The 16 Best Hiking Backpacks in 2022

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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.

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The Top 10 Hiking Backpacks in 2022

All the Hiking Backpacks We've tested

Best Entry Level Backpacking Pack

Osprey-Aether
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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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • Materials: 420HD Nylon Pack Cloth (Main and Bottom Fabric), 210D Nylon Diamond (Accent), PFC-Free DWR Coating
  • Volume: 65 Liters
  • Dimension: 31.5” x 15.75” x 11.02”
  • Weight: 4.93 lbs.
  • Included rainfly

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.9

Reasons to buy:

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    Well-thought customizable harness system ensures ultra-comfortable carrying experience
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    Lots of white markings to guide you when adjusting the fit
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    Solid back frame but also super breathable
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    Plenty of pockets for organization
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    Numerous bungee ties and clips for your accessories

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markHip belt pockets are hard to open/close while wearing
  • check-markA pair of carrying handles in the front would be nice for portability
  • check-markOn the pricey end of hiking backpacks
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Osprey Aether 65 Mens Hiking Pack

Sporty Hiking

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A hiking backpack is central to that a positive trekking experience and Gregory has been offering some really solid options. The Gregory Zulu is a 55 liter pack made for backcountry trekking.

It’s got all the basic features you’ll need to survive in the outdoors and stay organized.

A hiking backpack is like a pair of shoes or a car though. In that respect, they all have unique designs that can complement your style, cause friction or maybe enhance the whole experience.

We tested and reviewed Gregory Zulu 55 Backpack to help you decide which one of these scenarios might fit your trek.

Specs & Features

  • Materials: 210D Honeycomb Cryptorip Nylon / 210D High Tenacity Nylon (Body), 630D High-Density Nylon / 135D High-Density Polyester (Bottom), LifeSpan EVA Foam, Fiberglass Anti-barreling Stay, HDPE and 4mm Alloy Steel
  • Volume: 55 Liters
  • Dimensions: 28” x 13.25” x 12”
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs.
  • Colors: Empire Blue, Mantis Green

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Reasons to buy:

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    FreeFloat suspension system is excellent for ventilation and offers premium comfort
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    It fits even broad shoulders
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    2-way access water bottle holders, with compression straps to fit any bottle size
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    There’s a built-in emergency whistle and tube clip at the sternum strap
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    U-Zip front loading makes it easy to access the main compartment

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markHip belt pockets are hard to open/close
  • check-markExtra haul loops in the front (top and bottom) so you quickly move the bag while front access is open.
Read full review

Where to buy:

Gregory Zulu 55 Product Image

Gregory Zulu 55

Great for Camping and Traveling

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Want a reasonably priced yet stylish hiking backpack you can carry around the city and take on a weekend holiday trip? Jack Wolf Skin Highland Trail 55 Backpack might be the ideal bag for you.

Jack Wolfskin made its mark as a company innovating cross-over products. The German company makes gear for the great outdoors and urban life with a quality to be respected and at a price not to be dismissed.

They pledge to provide you with a nylon backpack you can equally use while strolling city centers and also take the middle of the wilderness.

It’s a 2-in-1 performance deal that has proven quite compelling to a segment of casual outdoor enthusiasts these last few years?

To confirm these expectations with reality, we put this Jack Wolfskin backpack to the test.

Here’s our verdict.

Specs & Features

  • Material: : 280D Cross Rip Polyamide (Body) and 300D Cross Rip Polyester (Base), Polyester Lining, DWR Coating, YKK Zippers
  • Volume: : 55 Liters + Expandable 5 Liters
  • Dimension: : 14.96” x 12.6” x 32.28”
  • Weight: : 4.85 lbs.
  • Colors: : Black (Phantom)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Reasons to buy:

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    Stylish design works in both urban and outdoor escapades
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    The clamshell opening is one of the best
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    Zipped front pocket provides security for items you need within reach
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    Spacious sleeping bag compartment
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    You can max out another 5 liters on top

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe back padding system isn’t as breathable as it could be.
  • check-markMissing criss-cross bungee strings or a front mesh pocket for wet items
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Where to buy:

Jack Wolfskin Highland Trail Product Image

Jack Wolfskin Highland Trail 55

Solid Trekking Pack

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The clever 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 is just a bit bigger than a lot of mid-sized bags without seeming too big. With a floating lid and two extremely large, stretchable mesh pockets at the side, the AirContact hits the sweet spot for capacity and moveability.

The back system of the pack makes your load manageable and takes away the stress from you – it has got an open-cell foam construction that provides excellent ventilation too.

The ergonomic comfort lock hip belt along with the lower compression strap further supports 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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • Material: 100D Polyamide (Nylon), 600D Polyester with Polyurethane Coating
  • Frame: Internal Aluminum
  • Pockets: 4 + main compartment
  • Dimensions: 33.07” x 12.6” x 10.24”
  • Weight: 4.39 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Reasons to buy:

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    Adjustments make it super comfortable and compatible for women and men
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    Hip belt pockets are easy to use, with the webbings and buckle sized just-right
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    The side mesh panels of the front shove-it pocket are great for draining your wet items.
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    Aircontact back system and 3D mesh fabric in all touchpoints offer excellent breathability.
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    Good for mountaineering because it flexes with your body

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markNo rain cover included
  • check-markFront access would be useful
  • check-markComes in one size only
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Deuter Aircontact Lite

Technical, Comfort Pack

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It’s fair to say that Gregory is brand for more serious outdoor activities. They tend to have more technical qualities and a higher price tag. But that’s exactly why more experienced hikers and campers choose better gear.

