Everyone has their passions, and I’m pretty passionate about travel backpacks. A good backpack makes or breaks a trip, and I have so many great memories with all my travel bags from around the world!

I take different types of trips (backpacking, work trip, day trip). My travel backpacks might be a daypack for toting my laptop to a cafe while in a new city, or a “backpacking backpack” that takes me on a two-week trip to Southeast Asia. I’ve searched “travel backpacks” time and again, but what I always need is the best travel backpacks for women. As a female traveler, I have my own style requirements, as well as size requirements!

My list here has photos of me wearing these highly-recommended travel backpacks, so you can see how they look on a real person (I’m not a model!). Here are the best backpacks for woman travelers, from daypacks, to weekend travel bags to backpacking rucksacks.

Quickly jump to these sections of my women’s backpack reviews:


Daypacks are simple, like a backpack that carries my work laptop when I am working remotely and traveling. Other daypacks are comfortable small backpacks that I want to be my personal item for a flight. The daypacks for women below would be my backpacks for a day of sightseeing on vacation.

Troubadour Ki Backpack

Troubadour is a company I really like for its sustainability practices. When I tried the Ki Backpack, I was floored with the ultimate lightweight factor of this bag, along with the pockets, materials and trustworthy quality. I use it when I commute to work, because it fits my 13” MacBook Air, plus a few snacks and even a light sweater.

I have so many positive things to say about this bag that they won’t all fit here! Head on over to my detailed review of the Ki Backpack to see more photos of me using this travel backpack for women.

My Pros

  • I like that it’s made of sustainable materials and that Troubadour is B-Certified.
  • It neatly fits everything I need, with no lumpy space leftover. It also holds its shape when I’m out for a day.

My Cons

  • Priced at $200+ (but worth it because I think this little backpack is PERFECT!)
  • Not big enough to fit my jacket or outfit changes I may need.

Troubadour Ki Backpack

Experience sophisticated storage with the Troubadour Ki Backpack, built for both professional settings and adventurous trips.

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Away Everywhere Zip Backpack & Front Pocket Backpack

The Away Everywhere Zip Backpack has been my personal item on a flight during travel. I’ve also used it as my go-to daytime backpack while on vacation.

Away also makes a smaller backpack with a front pocket! In this review about the Away Daypack, I review the original style as one of the best daypacks for female travel, because it’s slim, not bulky, not “doofy” and has plenty of inner pockets that I value.

Away updated the backpack since I’ve reviewed it! The updates are great improvements to this daypack that comes in a convenient size and looks more stylish and elegant than ever.

My Pros

  • The size gives me plenty of room for all my essentials, like a water bottle and a light layer during a trip.
  • It has worked well for me as a personal item on a flight that I also use as a daypack while traveling.

My Cons

  • At $195, it’s expensive, but take my advice: make use of Away’s 100-day trial, to try it commitment-free.

Away Everywhere Zip Backpack

Journey in style with the Away Everywhere Zip Backpack, your compact companion for everyday use.

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United by Blue (R)evolution 15L Commuter Backpack

The (R)evolution 15L backpack is a backpack both Dan and I have used while hiking, or out for a day trip. It has a slimming shape for a travel bag, and looks good on a short woman like me.

This backpack is impressively lightweight, so the starting weight is almost nothing before you put your first item in.It fits my MacBook Air perfectly. It also fits Dan’s 14” MacBook Pro snugly. The interior laptop sleeve is padded for a little bit of protection.

My Pros

  • Because there’s not a lot of padding in the (R)evolution 15L, it’s packable into a larger piece of luggage, which is a plus!
  • It’s an ideal “personal item” on a flight, at the 15L size. I used it on my flight when I went to Canada.

My Cons

  • With spot clean care, it’s not exactly recommended to be machine-washable, and I like my bags to be washable.
  • It does NOT have water bottle side pockets. This bothers me a little because I’m constantly using a water bottle.

United by Blue (R)evolution 15L Commuter Backpack

Step into sustainability with the United by Blue (R)evolution 15L Commuter Backpack, designed for the eco-conscious traveler.

