hiking-backpacks-women

10 Best Hiking Backpacks for Women in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: January 7, 2021)

Are you ready for your 5, 10, or 30-mile hike but struggling to find the perfect backpack? We’re here to give the top ten best hiking backpacks for women to suit your needs for your trip. While the market is populated with hiking backpacks that are either designed for men or unisex at best, we focused our study on women’s reviews and experiences. Nonetheless and thankfully, several brands have created a woman’s version of backpacks now.

Although women’s backpack tends to run slightly petite sometimes, we’ve provided the exact measures of the backpacks in each of our reviews. Make sure to measure your torso as it could be very possible that a man’s backpack can fit you better and that is okay! We hope that you can find your hiking backpack here. For longer trips, we suggest getting larger backpacking backpacks for women instead.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 12 hrs of research

Osprey Packs Tempest 20 Women's Hiking Backpack

Osprey Packs Tempest 20 Women’s Hiking Backpack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Back panel is innovative and greatly ventilated
  • Has a lot of pockets
  • Hip belt pockets are padded and good for quick access

Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Backpack for Hiking

Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Backpack for Hiking – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • Includes features that are normally found on expensive backpacks
  • Hydration friendly
  • The straps are adjustable making it feel very customized
  • Well stitched and feels like a high-quality material overall

Best Hiking Backpacks for Women – Overview

A great backpack can turn a painful hike to a wonderful one. A more contoured back panel can turn a back pain to a very comfortable and painless one. Thankfully, styles and colors for backpacks designed for women offer more options and varieties and that’s always a great thing for everyone’s style.

Hiking Backpacks for Women Reviews

1. Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Backpack for Hiking – Best Value

Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Backpack for Hiking

The Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Backpack for Hiking is an 18-Liter day pack that comes with its own 2-Liter hydration bladder and so much more! It’s designed with a low-profile cut that fits comfortably. You’ll get the best fit with the adjustable shoulder, chest, and waistbands. Shock-absorbing chest strap works with the rest of the harness to reduce bounce. Take it hiking, cycling, camping, backpacking, and anywhere you may need a bit of gear and a lot of on-demand water.

The Oasis1100 is light, adjustable, comfortable, and just the right price. It is designed with multiple compression straps so you can tighten your pack down for a great fit that will reduce bounce. An integrated rain cover in the bottom of your pack keeps your pack (and the gear inside it) dry when it rains. Great for hiking, cycling, backpacking, and anytime you need room for some gear and plenty of water. Our handy guide to the best hydration running packs features more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • Includes 2L hydration bladder
  • Air mesh back panel for ultimate comfort
  • Sewn-in rain cover in the bottom

Specifications:

  • Brand: Oasis
  • Capacity: 18L
  • Dimensions: 18.75″ H x 10″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 2 lbs
Pros
  • Includes features that are normally found on expensive backpacks
  • Hydration friendly
  • The straps are adjustable making it feel very customized
  • Well stitched and feels like a high quality material overall
Cons
  • Hip belts are not padded

2. Osprey Packs Tempest 20 Women’s Hiking Backpack – Premium Pick

Osprey Packs Tempest 20 Women's Hiking Backpack

The Osprey Packs Tempest 20 Women’s Hiking Backpack is a women’s specific fit in the perfect day hiking, biking, and peak-bagging carry solution. This backpack is one of the most versatile hiking packs available. With its 20L of capacity, it is perfect for day hikes, urban commutes or a trip to the market. The BioStretch harness and continuous wrap hipbelt combine to create an incredibly stable carry system.

It has a ventilated and comfortable, women-specific BioStretch harness and continuous wrap hipbelt combined to create an incredibly stable carry system that hugs your body so you can stay balanced on the trail, ridge or peak. The AirScape back panel has also been updated to use less material and glue to make it more breathable to keep you cool on hot days. Love Osprey? Check out our review of the best Osprey backpacks for our top picks.

Key Features:

  • Stow-On-The-Go trekking pole attachment
  • Dual-zippered panel access to the main compartment
  • Two zippered hipbelt pockets

Specifications:

  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 14″ W x 4″ D
  • Weight: 1.63 lbs
Pros
  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Back panel is innovative and greatly ventilated
  • Has a lot of pockets
  • Hip belt pockets are padded and good for quick access
Cons
  • Hip belts are not padded

3. G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack

G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack

The G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack is lightweight but durable to carry for your trip. Roomy capacity and multiple pockets to hold your travel and camping gears. The top double sided pouch can be used to store smaller items for better organization and foldable pouch when not in use. The main compartment is further secured with a top double sided pouch that offers additional storage. Inside the main compartment, you will find a fabric divider with elastic that can hold your computer.

