Guide to Best Travel Backpacks for Women Traveling in 2024

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When it comes to travel backpacks for women, there are a lot of things to consider before making your purchase. Not only do you need to think about the features of the backpack itself, but you also need to consider your own travel needs and preferences.

We will take a look at 10 different travel backpacks for women and discuss why each one might be a good choice for you. Whether you’re looking for a backpack that is perfect for long-term travel or one that is ideal for city sightseeing, here are some options to consider.

Quick Overview: Best Travel Backpacks for Women 2022

For the hasty reader, this is a quick table overview of some of the best travel backpacks for women. If it’s your first time looking for a backpack, I encourage you to read on for the things to consider when making a travel backpack selection.

Travel Backpack



Osprey Fairview

40L, 55L, 70L

Osprey Ozone


Nomatic Travel Bag


Osprey Kyte

44L, 46L

Patagonia Black Hole


Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel Pack


Peak Designs Travel Backpack


Topo Designs Travel Bag

30L, 45L

Cotopaxi Batac Pack


Deuter Speed Lite Hiking Backpack


Important Features of Travel Backpack To Consider

The Capacity of the Travel Backpack

The capacity of a travel backpack is one of the most important factors to consider. You need to make sure that the backpack you choose has enough space for all of your belongings.

If you are planning on doing a lot of hiking, you might need a backpack that is large enough to carry all of your gear.

The capacity of travel backpacks is typically measured in liters. Do note that there’s a trend of “if there is space, you will pack more” among travelers. Therefore, make sure you don’t get anything too big either.

Another key thing to consider is whether you plan to check in your bags or just carry on. Generally, a 40-45L backpack is the max capacity allowance for carry-on.

Weight of the Travel Backpack

That said, the weight of travel backpack is another important factor to consider. A larger backpack will typically weigh more than a smaller backpack.

You need to make sure that the raw weight of the backpack you choose is not too heavy. This will help to make sure that you are comfortable carrying the backpack and give you more room for other items.

The material also makes a difference in the weight of the backpack.

Water Resilience of Travel Backpack

If you are planning on doing any hiking, it is important to consider the water resilience of a travel backpack. You need to make sure that the backpack you choose is made of water-resistant material. This will help to keep your belongings dry if you get caught in the rain.

Are you going to a winter country that is snowing? Take that into consideration as well. It is also good to note that it is possible to use rain covers for backpacks to supplement this specification.

Loading of Travel Backpack

There are generally 2 types being top loading and front loading. Hiking backpacks are usually top loading, which can be difficult to get stuff out, but less possibility of something (like a zip breaking) and all your stuff falling out.

Note that there are also hiking backpacks with side zippers that allow easier access to items.

Front-loading backpacks open like a suitcase and allow you to pack and access your stuff easily. However, a broken zip can become a problem.

Straps of Travel Backpack

The main thing about straps for me is padding. Good padding goes a long way to making yourself comfortable in carrying mid to heavy loads.

This is especially so if you are planning on doing any hiking. You need to make sure that the straps are comfortable and also easy to adjust. The straps should obviously be of good quality and strong enough to support the weight of the backpack.

Depending on what the use of the backpack is, some travel backpacks come with a hip belt. This helps to distribute the weight of the backpack more evenly and is crucial for long hikes or if you plan on carrying a heavy load.

Organization and Compartments of Travel Backpack

This is more of a personal preference and what you are carrying. Do you like lots of compartments to help you keep things organized? Or do you prefer fewer compartments so that you can pack the backpack more easily?

What you are planning to do will likely also impact this. Some like to tie stuff off the outside of the backpack (like a sleeping bag or yoga mats), while others need good compartments to separate their electronics (like cameras and laptop) from other belongings.

Zipper or no Zipper

Some backpacks, particularly hiking ones don’t come with zippers for their main compartment. Those usually operate on a simple rope mechanism with a flap over cover.

One consideration about this is that since there is no zip, you cannot really lock your backpack’s main compartment. This can be a concern for some travelers. (Note: I use an air travel cover with zips to store my hiking backpack when checking it in, allowing me to secure it with a lock)

Travel Considerations to Think About

As you can imagine, the kind of backpack you select is closely related to what you are planning to do as a traveler. Here are some things to think about when deciding on the travel backpack for your journey.

Carry On or Check-in?

Do you want a backpack that you can use as your carry-on for air travel? Some travelers swear by just using carry-on because it is less hassle, no lost luggage problem with airlines, and can be a real cost saver if you are taking budget airlines like Ryanair.

If so, make sure to check the size restrictions of the airlines you are flying with.

Main Backpack or Daypack?

Another travel consideration is whether you want a backpack that can double as your daypack when you are out exploring. If so, make sure that it is not too big or bulky.

That said, think about whether you are shopping for 1 main backpack for everything, or are you planning on getting a daypack that goes with your main backpack or suitcase.

Long Term or Short Term Travel?

If you are planning on doing long term travel, you need to make sure that your travel backpack is big enough to fit all your belongings. That said, many nomads and long term travelers have stuck to carry on backpacks only, and just buy and sell/donate stuff as they need along the way.

