Are you an occasional hiker or interested in getting into hiking? Or at the opposite end of the spectrum, do you regularly explore new trails with your family or put in for every famously hard-to-get hiking permit there is? Whichever applies to you, there’s no question that high-quality hydration packs for women make a world of difference.
A properly-fitted hydration backpack holds all your hiking essentials, offers plenty of lumbar support, and keeps you comfortable all day so you can very literally go the distance. But how do you go about finding the best hydration packs for hiking, much less for women? There are a dizzying number of options available, from budget and minimalist to big bucks and feature-loaded.
With the help of a few other female outdoor enthusiasts, I’ve done the legwork for you. Together, we reviewed eight of the very best hydration packs for women out there. In order to include a pack on the list, we considered adjustability, durability, water capacity, storage functionality (i.e., pockets!), and standout features.
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Why should you buy hydration packs for women specifically?
Can you carry a unisex hydration pack or one designed for men? Of course! But generally speaking, women-specific packs are cut higher and designed to be narrower across the shoulders, have more adjustability options, and are a bit lighter weight. They’re also typically shorter in length, to accommodate women’s (often shorter) torsos. In short, the idea is that the best women’s hydration packs are more comfortable to carry.
Having said that, men can just as easily carry hydration packs for women. Yes, women’s packs are marketed specifically to women, but men who are on the shorter side or just have a shorter torso may actually prefer carrying a women’s hydration pack for hiking.
Top hydration packs for women
Maybe you’re looking for something light to get you through quick hikes in your area. Or perhaps you’re road tripping through several national parks and you’ll be hiking hundreds of miles. Either way, one of the best hydration packs for hiking is essential.
CamelBak Classic hydration pack
Recommended by Antoine and Marielle from Offbeat Escapades
The CamelBak Classic is one of the best hydration packs for hiking. Many people also consider it the best hydration pack for mountain biking. While it’s not specifically a women’s hiking backpack, it’s nice and light with a very low profile.
True to its name, the CamelBak Classic has a clean, minimalist look featuring a simple and sleek design. It’s also one of the most affordable hydration packs out there with a 2.5-liter (85-ounce) liquid capacity.
Considered the OG of minimalist packs, the CamelBak Classic is ideal for both hiking and biking due to how lightweight it is, almost feeling like it’s a second skin. If you’re someone counting how much weight you’re carrying on your back, the CamelBak Classic is an excellent choice to look into.
The hydration bladder is super easy to fill up thanks to its ergonomic handle. Simply hold the opening under the faucet, and the shoehorn-shaped handle ensures that nothing spills during the process.
Another great feature of the CamelBak Classic is the practical switch on the big bite valve. When hiking, you simply have to flip it open, take a quick sip, then close it when not in use.
Fave feature: The CamelBak Classic hydration pack is insulated, so water stays cold — perfect for summer hikes!
Minor complaint: Since it’s so compact, there’s not much room for anything but your water bladder. So aside from a few essentials, you can’t put many items in this hydration backpack.
CamelBak L.U.X.E. hydration pack for women
I’ve carried the L.U.X.E., the women-specific version of the wildly popular CamelBak M.U.L.E., for several years. It’s technically considered the best hydration pack for mountain biking, so it’s low-profile (i.e., on the small side compared to some other women’s hydration packs), but it’s my favorite for short hikes and outings.
The CamelBak L.U.X.E. is, in my humble opinion, one of the best hydration packs for women because it’s lightweight and comfortable, and has a surprisingly generous 3-liter water capacity. It comes with a 3-liter CamelBak Crux reservoir with Quicklink, which I love because it’s easy to drink from and truly leak-proof.
Inside, this CamelBak women’s hydration pack has a padded water bladder compartment, as well as several well-thought-out storage pockets. Pro tip: You can fill the CamelBak Crux reservoir without removing it from the pack!
There’s also a removable hip belt, a very handy stretchy front stash pocket, and quite a bit more storage than you’d expect in a pack this size.
