Top 10 Hiking Backpacks Reviewed and Rated

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
WASING 55L
Test Winner: WASING 55L
Amazon Link
“Between every two pines, there is a doorway to a new world.” John Muir, one of the most influential naturalists in history said that and we like it. His point is that getting out into nature is so much more than a neat day trip. And If you want to have a successful hiking trip you need three things: a GPS device, good boots, and a good backpack. The best iking backpacks are made to carry all of your essential items with you on a hiking trip. There will be some hybrid options on the list, so be prepared for some surprises. So come on in, get yourself suited up and then get out there, as Muir said: a whole new world awaits.

Standout Picks

WASING 55L
The #1 spot goes to the Wasing 55L. This huge monster has circled many lists for years and is the best friend of any determined hiker. There is nothing that this backpack can’t do, and it is head and shoulders above the rest of the items on the list.
Amazon Link
$38.99
OUTLANDER 20L/33L
Outlander is one of those brands that strikes like lightning. The company took a few features from all of the top backpacks in the industry to create their very own, and it’s incredible. Functionally it is one of the best values on the list and continues to be a really good choice for hikers.
Amazon Link
$18.32
VENTURE PAL LIGHTWEIGHT
When the Venture Pal first came out, the first thing people noticed is how lightweight it was. This was nothing new by backpack standards. But when you realize just how light it is compared to the others on the list, well that is when you’ll understand why it is #3.
Amazon Link
$22.99
HIGH SIERRA LOOP
Fun for many reasons, the High Sierra Loop backpack comes as a surprise in the #4 position. The model is an improvement over one of their older models, and it has ironed out all of the flaws. Buyers will have a lot of extra new features to play with and plenty of colors to choose from.
Amazon Link
SPEEDO TEAMSTER
And then there came a surprise, and its name was Speedo! The large teamster backpack is a nice addition to the list, made more for light hiking with limited miles rather than long expeditions. There is enough room here to put your most important stuff away and have it comfortably resting in your pack.
Amazon Link
$49.95
TETON 3400
Now comes the big ones, with the Teton Sports Scout 3400 leading the way. These are true to form so they can’t be mistaken for anything else. They are made to carry as much as possible while maximizing the room available.
Amazon Link
$75.94
G4Free Large 40L
The G4Free Large 40L Lightweight Water Resistant Travel Backpack was designed to give the flawless balance between size, durability, lightweight, and volume capacity. The G4Free backpack can also be transformed into a handheld bag when you are not using it on your hiking trips so it can serve more than just one purpose.
Amazon Link
TETON 1100
When Teton came out with the Sports Oasis 1100, they intended to cram as much backpack as possible into one model. They may have succeeded, as there are only a few things this model seems to be lacking.
Amazon Link
$44.99
Osprey Packs Aether AG 70
Created to carry everything you need and more the Osprey Packs Aether AG 70 backpack is perfect for long hiking trips that require an abundance of tools. Being one of the largest options on our guide this one promises a whole lot and delivers. Offering key features this backpack allows you to feel secure when you are away from home. There is something quite calming about knowing you can pack everything in one single bag.
Amazon Link
Granite Gear Crown 2 60
As stated in the name Granite Gear is a brand designed to create quality products that are as tough and durable as granite. To them it’s all about bringing forth the best high-quality selections possible, they did just that with the Granite Gear Crown 2 60. Constructed out of cotton, this bag is not only durable is flexible enough to allow you to store everything you need in one big backpack.
Amazon Link
$159.96

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Choosing a hiking backpack with the best quality of the material is important especially when you are planning to use it for all your outdoor activities and trips. From the outer canvass to zippers and suspension system, the quality of the materials used in the construction of the bag will determine its durability and overall function. We have considered several options based on diversity and the quality of materials that are ideal for activities that require a lot of movement and walking.

Water Resistance

Although it is not necessary that a backpack is one hundred percent waterproof, it is still important to consider the water-resistance of the bag. There are bags that are only semi-waterproof while other models come with external tarps you can wrap around the bag in case of a heavy downpour. Here, we have several options you can consider in terms of the hiking bag’s water resistance capacity, such as the Under Armour and Speedo options.

