It's fitted with a very convenient Lid Lock helmet carry system and Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole carry system to hold your gear while keeping your hands free.
The bottom could be more stable.
The Osprey Talon 22 is one of the most versatile packs that can accommodate the needs of hikers, rock climbers, commuters, bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. It has a unisex design and can fit both men and women who prefer going light and moving fast.
70D x 100D nylon mini shadow brick, 420HD nylon packcloth
Main compartment, Two zippered hipbelt pockets, Side stretch mesh pockets, Harness pocket
Ventilated Bio Stretch harness and continuous wrap hipbelt, Airs cape back panel, Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole carry system, Lower InsideOut™ compression/carry straps, LidLock bike helmet attachment
External hydration sleeve
The unique BIOFIT back system allows you to adjust the pack as comfortably as possible. Moreover, all adjustments can be made right on the go.
The raincover isn't very snug.
It's a reliable trekking backpack for long-distance travels. The rucksack has a split design that is very useful and comfortable. You'll be able to grab your goods from the bottom without a need to open the whole thing. Plus, it's compatible with a hydration system.
600D Polyester, 400D Net
Main compartment, 2 side pockets, Top lid pockets, 2 bottle pockets
BIOFIT back system, Adjustable top tension straps, Pre-curved hip belt, Multiple attachment points, Hydration system compatible
Despite the impressive capacity of 120 litres, this pack weighs only 1.5 kg. And compression straps will help you organise your hiking equipment as compact as possible.
Some zippers are a little stiff.
Andes offers the best hiking backpack for long trips or expeditions. For sure, it can hold enough stuff to keep two people alive during their trip. Actually, it can carry even a 4-person tent. With that, it's very reasonably priced and available in more than 10 designs.
Polyester, Interior plastic coating
Main compartment, Multiple front compartments with zips
3 accessory clips, Compression straps, Fully adjustable shoulder and waist straps
Amazon's 30-day return policy
The light-reflective strips ensure safety on the trek. The strips will make you well-visible in low-light conditions or in the dark, which is especially important if your path goes along the roadway.
It's a bit too hefty for its size.
The MOUNTAINTOP LX5832 Hiking Backpack is well made, roomy, and thought-out to the finest detail. Besides numerous straps and the special attachment for trekking poles, it even has a sleeve for a laptop. Ideal for general use, cycling, and light trekking.
Nylon and Polyester
Main compartment, 15.6" laptop compartment, Hip-belt pocket, 1 bladder sleeve, 2 front pocket and two mesh bottle pouches
Sternum strap with emergency whistle buckle, padded shoulder straps, fixed hip-belt, Trekking pole attachment, D-shape hooks on straps, 3M reflective band, SBS zippers and durable buckles, Hydration system compatible, Top handle
Amazon's 30-day return policy
A wide variety of Molle recording points allow you to attach extra equipment to your backpack. The pack has plenty of PALS webbing to let you add on a variety of accessories.
The plastic buckles are lacking in quality.
This military-grade backpack is a very good value for the money. Due to the fact that the backpack is relatively small, it can be used not only for a day in the wild but for commuting as well. The padded back is ergonomically shaped to bring you ultimate comfort.
100% polyester, Polyvinylchloride coated
2 large compartments with various zip and mesh compartments, Two front pockets, Bottom front pocket with organizer and additional zip pocket
Padded back, Padded adjustable shoulder straps with Loops and D-rings, Adjustable waist belt with quick release, Eyelets for additional attachment of material, Carry handle, 2-way zips, Volume control, luggage attachment with side compression straps, Various molle recording points, Velcro compartment for a hydropack
Amazon's 30-day return policy
Osprey Talon 22
One of the Most Versatile
Osprey is the brand that stands at the forefront of the outdoor industry. It produces best in class packs and accessories for backpacking, hiking, cycling, climbing, and other outdoor sports. And what we have here is one of the most versatile packs ever created by this brand. The Talon 22 has a unisex design and can fit both men and women who prefer going light and moving fast.
As the name suggests, it’s the pack with a 22-litre of capacity which is perfect for day hikes, commuting, or just going around the town. And the best part about it is the exceptional aerodynamic properties. It’s very ergonomically-shaped and has a lightweight construction. Plus, you won’t feel seams, while the comfy hip belt will let you focus on your journey rather than the weight on your back. By the way, the unique AirScape back panel provides optimal airflow and breathability, thus making trips on hot days more tolerable. Also, the pack has a chest harness with a built-in whistle in the buckle, which we find a very nice touch.
Berghaus Trailhead 65
For Avid Hikers
If you need a reliable backpack for long-distance travels, you can’t go wrong with the Berghaus Men's Trailhead 65 Litre Rucksack. It’s an excellent roomy backpack that is very sturdy and well designed.
