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10 Best Women’s Daypacks for Hiking

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Looking for an awesome women’s hiking daypack? I’ve been down that road before and know exactly how overwhelming the search can be, navigating between seemingly endless options of different capacities, versatility, price points, and styles. We got you covered, though- here’s ten of the best women’s daypacks for hiking, all of which have been put to the test on the trail and beyond.

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Woman standing in front of Mount Hood wearing an Osprey Sirrus backpack
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What to Consider When Choosing A Women’s Daypack for Hiking

I imagine my search for a solid daypack is similar to your own. 

A couple of years ago, when I went on a day hike, I sometimes used a backpack issued by my tech job— however, given that it was really just intended to carry a laptop from Point A to Point B, it was too small, lacked sufficient padding and support, and left my back a sweaty mess whenever I used it on the trail. At other times, I tried to use my larger 60L pack, which was intended for backcountry camping, which was WAY too big and bulky for shorter day hikes. 

Woman standing on a mossy rock while hiking, looking at the ocean
My very floppy-looking REI Traverse 60L

Once hiking became a part of my normal weekend routine, I grew pretty annoyed by those two options and eventually realized that I needed to buy a backpack that was, you know, actually intended to be used for day hikes.

So, what are some things that you should consider when trying to find the right women’s daypack for hiking?

  • Capacity: You can get hiking daypack that’s as small as 10L, although those will carry little more than a thin jacket and some snacks.
    On the other end of the spectrum, you could purchase a daypack that’s as big as 40L. Getting a bag of this size is a double-edged sword—these will be a bit heavier and bulkier, but will generally be more versatile and fit items, like mirrorless cameras (like my trusty Sony A7III) and lenses or bulkier jackets, if you want to use your bag for all four seasons. Larger backpacks also tend to be a bit more multi-functional if you want to be able to use your bag for travel or multi-day backpacking adventures.
  • Features: I’d recommend thinking about the type of gear you usually use and the type of activities you plan to use your bag for. Do you want to also use it for climbing or mountain biking? Would lots of pockets for organization be helpful or would you prefer something a bit simpler? The features and design of the bag, from the pockets and zippers to whether the backpack has a frame or not, will impact how you can access your gear and if the bag is well-suited for your purposes.
  • Fit: Consider what kind of features the bag has to make it comfortable for your body. Are there chest and hip straps? What kind of padding does the shoulders and back have? Is the harness adjustable for different torso lengths? Is the bag designed for someone of your height and body type? For example, if you’re on the taller side, there might be a backpack that makes more sense for you than a hiking daypack designed for a woman of average height. 
Woman wearing a daypack on a hike, standing on a rock in a lake

Best Women’s Daypacks for Hiking

With that, let’s chat about our tried-and true women’s daypacks for hiking.

1. Osprey Sirrus 24

  • Capacity: 24L
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs (1.18 kg)
  • Does the backpack have a frame? Yes
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? Yes, there’s an internal hydration sleeve in the main compartment for a 3L hydration pouch (sold separately). 

The Osprey Sirrus is an excellent daypack, with its comfortable and sleek design and plentiful pockets for organization.  

It’s super comfy, with thickly padded shoulder and hip straps and a mesh back panel that lifts the pack off your body. The harness is also adjustable for your height, and there’s a number of features that will help you customize the bag for your body, including load lifters and adjustable hip, chest, and shoulder straps. 

Woman hiking along a Pacific Northwest trail wearing an Osprey Sirrus 24 daypack

There’s also a lot of thoughtful pockets for organization: three external pockets, two stretchy water bottle holders, two teeny pockets on the hip straps, and a main compartment with a hydration sleeve. There’s also nice extras, like a built-in raincover and attachments for trekking poles and an ice ax. The one drawback I’d note is that the 24L capacity is best-suited for three season hiking—the main compartment wouldn’t be able to hold lots of bulky winter outerwear for cold weather adventures.

I’ve really put my Osprey Sirrus 24 to the test—I’ve used it almost every weekend on a variety of hikes and trips and I’ve been incredibly impressed with its quality construction and durability. Better yet, even if the backpack had some sort of defect, Osprey has a very comprehensive lifetime warranty for any kind of issues (outside of normal wear and tear), so you can rest easy and not worry about your backpack’s zipper accidentally exploding or something.

