17 Best Travel Backpacks for Women [2024]: Traveler's Picks!

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17 Best Travel Backpacks for Women [2024]: Traveler's Picks!
Female travelers looking for the best travel backpack look no further. Keep reading below for 10 of the best travel backpacks for women!
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Whether you're jet-setting for business, living the digital nomad dream, or chasing adventures with nothing but a backpack—finding your ultimate travel companion is non-negotiable.

You don't just want any old rucksack, right? I'm talking spacious enough to sneak in that last-minute duty-free purchase, built-in pockets for your indispensable gadgets, and those game-changing locking zippers because, let's face it, pickpockets are sneaky!

And what about something that's not talked about a lot? Body ergonomics! As a woman on the move, you need a backpack that fits well, offers support in the right places, and is comfortable.

Many quality travel backpacks are crafted just for our female physique—kiss those shoulder strains goodbye!

Whether gliding through TSA or exploring winding streets in a foreign city, your ideal backpack isn't just a carry-all—it's an extension of your unstoppable, fashionable self.

Sound like a tall order? Don't stress! Kick back and scroll on because I've rounded up 10 of the top travel backpacks that a woman can spend their hard earned money on. Ready to find out why each one is a game-changer? Let's dive in!

Whether you're a backpacker, business traveler, or digital nomad, finding the perfect travel backpack is fundamental. Special considerations like laptop space and locking zippers are just a few of the must-haves in a quality travel backpack.

What to Look For in a Travel Backpack

Before deciding on the best travel backpack, you should figure out what features are non-negotiable. For some, this could be as general as durability or as specific as having a laptop pocket.

Size and purpose are also vital when choosing your travel backpack. Consider where you'll go and what you'll do—it'll help you zero in on the bag that genuinely suits your adventures.


Prioritizing certain features will help narrow down the best women's travel backpack. Features you want to look for in a travel backpack for women include:

  • Comfort features (ex. back panel with padding)
  • Number of pockets
  • Laptop slot (if necessary)
  • Anti-theft features
  • Waterproof material
  • Adjustable shoulder and waist straps
  • Color and design choices
  • Expandable compartments


Paying attention to a backpack's dimensions will help you decide if it fits your travel needs nicely.

It's a good idea to check each backpack's dimensions. This way, you can tell whether it's big enough to work as a carry-on "suitcase" for your flight or small enough to pack and use on a day-by-day basis.

What's the Size Limit for a Carry-on Backpack?

The standard international carry-on size limit is 21.5" (H) x 15.5" (W) x 9" (D). Staying within these parameters will work for most international airlines.

But it can vary greatly between airlines, especially if you focus on saving money by flying budget air carriers. My best advice is to always double-check the bag size policies for your chosen flight!

What's the Size Limit for a Personal Item on Airplanes?

Backpacks equal to or less than 18" (H) x 14" (W) x 8" (D) fit under the seat on an airplane and work as a personal item.

Again, this is the typical standard, so it's best to check in advance with the airline you plan to fly with just to be sure.

Summary of the Top Travel Backpacks for Women

Now that the features you should be looking for in a great travel bag are at the forefront of your mind, I can get onto what we're all here for... My recommendations for the best travel backpacks for women.

  1. Samsonite Detour Travel Backpack
  2. Travelon Anti-Theft Backpack
  3. Away F.A.R. Backpack
  4. Osprey Daylite Expandable Backpack
  5. L.L. Bean Approach Travel Pack
  6. NOMATIC 40L Travel Backpack
  7. Venturesafe Anti-Theft Backpack
  8. Osprey Fairview 40 Travel Pack
  9. Women's Osprey Aura AG 50 Pack
  10. Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Backpack
  11. Matador SEG45 Travel Pack
  12. Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack
  13. Nomatic 20L Backpack
  14. Peak Design Travel Pack 30L
  15. Monos Metro Backpack
  16. Herschel Little America Backpack
  17. The Expandable Backpack (by Beis)

To make this even easier for you to browse, I've broken up the bags into 5 different overarching categories:

  • Top Small travel backpacks for women
  • Best carry-on backpacks for women
  • Best backs for budget travel
  • Top business travel backpacks
  • Most stylish backpacks for female travelers

Feel free to skip to the bags most suitable for you based on how you travel and what you think is most important in a bag!

Top Small Travel Backpacks for Women

When I think about smaller travel backpacks, these are the backpacks I would use as personal items for air travel. Depending on my mood, I'll switch between a backpack or a sizeable travel-specific purse.

Samsonite Detour Travel Backpack

The Samsonite Detour Travel Backpack is a streamlined, carry-on-friendly travel backpack for women.

