Updated: January 11, 2017
There are a lot of running backpacks on the market but not all of them are made with the woman runner in mind.
We’ve gone through pretty much every running backpack designed for women and come up with our Top 10 List. But still, that’s 10 different packs you have to choose from. So, we went a step further and created a quick guide to backpacks for all women runners.
If you’re already an expert and want to skip the guide, you can click here to jump straight to our Top 10 List.
Women’s Guide to Running Backpacks
Whether you’re looking for a backpack to commute to work, hit the trails, or compete in a race you still need to know what to look for in a pack.
We’re going to cover 5 main features that every woman should consider:
Straps, straps, and more straps. There are essentially 3 main straps that you need to consider:
- Shoulder straps.
- Padded, but not bulky
- Well stitched to prevent wear and tear
- Ventilated (i.e. mesh components) if you’ll be running in the heat
- Chest straps.
- Adjustable horizontally and verically (i.e. along the shoudler strap; ladies this is important)
- Waist straps.
- Good padding around torso and lower back
Color. Seriously? Yes, seriously. For starters, if you’re going to be running at night then you’ll probably want something brighter (i.e. oranges and yellows) or at least a pack with reflective tape.
However, if you’re not running at night then you may want to consider a pack that matches your shoes. Who wants to spend all that money and not look good? 🙂
Before we talk about how the backpack should technically fit, we consider comfort to be one of the most important features. So, the ultimate test is really stuffing some of your gear into the pack and walking around.
To get more technical, a good backpack will be one that is adjustable to a postion of good posture.
You should be able to adjust the pack to fit your natural posture, not adjusting your posture to fit the pack.
Your ideal bag position will depend a lot on how much weight you’re carrying nad how you run. Basically your shoulders and hips are your main load bearing points. When fitting the pack you’ll want to adjust the shoulder straps, then the waist straps, and lastly the chest straps. The snugger (but still comfortable) the fit, the better.
With that said, if you’re still not sure on size, a 20 liter backpack is typically a good starting point.
There are really 2 main types of hydration: bottles and bladders.
We recommend you have at least 1 hip holster and space available in the main compartment for a bladder regardless of your preference.
Here’s why: things change. One day you may want to use your pack for a run to work and the last thing you want is a bottle bouncing around your hips. But the next day you may want to convert your running backpack into a daypack for a nice hike and the hip holster becomes the perfect feature.
The golden rule is: smaller is better.
Unfortunately smaller is not always feasible. Essentially you need to ask yourself: “What am I going to be carrying in my pack?”
We recommend you grab a pen and paper (yes, actually pen and paper) and jot down all the items you might consider putting in your bag.
Now it’s time to hit the road with these options in mind and keep your eyes on the finish line instead of thinking about your gear.
Top 10 Running Backpacks for Women in 2018
There are 3 main types of running backpacks:
Our following list includes all types.
|1||Camelbak Women’s Aurora||$$$$|
|2||Ultimate Direction Women’s Ultra Vest||$$$|
|3||Osprey Women’s Mira 18||$$$$|
|4||Gregory Pace 5||$$|
|5||Salomon Agile 7||$$$|
|6||Deuter Speed Lite 20||$$$|
|7||Camden Gear Hydration Pack||$|
|8||High Sierra Women’s Propel 70||$|
|9||Nike Cheyenne Vapor 2||$$$|
|10||North Face Women’s Angstrom 20||$$$$|
Which Pack Should You Choose?
It really depends on what you’re using the pack for. Here’s a starting point.
Lightweight. Camelbak Aurora, Ultimate Direction Ultra Vest, Gregory Pace 5, Salomon Agile 7, Camden Gear, or the High Sierra Propel 70.
Traditional. Deuter Speed Lite 20 or the Nike Cheyenne Vapor 2.
Rough and Tough. North Face Angstrom 20 or the Osprey Mira 18.
New. Dakine Drafter!
Let us know in the comments how you like your new pack. Also, if you think we missed an awesome pack then let us know that too!