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7 Best Backpacks for Women Over 50

By Sandra Roussy December 07, 2023 Lifestyle

Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or simply embracing the adventures of daily life, there’s one essential accessory that transcends generational divides: the backpack. Far from being confined to the realms of youth, the modern backpack has evolved into a versatile and stylish item that perfectly complements the dynamic lifestyles of women who appreciate both fashion and function.

  1. AWAY The Front Pocket Backpack – This AWAY backpack is a stylish and functional daypack designed for on-the-go lifestyles, featuring a convenient front pocket for quick access to essentials. With comfortable straps and plenty of space, it’s perfect for those seeking a well-organized daypack.
  2. Cotopaxi Lagos 25L Hydration Pack – This backpack is an excellent choice for hikers, offering a generous capacity, integrated hydration reservoir, and comfortable adjustable straps. Its durable and water-resistant design ensures readiness for various outdoor conditions, making it a perfect companion for trail adventures.
  3. Osprey TRANSPORTER® CARRY-ON 44 – The Osprey Transporter® Carry-On 44 is an ideal travel companion with its rugged, weather-resistant design and ample storage. It offers hassle-free airport use, secure organization, and comfortable backpack-style carry, making it a great choice for travelers seeking both durability and functionality.
  4. Osprey FAIRVIEW® WHEELED TRAVEL PACK CARRY-ON 36L/21.5″ – This Osprey backpack is a convenient travel companion, offering a compact size with a large capacity. It seamlessly combines the benefits of a backpack and rolling luggage, featuring comfortable carrying options and practical organization features, making it an excellent choice for modern travelers on short getaways or extended trips.
  5. MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS Logo Slater Medium Backpack at Macy’s – This fashionable backpack combines style and functionality with its iconic logo pattern and well-organized, spacious interior. Its versatility, adjustable straps, and top handle make it suitable for various situations, whether for daily commuting, errands, or urban exploration.
  6. Patagonia Ascensionist Pack 35L – The Patagonia 35L is a lightweight and eco-conscious adventure companion, offering ample space for gear and a minimalist design ideal for outdoor activities. With ergonomic features like gear loops, attachment points, and comfortable straps, it’s a top choice for sustainability-minded adventurers seeking both performance and durability.
  7. Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole® Tote Pack 27L – This transformable backpack is a versatile bag that easily converts from a tote to a backpack. With 27 liters of space, it’s great for day trips and is made from durable, weather-resistant materials with plenty of pockets and a padded laptop sleeve.

Different Types of Backpacks

Backpacks come in various types, each designed to serve specific purposes and cater to different needs. Here are some common types of backpacks for women over 50.


Daypacks are small to medium-sized backpacks designed for short trips, hikes, or daily use. They typically have a single compartment and are perfect for carrying essentials.

Hiking Backpacks

These are designed for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. They often come with multiple compartments, hydration reservoir sleeves, and comfortable harness systems for carrying gear during long treks.

Travel Backpacks

Travel backpacks are designed for globetrotters and often have features like lockable zippers, adjustable straps, and compartments for organizing clothing and accessories.

Rolling Backpacks

Ideal for travelers or students who want to minimize the strain on their back, rolling backpacks have wheels and a retractable handle for easy transport.

Fashion Backpacks

These are designed with a focus on style and aesthetics. They often come in a variety of colors and materials, making them suitable for both casual and formal occasions.

Adventure Backpacks

These are built for extreme conditions and large loads, typically used by mountaineers for high-altitude expeditions.

Convertible Backpacks

These convenient backpacks can be transformed into different styles, such as shoulder bags, tote bags, or crossbody bags, providing flexibility for various occasions.

These are just a few examples of the diverse range of backpacks available to cater to different activities, lifestyles, and preferences. The right backpack for you will depend on your specific needs and how you plan to use it.

What to Look for in a Backpack

When shopping for a backpack, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that you choose the right one for your specific needs.

Size and Capacity

Consider what you’ll be carrying in the backpack. Backpacks come in various sizes and capacities, so choose one that can comfortably accommodate your belongings without being too bulky.

Comfort and Fit

Look for a backpack with padded shoulder straps, a padded back, and an adjustable harness or strap system. The fit should be comfortable and snug without causing strain on your shoulders or back.


Choose a backpack made from high-quality materials to ensure it can withstand wear and tear. Reinforced stitching and sturdy zippers are also essential for longevity.

Compartments and Pockets

Think about how you like to organize your items. Backpacks with multiple compartments, pockets, and organization options can help keep your gear tidy and accessible.

Laptop or Device Compatibility

If you plan to carry a laptop or other electronic devices, select a backpack with a padded and secure compartment designed to protect your tech gear.

Water Resistance

Look for a backpack with water-resistant or waterproof materials if you’ll be using it in wet or unpredictable weather conditions.


Consider the weight of the empty backpack, especially if you’ll be carrying it for long periods. Lightweight backpacks are often more comfortable for extended use.


For activities that make you sweat, like hiking, choose a backpack with good ventilation in the back panel to reduce discomfort from moisture buildup.

Closure Type

Backpacks can have various closure types, such as zippers, drawstrings, or buckles. Choose one that suits your preference and security needs.

