Best hiking backpacks: a complete roundup for 2021


Whether you are going for a quick hike in the mountains or taking several weeks at a time, you need to make sure that you are properly equipped.

I have been hiking for almost ten years and have tried more than ten great hiking backpacks...that's why I wrote this article on the best hiking and adventure backpacks to help you find the soul pack.

Hiking is one of my favorite times when traveling. For me, it is important to get out of the city and into the woods or mountains. It helps to reset the battery and feel connected with nature. In addition, it is free! As a tattered backpacker, I spent a lot of time camping and hiking in the mountains.

I have a sneaky suspicion, and you feel the same way

Unfortunately, choosing the most suitable backpack for hiking is not easy...

The Internet is flooded with outdoor brands, all of which claim to be the "best" hiking bag. Some options on the market are rubbish. To

As a world traveler and experienced hiker who has traveled for ten years, I personally tried each of the hiking backpacks in this post and carried out different hikes and adventures.

In this article, I will evaluate the best hiking package for you. I have listed my favorite hiking backpack and the best choice, and then I will introduce you to my favorite outdoor equipment company.

With the help of this article, you will know exactly what to look for when choosing the best backpack for hiking...

These are my favorite suggestions for hiking backpacks. Let's dive in.

Quick answer: the best hiking backpack

  • Osprey Aether/Ariel – The best "All Rounder" hiking backpack
  • Osprey Exos 58-the best ultra-light hiking backpack
  • Deuter Speed Lite 20-the best small hiking backpack
  • Active Roots foldable backpack-the best backpack for hiking
  • Berghaus Freeflow 35-Best Value Hiking Backpack
  • Deuter Air Contact-the best backpack for long-term backpacks
  • Nomatic Travel Backpack-the best hiking backpack for short-term travelers

Factors to consider when choosing the best hiking backpack

  • Comfort
  • Cost
  • Weight
  • Durability
  • Frame
  • Volume
  • Materials
  • Cool factor

Comfort is essential

If you wear a backpack for a long time, then you want it to be super comfortable
When choosing a hiking backpack, the most important factor is to choose something comfortable.
If you are carrying heavy objects in your backpack, you will definitely need a hip belt 100% so that you can put most of your weight on your hips instead of hanging it on your shoulders and straining your back.
In the past 18 days, I have comfortably carried a weight of 20 kilograms and walked hundreds of kilometers because I chose a backpack that is very well designed, well-padded, and very safe on the back and hips. I think that the most comfortable hiking backpack will have a ventilated back, a thick and comfortable waist belt, and the ability to adjust in multiple places.

You get what you pay

Now I will keep in touch with you-the more money you spend, the better hiking backpack you will get.
High-quality hiking backpacks are not cheap. Although there are some value-for-money options on the market, it is best to consider this purchase as an investment. I recommend spending a little more money so you can buy a hiking backpack with a lifetime warranty-so you can be sure it will last forever!
In my opinion, it is worth spending the extra money and choosing an Osprey trekking bag so that your backpack will get Osprey's all-around guarantee – meaning that they will repair or replace it no matter what happens. However, please note that there are some exceptions to the "Almighty Guarantee". They will not be able to repair airline damage, accidental damage, hard use, wear, or moisture related damage. Nevertheless, it is still much better than most guarantees on the market.

Pursue something light

Hike to the mountain. Venezuelan Roraima with my Osprey hiking backpack

You want your backpack to be as light as possible, while at the same time being tough and durable. I used to have an ultra-light backpack, but it broke quickly due to the wear and tear of being thrown away.

In any case, the best backpacks are lightweight, so this is not a big problem. If this is your big problem, choose a backpack for hiking.

You want a sturdy backpack to pack

You want to choose a rough and sturdy backpack that can withstand a jump but still looks smiling. Nowadays, most backpacks are sturdy, but you want to find something that is also waterproof to prevent sudden downpours from getting your things wet.

No matter how tough your backpack is, if you use it often, it will eventually be damaged – my backpack is gone – so try again to choose a hiking backpack with a lifetime warranty.

The inner frame backpack is the best

I always recommend going for a backpack with an internal frame. The support rods of the best hiking backpacks are built into the bag instead of outside, which makes it super practical and easy to carry.

The outer frame makes your bag heavier, trust me when hiking in the wild, the last thing you want is a bulky, complicated backpack-style backpack to slow you down. Pack light, you won’t need a big frame!

Capacity is the key

When choosing a hiking backpack, capacity may be the most important decision

Contrary to popular belief: get smaller or go home. If you think that you are a light packer and you can carry a large backpack with you, you may end up being filled with a lot of unnecessary things, that’s okay.

Choosing a simpler backpack will help you save space and reduce the burden on your luggage.

If you are hiking in a snowy place, you may need to increase the size, but otherwise, the best backpack for hiking should be between 40 and 50 liters. Personally, I have a 70-liter hiking backpack for large expeditions, and a smaller 30-liter backpack for day hiking.

Material matters...

If you are going to hike, you should know that, in the end, you will need to face these elements. Rain, heat and even snow, everything happens when you are in the wilderness.

Therefore, when you plan to buy one of the best hiking backpacks, choosing the right material is crucial.

Lightweight and water-resistant materials like Dyneema are ideal, especially because the fabric is waterproof. It can be more expensive than other fabrics such as nylon, but I can guarantee that it is worth the investment!

Sexy factor!

The (possibly) better materials of the backpack are more expensive

If you have already spent some money on hiking in the best backpack, at least you want it to look good. There are many choices regarding colors and styles, so choose one that makes you feel sexy... well, in the muddy jungle, you will feel as sexy as possible!

Osprey Aether/ Ariel

Best "All Rounder" hiking backpack

"Compact and easy to carry"

I swear by the Osprey backpack. They just made the best backpack in a period of time.

Osprey has always launched some of the best bags on the market, and Aether (men) and Ariel (women) are two of Osprey's flagship backpacks.

Aether / Ariel has all the advantages of each Osprey backpack (all-round guarantee, durability and comfort), but the model is slightly smaller, making it the best backpack for hiking if you plan on a short trip.

For men-if you like to carry some other equipment during hiking, the Aether 85 backpack is better, but 95% of the time I can easily get rid of the space in the Aether 70l backpack when hiking. If you prefer something smaller, check out Osprey Talon 33; for ladies, check out Osprey Sirrus 36.

But there is more...


1. Lifetime guarantee

2. Very suitable for hikers or travelers

3. Durable and comfortable


1. Huge – not suitable for short trips

2. Expensive

In addition, Aether and Ariel also have plenty of pockets and compartments to keep things organized, and the AirScape ventilated rear panel keeps you cool during the warmest adventures.

If you want to camp and need to bring a tent and a lot of equipment, you need a decent camping backpack, Osprey Aether will not let you down.

You can put a lot of equipment on this baby, and even more things can be attached to the baby, because Osprey Aether is one of the most comfortable big backpacks on the market, so it still has a smile.

Is Osprey Aether/Ariel right for you?

Osprey has been my choice for many years, and for good reason. Their durability and design make their bags ideal for hiking or traveling, and most importantly, they are super comfortable. Osprey Ether is my highest recommendation.

Osprey Exos 58

Best ultralight backpack

"Ultra-light backpack with excellent comfort and carrying capacity"

If you are looking for an ultra-lightweight, versatile, boring backpack in the market or your next hiking trip or long-term travel adventure, then Osprey Exos 58 is your best choice-Osprey Exos 58 is one of the best Osprey backpacks around!

Technically, this is a minimalist backpack, weighing only 2.7 pounds. However, what I want to say is that this category is in a wider range. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, and it doesn't have the weight of a hiking bag that weighs 2 to 3 times its size.

The light metal alloy frame provides excellent support even when bearing loads of up to 40 pounds. The AirSpeed 3-D tensioned mesh back panel is designed to meet all your free-flowing air needs and provide good ventilation to keep the back panel cool. There is a 5 inch solid gap between the back and the backpack frame! Say goodbye to the swamp blues!


1. Not too big!

2. Minimalism-only weighs 2.7 pounds

3. Lifetime warranty


1. Not enough for a long camping trip

2. Lack of functions of Ether 70

On the side of the backpack, you can use dual-channel elastic mesh side pockets to store water bottles and other backpack equipment with compression straps. At the bottom of Exos 58, you can use more compression straps to secure sleeping mats or tents. These straps are detachable, just in case you are really in a few ounces.

And, of course, the backpack comes with Osprey's lifetime guarantee, which is part of the reason why my love for Osprey backpacks is so strong!

If you are interested in lightweight, durable, and comfortable packaging, and provide enough space for ultra-light products, then Osprey Exos 58 is perfect for you. If you want to buy a two-week-old bag of clothes, equipment and supplies, check out Osprey Volt 60, which is light and spacious, making it another great hiking option.

Is Osprey Exos 58 right for you?

Exos 58 is smaller than Aether 70, but has fewer functions. It is an ideal backpack for those who like to hike in light. In addition, you just cannot exceed this lifetime guarantee! 

To3 Deuter air contact

The best backpack for long-term backpacks

Okay, so this is not an ultralight backpack, but it makes the list because it is super comfortable (maybe even one of the most comfortable hiking bags available) and suitable for long hikes.

The shoulder strap and waist belt are perfect for carrying heavy loads, and its ventilation system keeps you cool and fresh regardless of the weather, making it one of the best multi-day backpacks.


1. Very comfortable

2. Designed for epic hikes

3. Very suitable for carrying heavy objects


1. Heavy and huge

2. Different opinions on maintenance

3. Poor water resistance

Deuter Air is equipped with a detachable rain cover to keep everything dry, and a double zipper super resistant duffel bag.

I recommend this backpack for long-distance travel or for people who like to carry a lot of things but don't want to shine on Osprey Aether. Deuter Air is great value for money and is the best budget backpack in this size category. With hard nails, it can be beaten in any adventure.

Is Deuter Air Contact right for you?

If you are a dedicated camper who loves epic hikes, please participate in your soul contest. Although a bit heavy, the durability and comfort of Deuters are unmatched, and they can pay for themselves many times.

If you want to know more about this package, be sure to read our review of Dueter Air Contact.

Active Roots foldable backpack

Best hiking backpack

This foldable backpack is the best lightweight backpack because it is very light and easy to carry (only 10 ounces), but it is still durable enough to cope with various elements. When you want to leave base camp and explore the surrounding area, this is a great backpack that can take you on a multi-day trek.

With a capacity of 34 liters, you have enough space to carry extra water, food, water layer and day trip essentials. I like that it provides 7 easy-to-use pockets and pouches to organize your belongings. To be honest, I have not seen such an organized foldable backpack.

Finally, with every purchase, Active Roots will donate to one of the several environmental charities that work with it to help clean up our planet. If you don’t like foldable backpacks, you can enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee.


1. Foldable and lightweight

2. Thoughtful design and organization

3. Freedom

4. Very suitable for hiking


1. Not as heavy as the other backpacks on the list

2. Not ideal for multi-day trekking

With every purchase, they donate to one of several environmental charities to help clean up our planet so that we can enjoy more adventures in the years to come.

Is Active Roots backpack right for you?

Whether you are exploring the city or the jungle, this backpack can take you anywhere. Since it is a lightweight and foldable backpack made of strong waterproof nylon material, it is an ideal backpack for hiking. We can't believe that this bag can hold 34 liters.

5 REI Co-op Traverse 35 bags

Best budget hiking backpack

"The backpack of choice for short trips"

I have used REI Traverse as my ultra-light backpack, suitable for a day hike.

This is a hell of a bag, the best budget hiking backpack I have come across. Considering the quality, it is quite cheap. It has a lot of storage bags, a padded waist belt, a supportive but breathable back panel and a built-in rain cover.


1. Preferential price!

2. Small-very suitable for fast hikes

3. Numerous functions and pockets


1. The hip pockets may be larger

2. You can reduce the price by another 10 dollars

It is the best 35-liter backpack, perfect for day hikes or ultralight hikes on weekends, not long hikes where you have to bring tents and food. It is one of the best backpacks for hiking on weekends.

Is a REI partner right for you?

Are you looking for a lightweight backpack for quick hikes on weekends? Travers may be your soul bag. The quality of REI products makes them unsuitable for epic camping trips, and they have been one of my must-see places for travel and hiking for many years. Moreover, the price is good and thin!

Deuter Speed Lite 20

Best small hiking backpack

"Perfect for adventure racing, sport climbing or hiking"

If you are going for a simple day hike in the mountains, then you might escape with a small hiking backpack, and Deuter Speed Lite is one of them.

Endurance athletes should be considered when designing. This is an ultra-light and ultra-light backpack, weighing only over 1 pound, and is one of the best value-for-money small hiking backpacks on the market.


1. The perfect day trip!

2. Sports design

3. Ultra light


1. Not conducive to long-term hiking

2. Women's sizes are mixed

The Deuter Speed Lite 20L hiking backpack has four external pockets, so there is enough storage space, and is equipped with a detachable waist belt and a comfortable padded back with breathability, which means that air can enter the back of the backpack – this will Keep you cool and stop sweating.

This is the most value-for-money backpack of this size.

Is Deuter Speed Lite right for you?

It is not ideal for camping or long-term hiking. If you are looking for a reasonably priced ultra-light backpack for hiking, it is difficult to beat Deuter Speed Lite.

7 Nomatic travel bag

The best 40-liter travel backpack for a day hike

Looking for a backpack for the upcoming holiday and planning some hiking along the way? Don’t want to wander around a 60-liter or 70-liter special hiking backpack while traveling?

We have learned that not everyone wants to carry bulky hiking backpacks when traveling abroad; at the same time, we have found that people do not want to be limited to too professional packaging.

Fortunately, the Nomatic Travel backpack is a round backpack that can cope with various situations. Many people say that Nomatic is the best travel backpack around, and we tend to agree with this statement.

The Nomatic backpack is excellent because it is very light and very efficient. It will use all possible spaces and is highly praised for its organizational quality. Seriously, this backpack is quite creative in terms of ergonomics, and you can store many different items in this bad boy.

Nomatic is tough and comfortable enough to handle some hikes, and many people have actually taken them to the trails. Of course, there is enough space for certain day trip items, such as water bottles and basic first aid kits, although you obviously want to leave most items in the hotel.

It can be said that this is not a backpack for traveling in rugged and uneven places, nor is it a backpack for long-term travel in Southeast Asia or other places. Nomatic is too small and is not designed for this type of adventure.

For more information about the Nomatic Travel Bag, check out our in-depth review here!

Is Nomatic right for you?

Nomatic is a good hiking backpack for those traveling on a smaller trip and want to do a little hike. If you want to take a harder trek, you may need to buy another backpack on this list.

