The best daypacks for women – an extensive list

The best daypacks for women – all options in one blog!

When hiking you simply cannot hit the trail without a good backpack for women. Together with a reliable outdoor jacket and comfortable hiking shoes, these three items are well worth investing in when hiking. For those of you who have no idea which backpack for hiking to buy, I have gathered all the backpacks for women I have used over the past couple if years in this blog. It’ll hopefully make your choice for which pack to buy a little easier.

But first: what are you looking for in a daypack for women?

Before you continue reading, the most important thing is to determine what you are looking for in a daypack for hiking. Think about what you will use the backpack for, whether it should be waterproof, what the size should be and whether you want to use the backpack for other things to rather than just for hiking.
When you are having difficulties defining your size, then think how much you want to carry when hiking. When most hikes you make are no longer than some 10 kilometers / 7-8 miles, then I’d say a daypack between 10-20 liters should be sufficient. This will have enough space to fit your (rain) jacket, a water bottle and a small first aid kit. When hiking longer distances I usually prefer to carry a 25-30 liter backpack so I can also carry my lunch, camera, sun cream and power bank.

best daypacks for women Fjällräven
The Fjällräven Kånken at the Jatiluwih rice fields track in Bali, Indonesia

A small daypack or a slightly larger one

Below I have made a difference between small daypacks for hiking that you can only use for day hikes, and larger packs that can easily be used for short multi-day hikes as well. When you are looking for a women’s day pack for hiking that you can also use while traveling, then the last ones will probably be the best option for you. Backpacks that have 25 liters at the minimum I have used before during short multi-day hikes as well, at least when not carrying a tent and overnighting in mountain huts.
Larger daypacks usually also have wider hip (waist) belts, making it easier to carry the weight on your hips rather than on your shoulders and/or you back. When your back and or shoulders are sensitive and prone to injuries, then a larger pack with big hip belts will be a good choice for you.
Below you will find various options for the best women’s daypacks that I tested: three smaller ones up to 20 liters and three bigger ones between 25 and 40 liters. Each review has a sum up of the pro’s and cons for the particular daypack, the size, my rating on a scale from 1-10 and the weight of the pack. All the packs have been tested on various locations by me over the past couple of years during different weather conditions.

The Osprey Tempest 40 daypack
The Osprey Tempest 40 daypack on the Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

The Osprey Daylite daypack – an excellent choice for short hikes

Over the past years I tested an Osprey daypack various times. My favorite Osprey women’s pack for a day hike is the Osprey Daylite. This small black daypack I most often use when hiking in my home country (The Netherlands) for a short hike. I sometimes carry it with me when hiking abroad as well. It’s a 13 liter pack, which perfectly fits my jacket, a drinking bottle and a number of snacks. The Osprey Daylite has a small waist belt to relief the weight from your shoulders, as well as a small chest belt. There are three different pockets: the main one which also has the option to carry a Camelback, the front one with various small mesh pockets and two side pockets which can be used for your water bottle or pocket knife, for example. You can easily fold it into a small bundle and carry it in your luggage on your journey, which is my main reason to carry it along while traveling. The Daylite is available in various colors by the way, so there is no need to choose a black one like I did.
In case the 13 liter Daylite will be too small, there’s a slightly bigger version, the Daylite Plus which offers 20 liters of space. It’s more or less the same backpack, but then just a bit larger and more space for your luggage.
Pro’s: compact, light, possibility to hide the waist belt, integrated emergency whistle
Cons: no raincover, no adjustable back options
Weight: 15 ounces / 440 grams
Liters: 13
Rating: 8
Price and technical details: check here

best daypacks for women
The Osprey Daylite 13l in Sänfjället NP, Sweden

The Deuter ACT Trail hiking backpack- a decent daypack for women

One brand I’ve been using for many years already is Deuter. My experience with Deuter is that they make very decent backpacks, making it well worth the investment. I do not recall ever having a Deuter pack that broke down in any kind of way and I carried them around the globe a lot. The Deuter ACT Trail hiking backpack is my favorite Deuter daypack. It has 20 liters and comes with the AirContact Back System, resulting in 15% less perspiration, than other body contour packs. You can easily carry your hydration system and it also comes with an in-built rain cover. I’ve carried this pack with me all around the globe and it’s still going strong.
Pro’s: including rain cover, possibility to attach hiking poles
Cons: the weight
Weight: 36 ounces / 1.040 grams
Liters: 22
Rating: 7.5
Price and technical details: check here

The Deuter ACT Trail 22l backpack in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

