The best daypacks for women are not only super comfortable, no matter how long you carry it on your back for, but also one that is durable, lightweight and has just the right amount of pockets and compartments to store all your things.
When it comes to how to choose a daypack, the first thing to note is that there is no best travel daypack that is suitable for everyone. The most comfortable daypack for one woman, may not be the most comfortable for another because we all have different body shapes. Not only that, but we also want different things from our outdoor daypack.
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Some may be looking for the best hiking backpacks that they can carry everything they need for a day out on the trails, including lunch, trekking poles, and plenty of water. In comparison, others may simply need a small travel daypack to carry a couple of essentials for a short hike or even a day of city sightseeing.
Whatever your requirements, if you’re looking for the best travel daypack, you are certainly in the right place. In these women’s daypack reviews, I’m going to take you through everything you need to consider when choosing a daypack to ensure you pick one of the top daypacks that are just perfect for you.
Table of Contents
List of Best Daypacks for Women Reviewed
- Osprey Skimmer 28L – Check Amazon Prices — Check prices on REI
- Gregory Mountain Jade 28L – Check Amazon Prices — Check prices on REI
- CamelBak Sequoia 22L – Check Amazon Prices — Check prices on REI
- Osprey Sirrus 24L – Check Amazon Prices — Check prices on REI
- Osprey Tempest 20L – Check Amazon Prices — Check prices on REI
- Deuter ACT Trail 28L – Check Amazon Prices — Check prices on REI
- Gregory Mountain Swift 30L – Check Amazon Prices — Check prices on REI
- Osprey Lightweight 18L – Check Amazon Prices
- Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil 20L – Check Amazon Prices — Check prices on REI
- North Face Vault 28L – Check Amazon Prices — Check prices on REI
Whether you’re after the best hiking daypack for women to explore the wilderness, the best waterproof daypack to ensure your belongings stay well protected, an ultra lightweight daypack, or something entirely different, no doubt you’ll find just what you’re looking for in these travel daypack reviews.
So let’s get started and help you find the best daypack for travel from one of the best daypack brands.
The Best Daypack for Women 2020: Deuter ACT Trail 28L
Don’t have time to read the entire best daypacks for travel guide and just want to hear our recommendation for the best daypack backpack?
We just love the Deuter ACT Trail as it is packed with great features to ensure maximum comfort as well as comes with a range of great compartments and attachments to store all your things.
This pack is a spacious 28l but reasonably light at just 2 lb 8 oz. All straps are adjustable to suit your frame and made with a breathable mesh lining while the back panel is made with breathable padded foam.
Click here to buy the Deuter ACT Trail now or keep reading below for the full review.
Best Women’s Daypack 2020 Comparison Chart
Below is a handy table where you can see all the different options for the best women’s daypack for travel which are reviewed within this article. The table lists the various features side by side to help you decide what is the best backpack daypack which is right for you.
Keep reading the top 10 daypacks reviews below for more information.
Best Daypacks for Women Reviews 2020
Below we have reviewed some of the best daypacks for women currently on the market today.
Osprey Women’s Skimmer Daypack Review
For a large, yet light daypack, the Osprey Skimmer is a great option. While at a capacity of 28l, this is one of the largest packs in these reviews, it is also one of the lightest at this capacity.
Despite being a lightweight daypack backpack, the Skimmer comes with a range of great features. This best Osprey daypack has an internal frame, adjustable shoulder, sternum and hip straps (which comes with pockets). It also includes a 2.5l reservoir for the dedicated hydration compartment.
This top loading Osprey women’s daypack has plenty of space for storing your items. There is a large main compartment, front shove it pocket for quick storage, large dual side zippered pockets, front daisy chain attachment points, ice axe loops, and trekking pole attachment loops. Then to keep everything nice and secure, the pack features dual upper and lower side compression straps.
The Skimmer also comes as a 20l pack as well.
Gregory Women’s Jade Daypack Review
The Gregory Jade backpack is also another 28l backpack but is much heavier than the previous Skimmer pack, mainly due to its internal steel frame.
With its first class suspension system and 3D lower back support, this backpack is an excellent choice for those carrying a heavy load. Plus it comes with a stack of compartments and pockets.
This Gregory daypack comes with a range of adjustable features to ensure maximum comfort. It has a fully adjustable torso length, ventilated back panel, adjustable hip belt (which comes with zippered pockets), shoulder strap (which has a sunglasses pocket), and a sternum strap with a safety whistle.
