Are you planning to hit the road and have an adventurous backpacking trip this year? That’s a wonderful decision! However, unlike other types of vacation where you can just throw a few items in your suitcase and hit the airport, backpacking requires a lot more preparation and packing expertise. Luckily, you can always rely on the Internet to give you a few tips when it comes to the best backpacking gear for women.
There’s no backpacking trip without a good backpack, so pick that out first. When choosing your perfect model, look for something women-specific because it usually offers a comfortable fit when it comes to torso length, shoulder straps (that contour the chest) and hipbelts. When it comes to the size, start by measuring your torso length and hips before ordering anything or hitting the stores. This year, there are a few winners when it comes to backpacks for women. For instance, Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40 and anything from Osprey, especially their Eja 48 or 58 models are an amazing choice for every woman ready to try out the backpacker life.
If you want to stay warm and comfy all night and rest like a boss, you need a good sleeping bag. Because women tend to get colder when sleeping than men (oftentimes by 10 degrees) you need something warm, especially in the feet and torso. Women also prefer to have a sleeping bag wider in the hips and narrower in the shoulders. Models like Feathered Friends Egert UL 20° or REI Co-op Magma 15° will suit you well.
Most women choose footwear that’s specifically designed for female feet, but because everyone’s feet are different, there are no real rules here. However, most backpackers today choose to ditch hiking boots and invest in trail running shoes. These are lighter, more comfortable and very breathable, so unless you’re backpacking in colder climates, choose women’s trail runners. Altra and Saucony have amazing models that will stay your faithful companions throughout your travels. Also, don’t forget to grab a few pairs of soft yet durable women’s socks to bring on your adventure. Having quality socks will ensure your feet are protected no matter how long your trip is!
Often neglected, good underwear is key to comfort while backpacking. Pack a few pairs of high-performance underwear like ExOfficio Give-N-GO briefs for women which are antimicrobial, quick-drying and breathable. Because they dry very quickly, you can always wash a pair when you find lodging and have clean underwear and avoid any hygiene issues.
No matter if you’re backpacking in Norway or in Thailand, you’ll need a good raincoat to keep you safe and cozy. A lot of first-timers bring a coat that’s far too bulky and heavy, so make sure not to make that mistake. If you pick a good rain shell, you can just put it over your lighter coat and save a lot of space and keep your backpack lightweight. If you’re a true minimalist, there are jackets out there made without hoods, pit zips and pockets, but these are generally very practical to have. If you’re looking for a good rain shell model, Patagonia and Outdoor Research have great pieces that will come in handy through all sorts of weather.
Even on summer trips, you can expect to embrace the warmth of a good down jacket. Your safest bet is to choose something that’s equipped with a hood, yet is compressible, light and warm. While down jackets can be a bit expensive, their warmth-to-weight and price-to-practicality value are excellent! Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody is a great option of every woman, but if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, My Trail models are also quite warm and handy.
Sure, there’s nothing gendered about tents, but no backpacking must-have list is complete without one. When picking out your tent, make sure to pay special attention to things like weight, space, durability and weather protection because you want to stay safe and warm on your trip yet avoid hauling too much weight. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 is a great model for all backpackers, but if you want something super light, choose ZPacks Duplex and Triplex.
Even if you have zero backpacking experience, hitting the road equipped with the best backpacking gear will ensure that every woman has a safe, comfortable and warm backpacking trip.