It boasts a durable construction and materials to withstand heavy loads. In total, it offers 65 litres of storage capacity with a deep main section, secondary lower area, zipped top, and spacious side pockets. The split design is very useful and comfortable. For example, the zip which is situated about two thirds down the pack allows you to grab your goods from the bottom without a need to open the whole thing. And lots of zips and pockets around the bag make snacking on-the-go easier than ever before.
Even if you load the pack to the fullest, you can be sure it’ll preserve its shape. It’s designed with a metal rod in the padded back that prevents bending and moulds well to the contours of your body. And owing to a wide range of adjustable features, the pack lightens the load on the go. More precisely, it has a supportive pre-curved hip belt that gently hugs your body, distributing weight evenly.
Speaking about extras, it comes with an integrated rain cover that is easy and quick to put on. It’s also worth noting that it’s compatible with hydration systems, which is particularly important for long trips.
The Biggest of All Them
When it comes to large backpacks that can fit all your stuff and the stuff of your partner, the Andes Ramada 120L Rucksack is a definite leader. It’s an extra-large backpack that can manage to hold more than you may expect. Actually, it can carry even a 4-person tent.
With 120-litre capacity, it can fit all your equipment including a tent, sleeping bag, lots of clothes, an air mattress, two pairs of shoes, and still have room to spare. And all those belongings can be neatly organised owing to multiple front compartments, plenty of little pockets, and straps to secure a tent and other items.
Overall, this large rucksack is able to fit 20 kg of stuff. And despite that, it feels very sturdy and doesn’t rip or break during travels. Even when packed full, it holds together really well and survives rough baggage handling at the airport.
When empty, the bag is pretty light - it weighs only 1.5kg. This is largely achieved owing to a lack of structural support and padding. That is to say, it has no rigid frame and is adjustable to suit all shapes and sizes.
The backpack comes without a rain cover. It’s made from water-resistant polyester and the inside layer is plastic coated, so it resists moisture quite well and will keep the contents dry in case of light rain.
Besides the Camouflage design, you can choose from 11 available designs. And no matter what option you choose, the pack will be easy to spot at the luggage reclaim.
Thought-out to the Finest Detail
The MOUNTAINTOP 40L trekking backpack is deservingly one of the top choices on the market. It’s well made, roomy, and thought-out to the finest detail. And let’s check that.
To begin with, the pack looks compact but is expandable enough to house a good number of items. It offers reasonable space and has 3 separate zipped compartments that let you split the contents as needed. In the front pocket, you can put books or maps for easy viewing, while in the main compartment, you can load general gear.
What is notable, there is a special laptop sleeve that can help you safely store your computer (up to 15.6"), power bank, and other electronics without jumbling up. But what completely sells the product is the unique hydration bladder compartment. The bag boasts a back panel pocket with PatchArea which suits a 2-litre hydration bladder or similarly-sized items you need to access quickly. Moreover, it boasts the pipe management system allowing you to drink lightly while cycling or trekking.
The other nifty extras include straps at the bottom for fastening say a sleeping bag or mat. Also, there are compression straps to hang a mattress, hammock, and other hiking items. Plus, you’ll find the special attachment for trekking poles and loops for ice axes.
Lastly, we would like to stress that the bag is fitted with a high-visibility rain cover. It’s situated at the base in the dedicated compartment to which it’s fastened with a D-strap. Quite handy.
With all these bells and whistles, this is an ideal backpack for general use, cycling, and light trekking. It’s very comfortable, smart, and durable.
Keep It Simple
Mil-Tec is a world-known company that produces functional military clothing and outdoor equipment in a wide variety of camouflages and colours. And the backpack in question is one of them.
It’s made from durable 600D polyester with a thick backing to make the rucksack waterproof. Also, the bag has double stitching that seems to stand up the test of time and vigorous use. The padded back, as well as shoulder straps, is ergonomically shaped to bring you ultimate comfort and distribute the weight evenly. Also, the pack is made with an adjustable waist belt with a quick-release buckle.
When it comes to loadability, the pack shows average results. It has a capacity of 20 litres and plenty of useful compartments. The main and secondary compartments have long zipped openings that give good access and let you load/unload large items easily. There are many pockets and organisers inside this pack, making it one of the most useful backpacks out there. To specify, there’s a bunch of inner zipped pockets allowing you to separate small items, phone chargers, toiletries, etc. In addition, you’ll find handy mesh pockets, dividers, and an integrated velcro compartment for a hydropack inside.
Also, this waterproof hiking backpack has smaller external compartments and various Molle recording points. Actually, it has plenty of PALS webbing to let you add on a variety of Molle pouches and accessories.
What Is a Hiking Backpack?
No trek in the mountains, thru-hike, no weekend jaunt in the woods or camping can do without some necessary gear. And perhaps a backpack is one of the most important things you’ll need for hiking. With it, you can carry all the most necessary things like your camping gear, clothes, fuel, cell phone, and GPS. A quality backpack will evenly distribute the load weight, making your hiking adventures as comfortable as possible.
