Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned backpacker, finding a new backpack is always a challenge.
The reviews and the ability to compare multiple packs from different stores is highly convenient, and there are seemingly endless options out there!
The process can be overwhelming at times, which is why we’ve cultivated this list of the best backpacking backpacks.
Osprey Atmos 65 AG Backpack
With high quality comes high price. Seasoned backpackers will appreciate the amount of organizable storage space packed into the Atmos 65.
This pack is designed to contour perfectly to the body, allowing for complete movement while wearing the pack. Other features include a hydration sleeve with two ports, removable sleeping pad straps, a zippered sleeping bag compartment, ice tool loops, bungee tie-offs, and mesh ventilation that keeps you cool.
The pack only weighs just over three pounds, allowing you to comfortably carry 40+ pounds.
Osprey Packs Kyte 36 Backpack
The Osprey Kyte 36 comes in three pleasing colors and two sizes, all of which get the job done and more.
It includes a separate, zippered sleeping bag compartment (and sleeping pad straps), a suspension system for carrying comfort, and both top and side loading capabilities.
The tool and trekking pole attachment capabilities and the hip belt pockets are extremely convenient, and the hip belt itself is sturdy and comfortable.
High Sierra Appalachian 75 Backpacking Pack
There’s a reason High Sierra is often held in such high regard. The foam back panel on the Appalachian 75 has airflow channels to keep you cool and dry, the aluminum frame bar can be adjusted to your body shape, and the top-loading main compartment has a drawstring for easy adjustments.
Now while this pack can certainly hold all you need it to (and do so comfortably), it is a bit larger, weighing in at 5.8 pounds. If weight is your number one concern, this may not be the pack for you – but the features are nice.
This pack is also a great option for larger body types, as the straps are generally wider than most.
Osprey Packs Exos 58 Backpack
It’s hard to avoid listing Osprey packs multiple times on this list. They really are great backpacks, and you can find them easily on Amazon.
The Exos 58 is synthetic with EVA foam harness and an aluminum alloy peripheral frame. The hydration sleeve can hold up to three liters, and the hip belt includes layered, mesh-covered foam for comfort.
There are also small side pockets on the hip belt that can work well for easy access to anything from keys to snacks. The large sized Exos 58 pack only weighs 2.5 pounds!
TETON SPORTS Mountain Adventurer 4000 Backpack
The best thing about this backpack may be its comfort. The padding and the adjustable straps make it customizable to your body shape, providing the best possible lumbar support.
Other features include, “storm-proof” zippers and strong buckles, a lightweight aluminum frame, an included tarp that can be used as a poncho or shelter, and multiple gear attachments.
Considering all that the Mountain Adventurer 4000 offers, it’s listed at a very reasonable price. The largest version of this pack weighs in at six pounds. Keep in mind that the tarp adds almost an extra pound.
MOUNTAINTOP 70L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack
This Mountaintop pack can fit everything you need and more! The zippered front access makes it easy to find what you need without taking everything out, and the outer chains can accommodate almost any attachment, from hiking poles to selfie sticks.
If you’re worried, this pack comes with a 90-day warranty. Due to the size of this backpack and all of its features, it runs a bit heavier than other packs – but you’re getting a quality product.
MOUNTAINTOP 55L/70L+10L Internal Frame Backpack
Though currently listed as unavailable on Amazon, we would recommend this pack when it is restocked! The top lid (with drawstrings) makes the pack expandable (up to five extra liters) and your items easily accessible.
The hydration sleeve is accessible from the side of the pack. There is also a front sleeping bag compartment, two hip-belt pockets, two lid pockets, two elastic bottle pouches, an emergency whistle, and a rain cover compartment.
The torso length is adjustable and the padded shoulder straps are comfortable. Trekking poles and other tools are easily attachable. This pack also comes with a 90-day limited warranty.
SUNVP 50L Lightweight Hiking Backpack
Weighing in at less than three and a half pounds, the SUNVP by New Outlander is the perfect pack for the beginner who is willing to spend a little more.
