A quality backpack can be a lifesaver when you’re out camping, not just figuratively speaking. Along with holding all your valuables intact throughout your camping trip, it will also provide a reasonable standard of protection and even a resting aid in some cases.
To find a good hiking backpack, you must first educate yourself on what the market has in store and what characteristics to look for when shopping for one. To help you through, we put together a list of the ten best backpacks for hiking for you to look at.
Best Backpacks for Hiking – Reviews
10The North Face Terra 50 Exploration
Terra 50 Exploration by The North Face is a quality feature-packed and affordable backpack which boasts a skillfully designed, vertical vent channel on its back panel that facilitates proper air circulation and allows adequate body breathability-subsequently guaranteeing no sweating. It is conveniently light (4-pounds) and includes an anatomically-shaped and well-made hip-belt for proper load distribution. It is made using 420D, 600D and 1200D polyester and nylon materials which despite being lightweight are also sturdy and tear-resistant.
9Osprey Xenith 75
This is a decent piece of gear courtesy of its massive 75L capacity and a surprisingly lighter choice than most available options. It comes with accessories including a separate sleeping bag compartment, internal compression straps for stability, external hydration sleeve allowing easy refilling and drinking, and an excellent stretch mesh pocket (front) for enabling easy access to often-used items. This backpack also features double side-compression straps and is a durable, comfortable yet affordable accessory.
The Deuter Aircontact is a remarkable backpack equipped with unique inside pockets which harbor easy intruder access, three easily accessible side pockets, a height-adjustable lid (top), and an ideal wet pocket for storing wet and sweaty clothes. Its standout feature is the exclusive SOS label imprinted in its top flap’s interior which lists several emergency numbers plus general instructions you can use during emergencies. It also has a superb load-balancing system and frame and adapts well with the users back for more comfortable stability and carrying. What’s more, it features a high-quality but breathable padding for added airflow.
7Terra 65 Backpack
Terra 65 is an excellent, large, light and comfortable premium grade backpack from The North Face. This 65L capacity accessory features a modern frame structure (aluminum-made), a re-structured harness system (OPTIFIT) for proper fit, not to mention sturdy yet lightweight nylon materials-thus less weight. What’s more, it features a handy sleeping bag compartment but with separate entry, a beavertail expansion for more storage space and two tool keepers. Lastly, it is equipped with a soft, comfortable and ergonomically-accurate waist-belt and includes a patent-adjustment strap for easy fitting.
6Gregory Baltoro 75 Backpack
The Baltoro 65 by Gregory backpack comprises premium features including its ‘Response A3’ suspension technology for balancing your load and superb silicone-made lumbar support grip that boosts stability. Better yet, it also includes extra useful accessories such a rain cover, a detachable ultra-light daypack, dual ice ax loops, a bottle holster, plus a heavy-duty phone pocket. Furthermore, besides its U-shaped zipper (top) that opens entirely for more space, it also includes a sleeping bag compartment (separate) that features a removable divider.
5Baltoro 65 Liter Men’s Multi-Day Hiking Backpack
This particular backpack features numerous useful attributes including a ‘Load Transfer Disc’ system that works to boost its stability and agility, a well-made suspension system for easy carrying, a large (detachable and extendable) lid and an adjustable drawcord collar for more space. This backpack is made using tear-resistant and light 210D-nylon and complemented by the 500D-nylon in high-wear areas to guarantee load security and durability. Its internal frame, made from aluminum, is stable and sturdy and with its numerous external straps, the Altra 65 facilitates proper compression and tie down of your load.
Mountaintop 70+10 boasts both impressive features and a friendly price tag. Among the highlights is numerous compression straps(10) for proper compression and securing of your load, an 8-stage height adjuster for adequate fit, comfortable and well-made hip belts, and handy hip pockets for easy access. Finally, this backpack is slightly water-resistant (not waterproof), and features a distinctive in-built emergency whistle on its sternum strap.
3Osprey Aether 70
The Aether 70 backpack is a top-quality, comfortable, reliable yet affordable backpack. It has a comprehensive Osprey lifetime warranty facilitating guaranteed repair or replacement in case of defect or damage. First, it has a smart design featuring zipper hip-belt pockets, large stretch mesh front pocket, and dual access stretch side pockets. The front comprises two compression straps (horizontal) that secure heavy loads, tool attachments on its bottom and sides, a separate compartment (sleeping bag), extra compression straps and an exterior hydration sleeve. What’s more, it has two compartments (spacious) convertible into a day-pack, stylish hip belt and shoulder straps for balanced comfort and firmness, a reliable and robust internal framework plus a lifetime warranty on it.