Fave feature: This CamelBak women’s hydration pack is durable. I’ve used mine heavily for several years, and it still looks new-ish with not so much as a single loose thread.
Minor complaint: The hip belt is so thin that it’s essentially useless for hiking. To be fair, the belt is intended to secure the pack down when you’re on a bike, not offer additional support for long hikes.
Camelbak Sequoia 24 women’s hydration pack
The CamelBak Sequoia 24 is substantially larger and much lesser-known than the other CamelBak packs on this list, but it deserves some serious consideration. In fact, Outdoor GearLab has twice awarded the Sequoia 24 an Editors’ Choice pick for best hydration backpack for hiking.
Like the CamelBak L.U.X.E., the Sequoia 24 has a large 3-liter water capacity. However, this hydration pack for women holds more than three times the cargo volume. The unique dual-wing hip belt transfers most of the weight to the hips and legs, making it easy and comfortable to carry the pack all day, even fully-loaded.
The sheer number of pockets makes it easy to stuff this CamelBak women’s hydration pack full. If you’re anything like me, that’s a good problem to have — I personally can’t ever have enough pockets. In addition to an abundance of storage, the Sequoia 24 has a trekking pole attachment, an integrated daisy chain with loops, and includes a CamelBak CRUX reservoir.
Fave feature: The hip belt is insanely comfortable and has pockets large enough for most newer smartphones.
Minor complaint: The Sequoia 24 only comes in one size, so you may struggle to get a perfect fit if you’re on either the short or tall sides. However, the innovative hip belt is infinitely adjustable and that really does help.
Gregory Juno 24 hydration pack for women
Gregory makes some really, really nice packs and the Juno 24 is no different. It’s durable and highly functional, but the company has also mastered the art of thoughtful features you never knew you needed. Juno’s Quickstow system for sunglasses and the integrated safety whistle on the sternum strap come to mind. It’s the little things.
The Gregory Juno 24 is one of the best hydration packs for women, lightweight but packing a ton of features. See what I did there? It has a dedicated “hydration sleeve” to hold a water bladder, zippered hip belt pockets, deep stretch mesh pockets at the front and sides, and a trekking pole attachment with a clever bungee closure.
Did I mention pockets? This Gregory hydration pack has tons, including an easy-access top zippered pocket and an inner zippered mesh security pocket. So many hydration packs for hiking lack internal pockets!
In terms of wearability, the Gregory Juno 24 is extremely comfortable. The entire back panel, shoulder harness, and waistbelt have flexible foam and Vaporspan ventilation technology. There is also a great deal of adjustability in the suspension.
Fave feature: All the pockets really are handy. Being able to pack little extras can make a world of difference in helping you get through those last couple of miles.
Minor complaint: The Juno 24 inexplicably doesn’t include a water reservoir. At this price point, it certainly should.
Gregory Swift 15 women’s hydration pack
The Gregory Swift 15 women’s hydration pack is a relative newcomer but has quickly become one of my go-to’s for day hikes. Joining the company’s lineup of tried-and-true Swift packs, including the 20, 25, and Swift 30, this Gregory hydration pack provides an excellent lightweight option without skimping on features.
For starters, the Swift 15 pack comes with a 3-liter Gregory 3D Hydro Reservoir, which is arguably one of the best hydration bladders available, period. It’s also almost unheard of for a pack this size to include such a large bladder. The Gregory 3D Hydro Reservoir bladder is truly genius; it has a built-in wall for structure and an integrated quick-dry hanger.
Still not convinced the Gregory Swift 15 is one of the best hydration packs for hiking? It weighs just a tad over one pound, has a dedicated zippered pocket for a water bladder, a removable hip belt, huge stretch mesh side and front pockets plus lined small pockets for keys and sunglasses, and a magnetic bite valve that’s surprisingly strong. It’s also adjustable in several places for a custom fit.
Fave feature: The 3-liter water capacity and the fact that it comes with the Gregory 3D Hydro Reservoir. Seriously, I love this bladder so much I use it in non-Gregory hydration packs for women.
Minor complaint: This Gregory hydration pack has no hip support, which is problematic when it’s loaded up and on longer hikes.