For about $75, you’re going to get a pack that has the features you want and the quality to last you a few years (unless you’re doing some really intense backpacking, in which cases you may need something from higher on this list).
The SUNVP has several gear straps and cord loops, two separators in the main compartment for organization, a rain cover, and adjustable straps.
One of the main features, however, that puts this pack on the front end of our list, is its water-resistant capabilities. One user reported that his SUNVP endured a two-inch flash flood and came out bone dry.
G.P.S. Sporting Clays Backpack
Actually designed for carrying shooting gear, the G.P.S. Sporting Clays backpack can carry a lot of weight. What it lacks in length and overall size, it makes up for in strength and durability.
It also includes a waterproof cover and specialized pockets. The side pockets are especially nice for backpacking because you can easily access your smaller items without taking off your pack!
There is also a “duffel” compartment, so you can lay the pack down and open it from the top to easily see and access all your items.
Though it can hold heavy weighted items, we’d recommend the G.P.S. for short hikes, due to its size. A longer backpacking expedition may require a larger pack for more storage.
Mardingtop 65+10L/65L Internal Frame Backpack
Built less for comfort and style and more for utility, the military molle webbing allows you to hang and attach virtually any tool you need on the outside of the pack.
The waist belt is detachable but can fit up to a 49” waist. The side pockets are also detachable but are useful to have. Though heavier than other options, the pack is certainly durable. Expect this pack to last you for a long time!
Gonex 70L/80L Internal Frame Backpack
Most notable about this Gonex pack is the internal frame. Most cheaper models do not come with an internal frame, which makes a backpack overall much sturdier.
Listed at $70, this is a steal. The material is tear and water repellent and definitely load-bearing, complete with an emergency whistle, a rain cover, and room for several attachments. This pack is an excellent choice for a beginner or occasional backpacker who wants good quality at a low price.
Scandinavian Gear 65l Backpack
While not necessarily top-of-the-line, Scandinavian Gear produces some of the best budget-friendly backpacking gear.
Their packs may not be quite as durable as some of the more expensive models on the market, but they certainly come with all the bells and whistles: four-liter hydration compartment, emergency whistle, reflective straps, etc.
The 65I weighs about 3.8 pounds on its own and is entirely adjustable and water repellent. When you order the 65I, you’ll also receive a rain cover and an informative brochure, which will tell you all about the two-year hassle-free warranty.
Osprey Packs Escapist 32 Daypack
Osprey has a wide variety of packs available, but the “Escapist 32 Daypack” is best for beginner hikers and backpackers and for those looking for a smaller option for one or two-day trips.
It’s available in two different sizes and three different colors. The hip belt is adjustable and the hydration sleeve protects your belongings from spills. Included, you’ll find a blinker light attachment, helmet attachment, and rain cover.
Coreal Unisex 50l Hiking Backpack
If you are brand new to the sport of backpacking or if you need a super cheap backpack, this one will run you less than $40!
It also only weighs just over two pounds, which is nice for beginners who are taking smaller trips and not needing to bring as much. The pack can hold up to 50 liters and all the straps are padded.
Don’t expect it to last you forever, but it’s a great starter pack for those on a budget.
Z ZTDM Bonnlo 60L Hiking Backpack
Our cheapest option, the Z ZTDM is perfect for beginners taking short trips. There is good lower back support, suitable airflow, and 60 liters of storage.
There is a rain cover included, and for your safety, the pack has a fluorescent strip. The chest buckle also includes an emergency whistle. For less than $30, don’t expect this pack to get you through a few weeks on the Appalachian trail, but it’s a great beginner option.
We wish we could easily list the true “BEST backpacking backpack,” but the truth is that each of the packs we listed here is great for different reasons.
Naturally, a more seasoned backpacker is going to want to focus on the front half of our list, while a beginner may want to look at the cheaper options towards the bottom.
However, the cheaper options we listed still made our list because they are good backpacks, though priced the way they are for a reason.
Let us know if we missed your favorite backpacking pack, and happy backpacking!