Best Backpacks for Hiking Trips


When it comes to hiking trips, having the right backpack is essential. A well-designed backpack can make all the difference in terms of comfort, organization, and durability. In this article, we will take a look at the best backpacks for hiking trips, covering a range of styles, sizes, and budgets. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced backpacker, there’s something here for everyone.

1. Quick Picks for Backpacking Packs

1.1 What’s New?

Before diving into the specifics, let’s explore what’s new in the world of backpacking packs. The backpacking industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and design features being introduced regularly. Stay up to date with the latest advancements to ensure you have the most innovative and functional backpack for your hiking trips.

1.2 HMG Southwest 55

The HMG Southwest 55 is a popular choice among backpackers. This lightweight and durable pack offer ample storage space and are made from high-quality materials. With its ergonomic design and comfortable carrying system, it’s a reliable option for long hikes and multi-day trips.

1.3 Osprey Atmos 65 / Aura AG 65

The Osprey Atmos 65 and Aura AG 65 are highly regarded backpacks in the hiking community. Known for their superb ventilation system and adjustable suspension, these packs provide excellent comfort even on hot and humid days. They also offer generous storage capacity and convenient access to gear through multiple entry points.

1.4 Osprey Exos 58 / Eja 58

For those seeking a lightweight option, the Osprey Exos 58 (men’s version) and Eja 58 (women’s version) are top choices. These packs prioritize weight reduction without compromising on functionality. With their stripped-down design, they are ideal for thru-hikers and minimalist backpackers.

1.5 Gregory Focal 48 / Facet 45

If organization is a top priority for you, the Gregory Focal 48 and Facet 45 are worth considering. These packs feature a variety of pockets, compartments, and attachment points to keep your gear neatly organized and easily accessible. The comfortable suspension system and adjustable fit make them a joy to carry on long hikes.

1.6 REI Flash 55

The REI Flash 55 is a versatile backpack that offers excellent value for its price. With its lightweight design and customizable fit, it’s a great option for backpackers on a budget. The pack’s ample storage capacity and durable construction make it suitable for a range of hiking trips.

1.7 Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 40

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Unbound 40 is an ultralight backpack that excels in weight reduction. Made from waterproof materials, it’s a reliable choice for unpredictable weather conditions. Despite its minimalist design, it still offers sufficient space for essential gear and supplies.

1.8 Osprey Aether Plus 70 / Ariel Plus 70

For those embarking on longer backpacking expeditions, the Osprey Aether Plus 70 (men’s version) and Ariel Plus 70 (women’s version) are excellent options. These packs provide a balance between comfort and capacity, allowing you to carry everything you need for extended trips without sacrificing comfort.

1.9 Zpacks Arc Haul Ultra 60

The Zpacks Arc Haul Ultra 60 is a lightweight backpack renowned for its innovative suspension system. Designed to transfer weight efficiently, it provides a comfortable carrying experience even when fully loaded. Its waterproof construction and durable materials make it a reliable choice for various hiking conditions.

1.10 Granite Gear Crown3

The Granite Gear Crown3 is a popular choice for lightweight backpackers. Known for its exceptional weight-to-volume ratio, it offers ample storage space while keeping the overall weight to a minimum. With its comfortable suspension system and customizable fit, it’s a great option for thru-hikes and extended trips.

2. What’s Most Important to You in a Backpacking Backpack?

Choosing the best backpack for your hiking trips depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consider the following factors to determine what is most important to you:

  • Capacity: Determine how much gear you need to carry and choose a backpack with an appropriate capacity.
  • Comfort: Look for features like padded shoulder straps, adjustable hip belts, and a well-ventilated back panel for enhanced comfort.
  • Durability: Ensure that the backpack is made from durable materials that can withstand the rigors of the trail.
  • Organization: Consider the number and type of pockets and compartments available to keep your gear organized and easily accessible.
  • Weight: If you prioritize lightweight gear, choose a backpack that offers a good balance between weight and functionality.

3. Best Budget Backpacking Backpacks

If you’re on a tight budget, there are still plenty of backpacking backpack options available. Here are some of the best budget backpacks to consider:

  • REI Flash 55: A reliable and versatile backpack at an affordable price point.
  • Teton Sports Scout 3400: Offers a spacious design and multiple pockets for a budget-friendly price.
  • Mountaintop 70L+10L: Provides ample storage space and adjustable features without breaking the bank.

4. Best Mid-range Backpacking Packs

If you have a bit more flexibility in your budget, mid-range backpacking packs offer a balance between price and quality. Here are some top choices:

  • Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10: Known for its excellent load-carrying capabilities and comfortable fit.
  • Black Diamond Distance 55: A lightweight and versatile pack suitable for various hiking trips.
  • Gregory Baltoro 65 / Deva 60: Offers exceptional comfort and organization features for extended trips.

