The Best Hiking Backpacks for Women in 2023

women's hiking backpack

Embarking on an outdoor adventure is exciting, but with so many hiking backpacks for women on the market, how do you choose the perfect one for you? Fear not, fellow adventurers! We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide, complete with expert tips and recommendations to help you find the best hiking backpack that complements your unique needs and style. Let’s dive in and discover the best women’s hiking backpacks available in 2023!

Short Summary

  • We have handpicked the top three hiking backpacks for women tailored to their needs.
  • Consider comfort and fit, adjustability, weight, and volume when selecting a backpack.
  • Expert advice on proper fit, weight balance, and trial will guarantee an ideal backpack for your outdoor activities.

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Top Hiking Backpacks for Women

When it comes to hiking backpacks, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve handpicked the top three hiking backpacks for women: the Osprey Tempest 34L, the Gregory Deva 60L, and the Deuter Aircontact Lite 45+10 SL. These backpacks strike a perfect balance between comfort, durability, and functionality, ensuring you have the best possible hiking experience.

Each of these backpacks offers unique features tailored to suit the needs of women hikers. Let’s take a closer look at each model to help you find the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures.

Our Pick
hiking backpacks for women for day hikes

Osprey Tempest 34L

The Osprey Tempest 34L is a versatile and lightweight pack designed specifically for day hikes. Crafted with women’s anatomy in mind, it offers exceptional comfort and supports thanks to its breathable mesh suspension and women’s-specific fit.

This backpack boasts numerous features, including a 15” laptop sleeve, water-repellent finish, and durable construction. It also includes various loops and cord attachments on the exterior, a bungee cord on the inner side of the water bottle pockets, and a front zippered compartment for easy access to small items such as keys. With its lightweight yet sturdy build, the Osprey Tempest 34L is an ideal choice for day hikers who value comfort and performance.

What sets the Osprey Tempest 34L apart from other backpacks is its focus on women’s specific needs. It is designed to cater to narrower shoulders and provides a comfortable fit, making it a perfect choice for day hikes. Moreover, its lightweight design ensures you won’t feel weighed down while tackling those challenging trails.

Our Pick
remarkable hiking backpack designed for women

Gregory Deva 60L

The Gregory Deva 60L is another remarkable hiking backpack designed specifically for women. It features a soft-molded, contoured hip belt that enhances weight distribution and airflow, ensuring maximum comfort during your outdoor adventures. With adjustable torso length and plush padding, the Deva 60L offers a customized fit, while ample storage space and external straps make it easy to secure large items such as sleeping bags or tents.

Its exceptional comfort and ability to manage heavy loads have impressed outdoor enthusiasts like Ms. Emily Pennington, who considers it the ultimate backpack. Whether you’re embarking on a weekend hike or a week-long backpacking trip, the Gregory Deva 60L is a dependable choice that offers comfort, durability, and ample storage for all your hiking essentials.

Our Pick
versatile hiking backpack

Deuter Aircontact Lite 45+10 SL

The Deuter Aircontact Lite 45+10 SL is a versatile backpack suitable for both hiking and backpacking. It can even be used as a daypack for those spontaneous adventures. The backpack features 3D Air Mesh material on the back panel, designed to deter perspiration and provide added comfort.

This backpack adapts to various needs with its adjustable back length and offers a variety of storage options, including a separate sleeping bag compartment and a hydration sleeve. However, the limited color selection may be a drawback for some users.

With its adjustable design and incredible versatility, the Deuter Aircontact Lite 45+10 SL is an excellent choice for those who require a backpack that can adapt to their ever-changing outdoor pursuits.

Essential Features to Consider

Now that we’ve introduced our top picks, it’s crucial to understand the essential features to consider when choosing a hiking backpack. Key factors include comfort and fit, adjustability, weight, and volume.

By focusing on these aspects, you’ll be better equipped to select the perfect backpack that caters to your unique needs and preferences.

