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How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack for Women

Most travel gear is designed for men. One size does not fit all, and women need products made for them. For backpacks, you need a bag designed for your body. Male-centric solutions don't always work.

What Size Travel Backpack Should Women Buy?

Travel backpacks for women should fit within airlines' carry on guidelines. Most airlines allow carry on bags up to 22" tall x 14" wide x 9" deep.

Use a carry on bag to make your trip easier and more efficient. Go straight to the security line at your departure airport then walk off your flight and out the door at your arrival airport. Don't waste your time checking, or claiming, your bags.

Carry on backpacks can also be kept with you at all times, so your luggage is never at the mercy of your airline.

Women's travel backpacks should be smaller than the giant "backpacker" backpacks that can be as large as 80 liters. For comparison, a carry on sized backpack like the Outbreaker travel backpack holds 35 or 45 liters, depending on which size is right for you. Using a carry on sized backpack means that you can maneuver through your trip faster without the physical strain caused by carrying too much stuff.

Prevent Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain

Even though you won't be spending hours trekking through the mountains with it, you need a comfortable backpack.

Buying a smaller bag will force you to carry a lighter load. Buy a backpack that can be adjusted to fit comfortably on you. A man's travel backpack might not fit properly.

Adjustable shoulder straps are a must, particularly since women’s torsos are generally smaller. Move the Outbreaker’s shoulder straps up and down to find the right carry for your size.


Tightening the shoulder straps will help the bag ride higher on your back, not sag down low like a teenager's school backpack. Carrying the load higher on your back will prevent it from pulling on your shoulders and causing you pain.

Choose a travel backpack with a padded hip belt. Belts may not look as cool, but they are critical for weight distribution. By tightening the Outbreaker’s hip belt, your pack's weight will be distributed from your shoulders to your hips.

As you adjust the belt, you'll feel this change immediately, like a literal load off your back. Carrying some of your pack's weight on your hips can greatly reduce neck, shoulder, and back pain.

Bring Everything You Need

An extra pair of shoes, or a dressy outfit, shouldn’t require you to pay airlines’ baggage fees. The Outbreaker’s generous size allows you to bring everything you need for city travel - without checking a bag. You’ll even have room for souvenirs.

For a sample packing list for a carry on sized travel backpack for women, click here.

Quickly Grab What You Need... Without Unpacking

When you're on the go, nothing is worse than having to stop what you're doing, unpack everything from your bag, and dig through all of your clothes to find one thing. Most backpacks are top-loading, so this is a common problem.

For greater access and organization, opt for a front-loading backpack. Front-loading (or panel-loading) bags open like a suitcase where the entire front of the pack swings open. The best combination of accessibility of a suitcase with the portability of a backpack.

If you haven't used something like your swimsuit in a few days, it may fall to the bottom of your bag. With a traditional, top-loading bag, you'd have to take out everything else to find it. With the Outbreaker, you just unzip the front cover, grab your suit, and go.

When choosing a women's travel backpack, find one that's designed with you in mind. The best pack should be carry on sized, comfortable, and accessible. The Outbreaker is all three.