack is Atmos 65 AG and although it is a great pack itself, user testimonies suggest that Aura provides much better fit for women. And with such a good range of women’s backpacks that Osprey has, why not get a pack that is designed specifically for your needs?
Anti-Gravity suspension - feels like you are carrying less weight than is in your pack. Adjustable harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt to dial in perfect fit.
Front stretch mesh pocket for quick storage of rain gear or extra layers.
Removable floating top lid with dual zippered pockets and web attachment points.
Another popular choice is the Deuter pack that is designed minding the anatomical differences between men and women, like shorter back size and being able to carry more weight on your hips, relieving your back and shoulders. This trekking backpack has an innovative stabilization and ventilation system that lightens heavy loads and reduces perspiration by up to 25%.
This 60 liter pack with a detachable 10 liter lid is a good choice for hiking, trekking and mountaineering trips. Its women-specific design makes it easy to carry all day without getting tired too quickly.
Women who have tried this pack were happy with construction and fit that it provided.
Designed for everything from trekking and mountaineering tours to overnights in the front country, this pack is both sleek and spacious while remaining lightweight and comfortable.
Extendable 10L pack collar for volume expansion; Height and width adjustable chest strap with signal whistle;
Deva hiking backpack has a carefully thought-out shoulder harness and hip belt design that is highly customizable and made with the female figure in mind. The patented design consists of several parts that rotate independently of each other to mimic your movements so that the pack is stabilized when you are walking. This feature lets you save energy and prevents from getting tired too easily.
Despite having 60 liters capacity, the pack itself is lightweight – just a tiny bit over 4,5 lbs or 2 kg. Another cool feature is that it has a detachable daypack for traveling light after you have reached camp.
Overall, users were impressed with how spacious this bag is and how the load distribution on their hips make the pack seem much lighter than it really is.
Gregory’s PreCurve technology and multi-density foam construction combine to eliminate hotspots and relieve pressure in sensitive areas. The 3D AIR mesh wicks away moisture, increasing overall comfort.
Removable hydration sleeve converts into fast and light SideKick Daypack with shoulder harnesses and accessory pocket.
If you are looking for more bang for your buck, check out Kelty’s workhorse pack, the Coyote. This backcountry backpack has the women-specific PerfectFIT technology making the pack highly adjustable. Shoulder straps, hip belt and back panel are designed to provide a great fit for women. Plus, the light aluminum internal frame gives this pack outstanding support for carrying heavy loads.
This sturdy women’s backpack can be attached to small waist size and short back size, making it a good option to consider for petite women.
It is among the best budget backpacks for women.
60 Liters: Ample storage for all your essential gear. 4lb 6oz empty weight, 30 x 17 x 12 inches, optimal carry weight 30-55 pounds.
The Coyote is the flagship trekking pack from the bright minds over at Kelty. Fully featured and re-designed for 2020, the Coyote features an advanced perimeter frame for supreme stability on the trail.
Ariel is another popular choice from the Osprey women’s backpack range. This multi-day backpacking pack is made for carrying heavy loads while the backpack itself only weighs a little over 4,5 lbs or 2 kg.
Ergonomically designed hip belt, harness and back panel ensure comfortable fit and weight transfer to the large muscle groups in your legs, taking the load off your back and shoulders. This pack comes in several different sizes so make sure to take your measurements (read how to do that in our article about measuring torso length here). Size XS provides good fit for women with a petite frame.
The only downside that users mentioned was lack of specialised pockets and compartments on the outside of the pack. If that is something you prefer over sleek design and lightweight product, you might want to check out other packs on this list.
Top to bottom suspended mesh wraps shoulders, back and hips for a fully integrated backpanel fit.
Front stretch mesh pocket and zippered hipbelt pockets for quick storage.
Side panel zip provides quick access to main compartment.