Whatever your trekking goals are, we hope our survey of the best hiking backpacks can help you find the one that will serve you on the trail for many years to come. We have rounded up the best models both for hiking trips and daily use. All of them are made from durable materials and come with usable compartments to fit all your stuff, which makes them a good offer for the price.
What Features to Compare
The outdoor industry is going light as lightweight backpacking is more comfortable, and most experienced ultralight backpackers can easily fit all their gear in a 35-50L pack, even for a thru-hike. However, if you’re a hiking newbie, you might need a pack with a larger volume. A lot depends on your experience, trip duration, comfort level, and weather considerations. For example, most people choose 55-75L backpacks for trips from two to eight days and 35-55L models for overnight trips. Just make sure that your pack's capacity matches the gear you're going to carry.
Pay attention to the material your future hiking backpack is made of. Today, manufacturers use high-quality Oxford, Cordura, and other synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon. All these materials are durable and can withstand heavy loads. Most lightweight backpacks are produced from Ripstop Nylon, light water-resistant material. Packs have lots of zipped pockets, side compartments, hooks, and other frills to help you stay organised on the trail.
Look for water-resistant rucksacks with waterproof zippers and pockets. Some manufacturers use completely waterproof materials, but seams sewn into a sack are still likely to keep it from being 100% waterproof. Therefore, we recommend you to choose models with a protective rainfly or buy one additionally.
Many manufacturers equip their backpacks with various accessories to provide you with maximum comfort during hikes. For example, trekking pole and ice axe loops will make it easy for you to stow the said items when you’re not using them. Also, mind that hydration is crucial for every tourist, and a hydration port for a water bladder would be a great bonus.
Backpack shoulder straps will hold a significant amount of your pack weight, hence, they should be tight, breathable and well-padded so that you don't experience chafing and odd pressure points. Almost all packs come with wide hip belts to keep your shoulders from getting tired, and additional load lifter straps to ensure a reliable fixation.
Q: What is the right volume for me?
A: When it comes to hiking, the rule is quite simple. The more time you are going to spend on the trail, the bigger backpack you’ll need. The majority of trekkers take short overnight trips and generally need 35-55L models. For weekend trips (2-3 nights), we would recommend 45-70L packs and 60+ L options for extended trips. With 60 litres and more, you’ll have extra room for more hiking items. And it goes without saying that if you travel with kids in tow, you should opt for high-volume backpacks, even if you plan a short weekend trip.
Q: What is the optimal load range for packs?
A: Depending on how much space your gear takes up, it’s important to get the right model. For example, if you head out on a long trip and your gear is pretty heavy, you should get a 2+ kg rucksack that can handle the extra weight (~20-30 kg of gear). Alternatively, if you need a pack for a day trip, it’s a good idea to get 1kg pack for your essentials and ultra-light gear (7-12 kg). Typically, 1-2 kg backpacks can usually handle 12-22 kg.
Q: How to fit a backpack?
A: Before adjusting the straps, put some weight in your backpack. It doesn’t matter what you’re going to put in your backpack, try to put the same amount of weight you’ll carry on your hikes. Next, loosen all straps and belts. And then hoist the rucksack on your back. After that, secure it snugly and comfortably to your body. Don’t overtighten the hip belt, all your movements should be comfortable. Once the hip belt is adjusted, tailor the shoulder straps to your body. Finally, tighten the load lifters (short straps on top of the shoulder straps) and fasten the sternum strap. Bear in mind that you’ll need to keep adjusting on the trail since it’s likely that after a number of miles, you’ll experience some discomfort and discover pressure points. When it happens, loosen the hip belt or play with other adjustments. Also, don’t forget to give your back and body some rest and take the backpack off whenever you stop for a break.
Q: How to smartly organise things in my backpack?
A: First of all, lay everything you’re going to carry out in front of you. This way, you can visualise where you’ll put all your gear and come up with an optimal packing strategy. Start from the bottom and pack there the things you won’t need during the day. Typically, it’s camping gear packed into dry bags. Then, load the middle with heavy gear (right on top of your camping stuff). It might be cooking stoves, pots, pans, food, etc. You can fill up leftover space with light items such as a tent, a rainfly, and clothes. If your backpack is equipped with side pockets, you can pack some small items in them for better balance. One you’ve filled the bottom and middle section, move on to the top section. Put there some small necessities that you might need throughout a trip. Sunglasses, a rain jacket, a GPS, a first-aid kit, a compass, and snacks should always be within easy reach.
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4. Choosing the Right Travel Backpack, Nomadicmatt.
6. A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking, NerdFitness.
7. James Shackell HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR TREKKING HOLIDAY: A 7 STEP GUIDE, Intrepid Travel.
8. Sophia Breene Know Before You Go: Hiking, Greatist.