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Reviewed by our Hikers:

The Best Hiking Backpacks in 2021

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:
Test 32 different Hiking Backpacks and write reviews of the best.

The result is 16 of the best hiking backpacks on the market today.

Anastasia Hamurari

Travel and Gear Writer
An ambitious writer with a thirst for content creation through storytelling.

torben lonne

Torben Lonne

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for traveling and gear.

Hikes across the country and day trips to good hiking trails are equally demanding of a good-quality Hiking backpack.

Since backpacks tend to store most of your stuff, a smart choice of a hiking backpack can significantly bring the weight down and make your hike so much better.

It’s no longer expected of you to carry a heavy double-decker backpack with bulky pockets that store your bottled water and hiking carabiners.

Luckily for us, the manufacturing process has evolved and brands specializing in outdoor equipment have come out with backpacks that don’t make your back ache but rather keep your spine straight and spirits up when that peak of the hill is not seen on the horizon yet.

The perfect backpack should have enough storage for all of your hiking essentials, not add too much weight and fit your body like a glove. It is beneficial for it to have body-hugging straps, hip-belt pockets, durable zippers, and waterproof construction.

To ease up your research and reduce the number of hours you would otherwise spend on finding ‘the one’, we tested dozens of hiking backpacks that met our main criteria.

From lightweight built to feature-rich and affordable, we are certain that you will be able to detect the backpack you are most likely to invest in based on our carefully selected picks.

Establish your priorities for the equipment of your choice and decide on the hiking backpack that will give you comfort throughout the many trails you are about to conquer.

Top 10 Best Hiking Backpacks In 2021

See our quick top 10, or go further down and read our in-depth reviews.

Still unsure as to what hiking backpacks to choose? We have answered the most popular questions about the towel in the last section of the guide.

Osprey is the number one choice for many outdoor lovers who tend to spend days out in nature. Whether you are planning on biking across the country or hopping on the hiking trail adventure across the ocean, they have got a wide array of backpacks to choose from. The Aether AG 60 hiking backpack is designed for thru-hikes and alpine expeditions that require sufficient preparation and plenty of essentials for everyone willing to partake.

The brand ensured the Aether backpack to have side compression straps for the proportionate weight distribution along with zippered heat-moldable hip-belt pockets to keep the necessities at hand at all times. The backpack is endowed with an anti-gravity suspension and a back panel to eliminate the possibility of backaches.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Osprey Aether AG 60 :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Nylon
  • Frame: Internal
  • Pockets: 7 external pockets, hip-belt pockets
  • Dimensions: 33 x 15 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 1.6 oz. (Small)
What we like:
  • The large J-zip allows you to access your stuff whenever you need it
  • The hip-belts along with the harness provide you with the perfect fit and comfort necessary to spend long days out and about
  • The three sizes mean that you can customize the fit according to your torso length and waist/hips size
What we don’t like:
  • Heavier than other hiking backpacks on the market

You will find an internal hydration reservoir sleeve and a sleeping bag compartment that provides you with the ultimate level of comfort. What’s more, this hiking backpack has a removable top lid that converts into a backpack that can be worn during the day.

The Gregory Arrio 30 is the ultimate outdoor adventure pack hiking. At 30 liters of capacity it’ the ideal size for a day on the trails. With a streamlined shape, aerated backplate and amazing features, it’s clear to see that this pack was designed with your comfort in mind. It is definitely one of the most comfortable bags we have tested so far when using it on longer trips.

It also has great storage features that allow you to pack everything you may need and more for a hiking trip in the quality that translates to comfort and longevity.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Gregory Arrio 30:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Hiking, camping, and outdoor adventures
  • Material: 210D Honeycomb Cryptorip HD Nylon With PFC-free DWR
  • Volume: 30L
  • Weight: 1.8 Pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 22.4 x 10.6 inches
What we like:
  • The “Freespan” Mesh back panel keeps your back cool during hot summer days.
  • Multiple easy to reach pockets keep you organized all trip long.
  • This pack is extremely lightweight making it easy to carry during hiking trips, and won’t add extra weight to your back.
  • Buckles and zippers (YKK) are the highest quality in its class
  • This bag doesn’t try to be everything for everyone and ergo hits the mark
What we don’t like:
  • It’s so comfortable that we wish it had a better sleeve for a small laptop

The ‘minimalist overnighter’ is the perfect name for the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest hiking backpack. It is perfect for exploring canyons, hiking through challenging trails and climbing up the hilly mountains without too much weight on your shoulders. The Dyneema fabric makes it super lightweight yet sturdy to withstand long and demanding hikes. Its construction includes a mesh foam at the waist belt and shoulder straps that hold your load proportionately.