Comfort and Fit

The most important aspect to consider when choosing a hiking backpack is comfort. After all, you’ll be carrying food, shelter, and more on your back day after day. A well-fitting backpack should be secured close to the back, with the hip belt situated just above the hip bones and the shoulder strap lying flush against the body.

To avoid discomfort while hiking, it’s essential to ensure that straps don’t rub against your arms and cause chafing. Proper weight distribution is also crucial for a comfortable hiking experience. Make sure to tighten the straps located on the back of the pack to achieve better weight distribution.


Adjustability is another vital factor to consider when selecting a hiking backpack. A backpack with adjustable straps and torso length will allow you to find the perfect fit for your body, ensuring maximum comfort during extended hikes.

When choosing a backpack, assess its purpose, size, capacity, and adjustability features such as the positioning of pockets and type of straps. A robust backpack with a cushioned shoulder strap and waist, chest, and side straps will help distribute the weight evenly, making it easier to carry on your adventures.

Weight and Volume

Weight and volume are also essential considerations when selecting a hiking backpack. Consider the duration of your trip and the pack’s capacity to determine the appropriate size and weight for your needs. A well-constructed frame and weight distribution system will help evenly distribute the weight of the backpack, making it more comfortable to carry.

Don’t forget to consider the backpack’s material and construction when assessing its weight and volume. A lightweight yet durable backpack will ensure that you can carry all your essentials without feeling weighed down on your journey.

Best Day Hiking Backpack for Women

For shorter hikes, day-hiking backpacks are an excellent choice. These smaller packs are designed to carry essentials such as snacks, additional clothing layers, and water for a successful hike.

Our top picks for the best women’s day hiking backpacks are the Patagonia Refugio 26L Pack, REI Co-Op Trail 25, and Cotopaxi Luzon 18L Del Da Backpack. Let’s explore the unique features of each daypack.

Patagonia Refugio 26L Pack

lightweight, durable hiking backpack

The Patagonia Refugio 26L. Pack is a superb choice for day hikes, thanks to its lightweight, durable, and comfortable design. Constructed from 100% recycled polyester with a PFC-free DWR finish, this backpack features a padded 15″ laptop sleeve, a breathable back panel, an adjustable sternum strap, and two large water bottle pockets.

One of the standout features of the Refugio 26L Pack is its removable laptop sleeve, which can be replaced with a hydration pack for added versatility. This makes the backpack suitable for various outdoor activities and ensures you stay hydrated throughout your adventure.

Whether you’re heading out for a leisurely hike or a challenging trek, the Patagonia Refugio 26L is for you. Pack offers a perfect blend of durability, comfort, and practicality to make your day hike a memorable experience.

REI Co-Op Trail 25

backpack for day hikers

The REI Co-Op Trail 25 is a practical and cost-effective option for day hikers. This backpack features adjustable shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a hip belt, as well as a hydration sleeve, a rain cover, and a removable top lid. It offers ample storage and moderate capacity, making it a fantastic choice for day hikes.

However, there are a few drawbacks to the REI Co-Op Trail 25 backpack. The waist belt lacks padding, which may reduce comfort during extended hikes. Additionally, the external pockets for water bottles are made of stretchy mesh, which may be less durable than other materials.

Despite these minor drawbacks, the REI Co-Op Trail 25 remains a reliable and cost-effective daypack option for those who value functionality and storage without breaking the bank.

Cotopaxi Luzon 18L Del Día Backpack

lightweight and robust option for dayhikes

The Cotopaxi Luzon 18L Del Da Backpack is a lightweight and robust option for day hikes. Made from hardy yet lightweight ripstop nylon and featuring ultralight mesh shoulder straps, this backpack is designed with comfort and durability in mind.

With a drawstring closure at the top providing easy access to the main compartment, the Cotopaxi Luzon 18L Del Da Backpack allows you to quickly grab your essentials on the go. Each backpack also features a unique color combination, adding a touch of personalization to your hiking gear.

