Last Updated: May 26, 2021

Osprey Nova Women’s Backpack Review


Osprey Nova 33 Backpack

The Osprey Nova is a women's specific backpack that has a place for everything. From an easy to access slot for your laptop and tablet, a scratch-free pocket for sunglasses & a front pocket organizer to help keep all your small stuff in place. View Latest Deal

The Osprey Nova 32L women’s backpack is a great all-rounder day pack that is specifically designed to fit women. It is actually a slightly re-sized version of the Osprey Nebula with some other color options as well.

The team at Osprey has thought of almost everything on this pack. From a specific easy-to-access slot for your laptop and tablet to a front pocket organizer to help keep all your small stuff in place.

It even has some really nice small touches like compressions straps for securing your load and a spot for a rear bike light, ideal for bike riders or commuters who ride in the dark.

There are lots of other well-thought-out features on this pack which I will show you in detail below. 

Below are the basic specs followed by a quick video overview for those just wanting the short version.


  • Dedicated laptop padded pocket (fits 15.6" laptop)
  • Front organizer for tablet, smaller items
  • Lots of other pockets for everything else
  • Well made with solid materials


  • Not fitted with a hiking level strap system
  • May not fit larger laptops (around 17" or more)
  • Not for people who just want a few simple pockets and a large space for gear

Product Information

  • Bag Dimensions: 19 x 12 x 11 inches
  • Laptop Dimensions: 15.3 x 11 x 2 inches (can fit some 17 inch laptops, but not most)
  • Weight: 2.03 lbs
  • Material: 420HD Nylon Packcloth
  • Dedicated rear laptop and tablet pockets/sleeves
  • Front organizer pocket with lots of storage
  • Other pockets: 2x side water bottle, top/subglasses, front/elastic, internal mesh
  • 6 Colors: black, gray/white, red, blue, yellow, purple

TSA-Friendly Laptop Sleeve

If you intend to travel or carry a laptop or tablet, you will love the ease of access on the Nova.

Osprey have put a full-length zippered padded panel at the back which:

  • gives you easy access to your electronics and allows for fast TSA security checks at the airport
  • protects your laptop/tablet with significant padding
  • places the heavy things (laptop) at the back – balancing your pack nicely for carrying

Top Pocket (Scratch Free)

Sometimes you have very sensitive items with you like sunglasses, glasses or your phone. And if you are anything like me, you often forget your case!

Lucky for us, the Nova uses a scratch-free material to help protect such things in the top pocket.

It’s also a pocket that is well placed for getting at these items quickly and easily. It’s right on top at the front.

Main Compartment

The main compartment of the Osprey Nova may look a little small, but there is actually lots of room in there.

It is a full-length section in the middle of the bag and would be ideal for your larger, heavier or just plain old bulky stuff like clothes.

Front Pocket and Organizer

Osprey Packs Nova Women's Laptop Backpack, Aster Purple

This is another pocket of the Nova that is well thought out and can really help you organize your smaller items.

It has 3 sections:

  • top mesh pockets for phone, cables, etc
  • middle zippered pocket for loose items
  • bottom (not see in image) are lots of smaller mesh pockets for pens etc

This pocket also goes right down to the bottom, so anything you can’t find a spot for in the organizer area, you can just throw in and it will sit right at the bottom.

Other Handy Pockets

Two other areas of the Nova are worth a mention.

First, is the water bottle mesh/elastic pockets on the sides of the pack. Handy for both water and maybe an umbrella or tripod.

Next, on the front is an elastic panel that can be secured with a clip. Here you can throw things like a light jacket or rain jacket or other small items you want to get to fast.

Shoulder Straps, Carryon Strap & Padding

Osprey Packs Nova Women's Laptop Backpack, Aster Purple

Although the Osprey Nova backpack is not a fully fledge hiking pack, it does have decent straps and back padding as you can see above.

The shoulder straps are also well-padded and adjustable. And the hip straps are not only adjustable but also removable if you just don’t need them.

Four compression straps on the sides come in handy when you want to cinch down your pack when it is not full, or just make it smaller (perhaps to squeeze it under the seat in a plane). They are also able to be hidden away if you don’t use or link them.

A sturdy top handle is also useful for simply picking up your pack.

There is also a spot for your rear bike light if you happen to be commuting by bike or just out for a ride late in the afternoon. Bikers or other sports lovers will also like the holes on the top for a hydration system like the camelback.

Other Handy Features

Osprey produces some of the best packs I have seen on the market, and I have been buying backpacks for 30 odd years. The materials and zippers they use are high quality and feel great too.

And, they only add well thought out features that are both useful and well designed.

From the reviews I have read on this pack, it also seems to be reasonably waterproof. Enough to be caught in a light shower anyway (don’t go diving in it!)

If packed well (balanced) it also sits nicely when placed on the floor, something you will appreciate when in class or working in a cafe.

The Osprey Nova backpack has 5 color options:  Black,  Juneberry Purple, Astra Purple, Ethel Blue & Red Herring.