With enough storage space to fit 3 to 5 packing cubes, it's functional as a carry-on suitcase for your next trip. It also fits underneath airplane seats so that it can work as a personal item, too!

Its water-resistant and lightweight material makes it easy to bring out for long days of exploring.

Dimensions: 20" (H) × 13" (W) × 9"(D)

My Rating: 4/5


  • Main flap fully opens for easy packing
  • Made with recyclable material
  • 15.6" padded laptop compartment
  • Water-resistant
  • Mesh storage pockets
  • Sternum strap
  • Top and side handle
  • Lightweight (1.9 lbs)


  • One color option
  • No hipstrap for weight distribution
Samsonite Detour travel backpack in black - best small travel backpacks for women
Image Courtesy of Samsonite

Travelon Anti-Theft Backpack

An anti-theft backpack at an affordable price is the Travelon Anti-Theft Backpack. It's a stylish, small pack that a safe traveler who is not packing too heavy will get a lot of use from. It can work as a personal-size item on the plane and fit under the seat.

While it's not very suitable as carry-on luggage due to its size and capacity limits, it's ideal for weekend trips or an everyday pack.

Dimensions: 16" (H) x 11" (W) x 5" (D)

My Rating: 4.1/5


  • Locked compartments
  • Slash-resistant straps and backpack material
  • Side pockets
  • Compact
  • Lightweight (less than 1 lb)
  • Affordable


  • Small packing space (13 liters)
2 people walking down the street—one is a woman with a travel backpack
Image Courtesy of Amazon

Away F.A.R Backpack

Day and weekend trippers will find much to appreciate about the Away F.A.R Backpack. The 26-liter pack is spacious enough to use as a carry-on for short trips but lightweight enough to wear for a day in the city.

Its sleek design is ideal for minimalists looking for a versatile bag that can do it all. Even better? It has a hidden, back-facing zip pocket for your wallet and passport.

Dimensions: 19" (H) x 12.6" (W) x 7.7" (D)

My Rating: 4.2/5


  • Made from 100% recycled polyester
  • Two side water bottle pockets
  • Two 15" laptop compartments
  • Lightweight (less than 1 lb)
  • Hidden pocket


  • Too small to work as your only suitcase for long trips
  • Limited color choices
woman with a travel backpack for women
Image Courtesy of Away

Osprey Daylite Expandable Pack

Suppose you want a convertible backpack that can shrink to daypack size or expand to carry-on size. In that case, the Osprey Daylite Expandable Pack is for you!

It starts at 26 liters and expands to six liters bigger. This way, you can pack light for quick trips or fit more for long journeys. It has an outside pocket specially made to hold your toiletries.

The Daylite pack is the only pack on my list that comes with print design options as well! If that's your style, this is the bag for you!

Dimensions: 17" (H) x 13" (W) x 6" (D)

My Rating: 4.5/5


  • Expandable
  • Works as a personal item or carry-on backpack
  • Pattern and color design options
  • Water bottle side pockets
  • Laptop sleeve
  • Main flap fully opens when unzipped for easy packing
  • Mesh compartment inside
  • Top, side, and bottom carrying handles


  • No hipstrap for weight distribution
  • Material is not waterproof
Person packing an Osprey backpack for travel
Image Courtesy of Osprey

Best Carry-On Backpack for Women

These are often the large travel backpacks for women, so they must have an excellent organization system, be convenient to travel with and stay comfortable for the wearer.

L.L. Bean Approach Travel Pack

Backpackers will love the all-nylon L.L. Bean Approach Travel Pack for its versatile features and practicality. Its 39-liter capacity is the 3rd most spacious backpack on this list.

This backpack is about as big as possible while staying within the standard carry-on size limits.

Remember that this pack is heavier than most, weighing 3.3 lb before packing.

Dimensions: 20" (H) x 12.5" (W) x 10" (D)

My Rating: 4.4/5


  • Tuck-away straps for hand carry
  • Main flap fully opens like a suitcase
  • Sternum and waist belt straps
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Mesh dividers inside


  • Few color choices
  • Heavy pack (3.3 lb)
  • Laptop sleeve only fits 13" devices
man with travel backpack
Image Courtesy of Amazon

NOMATIC 32L Travel Backpack

Although this bag is a bit out of the affordable price point range for many budget travelers, I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a long-term do-it-all backpack style.

I've used this on multiple trips and found it very satisfying to pack, easy to organize all the items inside, and stylish to carry around. My favorite things about this bag are the expansion capability and the amount of useful pockets it boasts.

