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Best Women’s Travel Backpacks for Under $100

As women travelers, it’s nice to feel stylish and secure in the gear that we choose to accompany us on our adventures. After all, our travel backpack is responsible for carrying some of our most prized possessions–like that travel bidet 😉 .

We need to make sure we’re investing in the right pack.

But with a million different travel backpacks on the market with a million different features, it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole and find yourself spending hundreds of dollars on a travel backpack with a bunch of bells and whistles that you don’t even need.

Trust me, I once spent upwards of $400 on a backpacking pack that I’m still trying to figure out how to use, despite the numerous trips I’ve taken it on…

That’s why I’ve researched and rounded-up the most durable, trendsetting and budget-friendly travel backpacks for women that cost under $100.

My goal was to find the best travel backpack for women nomads that can accommodate commuters, hikers, travelers and campers–all in one pack. I found some top contenders. Let’s dive in.

Every travel pack on this list features:

  • Fits your essentials: A laptop sleeve, or hydro reservoir sleeve that can be used as a laptop sleeve

  • Don’t sweat airport security: TSA-compliant pack designs that fit under airplane seats or as carry on items

  • Stay comfortable in a secure fit: A women-specific or unisex backpack design that offers contoured and/or adjustable straps

  • Save your money for trips, not stuff: A price tag under $100 (at full price; discounts not included)

Quick View: Best Travel Packs for Women Under $100

02/06/2024 12:50 am GMT

Best for Minimalist Missions: Osprey Daylite 13L Backpack

osprey Daylite 13L Backpack

Fits laptop size: 13in.

Price: $64.95

The Osprey Daylite is designed to be the minimalist traveler and hiker’s primo pack. It’s one of my favorite because it’s a great hybrid that covers nomad and hiking needs.

This includes the necessities such as a laptop compartment that can also serve as a hydro pack compartment, sternum and waist straps for support on hikes (or running through an airport), and air mesh back panel to protect your laptop and let your back breathe.

It’s also designed to flawlessly integrate with larger Osprey packs. This hiking-meets-laptop backpack can fit laptops up to 13 in. in size. But is is very lean, with just 13L of storage space, versus most other packs with 20+L of storage.

Pros Cons
    • Chest and waist straps
    • Hydration reservoir compatible
    • Weighs just 1 lb.
    • Doesn't include hydration reservoir
    • Only holds 13 L; quite less than others on this list
  • Chest and waist straps
  • Hydration reservoir compatible
  • Weighs just 1 lb.
  • Doesn't include hydration reservoir
  • Only holds 13 L; quite less than others on this list

Best for Urban Outings: The Northface Women's Borealis Pack

northface-borealis-womens-27l-backpack-min

Fits laptop size: 15in.

Price: $99

The Women’s Borealis pack is ideal for daily commuters or minimalist travelers. However, its vast array of internal pockets and organizers and lack of a hydro reservoir pocket may not make it the best design for hikers or campers.

That being said, it’d still be a solid choice. The 360-degree reflectivity is an excellent feature that I wish I saw in more backpacks– hiking and traveling alike. An easy way to protect yourself from oncoming vehicles or catch the attention of passersby should you get lost in the woods.

It also features 3 main pockets, including one laptop pocket for up to 15in laptop and/or tablet. Let’s not forget the fleece-lined pocket specifically for protecting sunglasses–I’d like to see that feature in more hiking packs as well!

Pros Cons
    • Fleece-lined sunglasses pocket
    • American Chiropractic Association certified
    • Super padded laptop compartment (15in fit)
    • Tons of internal & external organizers
    • 360-degree reflectivity for low-light
    • No hydro reservoir compartment
    • Limited space if used for full-time travel pack
  • Fleece-lined sunglasses pocket
  • American Chiropractic Association certified
  • Super padded laptop compartment (15in fit)
  • Tons of internal & external organizers
  • 360-degree reflectivity for low-light
  • No hydro reservoir compartment
  • Limited space if used for full-time travel pack

Best for Carry-On: Cotopaxi Batac Del Dia 24L Pack

Cotopaxi Batac Del Dia 24 L Pack -min

Fits laptop size: 15in.