However, if you are going for a weekend trip, that will likely be different from what you need for a year trip. Be self-aware of your preferences and style of travel.

Adventure or City Travel?

Are you looking to spend a lot of time in nature or even camping? You want to prioritize features like durability and water resistance over a city traveler. You want to also think about whether you will be renting your gears or carrying around your own gears. Items like tents, sleeping bags etc can take up a bunch of space and affect your capacity considerations.

A city traveler might prioritize style and security. This is particularly if you are a digital nomad that is carrying expensive work equipment like laptop. A nature photographer that is a mix of both will have different considerations to balance out all their needs.

Summer or Winter?

If you are traveling in winter, you probably need more space for winter wear as they can take up more space. If you are a traveler who chases the sun; summer wear takes up less space and you might want a backpack that is more suitable for beaches.

Do I Really Need to Use a Travel Backpack for Women?

Generally, using a unisex or men’s backpack is fine. In fact, some of the best travel backpacks are unisex.

Women’s backpacks just tend to consider the female physique for better comfort. Some differentiating features you might find across backpacks are

  • Shorter torso range and placement of the hip belt
  • Shorter and curved shoulder straps
  • Differences in height of chest straps to accommodate the chest
  • Lower center of gravity

However, everyone’s physique is unique and different, so what matters the most is the fit. Here is a good guide by REI on determining your backpack fit.

Best Travel Backpacks for Women

Finding a good anti-theft backpack is essential for those who carry around their prized possessions when traveling. It is important to have a good backpack that will keep you and your items safe. Here are some backpacks that are worth the investment. 


Osprey Fairview

  • Weight: 3.1 lbs (1.4 kg)
  • Capacity: 3 options: 40L, 55L, 70L
  • Dimensions: 21x4x9 in (53x10x23 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: Yes

The Osprey Fairview was designed with a woman’s body and build in mind. It is lightweight and a good size to be used as a carry-on or for your longer trips. The nylon fabric is durable and there are stowaway straps if you want to check your bag. The straps are padded as well, so you will notice that they won’t dig into you even if you fully pack it. The laptop sleeve is in the front, which means you’d need to be careful of someone trying to pickpocket you.


  • Lightweight
  • Removable daypack
  • Suspension
  • Stowaway straps


  • Little pockets
  • Laptop sleeve in the front, not as safe


Nomatic Travel Bag

  • Weight: 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg)
  • Capacity: 40 L
  • Dimensions: 18.5x12x7 in, (46x30x18 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: Yes

The Nomatic Travel Bag is ideal for someone who wants a sleek-looking bag that can hold a lot. This is a great bag if you plan on living out of a carry-on during your travels–it even comes with a laundry bag! It is unisex, so it may carry weight on a woman’s back differently than other options. But, it is a sturdy bag that will last you a long time as you travel.


  • Built-in technology organization
  • Water-Resistant
  • Carry-on size


  • Not a lot of padding and no ventilation
  • Wider than other bags



Osprey Ozone

  • Weight: 4.5 lbs (2.0 kg)
  • Capacity: 42 L
  • Dimensions: 22x14x9 inches (56×35.5×23 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: No

If you are the type of traveler who is looking for a versatile bag to go from accommodation to accommodation, the Osprey Ozone is what you need. This is a wheeled backpack that is known for being good over rough terrains, like cobblestone or dirt roads. If you don’t plan on using the bag on hikes, it is great. While you can wear it on your back, it isn’t comfortable to hike in. And its very uncomfortable when wearing it when it is fully packed.


  • Fits the standard carry-on size for flights
  • Has wheels for those who don’t want to carry


  • Not good as a trekking backpack
  • Can’t handle too much weight


Osprey Lumina

  • Weight: 1.8 lbs to 2.0 lbs (0.8 kg to 0.9 kg)
  • Capacity: extra small: 54 L; small: 57 L; medium: 60 L
  • Dimensions: 24x16x12 inches to 27x16x12 inches (61x41x30.5 cm to 69x41x30.5 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: No

The Lumina was built for hikers. If you go with the largest size available, 60 L, you can plan on fitting enough for a three-day to a week-long hiking trip. Or, you can live out of the contents for a couple of months. This backpack will show some wear-and-tear as you use it. While it is a quality bag, it might not last as long as other Osprey bags. If you are a thru-hiker, this is a great option to consider, but it may not be best for women looking for a general traveling sack.


  • Considered lightweight no matter the size
  • Minimalist
  • Great for hikers


  • Too big for carry-ons
  • Light color gets dirty quick


Osprey Kyte

  • Weight: 3.2 lbs to 3.4 lbs (1.4 kg to 1.5 kg)
  • Capacity: extra small/small: 44 L; small/medium: 46 L
  • Dimensions: 25.5×13.5×12.5 inches to 27.5×13.5×12.5 inches (65x34x32 cm to 70x34x32 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: No

The Osprey Kyte is a fine option for a woman looking into affordable hiking backpacks with limited frills. You can use this bag for pretty much any activity that puts you outdoors, from hiking to camping to trail running. If you go with the larger option, you can fit about three to five days worth of gear inside. The bag manages weight really well and there is a suspension system and padded straps that make the bag comfortable to wear. There is also a hydration sleeve, loops for trekking pole or ice tools, and a rain cover.