I wouldn't consider myself a budget traveler anymore, veering more to affordable luxury, but I also work while I travel 99% of the time. That's why I love the extra organization elements in the pouches and find the laptop compartment extremely easy to access.

Our team has written a full review of the NOMATIC 32L Travel Backpack, which you should check out before buying!

Dimensions: 22" (H) x 14" (W) x 9" (D)


  • Lots of compartments for organization
  • Many security features
  • Water-resistant
  • Feels very durable
  • Great capacity even at the standard size
  • Expandable
  • Stylish and minimalistic design
  • RFID protection and secret pockets
  • Versatile


  • Very pricey
  • Zippers and compartments can be confusing at first
  • Not as comfortable as it gets heavier
  • Luggage strap is somewhat challenging to use
  • Heavy for its size
Nomatic travel backpack on a couch with travel packing cubes
Captured by ©Pilot

Venturesafe Anti-Theft Backpack

The Venturesafe Anti-Theft Backpack has a whopping 45-liter capacity. It's the heaviest pack at 4.3 lbs, but for a good reason. Locking zippers and slash-proof material are some of the bag's safest features.

It may hold a lot and weigh more than other bags, but its size is within the standard international carry-on size.

This backpack is an ideal suitcase for women taking one to two-week trips. While it could be more stylish in terms of color and design, it makes up for it with practicality and safety.

Dimensions: 21.7" (H) x 13" (W) x 7.9" (D)

My Rating: 4.6/5


  • Made with recycled plastic bottles
  • Anti-theft: puncture-resistant, locking cable and zippers, stainless steel wire mesh
  • Water-repellent fabric
  • Padded hip belt and adjustable sternum strap
  • 16" laptop padded sleeve
  • Internal organizers and side pockets
  • Fully opens like a suitcase for easy packing
  • Mesh pocket inside


  • Heavy (4.3 lbs)
  • Two color options
  • Pricey
black women's travel backpack
Image Courtesy of Amazon

Osprey Fairview 40 Travel Pack

You may know Osprey as a hiking backpack producer, but it also offers great travel bag options!

One such bag is the Osprey Fairview 40 Travel Pack, the female version to Osprey's uber popular Fairpoint backpack for men. This travel bag will check off many must-have features for women who want a spacious carry-on backpack.

The Fairview has a 16" laptop slot, adjustable harnesses, and 40 liters of space to fill with your travel belongings. It can double as a suitcase, and it's light enough to bring on a hike.

Dimensions: 22" (H) x 14" (W) x 9" (D)

My Rating: 4.7/5


  • Padded back
  • Harness and hip belt
  • Large flap pocket for easy packing
  • Mesh pockets inside
  • Two carry handles
  • Made with sustainable materials
  • Toiletry pocket
  • Large capacity (40 liters)


  • Limited color options
  • Bulky (3lb 7 oz)
Woman with a women's travel backpack on her back
Image Courtesy of Osprey

Best Backpacks for Budget Travel

When it comes to budget traveling, I generally think of lots of adventuring, having all my things fit in one bag in an organized manner, and having many safety features! These are the main features I focused on when looking for the best bags for budget travelers.

Another point I want to make is that I've done lots of budget traveling, and even though I like to save money while I travel, I often spend quite a bit on the travel gear I purchase. Instead of focusing on cheaper bags, I look at quality, durability, and versatility to get the most out of my bag.

Matador SEG 45L Travel Pack

When less is more, the SEG 45L shines. If you're a minimalist traveler who focuses on simplicity and efficiency, you'll love the Matador backpack.

Despite its 45-liter capacity, it's incredibly lightweight and packs to a surprisingly small size when not used. I love that this bag makes organization easy with segmented compartments, keeps things dry, and feels like it's super durable.

Plus, you can choose the way you want to carry it! Wear it as a backpack or switch to carrying it as a duffle bag.

Dimensions: 22.5" (H) x 12.5" (W) x 11.5" (D)

My Rating: 4.1/5


  • Durable and water-resistant materials
  • Amble padding for comfort
  • Organization features
  • High qualityzippers
  • Carry options


  • Very pricey
  • Feels large if you have a smaller frame
  • Shoulder straps are thin
  • No structure, even at the bottom of the laptop pocket
Matador SEG 45L Travel Pack on a woman's back
Image Courtesy of Matador

Cotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Backpack

The Cotopaxi Allpa 42L is a fantastic option for travelers who want to make a positive impact. It's made with eco-friendly materials and fair labor practices.