There is a removable aluminum stays that helps to customize the load if needed. You will most likely not need to replace your hiking backpack anytime soon as it is built from the same materials used for catching the climbers when they fall.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Hyperlite Mountain Gear:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Dyneema
  • Frame: Internal
  • Pockets: 3 exterior pockets, 2 zippered waist belt
  • Dimensions: 26 x 17 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 1 lb 14 oz. (White)
What we like:
  • The Dyneema Suspension system ensures the security of the load and your comfort while carrying it
  • The low weight of the hiking backpack means you can stuff it with more things
  • The compression straps located at sides and at the top can be easily cinched down for load stabilization
What we don’t like:
  • The basicness of the backpack’s features might not satisfy everyone

The Southwest model was given taped seams and a roll-top closure that work well together to prevent your stuff from getting wet when it starts raining or snowing. Bring a bottle of water and place it in the hydration-compatible sleeve, stuff your waist belt pockets with the essentials and you are ready to venture out.

You are your most mobile with an Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 hiking backpack that is built to carry your load for you. From RotoGlide hip-belts to GridLock shoulder straps, your balance is bound to be improved when your backpack is on. While the hip-belts can rotate for a natural stride and shoulder straps can be adjusted in height and width, the ventilated back panel keeps your back feeling cool even after hours of hiking.

The backpack is made from 420- and 630-Denier Nylon and is further supplied with waterproof AC fabric to prevent rain or snow from permeating into it. The pack is created to be top-loading, meaning that you fill it up from the top down. This is usually a downside, although this model has side zippers that allow you to reach the gear you placed in the bottom at any point.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 420- and 630-Denier Rip-stop Nylon
  • Frame: Internal
  • Pockets: 6 + external compartment
  • Dimensions: 30 x 24 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 0.1 oz. (Regular)
What we like:
  • The hip-belt design is innovative due to its side-to-side and up-and-down rotation
  • The Tegris frame sheet along with the aluminum stays aid in distributing the weight evenly
  • The double waterproof fabric ensures no water ever gets soaked by the backpack’s fabric
What we don’t like:
  • The price tag is extremely high

If you happen to catch a heavy rain or snow and your gear becomes wet, there is a large outer pocket for you to store your soaked belongings in. Basically, every single scenario is foreseen for your soundness.

The Granite Gear Blaze hiking backpack presents the excellent blend of comfort, construction and durability. The Air Current frame is the relatively new feature that allows you to align the load with your torso’s size and fit it snugly. This is particularly essential for times when the load is big and the hike is long.

The Re-Fit hip-belt along with the molded foam back panel makes it easy for you to pack up to 50 pounds of stuff without worrying about jam-packing your backpack to the brim and ruining it. The high-abrasion fabric known as Robic Nylon equips the bag with unheard-of durability that exceeds any other hiking backpack’s longevity.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Granite Gear Blaze 60L :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 100-denier ROBIC high-tenacity nylon with Barrier DWR, 210-denier ROBIC UHMWPE triple ripstop nylon
  • Frame: Adjustable Air Current
  • Pockets: 3 + external compartment
  • Dimensions: 23.5 x 13 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 3 lbs. (Regular)
What we like:
  • The dual large belt-hip pockets can store a significant number of your belongings that have to be available to you on the spot
  • The 60-liters capacity is ideal for weekend hikes as well as for a week-long backpacking adventures
  • The 3-tier side and front compression strap holds in the load perfectly well
What we don’t like:
  • The back ventilation is not good

You will find a cinch and roll closure system that gives you the possibility to quickly access your stuff while also preventing it from getting wet. The lif of the backpack is completely removable, which means that you can use it as a chest bag that stores all of your essentials.

The ultra-lightweight Arc’teryx Aerios 30 Backpack is a durable must-have for hiking trips or multi-day hill walks when cutting down weight is paramount. This compact backpack has a large main compartment and an additional front compartment.

When it comes to the comfort of this pack, it’s designed with an adjustable sternum strap and moisture-wicking AeroForm back panel. The padded hip belt enhances the distribution of weight from your back to your hips ensuring you enjoy your hike without discomfort.

Made with abrasion-resistant 210D Cordura, makes this backpack stable, durable and lightweight. Other features we love include the side pockets, elastic front pocket, and an internal pocket with a key clip. It really has a lot of features.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Arc'teryx Aerios 30:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Hiking, Mountaineering
  • Material: 210D Cordura Nylon 6.6 w/ 6.6 Twisted 200D LCP Grid / 100D Cordura Nylon
  • Volume: 30L
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
What we like:
  • Even though it’s ultra-lightweight, it’s proven to be incredibly durable
  • The material is highly water-resistant
  • There are many external pockets to store all necessary gear.
  • At 30 liters, it hits a sweet spot for capacity without sacrificing mobility
What we don’t like:
  • There are almost too many pockets, if that’s possible. You can forgot where you put that darn trail bar.

The Gregory Mountain Paragon 58 hiking backpack can become your go-to companion for a weekend in the woods or in the countryside. All you need is to load your hiking accessory with a sleeping pad, a few changes of clothes and cooking essentials and you are ready to explore nature’s hidden spots. The breathable suspension together with the 3D perforated hip belt allows you to move freely without restrictions and expect your backpack to move with you.

The CryptoRip Nylon mixed with the High-Tenacity Nylon is in charge of the backpack’s durability. You have plenty of storage to fit not only the hiking basics but also little knick-knacks you can’t imagine leaving behind for a few days.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Gregory Mountain Paragon :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 100-, 210-, and 420-denier high-density nylon/135-denier high-density 50% recycled polyester
  • Frame: Alloy Steel
  • Pockets: 6 + external compartment
  • Dimensions: 26 x 14 x 11.5 inches (Small/Medium)
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 7 oz. (Small/Medium)
What we like:
  • The adjustable hip-belt has a 3D construction that hugs your body in a way that is comfortable and not airflow-restrictive
  • The QuickStow system designed for storing your sunglasses gives you easy access to your shades at any time
  • The zippered sleeping bag compartment at the bottom fo the backpack allows you to quickly grab it when needed without having to open the main compartment
What we don’t like:
  • Comes in two sizes only

The reinforced bottom panel provides substantial abrasion-resistance, while the molded webbing keepers ensure your compression straps are in place at all times. There is even a rain cover placed in a zippered pocket under the lid for the much-needed protection from harsh weather conditions.

The Lowe Alpine AirZone Trek+ hiking backpack is great for hiking in warmer climates – its tensioned mesh system along with the large open area between your back and the backpack works great at ventilating your back and keeping you cool for long hours.

There is a sternum strap with whistle, an adjustable chest strap and a spacious hip-belt with a harness that joined their forces to keep the load close to your back and move with you. The side pockets, a stretchable front pocket and a zippered internal pocket provide you with enough space to store your rain jacket, snacks and electronic gear.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Lowe Alpine AirZone :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 210D mini-ripstop nylon, 450D polyester
  • Frame: Internal
  • Pockets: 6
  • Dimensions: 26 x 14.2 x 11.8 inches
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 92 oz.
What we like:
  • The rain cover that comes with the backpack is a handy accessory to have
  • The internal zippered pocket allows you to store your expensive gadgets without worrying about getting them damaged
  • It is affordable
What we don’t like:
  • The backpack is not feature-rich

If you still need more room – the lid of the backpack can be extended to increase the storage and allow you to pack ten more liters worth of stuff. Isn’t that impressive? Not only do you get a piece of insulated and water-resistant equipment made of mini-ripstop Nylon and Polyester, but also a phone harness and a rain cover to ensure your safety no matter what circumstances you find yourself in in the midst of a hike.

A hiking backpack that takes on the challenges that lie ahead of you is what Osprey’s Xena 85-liters is all about. Wild expeditions that require long hours of exploration are what the manufacturer had in mind when designing a tenacious backpack with adjustable BioForm torso harness and an AirSpace back panel that provides you with comfort and ventilation.

The Stow-on-the-go feature is unique to this model and is handy for quickly attaching trekking poles to the pack. The customizable Bioform CM hip-belt allows you to proportionately distribute the weight while also providing you with enough storage. You will find a lower base compartment zips and dual side-zips that give you direct access to your stuff without having to open the backpack from the top.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Osprey Xena 85:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 420-denier/210-denier high-tenacity nylon/500-denier nylon packcloth
  • Frame: Internal lightwire
  • Pockets: 9 + main compartment
  • Dimensions: 33 x 17 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 5 oz. (Medium)
What we like:
  • The FlapJacket flap integrated into the backpack helps to protect your gear when the lid is removed
  • The top lid of the backpack can be easily converted into a daytime backpack practical for short trips from and to the camp
  • The external hydration reservoir sleeve can accommodate up to 3 liters of water
What we don’t like:
  • The construction is durable yet rough, meaning that you can get blisters if not adjusted correctly

We found these features to be helpful when you are out and about with zero time to waste. Make use of the Powermesh pockets located on the front and by the sides of the backpack and stuff them with things like water bottle, sunscreen and electronic gear of your choice.

Do you like to have your stuff neatly organized in pockets and compartments of all shapes and sizes? Then Berghaus Ridgeway 65+10L hiking backpack is exactly what you need. Made from the durable Polyester, it has got plenty of storage for you to stock up on maps, snack and other essentials that will help you along the way.

Besides, you are given the opportunity to expand the side pockets and give yourself 10 more liters of space to store things like electronic gadgets, a few sets of clothes and a tent. Apart from having zippers all throughout, the hiking backpack has got a BioFit system that ensures the optimal comfort of wear regardless of your body’s size and shape.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Berghaus Ridgeway 65+10L:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 600-denier Polyester
  • Frame: Internal
  • Dimensions: 31 x 15 x 12.6 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs.
What we like:
  • The backpack has got plenty of room for you to store not only essentials but also not-so-necessary things
  • The rain cover comes with the backpack, meaning that you don’t have to purchase it separately
  • The side pockets are expandable – you can easily add 10 liters to your backpack’s load
What we don’t like:
  • Doesn’t have unique features

You can further adjust the fit with the height and chest harnesses and a hip-belt that has even more pockets for you to make use of. The backpack is designed to provide you with the hydration system so that you never find yourself dehydrated and willing to give up on the expedition. There is also a rain cover for you to use if rain happens to make an appearance.

The Arc’teryx Brize 25 is a simple well-designed daypack for hiking. This is definitely a bag made for expert packers since it has a limited amount of pockets for organization. The back panel and straps are reinforced with padded foam to help distribute weight and keep you comfortable. Overall, it’s very durable and can be used as a day pack or a hiking backpack for short trips.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Arc'teryx Brize 25:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Traveling, hiking, daypack, or carry-on pack
  • Material: N630p fabric nylon
  • Volume: 25L
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21.6 x 9.8 x 5.9 inches
What we like:
  • This backpack is still comfortable when you pack it to its full capacity.
  • Its minimalistic exterior makes it suitable for more formal situations or business trips.
  • The material is very durable and will last you for years to come.
  • It's a versatile backpack that can be used for commuting with a small laptop
  • Works well as a trail run pack
What we don’t like:
  • The waist belt is thin and not very supportive. Nor can it be removed
  • When fully loaded it becomes hard to access things at the bottom.

The entry-level hiking backpack formally known as Deuter Aircontact Lite is a lightweight piece of equipment that is great for day hikes and weekend getaways alike. The 65+10 liters capacity grants you the freedom of packing as much as you possibly can for the much-anticipated trek. The back system of the backpack makes your load manageable and takes away the stress from you – it has got an open-cell foam construction that provides excellent ventilation.

The ergonomic comfort lock hip-belt along with the lower compression strap further support your spine and give you that desired fit. There is a separate bottom compartment for storing your sleeping bag and an extendable 10-liter pack collar for even more storage room.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Deuter Aircontact Lite :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Nylon, closed-cell foam
  • Frame: Internal Aluminum
  • Pockets: 4 + main compartment
  • Dimensions: 34 x 14 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 6 oz.
What we like:
  • The pull-forward construction makes it easy to fasten the hip-belt even when the load is heavy
  • The side compression straps make the load look compact and not bulky
  • The Aircontact Lite back system allows you to freely move with your load without getting too hot
What we don’t like:
  • Comes in one size only

You will be able to cram the many pockets of the backpack including an external lid pocket, stretch side pockets, a large front pocket and an internal pocket with your valuables and other hiking essentials. With a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer, you can hardly go wrong with this backpack.

The premium build Mystery Ranch Glacier hiking backpack is a tough competitor on the hiking equipment market for a reason – it is built from the rigid Nylon and equipped with a composite internal frame for that longevity. You won’t have to replace it even after years of rigorous use due to the backpack’s unique composition.

There will be no need for extra accessories for the storage of your essentials either – the Glacier has got you covered with its 2 vertical torpedo pockets and a Speedzip compartment that gives you quick and easy access to your stuff including the sleeping bag.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Mystery Ranch Glacier:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 550-denier Lite Plus Cordura Nylon
  • Frame: Internal Composite
  • Pockets: 4 + main compartment
  • Dimensions: 34.5 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches
  • Weight: 6 lbs. 6.4 oz
What we like:
  • The tough Nylon guarantees a long usage period
  • The top-loading construction makes it easy for you to stuff the backpack with hiking essentials
  • The 71-liters capacity means that you can embark on week-long trips without leaving any essentials behind
What we don’t like:
  • Much heavier than other backpacks
  • No hip-belt pockets

The floating lid is a feature that makes it stand out in the crowd – you can easily transform it into a daytime backpack that has two massive pockets. As per usual, there are a water bottle pocket and trekking pole loops for you to use whenever you plan on climbing mountains or hills.

It’s possible that you don’t need a hiking backpack that is half of your height size – a smaller pack with the same qualities of a massive one can be just as suitable for week-long treks. Osprey Levity ultralight hiking backpack is right up this alley. It is made from an ultra-high-molecular ripstop and Cordura Nylon that feels like a feather on your back.

The 3.5mm Lightwire frame helps to distribute the load proportionately through the entire spine of yours without making you exhausted after a few hours of the uphill climb. Every little detail from the cushioned ExoForm harness to the seamless layered mesh provides you with the utmost comfort and convenience that is needed for withstanding tough hiking trails.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Osprey Levity 60 :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 30-denier ripstop Cordura silnylon/NanoFly 210-denier nylon x 200-denier UHMWPE
  • Frame: Internal Aluminum
  • Pockets: 4 + main compartment
  • Dimensions: 28 x 16 x 13 inches (Medium)
  • Weight: 1 lb. 15.2 oz (Medium)
What we like:
  • The compression straps located on the main compartment and along the side pockets help you secure the load tightly
  • The cord-loop attachment tips placed on the lid of the backpack allow you to stuff your bag with more things
  • The dual-access side pockets provide you with enough storage to keep your snacks and water bottle close within your reach
What we don’t like:
  • Won’t hold more than 30 pounds

The 3D mesh back panel fosters the ventilation of your back so that no sweat drops fall down your back. The top lid compartment is zippered and easily accessible for you to be able to quickly reach your snacks, flashlight or a knife. The All-Mighty Osprey’s guarantee makes your experience even better as it makes you recognize the value you get.

If you are planning on hiking in wet weather conditions or cross rivers, Kelty Coyote 65 hiking backpack is just what will complete your adventure. This fully-loaded with features hauler is made for weekend backcountry trips with your friends and family and is able to store up to 65 pounds of weight. This is quite a lot if you consider packing a sleeping bag, a few clothing changes and other smaller-scale items.

The PerfectFit suspension straps allow you to adjust the fit of your backpack according to your body shape, which is already a win-win. The LightBeam aluminum stays along with the sturdy shoulder straps and a spacious hip-belt makes it a reliable piece of equipment that will last you at least a few years of continuous use.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Kelty Coyote 65 :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: Poly 420D Small Back Stafford
  • Frame: Internal Spring Steel + HDPE
  • Pockets: 5 + main compartment
  • Dimensions: 30 x 18 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 10 oz
What we like:
  • The AMP-Flow ventilated back panel provides you with the cool feeling and less sweat
  • The load-lifter straps along with the Fit-Pro torso adjustment system help to stabilize the load
  • Affordable
What we don’t like:
  • The construction is not the most durable if compared to other hiking backpack models

There are side pockets for you to store the essentials and side zippers for you to access the main compartment without undoing the lid. Speaking about the lid – it can easily be converted into a sling pack that you can carry during the day while your big bag is waiting for you at the campsite.

All-in-one hiking backpack is what Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor can be described as. It features a unique pending gusset system that allows you to pack fast and expand the pack from 40 to 60 liters with a few strap adjustments. The backpack doesn’t expand up as others do – rather, its perimeter expands, which provides you with quick and easy access to your load. This means that you can pick up or lose gear as you go.

There are side zippers for you to make use of when on the go as well as side pockets with adjustable volume. Stuff them with your hiking essentials like a water bottle, snacks and sunglasses. The hip-belt is made from EVA foam, and so are the shoulder straps – the manufacturer ensured your ultimate comfort when designing the backpack.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the Sierra Designs Flex :
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 100D Nylon-Poly Ripstop, 420D Nylon Oxford
  • Frame: Internal DAC Y-Flex aluminum
  • Pockets: 2 + main compartment
  • Dimensions: 27.5 x 11 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 9.2 oz
What we like:
  • The pending gusset system is handy when you change your mind about the things you are bringing with you
  • The Y-shaped DAC Pressfit suspension is made from durable aluminum, which provides you with a long-lasting equipment
  • Much more affordable than hiking backpacks of the same volume capacity
What we don’t like:
  • The fabric of the backpack can get stuck in the zippers

The compression straps along with the belt stabilizer and load lifter straps are of big help when loading your backpack with lots of things that have to be worn for long hours. The trip works together to help you stabilize the load and distribute it proportionately.

Comfortable and breathable back panel, floating lid, molded hip-belt, zippered side entry – these are just some of the features of The North Face Terra hiking backpack. This sleek-looking hiking companion will quickly find its place in your closet alongside other backpacking essentials due to its user-friendly design and an abundance of organizational storage.

It has got the OPTFIT suspension system that guarantees a secure and snug fit and padded shoulder straps that foster the highest level of comfort possible. The hip belt is designed to store all of your essentials at your fingertips while also being built from the softest air-mesh fabric. This is particularly important for prolonged hikes that cannot handle digging-into-the-hips feeling for too long.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the The North Face Terra:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 600-denier Polyester
  • Frame: Internal Aluminum
  • Pockets: 9 + main compartment (Small/Medium)
  • Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 5.8 oz
What we like:
  • The slimmed-down style of the backpack allows you to carry lots of stuff without looking bulky
  • The vertical channel helps to improve the ventilation your back receives
  • The many pockets provide you with an extensive amount of storage space
What we don’t like:
  • Not widely available online

The access to your stuff is granted to you by the spacious zippered side entry and the bottom pocket that stores your sleeping bag.

The TETON Sports Scout hiking backpack is made to fit your outdoor belongings and more. Light backpacking adventures and long hikes can be easily accompanied by this pack that can store up to 55 liters of stuff. You can easily adjust the backpack’s fit according to the size of your torso, chest, waist and shoulders.

No slippery slopes or rocky surfaces will ever present an obstacle to you when you are carrying secure equipment. Your back is bound to stay cool and ventilated thanks to the padded back panel that allows the air to flow in and out. Those challenging climbs won’t seem that challenging anymore.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the TETON Sports Scout:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Material: 600D Diamond Ripstop / 600D PU
  • Frame: Internal
  • Dimensions: 30 x 17 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs.
What we like:
  • The large zippered pockets have weather-guard zippers that protect your load from getting wet
  • The compression straps located on the front of the backpack can secure your tent or sleeping bag
  • One of the most affordable hiking backpacks on the market
What we don’t like:
  • No hip belt pockets for storing hands-on items
  • Heavier than other hiking backpacks

The backpack is loaded with features ranging from multi-directional compression straps, a sleeping bag compartment and multiple other pockets for neatly organizing your backpacking life. The bungee storage space allows you to stash your jacket or a water bottle that will be easily available to you when you need it most. There is also a rainfly for you to keep your gear dry and safe.

This is the OutdoorMaster 50L SMART HIKING/TRAVEL BACKPACK PRO. Yes, it’s a great backpack to use on a hiking trip, but it can do so much more. If you need a backpack that will serve you for multiple purposes this one is very promising. Read the review to see if this travel/hiking backpack is for you.

We’ve done all the research for you and found the best place to buy the OutdoorMaster 50L:
Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Best Suited For: Hiking, Traveling, Day Trips, Everyday use
  • Material: Lightweight and durable nylon
  • Volume: 50L
  • Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 8.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
What we like:
  • Works great as a travel pack, for daily use as well as hiking
  • Stationary slots are nice in the secondary compartment
  • Sits on back as well as a trail running pack
  • Doesn’t generate too much heat, so fewer sticky shirt problems
  • Easy to quickly stuff soft clothing and go
What we don’t like:
  • Doesn’t provide too much protection (a consequence of being lightweight)
  • Flimsy without having any contents
  • Laptop sleeve strap too long and gets in the way

Questions & Answers:

1. Are hiking backpacks waterproof? If not, how to make a backpack waterproof?

Despite hiking backpacks being built with water-resistant membranes, not all of them are waterproof by the definition. With that said, Nylon and Polyester materials that are often used for their manufacturing do prevent your backpack from becoming logged with water. They also help in keeping the weight of your hiking backpack steady by not letting the water soak through your equipment.

For you to be sure of your hiking backpack’s ability to withstand the harshest weather conditions, there are a few measures you can take. One of them is to place a rain cover over your backpack. More often than not you will find one stuffed in the small pocket of your backpack on the bottom part. The drawback of a rain cover is the limited access to your stuff due to the cover’s thin construction and the possibility of it getting snagged on foliage and ripping.

Another option is to line the inside of your hiking backpack with a plastic bag or a liner that fits well. A heavy-duty liner is a more reliable way of keeping your things safe and dry even in the case of your backpack becoming wet. Make sure, however, to choose a plastic bag/liner that is larger than your backpack. This way you will have more material to work with when tucking the corners and shutting the bag.

Last but not least, you can make use of zip lock bags and dry sacks. You will need quite a few of them if you have a lot of stuff to protect from water, but the practice shows it is worth it. In case you decide to pack your electronic gear that requires dry space, zip locks are inevitable, so you might as well use them to your advantage.

2. How do I choose a hiking backpack?

There are plenty of factors that come into play when choosing a hiking backpack. You want your investment to serve you well throughout many years and not have to think about replacing it when something is off. To guarantee a successful purchase, you must answer two questions: what’s the duration of your hike and where and when are you planning on hiking?

A day hike means that you will be at home by the night time and thus will be just fine with a hiking backpack of 10-25 liters. Your hiking essentials are most likely to be a water bottle, a sunscreen, a light jacket, and some snacks to keep your energy levels up.

If your hike is bound to include a night spent in the sleeping bag, a hiking backpack of 20-35 liters should suffice. Besides a sleeping bag, you will have to pack camping essentials that could occupy quite a bit of space.

A 3+ day hiking adventure requires a hiking backpack of at the very minimum 35 liters regardless of whether you stay in rented accommodation or not. The longer your hike is, the higher is the chance of you becoming tired or needing more entertainment/food/clothes/gear. A spacious enough hiking backpack will give you peace of mind knowing that you have all of your essentials packed for just in case.

The environment in which you are planning on hiking plays a huge role in determining the choice of your hiking backpack. Apart from doing your homework and finding out what the weather will be like in that particular hiking location, you should consider the conditions in which you will spend most of your time.

When hiking in the mountains and changing altitudes, expect to experience sun and rain, and perhaps even snow at times. This means that your hiking backpack should be roomy enough to fit a few different outfit options including a waterproof jacket and even winter gear in some cases.

Although tropical islands won’t have drastic temperature changes, you should expect rain, fog and blazing sun all on the same day and be prepared for these changes. A light rain jacket, sunglasses and sunscreen are the most basic essentials your hiking backpack should have in this scenario. It tends to get colder during the night, which means that a few layers of clothes are also a requirement.

3. Is a 50L backpack enough?

If you are headed on a weekend hike in mild weather conditions, a 50L hiking backpack is enough. It will fit a sleeping bag, a water filter, a few outfits and some cooking essentials like a camp stove, a pot and a food bag that would guarantee you pleasant hiking experience. You can even go on a multiple-day hiking trip if you are a minimalist and don’t need a lot of things to keep you safe and satisfied.

If, however, you would prefer to bring a tent, a pillow and a few more commodities that would ensure a stress-free trip, a 60L hiking backpack is a better idea. It is a level up from the previous option and has some extra room for you to carry a large sleeping bag and similar bulky items that require a substantial amount of space.

4. How do you pack a hiking backpack for air travel?

A hiking trip in a foreign country requires you to take a plane, which means that you have to pack in a way that is practical and comfortable at the same time. If possible, don’t check in your hiking backpack for the luggage compartment. This is possible if you pack light and eliminate all the unnecessary things that you can purchase when you reach your destination. You could also wear your hiking clothes on the plane as they tend to be bulky and occupy the most space anyway.

The order of packing is also crucial for your own comfort and the use of all of the space in your hiking backpack. Non-essential and lightweight items should go first – this way the weight distribution is proportionate through the entire backpack and your pack has a stable foundation. Sleeping bag, extra pair of shoes and a headlamp are some of the items you might want to consider placing in the bottom of your hiking backpack.

Electronic gadgets should go in the middle so that they are protected from both sides. Although this ensures your gadgets don’t get damaged, it is a good idea to pack them in a protective sleeve they come in to avoid scratches and dents. Lastly, the top of your backpack should store the in-flight essentials you can’t live without. The basic assortment consists of an entertainment gadget like Kindle, a lightweight jacket, an eye mask, a toiletry bag, snacks and, of course, your documents, give or take.

Also, follow the TSA guidelines so that nothing prohibited is stored in your hiking backpack that can potentially be taken away from you. This is never fun and the risk not worth taking.

5. What is the difference between a rucksack and a backpack?

A backpack, as the name suggests, is a pack that you transport on your back. It has two shoulder straps and is made from waxed/crafted canvas or leather depending on either it is a hiking, traveling or a day-to-day backpack. The shoulder straps on a backpack, however, don’t carry a lot of weight – rather, this is the responsibility of a hip belt.

A good-quality backpack has a hip belt that helps you transfer the weight of the backpack from shoulders to hips thus allowing your load to be carried by the biggest muscle of your body – the legs. For heavy loads to be worn with no back pains, your backpack’s hip belt has to be long enough to not wrap around your waist but around the front of your hips.

A rucksack, essentially, is a type of a backpack that is mainly used for outdoor activities like camping and hiking. It has multiple pockets and straps for you to store your stuff in it and attach it snugly to your body. You will often find a rucksack to have chest belts as well as hip belts for that right weight distribution. A rugged rucksack is ideal for long hiking trips and travels around the world.

The only difference we found is the existence of a cinched or tied top that rucksacks tend to have. This makes them suitable for use by military officials due to the simple convenience of quick and easy grab. Other than that, both backpack and a rucksack perform the same function of helping you carry a heavy load on your back without getting tired too quickly.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Hiking Backpacks

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    What is the best backpack for hiking?

    It all depends on the length of your trip. For anything over a three-day trip, you will need a 50-80L pack to fit enough clothes, water, and food. These backpacks are also great for weekend bags. Our suggestions:

    For shorter trips or half-day hikes, anything between a 20-35L backpack or daypack will work fine. Our suggestions:

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    What should I look for when buying a hiking backpack?

    Hiking is a physically demanding activity. Your backpack should support you rather than hinder you or affect your posture. Be sure you try on your backpack to see if the hip belt supports your body type. 80 percent of the backpack’s weight should rest on your hips for maximum support and comfort. In terms of material, you can never go wrong with water resistance and splashproof to keep your belongings safe.

    Read more about it in this guide to choosing the right hiking backpack.

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    What is the best women's backpack for hiking?

    Women generally have a smaller frame than men. Their backpack needs to reflect that since a bigger backpack that works for men can sit big and loose on women making the hike very uncomfortable. Backpack hip belts usually fit a wide range of hip sizes ranging from mid 20 inches to mid 40 inches. If you are under this range you might need something smaller to support the weight.

    • Osprey Aura Pack
    • Arc’teryx Bora AR 49 Pack
    • Hyperlight Mountain Gear 4400 Southwest Pack
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    How should a hiking backpack fit?

    Grab some measuring tape and start measuring from the base of your neck to the top of your hip bone. This measurement will help you decide whether you should get an S, M, or L backpack. Keep in mind that backpack sizes are not universal across brands so be sure you check the measuring chart before you make your purchase.

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    Can you use a regular backpack for hiking?

    Yes, If you are going on a short hike or a half-day trip without a bunch of equipment you can get away with a regular backpack. The problem starts when you are going on longer trips with heavier gear. Regular backpacks are not designed to distribute weight heavenly between your shoulders and your waist like hiking backpacks. All the weight will rest on your shoulders. This can lead to discomfort, bad posture, and fatigue.

    For shorter trips or weekend excursions a travel backpack with a good hip belt can sometimes be a better option. Check out these pretty good travel backpacks for more.

If you already have a hiking backpack or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.

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