Even if you’re new to travel, you likely already know that having a good backpack is crucial. And while it may seem convenient to lug around that old school bag you’ve been using since the 8th grade, it’s not always the most practical choice. In my experience, a good travel backpack makes your travels a lot smoother.
There’s lots to consider. For example, safety is a standard in good backpacks nowadays—does yours have anti-theft measures built-in? Does it fit comfortably? Is it ideal for hiking?
When I first started traveling I had no idea what I was doing, and ending up wasting money on the wrong backpacks for the wrong adventures. But this list of the best travel backpacks for women will hopefully prevent you from making the same mistakes.
- Best Travel Backpack for Women Overall: Osprey Fairview 40
- Best Carry-On Backpack: Aer Travel Pack 3
- Best Backpacking Backpack: Osprey Aura AG 65
- Most Stylish Backpack: Monos Metro Backpack
- Best Anti-Theft Backpack: Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel Pack 45L
- Best Leather Backpack: Kodiak Leather Katmai
- Best Hiking Backpack: Osprey Kyte 46
- Best Photography Backpack: WANDRD PRVKE
- Most Versatile Backpack: Peak Design Travel Bag
- Best Budget Backpack: REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Recycled Pack
- Best Daypack for Women: Patagonia Black Hole 25L
- Best Commuter Backpack: NOMATIC Travel Pack
- Most Rugged Backpack: Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Duffel Backpack
- Best Digital Nomad Backpack: Tortuga Setout
- Best Professional Backpack: Eagle Creek Global Companion
1. Osprey Fairview 40: Best Women’s Travel Backpack Overall
The Osprey team created the Osprey Fairview 40 to fit a woman’s frame specifically, creating a hardy travel bag that will last you forever thanks to its durability and handy lifetime guarantee.
This backpack comes in two sizes: XS/S and S/M. Both options are suitable if you’re shorter than six feet, and it has two adjustable front-compression straps to keep it compact against your back. The suspension system keeps the weight of the bag evenly distributed as well.
The Osprey Fairview comes in two standard color schemes: rainforest green and misty grey. I love a darker color scheme because it tends to conceal dirt if you’re doing any trekking, unlike lighter colors.
Apart from looking great, this bag fits great too. As soon as you sling this backpack over your shoulders, you’ll notice how lightweight it feels. The straps are nice and narrow and feature a curved design for a comfortable fit.
I love the clamshell opening and padded laptop pocket, too. All in all, it’s a perfectly well-rounded backpack for any woman on the go.
- Durable materials
- Functional colors
- Incognito strap system can be tucked away
- Great suspension system
- Not suitable for women taller than six feet
Osprey Fairview 40 Specs:
|Materials||210-denier mini-hex diamond ripstop nylon, 600-denier packcloth||210-denier mini-hex diamond ripstop nylon, 600-denier packcloth|
|Dimensions||19” x 13” x 9“||21” x 13” x 9“|
|Capacity||38 liters||40 liters|
|Weight||3.1 lbs||3.2 lbs|
2. Aer Travel Pack 3: Best Carry-On Backpack for Women
This is a bag jam-packed with organizational features that pair well with your busy day-to-day life, but is also perfect for taking along as a carry-on bag. It’s incredibly durable, great for keeping your belongings neat and tidy, and it fits perfectly in most overhead bins.
The design team created the Aer Travel Pack with the best of the best materials, like ballistic nylon. The material on this bag is guaranteed to stand up to the test of time.
You can squeeze quite a few items into this bag with its 33L capacity. The main compartment can lie flat when opened completely, which you’ll find very useful for quickly finding small items.
Other nifty organizational features include the easy-access laptop compartment and shoe pocket (that fits up to a men’s size 13). This bag is also chocked full of nifty pockets for your accessories, and the padded shoulder and side straps do a good job of easing the weight of the bag.
One downside to this bag: it has a whole lot of compression straps, which makes the bag quite bulky. There is a hip belt, but you have to buy it separately. That’s a small price to pay, though. Even at full capacity, the Aer Travel Pack 2 is ideal as a carry-on.
