As a small woman, it can be hard to find things that fit well. It can often feel like we are not in the thoughts of the major manufacturers. On top of this, specialist retailers that cater to smaller women are not so common on the high street.
This is the same old story when it comes to backpacks. With the advent of online retail though, the smaller woman has been able to discover size-specific clothing much easier than before.
Even if you are not necessarily small, having a small torso in itself can mean you’ll need to see a doctor when you come back from your trip. Harness length, hip belt, pockets placement, and plenty of other features need to be readjusted to make the best backpack for petite women.
We have scoured the net for the best and greatest backpacks for small women and we bring them to you below.
Best Backpack for Petite Women of 2020
Deuter Aircontact Lite 45+10 SL
In our view, the Deuter Aircontact is the queen of backpacks for petite women. The brand prides itself on being designed by women and for women and this shines through in the raft of women-specific features in play here.
Through thorough research into the female body, the backpack has been manufactured with adjustable back length, narrow shoulder-width as well as a curved hip belt that sits snug on the hips.
The hip fins also have a futuristic dual-density foam that helps with keeping the weight stable when walking. There is also excellent ventilation and a hollow chamber on the back letting your body breathe and keep cool at all times.
It is said that it can reduce sweating by as much as 15%.
Osprey Packs Kyte 36 Women’s Hiking Backpack
This is the first Osprey on our list and definitely not the last, this brand is famous for its enduring quality of design. These backpacks will last a very long time and come in sizes perfect for petite women.
They feature a fully adjustable harness and shoulder pads to fit the petite body as well as comfortable padded hip belts. The Kyte is one of several backpacks designed just for women.
It has adjustable ‘air escape’ back panels that give a great fit by keeping the panels close to your body.
When empty, this pack is super lightweight and has so many pockets for storage we lost count as well as three daisy chains to attach any external equipment you may need to carry.
The icing on the cake is the fully waterproof bag cover that is neatly stored in the base of the pack.
Osprey Packs Fairview 40 Women’s Travel Backpack
This Osprey Model is even more compact than the Kyte yet just as durable and feature-packed.
It has a full stowaway back panel that means you can zip away from the shoulder straps and hip belt to give the pack a much more ergonomic feel. This model has a dedicated laptop sleeve in a secure lockable compartment that will give you peace of mind with your expensive equipment.
The zips on the outside are pad-lockable as well. This pack also has a long shoulder strap so that if you wish to you can carry it a second way, more akin to a weekend bag.
This bag is also designed to be within the airplane carry on regulations for airlines, saving you money on check-in costs.
Osprey Packs Sirrus 24 Women’s Hiking Backpack
The Osprey Sirrus backpack is one of the smaller packs on our list at 24L volume capacity. This makes it ideal as a day pack. It makes great use of its limited size though.
It features nifty zippered hip belt pockets, integrated rain cover, an internal hydration sleeve, and access zips to the main compartment. All this adds up to one lightweight and convenient package.
Osprey is so confident in their products that they offer the ‘All Mighty Guarantee’ with all their backpacks.
No matter when the bag was bought, if there is any defect or damage to it they will fix it.
Deuter Women’s Trans-Alpine 28 Sl Backpack
This is the model of Deuter backpack made specifically for women. It is small enough to carry comfortably but has plenty of space to be of use.
It is designed to work flawlessly with the ergonomic of the female body, including its super comfortable soft-edge shoulder strap for narrow shoulders.
There are large zip openings to the main compartment that make the contents of the bag easily accessible as well as a dedicated phone compartment. It also has a ‘three-zone cover’ on the back and a compact fit in the hip area.
This pack is super durable and will look new after years of use. It is very versatile and can be used for everything from camping to a short trip to the grocery store.
Osprey Packs Aura AG 50
Osprey has done it again with this excellent backpack. It comes in three sizes, extra small, small and medium so there will definitely be one that is just right for you.
It features anti-gravity suspension technology that makes you feel like you are carrying much less weight than what you have in your pack.
There is an adjustable harness so you can make minute adjustments to fit your torso length and a fit on the fly hip belt to do that same for your hips.
