Your hiking backpack will go up mountains, down mountains, around cities, upstairs, downstairs, through the jungle, in the back of taxis, on the train, in the boat, and on planes. Before setting off on your adventure, choosing the right hiking backpack is essential. Your backpack will be with you throughout your journey no matter where you go or what you discover.
Choosing the right hiking backpack should not be overlooked. Do your research and think very carefully. You need to consider comfortability, volume, weight, size, material, feel, harness quality, and breathability. Choosing the right hiking backpacks for whatever journey you may take is imperative. Thankfully, we’re here to help you make the best decision possible.
We have searched the globe for the best hiking backpacks that are currently available. No matter what type of trip or what type of traveler, we have you covered. Below are the top 10 best backpacks you can buy right now.
Osprey Aether 70 – The World Traveller
Frame: IsoForm5 harness and CM™ hip-belt for a custom fit
Material: 210D Nylon Dobb
Special Features: Anti-gravity technology (lightweight and extra comfy)
Perfect for: Long journeys
The new backpacker standard. If you have seen any backpackers in the last 5 years, then you will have seen this bag. They are undoubtedly the most popular piece of hiking equipment out there. There are a few very good reasons for this newfound popularity.
The Osprey Aether has achieved three very important things: durability, comfortability, and lightweight-ness! This is the secret recipe for all Osprey hiking equipment and their backpacking backpacks.
The best feature has to be the front panel which opens up for ease of access to your stuff. On a long journey when you’re in and out of hostels or hotels or just on the move, this feature is worth the money alone. There are also plenty of pockets and compartments in which to organize your stuff. Also, as if all those features aren’t enough, there is a lifetime guarantee on every single hiking backpack from Osprey. Truly, it’s simply one of the best backpacks around.
Gregory Baltoro 65 – The Serious Hiker
Frame: Wishbone aluminum frame with anti-barreling cross-stay
Material: 100% Nylon
Special Features: Waterproof hip pocket and a sidewinder bottle holster
Perfect for: Backcountry adventures
The Gregory Baltoro hiking backpack has won awards for its comfortability and high performance. This is a real adventurer backpack specifically designed to carry heavier weight at optimal comfortability. If you are thinking about climbing mountains and walking vast distances, then this is the bag for you.
Some cool features include the waterproof hip pocket which is perfect for hiding away any valuables whilst walking through the rain or crossing rivers. There is also a nifty sidewinder bottle holster for quick access to your water. Like the Osprey above, this backpack also has an opening front compartment for ease of access. It’s one of the best backpacks for serious trekkers.
Deuter Aircontact – The Durable Trekker
Frame: Anatomic X-frame aluminium
Material: Nylon/closed cell foam
Special Features: Aircontact Lite Backsystem uses open-cell foam for increased ventilation
Perfect for: Hardcore trekkers
It’s slightly heavier than the two backpacks above, but it’s surely built to last. This hiking backpack has been designed by Deuter to survive anything.
The special open-cell foam technology on the back does a fantastic job of keeping your back well ventilated. Serious trekkers will love the big bulky straps and zips that are easy to locate and easy to maneuver. The bag can carry some serious weight and still maintain it’s comfortability. If you plan on doing some long treks through the mountains and you want something guaranteed to survive the journey, this is the best backpack for you.
The North Face Cobra – The Icy Warrior
Frame: Load-hauling aluminum frame
Material: Cordura Nylon
Special Features: Ice tool and crampon storage
Perfect for: Snowy expeditions and skiing
This extraordinary hiking backpack from The North Face is designed for cold climates and skiing. If you are planning on exploring the harsh mountain environments, then look no further than The North Face’s Cobra.
This lightweight but highly durable backpack will go the distance. It comes with a very handy ice tool and crampon storage, so you will have no issue tackling the icy mountain trails. What’s also handy with this backpack is its sneaky side pockets which are perfect for storing snacks. Incredibly useful when it’s freezing cold and you can’t feel your hands.
Heading to ice caps? This is the best hiking backpack available.