5. Best High-end Backpacking Packs

If money is not a major concern, investing in a high-end backpacking pack can provide you with top-of-the-line features and materials. Here are some high-end options:

  • Arcteryx Bora AR 63: Known for its exceptional durability and advanced suspension system.
  • ULA Circuit: Offers a customizable fit and lightweight construction for a luxurious backpacking experience.
  • Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 3400: A lightweight and waterproof pack that can withstand extreme weather conditions.

6. Best Ultralight Backpacking Backpacks

If reducing pack weight is a top priority for you, ultralight backpacking backpacks are worth considering. Here are some of the best options:

  • ULA Ohm 2.0: A lightweight backpack that doesn’t compromise on comfort or durability.
  • Gossamer Gear Gorilla: Known for its minimalist design and weight-saving features.
  • Zpacks Nero: An ultralight backpack with a frameless construction for maximum weight reduction.

7. Best Lightweight Backpacking Backpacks

If you’re looking for a balance between weight and functionality, lightweight backpacking backpacks are ideal. Consider these top picks:

  • Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60: Offers a spacious interior and comfortable carrying system for extended trips.
  • Black Diamond Blitz 28: A lightweight pack designed for fast and light alpine adventures.
  • Osprey Levity 45 / Lumina 45: Provides excellent weight distribution and ventilation for warm-weather hikes.

8. Best Heavy-duty Backpacks

If you’re planning on carrying heavy loads or tackling rugged terrain, heavy-duty backpacks are designed to handle the challenge. Here are some top choices:

  • Gregory Baltoro 85 / Deva 80: Known for their exceptional load-carrying capabilities and durability.
  • Mountain Hardwear BMG 105: Offers a large carrying capacity and reinforced construction for extreme expeditions.
  • Mystery Ranch Glacier: A heavy-duty, alpine-focused pack with a robust suspension system.

9. Best 40-50L Backpacks

If you prefer a smaller capacity backpack for shorter trips, consider these top picks in the 40-50L range:

  • Granite Gear Crown2 38: A lightweight and comfortable pack with excellent load-carrying capabilities.
  • Osprey Talon 44 / Tempest 40: Offers a versatile and streamlined design for day hikes and overnight trips.
  • The North Face Cobra 52: A durable and feature-rich pack suitable for mountaineering and alpine adventures.

10. Best 50-60L Backpacks

For longer trips or if you prefer to have more gear options, a backpack in the 50-60L range is a good choice. Consider these top picks:

  • Deuter Aircontact 55+10: Provides excellent load-carrying capabilities and a comfortable fit for multi-day trips.
  • Mountainsmith Apex 60: Offers a spacious interior and durable construction without compromising on comfort.
  • Osprey Volt 60 / Viva 50: Known for their adjustable fit and convenient storage features.

11. Best 65L+ Backpacks

If you’re embarking on extended trips or need to carry a substantial amount of gear, a backpack with a capacity of 65L or more is essential. Here are some top options:

  • Fjallraven Kajka 75: Known for its exceptional durability and well-designed carrying system.
  • The North Face Terra 65: Offers a comfortable fit and ample storage space for extended adventures.
  • Osprey Xenith 75 / Xena 70: Provides excellent load-carrying capabilities and customizable fit.

12. Best Full-frame Backpacking Backpacks

Full-frame backpacks are designed to distribute heavy loads evenly and provide excellent stability on the trail. Consider these top picks:

  • Bergans of Norway Helium Pro 55: A well-built pack with an adjustable carrying system and reliable load-carrying capabilities.
  • Arc’teryx Altra 75: Known for its advanced suspension system and comfortable fit for extended treks.
  • Gregory Denali 100: Offers a large carrying capacity and robust construction for extreme expeditions.

13. Critical Backpack Considerations

When choosing a backpack for your hiking trips, there are several critical considerations to keep in mind:

  • Fit: Ensure that the backpack is properly fitted to your body to prevent discomfort and strain.
  • Waterproofing: Consider the backpack’s waterproof capabilities and how it will protect your gear from rain and moisture.
  • Access: Look for backpacks with convenient access points and compartments to easily reach your gear on the trail.
  • Weight Distribution: The backpack should have a well-designed suspension system to distribute the weight evenly and reduce strain on your body.
  • Durability: Opt for backpacks made from high-quality materials that can withstand the demands of hiking and outdoor adventures.

14. Key Design Features


The inclusion of a front mesh or stretch pocket on a backpack allows for easy access to items such as jackets, water bottles, or maps. It provides additional storage space and convenience on the go.


The main compartment is the central storage area of a backpack. Look for a spacious and well-organized

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