You can find yourself hiking in the most beautiful location or heading to your dream job in the city, but if your backpack is uncomfortable, you’re not going to be able to enjoy the experience as much as you could. Of course, every body is different and just because a backpack claims it is designed with women in mind, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will automatically fit all women.
That said, there are definitely certain elements to look out for when searching for your ideal backpack and many companies create backpacks for women with these elements in mind.
To make the task of finding your ideal backpack easier, I have handpicked a selection of products which offer maximum comfort, good adjustability and multiple compartments for toiletries and other items. I have ranked the products from best to worst in terms of suitability for women, but in reality, the best product depends on what it is you are looking for, so the choice is in your hands.
Gregory Mountain Products Jade 53L
This hiking Backpack from Gregory is designed for ultimate comfort and utility. The curved straps and foam shoulder pads will ensure the bag is comfortable to wear and the suspension system and hipbelt will help redirect the weight of your luggage from your shoulders to your hips, making it easier to carry. The product also contains multiple compartments, security pockets and quick-access waist belt pockets so you can easily get to your most important gear. In terms of design and comfort, this backpack is a great investment if you enjoy camping, hiking or country treks.
Arc’teryx Bora AR 49 Backpack
The Arc’teryx backpack is the most expensive product on the list, but you certainly get a lot for your money. The material is high quality so the bag will protect your clothes and possessions even in severe weather. The mesh hipbelt is especially wide, which is a good sign if you are looking for a backpack which is comfortable and easy to carry. There is a lot of storage space so if you are after a backpack for short or long trips away, this is a reliable choice.
Osprey Packs Women’s Viva 50 Backpack
Osprey are a reputable brand when it comes to high quality backpacks, and the same applies to their “Women’s Viva 50” design. In addition to essential features such as adjustable straps and sufficient storage space, the hipbelt comes with zipped pockets so you can get to important items quickly. There is also a sleeping bag compartment and an internal hydration sleeve in the main body of the product.
High Sierra Women’s Summit 40L
This High Sierra backpack is designed with women in mind. Both the shoulder and waist straps are adjustable so you can find a fit that works for you. There is also a contoured frame bar which can be adjusted to fit your unique back shape. The back panels are all built with Airflow channels so you can stay cool in hot weather or long hikes. You really can fit a lot on this backpack and it is waterproof too. If you are looking for a reliable, modestly priced backpack for women, this is an excellent choice.
Gregory Mountain Products Maya 5L
Gregory also offer a smaller backpack for women. This hiking backpack is more appropriate for day trips and is more suitable if you are on a lower budget. Nonetheless, Gregory have carefully designed the pack with women in mind. The BioSync technology prevents the pack from moving, so you can keep it in a comfortable position. There are also lots of compartments and organizer pockets, so it’s ideal if you are going on a short trip but have a lot of small items to bring. It should even stay in place when running.
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack
Although it is not designed specifically for women, the Kelty Redwing 50 is cheaper than its female designed alternative and contains a lot of the same features. The back panel incorporates an airflow system to keep you cool and there are air mesh adjustable shoulder straps and a high density foam waist belt for comfort. There are even sternum straps and waist buckles, so you should be able to find a comfortable position for the pack and keep it there.
Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack
The Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 backpack is a smaller version of the previous choice. It contains pretty much all of the same fantastic features, only it is designed for those with a petite frame. Essentially, if you are a small woman or want something more lightweight, you will find a better fit with the Redwing 40. But otherwise, you should be able to find a comfortable fit with the Redwing 50 as well. It really depends on your body type.
Osprey Packs Women’s Kyte 36 Backpack
Next, we have another women’s backpack from Osprey and it looks quite different from the Viva 50, but shares a lot of the same features. The Viva 50 contains more padding so it is significantly more comfortable, but the Kyte 36 contains the hipbelt pockets, trekking pole attachment feature and multiple exterior pockets to help spread the weight of your luggage. It is comfortable too and is also very easy on the eye.
The North Face Borealis Daypack
The North Face Borealis is a good daypack for women. It is durable and can be used for short trips and is ideal as a college bag. There are multiple compartments to spread out the weight and decent adjustable shoulder and sternum straps to keep the bag in place. If you are wanting to go on a weekend hike, this is not the bag for you but if you want a trusty backpack which is comfortable and in style, it could be a good choice.
JanSport Women’s Agave Backpack
The Agave JanSport is versatile and is built for the outdoors. Its comfortable shoulder straps, compression straps and padded waistband as comfortable as a backpack can get. It is made from durable fabric and comes in a range of colours. The only downside is that it is not big enough to take on a camping trip but as a daypack, it’s great. There is also a padded sleeve for your laptop, hence the versatility factor.
Kenneth Cole Reaction Women’s Sophie
The Kenneth Cole Women’s backpack is designed for business but it is particularly ideal for business trips. In fact, it even has a special strap at the back to slot over your suitcase handles. The pack is made of silky nylon and it is definitely sleek and stylish. It also has a special feature which blocks radio waves to prevent electronic theft. Again, if you want a backpack for hikes, this won’t be ideal but it’s definitely worth taking a look at.
Under Armour Hustle 3.0
Although it is not designed specifically for women, this backpack is pretty much perfect for anyone and everyone. The adjustable S-shaped shoulder straps offer maximum comfort and it is a good size for a gym bag or day trip pack. The material is highly durable and water repellant too. There is a compartment in the bottom for spare shoes or trainers and pockets for valuables.
Patagonia Women’s Refugio Backpack 26L
This next backpack has all the standard features when it comes to female friendly packs. It has a special harness for a smaller, tighter fit and soft straps and mesh back panel for added comfort. It also has an internal pocket for a laptop and an attractive design. It is a little on the pricey side for what you get, but those who love it, swear by it.
HawLander Nylon Backpack
The HawLander Nylon pack is great for day trips as it is lightweight and small in size. It is designed for those with a smaller frame. The shoulder straps are extra thick and padded so it is definitely comfortable to wear. The product is a great price and its simple, black design means it never goes out of style.
Mubasel Gear Backpack
The packable lightweight backpacks are great for anyone, man or woman, who wants to minimize the weight of their load. They fold up to pocket size so you can store them in your handbag when you are not using them and of course, the adjustable shoulder straps are extra padded for your comfort. This Mubasel Gear Backpack also comes with a few added pockets for your personal items.