Whether you’re tackling a challenging trail or enjoying a leisurely hike, the Cotopaxi Luzon 18L Del Da Backpack is an excellent choice for those who value comfort, durability, and style on their outdoor adventures.

Best Backpacks for Overnight and Multi-Day Hikes

For overnight and multi-day hikes, a larger backpack is essential. These backpacks offer increased storage capacity and are designed to carry heavier loads without compromising on comfort.

Our top recommendations for the best women’s backpacks for overnight and multi-day hikes are the Osprey Aura AG 65, REI Co-op Traverse 60L, and Kelty Coyote 60-105 L. Let’s take a closer look at the unique features of each backpack.

Osprey Aura AG 65

comfortable hiking backpack

The Osprey Aura AG 65 is a women ‘s-specific backpack designed for leisurely hikes, offering increased comfort on the shoulders and the capability to accommodate a bear canister on the bottom of the pack. Its unique Anti-Gravity suspension system wraps around the body to provide even weight distribution and improved comfort.

Featuring curved zip access on each side panel, dual ice axe loops, and dual upper/lower side compression straps, the Osprey Aura AG 65 backpack is well-equipped for any outdoor adventure. However, be aware that the hip pads can be quite rigid and inflexible, sometimes causing discomfort to the hip bones until the pack is sufficiently broken in.

Despite this minor drawback, the Osprey Aura AG 65 remains an excellent choice for hikers seeking a backpack that provides exceptional comfort and support on overnight and multi-day treks.

REI Co-op Traverse 60L

rei 60L backpack
Photo: Rei

The REI Co-op Traverse 60L is a hiking backpack designed specifically for women, offering a tailored fit for optimal comfort during prolonged outdoor adventures. Crafted from durable, recycled, bluesign®-approved ripstop nylon, this backpack features an adjustable back panel and adjustable torso length to ensure a perfect fit.

With ample storage options, including a hip pocket and adjustable torso length, the REI Co-op Traverse 60L allows you to carry all your essentials comfortably and efficiently. Its unique feature includes two water bottle holsters and a removable bath that can be converted into a daypack.

If you’re looking for a backpack that can withstand the rigors of overnight and multi-day hikes, the REI Co-op Traverse 60L is a reliable and practical choice.

Kelty Coyote 60-105 L

best hiking backpack for overnight and multi-day hiking needs

The Kelty Coyote 60-105 L is a hiking backpack designed specifically for female users, offering multiple pockets for gear storage, including dual front stash pockets, signature wing side pockets, and top lid pockets. With its spring steel and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) frame, this backpack is constructed from 420D polyester, ensuring durability and longevity.

Offering a comfortable fit and generous carrying capacity, the Kelty Coyote 60-105 L is an ideal choice for those embarking on overnight and multi-day hikes. Its most suitable carry weight is 40-65 pounds, making it perfect for extended adventures.

Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or a first-time hiker, the Kelty Coyote 60-105 L provides a reliable and comfortable solution for all your overnight and multi-day hiking needs.

Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Backpack

Now that we’ve explored the best hiking backpacks and their features, let’s delve into some expert tips to help you choose the right backpack.

Focusing on proper fit, balancing weight and features, and trying before buying will ensure you select the perfect backpack for your outdoor adventures.

Importance of Proper Fit

Selecting a backpack with the correct fit is crucial for comfort and support when wearing a backpack. It is imperative to ensure the backpack is tailored to your body type and size, as an ill-fitting backpack can lead to discomfort and even injury during your hikes.

To find the perfect fit, visit a camping store such as REI, where staff can size you to the correct pack size based on your frame. If purchasing online, measure your torso length by having a friend measure from the top of your hipbones to the base of the bony knob at your neck, and use this measurement to select the appropriate backpack size.

Balancing Weight and Features

When selecting a backpack, it is essential to balance the weight and features of the pack. Evaluate the features that are most pertinent to your needs, such as pockets, straps, and compartments, and ensure that the weight of the pack is not too burdensome to carry.

