Osprey packs have come to dominate the travel and hiking backpack market. On our most recent trip to Central and South America, I’ve seen Osprey packs on the backs of just about ever backpacker or traveler in the region.
The company has quickly grown to keep up with demand launching a wide range of backpacks made for both men and women travelers. It leaves many ladies wondering how to pick the best Osprey Backpacks for women.
The Best Osprey Backpacks for Women
1.) Women’s Osprey Fairview – Best Travel Backpack ($160)
Weight: 3 lbs. 2 oz.
Fabric: 210-denier ripstop nylon/600-denier
Capacities: 40L, 55L, 70L
Pros: Lightweight, Manageable, Removable Daypack
Cons: Few Pockets For Organization, Laptop Sleeve in Front
The Osprey Fairview is more or the less the new addition of the travel backpack classic Farpoint. Its difference between the predecessor is the Fairview is built with a woman’s frame in mind. I’ve previously had the Farpoint for years and loved the backpack. So when they released the Fairview I was quick to pick up the new travel backpack. It’s quickly become a favorite and one of the best travel backpacks for women
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 side handle of the bag is an added bonus, making it easy to grab out of an overhead bin and carry it off of a plane. Most backpacks are built for hiking, but with the Osprey you get a travel-specific bag packed with hiking features.
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’re a digital nomad or you travel with a laptop I’d look for another option.
The portability makes it an awesome choice for the best women’s backpack or men’s backpack. The front load and the ability to keep your clothes folded is awesome. The 40L is great for carry on luggage while the 55L and 70L are good for long-term trips.
Osprey Aura AG — Best “Do-It-All Backpack”
- Weight: 4 lbs. 4 oz.
- Fabric: Denier Nylon
- Capacities: 65L
- Pros: Mesh Ventilation, Suspension System, Robust, Light Frame, Organization, Compression Straps, Removeable Top Section, Exterior Stuff Sack, Loops For Ice Axe or Poles, Water Bottle Pockets
- Cons: Only toploading
With the new antigravity system, the Osprey Aura feels absolutely great on your back for extreme comfort and fit all day. This is another top-loading backpack that is specifically made for women making it one of the best travel backpacks for women on this list. Designed for the traditional backpacker or those on a hiking adventure you can’t really go wrong with the Aura. It’s not a lightweight hiking pack, but one built for maximum space and comfort.
The back panel is made out of mesh for ventilation which adds to the comfort and fit. I love how the harness can be fine-tuned for any sized woman. This pack has a number of compartments for organization, that includes space at the bottom for a sleeping bag. I also love the top compartment can be removed if you don’t need the space and prefer a more compact bag.
Osprey Porter — Best Carry-On Backpack
- Weight: 3 lbs. 5 oz.
- Fabric: Nylon
- Capacities: 30L, 46L, 65L
- Pros: So many organization pockets. Laptop sleeve
- Cons: Some people note that a few airlines wouldn’t let them carry on this bag.
The porter is more a unisex backpack and not a women’s specific bag. However, it is an exceptional travel bag. It’s well constructed and leaves plenty of room for all of your clothes. The Porter bag is lightweight and easy to throw off your back when you hop on a bus or train. It also meets with carrying on restrictions and saves you checked baggage fees across the world.
Padded sidewalls, a dedicated travel laptop sleeve, and a mesh top pocket for toiletries are much-appreciated features. stowaway shoulder harness. This pack has so many features and organization features that make traveling easier for you.
The only problem with this bag is it’s not as robust so those who like to walk or cover distance the backpack will get uncomfortable. That being said it’s one of the cheapest Osprey backpacks you can buy which means you have more budget for your backpacking trip.
- Weight: 1 lb
- Fabric: Nylon Double Diamond Ripstop
- Capacities: 13L
- Pros: Small, comfortable, ad lightweight
- Cons: Good for only day trips or overnights
The Daylite simply rocks. I’ve been traveling with it for years and love it because it’s slim, lightweight, durable, and it’s designed to clip on to a full-size pack. With two mesh pockets for travel water bottles and an inner pouch for a water bladder, it’s also easy to stay hydrated with this pack. I’ve done day hikes all over with the Daylite and I’m always impressed by how comfortable the bag sits on my back.
It carries weight, like most ospreys, really well. Even though the straps are slim I regularly carry six-eight kgs in it all day and never notice the weight on my back. It’s smaller than the other bags on this list and is more a day pack than something you want to pack your whole life in (unless you’re a super minimalist). If you’re wondering I can fit my 13″ Mac Air inside too!
Osprey Lumina — Best Hiking Backpack
- Weight: 1 lbs. 12 oz.
- Fabric: Nylon and Silnylon
- Capacities: 45,L 60L
- Pros: Lightweight and water-resistant
- Cons: Only top loading
This is Osprey’s answer to the wide range of ultralight packs popping up everywhere these days. The bag weighs less than 2lbs while still providing you with a metal frame which is pretty darn amazing.
Like most Osprey packs it has a solid construction and the Nylon is durable enough to withstand harsh airline baggage conditions. For those who are interested in serious through-hiking in the mountains, this is the bag for you, or you can check out our other hiking backpacks suggestions.
Despite its lightweight build, the bag is surprisingly robust and the straps sit well on your shoulders and back. The vented back ensures you don’t overheat when carrying the pack. If your goal is to keep it light and simple I would highly recommend the Lumina
Osprey Sirrus — Best Short Treks Backpack
- Weight: 3 lbs. 1 oz.