The Gregory Paragon 58 aimed to demonstrate its quality with the aptly named Paragon. This 58 Liter pack is designed for men’s bodies to carry some serious weight over technically challenging terrain.

With a proprietary suspension system to make this all more comfortable, the Paragon raises expectations for a hiking backpack that enhances the journey and makes the staying in a tent somewhere in the wilderness more comfortable. The design aspects of the bags organization–including side-loading–are in fact impressive.

We tested this bag for durability and resistance to the elements. We did this while having high expectations for how well the Paragon fit to the contours of our back as we stepped and scrambled over diverse landscapes. Read our review to see how it fared.

Specs & Features

  • Material:: Nylon Body (100D, 210D), 420D Nylon Base, 135D Recycled Polyester Lining, LifeSpan EVA Foam, Aluminum Frame
  • Volume: : 58 Liters
  • Dimensions: : 23.62” x 14.17” x 9.06”
  • Weight: : 3.47 lbs.
  • Colors: : Burnt Olive, Graphite Blue

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Reasons to buy:

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    Sideloading offers quick access to the main compartment
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    Lots of lash points for extra gear
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    Lightweight
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    Good airflow at the back
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    2-way water right bottle holder so you can snatch your drink with ease

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markHip pockets are hard to open/close
  • check-markAdjusting load lifters are bit tricky
  • check-markWe wish the left water bottle holster had side access as well
  • check-markLow tear-resistance
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Where to buy:

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Gregory Paragon 58

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Not wanting to shell out a lot of cash for a good hiking backpack? Want to try out the backpacking lifestyle without breaking your bank? The TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack might interest you.

This 55-liter large backpack from TETON is a minimalist rucksack that provides all the basics of a travel/hiking bag: lots of storage, some organization, good enough comfort, and durability.

The TETON Sports Scout 3400 might appeal to you if you’re on a smaller budget but need a backpack. It may also be a good companion for your once-a-year hiking trip or a comfortable bag for a weekend escapade.

But is it even worth it, or maybe it would be wiser to invest in a backpack with a better brand?

We’ve put the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack to the test, comparing it to better known brands too, and here’s our honest appraisal of what this hiking backpack does and what it can’t do.

Specs & Features

  • Materials: 600D Diamond Ripstop Nylon, 600D Polyester Oxford Canvas
  • Volume: 55 Liters + Expandable 5 Liters
  • Dimensions: 30” x 17” x 12”
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs.
  • Colors: Black, Burnt Orange, Huckleberry, Mecca Orange, Olive, Tan

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Reasons to buy:

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    It comes with a built-in hydration sleeve for ease of access
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    The internal frame and harness system offers enough comfort
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    Massive zipped side pockets for extras
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    You can keep items in the bungee straps at the front
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    The integrated rain cover is a time-saver

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe hip belts got no pockets
  • check-markIt can't fit in tall water bottles
  • check-markZippers feel cheap
  • check-markThe sleeping bag compartment is small
  • check-markMesh front pocket isn’t stretchable
Read full review

Where to buy:

teton-sports-scout-3400-product-image

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Backpack

Most Comfortable Backpacking Pack

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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.

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.

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)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    The hip-belt design is innovative due to its side-to-side and up-and-down rotation
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    The Tegris frame sheet along with the aluminum stays aid in distributing the weight evenly
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    The double waterproof fabric ensures no water ever gets soaked by the backpack’s fabric

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe price tag is extremely high
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Arc’teryx Bora AR 63

Easy Access and Comfort

mystery-ranch-glacier-featured
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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.

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.

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

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    The tough Nylon guarantees a long usage period
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    The top-loading construction makes it easy for you to stuff the backpack with hiking essentials
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    The 71-liters capacity means that you can embark on week-long trips without leaving any essentials behind

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markMuch heavier than other backpacks
  • check-markNo hip-belt pockets
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Mystery Ranch Glacier

hyperlite-mountain-gear-2400-southwest-40l-featured
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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.

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.

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)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.7

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    The Dyneema Suspension system ensures the security of the load and your comfort while carrying it
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    The low weight of the hiking backpack means you can stuff it with more things
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    The compression straps located at sides and at the top can be easily cinched down for load stabilization

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe basicness of the backpack’s features might not satisfy everyone
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest 40L

Most Durable Backpack

granite-gear-blaze-60l-featured
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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.

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.

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)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Reasons to buy:

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    The dual large belt-hip pockets can store a significant number of your belongings that have to be available to you on the spot
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    The 60-liters capacity is ideal for weekend hikes as well as for a week-long backpacking adventures
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    The 3-tier side and front compression strap holds in the load perfectly well

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe back ventilation is not good
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Granite Gear Blaze 60L

High Capacity Backpack

osprey-xena-85-featured
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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 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.

