Best hiking backpacks

Gear

When packing a hiking backpack, make sure to pay attention to the weight distribution of the items to make them easier to carry for long distances.

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Which hiking backpack is best?

Hiking has become one of the most widely popular outdoor activities for modern life. With spaces to hike close by to most urban and suburban areas, the right hiking gear is the only obstacle stopping most people from going. One of the essential pieces of hiking gear is a hiking backpack. However, finding the right hiking backpack can be challenging considering the vast options and many different features specific versions have. 

Features to consider before buying

Backpack capacity

Especially for longer hikes, backpack capacity can make a significant impact on which item to buy. Several hiking backpacks can hold enough supplies and food for at least a few days, while other backpacks are lighter and smaller for shorter distance hikes. Depending on the activity levels of the user, different backpack capacities will be the best to have.

Weather resistance and durability

One of the most critical factors for any hiking backpack is how durable it is against the elements. Most hiking backpacks have added protection against dirt and impact if dropped. Another major factor for a hiking backpack is handling high water levels and direct sunlight. 

Comfort

For lengthier or more taxing hikes, the comfort of the backpack is crucial. Most high-quality hiking backpacks come at least with added padding to the back and on the straps. However, there are several other factors to add comfort, including breathable materials, added support to the structure of the backpack and proper weight distribution built into the interior. 

Additional features

Most hiking backpacks have special features that make the backpack unique. Several backpacks have clip-on straps to secure the backpack to the user, while others have water pouches built into the interior. Some hiking backpacks are specifically designed for special users, building unique pouches for camera lenses or camping equipment. 

Price range

Hiking backpacks can range on the more expensive side, with the average backpack costing $50-$100. The highest quality hiking backpacks cost well over $100, with most coming close to around $150-$250. 

Best hiking backpacks

Top hiking backpack

Osprey Stratos 24 Men's Hiking Backpack

Osprey Stratos 24 Men’s Hiking Backpack

What you need to know: This is a well-rounded and relatively affordable hiking backpack with an ergonomic design. 

What you’ll love: The hiking backpack has an internal hydration sleeve as an added feature. The hiking backpack also includes a removable rain cover that will protect the user. 

What you should consider: The backpack may be too small for some users, especially when equipped with a full hydration sleeve.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top hiking backpack for the money

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

What you need to know: This is an affordable hiking backpack built with an internal frame for added structure. 

What you’ll love: The hiking backpack has compression straps for additional comfort on longer hikes. The backpack also has a separate sleeping back sleeve and an internal rain cover as well.

What you should consider: The backpack lacks the same level of durability as many other options available for purchase.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Honorable mentions

Kelty Asher 55 Liter Backpack

Kelty Asher 55 Liter Backpack

What you need to know: This is a spacious and durable hiking backpack perfect for multiple days of camping in a row.

What you’ll love: The ventilated back panel prevents users’ backs from getting sweaty even after a full day in the sun. The hiking backpack’s ergonomic design will fit the user comfortably. 

What you should consider: The hiking backpack may be too large and bulky for more casual hikers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Gregory Mountain Products Katmai 55 Backpacking Backpack

Gregory Mountain Products Katmai 55 Backpacking Backpack

What you need to know: This is a very comfortable hiking backpack built to withstand significant weather. 

What you’ll love: The hiking backpack is built with a rotating harness and ventilated back panels to maximize breathability and comfort. The backpack holds a water pouch for easier hydration.

What you should consider: At over $200, this is one of the more expensive hiking backpacks offered for more casual users.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Deuter Aircontact Lite 50 + 10

Deuter Aircontact Lite 50 + 10

What you need to know: This is a lightweight hiking backpack built for longer hikes or even multi-day adventures. 

What you’ll love: The lock hip fins add significantly more stability for the backpack while walking. The internal lining of the backpack offers strong resistance to water and ensures little damage even if water leaks inside. 

What you should consider: Some users report the backpack making more noise than others while walking on uneven ground. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Columbia Zigzag 30L Backpack

Columbia Zigzag 30L Backpack

What you need to know: This is a small and affordable hiking backpack that services well as an everyday backpack.

What you’ll love: The hiking backpack has exterior water-resistant materials and an internal laptop sleeve so that electronics will be protected. The more petite frame makes it easier to take on shorter hikes. 

What you should consider: The backpack does not have the same amount of storage as larger, more traditional hiking backpacks. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Exped Verglas Hiking Daypack

Exped Verglas Hiking Daypack

What you need to know: This is an incredibly durable hiking backpack that comes in multiple sizes for more versatility.

What you’ll love: The backpack has one of the highest waterproof ratings on the market to ensure no damage to internal items. The minimalist design also helps make the backpack easier to take to more places. 

What you should consider: The backpack is not seam-taped, so some water may still get inside, especially if submerged. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Tom Price writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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