One of the special features of this backpack is an elastic bungee and strap for tying up your pack or hanging sleeping bag, mat, hammock, tripod and other gears. There are four strings on the middle part and the bottom part. The chest clips will help to secure the load and it is also a whistle. You can blow your whistle for help when in danger to find your companions.

Key Features:

  • High capacity up to 40L
  • Practical design and full-featured for hiking
  • Folds up to a handy side

Specifications:

  • Brand: G4Free
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 22.8″ H x 13.4″ W x 7.9″ D
  • Weight: 0.79 lbs
Pros
  • Large capacity and can fit bulky stuff
  • Water-resistant protects it from rain
  • Durability for the price is reasonable
  • Whistle gives you safety for emergencies
Cons
  • Shoulder paddings are a little thin

4. CamelBak Women’s Helena 20 Hydration Backpack for Hiking

CamelBak Women's Helena 20 Hydration Backpack for Hiking

The CamelBak Women’s Helena 20 Hydration Backpack for Hiking offers a clean, simple aesthetic without sacrificing storage space. If you’re headed on an all-day hike to a chilly, windy summit, this pack has room for extra layers, an organized pocket for essentials, and a waist belt for a stable, secure climb. The reservoir holds 2.5 liters of water, and the side pockets can stow two more bottles for longer trips in hot weather.

A stretchy overflow compartment and an extra attachment points were also added to the outside of the pack for the days when you need to pile on extra gear. The women’s specific design features a shorter back panel and shoulder straps that curve comfortably around your chest. Lastly, a removable and adjustable sternum strap is also included for a more customed fit.

Key Features:

  • Includes a high flow reservoir with an ergonomic handle for easier refilling
  • Removable sternum strap
  • Hip belts have small pockets for quick access

Specifications:

  • Brand: CamelBak
  • Capacity: 17.5L
  • Dimensions: 18.90″ H x 10.43″ W x 9.84″ D
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
Pros
  • Plentiful space for items
  • Hydration is really great
  • The curved shoulder straps makes the backpack very comfortable
  • The material is water-resistant
Cons
  • Only has two color choices

5. Nevo Rhino Ultralight Waterproof Hiking Backpack

Nevo Rhino Ultralight Waterproof Hiking Backpack

The Nevo Rhino Ultralight Waterproof Hiking Backpack is built with an internal frame that is designed with human mechanics and a breathable system that distributes the weight to all parts of the body reasonably, avoiding focusing on the shoulders, so as to achieve a relaxed and comfortable effect. Ergonomic padded shoulder straps and back support is also designed for the best ventilation.

The bottom opening is equipped with a durable rain cover for easy removal, which can protect the contents of the backpack keep drying out on rainy days. There is a special place for hanging water bags in the backpack. The water bag will not be folded inside, and there will be a hose outlet on the side that you can drink water without taking it out. The backpack is made of nylon fabric, carefully sewn, and durable, making it the best choice for your trip. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best ultralight backpacks.

Key Features:

  • High-load waist buckle
  • Interna frame and breathable back
  • Water repellent fabric

Specifications:

  • Brand: Nevo Rhino
  • Capacity: 45/50L
  • Dimensions: 26″ H x 12.6″ W x 9.06″ D
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs
Pros
  • The backpack is very comfortable for its size
  • Huge capacity perfect for long miles of hikes
  • Very durable quality and great stitching
  • The heat and ventilation is very spread out
Cons
  • No outside water bottle holder

6. Osprey Packs Sirrus 36 Women’s Hiking Backpack

Osprey Packs Sirrus 36 Women's Hiking Backpack

The Osprey Packs Sirrus 36 Women’s Hiking Backpack is a top-loading backpack for demanding day hikes or light and fast overnight trips. Featuring adjustable torso lengths for improved fit and comfort with updated aesthetics, the women’s specific fit Sirrus 36 is the go-to choice for everything from short day hikes to lightweight overnights in the back-country no matter how far, or near. When the weather turns, fear not – the Sirrus keeps your gear and pack protected with an integrated rain cover. Smartly organized pocketing keeps all your equipment where you need it when you need it.

