best travel backpacks for women

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

(Last Updated On: June 28, 2021)

How does a unisex travel backpack vary from a travel backpack designed women? Well, there are basically a couple of design modifications that make backpacks suit a female’s body better. While you may think that these differences could be so subtle and can be ignored, it can actually make a completely different experience for you!

Surely, there aren’t that many brands that manufacture a female version of their backpacks, nonetheless, we did a careful study and research to see what fits the best for women. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, an adventure geek, or a minimalist traveler, comfort and the right backpack is one of the most essential factors for a successful trip.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 10 hrs of research

Osprey Packs Fairview 40 Women Backpack

Osprey Packs Fairview 40 Women Backpack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • Hidden zippers to curb theft
  • Can fit a lot
  • Very durable
  • Great padding including tech compartment

Kelty Women's Redwing 40 Backpack

Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • Spacious main compartment
  • Smart features overall
  • Very comfortable on the back
  • Magnificently padded hip belt

Best Travel Backpacks for Women – Overview

Women may have more variety when it comes to shopping for things in general, however, it doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to backpacks. Most of the carry on backpacks in the market today are made for unisex if not for men’s style and type. We believe that this could’ve been an underrated distinction that we should pay a little more attention to. Luckily, there are also carry on bags designed for women. Here’s our top 10 list that was carefully and thoroughly studied by conducting research with the women population.

Travel Backpacks for Women Reviews

1. Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack – Best Value

Kelty Women's Redwing 40 Backpack

The Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack is perfectly sized for short trips whether on the trail or in the air. This backpack comes with a U-zipper that serves as a top loader and panel loader, allowing for easy access to your backpack. There is an extra pocket on the front that allows quick hideaways for your jacket or hoodie. Furthermore, the internal organization of this backpack has been updated to accommodate your smaller irregular sized items.

This backpack is made from a very sturdy poly fabric to ensure durability. It features an internal sleeve that serves as a water reservoir to sustain your hydration needs. The shoulder straps are contoured to fit a woman’s body, padded with hex mesh as well as on the back panel side of the backpack. It also includes two side pockets and a metal hook on the front stash that can easily be clipped on to add attachments. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best hiking backpacks for women.

Key Features:

  • 420D Poly small back Stafford material
  • Padded hip belt
  • Multiple internal and external compartments

Specifications:

  • Brand: Kelty
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 23″ H x 14″ W x 12″ D
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
Pros
  • Spacious main compartment
  • Smart features overall
  • Very comfortable on the back
  • Magnificently padded hip belt
Cons
  • Top-load style vs clamshell

2. Eagle Creek Women’s Global Companion Travel 40L Backpack

Eagle Creek Women's Global Companion Travel 40L Backpack

The Eagle Creek Women’s Global Companion Travel 40L Backpack can just be your best companion in your next adventure. This backpack is built of 450D Geo Ripstop, Bi-Tech, and 600D helix poly material that just guarantees quality and durability! It opens book-style showing off two main compartments for maximum space utilization and easy access. Also, if you are a heavy packer, this backpack can be protected without the risk of breaking with its self-repairing lockable zippers equipped with simple and easy grip.

If you are the paranoid type, this backpack also comes with a central lock point that can serve as dual lock zips. The straps are femininely contoured and padded with proper moisture flow across your back. Of course, this backpack also comes with a padded hip belt and sternum strap for a better weight distribution feature.

Key Features:

  • Laptop compartment up to 17″
  • Side compressors
  • 450D Geo Ripstop, Bi-Tech, and 600D helix poly material

Specifications:

  • Brand: Eagle Creek
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 3.31 lbs
Pros
  • Great harness system
  • Great organizational pockets
  • Large capacity
  • Good weight distribution
Cons
  • On the heavier side

3. Osprey Packs Fairview 40 Women Backpack – Premium Pick

Osprey Packs Fairview 40 Women Backpack

The Osprey Packs Fairview 40 Women Backpack is one of the most comfortable and practical travel backpacks out in the market. This backpack comes in unisex, men and women’s version. It is tailored to pass airline size requirements while still provide you with a large space to fit all your needs. The backpack comes with a LightWire frame that transfers the load from the harness to the hipbelt, making sure the backpack does not feel like a burden on your back. The material features ripstop nylon that can prevent big damages or scratches if any.

This backpack is lightweight and compact. It is fully featured and offers a lot of functionality amidst its minimalist look. For safekeeping, the back panel including the hipbelt can be tucked in for a clearer and tidier look. Outside this backpack, it comes with meshed back ventilation to improve airflow and a nice hipbelt for additional support. Overall, this backpack is well-thought and designed to give you what you need. You may also be interested in some of the best Osprey backpacks from our list, so check them out.