De Fjällräven Kånken – a hip daypack for ladies

Looking for a hip backpack for women? Then the classic Fjällräven Kånken is an excellent choice. It’s not a typical hiking daypack, however I carry it with me on certain shorter hikes and see it carried everywhere in the world. It’s 16 liters so big enough to carry all you need for a short hike and it’s water resistant. Note: it’s not waterproof and it’s not easy to put a rain cover around it, so this one is not a good choice for poor weather hikes. The popular Fjällräven Kånken does not have a waist or chest belt, only the shoulder straps are adjustable. My main reason for carrying this Fjällräven backpack so often is because I also use it in my daily life. So whenever taking a short hike (> two hours) I carry this one as then I don’t have to remove my stuff and pack another bag. Anyone looking for a trendy daypack to wear, this is your choice. In addition, it’s lightweight, durable and and comes in plenty of colors.
Pro’s: durable, great choice for daily use, lightweight, many colors available
Cons: not a typical hiking pack, not waterproof
Weight: 10.6 ounces / 300 grams
Rating: 7
Liters: 16
Price and technical details: check here

best daypacks for women
Tje Fjällräven Kanken in the Waitakere Ranges, New Zealand

The Osprey Hikelite 26 – a wonderful bag for all-round hiking

One of the bags that I tested very recently was the Osprey Hikelite 26. I took this with me on my trek through the Langtang area in Nepal a few months ago. This backpack is described as “simple but effective” and is, in all honesty, one of the most complete daypacks for ladies that I have tested. It is equipped with a rain cover, a whistle and the possibility to attach walking sticks. The Hikelite 26 backpack has a freestanding AirSpeed ​​mesh back that offers coolness and comfort during a brisk walk, whether or not through the mountains. The only thing I missed in this backpack are the pockets on the hip belt, where I usually store my phone (which nowadays also serves as a full-time camera). Yet it is all in all one of the best daypacks in this list for me! You can read my complete review of this backpack here!
Pro’s: lightweight, including rain cover, available in many colors
Cons: no pockets on the hip belt
Weight: 730 grams
Rating: 9
Liters: 26
Price and technical details: check here
Note: it is a unisex model that can be perfectly worn by both men and women.

osprey hikelite 26 in nepal
The Osprey Hikelite 26 in Langtang, Nepal

The Thule All Trail – a complete hiking backpack for ladies

My most recent trip brought me to La Palma, an island in Spain. Here I tested the Thule All Trail 35 liters backpack for women, a very complete backpack for women. What I noticed straight away about this backpack is that the pockets only open with zippers and Im a fan of that. It makes the pack easy to use without too many unnecessary straps and things that can break. The Thule All Trail has a large main pocket and a smaller upper pocket that can be used for items you may need quickly. There’s a very large pocket on the hip belt, perfect for larger mobile phones. The pack comes with 10 cm/4 in of torso adjustability to be able to carry it without being in pain and an easy way to attach your hiking poles with the Thule VersaClick Pole Holder. The only thing I disliked about this bag is that the straps of the waist and chest belt are incredible long, leaving a lot of them to dangle around when I was hiking.
Pro’s: large pocket on the hip belt, includes a rain cover, hiking poles easily attached
Cons: long straps, no free standing back
Weight: 2.78 pounds / 1.260 grams
Rating: 8
Liters: 35
Price and technical details: check here

Thule All Trail women's pack
The Thule All Trail 35l on the Ruta de los Volcanos, La Palma, Spain

The Salewa Alp Trainer – a complete daypack for mountain hikes

The Salewa Alp Trainer I carried with me during my hiking trip on the Alpe Adria Trail in Austria last summer. This daypack is perfect for mountain hikes as Salewa designs and tests their gear right in the heart of the mountains: the Italian Dolomites. The Salewa Alp Trainer 25l is perfect for long mountain hikes or short overnight hikes. It comes with the Airfit 2.0 system making sure your back will stay mostly dry while hiking. All necessary items are provided such as a raincover, the possibility to attach your hiking poles and a pocket on the hip belt. Want to know more about this pack? Then read my full review here.
Pro’s: made for mountain hikes, only zippers / no straps to the pockets
Cons: the pocket on the waist belt gets off easy as it’s attached with knots (so you can also remove it)
Weight: 2.34 pounds / 1.170 grams
Liters: 25
Rating: 7.5
Price and technical details: check here