For more options, check out our top picks for the best carry-on backpacks.
- Easy access pockets and a main storage compartment that lies flat
- Can handle 3-7 days worth of packing
- Ultra-durable materials
- Lots of straps
- Hip belt is separate
Aer Travel Pack 3 Specs:
|Materials||1680D Cordura® ballistic nylon exterior, YKK® zippers, Duraflex® plastic hardware|
|Dimensions||21.5″ x 13″ x 9″|
3. Osprey Aura AG 65: Best Backpacking Backpack for Women
If you’re looking for a backpacking bag that’ll accompany you on your travels for years to come, then the Osprey Aura AG 65 is for you.
You’ll always stay comfortable and dry thanks to this bag’s plush yet breathable shoulder straps, ventilated waist belt, and breezy back panel. If you’re traveling in the summer months or to more tropical environments, you’ll appreciate these extra touches.
The key feature of this backpack is the Anti-Gravity (AG) suspension design. The new AG suspension technology does a great job of distributing the weight of the pack evenly.
This bag also boasts 65L of luggage capacity, which is more than enough for standard backpacking trips. However, its accessibility is what really sets it apart. I love all the large pockets because they allow you to access your essential items quickly and easily.
This bag has a main compartment and also a storage area for other gear, like camping gear. You can even turn this backpack into a daypack by removing the lid and taking away some of the storage space. It’s this versatility that makes it my top pick for a backpacking backpack!
- Good organizational system
- Anti-Gravity suspension
- Great for long backpacking trips
- Detachable daypack
- Too big for carry-on
Osprey Aura AG 65 Specs:
|Materials||100D X 630D Nylon Dobby, 210D High-Tenacity Nylon, 420HD Nylon Packcloth||100D X 630D Nylon Dobby, 210D High-Tenacity Nylon, 420HD Nylon Packcloth||100D X 630D Nylon Dobby, 210D High-Tenacity Nylon, 420HD Nylon Packcloth|
|Dimensions||29.53” X 14.96” X 15.75”||31.5” X 14.96” X 15.75”||33.46” X 14.96” X 15.75”|
|Weight||4.26 lbs||4.34 lbs||4.42 lbs|
4. Monos Metro Backpack: Most Stylish Backpack for Women
The Monos Metro backpack is a real eye-catcher—its sleek, minimalistic design makes it one of the best stylish backpacks on the market.
This backpack has two options when it comes to materials: nylon twill with vegan leather accents or full ultra-microfibre vegan leather. The nylon twill and vegan leather are water-repellent and scratch-resistant.
My favorite thing about this backpack is the storage system. The Monos Metro’s clamshell design allows the main compartment to open and lie completely flat. No more fishing for loose socks at the bottom of your bag!
There is also a dedicated compartment for your laptop (maximum of 15”). The location of the laptop sleeve in the middle of the pack is great —it distributes the weight evenly throughout the bag. It’s also sandwiched between water-repellent and waterproof materials, so your gear stays good and protected.
Monos Metro bags come standard with the new QuickSnap™ Modular Kit System. This is a magnetic system that fixes the interchangeable Metro Kit to the backpack, which allows for fast detachment and easy re-attachment. This means you can store all your day-to-day essentials in there and grab them quickly when you’re on the go. Need to brush your teeth in-flight? Just unsnap the Metro Kit and go.
- Water-repellent & scratch-resistant
- Storage space opens up completely
- Quicksnap system is included
Monos Metro Specs:
|Materials||Nylon Twill with vegan leather accents, or ultra-microfibre vegan leather|
|Dimensions||11.4″ × 15.9″ × 6.6″|
5. Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel Pack 45L: Best Anti-Theft Backpack for Women
If you’re anything like me, safety is a top priority when it comes to traveling. Luckily, the team who designed the Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel Pack took most travel safety concerns into account. It’s one of the TravelFreak top picks for anti-theft backpacks.