The Gregory Jade daypack is a front loading pack, so it’s easy to access your belongings. There is a range of interior and exterior compartments, including a large main compartment, dual side mesh pockets, front mesh stash pocket, top zippered quick access pocket, interior zippered pocket and bungee attachments for trekking poles or an ice axe. The pack also features side compression straps to keep your load well secured.
Other features include a fitted rain cover, plus the daypack is compatible with a hydration reservoir, which is sold separately.
For those women with a particularly short torso there is also the option of an XS/S pack with a 26l capacity.
CamelBak Sequoia 22 Women’s Daypack Review
The CamelBak Sequoia is a popular choice among women looking for the best daypack for hiking. Coming with a 3l hydration reservoir, a reasonable 22l for storing all your gear and some great comfort features.
This womens hiking daypack has some great features to ensure your comfort while on the trail. It features adjustable and padded S shaped shoulder straps that curve around the chest and an adjustable sternum strap. It also comes with a great hip belt with pockets and raised foam panels on the back to help keep you cool.
This internal framed pack comes with plenty of storage, including a large main compartment and smaller pockets to keep your gear well organized. Other compartments include a stretch overflow pocket on the front, trekking pole loops, soft lined pocket for items like sunglasses or smaller electronics and side stretch pockets.
Also as mentioned above, this daypack comes with a 3L hydration reservoir – which is one of the largest in these reviews. It also has an insulated pocket to keep the reservoir cool. This is great if you’re hiking in warm climates or after the best women’s daypack for hiking hydration.
Keep in mind that although one of mid sized daypacks for hiking, due to all the excellent features, this is one of the heavier packs in these hiking daypack reviews. However, at 2 lbs 3 oz, it’s still reasonably lightweight and a top rated option.
Osprey Sirrus Women’s Daypack Review
Another Osprey daypack review (they do after make some of the world’s best backpacks for women!) this time the women’s Sirrus backpack. The Sirrus is a mid size backpack and on the heavier side thanks to all of its great features – but still lightweight at just 2 lbs 9 oz.
With a 24l capacity and plenty of compartments, the Sirrus has plenty of space to keep your things organized. In addition to the main compartment, small vertical zippered front pocket, front panel zip stash pocket, front panel storage pocket, large top panel storage pocket, dual side stretch mesh pockets, and various daisy chain loops for items such as trekking poles or ice tools. Plus, the pack has dual side compression straps to ensure the load is secured tightly.
For your comfort, this internal framed pack features stretch mesh back panels which are both breathable and conforms to your back. It is also has a great padded and adjustable shoulder and hip belts with the hip belt coming with pockets for smaller items.
Other features include a rain cover and the pack is hydration compatible.
The Sirrus also comes in a larger 36l pack, making for one of the best daypacks for traveling abroad – particularly if you like to pack light.
Osprey Tempest Women’s Daypack Review
For those after a small daypack for hiking or the best small daypack for travel, the Osprey Tempest is a good one to consider. This pack has a capacity of 20l and is lightweight at just 1 lb 10.2 oz. In good old Osprey fashion – it also comes packed with some excellent features.
For your comfort, the Osprey Tempest features padded and adjustable chest, shoulder, and hip straps. The wide hip belt also comes with pockets as does the shoulder straps, which is great to access smaller items quickly. The back panel is adjustable and also padded with breathable mesh foam.
This small, lightweight daypack comes with a range of compartments to keep your gear stored away. In addition to the main compartment, there is a front stretch mesh pocket, top padded panel zippered pocket, side stretch mesh pockets, stretch mesh harness stash pocket, multiple bungee loops, helmet attachment, trekking pole attachment, ice tool attachment and to lock it all in, it comes with side compression straps.
While this particular day hiking backpack doesn’t come with a hydration reservoir, it does have an external hydration sleeve so great if you’re looking for the best women’s daypack for hiking with hydration compatibility.
The Osprey Tempest also comes in an 18l or a 30l pack.
Deuter ACT Trail 28 SL Women’s Daypack
Another one of the larger daypacks in these reviews is the Deuter ACT Trail. This pack has a capacity of 28l and is one of the heavier bags at 2 lbs 9 oz.
Like all good daypacks, the Deuter ACT Trail comes with a range of adjustable features to ensure the perfect fit. It has padded and adjustable straps, including S shaped shoulder straps with breathable mesh lining, hip belt, and chest straps. It also comes with a padded foam back panel.