2Osprey Atmos AG 65
This is an excellent all-around backpack. It features among others a reliable ‘Anti-Gravity’ suspension system that adjusts to your body’s shape, a comfortable and light back panel design, a removable lid (top) and bottom-placed sleeping bag straps that can be detached to reduce weight. Atmos AG also includes a well-designed main pack offers excellent compression and excellent weather protection, and bungee tie-offs and loops on its side that allow the attachment of several handy tools in an easy to access manner. It also boasts double-compression straps for evenly balancing heavy loads, other concealed compression straps for stability and an easily adjustable hip belt (front). Finally, its torso length is adjustable via an adaptable harness for better body fit.
1TETON Sports Scout 3400
This is an affordable yet fully packed USA-made backpack for your convenience. Aside from its 55L capacity, this small but compact pack also features stylish compression straps for proper gear security, an adaptable torso length for proper fit, a sleeping bag bottom compartment, not to mention valuable bungee storage spaces for easy accessibility of items. What’s more, it also comes with a lifetime warranty for good measure.
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What To Look For In A Hiking Backpack
Not only should a backpack be reliable but weatherproof and durable as well. In this regard, you might find it rather daunting to find a backpack that meets the quota, be it even for a handful of all the features a quality backpack should possess. Depending on the style, construction, size, durability, and capacity, hiking backpacks can differ a lot from one another. In principle, here is what you need to consider when buying one:
Weight – Needless to say, a backpack’s weight is crucial when wearing it, even if you’re not planning on carrying too much. The general idea is that you want a backpack that’s relatively lightweight, so as to enable you to pack it full of all the necessary items for a plentiful hiking trip. In this regard, a hiking backpack should possess a sturdy internal frame, yet one that also provides good balance and reliability without being too heavy.
Straps – When it comes to straps, you want a backpack that features padded straps for added comfort. You would be surprised just how heavy your gear will feel after a while, especially if your backpack cuts deep into your shoulders from all the weight. In terms of padding, there are many materials to choose from, just as long as you choose a backpack with thickly padded straps to take some of the stress off your shoulders.
Internal Frame – Like we said, a reliable backpack should always have a sturdy internal frame to provide structure and sturdiness. This will ensure that your valuables are kept safe at all times, even in the event of you brushing your backpack on trees or rocks while taking a hike. This frame is usually hidden inside your backpack and built in a way that provides a good weight transfer from your shoulders to your hips.
Hip Belt – A good backpack should also have a comfortable hip belt to provide you with a tight fit. Often overlooked by inexperienced hikers, this belt will ensure that you don’t get any sore spots on your hips and lower back after a long day of hiking. In fact, you should always look for a backpack with a cushioned hip belt to prevent the backpack from pressuring your lower back, a belt that also acts as a stabilizer when trekking on uneven terrain.
Capacity – One should always consider a backpack’s overall capacity when determining its worth for obvious reasons. A backpack’s capacity determines how many items and how much gear you can carry with you every time you go for a hike. Usually measured in liters, a backpack’s capacity also determines how many provisions you can bring along, an important piece of information to ponder when going for a long trip.
Weather Resistance – We should also point out that all the good hiking backpacks are weatherproof. Not only are good backpacks waterproof to an impressive standard but also designed to protect you from the cold as well. Despite being waterproof, however, most of these backpacks still provide a decent amount of ventilation so that you won’t sweat too much after wearing the backpack for too long.
Ventilation – As we already pointed out, most weatherproof backpacks are made of strong materials like nylon, which might lead some of you to think that they might also cause you to sweat over time. Interestingly enough, these backpacks almost always boast a mesh back panel or any other form of a ventilation system for you to keep cool in any weather. As a matter of fact, stay away from any backpack that doesn’t have at least one form of ventilation.
Hydration Sleeve – Some modern backpacks also have so-called hydration sleeves. These are basically integrated reservoirs built into the backpack’s fabric, reservoirs that you can fill up with water and drink from at your own choosing. This might come in handy whenever you’re making a good time on your hike and you don’t want to stop and take the backpack off before sipping some water to stay hydrated.
Rain Cover – Last but not least, we should also point out that quality backpacks almost always have rain covers for you to use whenever the weather takes a turn for the worse. Some of these backpacks have separate, detachable rain covers that you can employ to protect the upper side of your backpack in rainy weather. While you can still expect some moisture to slip into the backpack with regular backpacks, those that employ rain covers almost never have that problem.