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Troubadour Momentum Backpack

I like the symmetrical and calming design of the Momentum Backpack. I’ve been enjoying that my Momentum Backpack has both function and style, for a woman traveler like me.

The Momentum Backpack is a sleek backpack that makes an excellent “personal item” for a flight, as well as a daypack when I’m on a trip. For features, I appreciate the high-quality zippers that don’t snag (signature for Troubadour products, which I also mention in my Generation Leather Backpack review), the dedicated laptop compartment with its own exterior zipper and inner sleeve, and the loads of organizer pockets in the main compartment where I stash my essentials.

It’s a 13L-volume bag that’ll do well either for work or play. I really like the thick top handle, which is handy for if I need to hold my backpack by a top handle when I’m crunched on a subway or metro car. The zipper pulls are also nice and long, and the whole bag is lightweight, which I appreciate as a petite woman. I have a LOT of things to say about this backpack, which you can see at my Troubadour Momentum Backpack review here.

My Pros

  • For me, it’s the perfect daypack size. I make use of all the neatly zippered pockets in its beautiful design.
  • The laptop compartment fits two laptops: it’s perfect if I have a work laptop and a personal laptop (or a laptop and a tablet).

My Cons

  • Laptop compartment and front zip compartment have single zippers, but double zips would’ve been nice.

Troubadour Momentum Backpack

Satisfy your adventure needs with the Troubadour Momentum Backpack, perfect for exploring urban jungles and beyond.

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Quince All-Day Neoprene Backpack

What went through my head when I took this backpack out of its packaging was, “Woohoo! I’m finally one of those people with a trendy neoprene backpack!” Quince’s Neoprene Backpack is cute, and sits well on my back. This backpack is pretty squishy and light, so I can squish it into my Quince suitcase if I want to pack it and take it out when my flight lands.

One unique travel feature on this bag is the detachable “valuables” pouch. This inner neoprene pouch is attached by a cord, and helps protect against pickpockets and theft. I’m going to keep my typical on-the-go stuff in there, whether valuable or not.

The backpack is 16L in volume, with travel features like a luggage pass-through sleeve, a 13” laptop pocket sleeve for my Macbook Air and the detachable 7” zipper pouch. At just under $100, it’s affordable. See more photos at my full Quince neoprene backpack review.

Bonus idea: Pair it with Quince’s Neoprene belt bag from the same collection. I featured it in my list of the best travel fanny packs.

Quince All-Day Neoprene Backpack

Made from recycled materials, this lightweight and flexible backpack has essential travel features and some surpise bonus aspects.

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Moment MTW Backpack 17L

The Moment MTW Backpack 17L quickly became a favorite day-sized backpack for me! It’s not too big, and not too small for a petite woman like myself. At 17L, it’s a nice daypack size for essentials and it has a clean modern look.

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The MTW backpack is cool for “going anywhere” or bringing your work with you. I like this backpack so far for day trips. If I’m going to be taking my camera out on a trip, I use the nifty interior of this backpack, which is made for safely storing tech like lenses, chargers, headphones and more essentials.

For travel, there’s also a trolley pass-through, for being airport-ready. You can see how it looks on me in these photos that Dan took (I’m 5’2”).

My other experience with the Moment brand is the cool and minimal Moment Fanny Sling in my roundup of the best fanny packs for travel. It’s made of the same materials as the MTW backpack, so if you like that, check out this belt bag.

Moment debuted a new laptop and photography bag that’s going to be replacing this one, and it comes in the same sizes. Check out our Moment Everything Backpack review.

My Pros

  • Cushioned laptop compartment with space for two laptops, or a laptop and a tablet.
  • Designed to stand up on its own and not topple over if you set it down.

My Cons

  • The laptop zipper can be a little stiff from time to time.
  • Some people might get annoyed by the flap that goes over the zipper of the main compartment.

Moment MTW Backpack 17L

Carry your tech essentials with ease with the Moment MTW Backpack 17L, offering unparalleled durability and style.