In terms of compartments and attachments, this daypack has a good range making it the perfect choice for the active female. There are attachments for a helmet and carabiner loops as well as pole attachments. In terms of compartments, as well as the main one, there are hip belt pockets, zippered side pockets, elastic side pocket, lid pocket with key clip and an internal pocket to keep valuables safe.
Other features of this internal framed pack include a rain cover and although it doesn’t come with a hydration reservoir, it is compatible with a 3l bladder.
Gregory Women’s Swift 30L Daypack Review
With a 30l capacity, the Gregory Swift backpack is the largest in these reviews but surprisingly also one of the lightest at just 1 lb 10 oz. It’s lightweight as the pack is frameless, so probably not ideal for a heavy load, but otherwise great for those after the best lightweight daypack for travel.
The Swift pack comes with padded and adjustable hip belt and shoulder straps that feature ventilated mesh. The back panel is also made from a breathable mesh, which helps keep you cool and dry. The sternum strap is adjustable and features a handy magnetic strip that allows you to attach the mouthpiece of the 3l included hydration reservoir easily.
Unlike some of the other packs in these reviews, this daypack Gregory offers doesn’t come with numerous compartments, but still enough to organize all your things. As well as the main compartment it features front stretch pocket, side stretch pocket, hydration sleeve, front zippered padded pocket, trekking pole attachments, and dual side compression straps to ensure a tight load.
For those after a large, lightweight and reasonably inexpensive daypack, the Gregory Swift is a great choice. It also comes in a 20l and 25 l option.
Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack Review
If you’re just after the best ultralight daypack, which is small and able to store the essentials, then the Osprey Ultralight is a great one to consider. This is one of the lightest daypack options in this guide and even comes in its own super tiny stuff pack – so perfect to pop in the bottom of your handbag as well.
Not surprisingly, this is a frameless pack and weighs in at a tiny 3.8 oz. However it still has a good capacity at 18l. As well as the main compartment, the pack comes with a side pocket and a small top pocket.
There aren’t too many fancy features with this small, lightweight daypack, but it does come with lightly padded shoulder straps.
For those doing short hikes or city day trips, this compressible daypack Osprey offers a great place to store your items.
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Travel Day Pack Review
Like the previous Osprey Ultralight, but even lighter and a smidge bigger is the Sea to Summit Ultra Sil daypack. This super lightweight pack weighs just 2.4 oz (the lightest in these reviews) and yet still has a spacious capacity of 20l.
The Sea to Summit Ultrasil daypack is frameless and doesn’t have too many features but it does have adjustable shoulder straps. It features just the one main compartment, has a daisy chain on the front, plus thanks to its reinforcement at stress points, it is capable of carrying loads of up to 250x its weight.
Like the Osprey Ultralight, this pack is so tiny that you can easily throw it in the bottom of your handbag or a larger backpack just in case you find yourself needing more storage. The stuff bag also comes with a carabiner to easily attach it to the outside of a larger bag.
This affordable and lightweight travel daypack is perfect for carrying the essentials while on a short hike or during a day of city sightseeing.
North Face Women’s Vault Backpack Review
Last but not least, we have the North Face Vault daypack – a spacious, yet reasonably lightweight frameless backpack. This daypack North Face offers is also one of the cheapest packs in these reviews.
This backpack has a spacious capacity of 28l and weighs just 1 lb and 12.6 oz, one of the lightest at this capacity. In addition to the main compartment, it features stretch side pockets, an internal padded laptop sleeve and an exterior key clip.
While this daypack doesn’t have a hip belt, it does feature adjustable and padded S shaped shoulder straps and an adjustable sternum strap. The back panel is also a padded mesh material for increased ventilation.
For those after a cheap, lightweight yet spacious hiking backpack daypack, the North Face Vault is a good one to consider.
Daypack vs Backpack
Now, let’s talk about daypack vs backpack. The truth is there really isn’t any difference between a backpack and daypack except for the size. Daypacks for women are basically small backpacks that are lightweight and just big enough to carry whatever it is you need for the day.
People tend to associate a backpack with being a bigger bag capable of storing what you need to carry with you for a few days. However the reality is people refer to a daypack as a backpack as well.
However to be clear, in these daypack / backpack reviews, we’re referring to smaller bags that are suitable for day trips or even longer for those people who travel super light.
Benefits of Choosing Daypacks Specifically Designed for Women
One thing you’ll notice in this best daypack review is that most of the daypacks we feature are specifically designed for women. The benefit of purchasing one of the best-rated daypacks specifically designed for women is that they are made with the shape of a woman’s body in mind.