Price: $85

The Cotopaxi Batac Del Dia is a practical, fun and sleek backpack for travelers, hikers and commuters. It features light padding in the shoulder straps and a sternum strap if needed on day-long hikes or when carrying a heavy load around town.

But the reason I deemed this the best carry-on backpack is because of its lack of exterior straps, cords and zippers so it won’t get caught in overhead bins or underneath airplane seats. Haven’t we all had backpack straps spill into the aisle or get tangled up around someone’s foot? I know I have!

This pack will is also compliant with carry on regulations for airlines. The laptop pocket is padded so rest easy knowing your laptop will stay protected.

The pack doesn’t have a lot of small internal organizational pockets, but that may not be an issue for those who like more room and less organization. Just keep in mind that no two packs look the same: employees get to determine the color pattern of each bag, so your bag’s color pattern will be a unique surprise!

Pros Cons
    • Perfect carry-on size
    • Made of durable rip-stop nylon
    • Unique color patterns; no two are the same
    • No waist support strap
    • No hydro reservoir compartment
  • Perfect carry-on size
  • Made of durable rip-stop nylon
  • Unique color patterns; no two are the same
  • No waist support strap
  • No hydro reservoir compartment

Best for Digital Nomads: Dakine Split Adventure LT 28L Backpack

dakine-split-adventure-28l-womens-pack-min

Fits laptop size: 15in.

Price: $54-$75

The specially-designated shoe compartment, the luggage strap and the two fleece-lined, padded laptop and tablet pockets, make the Dakine Split Adventure 28L a nomad’s dream pack.

It’s a travel pack set for adventure and a way to help you capture all of the adventure’s moments, thanks to its ability to store electronics.

But it has its limits–without a waist strap and hydro reservoir pocket, you won’t want to use this for more than a casual day hike. Its split-open layout is great for quickly being able to find, and grab, anything you need, but not ideal for spreading open on the hiking trail. I’d be hesitant to store more than a snack in its front mesh pocket as well in fear of someone stealing the item.

Pros Cons
    • Padded laptop and tablet sleeves
    • Shoe storage pouch
    • Split-open style for quick-grab access
    • No waist strap
    • Not ideal for hiking or camping
  • Padded laptop and tablet sleeves
  • Shoe storage pouch
  • Split-open style for quick-grab access
  • No waist strap
  • Not ideal for hiking or camping

Best for Winter Adventures: Burton Day Hiker 22L Backpack

burton-Day Hiker 22L Backpack

Fits laptop size: 18in x 10in

Price: $85

The Burton Day Hiker 22L is a great choice for those adventurers who like to bounce between the office and the slopes.

While this pack makes for a great hiking backpack, the features that make it perfect for skiers and snowboarders include glove-friendly buckles, a low profile for sitting on chairlifts, fleece-lined accessories pocket to keep valuables dry, coated and treated water resistant exterior, and a compression system for vertically-carrying snowboards.

When it comes to office mode, you can use the hydro reservoir pocket to carry your laptop or tablet.

Pros Cons
    • Removable hip belt
    • Internal sleeve fits hydro reservoir or laptop
    • External daisy chain to hold extra gear
    • Glove-friendly buckles
    • Hydro reservoir not included
    • Minimal back panel padding
  • Removable hip belt
  • Internal sleeve fits hydro reservoir or laptop
  • External daisy chain to hold extra gear
  • Glove-friendly buckles
  • Hydro reservoir not included
  • Minimal back panel padding

Best for Day Hikes: Mystery Ranch In & Out 22L Pack

mystery-ranch-in-and-out-22l

Fits laptop size: unclear–can use 2L hydro reservoir pocket

Price: $64-$99

The Mystery Ranch In & Out is a super lightweight backpack that features all of the hiking necessities while remaining extremely compact. Hydration compatible with 2L bladders, a deep and stretchy water bottle pocket, rugged Cordura ripstop nylon to combat snags and rips, and compression side straps for locked-in comfort and security.

But what it boasts in hiking features, it lacks in commuter features; no laptop or tablet sleeve and no pack frame for real support. You can use the hydro sleeve as a bare-bones laptop compartment.