  • Great for hiking and camping
  • Suspension system


  • 46L option may be too large as a carry-on for some Airlines
  • Not a lot of features for Non-Hikers


Patagonia Black Hole

  • Weight: 1.4 lbs (0.6 kg)
  • Capacity: 26 L
  • Dimensions: 22×10.5×5.5 inches (56x27x14 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: Yes

The Patagonia Black Hole is a good option for women who only do day trips and hikes. This bag won’t hold a lot of gear, but it does have a lot of compartments and spots for what gear you want to bring. The material is recycled and fairly waterproof. There are also straps to bring along a yoga mat. If you want something to use once you get to your destination that is bigger and easier to carry than a purse, this is a great choice.


  • Affordable
  • Options for organization
  • Sustainable material


  • No waist strap
  • Not as suitable for multi-day hikes


Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel Pack

  • Weight: 4 lbs (1.8 kg)
  • Capacity: 45 L
  • Dimensions: 22x14x9 inches (55x35x22 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: Yes

The worst part about the Pacsafe Venturesafe bag is also the best part. Pacsafe is known for its theft-deterrent bags, which can help make women traveling alone feel a lot safer. Features include slash-proof stainless steel meshing, buckles, and smart zippers. This also means that every time you want to pull something out, you can’t just reach around but instead have to take the whole pack off. The bag opens like a clamshell, which is great for organization. Overall, if you are a woman traveling alone, or just want that extra peace of mind, this is the perfect bag for you.


  • Carry-on size
  • High quality materials
  • Comfortable and versatile
  • Theft-Deterrent


  • Tougher to access your items (due to Theft-Deterrance


Peak Designs Travel Backpack

  • Weight: 4.6 lbs (2.1 kg)
  • Capacity: 45 L
  • Dimensions: 22x13x11 inches (56x33x29 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: Yes

The Peak Designs Travel Backpack is an investment bag. And if you are someone who is looking to travel a lot and only use a carry-on, then it is probably worth it to you. The bag itself is roomy, with a lot of smartly placed pocket compartments. There is also an interior laptop sleeve along the back, which makes the bag feel more secure. You can also choose to add a camera cube bag that Peak Designs also sells. The straps are comfortable even when fully packed.


  • Great internal organization
  • Hidden pockets
  • Stowaway straps
  • Carry-on size


  • Bag weight the heavier side
  • Price is on the higher end
  • Fabric not as breathable


Topo Designs Travel Bag

  • Weight: 3.9 lbs (1.8 kg)
  • Capacity: 30 L
  • Dimensions: 12.5x20x7 inches (32x51x18 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: Yes

This heavy-duty nylon bag is both stylish and useful. You will find a small and medium compartment and 4 zipped sections inside, and an external pocket as well. This bag is probably only best for those planning short trips, even if you opt for the 40 L bag. The straps are not the most comfortable and the bag can fit weirdly.


  • Great Organizing Options with Many Compartments
  • Carry-on Size
  • Theft-Deterrent


  • Can feel small
  • Straps might not be snug fit


Cotopaxi Batac Pack

  • Weight: 0.8 lbs (0.05 kg)
  • Capacity: 24 L
  • Dimensions: 20x11x7 inches (51x28x18 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: No

This is a great bag for someone who loves to be outside or on the go but doesn’t need to have all their gear with them. At only 24 L, this is a good day or weekend bag. From Cotopaxi’s (Re)Purpose collection, this bag is made with scrap fabric so each one is unique looking. It is water-resistant and durable, so it is ideal for outdoor adventures that might make the bag take a tumble. The off-centered zipper is also great for reaching around and pulling stuff out instead of taking the bag off each time.


  • Extremely light weight
  • Great Price
  • Water-resistant


  • Roomy, but not much organizational compartments
  • Not that Large


Deuter Speed Lite Hiking Backpack

  • Weight: 1.8 lbs (0.8 kg)
  • Capacity: 22 L
  • Dimensions: 20×10.5×7 inches(51x27x17 cm)
  • Laptop Compartment: No

The 22L Deuter Speed Lite Hiking bag is another travel backpack for women that is ideal for a day trip. It was built to fit the female body, and the compression straps make carrying it at full capacity comfortable. This is a sturdy bag and is compatible with the Deuter 3L Streamer if you want to use that for hydration purposes.


  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Minimalistic
  • Ventilated Mesh
  • Designed for the Female Body


  • Smaller size option
Travel Insurance

Determining The Best Travel Backpack For Your Trip

The above are some of the well rated and best travel backpacks for women, catering to different travel styles. As a traveler, it is good to consider and compare multiple backpacks before investing in one. And that is what a good backpack is — an investment. You will want to spend a little more on a quality bag that you can use across multiple trips.

You also want to consider what the goal of your travels are. Do you need a bag that just gets to accommodations? Does it need to fit as a carry-on? Are you planning a hiking trip in rough terrain that is longer than a weekend? 

Figuring out what are your prioritise will help you to determine the best travel backpack for you!



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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