So, not only will you feel good about using this bag, but you'll also find all of its features winning you over. It'll have you feeling super organized, comfortable while wearing it, and versatile enough to take on any type of trip.

The features that win me over about this bag are its multiple pockets inside and mesh panels. There's a dedicated spot for your laptop, a tablet sleeve, and even a pocket for your smartphone. And for your other gear, the mesh compartment makes it easy to see and organize!

Dimensions: 22" (H) x 14" (W) x 11" (D)

My Rating: 4.5/5


  • Made from eco-friendly, repurposed materials
  • Lockable zippers
  • Tuck-away straps
  • Spacious interior
  • Hip belt is adjustable and removable


  • Fewer pockets inside
  • Need to buy rain cover separately
  • Can lose its shape when overpacked
Cotopaxi travel backpack for women lying open
Image Courtesy of Colopaxi

Women's Osprey Aura AG 50 Pack

Another Osprey pack appears on my list as an excellent option for a women's travel backpack.

You'll find this is a backpack that puts long-haul comfort in the spotlight. Crafted specifically for women, this 50-liter pack is an absolute must for extended trekking or camping trips. Since this is considered more of a hiking/backpacking pack, this one's for you, adventure travelers.

That said, you shouldn't overlook it if you're more of a general budget traveler. After all, some of its top features for hiking are great for general travel.

For instance, it has Osprey's Anti-Gravity suspension system. This feature makes it feel like you're carrying less weight and seamlessly distributes the load across your body. Obviously a must for hiking, but also amazing when trekking between hostels or lugging it around during long layovers at the airport.

Best yet? It comes in different sizes to make sure the fit is as suitable as possible depending on your body!

Dimensions: Varies by size (XS, S, M)

My Rating: 4.6/5


  • Very comfortable!
  • Anti-gravity suspension for lighter feeling loads
  • Good ventilation
  • Comes in different sizes
  • Adjustable torso length
  • Integrated rain cover to keep everything dry


  • Pricier
  • On the heavier side
  • Only has top access to the main compartment
  • May be too small for long term trips
woman with purple travel backpack on back
Image Courtesy of Osprey

Top Business Travel Backpacks

Whether you're going on a business trip or you're a full-time digital nomad, it's essential to have gear that'll make working and traveling a breeze. That includes a bag that'll give you easy access to both your work and travel stuff!

Does it have a front pocket to organize all of your cords? What about a trusty laptop pouch? Are there external pockets to put essential travel items in easy-to-reach spots?

These are all important considerations when choosing the best women's backpack for traveling and working...

Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack

My first pick for a great work travel bag is the Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack.

This ones for the digital nomad who's equally at home in a co-working space or a mountaintop café. It's designed with long-term durability in mind while also considering all the space needs of a working traveler.

Once you open up this Tortuga travel backpack you'll find convenience in the easy organization system. And you'll never dread carrying is around since it has many features, like cushion shoulder straps, for boosted comfort!

Dimensions: 19.1" (H) x 10.8" (W) x 7.1" (D)

My Rating: 4.2/5


  • Great internal organization system
  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Fits 16" laptop and 12.9" tablet
  • Comfort features like padded straps
  • Made of durable, water-resistant material
  • Small enough to fit under the seat
  • Stylish design


  • More expensive for its size
  • Only comes in black
  • No rain cover for added water protection
Black travel backpack made for women being showcased
Image Courtesy of Tortuga

Peak Design Travel Pack 30L

Are you the shutterbug who won’t compromise on carrying your camera gear? The Peak Design Travel Pack 30L could be your new best friend. Built with photographers in mind, this pack offers customizable compartments to fit all your lenses and accessories.

That said the Peak Design travel backpack is a favorite for many travelers, even those who don't fit into the intended target audience.

You'll find the 15-inch laptop sleeve is effortlessly accessible, even when fully packed. And the back panel opens up clamshell-style, making it a breeze to sort your clothes or footwear.

Though not exclusively designed for women, this versatile pack works seamlessly for daily commutes and jet-setting adventures alike. The back panel contours smoothly to your body for comfort as you navigate city streets.

Another great feature it boasts is a luggage pass-thru for easy pairing with a roller bag.

Dimensions: 20" (H) x 13" (W) x 7.5" (D)

My Rating: 4.2/5


  • Compressions system is helpful and clean
  • Clamshell opening for easy access
  • It's camera-friendly and great for those with lots of gear
  • Weatherproof
  • Expandable option


  • Relatively heavy, ven when empty
  • Premium price point
2 of the same backpacks open, one with stuff in it
Image Courtesy of Peak Designs

Nomatic 20L Backpack

For working travelers seeking a blend of style and efficiency in a more compact package, the Nomatic 20L Backpack is your go-to. This backpack transitions seamlessly from a day at the office to a quick weekend getaway.