Durability

The hiking backpack you will choose will be subjected to harsh conditions not to mention heavier loads which are its primary purpose. Just like with anything, the durability is very important because it will technically be the main factor in determining how long your bag will be used. In this regard, we have taken the liberty to prepare a list of hiking bags with higher ratings when it comes to durability and resistance to wear and tear that is only natural for these things.

Ease of Use

When you go on a hunting trip or hike, your backpack will be the only thing that will be carrying all your important gear and camping stuff. It is important to choose a model that is not too complicated to use and one that is very easy to maintain and store every after your hunting trip is over. We have made a selection of options with different levels of ease of use and maintenance depending on the number of features that a particular model has.

Features

When efficiently packed, your backpack can carry an amazing assortment of equipment. Below are some packing tips and explanations on the right way to pack your hiking bag. Your load can be divided into three different levels or zones in addition to peripheral storage:

Base Level:
Ideal for bulkier gear and other similar items that are not needed until you set up camp.

Midpoint:
Ideal for your more compact or heavier items to provide balance.

Upper Level:
Ideal for other bulkier hiking essentials you need to use while you are on the trail.

Accessory compartments:
Ideal for small essentials you will need immediately or frequently.

Lash-on points and tool loops:
Ideal for overly long or oversized items that will take up too much space inside the bag.

10 Best Hiking Backpacks

1. WASING 55L

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$38.99
WASING 55L
Amazon Link

The #1 spot goes to the Wasing 55L. This huge monster has circled many lists for years and is the best friend of any determined hiker. There is nothing that this backpack can’t do, and it is head and shoulders above the rest of the items on the list.

Lots of Special Features
Wasing has made sure that you have an attachment place or compartment for just about everything you can possibly need. Want to pack your trekking poles, no problem there is a spot for that. Need to bring water but want to have free hands, no worries there either, there is a place for this too.

Its Big
Going big with the Wasing 55L model is a smart choice if you’re going to be doing some serious hiking. The outdoors won’t be able to surprise you, and inside your backpack will be everything but the kitchen sink.

Cost and Value
This is the best value on the list, no question about it. At a low price, you get almost quadruple space, a highly durable backpack and a brand that can be trusted. Buyers that want a smaller backpack will be better off with another item on the list.

Amazon Link
$38.99

2. OUTLANDER 20L/33L

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$18.32
OUTLANDER 20L/33L
Amazon Link

Outlander is one of those brands that strikes like lightning. The company took a few features from all of the top backpacks in the industry to create their very own, and it’s incredible. Functionally it is one of the best values on the list and continues to be a really good choice for hikers.

Your Size, Your Choice
Besides all of the usual color choices, Outlander is also offering this model in sizes 20L and 33L. The only difference between the two is their actual size, so customers won’t miss any important features if they go with the smaller model. And just to make a note, the 33L is a massive size upgrade from the 20L.

Unique Features
Folds into a zippered inner pocket, and also has two side pockets. The backpack is also resistant to both water and ripping, as well as abrasion-resistant.

Cost and Value
Amazingly this is one of the lowest-priced backpacks on the list, even at the #2 spot. Because of the attention to durability customers will get instant value on this purchase, along with a very strong warranty.

Amazon Link
$18.32

3. VENTURE PAL LIGHTWEIGHT

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$22.99
VENTURE PAL LIGHTWEIGHT
Amazon Link

When the Venture Pal first came out, the first thing people noticed is how lightweight it was. This was nothing new by backpack standards. But when you realize just how light it is compared to the others on the list, well that is when you’ll understand why it is #3.

Light and Comfortable
The reason the Venture Pal is so light comes from how it distributes weight. Good hiking backpacks don’t concentrate all the weight in one area, and in this case, they managed to throw in breathable mesh shoulder straps. And with the additional sponge padding for the shoulders, it becomes the most pleasurable backpack experience of your life.

Tough Construction
This backpack is both tear and water-resistant. Not only that but it's crafted to fit into a small space when your hike is over. It's foldable into its own pocket, and those folded dimensions are 9×8.5×2.2 inches.

Cost and Value
Venture Pal has kept this backpack at an insanely low price for a while. The company is always good with pricing their equipment, although this ranks as the best price. The bag is one of a kind, and a value worth having around the house.

