Best Hiking Backpack for Women 2018

There are plenty of things you need for a successful backpacking trip like hiking boots, hiking poles, and camera gear if that is your thing, but the obvious one, of course, is a quality water-resistant backpack. If a hiking trip is in your future—whether you’re going alone, with a spouse or family, or with a group of female friends—you’ll want to shop for the best backpack available with a large easy access compartment that will be able to hold all your hiking essentials, a water bottle, and even a sleeping bag and tent if you are planning a long hike.

But where do you begin when it comes to backpack shopping? There are so many options on the market and all of them claim to be the best. Anyone who has shopped for anything knows that’s probably not the case, except, of course, for the option that truly is the best.

How can you narrow down your choices for the best hiking backpack for women?

Here are our tips:

Best Styles of Hiking Backpacks

The best place to begin is by evaluating your needs and considering the various styles of hiking backpacks for women. Think about whether you’re a novice hiker or if you’ve had plenty of experience, as well as the length of your average trip. Are you a weekend hiker or do you spend months hiking through other countries?

It can help to jot down a few main points about your hiking trips and your future plans for hiking before you begin shopping, just so these things are fresh in your mind when you’re considering backpack options.

Leisure hikers will want a different style backpack from the hardcore hiker. If your intention is to move slowly and you don’t intend to cover a lot of distance, you’ll be looking for a backpack that allows you to carry all of the tools that facilitate these types of trips: snacks, photography equipment, and other gear.

Most styles of backpacks are suitable for leisure hiking, but it’s important to think about what you don’t need if you aren’t covering long distances in hard hikes. You can save a great deal of money on a basic pack that doesn’t have all the features necessary for longer, more intense hikes. You might also be able to get away with an ultra-light backpack. This style is comfortable to carry and is the lightest weight possible, but it isn’t right for everyone.

Experienced hikers that intend to travel long distances and hike for long periods of times will want the lightest possible style that is able to accommodate their gear. True hiking backpacks also require more preparation to pack up and move along. They’ll have more compartments for organizing gear and offer will likely weight more and be more involved than leisure hiking backpacks. The key is to get this upgraded style without adding a great deal of weight to the pack—but you can count on adding some. However, if you’re an experienced hiker you’re used to carrying a heavy load and you’ll be up for the challenge of a few extra pounds on your backpack.

Best Styles of Hiking BackpacksNext, you’ll want to consider the features you need as a female hiker.

Though you might assume anyone can use any backpack—and this is the case for unisex backpacks—the truth is, some backpacks are designed for women’s body and have a different fit than men’s packs.

Women’s backpacks tend to feature shorter torso lengths, have narrower widths for the shoulders, and are designed to fit around or above women’s hips. Of course, each body is different, so even if you’re female and buying a women’s backpack doesn’t mean it will fit perfectly. However, you have a better shot at finding a backpack suited for your body if you’re looking for a pack designed for your specific gender.

In addition to gender issues with fit, you’ll want to consider a few other basic factors when it comes to fit. Look for a pack that features an internal frame that is covered in fabric. You’ll want a back panel that moves with your body and that offers ventilation so your back doesn’t get sweaty. You’ll also want to look for a pack that is padded with foam and that has a hinge system that moves with your hips and shoulders.

Ultimately, the best backpacks are comfortable and can be worn as you’re hiking long distances, even if your intention is to only travel on shorter hikes.

Finally, consider the little things that make for a great backpack. It’ll have plenty of pockets that fit plenty of accessories, offer easy on-the-go access to hydration, feature gear loops, and are waterproof. These little features are subjective, so you’ll need to think about your typical hikes and what usually causes you challenges and find a pack that helps you manage these issues.

Best Hiking Backpacks for Women

Now that we’ve helped you narrow down what you need in a backpack, what are our favorites?

Osprey Aura 65 AG

Osprey Women's Aura AG 65

This backpack comes in sizes extra small through medium and is a pack for women with smaller frames looking for a tight fitting backpack. It weighs 4 pounds and has nine compartments. You can access your materials from the top of the bottom of the pack. We love it because it has comfortable straps and good ventilation for your back. We consider it a great pack for summer hiking.

Gregory Deva 60

Gregory Mountain Products Deva 60 Liter This is a sturdy pack that offers comfort without sacrificing space. It’s on the heavier side, but is still comfortable, especially if you need to carry a lot of stuff during your hike. It’s also one of the most expensive packs on our list. We still love it though because it’s durable and stable.

The Northface Terra

The North Face Terra 50This pack is good for beginners and easy to use. It weighs about four and a half pounds and comes in sizes small and medium. There are six main compartments which make organizing easy. We love it because it offers top, bottom, and front access.

Deuter Act Lite 60

Deuter Act Lite 60This is a big backpack that fits plenty of gear, but it’s still great for beginners. It offers a great deal of padding and weighs a little over four pounds. It can be opened from the top of the bottom and has six main compartments for organization. It’s one of our favorites because it’s so easy to use and has a padded hip belt and shoulder straps.


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