Fjallraven Kaipak – The Tree Hugger
Frame: Flexible framesheet
Material: Recycled polyester & organic cotton
Special Features: Waxed fabric for water resistance
Perfect for: Multi-day trekking and eco-conscious individuals
A lot simpler than the other hiking backpacks listed here but competes on both comfort and durability. It’s also made from 100% recycled polyester and organic cotton which is important in an ever-growing eco-conscious world.
You also have the choice between the 38L, which is very practical, and the 58L, which is also easy to carry around but gives you more space.
It’s simple and practical, perfect for avid trekkers who are not fussed about all the bells and whistles. One of the best backpacks for anyone that wants a lightweight and ethical option.
High Sierra Titan – The Shoestring Traveler
Frame: HDPE framesheet with aluminium stays for support
Material: 840 denier nylon
Special Features: Airflow suspended mesh back
Perfect for: Beginners and those on a budget
This bag was made for heavy loads with the frugal types in mind. It’s a solid choice for anyone new to hiking who wants something comfortable and durable. It has lots of easy access compartments, including a stretch mesh front panel, which is perfect for storing essential items.
The suspended mesh back with high-density foam allows your back to breathe while on the move. The entire bag can also be modified easily to fit anyone’s size and frame.
If you’re looking for a solid entry-level choice that won’t break your bank account, then this is one of the best backpacks out there.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear 4400 West – The Lightweight
Frame: Internal plastic frame sheet and aluminium stays
Material: 100% waterproof Dyneema® Composite Fabrics
Special Features: 100% waterproof and weighs only 2.45 lbs
Perfect for: Speed and staying dry
This comes with no rain cover because it doesn’t need one. It’s 100% waterproof and guarantees your stuff will make it to camp nice and dry. Made with ultralight materials, the bag is also incredibly light and easy to carry.
Everything about the back is designed to keep your stuff dry, even the pockets are made from the same Dyneema® Composite Fabrics as the main bag. If you’re looking to travel light and survive anything mother nature may throw at you along the way, this is one of the best backpacks out there for you.
Lowe Alpine Airzone Trek+ – The Heat Resistor
Frame: Super lightweight internal frame
Material: Tough nylon
Special Features: Back-length AirZone carry system
Perfect for: Hiking in warm climates
Lowe Alpine has been creating quality hiking equipment for a very long time. The Airzone Trek+ does not disappoint. If you’re planning on some long treks in warmer climates, this backpack will stay comfortable and well-ventilated the entire way.
It features the Centro Adjust AirZone back system, which reduces the weight of the bag and increases airflow while the fully adjustable AdaptiveFit™ hip belt and harness ensures you have a comfortable fit. This is one of the best backpacks for light and long travelling. If you’re planning any hikes in South America, then this is the best choice.
Granite Gear Crown2 60 – The Comfortable One
Frame: V.C. Mark 2 Frame System
Material: 100d Robic Nylon
Special Features: RE-FIT hip belt
Perfect for: Multi-day backpacking in complete comfort
Built to last like granite, these backpacks from Granite Gear are highly durable and highly comfortable. This makes them perfect for long multi-day trekking, and probably one of the best hiking backpacks around.
The amazing RE-FIT hip belt allows you to carry heavy loads without feeling any of the weight. It also comes with a nifty little hydration tube that is easy to access on the move.
If you are planning to do some hardcore trekking over multiple days and you are carrying some serious weight, then this is the perfect hiking backpack for you. The Granite Gear Crown2 60 is built for durability and comfort.
Mystery Ranch Glacier – The Big One
Frame: Astral frame
Material: 500D Lite Plus CORDURA® fabric
Special Features: Superior Load Carriage™
Perfect for: Extended backcountry trips
The Mystery Ranch Glacier is designed for extremely long-haul trips with the ability to maximize load whilst maintaining comfort.
There are two key features. First, the top-loading pack is weather-resistant, extendable, and easy to access. Second, the amazing SpeedZip™ sleeping bag compartment allows you to whip out your sleeping bag quickly and easily.
This hiking backpack from Mystery Ranch is the best choice for those who have serious multi-day long haul trips planned.