Best Backpack for Solo Female Travelers:
Before you set off for your backpacking trip, one of the most important purchases you’ll make (besides your passport) will be your backpack. In your pack will be everything you’re relying on to get you through your trip. As such, you can’t have it falling apart on you, you can’t have flimsy zippers that a child could break and you can’t have it do so much damage to your back that you end up abandoning it on a park bench because you can’t take the pain any longer.
The best backpack for solo female travelers, in my opinion, is carry-on size, comfortable to wear, has a hipbelt to ease the pressure on your back and shoulders, and is affordable. The backpack that ticks off all those boxes is the Osprey Porter 46.
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What Makes The Osprey Porter 46 So Great?
The Osprey Porter 46 is designed with the average solo traveler in mind.
- The shoulder straps and hipbelt are padded for extra comfort and can be stowed away so you don’t have to worry about them being caught on anything or dragging.
- The sides of the pack are padded as well to protect your things from bumps and bruises.
- The Porter 46 has compression straps so if you haven’t packed your bag fit to bursting and have some space to spare you can compress the bag down to a smaller size.
- You can also place your laptop or tablet in the back sleeve and then lock the zippers to keep it safe.
Is It Tough?
Can the Osprey Porter 46 handle the stress of backpacking? Can it take things being shoved into it or rattling around in an overhead compartment? Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: I bought my Porter 46 in 2014 and have traveled with that pack and only that pack for the last four years. To Europe, Southeast Asia, Las Vegas, South Korea, Japan and Australia. In that time, I’ve flung it around hostel rooms, stuffed it into airplane compartments, and packed it as full as I possibly could.
That pack has been through a lot in the past few years, but you would have no idea by looking at it. My pack still looks brand new. The zippers are sturdy and the fabric is durable so I have never had to worry about tears or the zippers not being able to handle the abuse.
Is It Comfortable?
As solo female travelers, we don’t have someone who can hold our pack for us when it gets hard to carry, which puts comfort high on the list. This is taken into account in the construction of the Porter 46. The padded shoulder straps help, but what makes the biggest difference is the hipbelt.
Transferring the bulk of the weight to your hips will make your back sing in happiness and enable you to easily carry your backpack for longer periods of time. Something I really appreciated the time I had to walk over an hour to my hostel with Porter stuck to my back.
Are You Sure It’s Carry-On Size?
The Porter 46 is carry-on size and I have tested this on airplanes all over Europe, the US, Australia and Southeast Asia. Not once did I ever have to check my bag. I’ve even been able to get it on airlines with more restricted sizes. I never stressed the rare times my Porter 46 was slightly too big because by using the compression straps I was able to squish it down to the point the flight attendants didn’t even glance at me. They just waved me on.
Will It Protect My Gear?
This is an important question because you need to know your things will be safe when you’re not around, and there’s nothing safe about zippers so flimsy they’ll fall apart if a thief even looks at it too hard. You won’t have to worry about this though because not only are the Porter 46’s zippers sturdy, they are also lockable.
There were a few times my hostel locker was too small to fit my pack so I had to leave it on my bed when I went out. Not ideal, but I did feel much better knowing all my zippers were locked up tight with TSA-approved locks and tied to my bed with a steel cable.
How Much Is It?
The cost of decent backpacking backpacks ranges from 99USD – 400USD. That’s why I was very glad to find a pack that was carry-on size, could fit my small frame and ticked off all the boxes for only $140 USD.
For that price, I got a bag that has lasted for four years with no signs of giving out. So while $140 USD is still a good chunk of change, you’ll know you’re spending your money on a well-made, quality product that will pay for itself through all the checked bag fees you’re missing out on.
The Osprey Porter 46 is the best backpack for solo female travelers and it’s the one I recommend to everyone. If something were to happen to mine, I would go out and buy the same brand again without stopping to look at anything else.
Check out the Osprey Porter 46 for yourself and buy one for your next backpacking trip. Good luck and happy travels!