4 Best Day Hiking Backpack For Petite Female

4 Best Day Hiking Backpack For Petite Female Osprey Tempest 20, Gregory Jade 28, REI Co-op Flash 22, and Deuter Speed Lite 22 SL—set in a diverse outdoor environment

When it comes to selecting the best day hiking backpack for petite females, several factors come into play, including comfort, weight, fit, and functionality. Petite women often face unique challenges in finding a backpack that fits their shorter torsos while still providing ample storage and support. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top-day hiking backpacks that cater specifically to petite women, ensuring an enjoyable and comfortable hiking experience.

Importance of Choosing the Right Backpack

Selecting the right backpack is crucial for any hiking enthusiast. A poorly fitting backpack can lead to discomfort, back pain, and fatigue, detracting from the overall hiking experience. For petite females, finding a backpack with an adjustable fit, adequate padding, and a design that distributes weight evenly is essential. Here, we present the top contenders that meet these criteria, offering the perfect balance of comfort, functionality, and style.

Top Features to Look for in a Day Hiking Backpack

When choosing a day hiking backpack, consider the following features:

1. Adjustable Torso Length

Backpacks with adjustable torso lengths are ideal for petite women as they allow for a customized fit. Brands like Osprey and Gregory offer models with adjustable suspension systems that can be tailored to fit shorter torsos.

2. Lightweight Design

A lightweight backpack reduces the strain on your back and shoulders. Look for backpacks made from durable yet lightweight materials, such as nylon or polyester.

3. Ventilation System

A good ventilation system helps keep your back cool and dry. Mesh back panels and strategic ventilation channels are common features in high-quality daypacks.

4. Padding and Support

Adequate padding on the shoulder straps and hip belt is crucial for comfort. Look for backpacks with well-padded and contoured straps that conform to the body’s natural shape.

5. Multiple Compartments

Multiple compartments and pockets help keep your gear organized and easily accessible. Look for backpacks with a variety of storage options, including side pockets, hip belt pockets, and internal organizers.

6. Hydration Compatibility

Many hikers prefer using hydration bladders for easy access to water. Ensure the backpack has a dedicated hydration sleeve and ports for the drinking tube.

Related: Travel Backpacks for Petite Females

Best Day Hiking Backpacks for Petite Females

1. Osprey Tempest 20

Osprey Tempest 20 backpack in an outdoor hiking environment
Osprey Tempest 20 backpack

The Osprey Tempest 20 is a standout choice for petite women, thanks to its versatile design and comfortable fit.


  • Capacity: 20 liters
  • Weight: 1 lb. 14.6 oz.
  • Adjustable torso length: Offers a customized fit for different torso sizes
  • AirScape back panel: Provides excellent ventilation
  • BioStretch harness and hip belt: Ensures comfort and stability
  • Multiple pockets: Including side stretch mesh pockets and a front panel bungee


  • Lightweight and durable
  • Excellent ventilation system
  • Adjustable fit for petite frames


  • Hip belt pockets are too small for larger smartphones
  • Narrow hydration sleeve

2. Gregory Jade 28

Gregory Jade 28 backpack in an outdoor forest setting
Gregory Jade 28 backpack

The Gregory Jade 28 is designed with petite women in mind, offering a perfect blend of comfort and functionality.


  • Capacity: 28 liters
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 10 oz.
  • FreeFloat suspension system: Allows for a customized fit and dynamic comfort
  • Breathable back panel: Enhances airflow and reduces sweat buildup
  • Easy-access zippers: Designed for quick and effortless access to the main compartment
  • Integrated rain cover: Keeps your gear dry in wet conditions


  • Excellent support and ventilation
  • Adjustable torso length
  • Integrated rain cover for added protection


  • Heavier than some other daypacks
  • Premium price point

3. REI Co-op Flash 22

REI Co-op Flash 22 backpack in a scenic mountain trail setting
REI Co-op Flash 22 backpack

The REI Co-op Flash 22 is a minimalist yet highly functional daypack, perfect for short hikes and casual outings.


  • Capacity: 22 liters
  • Weight: 0.81 lbs.
  • Padded shoulder straps: Provides adequate comfort for light loads
  • Removable back panel: Adds structure and can be removed for lighter-weight
  • Multiple pockets: Including a zippered top lid pocket and side stretch pockets
  • Hydration compatibility: Includes a hydration reservoir sleeve


  • Lightweight and packable
  • Affordable price
  • Simple yet functional design


  • Minimal padding may not be suitable for heavier loads
  • Limited organizational features

4. Deuter Speed Lite 22 SL

Deuter Speed Lite 22 SL backpack in a rugged outdoor adventure setting
Deuter Speed Lite 22 SL backpack

The Deuter Speed Lite 22 SL is a women-specific pack designed for speed and agility on the trail.


  • Capacity: 22 liters
  • Weight: 1 lb. 5 oz.
  • SL Women’s Fit: Shorter back length and narrower shoulder straps for a better fit
  • Lite Air back system: Provides lightweight comfort and ventilation
  • Removable hip belt: Adds versatility for different hiking needs
  • Hydration system compatible: Includes a hydration sleeve and tube ports


  • The women-specific design ensures a better fit for petite frames
  • Lightweight and well-ventilated
  • Versatile and adjustable features


  • Limited capacity for longer hikes
  • Minimal hip belt padding

Tips for Finding the Perfect Fit

Finding the perfect day hiking backpack involves more than just selecting the right features. Here are some tips to ensure a proper fit:

1. Measure Your Torso Length

Knowing your torso length is crucial for selecting a backpack that fits well. Use a flexible tape measure to find the distance between the bony bump at the base of your neck (C7 vertebra) and the top of your hip bones (iliac crest).

2. Try Before You Buy

If possible, visit a store and try on different backpacks. Load them with weight to simulate a real hiking scenario and adjust the straps to see how they feel.

3. Adjust the Straps Properly

Ensure that the shoulder straps, hip belts, and load lifters are properly adjusted. The hip belt should sit on your hip bones, and the shoulder straps should wrap comfortably around your shoulders without causing pressure points.

4. Consider Your Gear

Think about what gear you typically carry on a day hike. Choose a backpack with enough capacity and organizational features to accommodate your essentials.

5. Read Reviews

Reading reviews from other petite hikers can provide valuable insights into the fit and performance of different backpacks. Look for reviews that mention similar body types and hiking preferences.

Final Words

Selecting the best day hiking backpack for a petite female requires careful consideration of several factors, including fit, comfort, and functionality. The Osprey Tempest 20, Gregory Jade 28, REI Co-op Flash 22, and Deuter Speed Lite 22 SL are excellent options that cater specifically to the needs of petite women.

By focusing on adjustable features, lightweight designs, and adequate support, these backpacks ensure a comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience. Remember to measure your torso length, try on different backpacks, and read reviews to find the perfect fit for your next outdoor adventure.