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UP Seoul Lifestyle Daypack by Deuter

I’ve been using the Deuter UP Seoul Daypack for a year. I liked how it’s streamlined and chilled-out, with a down-to-earth look. For features, I enjoy the zipper-around flap and the two side pockets for water bottles.

The UP Seoul Daypack is described as 16+10L, meaning it has an overall capacity of 26L. For me, it works well as a commuter bag or a daypack for a road trip or vacation. I can fit a light jacket, some food for during the day, a book and a slim pair of shoes. I shared more photos at my Deuter UP Seoul backpack review.


  • Narrow (rather than wide) shape that looks slimming for me, with my 5’2” height and narrow build.
  • Zipper-around closure top flap (GREAT for being theft-proof in cities).


  • The side pockets do NOT fit wide water bottles like my 24-oz sport bottle.
  • The only thing that bothers me is the bottom waist strap, which can’t be stowed away, so it hangs out and looks ‘strappy.’

Deuter UP Seoul Lifestyle Daypack

Take the city by storm with the UP Seoul Lifestyle Daypack by Deuter, a classic and functional companion for urban exploration.

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Small Expandable Knack Pack

The smallest Knack Pack from Knack Bags is a 15L backpack designed to be a go-to on a daily commute. It fits a 13” laptop and has a dedicated bottom storage compartment dedicated to holding your laptop charger and plug.

I tried out the small Knack Pack both as a day bag to take to work, and as a daypack for a day trip out to Long Island. What’s important to know about this bag is that it expands quickly out to 27L, to fit some minimalist-style needs for an entire weekend trip. It’s meant to convert fast from one size to the next.

You can see lots more detail in our dedicated Small Expandable Knack product review.


  • The small-size Knack Bag has a thoughtful size for commutes and day trips.
  • Travel-friendly: Designed to fit both in overhead airplane compartments and under airplane seats.


  • Design is a bit boxy and not overly feminine nor slimming.
  • Would be a wide fit for petite women (like me) with narrow shoulders (for taller women, no problem).

Update: Series 2: Medium Expandable Knack Pack

I tried out the Series 2: Medium Expandable Knack Pack. Even with the medium size, it didn’t feel too big. The elongated shape of this bag makes it slightly slimming, even though it’s 24L when un-expanded, and 35L when expanded.

It fits two or three outfits when packing lightly for a short trip and it fits a 15” laptop. Like the Small Expandable Knack Pack, it has removable and packable straps, and a strong foam back panel for support during wear.

Check out the Series 1 on Amazon or Knack Bags directly. And see the updates for the Series 2!

Small Expandable Knack Pack

Expand your storage space without sacrificing style with the Small Expandable Knack Pack, a versatile solution for all your needs.

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Aer Fit Pack 3

First, a disclaimer: my recommendation is that this backpack is good for women with standard or wider shoulders, or women who are tall. On me, it looks a bit big and goofy (remember: I am 5’2” and short/petite.)

The Aer Fit Pack 3 daypack definitely packs in a bit more volume than the Away Daypack mentioned above. At 18L, I found I can fit way more. It’s why Aer markets this bag as a daypack that’ll fit your gym clothes, and split them up from your laptop. Dan reviewed it in-depth as a work-meets-gym/travel bag in this detailed review.

In my use of it, I found the useful features to be the unique center zipper, water bottle pockets and mesh back panel. My favorite features are the extremely high-quality zippers and seal-proof zipper closures, along with the very sturdy lift handle. This price reflects the high quality that I can feel when I wear it.


  • It has a pass-through strap to be used with the handle of your luggage (great for the airport).
  • The laptop compartment is secure and padded and feels really durable.


  • Smaller-framed women may find it a bit big for taking around because of the thick and slightly wide-set straps.
  • The vertical-zip compartment is not for every taste because it’s unique and non-standard.

Aer Fit Pack 3

Travel lighter and smarter with the Aer Fit Pack 3, designed to secure your essentials without adding unnecessary bulk.

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Tortuga Laptop Backpack

I got the Tortuga Laptop Backpack to use as a “personal item” on a flight. My favorite travel features of this backpack are the laptop compartment (two ways to access it), the tech pouch and the dual water bottle pockets.