Nathan Intensity women’s hydration backpack
Recommended by Samantha from PA on Pause
If you are looking specifically for the best hydration packs for women, check out the Nathan Intensity women’s hydration backpack.
The hybrid vest-backpack has a fit specific to the female body type and is fully adjustable with a front closure strap that hits in just the right place, unlike the awkward men’s counterparts.
Its hydration mechanism also includes a bite valve that never leaks, so you won’t unknowingly lose any precious water.
The hydration pack’s main compartment is large enough to fit a full 2-liter bladder, some snacks, an extra layer such as a light rain jacket, first aid supplies, and more — anything you may need for a day exploring.
A key clip sits at the top of the main compartment so you’ll never have to dig around at the end of your hike or worry about losing your keys. Two small front pockets are ideal for easy access to snacks, an extra water bottle, or your phone or small camera. Best of all, the Nathan Intensity is lightweight but very durable. Because of this, it also makes a strong case for the best hydration pack for mountain biking.
Fave feature: The countless ways to adjust the fit of the pack. It’s customizable for most figures and enables a fit with no movement, which equals no chafing. And no chafing makes for a happy hiker.
Minor complaint: The water bladder mimics a Ziploc bag. It hasn’t leaked, but is difficult to clean.
Osprey hydration pack for women — Mira 22
Recommended by Debbie from World Adventurists
The Osprey Mira 22 hydration pack for women is a fantastic option for longer day hikes or even overnight trips where you don’t need to pack many extras.
With a 2.5-liter water reservoir, you won’t ever have to worry about getting thirsty on your adventure with this Osprey hydration pack. The sternum strap even has an integrated magnet for attaching the bite valve. Your gear will also stay dry even in sudden storms, because the Mira 22 has an integrated rain cover.
The Mira 22 Osprey hydration pack makes it effortless to carry the weight of camera gear, food, water, and more. There’s stretchy mesh on the sides (easily accessible without removing the pack), plus a great number of pockets including zippered ones right at the hips and inside, and other clever storage pockets throughout.
Note that this Osprey hydration pack is available in two sizes: the Mira 22 and the Mira 32. The Osprey Mira 32 is another excellent option for the best hydration packs for hiking, as it has identical features to the Mira 22 but comes with additional pockets and larger storage capacity.
Fave Feature: The anti-gravity suspension. It offers great ventilation and transfers the weight of the Osprey hydration pack off the shoulders and to the hip belt. It also has a perfect amount of storage pockets.
Minor Complaint: The magnet on the chest strap that’s supposed to hold the bite valve is a bit weak.
Osprey Skimmer 20 women’s hydration pack
Recommended by Sarah from Roadmaps and Restaurants
The Osprey Skimmer 20 is one of the best hydration packs for women. It’s lightweight, has comfortable straps, and is designed specifically for women’s anatomy.
This Osprey hydration pack is great for both quick hikes and all-day adventures. The Skimmer 20 has a designated hydration bladder compartment and includes a 2.5-liter Osprey Hydraulics LT reservoir. 2.5 liters is a great amount for ensuring you have enough water for a variety of trails, making this a strong contender for the best hydration backpack for hiking.
In addition to the main compartment, the Osprey Skimmer 20 includes a smaller zippered compartment that’s great for storing a phone, headlamp, ID or other smaller items.
The pack also includes a trekking pole attachment so you can easily attach your poles to the front. This particular Osprey hydration pack has plenty of room for additional beverages, snacks, and extra layers that you may need on your hike.
The Skimmer does also come in two additional sizes, a 16-liter and a 28-liter pack women’s hydration pack.
Fave Feature: The ventilated back panel is great for staying cool while hiking in warm weather!
Minor Complaint: The interior is only accessible via a rucksack-style opening on the top of the pack, so you may have to dig for smaller items that fall to the bottom.
So there you have it — eight of the best hydration packs for women, including picks for hiking and the best hydration pack for mountain biking! Do you own any of these packs, or are there any you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to pin this post for later!