Hands-down its coolest feature though is that fact that it can fold up and literally zipper up into itself as an ultra-compact stuff sack!

Pros Cons
    • Extreme stealth; packs up into itself
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Compression straps
    • No laptop sleeve
    • Frameless; minimal pack support structure
  • Extreme stealth; packs up into itself
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Compression straps
  • No laptop sleeve
  • Frameless; minimal pack support structure

Best Travel Day Pack: Gregory Nano 22L Hydro Pack

gregory-nano-22l-min

Fits laptop size: 15in.– can use hydro reservoir pocket

Price: $66-$90

The Gregory Nano 22L is my personal go-to hiking backpack (read my in-depth review here).

Its ruck sack design provides endless storage space that fits all of my essentials (even my heavy Nikon D3300 camera that I wrap up in my windbreaker) while keeping a lightweight feel thanks to its frameless build. 

This pack officially transitioned me from water bottles to hydro reservoirs–the bladder design and pocket layout is incredibly efficient and easy to fill and remove.

Although this travel backpack doesn’t have a laptop pocket, it can technically fit my 15in laptop–and has a thick, foam padded back panel that provides protection. The water bottle side pocket is deep and big, so if you’re more of a water bottle kinda gal, don’t worry about your water bottle slipping out when you bend over.

Pros Cons
    • 3L hydro reservoir included
    • Vented foam back panel
    • Removable hip belt
    • No laptop sleeve
    • No organizational internal pockets
  • 3L hydro reservoir included
  • Vented foam back panel
  • Removable hip belt
  • No laptop sleeve
  • No organizational internal pockets

Best Trekking Backpack: REI Co-op Women's Trail 25 Pack

rei-coop-25l-trail-womens-pack-min

Fits laptop size: 15in.– can use hydro reservoir pocket

Price: $79.95

The REI Co-op Women’s Trail 25 is the best hiking and trekking backpack on this list thanks to its specially-designated exterior trekking attachments and ruck sack design for easy-access to items.

One of its most unique features is the included rain cover that covers the whole pack and can fit into one of the pockets. Speaking of pockets, it boasts 5 external pockets on top of its main compartment.

With a built-in frame, padded shoulder straps, hip belt and sternum strap, this trekking backpack is a solid choice for any frequent adventurer. And even though it doesn’t “technically” have a laptop pocket, it can fit up to a 15 in. laptop in the hydration bladder pocket.

Pros Cons
    • Made of recycled ripstop nylon
    • Rain cover included
    • Trekking pole attachments
    • Padded shoulder straps too stiff for some
    • Lid pocket causes pack to tip over when full
  • Made of recycled ripstop nylon
  • Rain cover included
  • Trekking pole attachments
  • Padded shoulder straps too stiff for some
  • Lid pocket causes pack to tip over when full

Best Commuter Pack: Black Diamond Logos 26L Backpack

black-diamond-Logos-26L-Backpack

Fits laptop size: 15in.

Price: $69.95

The Black Diamond Logos 26L is a great choice for minimalist commuters looking for a low-profile, durable and stylish pack to carry their essentials around town.

Its padded shoulder straps, internal organizer pocket, padded laptop sleeve, adjustable chest strap and deep, stretchy water bottle pocket make this a great daypack for comfortably boppin’ around town.

It’s a very simple design with just one main compartment and one external zippered pocket–it won’t be the most versatile pack for taking on hikes or camping with.

Pros Cons
    • Durable YKK zippers
    • Padded laptop sleeve
    • Easy-to-clean recycled nylon exterior
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Not designed for hydration reservoir
    • No hip belt
  • Durable YKK zippers
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Easy-to-clean recycled nylon exterior
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Not designed for hydration reservoir
  • No hip belt

Best for Big Hikes: Thule AllTrail 15L Backpack

Thule AllTrail 15L Backpack

Fits laptop size: Tablet or laptops under 13in. in hydro reservoir pocket

Price: $75-$90

The Thule AllTrail 15L Backpack is designed for hikers bagging big peaks or commuters that need a pack as sleek and nimble as their commute.

