10 Best Travel Backpacks for Women (Tried and Tested)

Selecting the best travel backpack for women can be a daunting task. With the wide range of backpacks available, it’s easy to have decision paralysis. At least now there is no a one size fits all unisex pack. They make wonderful travel backpacks designed with a women’s frame in mind.

I fondly remember the first female-specific backpack I bought from REI. I loved that bag because it was comfortable, rugged, and fit my frame well. Since that first backpack years ago, I tested out a wide range of new women’s backpacks.

After all that, I’ve found some of the best travel backpacks for women. No matter what travel backpack style you’re looking for, you can find something for travel, hiking, or weekend getaways.


The Best Travel Backpacks For Women


1.) Women’s Osprey Fairview

Osprey Fairview Best Women's Travel Backpacks

Best Travel Backpack for Women

  • Price: $160
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 2 oz.
  • Fabric: 210-denier ripstop nylon/600-denier
  • Capacities: 40L, 55L, 70L

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Manageable
  • Removable Daypack
  • Suspension
  • Compression Straps
  • Stowaway Straps

Cons

  • Few Pockets For Organization
  • Laptop Sleeve in Front DayPack
  • Outdoor Style

The Osprey Fairview is the new design of the classic Farpoint backpack. Essentially they took the Farpoint and built it with a woman’s frame in mind. It quickly became a favorite of mine and the best Osprey backpack for women. I love the portabilitiy and design choices of the pack.

The Fairview is a great women’s travel backpack. It’s a front-loading backpack, so it opens similar to a suitcase for easy access. It’s pretty lightweight, features a removable daypack, zip-away suspension, and a side handle to top it off. The 40L is great for carry-on luggage, while the 55L and 70L are good for long-term trips.

The side handle of the bag makes it easy to grab out of an overhead bin and carry it off of a plane. Osprey has its roots in hiking, so you get a travel-specific bag packed with hiking features in the Fairview.

There are some dumb design elements in the backpack, though, most notably a laptop sleeve in the front. This means your laptop is susceptible to damage and theft, along with throwing the balance of the backpack off to the front. For that reason, if you work remotely or you travel with a laptop, I’d look for another option.

Shop For Osprey Fairview


2.) Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel Pack 45L

Best Anit Theft Backpacks Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel Pack 45L

Women’s Anti Theft Backpack

  • Price: $199
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Size: 45L
  • Material: Nylon

Pros

  • Feature-Packed
  • Carry-On Size
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • High-Quality
  • Unisex Build

Cons

  • Difficult To Access Your Items (theft-deterrent)

Pacsafe is the leading name in anti-theft backpacks and has been for almost 20 years. The Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel Pack 45L is just one example of their phenomenal products. It has some amazing antitheft features, such as the eXomesh Slashgaurd technology that houses a hidden stainless steel mesh, making it slash-proof. The bag is also made with ECONYL fiber produced from recycled fishnets, an awesome eco-friendly product.

The Venturesafe Travel Pack 45L also comes with an RFID pocket and smart zippers and is the best women’s backpack for travel carry-on. Then if you do need to check the bag, it has stowaway straps for safe transport. It opens and closes similar to a clamshell suitcase for easy access to your belongings and organization.

The style and functionality of this anti-theft backpack are superb and will give you peace of mind – whether on a weekend getaway or traveling the world! It’s a great backpack for solo female travelers or women who secure their personal belongings.

Shop For Venturesafe Travel Pack


3.) Women’s REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Pack

REI Ruckpack Best Travel Backpacks For Women

Travel & Hiking Backpack

  • Price: $149
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 12.3 oz.
  • Fabric: Nylon 210D
  • Capacities: 40, 65L

Pros

  • Suspension System
  • Hiking Pack Features
  • REI Guarantee
  • U Shape Open
  • Frame
  • Compression Straps
  • Zip Away Straps
  • Value

Cons

  • Rain-fly Placement
  • Stiff Side Pockets

We have transitioned from hiking packs to purpose-built travel backpacks within a few years. Many backpacks are either great for travel or great hiking, but very few are good at both. However, REI has created a backpack that attempts to blur the line between hiking and travel with the REI Ruckpack.

The design is similar to the Osprey Fairview, except it has several features the Osprey lacks. A more robust suspension system allows for an impromptu hike in the mountains or up to the top of the local hill. I love the laptop compartment, hydration reservoir, rain cover, and straps for trekking poles. You can choose from three sizes 28L, 40L, or 60L. The 60L is capable of handling multiday backpacking trips in the backcountry.