Firstly, there’s the eXomesh Slashguard technology that protects the contents of your backpack’s front pocket. It’s basically a stainless steel wire mesh frame to stop flyby attacks (otherwise known as cut-and-runs).
There is also a Roobar Deluxe locking system in place, which is appealing for anyone who travels with lots of gear. This system allows you to secure your zips and anchor cable on a single lockdown point.
Other safety features include ToughZip zippers, which are puncture-resistant and prevent luggage tampering, and a locking cable to attach your bag to a fixture.
The storage system is nifty and organizes your stuff well. It boasts a 45L capacity, which is more than enough for a carry-on. Its dimensions are also small enough to fit onto most planes as a carry-on.
You can use this bag on your everyday commute and not worry about your belongings. If you are looking for a long-lasting, versatile bag, then the Venturesafe Travel Pack 45L is your best bet.
- Plenty of safety features to prevent theft
- Effective storage system
- Durable materials
- When packed to the brim, it can be difficult to fit on your shoulders
Pacsafe Venturesafe Travel Pack Specs:
|Materials||400D ECONYL® regenerated nylon dobby (water-resistant 1,000mm), PFC free 150D Recycled polyester (water-resistant 1,000mm)|
|Dimensions||21.7” x 13.8” x 8.7”|
6. Kodiak Leather Katmai: Best Leather Backpack for Women
There’s something special about a leather backpack. Probably because the materials are organic, and the design ends up being one-of-a-kind (and even looks better with age).
Kodiak uses premium cowhide leather for the Kodiak Leather Katmai, from its base to its reinforced support handle. The inside of the bag features black nylon which gives it a smooth look.
This backpack boasts a 15” padded laptop pocket at the back, which fits a MacBook Pro very snugly. There are three zippered pockets (small, medium, and large) on the front of the bag. The main large pocket has individual pouches for wallets, phones, and pens.
Apart from the obvious productivity benefits, I like this bag because it just looks great. The leather comes in a variety of stylish colors and adds some edge to your look.
If you’re someone who likes high-quality products that have personality, then the Kodiak Leather Katmai is a great fit for you. If you’re curious about other leather options, check out this round-up of leather backpacks.
- It will last a lifetime if looked after properly
- Made with high-quality leather
- Not suitable for long periods of travel
Kodiak Leather Katmai Specs:
|Materials||Full-grain cowhide leather, nylon|
|Dimensions||16.5″ x 15″ x 5″|
7. Osprey Kyte 46: Best Hiking Backpack for Women
Osprey has never let me down when it comes to durability and functionality (it’s by far my favorite backpack brand), and the same goes for the Osprey Kyte 46.
This bag is a proper workhorse with tons of useful features. It comes with an integrated rain cover that’s very easy to attach and detach. A lot of bags don’t include a rain cover, so it’s great to see that this bag has one included.
Other awesome features include trekking poles and sleeping mat/hiking tent attachments, plus lots of pockets and organizational features to make this bag an outstanding bag for hikers.
The LightWire frame suspension system distributes most of the weight to your hips, so it feels very light while you’re walking. However, this bag uses the old-school back panel that fits tightly to your back, which doesn’t allow for great breathability if it’s hot.
This bag does well for overnight hikes of two to four days and it also passes as a carry-on at most airlines. However, if you are looking to pack a lot of food and extras, then you might struggle to fit everything into this pack.
This hiking backpack will be your lifelong hiking partner, thanks to Osprey’s lifetime guarantee. For other options, check out this article on the best hiking backpacks.
