The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

How We Tested Backpacking Pack for Women

Friday May 10, 2019
We wore these packs on and off trail in every climate the US has to offer. We also handed them around to every woman who would wear them to see how they worked for different body types and preferences.
We wore these packs on and off trail in every climate the US has to offer. We also handed them around to every woman who would wear them to see how they worked for different body types and preferences.

Many years have gone into compiling this list of top backpacking packs for women. From quick overnights in the Front Range to two-week trips in the Wind River Range and jaunts to the John Muir Trail and remote canyons in Utah, these packs have seen it all. We've trekked through torrential downpours, snow, wind, hail, sleet, and overwhelming heat to figure out which is the best for any given backcountry situation. Our trips ranged from short day hikes to 27 mile days that carried on into the night. In short, we use and abuse these packs, all while taking notes on their functionality, comfort, and support.

Our testers' body types range widely as well. They're short. They're tall. They're curvy, petite, lanky or muscled. These women also have wildly different backpacking experience levels — some are newbies, others are long-time backcountry travelers. This helps us gain a broad perspective of how comfortable, adjustable, and easy to use each of these packs really is.

We spare no attention to detail when looking at the pack's organization and capacity. We review each aspect side-by-side to determine which models offer the best combination of comfort and features, and we do so on real-life hiking adventures from the Rocky Mountain ranges of Colorado to the Sierra Nevada.