The pack has a lie-flat feature with a large zip opening for easy access to all of your belongings to top it all off. This is the travel bag for those who want to blend city hopping and adventure travel all in one bag. It’d be a great choice for a traveler trekking along the Camino De Santiago or Inca Trail.

Shop For Women’s Ruckpack


4.) Peak Designs Travel Backpack

The Peak Designs Travel Backpack front exterior in grey color

Best Backpacks For Savvy Travelers

  • Price: $299
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs
  • Fabric: Weatherproof 400D Nylon and poly melange
  • Capacities: 45L
Pros
  • Phenomenal Organization
  • Laptop sleeve
  • Carry On Friendly
  • Style
  • High Quality
  • Two Exterior Water Bottle Pockets
  • Hidden Pockets
  • Stowaway Straps
  • Carry Handles
  • Lockable Zippers
Cons
  • High Price
  • Heavy

This is the first unisex pack on this list, but the Peak Design Travel Backpack is our most used bag. It’s a sharp-looking bag, and its quality is evident. You won’t look like a “budget backpacker” wearing the pack, and I can comfortably carry it in most environments.

The organization is the bag’s strongest suit, and it’s clear they spent a lot of time determining pocket layout. This is all done without consuming too much of the main compartment of the bag, which is roomy. An interior pocket for a laptop/tablet is well padded and sits closest to your back. It creates a more rigid, secure, and balanced backpack.

For photographers, the backpack can combine with a Peak Design camera cube that locks into place. Or you can utilize the packing cubes that similarly lock into the bag interior. Two external pockets on the backpack’s exterior are great for things like a water bottle or a camera tripod. A nice layout of top, sides, and a central handle makes the backpack easy to handle at every angle. The suspension on the backpack feels robust, and the straps are comfortable.

It’s a unisex backpack, so if you like more color options or a women’s specific frame backpack, you should look elsewhere. Despite being unisex, the backpack does fit my frame well, and I’m only 5′ 1″. Not all backpacks do that well.

At $299, the bag is expensive. Then there is the weight; the backpack is loaded with features and durable materials, so it’s a little heavy. When that weight is combined with a non-vented back panel, it makes for a sweaty lower back in heat. Despite that, the Peak Designs Travel Backpack is great for a minimalist, business traveler, or more modern backpacker with a slick design. If cost is not a concern, it’s a good choice.

Shop For The Peak Design Travel Backpack


5.) Osprey Aura AG

Osprey Aura Best Women's Osprey Backpack

Top Loading Travel Backpack for Women

  • Price: $270
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 4 oz.
  • Fabric: Denier Nylon
  • Capacities: 65L

Pros

  • Amazing Suspension System
  • Strong Construction
  • Lightweight Mesh Ventilation
  • Light Wire Frame
  • Many Pockets for Organization
  • Leading Class Hiking Backpack
  • Leading Comfort

Cons

  • Only top load access and it does not sit upright.
  • It seems silly but with only a top load it’s a PIA.

It’s tough to beat that feeling of carrying yourself to the next destination. We find ourselves spending more and more time away from cities and out in nature on our trips. For those who love to go backpacking or thru-hiking, the Osprey Aura is an exceptional hiking backpack for women. The Anti-Gravity suspension system on the backpack feels fabulous on your back and carries weight like a champ.

It’s a top-loading hiking backpack that is made for women. The top load makes it difficult to travel around Europe, but it’s still one of the best travel backpacks for women. Designed for the traditional backpacker or those on a hiking adventure, you can’t really go wrong with the Aura. Plus, the build quality is wonderful, so that backpack should last a lifetime.

Almost the whole back panel is made out of lightweight mesh for ventilation. I love how the harness can be fine-tuned for any sized woman. This pack has so many compartments for organization, included space at the bottom for a sleeping bag.

Shop For Osprey Aura AG


6.) Topo Designs Travel Bag

Topo Designs - Travel Backpack

Stylish Women’s Backpack For Travel

  • Price: $239
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 1o oz.
  • Fabric: 1000D nylon, 400D nylon packcloth, 210D nylon pack cloth liner
  • Capacities: 30L & 40L

Pros

  • Organization Pockets
  • Multiple Compartments
  • Laptop Sleeve
  • Multiple Carry Points
  • Carry On Friendly
  • Style
  • Heavy Zippers
  • Theft Deterrent Zipper Loop

Cons

  • Smaller Size
  • Style
  • No Water Bottle Holder
  • Price
  • Mixed Support

Topo Designs launched their latest pack, the Travel Bag, and it’s a slam dunk for a carry-on backpack. A step up from something like the Fjallraven Kanken, but still stylish enough to wear around a city. The interior features a double zipper U-entry, one large compartment, a medium-sized compartment, two small pockets, and two mesh pockets. The exterior features a rear laptop sleeve, a front compartment with organization and U-entry, a vertical pocket with organization, and exterior loops.

