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Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack Review | Ladies Hiking Backpack

Osprey Skimmer 28 Litre Backpack Review

When it was time to choose a new hiking backpack there was one brand that stood out from the others, Osprey. Born in California in 1974, Osprey has been creating quality backpacks for all types of adventures for nearly 50 years. After putting the backpack to the test on some long-distance hikes I thought I would share my review on the Osprey’s Skimmer 28 Backpack.

I’ve been struggling to fit all of my camera and hiking gear in my other backpacks whilst exploring. So I felt it was time to upgrade to something a bit bigger from my current Fjallraven Backpack. To a bag that could comfortably carry everything in that I needed. After doing a lot of research, Osprey seemed to be the brand with bags which ticked all of the boxes.

Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack Review

Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack Review for hiking and photography

There were a lot of styles to choose from, but the Skimmer range seemed to be a perfect choice. It is available in Plum Red or Sapphire Blue as well as three different sizes; 20, 28 and 32-litre capacities. So there are plenty of options depending on how much you plan on carrying. I went for the 28-litre backpack as I felt this would be the perfect medium-sized bag to fit everything in.

Osprey Skimmer 20 Litre
Osprey Skimmer 28 Litre
Osprey Skimmer 32 Litre

One thing to mention about this bag range is its design is made specifically for the female anatomy and ergonomics. So the shoulder straps are positioned closer together to conform better to the narrower shoulders of women. The men’s version of this backpack is called the Skarab. It includes the same features, design and practically. With the only difference being the fit of the backpack is more suited to the male anatomy.

First Impressions

When this backpack first arrived I was so happy to test it out on a few long-distance hikes. I brought the bag with me on some day trips to the Peak District to test out its capabilities. There was a lot of equipment stored within the back including all of my camera gear, a drone as well as food, drinks and waterproofs. It could quite comfortably fit everything in with a bit of extra room if I wanted to remove a few layers whilst walking.

Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack Review for women

At first, all of the compartments can be overwhelming as you try to decide what items you place in what area. But designating each section to a certain category of items makes things much easier. The simple top-zip also allows you to pack and unpack the bag quickly whilst on the go. I like that the zip opens toward you rather than away, so it feels more secure. The zips themselves are large and rugged and I feel like they would be able to handle the pressure and constant use over the years with ease.

The bag itself is a beautiful and rich plum red and I’m really pleased with the overall quality of it. There are no loose threads and everything has been finished off to a high standard. The bag also features a lifetime warranty if there are faults to do with the manufacture of the backpack.


Osprey Skimmer Features That I Love

Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack detailed Review Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack Review Airscape Backpanel
AirScape Backpanel

The Skimmer and Skarab backpacks feature an Airscape back panel with bump-foam ventilation. This means there is plenty of airflow to help cool you down whilst you hike. So no more sweaty backs in the Summer! It also offers extra padding when carrying a heavier backpack. When this is paired up with the padded hip belt and straps the load-transfer across your back is more comfortable.

Integrated Raincover

This rain cover is a great addition to the backpack and saves buying a separate cover for those wet and rainy days whilst out hiking. It is located at the base of the bag in its own separate compartment so your belongings don’t get wet when you put the rain cover away. It is also detachable from the bag so it can be removed to dry off easily. The one thing I would change about this is the colour, as it is lime green!

Front Shove-It Pouch

The pouch at the front makes life so easy when you want to store items away without unzipping the bag. Allowing for quick access to items which you might swap out throughout the day. This is a handy compartment for storing gloves, hats and lightweight waterproofs.

Electronics Pocket

This hidden compartment proved to be such a handy section of storage. Located above the back panel, it is the perfect place to store a battery bank, a purse, keys and any small valuables that you don’t want to lose at the bottom of the bag. This would be such a great feature if more bags included this feature. It would save me from losing my purse and keys in my bags constantly.

Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack Review for Hiking Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack Detailed Review
Storage Compartments

If there is one thing that the Skimmer bag is not lacking on, its pockets! There are 10 storage areas on the bag, including the shove-it pouch and storage for the water bladder. All provide a different purpose, from storing valuables safely to quick and easy access to waterproofs! The dual zipped side pockets are big enough to fit a 500ml water bottles in each. So you can carry more than enough liquid with this bag along with all of your essentials.

One feature which I really love, is the padded hip belt pockets. I love to store snacks for on the trails, tissues, my head torch as well as my swiss army knife. As these are always handy to have, and are super convenient to get to.

Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack Review Padded Hip Pocket

Other features of the bag worth mentioning include –

– External hydration access for a Water Bladder at the back of the bag so it doesn’t interfere with your belongings.

– A magnetic sternum strap for an easy connection and removal. The Osprey Water Bladders snap to this too.

– Large pull zippers that have a wide opening so it’s easy to open and close the bag with thick gloves on.

– Lots of places to connect Karabiner Clips to carry things from the bag. Plus loops for walking poles and an ice axe.

– Straps to compress the bag and pull it tighter, for a more snug fit when it isn’t completely full.

Would I Recommend The Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack?

I’ve been really impressed with this backpack and it lives up to my high expectations of Osprey as a brand. It’s an amazing all-around bag that combines a sleek design into a high performance and practical backpack for hiking and adventures. Both colours that are available are beautiful and fun mixup from the standard colour ranges we typically see. The only thing I would change about it is the lime green rain cover to something a little less bold. But the rest of the backpack is great and one which I can recommend.

Osprey Ladies Skimmer Backpack Review


Shop Now

Shop the Skimmer backpack range as well as the men’s Skarab backpack and accessories mentioned in this blog post.

Osprey Skimmer 20 Litre
Osprey Skimmer 28 Litre
Osprey Skimmer 32 Litre
Osprey Skimmer 32 Litre
Osprey Bladder
Osprey Hi-Vis Rain Cover
Osprey Skarab 22 Litre
Osprey Skarab 34 Litre


I hope this blog post of the Osprey Skimmer 28 Backpack has helped you to decide which hiking backpack you will get for your next adventures. Feel free to drop a comment if you have any more questions about the bag, I’ll be more than happy to help out. I would also love to know what your favourite backpack is or your favourite hiking gear!




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This blog post contains affiliate links for the bags listed. All opinions are my own and I am not affiliated with Osprey or being paid by them to write this review. 


Hey, I'm Adell! I'm a West Midlands based travel, adventure blogger and photographer. Follow me on my journeys as I hike, drive and photograph my way around the United Kingdom and beyond. Sharing detailed travel guides, the best places to take photos as well as so much more.


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