Choosing the backpack that is most suitable for your needs can be challenging, but we have broken down the most important aspects of the top rated women’s specific backpacking packs to consider. Side by side, we have charted and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of comfort, weight, suspension, ease of use, adjustability, and organization.
Light and Fast
Light and fast is another style of backpacking, and it entirely opposes the slow and steady leisure hiker. This style is very concerned with weight and the ability to cover distances either over a short or long time frame. This hiker may sacrifice some luxuries in the name of carrying a lighter weight pack and less gear. Whether hiking 50 miles in 5 days or 2000 miles in 5 months, this hiker pays most attention to weight and suspension in order to remain comfortable and unrestrained for going the distance. Models like the Osprey Aura 60 and the Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 – Women’s are suitable options for the light and fast backpacker.
And then there are thru-hikers, who backpack over long distances over an extended period of time, typically from the start to end of a particular trail such as the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail. Like the light and fast style, the thru-hiker is typically aware of gear weight. This style requires more preparation and planning than a leisurely trip, or even a weeklong trip. Thru-hikers tend to seek simplicity and organizational capabilities with great suspension, as the packs will be worn for an extended period of time. In regards to the women’s specific backpacking pack review, the Osprey Aura or the Osprey Ariel 65 are worthy thru-hiker options.
The more you travel, the more you know how unnecessary it is to check a bag at an airline’s ticket counter. With one well-packed carry-on bag, savvy travelers skip long check-in lines, avoid extra fees and bypass baggage claim, then spend the trip enjoying life rather than unpacking and repacking a bulky bag every few days. This spring, pack smart and light — and save yourself a whole lot of headaches — with these five essentials…
Osprey Ozone Convertible Bag
In order to master carry-on travel, you first need a reliable TSA-approved 22-inch bag. We love the Osprey Ozone Convertible ultra-light travel luggage. New in fall 2013 and weighing in at just more than 6 pounds, the Ozone includes wheels and an extending bar for rolling through the airport, and a convertible pack for when it’s time to wear your luggage like a backpack. It also includes a detachable daypack with a padded compartment for a laptop — a perfect bag for both business and adventure.
You’re skiing or snowboarding at a resort, riding lifts, but the groomers have been totally carved up and even the off-piste snow in the trees is hash. So the only remaining option for finding untracked powder is to go where most skiers and riders don’t go: to the slopes not served by lifts, where you have to climb uphill under your own power. For that, you’ll need a lightweight, compact backcountry snow pack—one that has enough space for your safety gear but isn’t too cumbersome to wear while lift-served skiing. A pack like the Reverb 18.
I really liked this streamlined pack for days of riding lifts at my local resort to access the adjacent backcountry, and for carrying a little food and water on days of just skiing the inbounds terrain at a couple of Idaho resorts with my kids. The slender dimensions of the pack made it virtually unnoticeable on my back when riding lifts or telemark skiing in- or out-of-bounds—even stuffed full, it bulges out only about six inches, so I never removed it for riding lifts, and it hugged me tightly when cruising downhill. Dual zippers the full length of the Reverb 18 open the back panel to access the main compartment and the zippered hydration sleeve, so you can lay it down to keep snow out and get at the contents even when carrying skis or a snowboard.
For the past couple weeks I have been racing and training in the Osprey Rev 24, a new pack specially made for long distant runners and endurance athletes.
The first time I put it on, I did not take it off for literally 41 hours during a 4-day adventure race in Belize in which I trekked, mountain biked, and canoed for a total of 250 miles.
For more than 10 years I have been testing packs and often have trouble finding one that fits my petite size. This is a unisex model and available in two sizes, but the small fits like a glove, something that is very rare for me. I am 5’1” and 110lbs, and the waistlines of backpacks rarely fit well.
The Rev 24 is one of a line of six “Rev” packs for endurance athletes from Osprey. It has the largest volume in the series, which also includes the Solo, 1.5, 6, 12 and 18.