This backpack has an airspeed suspension that is incredibly comfortable and ventilated tensioned mesh back panel with added adjustability for variations in torso length to provide fine-tuned customization fit for every hiker and backpacker. It also comes with side panel access so you can quickly access the main compartment as you need to. Adding to this backpack’s features is the separated zippered sleeping bag compartment at the bottom which makes for a highly organized pack.

Key Features:

  • Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment
  • Internal hydration sleeve
  • Sleeping bag compartment

Specifications:

  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 36L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 15″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 3.35 lbs
Pros
  • Very well-designed backpack
  • Super comfortable and great ventilation
  • The separate compartment at the bottom is a great feature
  • Internal hydration sleeve included
Cons
  • Top-loading style although there are side panel access

7. Gelindo Insulated Hydration Hiking Backpack

Gelindo Insulated Hydration Hiking Backpack

The Gelindo Insulated Hydration Hiking Backpack is designed with four large compartments, built-in layers and other different sizes and purpose-driven pockets. This backpack can easily store everything you need for day-long hikes or overnight trips. The back panel of this backpack is an ergonomic concave air mesh with breathable adjustable shoulder straps to allow airflow and a better fit for your back.

The best thing about this backpack is its insulated hydration compartment that can carry up to 2.5L water. This compartment isolates the heat transfer between your back and the bladder and can keep your water cool for up to four hours! Further, the material is water resistance, ensuring your stuff to stay dry when rain hits! Overall, this backpack is fully featured and definitely won’t disappoint.

Key Features:

  • 2.5L water insulated compartment up to 4hrs
  • Padded hip-belts with zipped pockets
  • Water-resistant material

Specifications:

  • Brand: Gelindo
  • Capacity: 18L
  • Weight: <1.8 lbs
Pros
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • It is very lightweight but still has structure to it
  • Side mesh pockets for additional water bottles
  • Insulation works well
Cons
  • Fabric is a little thin due to its lightweight

8. VenturePal Packable Hiking Backpack

VenturePal Packable Hiking Backpack

The VenturePal Packable Hiking Backpack provides several pockets for handy storage and convenient organization. In addition to its roomy main compartment, the backpack features two front zipper pockets for smaller items, an internal zippered pocket, and two open-mesh side pockets for quick access such as guide books, water bottles or umbrella. This hiking backpack is a true space saver. It is easy to fold the backpack to a small pocket(a sandwich size). Simply unfold from your checked bags and use it as a carry on for your excess baggage.

This hiking backpack is made of high-quality nylon material and professional skills to provide you with superb experience! To ensure its longevity, stress points are reinforced with numerous bar tacks and use 2-way Abrasion Resistant. It is perfect not just for a hiking day trip, but also for vacations, travel, camping, and even shopping!

Key Features:

  • Multi-compartments in pockets
  • Foldable when not in use
  • Shoe compartment included

Specifications:

  • Brand: Venture Pal
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 13″ W x 7.5″ D
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs
Pros
  • Great quality zippers
  • Includes chest straps for added comfort
  • Side water pockets can carry larger bottles than most backpacks
  • Numerous pockets that serve different purposes
Cons
  • Backpack may run long for petite torsos

9. OlarHike Hiking Backpack

OlarHike Hiking Backpack

The OlarHike Hiking Backpack is designed for everyday use or short day travel and hiking. It works well as a carry-on, day-trip pack or packable daypack. The Lightweight design is perfect for savvy minimalist packers. It is a great option for those who love practicality and portability. This backpack provides several pockets for handy storage and convenient organization.

In addition to its roomy main compartment, the backpack features two front zipper pockets for smaller items, an internal zippered pocket, and two open-mesh side pockets for quick access such as guide books, water bottle or an umbrella. Made out of ripstop-nylon, it sheds rain and prevents water penetration effectively. When not in use, this backpack folds into a sandwich size pack that can serve as your emergency storage while on-the-go. It is also incredibly lightweight making it ideal for a quick hike trip.

Key Features:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Water-resistant and durable
  • Has a stylish reflective stripe for night use

Specifications:

  • Brand: OlarHike
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 19″ H x 12″ W x 6″ D
  • Weight: 0.65 lbs
Pros
  • The backpack is very lightweight
  • Huge capacity perfect for long miles of hikes
  • Chest strap incudes whistle buckle
  • A lot of small pockets for organization
Cons
  • “Netting” on the inside of shoulder may not be preferred by some

10. High Sierra Classic 2 Series Summit Hiking Women Backpack

High Sierra Classic 2 Series Summit Hiking Women Backpack

The High Sierra Classic 2 Series Summit Hiking Women Backpack is a durable and practical explorer’s kit. A compact kit, it has a simple, contoured aluminum frame bar internal base and is most definitely ideal for much longer hikes with possible campings. This backpack’s internal frame kit was made to last for several journeys, consisting of a rugged 1680D ballistic nylon and a Duralite mini-hexagon ripstop with water-resistant coating.