This laptop backpack only comes in black, in its no-nonsense style, with ample pockets and a light starting weight. Note: It’s a unisex backpack designed for both men and women and anyone else who’s bringing around a laptop and trip essentials.

When I use this backpack, I can fit both a MacBook Pro and my Macbook Air. To see all the photos of the features and all about the inside of this bag, check out the Tortuga Laptop Backpack review that I wrote!

Overall, this laptop backpack is a very good choice for travel, with features like the luggage passthrough and mesh pockets that I’ve used for my passport.

Tortuga Laptop Backpack

Travel like an expert with the laptop backpack meant for travel.

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Troubadour Bivy Tote Backpack

The Troubadour Bivy Tote Backpack is a two-in-one daypack and tote bag that looks great on women. My first impression was: “I can’t believe how lightweight it is.”

Let me explain: this smart travel backpack is two bags in one: it’s both a backpack and a zip tote. Because it’s a Troubadour product, the zippers slide beautifully, and the design is stylish and minimalist. The pockets are thoughtful.

The Bivy Tote Backpack can also fit up to 21L in volume. The first time I tried it out for a day in NYC, I packed it with my laptop, my bike helmet (can you believe it!), a change of clothes in case I got sweaty, snacks AND accessories. All of this fit inside.

I love the stellar design that’s easy on the eyes, and the versatile tote straps for when my back needs a break. You can see more photos of me with it at my full review of the Bivy Tote Backpack.

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My Pros

  • I used it for a day with all that stuff packed inside, and the straps proved to be comfy and strong.
  • I think the design is timeless, which means it’s a good investment for future travel.

My Cons

  • When being worn as a backpack, the tote strap can feel or look funny in some opinions.
  • When carrying the Bivy as a tote, the straps are a little on the short side for supporting the weight.

Troubadour Bivy Tote Backpack

Make sure to check this out and see if it's for you!

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Stubble & Co. Roll-Top Mini Backpack

The 14-liter Roll-Top Mini from Stubble & Co. is my first “roll-top” backpack. I’ve always seen people biking with roll-top backpacks, and never quite went as far as to buy one. I like the lightweight feel of it — it’s only 1.76 lbs when empty (great for a petite person like me).

I get into all the details and features at my Stubble & Co. Roll-Top Backpack review.

When I received my Mini Roll-Top, I noticed that the packaging was fully recyclable and compostable (Stubble & Co. is a certified B Corporation for sustainability practices).

I chose the Roll-Top Mini to fit my small 5’2” narrow frame. I used it immediately to tote around my laptop and work essentials for an afternoon. I slid my MacBook Air into the padded laptop compartment, zipped it up via the backside and put my phone and AirPods into the front zipper pocket.

What I like about the Roll-Top Mini as a women’s travel daypack is that it’ll keep my stuff dry if I get caught in some rain or snow (consider a trip in Ireland!). All the seams and zippers are waterproof. The roll top closes with a “G clip” to fasten it, for a cool travel bag look. (My tip: this backpack comes in a lot of colors, but don’t delay: the popular ones often sell out.)


  • It’s versatile and secure, whether I’m biking, hiking or out with my laptop in the city.
  • Focus on weatherproofed materials, zips and seams, and the roll top keeps everything inside dry.


  • The water bottle pockets only fit a regular slim bottle (as pictured), not my 24oz travel water bottle.
  • Laptop is not accessible from main compartment — only from dedicated back panel laptop compartment.

Thank you to Stubble & Co. for generously sending me the Roll-Top Mini. All thoughts here are my own based on my use of the product.

Stubble & Co. Roll-Top Mini

Waterproof zippers and the roll-top closure with a clip make this an excellent all-weather travel backpack.

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Standard travel bags

I consider a standard travel bag or travel backpack to be between 30L and 45L in volume. These are the travel backpacks I take on a flight with no problem. Travel bags of this size are big enough to carry my things for a one or two-week trip.

Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L

I’ve tried out the Topo Global Travel Bag in 30L for weekend trips and road trips. Dan and I have lightly packed for a weekend away when we stayed at my parents’ house, and with some packing cubes, fit most of our clothes in there for a 48-hour stay.

The Global Travel Bag in 30L has “three-way” backpack straps-duffel handle-shoulder strap functionality. I haven’t used it as a duffel, and I’ve only used it as a backpack. My favorite part about it is that the materials feel lightweight and strong, to reflect the price tag.

My Pros

  • Carry-on compliant, external laptop sleeve for airport use, works well with other products in the “Topo ecosystem.”
  • I can attest to the fact that it works well for “one-bag travel” (long weekends or day trips out hiking).

My Cons

  • It doesn’t have any “female-specific” features, but this is why I share this backpack with Dan.

Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L

Travel the world with the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L, a modern and functional companion.

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Bellroy Transit Backpack Plus

My first impression of the Bellroy backpack was that the quality is very sturdy. I can tell just by feeling the exterior that it’s made of a water-resistant fabric, which is a crucial feature for my preferences, in a travel bag. I took this bag on a train trip for its maiden voyage, and it supported weight well as I was walking through NYC.

I really like the 38L size of this transit backpack, which is cool as a large commuter bag, nice-sized weekender backpack or larger-end daypack. It’s also quite structured, rather than thin and slouchy, which I like in a bag because it holds its shape.

It’s more lightweight than other bags of its size, which I like a lot. The weight makes a big difference when I’m carrying the Transit Backpack for a long time. I find it to be spacious inside (I’ve actually packed an entire set of queen-sized sheets in it.) See more on the details at my Bellroy Transit Backpack Plus review, along with what I don’t like.

My Pros

  • The exterior feels strong, like I could throw this backpack around and it would hold up. In fact, the materials feel pretty unique because I haven’t seen these textures in other backpacks.

My Cons

  • In my use, the zippers are a bit stiff, and feel like they’re tough to break in, even after quite a few uses. The zippers move kind of slowly and require some effort. I’d say this is my least favorite aspect of the bag.

Bellroy Transit Backpack Plus

Travel in comfort and style with the spacious Bellroy Transit Backpack Plus, designed to keep your essentials neatly organized.

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Tom Bihn Techonaut 45

I have used this Tom Bihn backpack for a weekend trip several times. With the size, it fits my packing cubes full of a few sets of clothes, and my laptop. Tom Bihn is a brand that uses superior materials that should last for decades. I see this in the quality of the Tom Bihn Synapse, which Dan and I have used for a few years, too.

The Tom Bihn Techonaut opens clamshell-style, and it’s one of the few backpacks this size that have this style. Because of the wider square shape, it’s not great for petite women, but fine for women who are taller. We critique the Tom Bihn Techonaut in this review.


  • Incredible materials and strong zippers. Useful side-grab handle for carrying as a duffel as well.
  • Awesome choice for using as a weekender backpack, with dedicated laptop compartment.


  • The relatively high price (it reflects the high-quality nylon ripstop build, and water-repellant zippers!)
  • Likely too wide for petite women.
  • Not comfortable to wear for an extended period of time like in walking around a city on a layover because it doubles as a duffel.

Tom Bihn Techonaut 45

Embark on your adventures with the Tom Bihn Techonaut 45, a durable, spacious, and travel-friendly backpack.

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Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

Through my experience with the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L, my favorite aspect is the high-quality zippers that won’t break, snap or split. While other backpacks may report torn pockets or bad zippers in the reviews, I find the PD backpack to perform flawlessly. You’ll find this backpack in our list of the best backpacks for travel photography.

As a woman traveler using this backpack, I adjust the straps a lot. This backpack has great “expandability,” because it’s — well, expandable. The entire front of the bag unzips, which reveals another few liters of space that you can utilize. The exterior is 100% waterproof.

It’s international carry-on size approved, so no airline can turn it away from an overhead compartment when I fly.

I also have the 30L version, and it shares a lot of the same quality and features. If you don’t quite need 45L, the 30L is a perfect alternative. Dan also uses this bag extensively and write a review of it. Check out the review!