Security Features

If you’re concerned about theft, look for backpacks with anti-theft features like lockable zippers or hidden pockets.

Straps and Attachment Points

Consider straps, loops, and attachment points for items like trekking poles, water bottles, or a sleeping bag.

Style and Design

Your backpack’s style and design should align with your personal taste and the intended use. There are fashionable, sporty, and functional designs available.

Brand and Warranty

Reputable brands often offer better quality and warranties. Research brands known for their backpacks and consider their warranty policies.

User Reviews

Read reviews and gather feedback from others who have used the backpack for similar purposes. They can provide valuable insights into the backpack’s performance and durability.

By considering these factors and weighing your specific needs against them, you can choose a backpack that’s tailored to your lifestyle and preferences.

Best Backpacks for Women Over 50

Best Daypack

AWAY The Front Pocket Backpack

AWAY The Front Pocket Backpack

The AWAY Front Pocket Backpack is a sleek and stylish daypack designed for on-the-go lifestyles. With its minimalist design and premium materials, it combines style with functionality.

The best feature is the convenient front pocket, providing quick access to essentials like your phone, wallet, or keys. The spacious interior can easily accommodate a laptop, notebooks, and daily essentials. Comfortable padded straps and an ergonomic back panel ensure all-day wear, making it an ideal choice if you are looking for a stylish, well-organized, and comfortable daypack that seamlessly adapts to your needs.

Best Backpack for Hiking

Cotopaxi Lagos 25L Hydration Pack

Cotopaxi Lagos 25L Hydration Pack

The lightweight Cotopaxi Lagos is a great choice for hiking enthusiasts. With a generous 25-liter capacity, it offers ample space for gear, clothing, and essentials. The integrated hydration reservoir ensures you stay well-hydrated during your outdoor adventures.

Featuring multiple pockets, it allows for organized storage, and the adjustable straps offer a comfortable fit for extended treks. Its durable construction and water-resistant recycled materials make it suitable for varying weather conditions.

Designed for hikers, this pack combines capacity, hydration, and functionality, ensuring that you’re well-prepared and comfortable on the trails.

Best Backpack for Traveling



The Osprey Transporter® Carry-On 44 is the ultimate travel companion for adventurers on the move. This 44-liter carry-on bag has a robust and weather-resistant design, perfect for withstanding the rigors of travel.

Its carry-on size ensures hassle-free airport navigation, while multiple pockets, internal organization, and lockable zippers keep your gear secure and accessible.

Versatile, durable, and intelligently designed, the Osprey Transporter® Carry-On 44 is a great choice if you are seeking reliability, organization, and adaptability on your journeys.

Best Backpack with Wheels



The Osprey Fairview is the epitome of travel convenience. With a sleek and durable design, it offers a generous 36-liter capacity in a compact 21.5-inch size, making it perfect for carry-on use.

This pack combines the functionality of a traditional backpack with the ease of rolling luggage. It features a comfortable harness and padded hip belt for backpack-style carry, and when the terrain permits, the extendable handle and wheels effortlessly glide, ensuring smooth transitions.

Multiple compartments, lockable zippers, and a focus on comfort and organization make it an ideal choice for the modern traveler, whether for a weekend getaway or an extended journey.

Best Fashion Backpack

MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS Logo Slater Medium Backpack at Macy’s

MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS Logo Slater Medium Backpack at Macy’s

The MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS Logo Slater, available at Macy’s, is the epitome of stylish functionality. This medium-sized backpack combines classic aesthetics with modern design. Its exterior features the iconic Michael Kors logo pattern, exuding a sense of luxury and fashion.

The spacious interior offers plenty of room for your daily essentials, and the multiple pockets help keep you organized. With adjustable shoulder straps and a convenient top handle, it’s adaptable for any situation. Whether you’re commuting, running errands, or exploring the city, this backpack merges fashion and utility, making it a standout accessory if you appreciate both style and practicality.

Best Adventure Backpack

Patagonia Ascensionist Pack 35L

Patagonia Ascensionist Pack 35L

The Patagonia Ascensionist Pack is a top-tier adventure companion, designed for those who embrace the outdoors. With a 35-liter capacity, it provides enough space for gear without unnecessary bulk. Its minimalist design incorporates a removable frame sheet, making it exceptionally lightweight and excellent for various activities, from climbing to backcountry exploration.

The pack features multiple gear loops, attachment points, and a top-loading design for easy access to equipment. Patagonia’s commitment to sustainability ensures the use of eco-friendly materials. Ergonomic shoulder straps and a padded hip belt offer comfort on long treks. This pack is a testament to performance, durability, and eco-conscious design, making it a go-to choice for adventurers.

Best Convertible Backpack

Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole® Tote Pack 27L

Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole® Tote Pack 27L

The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole® Tote Pack is a versatile and lightweight bag that seamlessly transitions between a tote and a backpack.

With a 27-liter capacity, it’s perfect for day trips, commutes, or light travel. Crafted from durable, weather-resistant materials, it offers robust protection for your essentials. Featuring multiple pockets, a padded laptop sleeve, and comfortable shoulder straps that stow away when not in use, it combines practicality with adaptability.


Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you own a backpack? Or maybe you own several of them? What is your favorite type of backpack? What is the most important thing you look for when you are shopping for a backpack? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website:

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