While of course all the top rated daypacks come with a range of adjustable features so you can get them to fit your body, a daypack specifically designed for the female body will fit you just that little bit better – because let’s face it – women and men’s bodies are genetically different.
Generally there are three different areas where travel daypacks for women differ from your unisex packs. The first area of difference is the backpacks are made to fit a shorter torso – so if you’re particularly tall – then a unisex backpack might well be a better choice for you. In fact, many bags come in different sizes – like small, medium and large – these sizes are for different torso sizes.
Another area of difference with the best womens daypack is the waist belt and the shoulder straps. Many manufacturers of female backpacks make the straps to better fit across the female chest, while the hip belts tend to have a little more padding to make it more comfortable to wear against your hip bones.
And that’s about it – they are the main differences between a unisex and female specific backpack.
How to Choose the Best Travel Daypack for Women
When it comes to a good daypack bag, there are some great options on the market, but there really isn’t one size that fits all, as everyone has their individual needs.
To purchase the best outdoor daypack for you, consider the following factors.
When it comes to choosing the best daypack, women should consider the main purpose of it. Are you after the best hiking daypack for women for long day hikes or shorter ones. Perhaps you simply need a daypack to carry a few personal items on a day of sightseeing – or maybe you want a ladies daypack to cover all scenarios.
Determining upfront the purpose of the backpack will help you narrow in on the most important features you require.
If you’re after the best daypack hiking option for long day hikes, it may well be worth spending extra money for the most comfortable walking daypack you can find. If you’re using the daypack for city sightseeing and you’re in and out of public transport or taxis, then this isn’t as important and the best urban daypack will do the trick.
Daypack Capacity and Weight
Daypacks come in all shapes and sizes. At the end of the day though you just need a daypack that is big enough to carry all your things. So the question is – what items do you need to carry?
Don’t go for the biggest bag you can find – as you will regret it. Carrying around a large daypack that is heavier and bigger than you need is so annoying. But of course you don’t want to go the other way either and buy a backpack too small and then need to buy another one down the track.
When considering the best daypack size, the first thing you’ll notice is the capacity of daypacks are measured in liters. Most daypacks (opposed to backpacks) are between 10 to 30 liters. There is quite a vast difference in size with 30l being rather spacious (some people can travel internationally and just take a 30l pack) and on the other hand, a 10l pack is quite small.
The other thing you need to consider is that the larger the pack the heavier it is likely to be. But this isn’t always the case. Some of the best daypacks brands use some great materials and hardware which are incredibly light – but are usually more expensive than their heavier counterparts.
On the other hand, if you want a backpack with all the bells and whistles as well as a range of great comfort features then it will naturally be larger and heavier than a pack with the bare minimum features.
As you can see, getting the capacity and weight of a daypack is a bit of a balancing act taking into consideration what you need to carry, what features you want it to have and how much you’re willing to spend.
If you’re still not sure what is the best size daypack – below are some brief guidelines:
- 10 liters or less: Short hikes, light day hikes, trail running
- 11-20 liters: Mountain biking, longer day hikes, trail running
- 21-30 liters: Long, intense day hikes, all day excursions, travel
- 30-40 liters: Any activity that requires more gear like climbing, or photography, etc as well as travel.
Frameless or Internal Frame
Not sure what we mean when we say frameless and internal frame? Let us explain.
A frameless backpack basically has no structure – which is great for those after a super lightweight and packable daypack. These packs can smoosh flat and some are so lightweight that you can roll up and put in the bottom of your handbag.
While a frameless backpack tends to be less comfortable than those with frames, these days they still come with some built in features such as adjustable straps. A frameless backpack is great for the minimalist hiker or traveler not needing to carry too much with them.
An internal frame backpack, on the other hand, has a metal or plastic frame built in. This helps keep the bag it’s shape and makes it fairly rigid, which is great when carrying quite a bit of stuff – particularly if it’s heavy. These daypacks distribute the weight better and prevent your belongings from digging into your back, but they are of course heavier than their frameless counterparts.
To be honest – both packs have their time and place, and most likely frequent travelers and regular hikers will have one of each.
Back Panel and Ventilation System
The ventilation system is built into the part of your pack that sits directly on your back. A good backpack has a good ventilation system which keeps you drier and more comfortable while carrying your pack. Usually, they also feature some padding for additional comfort.