It packs a lot of features into little space: trekking pole attachments, front daisy chains, lightly padded and supportive shoulder straps and back panel, hydro bladder pocket, zippered exterior and interior pockets and side compression straps. Whew!

The most limiting commuter feature of this pack is its lack of a real laptop compartment; you can use the 1.75L hydro bladder pocket as a makeshift one, but even that will only fit small laptops or a tablet.

Pros Cons
    • Zippered pocket on shoulder strap for quick phone access
    • Ultra lightweight but durable
    • Sternum and hip straps
    • Only fits small laptops or tablet in hydro reservoir pocket
    • Doesn't come with hydration bladder
    • Limited storage space
  • Zippered pocket on shoulder strap for quick phone access
  • Ultra lightweight but durable
  • Sternum and hip straps
  • Only fits small laptops or tablet in hydro reservoir pocket
  • Doesn't come with hydration bladder
  • Limited storage space

Most Versatile Backpack: Sherpani Camden 19L Tote Pack

sherpani-camden-pack

Fits laptop size: 15in.

Price: $60-$100

The Sherpani Camden Tote Pack has you covered for any travel activity– from a day at the beach, to a friend’s house, a casual hike, boppin’ around town, or even going international.

You have three different ways to wear it: across your chest like a satchel, hand-held as a tote bag, or on your shoulders as a backpack. Straps are adjustable and removable and the pack is made of recycled polyester. The trolley sleeve, RFID lower pocket lining, padded laptop sleeve and 5+ zippered pockets make this an ideal airport companion pack.

But if you want to use this for more rugged adventures like hiking, it isn’t the most practical design. Without a hydro reservoir sleeve and port, and lack of ventilation on the shoulder straps and back panel, you might have trouble staying cool and conveniently hydrated.

Pros Cons
    • Tote/crossover/backpack style
    • Trolley sleeve attaches to luggage
    • Front lower pocket anti-theft RFID lining
    • Lifetime warranty
    • No hydration bladder pocket
    • Back panel and straps not ventilated
  • Tote/crossover/backpack style
  • Trolley sleeve attaches to luggage
  • Front lower pocket anti-theft RFID lining
  • Lifetime warranty
  • No hydration bladder pocket
  • Back panel and straps not ventilated

Best Camera Backpack: BagSmart DSLR Camera Backpack

bagsmart-waterproof-camera-bag

Fits laptop size: 15in.

Price: $74.99

The BagSmart Camera Bag is the ultimate media backpack for traveling photographers and videographers.

This travel daypack can hold a DSLR camera and up to 5 camera lenses, boasts a separate padded laptop sleeve, 2 large side pockets that can hold a tripod or water bottle, and front zippered pockets for quick access to your trinkets like a camera lens cover, SD card, keys, or phone.

In many ways, this pack’s design resembles that of a high-end hardshell media suitcase. The removable padded dividers and ruck sack style top opening give you a bird’s eye view of everything in your pack and quick access to grabbing whatever you need.

If you want to use this day pack for hiking, you can remove the padded dividers for a bigger compartment and more storage space.

Pros Cons
    • Customizable storage with removable padded dividers
    • Lockable zippers for anti-theft
    • Waterproof canvas to protect electronics
    • Padded laptop sleeve with shock-absorbent bottom
    • Doesn't make sense for hikes unless you're carrying a camera or big electronics
  • Customizable storage with removable padded dividers
  • Lockable zippers for anti-theft
  • Waterproof canvas to protect electronics
  • Padded laptop sleeve with shock-absorbent bottom
  • Doesn't make sense for hikes unless you're carrying a camera or big electronics

Best for Multi-Day Trips: ZomFelt Rolling Travel Backpack

zomfelt-rolling-backpack

Fits laptop size: 17.3in.

Price: $79.99

The ZomFelt Rolling Travel Pack is your carry on luggage and travel backpack all in one.

It’s the only pack on the list that can also be used a wheeled suitcase and boasts 45L of storage space, which includes 3 packing cubes. Its interior is organized into a combination of main compartment, zippered and mesh storage pockets, giving you a place to fit everything: clothes, shoes, toiletries, workout equipment, and other essentials.