- Great organizational features
- Robust suspension system
- Built-in rain cover
- Attachments for sleeping gear and trekking poles
- Lifetime guarantee
- Not enough room for multi-day hikes
- The back panel is not very breathable
Osprey Kyte 46 Specs:
|Materials||210-denier x 630-denier nylon dobby, 500-denier nylon packcloth||210-denier x 630-denier nylon dobby, 500-denier nylon packcloth|
|Dimensions||25.6” X 13.4” X 12.6”||27.6” X 13.4” X 12.6”|
|Weight||3.24 lbs||3.38 lbs|
8. WANDRD PRVKE: Best Photography Backpack for Women
The WANDRD PRVKE is the ultimate backpack for photographers. It has waterproof Tarpaulin material and ballistic nylon to ensure that the contents of your bag stay dry and safe from abrasions. You won’t have to worry about your camera gear (or any other gear) getting wet while you’re out in the field taking photos.
The organization of the bag is what really stands out to me. The optional camera cube fits nicely into the main compartment and you can grab it in a pinch. The laptop sleeve is strategically placed at the back so that, no matter how full it is, you can access your laptop easily too.
There are also pockets upon pockets in this bag so that you can store all your bits and bobs. This bag also comes in three sizes, depending on your luggage needs. Aesthetically, it comes in three stylish colors: black, Wasatch green, and Aegean blue.
The only real downside to this bag is that, at a standard weight of 3.7 pounds for the 41L option, it’s heavy when fully loaded. However, the materials used in this bag are top-quality so this is a fair trade-off in my opinion. For a more detailed breakdown, check out the WANDRD PRVKE review.
- Camera-intense features
- Waterproof and ultra-durable materials
- The camera cube is optional
WANDRD PRVKE Specs:
|Materials||Waterproof Tarpaulin and Robic 1680D Ballistic Nylon, YKK Weather Resistant Zippers||Waterproof Tarpaulin and Robic 1680D Ballistic Nylon, YKK Weather Resistant Zippers||Waterproof Tarpaulin and Robic 1680D Ballistic Nylon, YKK Weather Resistant Zippers|
|Dimensions||19″ X 11″ X 6.5″||21″ X 12″ X 7″||21″ X 12″ X 9″|
|Weight||2.8 lbs||3.4 lbs||3.7 lbs|
9. Peak Design Travel Backpack: Most Versatile Backpack for Women
I love this Peak Design travel bag because it does it all: I can proudly carry it with me on work trips, it’s great for multi-day travel, and it’s also super organized for all my gear. It balances business function with a look that’s easy on the eyes. To me, it’s one of the most stylish backpacks on the market and will give you an ultra-professional look.
The organization of the Peak Design Travel Backpack is nothing short of genius. You can find a compartment for every one of your essentials and they’re all easy to reach via top, side, front, and rear access.
The whole bag is also made with a weatherproof nylon canvas shell that’s ideal for protecting your tech gear. The weatherproof zippers are another nice touch.
You can tuck away the shoulder straps for a more streamlined look and then you can grab the side handle to carry it like a briefcase. And, of course, there’s a well-padded laptop sleeve. If you need a bag to keep up with your diverse lifestyle, this is it. Read more about it in the full Peak Design travel bag review.
- Sleek and professional appearance
- Top, rear, front, and side access
- Tuckable straps
- Lifetime guarantee
- Comes with pockets for all your accessories
- Side handle’s placement throws off the weight distribution if you carry sideways
Peak Design Travel Backpack Specs:
|Materials||Nylon, Hypalon®, YKK zippers|
|Dimensions||9” x 22” x 13”|
10. REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Recycled Pack: Best Eco-Friendly Backpack for Women
REI is well known for its affordable yet awesome gear, and the REI Co-op Ruckpack Recycled Pack is no exception.
The design of this bag is built to fit women, with narrower straps and a larger hip belt for distributing weight better. Compression straps help pack down your gear and lift the load off your back more easily. The sternum strap even has a whistle for your extra security.
The REI Co-op Recycled Pack is versatile: it can function as a backpacking bag or as an outdoor backpack. There’s a daisy chain to attach more items, as well as trekking pole attachments and two water bottle holders.
One thing it does lack is a well-padded laptop compartment, so keep this in mind if you’re planning to work on the road.
