Finding Comfort, Style and Safety with Travel Backpacks
Finding a great backpack can be exceptionally difficult. There are so many things to consider: what you need it for, where you’re going and whether it needs to be more stylish or practical - personally, we vote for both. It’s a given that backpacks are often the best option for travel, saving you from lifting heavy suitcases or wheeling them along awkward roads. If you’re planning an upcoming vacation, or just want to update your current favorite, there is almost too much choice regarding travel backpacks for women in 2023.
Luckily, we've narrowed down the best travel backpacks for all kinds of situations, considering safety, style, durability and affordability. Check out the best travel backpacks for women below.
Best Backpack for Hiking
Osprey Fairview 40
Hiking backpacks are notoriously tricky to get right; it heavily depends on where you’re going and for how long. The Osprey Fairview 40 consistently wins hearts as one of the best hiking backpacks for women, thanks to its great size, practicality and price point. The 40L inside allows space for everything you could need, whether you’re off exploring for the weekend or two weeks, and the straps are adjustable, making it comfortable for everyone. It comes in a cute range of colors, is made of durable yet breathable material, which is lightweight and its front opening section is lockable. For outdoor lovers, the external gear loops mean you can attach an extra kit to your bag, and the outside toiletries pocket will stop any leaking on your precious gear. The Fairview 40 is one of the best travel backpacks for women and can be found on the Osprey website, although there are often great deals on Amazon US, where you can buy it for $160.
Best Backpack for Everyday
Herschel Pop Quiz
Herschel has so many great products that it’s hard to choose just one, but for the perfect women’s travel backpack for everyday use, it has to be the Pop Quiz. When you’re using a backpack all day every day, you’ll need something lightweight but stylish – perfect for a city, countryside or beachside break. The cute 22L Pop Quiz comes in Herschel’s signature range of colors, from neutral blues and greens to bright yellow. It has a padded 15” laptop sleeve and a spacious zippered front pocket for all your bits and bobs, so they’re easy to access on the go, plus the front storage sleeve is waterproof. Our favorite feature is the fleece-lined sunglasses pocket, which is easy to reach the top of your bag and protects your glasses from scratches and dust - perfect for a summer vacation. The best part is that you can currently find it on sale at Herschel for just $63, making it one of the most affordable and stylish travel backpacks for women.
Best Backpack for Family Travel
If there’s one thing you need when traveling as a family, it’s organization and TropicFeel’s Shell Backpack has it in spades, making it one of the best travel backpacks for women. The backpack’s core is just 20L but it expands to a huge 42L once fully packed, with modular additions such as wardrobe and toiletry systems, which let you neatly fold and pack away your things in different sections. It fully opens from the back for easy access, and if you’re carrying multiple sets of clothes, toiletries or toys for kids, then the hip straps will be a welcome addition.
There’s also a fun kangaroo pocket underneath for shoes - or any loose bottles, crayons and bric-a-brac kids pick up on your trip. It’s weatherproof, lightweight and made from recycled materials, and TropicFeel has loads of additional accessories you can make use of, such as a magnetic front pouch and a camera cube. Best of all, this $199 pack is accepted as a carry-on by most airlines, so you won’t need to pay for checked luggage on weekend family getaways.
Best Carry-On Backpack
Aer Travel Pack 3
Looking for the right carry-on backpack can be tough, as most airlines have varying policies, but you still need something that can fit absolutely everything you need inside. It used to be all about the Aer Travel Pack 2, but their new third generation is somehow even better. It’s the most expensive on our list of best travel backpacks for women, at $250, but wait until you hear what’s inside. The bag is made from ballistic nylon and plastic Duraflex, which means it’s virtually impossible to damage. Its roomy inside has a 33L capacity, which includes an easy-access laptop sleeve, multiple pockets for all your accessories, an expandable water bottle pocket and a pass-through for sliding it onto a suitcase if you decide to bring one. Arguably the best feature is the secret smart-tracker pocket for hiding an AirTag, although we also love the interior pocket for keeping your valuables safe. A bag that can fit everything you need in neatly organized spaces, while still meeting carry-on requirements? There’s a good reason this is consistently voted the best carry-on travel backpack for women.
Best Backpack for Weekend Trips
Peak Design 30L Travel Backpack
The Peak Design Travel Backpack may be slightly more expensive than the average backpack, retailing at $229, but this is a bag you can use day-in-day-out for years and years to come. It’s almost faultless, with a sleek design available in three colors, which opens from the rear allowing you to access everything easily. There’s a stretchy top pocket for everything you need to hand, whether it's your glasses, purse or passport, plus it’s 100% weatherproof.
It packs so many features into a backpack that still fits under airplane seats: anti-theft zippers, expandable pockets and a laptop sleeve - and it even neatly fits Peak Design’s own packing cubes, for maximum storage. Another reason this is a for-life investment: the backpack is Fair Trade certified and 100% carbon neutral, meaning you don’t even need to feel guilty about purchasing it. If you’re searching for a women’s travel backpack for weekend trips that will last forever, you’ve just found it.