The adjective petite is used to describe a small woman with narrow shoulders and a short torso. When you love hiking, being petite can be a good thing because it makes it easier to be light-footed and flexible when the conditions are challenging.
On the other hand, it can be challenging to find a backpack that fits your body type. The team here at Klapstar decided to do something about that.
We sent three petite women hiking all summer to test backpacks and give us feedback. The result is this article with the top five best hiking backpacks for small females.
Read also: How To Make The Darker Season Brighter.
The Top 5 Best Hiking Backpacks For Petite Women
We put together this list after months of research and testing. Our criteria are simple: the best backpacks for short women who enjoy hiking should be comfortable, fit well, have pockets that are easy to access, and should last a long time.
Our rankings are based on our team’s experience and the feedback from the three petite women who spent all summer testing backpacks. The backpacks are ranked based on:
- The internal frame and its comfort
- Ease of entry/exit from the main compartment
- Ability to fit the pack’s torso, hipbelt, and other customizations for a short female body
- Organization of pockets for easy access to essentials while hiking
- Durability, quality control, warranty
1. Osprey Fairview 40 Women’s Travel Backpack
Our pick for the top backpack is the Osprey Fairview 40 Women’s Travel Backpack. This pack has great features to make your hiking experience better. It is made with lightweight, durable material, and it is waterproof. It can fit all your essentials with plenty of extra space for smaller accessories like sunglasses or snacks. The straps are adjustable, so you can customize them and fit them into your body. The hip belt is also adjustable, so you feel comfortable while carrying the pack.
- It has lots of parts that make it easy to adjust the backpack to fit your body. The waist belt transfers weight off your shoulders and onto your hips, leaving you with more energy while hiking. It also has a section in the back where you can slide in a hydration pack for hiking.
The not so good:
- It is pretty pricey but worth it.
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2. Gregory Mountain Products Jade 38 Liter Women’s Hiking Backpack
Coming in second place is the Gregory Mountain Products Jade 38 Liter Women’s Hiking Backpack. It has great features like adjustable straps, a built-in rain cover, and many pockets for organization. The pack also comes with a very comfortable hip belt that fits perfectly on petite women.
- This pack feels lightweight on your back even though it weighs 4.5 pounds. The chest strap, waist belt, and shoulder straps are adjustable so you can get the fit just right. It has a hydration sleeve where you can slide in a bladder for water while hiking. There is also space to store snacks or other accessories like sunglasses or sunscreen.
The not so good:
- The side pockets are tiny and difficult to access
3. Osprey Sirrus 36 Women’s Hiking Backpack
In third place, we have the Osprey Sirrus 36 Women’s Hiking Backpack. This pack has great features like a pocket for your water bladder and adjustable straps. The hip belt is very comfortable and fits a petite lady’s waist perfectly. The pack also has many pockets for organization. The mesh fabric on the back of the pack also keeps your back from feeling sweaty after a long hike.
- This pack has a lot of pockets that are easy to access. It also comes with an adjustable hip belt that makes the backpack sit comfortably on your hips. The shoulder straps are padded, so walking with the backpack feels much more comfortable.
The not so good:
- You can’t feel the difference in size between the two first backpacks, which means you lose 4 liters of space without gaining an advantage in comfort.
4. Deuter Women’s Trail Pro 30 Sl Hiking Backpack
In fourth place, we have the Deuter Women’s Trail Pro 30 Sl Hiking Backpack. It comes with a rain cover and a top-loading pack with a U-shaped zipper, making it much easier to access your things. It has adjustable shoulder straps that make it easy to fit this backpack into your body. The hip belt is also flexible and has a pocket to keep snacks or other items to make the pack more comfortable.
- The zippers slide easily, making them less difficult to open. The pack also has adjustable straps that make it easy to adjust this backpack into your body shape. The hip belt is very comfortable, and it has a pocket where you can store things like snacks or sunscreen.
The not so good:
- The waist belt is not thick enough, which makes it slightly uncomfortable on your stomach.