- Fabric: Denier ripstop nylon
- Capacities: 36,L 46L
- Load Range:
- Pros: Perfect for short hikes. Top loading and long zippered access to the main compartment
- Cons: Not great for carrying larger loads
The Osprey Sirrus is smaller than most packs on this list. While it may not serve as a good month-long trip around Europe because of its size it is perfect for the lady hikers who carry just what they need. This is built on Ospreys light wire suspension system which transfers weight from the harness to hip belt so you’re more comfortable.
The mesh back warm helps keep you cool on cooler days. The reservoir sleeve is external so it’s easy to refill your bladder without pulling things out of your bag. If you want to take this bag on an overnight trip there are sleeping bag straps, a rain cover, and a trekking pole storage system.
My favorite part about this bag is that it’s a top-loading backpack, this is advantageous on long trail hikes as it keeps the weight centered. It’s still great for travel though as there is also a long zipper on the side providing easy access to items in the middle of your pack.
Osprey Ariel Pro – Best Multiday Hiker Backpack
Weight: 3 lbs. 6 oz
Capacities: 55L, 65L, 75L
Pros: Has many bells and whistles, carry heavy loads
Cons: Expensive, First Generation (tends to come with some flaws)
The Osprey Ariel Pro is one of the most expensive packs to make this list. The Airel was an old classic when it came to hiking backpacks. However, as new lightweight materials are hitting the market and more hikers want lightweight bags Osprey revamped the Ariel and shaved off over a pound and a half from the original weight.
The back excels at backpacking trips abroad or a more intense hiking trip. What sets this bag apart from the rest is the NanoFly fabric, antigravity back technology, the hip belt, and shoulder harness. It’s an exceptional bag that also costs almost $400 so one should expect that.
The whole back side is 100% adjustable so all women should be able to customize their fit. The top lip of this pack is removable making the pack smaller if you don’t need the space. Once you have the top lid off it actually turns into a mini backpack! Your items are all accessible via the top, bottom, side panel.
Osprey Ozone Convertible – Best Rolling Backpack
Weight: 6 lbs. 33 oz.
Fabric: Ballistic Nylon
Capacities: 60L, 75L
Pros: So many organization pockets. Laptop sleeve
Cons: The bag tips forward if weight is not distributed properly. Also, it’s a little ridiculous as a backpack.
This bag has a hefty price tag on it and is a newcomer on the scene. It’s probably my least favorite backpack on this list, but I felt I should mention it simply because it has wheels
The Ozone Convertible is a similar build to the Farpoint, with the added addition of a more compact frame and a pullout handle with wheels. The wheeled part could be a problem if you are on the cobbled streets of Europe, but it is possible to pull out the straps and make the Ozone a full backpack.
Choose Your Type of Osprey Backpack
There are a wide range of backpacks on the market and a large selection on offer from Osprey. To determine which backpack is best for you it’s best to decide on your intended needs.
Hiking backpacks are great if you plan to hit the trails, and it’s the only category where you need a dedicated backpack. You can travel around the world with an Osprey hiking backpack like the Aura, but you can’t go on a hike with a travel-specific backpack like the Farpoint.
Then you have several size option when it comes to hiking backpacks. Large volume backpacks offer more versatility, but they cost more and weigh more on your back. To most a large volume backpack may also be overkill unless you have plans for an extended journey or long multiday hikes. If you’re looking for a hiking backpack that is assisted with porters like Machu Picchu or Kilimanjaro a small hiking backpack around 35 – 45L would be a better fit, like the Osprey Sirrus.
If you plan on hiking check out our favorite women’s hiking clothes!
Travel specific backpacks are great for most travelers backpack needs. They’re practical, affordable, and offer a lot of versatility. We have now traveled extensively with travel backpacks like the Farpoint and love their strengths.
They have a lot of versatility as they can be carried on your back and their soft side makes them great for adventure travel. Soft side bags can slip under a bus, small plane, or the back of a truck. Then there is the obvious advantage of being to carry the bag down uneven roads or surfaces.
It feels like we always need a daypack when hopping around cities, hiking in the woods, or snowboarding in some glades. Even in a city, an urban daypack is great for carrying a camera, laptop, map, headphones, or your favorite water bottle. It’s a great travel accessory that we always have a need for anywhere in the world.
Elements to Look for in a Backpack
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 so that the weight is closer to your back. Additional compartments are good for storage of small items or valuables like your passport.
A good hip belt is essential for any women’s travel backpack. In case 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.
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 days hike or walk through a city.
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.
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. In all outdoor gear, we like to have some form of weatherproofing.
Suspension refers to the total components that affect how you carry the backpack on your back. This includes straps, back panel, hip belt, and sternum strap. The most important elements to look at are hip belts, sternum straps, and level adjustment of the shoulder straps.
A well-cushioned back panel can make the difference between having a backache or not. Then you have ventilated back panels and various materials. If you’ll be walking long distances in the heat you’ll want to have vented back panels.
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 Osprey backpack for you?
The first thing to think about when it comes to 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.
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.
A backpacks 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 panel 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.
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.
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.
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. While the larger capacities can circumnavigate the world or tackle a multi-day hiking expedition.
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