For a 40L, the price tag on this one is more than reasonable. And not only are you getting the best bang for your buck, but the REI Co-op Ruckpack Recycled Pack is also eco-friendly: it’s made with recycled materials that are bluesign® approved, helping you cut down on waste.
- Designed for a women’s fit
- Has extra attachments, including for trekking poles
- Great weight distribution
- The laptop sleeve lacks padding
REI Co-op Ruckpack Recycled Pack Specs:
|Materials||Recycled nylon shell, recycled polyester lining|
|Dimensions||25” x 14.5” x 9”|
11. Patagonia Black Hole 25L: Best Daypack for Women
At first glance, the Patagonia Black Hole 25L doesn’t look like anything special. But it’s a sturdy bag that you can take everywhere with you on day adventures, whether that’s hiking, running errands, or meeting some friends at the park.
This backpack is technically water-resistant and not waterproof. That being said, the materials used in this bag are extremely water-resistant, so unless you drop the bag in the ocean or a giant puddle, your belongings are quite safe here.
The organizational features on this bag are good too. It has a compartment for your laptop and plenty of pockets for more storage.
If you are looking for a versatile daypack with great functionality without breaking the bank, then this backpack is worth checking out.
- Weather-resistant and durable
- Great organization
- Highly affordable
- The laptop pocket is not easy to access and lacks padding
Patagonia Black Hole Specs:
|Materials||450-denier polyester ripstop with a TPU-film laminate|
|Dimensions||21” x 11” x 6.5”|
12. NOMATIC Travel Pack: Best Commuter Backpack for Women
The design team at NOMATIC named this backpack the “most functional travel pack ever.” I agree, and that’s why it’s my top pick for commuting.
When you are using this bag as a carry-on, effortlessly slip the pass-thru shoulder straps onto your main luggage handle and wheel it along. The organization is fantastic. There’s a quick-access laptop compartment that also has space for a tablet. Then there is the main compartment, which you can compress by 50% when you don’t need to pack much.
The NOMATIC Travel Pack is also made with weather-resistant material, and the zippers are waterproof.
The one downside to this bag? The straps. They don’t have the sufficient padding to make a long journey with this bag on your back comfortable, particularly in the 30L size.
Our NOMATIC Backpack review has more info.
- Great functionality features, including pass-thru straps to attach to your wheeled luggage
- Not enough padding in the shoulder straps
NOMATIC Travel Pack Specs:
|Dimensions||8.5″ x 12″ 6-9.5″|
13. Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Duffel Backpack: Most Rugged Backpack for Women
The designers at Timbuk2 made the Impulse Travel Duffel Backpack with road warriors in mind—this bag is meant to endure a lot. It’s water resistant, made with incredibly durable materials, and can switch between a duffel and a backpack within seconds.
You can easily store or locate all your tech items thanks to the clever storage system and clamshell shape of the bag. It has a plethora of pockets and storage compartments for your accessories and there is a dedicated padded laptop compartment too. Interior compression straps help pack down your clothing so you can fit more in.
This bag is great if you want to save on baggage fees, because you can pack everything you need for a long weekend in it. You can even turn it into a duffel bag for when you’re going to be gone for extended periods of time.
There’s an impressive harness system too, making it easy to carry long distances if necessary.
If you’re in the market for a duffel, check out our full round-up of carry-on duffel bags.
- Fits a 17″ laptop
- Clever organization
- Can turn into a duffel bag with a clamshell opening
- Doesn’t have a traditional shoulder strap
- Zippers tend to be sticky and hard to maneuver
Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Duffel Backpack Specs:
|Materials||Polyethylene vinyl acetate with ripstop pattern|
|Dimensions||20.7” x 14.6” x 6.1”|
14. Tortuga Setout: Best Digital Nomad Backpack for Women
If you’re a busy professional who works while on the road, the Tortuga Setout is an excellent backpack for your travels.
The Tortuga Setout has a sturdy lockable zipper to protect your gear while you’re on the move. If you’re city hopping and doing lots of urban travel, this bag will keep you well organized (and your gear well protected) while you’re in transit.