Woman wearing an Osprey Sirrus 24 daypack overlooking a beach

Pros:

  • Lots of pockets for organization
  • Comfortable design, with thickly padded shoulder and hip straps and adjustable features
  • Quality construction and design

Cons:

  • Limited capacity, especially if you use a full hydration pouch in the main compartment
  • The hip straps make the backpack a bit bulky, if you’re trying to use it as a carry-on or day-use bag.
  • Heavier than most other backpacks of this capacity.

2. Deuter TransAlpine

  • Capacity: 24L
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
  • Does the backpack have a frame? No
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? Yes, there’s an internal sleeve for a 3L hydration pouch that you’ll need to buy separately.

The Deuter TransAlpine 24L is an awesome daypack for women (or men!) that’s perfect for mountain biking, short day hikes, or even longer multi-day treks, like the iconic Camino de Santiago.

The daypack is comfortable on your back while hiking, thanks to its air-mesh back padding, solid hip straps, and plenty of options to adjust to fit your frame. There’s contour-shaped layers of foam on the back so that only about a third of the bag is touching your back for better airflow (and let’s be honest—a less sweaty back!). The backpack also includes some really nice perks, like a removable foam mat that can be used as a seat when you need it and a rain cover. 

Woman sitting on the grass, while wearing a Deuter Transalpine daypack while hiking the Camino de Santiago

The TransAlpine has TONS of well thought-out storage. Its main compartment is divided into two sections: one at the front, with a hidden pocket for your valuables and several smaller pouches, and a bottom compartment. There’s also a front zippered compartment, with several elastic compartments to store smaller items, like headlamps or snacks (very important). Additionally, there’s two side water bottle holders, a zippered side compartment (perfect for holding a bike pump or small flashlight), a hidden little smart phone pocket, and two tiny waist pockets for smaller items, like lip balm or your wireless headphones.

Pros

  • Versatile (it’s great for hiking, mountain biking, commuting and even traveling)
  • Super comfortable to wear, thanks to the breathable back and back padding
  • Tons of compartments and pockets for organization
  • Rain cover is included

Cons:

  • The back padding works fairly well, but, given that a portion of the backpack still lays directly against your back, you can still get the dreaded sweaty back on a long and challenging hike.
  • Zippers can feel a bit sticky at times.

Recommended by Milijana of World Travel Connector

3. Rab Aeon ND 18

  • Capacity: 18L
  • Weight: 2 lbs. (0.9 kg)
  • Does the backpack have a frame?  No
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? Yes, although you’d need to provide your own 3L hydration pouch.

If you need a smaller women’s daypack, like for hiking shorter distances in the summertime, the Rab Aeon ND18 is a compact and lightweight option. 

In terms of comfort, the bag’s Air Contour X carry system, in addition to the ventilated and adjustable back panel, make carrying heavier loads more comfortable and the mesh back panel molds to your back for better airflow.

While the bag is definitely on the smaller side, there’s still plenty of compartments to help you hold everything you need, including several external pockets, large mesh front and side pockets, zipped slash pocket on the top for items you want to quickly access, and two hipbelt pockets. 

And despite its teeny size, the Rab Aeon ND 18 also comes with extra perks, like ice axe and hiking pole holders and included rain cover.

Person wearing a Rab Aeon ND 18 daypack while hiking in the forest

Pros:

  • Light and compact
  • Adjustable torso length for personalized fit

Cons:

  • Limited capacity that’s better suited for summer hiking
  • It can be tricky to zip up the main chamber 

Recommended by Ela from Stunning Outdoors

4. Jack Wolfskin Crosstrail 22 ST

  • Capacity: 22L
  • Weight: 1.76 lbs (0.79 kg)
  • Does the backpack have a frame? Yes, it has a flexible internal steel frame.
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? Yes, there is an internal sleeve with a hole and fastener for a hydration pouch (sold separately).

Shown in the 24L configuration

This incredibly lightweight hiking daypack has several clever pockets and storage options for easy access as well as a fantastic ergonomic and breathable design. It’s perfect for hiking in warm climates, with mesh 3D back support, to keep air flowing between you and your pack.

There are multiple areas of adjustment, including wide, cushioned shoulder straps; padded, fitted hip straps to evenly distribute the bag’s weight; and an adjustable cross-sternum strap that can be moved up or down and tightened.  Another cool feature is the sternum clasp that has a built-in safety whistle for peace of mind, especially if you enjoy hiking solo.