There is a range of different ventilation systems. Some backpacks with internal frames are designed to sit away from your back while others have a suspended mesh back panel designed to improve airflow.
A ventilation system becomes particularly important if you’ll be carrying your backpack during warm weather, or if you’re just one of those people that tend to suffer from a sweaty back when carrying your pack.
Super lightweight frameless packs may have no ventilation system and little to no padding. Of course this helps the packs be ultralight but perhaps not so great if you’re carrying a heavy load as you’ll find your belongings start digging into your back.
Top Loading or Panel (Front) Load Daypacks
Next up, let’s talk about top loading vs panel loading (also referred to as front loading) daypacks – this basically means do you want to access your things from the top of your pack or the front.
A top loading daypack is like a big sack and it can be a real hassle reaching your belongings at the very bottom. Some top loading daypacks do also have an additional front or bottom access panel, which does make it a little easier to reach various items.
A panel load daypack has a large U shaped zipper across the top. The panel then folds forward when unzipped and gives you easy access to your belongings.
Top loading daypacks tend to be lighter than a panel load pack, as with a panel load pack you have the addition of zippers.
Water Bottles Holsters and Hydration Packs
For those after the best women’s daypack for hiking, you’re going to want to buy a hydration compatible daypack or at the very least one that features good water bottle holsters.
For those doing regular hikes or even the occasional long hike – a daypack compatible with a hydration pack is really the way to go. Another thing to keep a note of here is that some daypacks come with a hydration system, while others simply are compatible and so you’ll have to purchase the system separately.
However if you’re just looking for daypacks to carry water bottles look for daypacks with deep side pockets, which you can quickly grab. How annoying are daypacks with shallow side pockets, so your water bottle regularly falls out!
Super lightweight, frameless daypacks might not have either water bottles holsters or be compatible with hydration packs – so keep this in mind.
Exterior Pockets and Compartments
Daypacks differ so much when it comes to exterior pockets and compartments. At one end of the scale, daypacks have just a main compartment and nothing else, while others have multiple large compartments, pockets of varying sizes, straps and daisy chains.
While beginners (as we were once before) tend to go for packs with loads of compartments and pockets – this can make finding your belongings challenging as you’ll forget where you put what and it also adds to the weight of your pack.
There really is no hard and fast rule here as to what’s best – but at the end of the day, consider what type of things you are going to carry.
If you’re taking trekking poles, ice tools or climbing gear, make sure there is somewhere to hang them; a small internal pocket is good for storing things like your purse and keys and a small front pocket is also good for things you want to access often and quickly like your cell, sunglasses, and camera, etc. Having water bottle pockets are great too!
Carabiners are also great for hanging things off the front of your pack. Of course in order to use carabiners you’ll need places to attach them on the front, so look for this if this is something you think you’d be interested in.
As we’ve said over and over, before you buy a daypack with loads of compartments – think about what you’ll be carrying with you and make sure you look for a daypack that is compatible with this.
Shoulder, Hip and Sternum Straps
To ensure your comfortable while carrying your daypack, you should look for bags with padded and adjustable shoulder, hip and sternum (across your chest) straps.
Adjustable straps will of course ensure you can make the straps suitable for your body shape, while the padding will help keep you comfortable. And even having hip and sternum straps at all helps distribute the weight across your body as well as avoids the bag jiggling and moving around. This is great for preventing back, shoulder and neck pain.
Padding, on the other hand, helps avoid straps digging into you, which is essential when carrying a pack for a long period of time. Also the more substantial the load, the more important it is to have good padded cushioned straps. This does of course adds additional weight and cost to the pack.
Some hip belts even have little pockets, which are great for keeping small items like snacks, phone, sunscreen etc. Some packs even have removable hip belts which are great as you can remove them when they are not required.
However if you’re looking for an ultra lightweight daypack for short hikes or a day trip somewhere then hip and sternum straps may not be important. In most cases, you’ll find that lightweight, frameless packs don’t feature them in any case.
Waterproof or Water Resistant
While you won’t find too many daypacks that claim to be waterproof, all the good ones are water resistant. Having a water resistant daypack is really important as it buys you a bit of time to pull out your rain cover without your belongings being completely destroyed.
Some backpacks come with a rain cover, but if they don’t, do yourself a favor and get yourself one – particularly if you’re hiking or exploring places where wet weather is a regular occurrence.
Whatever you do, don’t rely on a pack to keep your belongings completely dry for long periods of drizzle or during a downpour.
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