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  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Best Women's Packs

    The best haulers, duffels, and wheelies to lighten the load.

    —Stephanie Pearson

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    LowePro Photo Sport Shoulder 18L

    BEST FOR: Photographers

    Designed for international travelers who want to keep a 35mm SLR handy yet hidden, this simple shoulder bag ($85) has a removable padded camera case that secures to the bottom with Velcro. With one interior and two exterior zippered pockets for a passport, phone, tablet, and notebooks, it’s the ideal carry-on. 1 lb

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Thule 22" Crossover

    BEST FOR: Mixing Pleasure and Business

    The sleek shell of this carry-on ($350) is crushproof, and a small, zippered “safe zone” pocket on top fits sunglasses and small electronics. Inside, the built-in garment bag and cloth shoe protector keep clothes wrinkle-free and unscuffed. 9.8 lbs

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Burton Westrick Duffel

    BEST FOR: Weekend Escapes

    Made of light but tough nylon, this 39-liter bag ($75) is for the “throw it all in and think about it later” approach to weekend getaways. The main compartment fits running shoes, a yoga mat, and a bike kit, plus clothing and toiletries. Have-handy items go in the numerous side pockets. Day trip? Snaps on the zipper ends compress the duffel to a more compact size. 1.5 lbs

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    REI Flash 58

    BEST FOR: Backpacking

    A dream pack for compartmentalizers, the 58-liter Flash ($189) has side sleeves for water bottles, small zippered pockets on the shoulder straps for essentials, two more on the belt for snacks, and… oh, you get the idea. Nice: the suspended aluminum frame helps keep your back cool with padded mesh ventilation panels. 2.9 lbs

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Platypus B-Line

    BEST FOR: Biking

    Compact and streamlined, with no extras above the shoulders, the eight-liter B-Line ($100) won’t snag on a tree branch while you’re threading tight singletrack. With a pump sleeve, tool pockets, a two-liter hydration bladder, and a quick-access exterior pocket, it has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Smart touch: lash points for a helmet and light. 1.5 lbs

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Next Up:2014 Women's Day Hiking Essentials

    Osprey Tempest 40

    BEST FOR: Overnight Trips

    This roomy 40-liter pack ($150) features a women-specific hipbelt and harness that perfectly fit several female testers of diverse shapes and sizes, including a long-limbed, five-foot-nine one. The wide drawstring opening makes it easy to find socks in the abyss, and two side straps cinch it small for use as a daypack. 2.2 lbs

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