best daypacks for women
The Salewa Alp Trainer 25l at the Grossglockner, Austria

The Osprey Tempest 30 backpack – reliable, sturdy and colorful

The last daypack for women in this article is my favorite pack so far, the Osprey Tempest 30 backpack for women. This 30 liter backpack can easily be used for a good dayhike as well as a short trekking where you don’t have to carry too much gear. I carried it for example to Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal. This Osprey pack is designed especially for women and combined the adjustable AirScape back system with a breathing waist belt. The only disadvantage that came up recently is that the pocket on the hip belt has become too small for my phone, the larger iPhone 8 Plus. Hopefully they will consider this for the future. However this still remains one of my favorite options for a women’s daypack that I can basically use on any occasion. It has proven to be reliable, durable and well worth the investment.
Pro’s: lightweight, especially for ladies, including integrated whistle
Cons: no rain cover included, small hip belt pockets
Weight: 2.76 pounds / 860 grams
Rating: 9
Price and technical details: check here

the best daypacks for women
The Osprey Tempest 30 backpack near Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal

As a bonus: the Osprey Tempest 40 for women

As a bonus I’d like to mention the Osprey Tempest 40 for women. This is a slightly bigger one than the Tempest 30 however you can still easily use it for a long day hike. As you may not be able to carry various bags while traveling (unless you are called Anto and carry both this one, the Fjällräven and the Osprey Daylite to New Zealand) this is an excellent choice in case you’ll have to make a choice. The Tempest 40 is almost identical to the Osprey Tempest 30, yet it has an additional zipper on the main pocket and is 10 liters larger.
Pro’s: lightweight, especially for ladies, including integrated whistle
Cons: no rain cover included, small hip belt pockets
Weight: 4.7 pounds / 1.080 grams
Rating: 9
Price and technical details: check here
Also read: the Osprey Atmos AG 50 backpack for men

best daypack for women
The Osprey Tempest 40 in the way to Angelus Hut, New Zealand

Hiking or running bacpack: Wautton Hydratation backpack

If you wish to go super small, then consider a running marathon backpack for your hike. I tested the Wautton Outdoor running marathon hydration backpack which is super small and light yet could fit everything I need for a hike: a few snacks, water and my wallet. Besides the backside the frontside also has various pockets for your phone, lip balm and any other items you may want to keep close. A two liter waterbag can be placed in this backpack to keep you hydrated all day long. It’s a great option when going on half day hikes and for those who wish to carry only the absolute necessary.
Pro’s: lightweight, plenty of colors available, various pocktets
Cons: no rain cover, large front bands
Weight: 240 grams
Rating: 8
Price and technical details: check here

Conclusion of the best daypack for women

In all honesty I am quite lucky to be able to test a new pack every now and then. This made it possible for me to gather a large variety of backpacks for every occasion. As I mentioned before all packs are carried with me in various places over the past years however it’s important to mention that all given opinions are entirely my own.
Even though I am sometimes being sent a new backpack in exchange for a review, I have always invested in a good daypack before I was blogging. After hiking all across the globe for almost 20 years now, I can tell from experience that investing in a good backpack is well worth your time, money and effort. Your backpack will be your best friend on the trail and whether you are in the mountains or just taking a walk in the park, painful shoulders and backs will not make a hike more fun.

Osprey daylite best women's daypack
The Osprey Daylite near Roy’s Peak, Wanaka, New Zealand

Feel free to leave your opinion!

I have done all my best to gather the most complete information for you in this blog with best women’s daypack for hiking. In case you have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment below so other readers can be aware as well. Please note that this blog contains affiliate links. When you purchase something through any of these, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


  • Emilia

    For me Kanken is more suitable for city walks; those straps do not look comfy to be honest. Osprey Tempest looks interesting! Currently using Deuter Act Trail 30 which is really comfortable and you can adjust it to city walks as well by hiding hip straps.

    • anto

      True, it’s not a great one for walks that are long. I usually only carry it when I hike less than two hours. I was in doubt of adding it but then figured that some may not have the money to invest in a daypack for daily use and a separate one for hiking. I am sure that the Deuter ACT Trail is super comfy, I really liked their 22 liter one. Being able to hide the straps really helps indeed as I usually don’t use them when just in the city 🙂

  • beth

    is the osprey daylite women’s specific? i have 2 other osprey packs which i love! they fit me perfectly. i don’t see women’s specific when searching for the daylite though. thanks

    • anto

      Nope I don’t think it is. A bit larger pack is the Skimmer 32 which will be available soon. I tested that one on my recent trip in New Zealand and loved it to bits. Check it out if you can 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *