Best Overall Women's Backpacking Backpack
Osprey Aura AG 50
The Osprey Aura AG 50
is the best women's pack we have used. We awarded it as the Editor's Choice for its outstanding versatility with varying weight loads and objectives, comfort through three seasons, including hot summer temperatures, and the Anti-Gravity (AG) suspension that is supportive and far more breathable than any other pack in our review. It has a feminine design that is simple yet functional. It has plenty of organizational features including the stretch mesh pockets on the front and sides, and all the necessary adjustments for trips ranging in length from one night outings to week-long adventures in the backcountry. The Aura AG incorporates every feature we loved from the older Aura design and steps it up a notch. For a do-it-all three season pack, it's hard to surpass the light weight and comfort of a women's specific pack like the Aura, equally capable of day hikes or thru-hikes.
Best Bang for the Buck
The North Face Terra 55 - Women's
The North Face Terra 55
replaces our previous Best Buy award winners, as it combines many of the features of the Deuter ACT Lite and the Kelty Coyote while remaining comfortable, affordable, and versatile. The Terra has a simple design that doesn't overwhelm with features- although there are 6 well-placed enclosed compartments, they aren't overwhelming in size or placement. The compression options are limited, which reduces the number of straps dangling from every side of the pack (if you have made it through our individual reviews, you know how complicated the excessive straps become). Not only does the Terra win our Best Buy award because it is the lowest priced pack in our entire women's review, it also brings together everything we love in a women's pack- simplicity in overall design, versatility in trip lengths and seasonal outings, organization options, and ease of use. For $170, you can find yourself on the trail, fully loaded, and in full comfort with The North Face Terra.
Top Pick Award for 4-Season Use
Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 58 - Women's
The Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 58 - Women's
is the best pack for year round versatility. Mountain Hardwear has designed an aesthetic exterior that is seriously functional. The Ozonic series features a fully waterproof construction that keeps your gear dry through hours of pouring rain (trust us, we tested it during multiple summer outings in non-stop rain storms). It is suitable for four season backpacking and mountaineering as a result of this waterproof technology, but doesn't sacrifice breathability for summer outings. Spaciousness is anything but lacking here- there are six enclosed compartments, a semi-enclosed front pocket with small drainage holes at the bottom for separating wet gear from the rest, and 58 liters in the listed specs that expands to contain as much gear as the 75 liter Kelty Coyote. The back panel and hip belt is well padded, providing comfort under heavy loads, yet the Ozonic maintains stability with a light weight load as well. The Ozonic is a stand out award winner for its versatility and waterproof protection.