Amazon Link
$22.99

4. HIGH SIERRA LOOP

Where to buy
Amazon Link
HIGH SIERRA LOOP
Amazon Link

Fun for many reasons, the High Sierra Loop backpack comes as a surprise in the #4 position. The model is an improvement over one of their older models, and it has ironed out all of the flaws. Buyers will have a lot of extra new features to play with and plenty of colors to choose from.

An Insane Amount Of Color Combinations
There are currently 32 different color combinations to choose from, all of them with a unique twist. High Sierra wanted to give the customers a chance to choose a design that is personal. And these are more than just plain colors mixed together, as each bag has a very nice shade that holds over the years.

Lots of Options
There are a number of little things that make this backpack special. Things like a tablet computer sleeve, and a media pocket. There are monster hooks and bottom straps and also mesh beverage pockets.

Cost and Value
Sierra opted to keep this backpack at a low price which is one of the reasons it is so popular. Durable materials will protect your investment, even if it lacks water resistance.

Amazon Link

5. SPEEDO TEAMSTER

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$49.95
SPEEDO TEAMSTER
Amazon Link

And then there came a surprise, and its name was Speedo! The large teamster backpack is a nice addition to the list, made more for light hiking with limited miles rather than long expeditions. There is enough room here to put your most important stuff away and have it comfortably resting in your pack.

The Laptop Sleeve Was A Surprise
Built-in laptop sleeves for a backpack can be a bit of a hit or miss depending on the brand you choose. Speedo went all out and made sure that your equipment is 100% protected from the most dangerous outside elements.

Options, options
There are up to Up to 18 colors to choose from. Add the water-resistant bottom and laptop sleeve and you've got a backpack perfect for the hipster in you.

Cost and Value
Speedo is iconic as a brand even if people wouldn’t think to associate them with backpacks. The price is low on this item, and it is about as big as you can get without getting a bag with a frame.

Amazon Link
$49.95

6. TETON 3400

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$75.94
TETON 3400
Amazon Link

Now comes the big ones, with the Teton Sports Scout 3400 leading the way. These are true to form so they can’t be mistaken for anything else. They are made to carry as much as possible while maximizing the room available.

Great For A Beginner
There’s nothing really technical about using these, although if you want to maximize the space in it there will be some trial and error. With the way the pockets and compartments are set up with this model, it’s easy to make use of all the extra room. There will be fewer user errors to go around and more time getting ready for your big hike.

Plenty of Room
This baby comes in at a huge 3400 cubic inches but only weighs 4.5 pounds. It has a lot of space for a sleeping bag and to top it all off it has a limited lifetime warranty.

Cost and Value
This one is a no brainer for all they are offering at a low-mid tier price. You’re getting everything that would be in a high-end bag, although it could stand for a little more support. Once you realize how fun it is to use the dedicated compartments, it’ll be easy hiking from that point forward.

Amazon Link
$75.94

7. G4Free Large 40L

Where to buy
Amazon Link
G4Free Large 40L
Amazon Link

The G4Free Large 40L Lightweight Water Resistant Travel Backpack was designed to give the flawless balance between size, durability, lightweight, and volume capacity. The G4Free backpack can also be transformed into a handheld bag when you are not using it on your hiking trips so it can serve more than just one purpose.

Huge Storage
What makes the G4Free backpack an ideal travel bag for backpackers with so many things to pack for a single trip is its capacious storage. This bag has a top-loading sack designed with a drawstring lock. This unique feature allows the user to fit more items into the back when needed or less slack if it is not packed to the brim. Unlike traditional bags, your packing is restricted to the limitations of the bag’s zipper lock. The bag’s main compartment has an integrated fabric divider and comes with a secured top double-sided pouch for additional storage.

Big and Light
The pack comes with a high 40 liters volume capacity but is also a foldable backpack. That makes it very lightweight and convenient to use.

Cost and Value
For a backpack that is as versatile and durable as the G4Free backpack, this is actually very affordable too. It seldom happens that a bag this size comes at a very reasonable price even when it is sold online.