You'll be delighted by the features and plenty of pockets packed into this work bag. Not only are there a lot of compartments, but also, within the compartments there are organization pockets.

It also boasts a laptop compartment, RFID pocket for protection, high quality zippers, and durable materials that seem like they'll last the test of time.

This 20L backpack is a bit larger than the official personal item size for some airlines, like Air Canada, but it’s pretty close. I've definitely gotten away with using this as a personal item on many flights!

Dimensions: 18.5" (H) x 12" (W) x 5" (D - which is 7.5″ when expanded)

My Rating: 4.3/5


  • Minimalist and modern design
  • Made from durable and water resistant materials
  • RFID pocket to keep essentials secure
  • Up to 50% expansion
  • Secret airtag/Passport pocket
  • TSA-ready laptop sleeve


  • Very high cost for its size
  • Can feel heavy when extra full
Open travel backpack made by NOMATIC
Image Courtesy of Amazon

Most Stylish Backpacks for Female Travelers

Monos Metro Backpack

The Monos Metro Backpack is arguably the most stylish women's travel backpack on the list. You can choose between vegan leather or nylon material in nearly 10 colors. It has a hidden pocket against your back to keep your most essential items safe while you travel.

While the bag is gorgeous, remember it's also the smallest on the list. It's perfect as a daily-use backpack purse and fits under airplane seats. This one is also a bit pricier, but the quality makes it a practical purchase!

Dimensions: 11.5" (H) × 16.5" (W) × 6"(D)

My Rating: 3.8/5


  • Comes in nylon and vegan leather
  • 15" laptop sleeve
  • Button-snap backpack carrying handle
  • Option to add a small snap-on kit bag
  • Hidden pocket


  • Heavy for its small size
  • Not enough room for use as a carry-on backpack
  • Pricey
beige backpack product photo
Image Courtesy of Monos

Herschel Little America Backpack

The Herschel Little America Backpack takes a stylish twist on the travel backpack. Women looking for a travel pack that's both stylish and functional will love this one.

While less technical than other travel backpacks on this list, the Herschel Little America has a solid 25-liter capacity. It allows you to use it as a weekend carry-on bag or a daypack for a more extended trip.

Dimensions: 19.25" (H) x 11.25" (W) x 7" (D)

My Rating: 3.9/5


  • Padded and fleece-lined laptop sleeve
  • Drawstring close
  • Magnetic leatherstraps
  • Great as a daypack or weekend trip backpack
  • Stylish design and striped interior


  • The material is not waterproof
  • Limited packing space for long trips
  • No sternum or hipstraps
herschel backpack in black with leather straps
Image Courtesy of Herschel

The Expandable Backpack (by Beis)

Beis is a travel brand that manufactures luggage and travel gear that's known because of its famous owner Shay Mitchell. Since 2018, it has focused on creating chic, stylish products geared towards  the modern women.

One of the most useful bags, in my opinion is the Expandable Backpack. This bag proves that fashion and function can absolutely be best friends. While it may not be the most technical bag on the block, it has a unique edge: expandability.

The key features of this bag that I love, besides its expansion capabilities, are its multiple compartments, versatility, and adjustable straps for comfort.

Whether you're off on a weekend jaunt or need a reliable daypack, the Expandable Backpack by Beis offers a blend of utility and style that makes it an adaptable travel companion.

Dimensions: Expandable from 21" (H) x 14" (W) x 5" (D) to 21" (H) x 14" (W) x 8" (D)

My Rating: 4.1/5


  • Expandable design
  • Plenty of pockets and compartments, including dedicated spaces for laptops, water bottles, and even a secret passport pocket.
  • Very stylish color options
  • Versatile design and functionality (use for in the airport, for business travel, or as an everyday bag easily!)
  • Designed for women's bodies
  • Adjustable straps
  • Eco-friendly constructions
  • Trolley passthrough


  • Not waterproof
  • Not overly comfortable compared to competitors
  • No hip or sternum straps
  • Long-term durability concerns (since straps are quite thin)
Image Courtesy of Beis

Grab Your Favorite Pack & Plan Your Next Trip

With these top women's travel backpacks in mind, you can narrow down which one is best suited for your upcoming adventures. Travel backpacks are not only practical accessories but a stylish way to travel safely with your belongings.

If you're looking for more ways to be prepared, consider using a trip planner that can keep everything organized in one place!

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Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Rachel David Blog
Written by:
Rachel David
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