There’s so many pockets to store and organize items in this bag—three external, elastic mesh pockets (two on the sides, which are large enough to hold 1-liter bladders, and one in the center). A zippered external pocket on the top allows quick access to small gear. The waist straps offer two zippered pockets—the left is a small pocket the width of the strap and the right has an extendable pocket to fit a small water bottle or your cell phone (perfect for all those Instagrammable hikes you’re going to go on with this bag!).  There’s also elastic loops on the outside of the pack that allow you to secure trekking poles.   

The interior is accessible with a double zipper that goes halfway down the sides of the bag. Inside, there’s a primary pouch, as well as a long, flexible interior pocket that’s perfect for securing loose items.  With four different pockets for storing water, this bag is perfect if you’re heading out on a long, sweaty hike on a hot day (or if you just like to drink a lot of water!). 

Women's daypack sitting on a stump with mountains in the background

Pros:

  • A great option for a person with a small to medium frame
  • It’s an environmentally conscious product, made from 100% recyclable material.
  • Very lightweight and compact
  • Includes a rain cover. 

Cons:

  • Limited 2-year warranty for free repair, exchange, or refund
  • Its top-loading design makes it challenging to reach items at the bottom of the pack
  • Not particularly comfortable for trail running 

Recommended by Laura of A Dynamic Life

5. Osprey Tempest 20

  • Capacity: 20L
  • Weight: 1.97 lbs (0.89 kg) for XS/S or 2.24 lbs (1.01 kg) for M/L
  • Does the backpack have a frame? Yes, there’s an internal frame
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? Yes, there’s an external hydration reservoir sleeve for a 3L hydration pouch (sold separately).

The Osprey Tempest 20 is a classic hiking daypack for women that provides excellent support and enough space for a day on the trail.

Whether you’re going on a short day hike or for a longer trek, this pack does a great job at carrying everything you need. Even though it’s only 20 liters in capacity, the material of the bag stretches to fit more than you’d think! 

There are several pockets, including the main pouch, small zippered compartments, water bottle holders on each side, and a stuff pouch to store gear. In addition to the pockets, there are external attachments for trekking poles, an ice axe, or a climbing helmet. 

The Osprey Tempest 20 is specifically designed to fit a women’s build, so the straps fit comfortably around your chest and don’t sit too high or low. And with an adjustable shoulder harness, you can move the straps up and down to perfectly fit your torso. Another feature of this daypack that adds to its comfort is the internal frame, which keeps it situated on your back and helps it move with you while you’re hiking. 

Woman wearing an Osprey Tempest 20L daypack while hiking

Pros:

  • Adjustable shoulder harness to fit your torso
  • Versatile and great for short or long day hikes
  • Plenty of pockets and external attachments for gear

Cons:

  • You have to buy a rain cover separately
  • The capacity is limited, so it’s not a great option if you need to bring bulkier items or for a multi-day trek

Recommended by Kassidy of The Hiking Helper

6. Osprey Tempest 40

  • Capacity: 40L
  • Weight: XS/S: 2.7 lbs (1.2 kg) and M/L: 2.9 lbs (1.3 kg)
  • Does the backpack have a frame? Yes, there’s an internal frame
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? Yes, there’s an external hydration reservoir sleeve for a 3L hydration pouch (sold separately).

Need a bit more room than 20L? 

While the Osprey Tempest 40 is a bit bigger than most daypacks, its lightweight nature makes this a versatile pack for either day hikes (including for all four seasons!) or multi-day treks. The extra capacity also makes the 40L version a little more versatile, in terms of being able to use the backpack for day-to-day use or for traveling (it will work as a carry-on for some airlines). And for times when you don’t need to bring a heavy load, there’s compression straps that quickly help you make the bag as compact as you need it to be.

Besides its capacity and weight, the Tempest 20L and 40L share a lot of the same awesome features. For example, both bags include an injection-molded AirScape back panel, which provide excellent breathability and great support both on and off your back. The Tempest has specifically been designed with women’s bodies in mind, with two sizes and an adjustable torso length to make sure it fits comfortably.  

It also features a wide wrap-around harness and a hip belt, which provides comfort and stability while on the move. Both straps have small, zippered pockets, which provide easy instant access to smaller items.

In terms of the bag’s primary storage, its main compartment provides plenty of room, with a large, woven front panel that’s surprisingly stretchy. The top lid compartment is also roomy and perfect for stowing quick-access items, like your raincoat. Inside of this top section, you’ll also find a zippered slash pocket with key attachment clip; perfect for tucking away your valuables. 

You’ll also get an external hydration sleeve and, like all of our favorite Osprey bags, attachments for trekking poles and your favorite ice ax. 

Woman hiking the Camino de Santiago with an Osprey Tempest 40L daypack

Pros:  

  • Comfortable with its adjustable torso length and hip belt
  • Lifetime guarantee that Osprey will repair any damage or defect (other than normal wear and tear)
  • Can be used for day-hikes, backpacking trips, and traveling

Cons:

  • Pricy if you just use it as a daypack

Recommended by Colleen of Then We Walked

7. Osprey Talon

  • Capacity: 33L
  • Weight of the backpack: 2.4 lbs (1.1kg) for S/M and 2.6 lbs (1.2kg) for M/L
  • Does the backpack have a frame? Yes
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? Yes, there’s an external hydration sleeve that holds a 2L hydration bladder that you’ll need to purchase separately.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way first- yes, the Osprey Talon 33 is technically a men’s backpack, but don’t let that put you off. If you’re 5’5” or taller, this hiking daypack may be a better alternative for you than its women’s equivalent, the Osprey Tempest (recommended above!). 

The main difference between the men’s and women’s versions is the length between the hip belt and the shoulder strap. So if you’re tall or have a long torso (*raises hand*), the Talon may be more comfortable for you to wear. 

One of the other notable differences with the Talon (besides its very metal name) is that you get 3L more capacity than with the equivalent Tempest. This extra capacity might not seem like a lot, but can definitely come in handy if you tend to hike with a lot of gear or need to pack along bulkier items. And if you don’t need the extra space, it’s a quick fix with the compression straps.

There’s some other design elements of the Osprey Talon that differ from the Tempest that may make it more suitable for you, depending on your body type. The Talon is generally designed for someone with a smaller bust and broader shoulders. However, most of the other design elements of the backpacks are largely the same.

It also comes with tons of compartments for organization—one zippered top slash pocket, a front pouch, external mesh pocket, one internal pocket, a zippered mesh pouch on the front flap, two zippered hip pockets, and two water bottle holders on each side. In addition to its thoughtful organizational design, the Talon also has a range of other handy features, like hooks for hiking poles or an ice ax.

The backpack is also quite comfortable to wear, thanks to its adjustable harness and the thick, cushy padding on the back and shoulder and hip straps. The back panel is contoured to optimize the bag’s contact with your back and increase air flow to keep you cool on the trail.

Osprey Talon 33 daypack sitting in greenery

Pros:

  • The longer and adjustable back makes this a good choice for taller women or those with longer torsos
  • Tons of pockets for easy organization
  • Fits carry-on luggage requirements for most airlines

Cons:

  • The placement of the hip pockets can cause them to rub against your arm while you’re walking.
  • The bag is not waterproof and you’d need to purchase a rain cover separately.

Recommended by Kristin at Scotland Less Explored

8. MOUNTAINTOP 40L

  • Capacity: 40L
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs (0.98 kgs)
  • Does the backpack have a frame? Yes.
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? No, there is a pocket along the back of the backpack that is the width of the backpack (13 inches) and about 2/3rds of the backpack deep that would likely fit a small hydration pack, but there is no dedicated hydration sleeve.

The MOUNTAINTOP 40 is an versatile and durable daypack for hiking. Because of its larger capacity, the bag is incredibly versatile, perfect for hiking, whether you’re in U.S. National Parks or the rainforests of Uganda, or as a general travel bag. 

The bag is quite comfortable to wear, thanks to the breathable mesh padding and ventilated back. It also comes with both chest and hip straps to help evenly distribute the weight of the bag while hiking. 

It features a deep and spacious central compartment that is perfect for packing larger, bulkier items, like heavier outerwear or camera lenses, and two smaller compartments that will help you keep your smaller gear organized. There are also two water bottle pouches on each side of the pack. An awesome perk of the backpack is that it comes with a built-in rain cover in a separate zippered pouch at the bottom of the backpack. 