Remember to consider the backpack’s material and construction when assessing its weight and volume. A lightweight yet durable backpack will ensure that you can carry all your essentials without feeling weighed down on your journey.

Trying Before Buying

It is essential to try on a backpack before purchasing it to ensure it fits correctly and is comfortable. This will assist you in ensuring you are obtaining the appropriate backpack for your requirements.

When trying on a backpack, consider factors such as fit, weight, capacity, material, and features. This will help you make an informed decision and ensure you select the perfect backpack for your outdoor adventures.

How to Care for Your Hiking Backpack

Let’s now discuss the best ways to keep your backpack in prime condition. Maintaining your hiking backpack is essential for extending its life and ensuring it remains a reliable companion on your outdoor adventures. So, without further ado, here are some actionable tips to care for your beloved hiking backpack:

Tip #1: Clean it regularly. After each hike, empty the bag and shake out any dirt or debris. For a deeper clean, use a soft brush or sponge with mild soap and water to remove any dirt or grime.

Tip #2: Avoid machine washing. While it might be tempting to throw your backpack into the washing machine after an intense hike, resist the urge. Machine washing can damage zippers and other components of the bag. Stick to handwashing instead.

Tip #3: Dry properly. Hang up your wet pack in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. This will prevent mold growth and keep colors from fading due to UV exposure.

Storage Tips: Keep Your Pack Ready To Go.

  • Store in a cool & dry place – Avoid damp basements or hot attics that could cause materials degradation over time; instead, opt for a closet or under-bed storage.
  • Loosen straps – Relieve tension on buckles and webbing by loosening all adjustable straps before storing your backpack. This helps maintain their elasticity.
  • Keep it upright – If possible, store your pack in an upright position to prevent any creases or deformations from forming over time.

By following these simple care and storage tips, you’ll ensure that your hiking backpack remains in excellent condition for many adventures to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a backpack and a hiking bag?

Backpacks are typically designed for shorter trips with minimal items, while hiking bags are suitable for longer journeys and heavier items. They both have compartments to store belongings, but a hiking bag will usually have additional features such as multiple pockets and compartments specifically designed for convenience and organization.

What size backpack is best for all day hike?

For an all-day hike, the best size backpack is between 21 and 35 liters, allowing for enough space to store your food, clothing, and some extras like a camera or book. For trips that require additional clothing and gear, you should opt for a larger backpack between 36 and 50 liters.

What are the 2 types of backpacks for hiking?

There are two primary types of backpacks for hiking: internal-frame backpacks and external-frame backpacks. Both offer different advantages and are suited to different needs. Choosing the right one is an important decision for hikers of all levels.

What type of bag is best for hiking?

For a successful and enjoyable hike, it is important to choose the right bag. The best type of backpack for hiking is a high-quality backpack that fits comfortably and is equipped with features such as a lightweight frame, adjustable suspension system, and plenty of pockets and storage compartments.


Hiking is one of the most fun and exciting outdoor activities and finding the perfect hiking backpack for women can be a daunting task, but with expert tips and recommendations, you can confidently choose the right one for your needs. Hiking backpack for women are designed with a woman’s body in mind, providing a more comfortable fit and better weight distribution. When selecting a hiking backpack for women, take into account factors such as adjustable straps, breathable material, and plenty of pockets.

From day hiking backpacks like the Patagonia Refugio 26L Pack, REI Co-Op Trail 25, and Cotopaxi Luzon 18L Del Día Backpack to overnight and multi-day hiking backpacks like the Osprey Aura AG 65, REI Co-op Traverse 60L, and Kelty Coyote 60-105 L, there’s a perfect backpack for every outdoor enthusiast. Remember to prioritize comfort and fit, adjustability, weight, and volume when selecting your backpack, and don’t forget to try before buying.

When selecting the best hiking backpack, this post outlines key features to consider and provides our top picks along with tips on how to care for it. We also shared tips on how to care for your new pack so that it lasts you many hikes to come!

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