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  • The nylon shell and waterproof liner that instill confidence during unexpected downpours.
  • Padded shoulder straps and waist straps, along with an attractive and modern minimalist design in Black or Sage.


  • High price for a 45L, but worth it, if you’re into quality materials and a bag for life.
  • No woman-specific features for sizing.
  • Limited number of pockets, but still a good amount.

And by the way, we wrote an extensive Peak Design buying guide, if you’re interested in checking it out!

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

Unleash your wanderlust with the Peak Design 45L Travel Backpack, designed for maximum packing flexibility and uncompromised comfort.

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“Backpacker” Large-Volume Travel Backpacks

With a big backpacker backpack, you are likely a serious traveler. Higher-volume backpacks help me carry a heavy load when I’m on a longer trip. The backpacks I’ve recommended below are fit custom for women’s bodies and often have adjustable straps, to support more weight ergonomically.

Here’s my tip: Keep in mind that bags of this size will likely need to be checked as checked luggage. If you’re seeking a savvy way to track the location of your checked luggage, like if you have a layover and there’s a risk of your bag being sent the wrong way, consider Apple AirTags like I’m using these days, to track my bags’ locations.

Deuter Aircontact Core 45 + 10 SL Pack

I’ve had a lot of luck with my smaller backpack from Deuter, and it’s a trusty brand that travelers hold in high regard. This high-volume backpacking backpack is for the woman who wants to take everything and have it all fit in a 45+10L backpack. My sibling Emma recently took it on a trip and was impressed with everything she could fit in it. I list it as one of the best products for backpackers this year.

The backpack was modeled by Deuter to have a female-specific fit, setting it apart from a men’s bag of the same size and build. The “SL” in the name means “Slim Line.” For features, I like the ergonomic lock hip fit, with compression straps, an air mesh back panel and a narrow shoulder harness.

The +10L is an optional compartment at the top that you can stash gear in, without having to open the rest of the backpack. This is a perfect opportunity for me to put in a travel blanket, or a sleeping bag. I can detach this compartment and leverage additional space using Deuter’s design.

You can see how I look with the Aircontact Core backpack in these photos. Keep in mind that I am 5’2” and petite. This backpack works great for its narrowness and weight distribution. I wish I’d had it for all my trips in past years!

For buying options, you can check out this backpack on REI.com and Amazon.


  • Well-priced for its size, volume, features and quality.
  • Attractive feature for keeping shape: the more you pack it, the taller (not wider), it gets.


  • Weighs 4 lbs 4.4 oz when empty because of the metal frame.
  • It only comes in one women’s size, OS (one size).

Deuter Aircontact Core 45 + 10 SL Pack

Carry your gear in comfort with the Deuter Aircontact Core 60 + 10 SL Pack, designed for extended trips.

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REI Co-op Flash 55 Pack

I’m impressed that this flash 55L pack by REI doesn’t truly look like it’s a 55L backpack. It looks more modest and compact, but it packs a punch (well, literally it packs 55L of your stuff).

True to REI being awesome, it comes in dedicated women’s sizes of XS, S and M. It focuses on stability and suspension, for female hikers and anyone who plans to be really walking around with this 55L backpack strapped to your back (long walks through airports maybe?).

For loads of 15-30 pounds, the support and suspension keeps even this kind of weight comfortable through compression straps and a contoured hip belt.


  • Great support through weight management features, and roll-top closure for compression.
  • The design is hydration-compatible, good for hiking or hot weather trips.
  • Comes in three dedicated female-specific sizes.


  • The mesh and materials can be kind of delicate, and are prone to ripping if you get rugged during a hike.
  • Can’t think of anything else!

REI Co-op Flash 55 Pack

Make hiking a breeze with the REI Co-op Flash 55 Pack, offering ample storage without the weight.

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Osprey Ariel Plus 70 Pack

If you’ve ever been in a hostel where you eye everyone’s backpacks and have backpack envy, you’ve probably seen a guy or gal with an Osprey. What’s the hype all about?