The exterior is heavy-duty nylon and the bag uses robust zippers that are the best we’ve seen on a travel backpack, albeit a bit clunky. When it comes to support the bag has side handles on both sides of the backpack, a detachable shoulder strap, and backpack straps with a hip belt and chest strap. The support and straps are detachable and can be stored inside a zippered compartment for travel.

It’s a decent size at 40L and should be enough for minimalistic travelers in one season for multiple weeks. If you’re an adventure seeker and like to hike, the support system is lacking when compared to top-loading packs.

The colors and style are also better suited for younger travelers, but it all depends on your style they offer a black if you prefer a more neutral bag we have the olive color pictured above. It’s loaded with features, space, and has a lifetime guarantee.


7.) Gregory Tribute Travel Backpack

*Best Suspension Travel Backpack*

  • Price $179
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 0.6 oz.
  • Material: 210-denier high-density nylon/420-denier high-density nylon
  • Capacities: 40, 55, 70L
Pros
  • Best Suspension System
  • Hiking Pack Features
  • Frame
  • Decent Price
  • Compression Straps
  • Carry On Compliant
  • U Zip Opening
Cons
  • No Side Pockets in 40L
  • Laptop Front Pocket
  • No Hip Belt Pockets
  • Blends Outdoor and Travel (Pro or Con)

I’m a big fan of Gregory as they deliver an excellent range of packs with tremendous support and a great feature set. The Tribute is their latest travel pack released this past fall. Its feature set and design make it a close competitor to Fairview, but it offers a superior suspension design.

Tribute is the women’s version of Gregory’s new travel backpack. It’s a robust travel backpack that feels well suited for outdoor adventures and everything in between. It would be great for famous treks like the Camino De Santiago, Inca Trail, or Kumano Kodo. Granted, the lack of side pockets for water bottles or hiking poles in the 40L version is a deal-breaker for a long hike.

It’s built with a large main compartment easily accessed via a panel with easy-to-grip anti-theft lockable zippers. The most notable feature of the main compartment is the “Activeshield Compartment,” a zippered section that features a heavy nylon lined section for dirty gear or shoes.

However, its placement on the back of the bag makes it cumbersome for packing cubes or people who like flat storage. A spacious outer pocket is capable of holding a large laptop or tablet. Granted, it’s been placed poorly on the outer section of the backpack.

Overall, the performance feels better than the Farpoint for hiking; however, time will tell as I’ve only taken it on a few short trips. I also find that the suspension system bulkier and organization less effective than the classic Fairview.

Shop Gregory Tribute


8.) Tortuga Setout Travel Backpack

Tortuga Setout Carry On Travel Backpack
  • Price: $179
  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Fabric: Nylon 900D
  • Capacities: 40L

Pros

  • Laptop Sleeve
  • Multiple Compartments
  • Superb Suspension
  • Stow Away Straps
  • Side Handle
  • Quality
  • Lockable Zippers

Cons

  • Difficult to Access Front and Rear Sleeves
  • Heavy
  • Style

Companies have caught on to the demands of travelers these days. The idea of a hiking backpack to travel around is going out of style now I have proper carry-on backpacks — I’m stoked and own a dozen travel bags, including the Setout! Tortuga was one of the first bag companies to catch on to the trend and start producing travel-specific bags.

They’ve now taken their classic bag and made a men’s and women’s specific version. It’s been one of my favorite bags I’ve ever carried, and it’s been wonderful with our snowboard season, as dealing with a snowboard bag is already a pain in the butt. The bag is about 40 liters in size with a front-loading compartment, a front sleeve with organization, and a rear laptop sleeve.

The compartments are well thought out, with room for my socks, toiletries, electronics, and essentials. For me, the bag highlights include a padded laptop sleeve, detachable straps if you decide to check the bag, and the convenient side handle. The straps on the Setout are also the robust and comfortable straps of all the travel backpacks I tested. It is a great backpack for women and men.

Shop For Tortuga Setout Travel Backpack


9.) Eagle Creek Global Companion 40L Backpack

Eagle Creek Global Companion 40L Backpack  Women's Travel Backpack
  • Price: $229
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Fabric: Poly 450 & 600D
  • Capacities: 40L, 55L

Pros

  • Laptop Sleeve
  • Multiple Compartments
  • Rain Cove
  • Clam Shell Open

Cons

  • Ugly
  • Useless Front Pockets (Too Small
  • Lacks Side Handle
  • Permanent Straps

This is a great ladies’ travel backpack from Eagle Creek. They’ve specialized in travel products for a while now. The bag has a plethora of pockets and even a special one for shoes at the bottom of the bag. My favorite aspect of this bag is that is designed to open like a clamshell suitcase which makes for easy access.

