Best Women’s Backpacks

Top 10 Rated Backpacks for Women 2014

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Following are some of the primary factors we considered when selecting our top 10 backpacks for women list. Please see our complete backpack buying guide for more information on how we chose, and you should choose the right backpack for your hiking or camping adventure.

1. Comfort and Wearability
2. Volume Capacity
3. Weight Efficiency
4. Compartmental Features
5. Hydration Capabilities
6. External Straps and Stability Features
7. Frame Support
8. Cost/Value

Osprey Ariel 75  9.5/10

Internal frame
72-78 liters
4,400-4,800 cubic inches
4 pockets + main compartment

“300 days in the field and still looks like new. It’s indestructible.” – Actual quote from an actual outdoor therapeutic counselor. That about sums it up.

Prices


Arc’teryx Altra 62  9/10

Internal Frame
62-65 liters
3,783-3,967 cubic inches
7 pockets + main compartment

The priciest one on the list, but it’s loaded with features and extremely comfortable. A unique pivoting hipbelt has reviewers buzzing. Be cognizant of the sometimes-leaky zippers, though, and be sure to take a waterproof pack cover.

Prices


The North Face Crestone 60  9/10

Internal Frame
55-65 liters
3,950-3,350 cubic inches
5 pockets + main compartment

The North Face Crestone 60 will probably be one of your best friends on the trail. A 60 liter capacity is ideal for multiple night trips. Features included on the bag ensure a perfect fit which means you’ll be a happy hiker out on the trails.

Prices


Gregory Deva 70  8.5/10

Internal frame
68-73 liters
4,150-4,455 cubic inches
8 pockets + main compartment
Fits waist 22-34 inches

Gregory’s patented Response AFS suspension system joins forces with a pre-curved hipbelt that works to eliminate hot spots and chafing around the waist. It also has a thermomolded back rest and three access points, making quick retrieval of gear a snap. It’s a little on the weighty side, but there’s nothing we could find wrong with this pack.

Prices


REI XT 75   8/10

Internal Frame
75 liters
8 pockets + main compartment
Fits waists 31-40 inches

A good basic entry-level pack, the good folks over at REI built this one with women-specific shoulder straps and hipbelt as well as a shortened torso. It’s got enough capacity for a week-long outing but is light enough for just an overnight.

Prices



Lowe Alpine Nanon ND   8/10

Super lightweight
Internal frame
60 liters
3700 cubic inches

This super-lightweight model is a little on the small side, but it’s got woman-specific padding on the back and shoulder straps and carries like a feather.

Prices


Kelty Coyote 75   7.5/10

Internal frame
74 liters
4,500 cubic inches
8 pockets + main compartment
Fits waist 28-50 inches

It has the capacity to carry a huge load, but the waistbelt is disproportionately large and causes all the weight to hang from the shoulders if you can’t figure out a way to artificially expand your hips. Overall, its a comfortable pack and a perfect alternative to many of those large capacity backpacks.

Prices


Black Diamond Astral 40  7.5/10

38-40 liters
2319-2440 cubic inches
Fits waist size 30-39 inches

The Black Diamond Astral backpack comes in as one of the smaller bags on the list. At 40 liters this bag is perfect for solo-overnights or multi-day hikes when accompanied by others. The pack will perform best when loaded with 20 to 30 pounds, so that limits this backpack a little.

Prices


REI Crestrail 65  7/10

Internal frame
60-65 liters
3,661-3,966 cubic inches
7 pockets + main compartment
Fits waist size 26-34 inches

The second offering from REI on the list, it’s a solid pack that just lacks some of the cachet of the bigger names. It features a slim width and shortened height along with accoutrements like dual ice axe loops and bottle locking side pockets. Unfortunately, it’s not as well-designed as the others on this list, with access problems stemming from small apertures and balky zippers.

Prices


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As an avid golfer and tennis player for most of his life, he enjoys researching the latest in golf and tennis technology as well as analyzing his own game. He has been a writer and reviewer for a dozen years… See more about S. Dee Davis

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