With the Osprey Ariel Plus 70 Pack, which is a maximum-size backpacking backpack, you better be getting everything under the sun for its cost of $410. I like this backpack though, because it has a detachable bag that you can use for a daypack for hikes or walking around the city.

This is a fantastic value-add because the detachable tiny daypack. It’s very small; however, you can bet that the removable daypack will be handy to take on a hike or out for a day of sightseeing. It’s like a built-in convenience that I have found highly useful during travel.


  • It’s one of the highest-volume backpacks for women on the market.
  • The removable top lid and detachable daypack is super handy.


  • Osprey seems to be skipping over woman-specific build features.
  • The price is one of the highest out there for a 70L, but the value is good.

Osprey Ariel Plus 70 Pack

Explore the wilderness with the Osprey Ariel Plus 70 Pack, offering extensive storage and comfort.

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Gregory Maven 55 Pack

This durable and comfortable form-fitting 55L larger backpack for women has a heap of features like a woman-specific shoulder harness and comes in two sets of sizes, XS-S and S-M. This is really useful if you’re a petite woman looking for a backpack that’ll agree with narrow shoulders or a unique build.

The Gregory Maven 55 Pack allows for easy gear loading and focuses on adjustability and performance technics for whatever the weather brings, from rain (a rain cover in a zipper pocket) to hot sun (with a sunglasses stow system feature).

Overall, the price is steeper, but this is certainly a backpack for life, and with the REI warranty, you can return or replace your item for a refund within 365 of buying it.


  • Woman-specific build for female bodies
  • Incredible set of features for travel conveniences and security


  • At around $260, this backpack may be steep for some.
  • The REI warranty is “only” one year, and not a lifetime warranty.

Gregory Maven 55 Pack

Embark on epic adventures with the Gregory Maven 55 Pack, built to carry your world.

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Bonus backpack: Decathlon Quechua 50L Forclaz for Women

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this trusty and budget (okay, cheap) hiking and backpacking travel pack for women. I had the 2010 version, and then the 2011 version, and then Dan got the 2018 version for men.

I’ve had a ton of experience using the Quechua Forclaz 50L as my main backpacking travel bag, and it has stood the test of time. It also comes in this 60L version around the same price point.


  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight materials
  • Great back support, plenty of compartments


  • Zippers aren’t top quality
  • Elastic bungee bands tend to wear out over time
  • None others. I’ve taken my Quechua Forclaz to more than 30 countries.

Decathlon Quechua 50L Forclaz

Travel light without leaving anything behind with the Decathlon Quechua 50L Forclaz, the ultimate backpack for every traveller.

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Honorable Mentions

These backpacks are a mix of bags that may not fit the categories we listed above, or, they’re discontinued but there’s a close second in stock. Check ‘em out in case you haven’t found what you were looking for yet.

Filson Rugged Twill Rucksack

The Filson Rucksack, which is now only available in a “large” size, is a bag to have for life. It’s made of basically indestructible materials, and while I don’t recommend it for petite or narrow-shouldered women, it will look great on taller women. It’s a completely timeless style, that I can wear from my 30s into my 80s (I’m serious!). There’s more on this travel backpack at my dedicated review of it.

The Filson Twill Rucksack (Large)

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Why trust me?

I’ve traveled around the world with only a backpack (or two). For me, I like backpacks because they make traveling more flexible. When I take a rolling suitcase, it’s easier to transport on flat surfaces at the airport, but when I’m walking through cobblestone streets in European cities, I prefer having a backpack!

I’m also petite (and short!), so having a backpack meant for a wider, taller and broader man just won’t cut it. I’ve had trouble with this over the years, and I’ve been delighted recently that there are so many backpacks on the market for women just like me.

I’ve lived abroad (three times!), traveled to more than 40ish (or 50ish? I stopped counting) countries – many of them twice or three times. On all my travels and trips, my awesome backpacks played a huge part.

I hope you have found what you’re looking for in my list of backpacks and I’m sure you can tell that I prioritize quality, comfort, sturdiness and style. If you have a backpack that you love that I could add to this list, let me know at our contact form.

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