When it comes to designing different backpacks for women and men, it is easy to be under the misconception that the only difference is the exterior where men are given the dark, unappealing colors while women stick to bright colors and patterns. This is as far from the truth as possible.

The main reason why different backpacks are designed for women and men is the way in which the human body is built. In most cases, women are relatively smaller than men, who usually have larger shoulders and more upper body strength. The male torso is also larger than the female torso. This means that an average backpack that is designed keeping the male structure in mind will be inherently uncomfortable for women for multiple reasons.

First, a backpack designed for women’s comfort needs to be lighter and shorter in terms of length. In addition to this, the common J-shaped straps used for most backpacks can be quite uncomfortable for women, whose body works better with S-shaped straps. Finally, the factor that we discussed in the beginning – the look of the backpack – is also a criterion for differentiating between backpacks for men and women.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Backpack for Women

Before you get to the list of the best backpacks for women, there are a couple of questions you must ask yourself. These questions will help you analyze what you really need from a backpack and whether the backpack you choose will be able to take care of those needs.

What Will the Backpack Be Carrying?

Different people have different needs that a backpack is supposed to fulfill. For example, you could be a college student who needs to carry around books for reference as well as a laptop to complete assignments. If you go to work out after classes, you will also need space to put your gym clothes, water bottle, and other equipment. Similarly, if you carry the bag to work, it may carry your planners, laptop, as well as other personal items. Bags meant for activities outdoors have to carry clothes, shoes, and equipment, which means they will be larger than most others.

Where Will It Be Used?

How a bag looks is not the only thing that matters. There are multiple bags that are great to look at but extremely uncomfortable when you need to travel or if they have to be taken out for a hike or trek. Practicality is key. If you will be out in the wilderness, you may want to ensure that the bag is waterproof and resistant to the forces of nature. In case the bag has to be taken to a formal work environment, it needs to be simple and not over the top. If it is used for travel, security features must be present.

What Does Your Budget Look Like?

Not everyone has the budget to blow off hundreds of dollars on a bag. However, you must also remember that a bag is priced on the higher side as the materials used are of better quality and the craftsmanship is superior. If you are looking for a backpack to travel or carry to work, there will probably be a ton of more affordable options for you to turn to. Many of these are reviewed later in this guide.

Things to Consider When Buying Women’s Backpack

While buying a backpack may seem to be a fairly straightforward task, there are many different aspects that need to be brought into consideration when you are trying to make a decision. The most important of these aspects have been discussed below in some detail.

Capacity and Weight

While you may be tempted to think that the weight of a backpack is directly proportionate to its capacity, that isn’t always the case. If you are good at packing, even a small backpack with less capacity will be enough but the weight at the end is going to depend on how much you put in that backpack. Understand what you will be using the backpack for and then choose the right capacity for yourself.


There are multiple styles of backpacks available. Some of these may be on the feminine side with patterns and designs – something that is traditionally considered women-like – while others may have a more gender-neutral kind of appeal. The backpack that you choose should be in line with your aesthetic, regardless of what conventional views of beauty dictate. You can choose a bold print like florals or even stick to solid, neutral colors. In other cases, you may be inclined towards picking a bag that is advertised as a men’s bag.


Compartments are a key factor to keep in mind when you are looking for backpacks. While there are many options that come with just one large compartment, they are probably not suitable for you if you want to keep all your things safe. Backpacks for women are usually designed with more compartments, pockets and slots but there seems to be no particular reason for this. It does, however, make life so much easier if you want to know where exactly everything is in your backpack.

Place for Technology

If you are using the backpack for work or school, you may be required to carry around a laptop. Not every backpack caters for it but a separate pocket or compartment for the laptop – with padding – goes a long way in protecting your laptop from any external forces. There are backpacks that have separate pockets for your smartphone, tablet and all your chargers, which are especially helpful when you have a range of different gadgets to carry around – like most people do these days!

Resistance to Water

If you are going to be using the backpack for adventures in the outdoors, it needs to show resistance to water. While most backpacks will keep your things relatively safe from water, only the ones that have been built using materials that are water-resistant will keep your things completely dry. If you are getting a proper backpack meant for hiking, they may even offer an external cover that will protect your bag from rain or hail. Keep in mind that you may not need a 100% waterproof bag, but water resistance is important.


As we mentioned earlier, women’s backpacks are designed to be different from backpacks for men, especially when it comes to the basic structure. While both stand to benefit from padding along the back and the shoulder straps, the shape of the straps will make a ton of difference when it comes to comfort. It may be wise to try out a few different styles to understand which one is the most comfortable. If you will be wearing the backpack for long periods of time, it needs to be comfortable.


There are a few features that can help improve the security of your backpack. First, you must check for a strong zipper system. Flimsy zippers can be a deal-breaker, as they ruin the structural integrity of a backpack. There are also other security features that need to be looked into. For example, a combination lock is always helpful in keeping your belongings safe. Zippers within the compartments also make it tough for thieves to reach your valuables.


Backpacks are available at different price points. You may send hundreds of dollars on an expensive backpack made out of exquisite materials but you can also purchase a more affordable backpack that is built with sturdy material and plenty of pockets. There is something available for all budgets if you look in the right place and know what exactly you need from your backpack.


Warranty is an important factor to consider when you are purchasing a backpack. While some women’s backpacks come with a warranty of about one year, the more expensive and exclusive ones could also come with a lifetime warranty. The term lifetime warranty is sometimes misconstrued as forever, but it really just means a reasonable amount of time. Regardless, you must always check the warranty offered by the company when you pick up a backpack.


After going through this list of the best backpacks for women, you may find yourself even more confused than you were when you started your search for the perfect women’s backpack. That, however, doesn’t need to be the case, especially when you know your own needs before going into the process.

Everyone has different needs and what they want out of a backpack. If you are looking for a work backpack, some of the sleeker and more sophisticated backpacks from this list may work better. For time outside – whether it is hikes, treks or trips to the outdoors – you may want a waterproof bag that keeps all your personal belongings safe.

For school, a sturdy backpack that can carry all your books and technology will be the best option. Keep these things in mind when you choose a backpack and you are bound to be happy with your small investment in the long run!

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