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)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    The FlapJacket flap integrated into the backpack helps to protect your gear when the lid is removed
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    The top lid of the backpack can be easily converted into a daytime backpack practical for short trips from and to the camp
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    The external hydration reservoir sleeve can accommodate up to 3 liters of water

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe construction is durable yet rough, meaning that you can get blisters if not adjusted correctly
Read full review

Where to buy:

the-north-face-terra-65-featured
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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.

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

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

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

3.9

Reasons to buy:

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    The slimmed-down style of the backpack allows you to carry lots of stuff without looking bulky
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    The vertical channel helps to improve the ventilation your back receives
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    The many pockets provide you with an extensive amount of storage space

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markNot widely available online
Read full review

Where to buy:

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The North Face Terra 65

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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.

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.

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.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.0

Reasons to buy:

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    The rain cover that comes with the backpack is a handy accessory to have
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    The internal zippered pocket allows you to store your expensive gadgets without worrying about getting them damaged
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    It is affordable

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe backpack is not feature-rich
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Lowe Alpine AirZone

osprey-levity-60-ultralight-featured
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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.

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.

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)

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.0

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    The compression straps located on the main compartment and along the side pockets help you secure the load tightly
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    The cord-loop attachment tips placed on the lid of the backpack allow you to stuff your bag with more things
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    The dual-access side pockets provide you with enough storage to keep your snacks and water bottle close within your reach

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markWon’t hold more than 30 pounds
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Osprey Levity 60 Ultralight

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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.

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.

Specs & Features

  • Material: 600-denier Polyester
  • Frame: Internal
  • Dimensions: 31 x 15 x 12.6 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

3.8

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    The backpack has got plenty of room for you to store not only essentials but also not-so-necessary things
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    The rain cover comes with the backpack, meaning that you don’t have to purchase it separately
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    The side pockets are expandable – you can easily add 10 liters to your backpack’s load

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markDoesn’t have unique features
Read full review

Where to buy:

berghaus-ridgeway-6510l-hiking-backpack.jpg

Berghaus Ridgeway 65+10L

kelty-coyote-65-featured
Read full review

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.

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.

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

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

3.8

Reasons to buy:

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    The AMP-Flow ventilated back panel provides you with the cool feeling and less sweat
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    The load-lifter straps along with the Fit-Pro torso adjustment system help to stabilize the load
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    Affordable

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe construction is not the most durable if compared to other hiking backpack models
Read full review

Where to buy:

kelty-coyote-65-hiking-backpack.jpg

Kelty Coyote 65

sierra-designs-flex-capacitor-featured
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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.

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.

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

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

3.7

Reasons to buy:

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    The pending gusset system is handy when you change your mind about the things you are bringing with you
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    The Y-shaped DAC Pressfit suspension is made from durable aluminum, which provides you with a long-lasting equipment
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    Much more affordable than hiking backpacks of the same volume capacity

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe fabric of the backpack can get stuck in the zippers
Read full review

Where to buy:

sierra-designs-flex-capacitor-hiking-backpack.jpg

Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor

Related Reviews

How to Choose an Ideal Hiking Backpack

Some people start trekking backcountry early in their lives. If they’re born into a wilderness-happy family, chances are they’ve been on canoe trips or weekend camping trips. Hiking backpacks have a wide range of uses in a huge spectrum of activities. They are essentially suitcases with utility clips and pockets. And also sleeves for hydration packs too. And loops for hiking poles. And… etc.

Identifying the intended activity will zero in on the right pack. For technical trips in the mountains, for example, you’re looking at a lightweight model that complements the movements of your body like the Gregory Zulu 55. This is an extremely comfortable pack that’s not too big, but big enough to carry the essentials like a sleeping bag and sleeping pad while keeping your clothing and food supplies organized for easy access. Jack Wolfskin’s Highland Trail 55 is similarly sized, less technical but more affordable and great for using things like packing cubes.

For longer treks and more capacity, you’re never going to go wrong with the Osprey Aether 65 or the Deuter AirContact Lite 65+10. While Osprey backpacks are always awesome, they come with a price tag that tends to shy some infrequent hikers off. We think it’s always going to be a reasonable investment when a product does so much and lasts as long as Osprey packs do, but there are definite alternatives that don’t cost you an arm and a leg. Like the aforementioned Deuter, with its floating lid for more capacity and amazing suspensions.

As far as capacity goes, day packs also offer an increasingly useful option. They tend to run from a 10 liter capacity, maxing out at 45 liters. They can also be used for shorter trekking trips or together with some of the bags reviewed here.

It’s also worth noting that a bag like the Teton Scout would have been a premium bag in the 80s. It looks like one from that era at least and functions just as well as the best from that time. They do the job without any fancy features at a quarter the cost of the most expensive packs. While we’d clearly prefer to have the Zulu or Highland Trail, which have the same 55-liter capacity, for example, buying the Teton Scout preserves some budget space to buy other gear items.

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

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:

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.

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
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.

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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