Picking out a travel backpack is like selecting a work tote. You want it to look stylish, but also secure your belongings from pickpockets. Fortunately, there are plenty of backpacks for women that fit this middle ground. It simply takes a little researching to weed out the bulky, super outdoorsy designs (they serve their own purposes in the wilderness) from the sleeker ones you personally like to carry. Don't judge the compact backpacks ahead by their size though, they can hold a lot more than you think. Once you've found the right one, book that long awaited vacation.
Yes, it has roomy compartments for your valuables, but this backpack is also Fort Knox against bag snatches. It has cut-resistant straps, a central lockdown point for zippers and cables, and RFID-blocking materials to help protect your passport and credit cards from RFID (radio frequency identification) skimmers. Rest easy, you don't have to clutch your backpack to the front of your chest anymore as you stroll down the streets of a foreign city.
This backpack is light as air and holds a decent amount of stuff if you're doing some light hiking or sightseeing. The exterior is made of waterproof nylon, and the interior fits a water bottle, umbrella, laptop, shoes, and more. Collapse it for easy travel and stash away in your carry-on when not in use.
This heavy-duty backpack is for those embarking on a backcountry experience. It can store a sleeping bag or tent, if you're camping overnight, in addition to fitting extra sets of clothes and snacks. Though this accessory looks bulky, it won't add any weight to your back thanks to the "patent-pending Dyno Lift System," which features self-equalizing properties.
My friend who often travels solo around the world swears by this daypack. It features an adjustable torso length with a 3D foam breathable back panel, a waist pocket to hold your phone in, and can easily fit a three=liter water reservoir, rain coat, light jacket, and food/snacks for the day. Good for a day hike or commuting around from city to city.
Don't judge this baby by its compact size—it can hold enough for a 10-day trip. It's built like a backpack with the functionality of a suitcase, so it opens in half sideways and gives access to a roomy interior. You can put all of your clothes on one side and toiletries on the other. This backpack will keep you organized and on-the-go without any hassle.
I've worn this backpack everywhere, from the streets of Seoul and Tokyo to the beaches of Tulum. This tiny thing surprisingly fits everything you need for the day, from a water bottle and book to a light scarf and snacks. The straps sit comfortable on your shoulders and it can easily be folded away when not in use.
This convertible backpack has wheels, should you get tired and want to drag it behind you rather than tote it around. It also has plenty of pockets for organizational and stashing purposes along with a narrow design, which is well-suited for a woman's frame. Compression straps reduce the bulk of the pack and help with balance as you make your way uphill.
The Osprey Fairview collection is a line of female-specific travel backpacks, so you may well find your best fit in this collection. This particular style has a hiking-style shoulder harness and hip belt and is rather large to fit all your belongings in for long trips. Doing a shorter hiker or easy daytime adventure? Just detach the daypack from the back.
I can't tell you how many times I've stuffed my laptop and charger into my carry-on because I didn't feel like bringing my work tote to the airport. This backpack finally solves the issue by having separate compartments for clothes and a laptop. According to the online reviews, this backpack can hold enough for four days in a city like D.C. or two weeks in a country like Italy. I'm adding to cart.
You can't talk about outdoor gear without mentioning Patagonia. This backpack from the beloved brand is designed to fit a woman's torso, which is shorter than a men's, and has multiple compartments for holding sizable items like books, your lunch, and a pair of running shoes. The outer layer repels dirty and moisture while the soft mesh on shoulder straps and back panel keep you cool on your excursions.
You prefer to travel with a small bag while your SO does the heavier lifting. This rustic-looking backpack, then, is for you. The backpack is made from cowhide and has three interior pockets, which is enough for you to hold a day or two's worth of items. The best part? It'll match with all your vacation outfits.
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