Amazon Link

8. TETON 1100

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$44.99
TETON 1100
Amazon Link

When Teton came out with the Sports Oasis 1100, they intended to cram as much backpack as possible into one model. They may have succeeded, as there are only a few things this model seems to be lacking.

Great Athletic Cut
When you’re hiking the last thing you need to worry about is your backpack straps cutting into your shoulders. Little things like the straps not being able to be adjusted correctly and weird shapes make for an uncomfortable experience. The Sports Oasis 1100 cuts down on that problem by making it perfect for men, women, and children.

Easy Use Features
This pack comes with a few features that make it really easy to use. Take your pick: the replaceable hydration bladder that fits all sizes, The comfort straps, and weather guard also notch up the ease of use factor. Add in the bungee cord system and the Butterfly opening and you have one simple backpack.

Cost and Value
At some point, you will end up filling all of the space in this bag, even if it takes years. With its low price buyers will flock to it solely for all the space they’ll be given. Any fears about the durability should go away with the included limited warranty.

Amazon Link
$44.99

9. Osprey Packs Aether AG 70

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Osprey Packs Aether AG 70
Amazon Link

Created to carry everything you need and more the Osprey Packs Aether AG 70 backpack is perfect for long hiking trips that require an abundance of tools. Being one of the largest options on our guide this one promises a whole lot and delivers. Offering key features this backpack allows you to feel secure when you are away from home. There is something quite calming about knowing you can pack everything in one single bag.

Completely Convertible
One of the biggest features this Osprey backpack has to offer is its convertibility. As previously stated, this backpack was created to help you transport everything you need in one single bag, this one takes it a step further by converting into a daypack for smaller trips. This is achieved by having a completely removable lid, with zippered pockets that ensure all of your items remain safe and secure. So not only are you getting a large backpack with everything you need, but you get a smaller bag for those times you don’t need to travel with everything just the necessities.

Comfortable
Though you can carry everything you need and more, this backpack never stops being a comfort. This is mainly due to being able to distribute the weight throughout the plethora of pockets the backpack has to offer. It’s all about having as many pockets as possible with an as little bit of discomfort as possible. Furthermore, you can remove a lid for less weight on your backpack.

Cost and Value
When it comes to the cost and value of this item, it is on the pricier side; however, when you consider that you are getting a super large and effective backpack that is also convertible, it makes sense as to why the price is on the higher end. Furthermore, you are truly getting two items for the price of one.

Amazon Link

10. Granite Gear Crown 2 60

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$159.96
Granite Gear Crown 2 60
Amazon Link

As stated in the name Granite Gear is a brand designed to create quality products that are as tough and durable as granite. To them it’s all about bringing forth the best high-quality selections possible, they did just that with the Granite Gear Crown 2 60. Constructed out of cotton, this bag is not only durable is flexible enough to allow you to store everything you need in one big backpack.

Dual-density shoulder harness
To create something sturdy yet lightweight this comes with dual-density shoulder harness paired with load-lifting straps and a removable sternum strap that help distribute the weight evenly throughout the backpack. Furthermore, having this specific feature ensures even when your backpack is full, and you are traveling or hiking for far distances you don’t feel the weight as much. It's all about having as much of a lightweight feel as possible.

Roll-top Compartment
Just like most, this one is all about having an abundance of pockets and compartments. Showcasing a roll-top main compartment with easy access, the Granite Gear Crown 2 60 brings you everything you need in one single backpack. Additionally, this compartment is easy to compress so when it isn’t fully loaded you can collapse it, giving you more room and space. It's all about getting the most out of your bag without compromising space or tools you want to carry.

Cost and Value
When it comes to the cost and value of this item it is pricey yet effective. You want to keep in mind, Granite Gear is a well-known brand that creates quality above all, and they exceeded most expectations with this one. Furthermore, this backpack allows you to have everything you need right when and where you need it most.

Amazon Link
$159.96

Sources

  1. BackCountry, How to Chose a Backpacking Pack, Website
  2. Outdoor Gear Exchange, What Volume Pack Do I Need, Website
  3. BackPacker, How to Clean and Store Your Gear, Website
  4. Backpacker, Backpacking 101, Website
  5. Section Hiker, Day Hikers 10 Essentials Guide, Website