This pack comes with wheel covers so the wheels won’t get your clothes dirty when you wear it as a backpack. The adjustable telescoping handle can be stored away. This pack is a little bulky and heavy for hiking or running around a new city all day, but it’s super ideal for weekend getaways or overnight adventures.

Pros Cons
    • Multi-functional rolling luggage or backpack
    • Includes 3 packing cubes
    • Extra large laptop storage (17.3in)
    • 45L storage capacity for multi-day trips
    • Weighs 6 lbs.– heavy for a backpack
    • Not practical for hiking or camping
  • Multi-functional rolling luggage or backpack
  • Includes 3 packing cubes
  • Extra large laptop storage (17.3in)
  • 45L storage capacity for multi-day trips
  • Weighs 6 lbs.– heavy for a backpack
  • Not practical for hiking or camping

Best Rock Climbing Backpack: Mountainsmith Divide 16L Backpack

mountainsmith-divide-16l-backpack-min

Fits laptop size: 16in.

Price: $89.95

The Mountainsmith Divide 16L is a simple, practical travel backpack ideal for those who bounce between the office and the mountains (or climbing gym).

The padded, separate laptop compartment will ensure your laptop stays protected from the dust and dirt kicked up while you #sendit.

The pack’s interior mesh zippered pocket can stash your valuables for quick access. The two water bottle pockets mean you have room for your water and coffee thermos. From the office, straight to the outdoors. It may not provide the most support for longer hikes without support straps, but it wouldn’t let you down.

Pros Cons
    • Soft-lined pockets for sunglasses and phone
    • Air mesh shoulder straps and back panel
    • Separate zippered laptop compartment
    • Front daisy chains to hang climbing shoes
    • No hip or chest support straps
    • No hydro reservoir compartment
  • Soft-lined pockets for sunglasses and phone
  • Air mesh shoulder straps and back panel
  • Separate zippered laptop compartment
  • Front daisy chains to hang climbing shoes
  • No hip or chest support straps
  • No hydro reservoir compartment

Best Style Backpack: Herschel Retreat 19.5L Backpack

herschel-retreat-backpack

Fits laptop size: 15in.

Price: $85-$95

The Herschel Retreat 19.5L Backpack is a throwback to old school days with a modern twist built for today’s electronic essentials (phone, laptop, tablet).

It has enough space and padding that it could also comfortably store a DSLR camera. Admittedly this pack isn’t ideal for hiking because of its boxy design, lack of hydro reservoir pocket, water bottle pocket and support straps.

But it’s got a lot to offer digital nomads and young tech professionals commuting between the gym, office and casual outdoor adventures.

Pros Cons
    • Padded, fleece-lined laptop sleeve
    • Soft leather straps for vintage feel
    • Ruck sack style with strong magnetic closures
    • Boxy design; may not be comfortable for long hikes
    • No hip or chest straps
    • No water bottle pocket
  • Padded, fleece-lined laptop sleeve
  • Soft leather straps for vintage feel
  • Ruck sack style with strong magnetic closures
  • Boxy design; may not be comfortable for long hikes
  • No hip or chest straps
  • No water bottle pocket

Budget-Friendly Women's Travel Packs: Which One Suits You?

Finding the perfect travel companion doesn’t have to break the bank, especially when it comes to women’s backpacks. Need room to throw in that cute travel dress, or maybe that clunky DSLR camera? Not a problem.

This curated list of the best women’s travel backpacks under $100 showcases a diverse range of options that seamlessly blend style, functionality, and affordability.

From ample storage space to thoughtful design features, these backpacks cater to the modern female traveler’s needs without compromising on quality. 

Elevate your travel experience without emptying your wallet, as these backpacks redefine affordable excellence for the savvy female traveler.

Ready to put your pack to the test? Check out my adventure-packed itineraries!

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Transparency note: please keep in mind that some links in my articles may be affiliate links, to which I may make a small commission at no extra to you, should you book travel or buy a product or service through one of these links. I only recommend products or services created by brands I know and trust. 

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