Key Features:

  • Lockable sliders on main compartment zipper
  • Ripstop nylon material
  • Dual compression straps

Specifications:

  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 21″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 3.16 lbs
Pros
  • Hidden zippers to curb theft
  • Can fit a lot
  • Very durable
  • Great padding including tech compartment
Cons
  • A little on the pricier side

4. Venture Pal 40L Backpack

Venture Pal 40L Backpack

The Venture Pal 40L Backpack comes in multiple colors and patterns that can fit a wide range of styles. This backpack offers good versatility whether you’re on a short trip or even a long one. It comes with plenty of pockets and organization features. This backpack also made out of a water-resistant material, perfect for rainy days! To top it off, there’s also a waterproof wet pocket in the main compartment in order to separate your wet from dry clothes!

Another good thing about this backpack is that it’s extremely lightweight that is perfect for your back and in maximizing space. The bottom part is also double-layered to give your stuff more protection. When storing it away, this backpack can be easily folded within its own pocket and can save you clutter and space. With this backpack’s unbeatable price, it sure deserves a spot.

Key Features:

  • Tear and water-resistant
  • Four compression straps
  • Multi-compartment storage

Specifications:

  • Brand: Venture Pal
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 19.3″ H x 12.5″ W x 6.3″ D
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs
Pros
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Very affordable
  • Water-resistant
  • Versatile usability and purpose
Cons
  • Shoulder straps can be improved

5. Hynes Eagle 40L Travel Backpack

Hynes Eagle 40L Travel Backpack

The Hynes Eagle 40L Travel Backpack may not look as big enough for a travel bag at first glance, but it opens up like a suitcase and holds much more stuff than you can imagine!  This bag has compression straps in and out for locking your stuff up. The zippers are sturdy and great. Further, the front part of the bag has enough compartments to fit your small items. At the very back of the bag is where you put your laptop which fits up to 17″.

This bag is made out of 600D polyester and water-repellant material. Something you may need for rainy trips? And if you need to just carry this bag, there’s also a dedicated back pocket to hide away the straps and keep clutter away. Love backpacks? Check out our review of the best travel backpacks for our top picks.

Key Features:

  • Water-repellent material
  • Exterior compression straps
  • Back laptop compartment

Specifications:

  • Brand: Hynes Eagle
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 20.5″ H x 13.8″ W x 8.6″ D
  • Weight: 2.4lbs
Pros
  • Great for organizing
  • Huge storage capacity
  • Well thought design overall
  • Adjustable sternum straps
Cons
  • Snap buckle style shoulder straps

6. Deuter Transit 40L Travel Bag

Deuter Transit 40L Travel Bag

The Deuter Transit 40L Travel Backpack is a great transport partner, has been specifically developed to fit into the overhead compartment and has a U-shaped zip that allows you to reach all of your belongings easily. This lightweight and convenient bag are easy to move from the airport to the underground and from the street to the road. The 600D exterior fabric also withstands rough travels.

The isolated bottom pocket is another key feature of this backpack. This zippered body is suitable for preserving dusty and clothing-free clothes. There are three different pockets outside of this backpack. A pocket with a mesh water bottle on the left, good for water with bottles. For electronics adapter, cables, and other small items there is a similar size zippered bag on the opposite pocket. Finally, your headphones also have a dedicated vertical slash pocket in the center of the pack for quick access. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best travel backpack for business.

Key Features:

  • Separate bottom compartment
  • Padded detachable carry strap
  • Organizer and laptop pockets

Specifications:

  • Brand: Deuter
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 3.10lbs
Pros
  • Very functional for various trips
  • Interior aluminum to fit your back perfectly
  • Fits a lot of things
  • Straps can be tucked away
Cons
  • It’s is a shoulder strap bag

7. Peak Design Travel Line 45L Travel Backpack

Peak Design Travel Line 45L Travel Backpack

The Peak Design Travel Line 45L Travel Backpack is perfect for people who like sleek, efficient, and well-organized backpack. It is best for city or urban traveling and it can hold for weeks worth of trip. There’s a reason why Peak Design is known as having well-thought backpacks and people couldn’t be more right on that. This backpack has an expandability feature making it good as a 30L – 45L backpack, it’s like a 3-in-1!

Most of the bag consists of a 400D nylon toilet with built-in water resistance. What a relief to know that if you are trapped in a rainstorm the things can stay dry. The base of the back has a 900D nylon fabric to shield the valuables from further abrasions. It must be noted that it also allows the pack to stand alone, a good feature when you’re out!

Key Features:

  • Expandable from 30L – 35L – 45L
  • High
  • Back laptop compartment

Specifications:

  • Brand: Peak Design
  • Capacity: 45L
  • Dimensions: 22.1″ H x 13″ W x11.4″ D
  • Weight: 4.52lbs
Pros
  • Great for organizing
  • Huge storage capacity
  • Well thought design overall
  • Adjustable sternum straps
Cons
  • Snap buckle style shoulder straps

8. High Sierra Classic 2 Series Summit

High Sierra Classic 2 Series Summit

The High Sierra Classic 2 Series Summit is a durable and practical explorer’s kit. A compact kit, it has a simple, contoured aluminum frame bar internal base and is ideal for hiking, cycling or backpacking. 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.