With Hex-VENT mesh padding and flexible load lift the shoulder straps of the pack are designed to comfort and ease of use. For the even transfer of weight on your shoulders, the shoulder pads that do not move gives you more stability. This backpack contains a sleeping bag with a separator front-loading bag, an adjustable side-and-bottom compression harness, a sturdy pack, a double escapes internal hydration reservoir, and rain cover for safety.

Key Features:

  • Tuck-away rain cover stored in the bottom pocket
  • Molded foam back panel with Airflow channels
  • Hydration reservoir sleeve with dual exit ports for tube

Specifications:

  • Brand: High Sierra
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 26″ H x 14″ W x 7.5″ D
  • Weight: 4.5lbs
Pros
  • The backpack is very durable and made out of high quality material
  • Huge capacity perfect for long miles of hikes
  • The backpack stays very stable on your bag or even on the ground
  • The heat and ventilation is very spread out
Cons
  • Top-loading vs full clamshell style

Buying Guide

Internal Vs. External Frame

You might have realized that there are internal frames and external frames for backpacking. While an external frame pack is an old-school style, they are only suitable if your carrying really heavy loads. Nevertheless, we still prefer the convenience of internal frame packs.

Features

The back and shoulders contour, hip belts, and the size of the backpack as you settle on the design for your hiking backpack are the key features to look for. A super-wide back panel and shoulder straps can greatly affect your hiking comfort in a not-so-pleasant way. Most women suffer from back pain due to factors like this. Hip belts are underrated saviors of life. Especially for women who are big packers who can quickly blow up your load, a nicely placed padded hip belt can not only add to your comfort but also help in weight distribution!

Size

Size depends on how long your hike is for. We’ve assumed and focus on shorter hikes in this review and added the top options for longer hikes where you might need to camp and pack more. Regardless, the right backpack size can help your back massively. From breathability to just pain comfort, size really plays a role.

Breathability

A well ventilated back panel and shoulder pads will minimize sweating and heat to build upon your back easily. Good thing is that most backpacks on this page and on the market show great back panels and lining, some even using new technology. Breathability is a must before you do that 8-mile hike!

Materials

Material is very important especially if you’re packing for longer hikes. It’s not just for practicality but most importantly, it’s for your safety! A ripped backpack, while you’re heading back down, is just catastrophic. Nylons are known to be most durable. Water-proof material can also be another savior for you. Depending on which area you live, sometimes rain may just come unexpectedly and it’s just always to be better to be ready!

Value

Since there aren’t many backpack companies that manufacture a women’s version of backpacks, it is understandable that a good backpack tailored to women can be higher than average. Our conclusion is that this is worth it. It absolutely is. If this is a backpack you’re also taking on many hikes, why not spend a couple more and save yourself some intense back pain and discomfort, let alone what you get from hiking in itself? This isn’t to say unisex are to be ignored, in our list, we made sure that the unisex backpacks have been tried and tested by many women around the world and have testified to the appropriateness of the features and size.

Frequently Ask Questions

What’s the difference between daypacks and hiking backpacks?

A backpack is a wide term that encompasses everything from school book bags and work bags to bigger backcountry hiking backpacks built to help someone for weeks on end. Daypacks are uniquely built backpacks for day hikes. The aim is to fit in the smallest possible hiking bag with everything you need for a full day. All-day long, the right daypacks are well equipped and convenient.

What is better: top-loading or panel loading backpacks?

Top-loading packs operate pretty much like a large bag of items. You place on the bottom the things you definitely won’t use since you’ll have to clear the bag to get to them. And put on top of the stuff you want to get easy access to. This model fits fantastically for long hikes where you have tools you don’t require before you set up the night site. Panel loading packs are equipped with the common U shaped zipper that goes above. When unzipped, the panel flap can fold inwards to allow entry to the main compartment. These are perfect for quick rummage access through the contents of your bag. The drawback that the panel contributes much more weight to the pack.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best hiking backpacks for women as well as our guide on features to look for in a hiking backpack for women. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.