5. DEUTER Unisex – Adult’s Trans-Alpine 30 Bicycle Backpack
In fifth place, we have the DEUTER Unisex – Adult’s Trans-Alpine 30 Bicycle Backpack. The bicycle pack is made from a net-mesh fabric that covers the back and shoulder straps. This allows air to pass through the backpack, preventing you from sweating on your hike. The pack also has two fleece-lined pockets where you can put sunglasses or other accessories.
- The pockets in this backpack are excellent for storing small items like keys, sunglasses, or even snacks. The pack also has two front pockets that are great for placing things like water bottles or maps.
The not so good:
- The material on the shoulder straps is fragile and can be uncomfortable on your shoulders if you choose to wear the backpack for a long time.
Read Also: Bike Camping For Beginners.
What To Look For In A Backpack For Small Women
When you’re searching for a backpack, it’s essential to look at a few different qualities. The backpack’s weight should be light enough that it’s easy to handle but heavy enough that it is worth carrying on long trips. You have to consider whether or not you want pockets in your pack so you can keep small items organized in different compartments.
Fit And Size
The best way to measure your torso length is to stand straight and bend your head forward as if you were looking down at the ground. Put your hands on your hips and measure from the iliac crest (hip bone) to the C7 vertebra (top of your shoulder). If you’re still not sure whether or not a backpack will fit you, it’s best to visit a store and try on different backpacks. You can also measure your torso length by using this guide.
The size of the backpack is essential because if it’s too small, there won’t be enough space to put all of your things. If it’s too big, the weight will feel uncomfortable on your shoulders, and you won’t be able to adjust it properly.
Type and Model
The type of backpack you choose is a personal preference. Some people prefer a top-loading pack because they find side pockets annoying when snacks fall out of them or have trouble sliding items into them. Others prefer a top-loading pack because they don’t have to unpack everything to access something at the bottom of their pack.
The two most popular backpacks are internal frame and external frame packs, but it’s essential to realize that there is no universal best type of backpack for hikers. Your choice depends on your size, weight preference, and what you’re most comfortable with.
Hiking Tips For Petite Women
On their quest to find out what backpack fits petite women best, our test panel picked up a few tips & tricks for petite women that would like to go hiking.
When you’re on a hike, your backpack mustn’t fit too tightly. This will be uncomfortable for you and could throw off your balance. The best way to figure out if the pack is suitable for you is by trying it on in the store before buying it.
If you have trouble fitting all of your stuff into the pack, it could be too small for your body. The best way to solve this problem is by getting a bigger backpack or being more selective about what you put into it. If you have trouble packing enough stuff because there isn’t much room, you might want to buy a smaller backpack so that your items don’t shift around as much.
Use Comfortable Shoes
When you hike, it’s essential to find shoes that are lightweight but also protect your feet. Hiking boots aren’t always the best choice because they can make your feet feel like they’re in a vice if you’ve chosen too small of a size. Instead, it might be better to choose hiking shoes or low-cut sneakers.
It’s also essential to find shoes that have the correct type of soles. If you’re going on a wet hike, it’s vital to choose shoes with a sturdy sole, so your feet don’t slide around as much.
Don’t Forget To Bring Enough Water
You must always bring enough water with you on a hike. If it’s possible, fill up your water bottle before you leave to be sure that you can stay hydrated throughout the entire trip.
If you don’t feel like bringing water on your hiking trip, you can also try drinking more than average beforehand, so you’ll have to use the bathroom often, so you don’t have to carry as much water.
Another good idea is to bring a hydration system instead of drinking bottles. With this, you don’t have to carry around heavy water bottles and stay hydrated throughout the trip. This also means that you can bring less water with you or leave your backpack for something else.
Let People Know Where You Are Going
Even though you plan on only going for a short hike, let people know where you are going and how long you intend to stay there. If you are involved in an accident, this provides you with safety because someone will eventually start looking for you and know where to search.
You can read more about this good habit in our article about the mountain weather rules.