It’s another great version of a clamshell-style backpack that provides easy access to your luggage. Other features include lockable zippers and a rain cover for bad weather.

Shop For Eagle Creek Global Companion


10.) eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible

Mother Lode Weekender Convertible Women's Travel Backpack
  • Price: $199
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Fabric: Polyester
  • Pros:
  • Cons: Not Good For Long Trips, No Hip Belt, Thin Straps,

Pros

  • Carry On Compliant
  • Expandable
  • Organization
  • Clamshell Opening
  • Robust Features
  • Quality
  • Water Bottle Pocket

Cons

  • Pockets Consume Bag Space
  • No Hip Belt
  • Thin Straps

eBags has been making reliable bags for years. While they may not be geared towards outdoor hiking adventures, the Mother Lode Weekender is certainly great for just everyday travels around the globe. It effortlessly meets the needs for work trips, road trips, or weekend getaways (hence the “weekender” name).

Once you open the inside of the bag, you’ll see how nicely you can organize your belongings, while the outside of the bag has many zippered compartments for stashing your phone, camera, passports, or anything else. The only problem with this bag is it doesn’t have a hip belt and rather thin shoulder straps, so it’s not ideal for walking long distances.

Shop For eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender


Elements Women’s Travel Backpack

Main Compartment

You’ll want to make sure that the main compartment of your backpack is large enough to carry all of your belongings while still having easy access. Store the heavier things at the bottom of your bag to get the weight closer to your back. Additional compartments are good for the storage of small items or valuables like your passport.


Hip Belt

A good hip belt is essential for any women’s travel backpack. If you haven’t heard, women have hips, and putting your pack weight on your hips helps take the pressure off your back, so you will want a good, well-cushioned hip belt that is sturdy to help do that.


Shoulder Straps

Along with the hip belt, your shoulder straps carry a lot of the weight of your pack. Thick and comfortable padding will keep your shoulders from hurting after a long day’s hike or walk through a city.


Water Bottle Holders and Hydration ports:

Hydration ports are great for those long hot days. If you aren’t using the hydration ports or a bladder, you will want at least one water bottle holder to hold your liquid.


Waterproof

We look for bags that are waterproof or have a rain fly in case your stuck in a rainstorm. Nothing is worse than wet gear.


Vented Back And Cushion

A well cushioned back panel can make the difference between having a backache or not. Then a back panel that is vented prevents you from sweating through your favorite travel clothes.


Trekking Pole/Ice Axe Loops:

If you’ll be doing any hiking during your travels these are great little additions to any bag that can really optimize your comfort and free your hands if you use poles or ice picks on hikes.


How to Choose the Best Women’s Travel Backpack?

The Best Travel Backpacks For Europe
My first backpack was an REI Venus. It’s not sold anymore, but I knew I was in love REI then

Price

The first thing to think about when picking a great women’s travel backpack is your budget. Good quality backpacks are expensive, but you also don’t want to blow your entire budget on a backpack. That being said, if you invest in one of the best backpacks on the market, chances are it will stand the test of time. Many companies like REI and Osprey will offer to repair your products.


Comfort

Like with anything, make sure that the backpack you choose is comfortable on your back. You should be able to hike comfortably for at least two hours. When buying online it’s a good idea to check the return policy in case the backpack does not fit you the way you would like. Most Amazon and REI purchases come with free returns.


Design

A backpack’s design is crucial. A good backpack doesn’t necessarily mean a bunch of bells and whistles. Make sure you narrow down if you want a top-loading backpack or front-loading, and check for any extra straps, harnesses, zippers, and clips you may or may not need. There’s often no perfect backpack, but what’s perfect for you.


Material

Pick a women’s backpack that is with solid materials. Most backpacks on the market are constructed with Ripstop Nylon or Polyester. There is also the latest material of Dyneema, but it comes at a premium price point.


Volume/Frame/Weight

Determine everything you will want to carry in your backpack, and that will determine the volume of your ideal backpack. A good starting point for a travel backpack is 40-50L. My first backpack was a 70L, and I stuffed it, which made my travel days unbearable. I was pretty terrible at packing in those early days.


Trip Length

It’s important to consider your trip length when picking a backpack. There are great small travel backpacks on this list that are great for shorter trips. At the same time, the larger capacities can circumnavigate the world or tackle a multi-day hiking expedition.


About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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