It’s a compact bag that has a (surprisingly large) main luggage cavity and a few small compartments. The luggage compartment’s simple dividing system makes it easy for you to find items in a pinch. This bag likes to keep things simple, and that’s why I love it. Nothing is overdone. The straps are comfortable with plenty of padding as well.
The Tortuga Setout comes in two sizes: the 35L and the 45L. The 35L bag will meet the requirements for all international airports, while the 45L is the maximum carry-on size for US airlines. You might not be able to get away with the larger bag as a carry-on for some airlines.
If you’re still not sure if this is your digital nomad backpack option, read the full Tortuga Setout review.
- Compact design great for carry-on
- Simple storage system
- 17’’ laptop compartment
- Not suitable for outdoor use
- The 45L bag may not be suitable for international airlines
Tortuga Setout Specs:
|Materials||900D Polyester outer material, Closed-cell EVA and open-cell PU foam, YKK Zippers, Duraflex buckles||900D Polyester outer material, Closed-cell EVA and open-cell PU foam, YKK Zippers, Duraflex buckles|
|Dimensions||21.5” x 13.5” x 7.5”||22″ x 14″ x 9”|
|Weight||3.6 lbs||3.8 lbs|
15. Eagle Creek Global Companion: Best Women’s Professional Backpack
If you need a backpack that serves as your trusty sidekick, the Eagle Creek Global Companion is a fantastic option.
This backpack is great for all types of traveling, and it’s designed with durable materials that will hold up in the natural elements, rain or shine. It folds open like a suitcase and has an incredibly comfortable suspension system to lift the weight off your frame.
It also has a lot of pockets and compartments that are invisible to the eye at first glance, including a shoe compartment, two zippered front panel pockets, a key fob and a pen slot. There is a padded 17” laptop compartment, and even a tuck-away rainfly in the bottom pocket.
Whether you are using it for work travel or some laidback city travel, the Eagle Creek Global Companion is one of those bags that you’ll want to keep around for a long time.
- Great suspension system for walking long distances
- Large laptop compartment
- Tons of organizational pockets and compartments
- Rain fly included
- Hip belt gets in the way when not in use
Eagle Creek Global Companion Specs:
|Materials||Duraflex Hardware, ITW Hardware, Polyester, Polyurethane|
|Dimensions||13.75” x 21.5” x 8”|
What to Look for in a Travel Backpack for Women
There isn’t much of a difference between travel backpacks for men and women, so the essential things you look for in a travel bag remain the same (like materials and durability, for example). There are, however, some things that make certain travel bags a better fit for women.
Is it a Good Fit for Women?
When we’re talking about storage capabilities, the volume of the bag does not determine whether it’s a good fit or not. When it comes to fit, you want to consider the straps and hip belt.
These features are usually designed to fit a women’s body better. The straps will usually have more padding and are narrower at the shoulders. The hip belt is usually larger too, to distribute the bulk of the weight to this area. This keeps the load lighter on your frame.
Is it a Fashionable Backpack for Women?
Fashion essentially boils down to the design and colors of the bag, and your own personal preference. I suggest going for bags that are sleek and low-profile so as not to draw additional attention to yourself, but honestly, I’ve never been caught up in how things look. Functionality is way more important here.
I will say that I much prefer dark colors, though. Colors like black and dark greens or blues are always great options because these will show less dirt and scuff marks as you’re on the move.
Final Thoughts on the Best Travel Backpack for Women
I’ve included quite a selection of best women’s travel backpacks here, but now you’re more equipped to choose the right one for you. It really boils down to how you prefer to travel, and what you’ll be spending your time doing. Maybe that means hiking or city-hopping, or doing more work-oriented travel. Whatever the case, take some time to think about it—this bag should last you for a very long time.
The travel backpacks for women listed here are the best of the best. And when you’ve found your personal best women’s backpack for travel, let me know in the comments below!