This specific model has a floating top lid that is fully removable as well as a dedicated sleeping bag compartment at the base.
Deuter Women’s Futura Pro 38 Sl Backpack
Here is another excellent pack to Deuter that is 100% polyester. This pack is great for petite women and has a spring steel frame built into the waist belt that helps transfer heavy loads across the body and away from just one place.
The hip fins are most comfortable with ergonomic pads designed for the female form. Add to this a waist strap that is easy to adjust and you have a fantastic overall package.
This model manages the feat of being both spacious and lightweight all at the same time.
Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack
Kelty is a slightly less renowned brand than others on this list, but with the quality of their backpacks that won’t be the case for long. This model is a smaller version of their bestseller and as such is perfect for all of us petite women out there.
It has features such as a frame sheet, mesh back panel for ventilation, narrow shoulder straps and waist belt as well as a sternum strap. Inside there is a dual-use laptop and hydration sleeve depending on those days use.
It is also very secure with its sturdy side compression straps and ice trekking pole loops and comes in a mixture of wonderful colors.
Kelty Women’s Reva 45 Backpack, Castle Rock
This Kelty model is manufactured to be exactly what women need in a backpack. The brand is always about a perfect fit and features fully adjustable suspension and straps.
On the side, you will find pockets that stretch to put quick access items and there is even an outside sleeve for hydration packs.
The top lid is detachable and the bag has a very minimal style if that is what you are looking for. This means that there are not that many pockets and whether you prefer this is down to personal taste.
Kelty Women’s Coyote 60 Backpack, Dark Shadow
The Kelty brand is made in the USA, and this particular model is one of the larger backpacks on our list. Just because you are a petite woman does not mean that you will never need to carry a large volume of things.
The back frame can be adjusted to a small size making it a snug fit for smaller women, but when full, it will need quite a lot of strength to carry. It features nice touches too such as a sleeping bag compartment, detachable top and loads of pockets to pack different items.
It is a great contestant for the best backpack for petite women who will travel for a long time.
Buying Guide For Petite Women Looking for a Backpack
Your overall height is not necessarily the most important thing, what is more, important is your torso length. A lot of folks, even ones who are considered short, can have a ‘normal’ torso length.
For these people, regular backpacks will work a treat. If you have a torso length of 42cm and below you are in the petite range.
Those ladies out there that are in the petite range should look for backpacks that come with different size harnesses that are fully adjustable. These types of harnesses can be a little on the heavy side too, so take the time to consider the weight you are comfortable with and not just the size.
There are a few design features that shorter women will just love.
- Narrower shoulder straps with an inward curve to avoid it dropping off your shoulders.
- A fully adjustable chest strap so you can be moved over the chest instead of across it, making the fit more comfortable.
- A hip belt that is angled slightly to fit nicely over a woman’s curves.
- Highly adjustable torso lengths while also being shorter.
If you consider yourself a petite woman then often you will naturally gravitate towards the smaller capacity backpacks. You will feel that you can’t carry a lot due to your size.
What you will find, however, is that most of the great features of backpacks are found in the bigger capacity models, so don’t feel restrained by it and go for what you need.
Here are some of the best features to look out for with petite women’s backpacks:
- Is the bag lockable for travel?
- Is it laptop-friendly?
- How many pockets does it have?
Frequently Asked Questions about Backpacks for petite Women
What is a typical backpack size for women?
We recommend that petite women carry no more than a 60-liter backpack. Most women’s backpacks go up to 70 liters on the market but often don’t feature the short length torso adjustments.
What is the best color for a women’s backpack?
Generally speaking, muted colors are best because they blend in with the surroundings without being too contrasty like a dark black or blue can.
That does not mean that, if you so wish, you can’t just go all out and get a bright color – we love individual expression here.
What makes a backpack comfortable?
Comfortable backpacks all have one thing in common, and that is that they fit your body size well.
Straps that are the correct width apart on your shoulders are a must, as is a hip belt with padding if you are carrying those heavier loads.