Pros

  • Durable
  • Included rain cover
  • Much more affordable than most other daypacks

Cons:

  • Water bottle pockets are shallow, so taller water bottles may fall out unless strapped in
  • Made of cheaper materials
  • The harness is not adjustable, so other than the shoulder straps, the bag is kind of a one-size-fits-all. 

Recommended by Merry of Virginia Vacation Guide

9. Fjallraven Kanken

  • Capacity: 16L
  • Weight: 0.6 lbs (0.2 kg)
  • Does the backpack have a frame? No
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? No

Fjallraven Kanken has been an iconic backpack since the 1970s that’s great for shorter day hikes. You’ve surely seen this colorful backpack with its fox logo on endless Instagram posts. What you might not have known, though, is that this bag is so much more than just Instagrammable and can be a great option for hitting the trails or a quick weekend trip.

With a capacity of 16L, it can fit all of your summertime hiking essentials. 

There is one large compartment where you can store snacks or layers of clothing. In the side pockets, you can put things that should be easily reachable, like earbuds or sunscreen. One of the major drawbacks of the design, though, is that these side pockets are narrow and will only fit certain types of skinny water bottles, like a standard Hydroflask. The bag also has a small front pocket and a foam pad that doubles as back padding and a removable seating pad (one of my favorite features!).

Fjallraven Kanken will be great for easy or moderate hikes where you don’t need to bring along a ton of extra gear. Based on reviews of the Fjallraven Kanken, the bag is notorious for not having a ton of padding on the shoulders, so if you’re using it on your bare shoulders, you might want to consider adding some extra padding, especially if you plan on having a heavier load. If you’ll be wearing a jacket, the original straps may be just fine for a day hike.

Fjallraven Kanken daypack next to woman wearing hiking boots

Pros:

  • Cute and iconic design
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Versatile for use while traveling, regular day use, or on the trail

Cons:

  • You’d need to buy a rain cover separately
  • Lighter and brighter Kankens tend to get dirty quicker and can be hard to clean as you shouldn’t put them in the washing machine
  • You may need to purchase additional shoulder padding
  • Less organization than most women’s daypacks for hiking

Recommended by Una of Wandernity

10. Camelback Sequoia 22

  • Capacity: 22 liters
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
  • Does the backpack have a frame? Yes
  • Is there a hydration sleeve? Yes and a 3L hydration pack is included.

The Camelbak Sequoia 22 is not only one of the best women’s daypacks for hiking, but it’s also excellent for traveling and even multi-day treks. This size in particular is just right for doing it all!

There are a few features in particular that make the Sequoia 22 stand out.

First, it has a ton of useful pockets, and they’re thoughtfully organized. There’s an insulated, well-padded compartment for hydration bladders that doubles as a laptop sleeve if you’re using it for a work trip.

Inside the main compartment, there are two small zippered pockets for securing valuables, as well as a key clip. The top of the bag has another zippered slash pocket, this one lined with soft felt for keeping items such as glasses or earbuds safe.

On the bag’s exterior front, there’s yet another smaller zippered pocket, plus a stretchy stash compartment, perfect for storing a lighter outer layer. The hip belt has several other pockets, both zippered and stretch, for quick access while on the trail. 

The Camelbak Sequoia 22‘s organization also sets it apart from many other hiking backpacks. Instead of a top-loading configuration, which can make accessing items at the bottom of your bag challenging, the Sequoia’s main compartment is designed like a clamshell, opening almost completely open. This helps make the bag a great option for a carry-on travel bag.

Finally, the Sequoia’s unique waistband makes it super comfortable to wear, whether you’re hiking a short and flay hike or instead, tackling 20-plus miles on a demanding trail, like Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. It’s a load-bearing, dual-wing waistband, adjustable on both the inside and exterior. The entire pack is also designed specifically for women, with a shorter torso and curved shoulder straps. Together, all of these features help distribute the pack’s weight evenly and allows your hips to carry some of the weight while you’re on the trail.

Women wearing Camelback Sequoia 22 daypack, while looking at on an iceberg-strewn lake

Pros: 

  • Well-designed pockets for easy organization
  • Clamshell design

Cons: 

  • While the pack has several features to help you adjust it, it comes in a one-size-fits-most range rather than actual sizes. So, depending on your body type, it may not have a great fit.

There you have it- I hope you found the right women’s daypack for hiking for you! Do you have any questions about these packs? Let me know in the comments below!

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