The shoulder straps of the pack are designed for comfort and ease of use with the use of HEX-VENT mesh padding and flexible cargo lifts. The shoulder pads that do not move are more uniformly used for weight distribution on your shoulders. This backpack also features a frontloading sleeping bag with separator, interchangeable side and bottom compression braces, a sturdy pack, an inner hydration tank with doubles escape ports and a rain cover for protection. Ideal for an adventure or travel journey.

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
  • Perfect size and storage capacity
  • Huge storage capacity
  • Very durable and high quality material
  • Comfortable fit and great back airflow
Cons
  • Top load style opening

9. Gregory Mountain Jade 33L Travel Backpack

Gregory Mountain Jade 33L Travel Backpack

The Gregory Mountain Jade 33L Travel Backpack features a customized feel of body-shaping suspension which follows your body movement while you’re on the go. The FreeFloat suspension is the ultimate package for an active exercise, lightweight and smoothed silhouettes that provide an extraordinarily balanced and versatile holding.

The backpack also features a water bottle access, complete U-zip panel for easy access and open-air ventilation that gives you comfort regardless of where you take this backpack to go. And if it rains, this backpack includes a rain cover to keep your belongings and backpack dry.

Key Features:

  • Front stretch mesh pocket and hip belt pockets
  • Sunglass QuickStow on shoulder harness
  • FreeFloat dynamic suspension

Specifications:

  • Brand: Gregory
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 13.8″ W x 7.9″ D
  • Weight: 2.77lbs
Pros
  • Oustanding comfortability
  • Sturdy and high quality material
  • Rain cover is a plus
  • Easy to access items
Cons
  • Fits hiking than urban/city travel

10. The North Face Women’s Surge Travel Backpack

The North Face Women's Surge Travel Backpack

The North Face Women’s Surge Travel Backpack specializes in comfort, and not just comfort but comfort specific to women’s torso and proper fitting. As a matter of fact, this backpack has been vetted by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) due to its outstanding fit that helps reduce possible lower back strain encountered in a lot of other backpacks. It also offers other features to help distribute the weight on your back such as the smartly padded back panel, amazing shoulder straps, and waist belt.

This backpack is made out of ultra-durable ballistic nylon making it able to stand the test on any environment you may find yourself in. Whether it’s up the mountains or heavily crowded city, this backpack can sure stand wear and tear for many adventures to come. Our handy guide to the best North Face backpacks features more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • TSA friendly laptop compartment
  • Removable waist belt
  • 360-degree reflective bike-light loop

Specifications:

  • Brand: North Face
  • Capacity: 31L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 13.25″ W x 10.25″ D
  • Weight: 3lbs
Pros
  • Ultra-comfortable to wear
  • Very durable and lasts a long time
  • Has many pockets and compartments
  • Price is very justified by quality and features
Cons
  • A little on the heavier side

Buying Guide

Features

When deciding on features for women’s travel backpack, the top things to look out for are the back and shoulder contour, hip belts, and the size of the backpack. A greatly padded and contoured back panel and shoulder straps can greatly affect your comfort throughout your trip. Most women suffer from back pain due to either of these factors being present or tailored to their torsos. Hip belts are life saviors. Especially for women who are big packers, having a nicely placed and padded hip belt can lighten up your load that will blow your mind.

Size

Size is a huge factor when it comes to comfort. Some backpacks may run too big for a woman’s body and can cause a great deal in terms of balancing. If it’s too small then you might run out of clothes halfway your trip. Basically, planning for how much you’re going to bring is the first step. We recommend 40L as the most ideal size for a good 2-3 week trip. Secondly, once that’s locked in, carefully look at the sizes the backpacks offer and measure what matches your torso appropriately. While there aren’t many brands that offer different sizes for their women backpacks, it is still good to do a little research to find your perfect fit.

Breathability

A good ventilated back panel and shoulder straps can reduce sweating and heat that can accumulate real fast on your back. Good thing is that most backpacks that are on this list and are out in the market have tuned in to the new technology showcasing great back panels and padding.

Materials

Nylon is known to be very durable hence it’s why it is used in many backpacks and even in soft cased luggage. An anti-theft or scratch-proof can save you headaches later on especially if you are taking this backpack on a hiking adventure. Further, an anti-theft material can give you huge peace of mind while you’re on the road or in bustling streets and cities. Good stitching and zipper are also key factors to take in, nothing is worse than a ripped zipper in the middle of your trip!

Price

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 trips, why not spend a couple more and save yourself some intense back pain and discomfort? The price points we think are good enough are about $100 – $200. 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.

Conclusion

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