More great hiking backpacks

Osprey Aether 85-Best Adventure Backpack

"All-round guarantee-Osprey repairs all damages"

Yes, another Osprey, but there is nothing I can do. This is the backpack I have been using for nearly ten years. The best thing about Osprey is that they provide an all-round guarantee. This means they will repair any damage to your backpack free of charge. forever and always.
Osprey bags are expensive, but you actually buy them for life. Four years ago, I had my backpack repaired by Osprey, and soon I will send it for some minor repairs to repair the belt buckles and damaged external pockets.
This real adventure backpack is extremely sturdy; in ten years of uninterrupted backpacking trips, I never damaged or tore the main body of the backpack, only the small things broke (usually five years later!). The Osprey Aether 85 is a large expedition backpack; it weighs 85 liters and is very comfortable thanks to a custom molded hip belt. It is compatible with hydration systems and has enough storage space to load many things easily – I once tied three tents outside, and used the tent inside the fourth tent plus cooking equipment, sleeping bags, food, clothes, electronics, etc... In my opinion, this is the best hiking backpack in Osprey.
You can put everything in this backpack and it will remain comfortable and easy to manage. I can't recommend enough for Osprey, this is an excellent Osprey lightweight backpack. If you want to buy something smaller, please choose Osprey backpack.

WANDRD PRVKE 31 – The best hiking backpack for photographers
"Keep all equipment safe"

WNDRED PRVKE 31 is closed and is the best hiking backpack for photographers. This sexy, stylish, and well-designed backpack is painted, full of features and compartments, and can hold a lot of gear. I have been using one of these to carry my Fujifilm gear-with 2 camera bodies, 3 lenses and many accessories-and there is no problem.
If you want to truly turn it into one of the best backpacks for mountaineering, I recommend using it with a Peak Design camera clip so that you can put the camera on your hip or the chest strap of your bag and use it within a few seconds. If you are an avid photographer, then this is an excellent hiking and camping backpack.
Because this is a guide for hikers, I must also say that WANDRD PRVKE 31 is also a very comfortable hiking bag. Of course, once it exceeds 15 kg, it will be a little uncomfortable, and it would be nice to add some extra adjustment straps to the shoulders. Having said that, apart from WNDRED, I will not choose any other backpack for my photography trip.
To learn more about this photography backpack, be sure to check out our full review of WNDRD PRVKE 31 here!

Gregory Alpinisto 50-piece pack - the best hiking backpack for winter hiking

If you are looking for the best backpack for alpine adventures, please look no further! Gregory Alpinisto is one of the best backpacks for hiking, because it is specially designed for the winter environment. The backpack has a ski carrier system and various detachable parts, which is very suitable for snow travel. This is also a great backpack, and you can definitely use it in your travels all over the world.

Gregory Alpinisto (Gregory Alpinisto) is very practical because it has many gear rings and other fixed parts. In addition, it has eyelash points, glove-friendly hardware and hip seat belt padding. If you are a winter hiking enthusiast, then this may be Gregory's best hiking backpack for mountain expeditions.

The North Face Banchee – The best backpack for OCD hikers

If there is this particular backpack to perk up, it is its multiple pockets and compartments. North Face Banchee is one of the most suitable backpacks for hiking, because it has 8 different pockets on the back, sides and even the hip belt.

There is enough space to store traditional hiker equipment and even helmets in case you want to add a little climbing sense to your adventure.

Despite being spacious, Banchee remains lightweight. It weighs 3 pounds and 10 ounces and is very comfortable and very suitable for tough trekking. If you are looking for the best 50L backpack for hiking, then Banchee is a good choice.

Conclusion: So, what is the best hiking backpack?

Which hiking backpack would you choose?

Honestly, it depends on the adventure you are doing-will you escape to the mountains for a few weeks at a time or just do a day hike?

I swear to Osprey-there is indeed no competition, Osprey will certainly make the best packaging in the world-the question is, can you afford the price?

In most multi-day trekking trips, I will take the Osprey Aether 70-liter backpack for trekking. If I’m going for a multi-week expedition, I will carry the Osprey Aether 85-liter backpack. Although it’s large, I think it’s super comfortable. This is not a problem, for me.

For anything during the week, I will carry the REI Co-op Traverse, provided that I do not have to carry a tent and will sleep in a hut or cabin.

"Learn how to support this site. We strive to publish the best backpacker resources on the web for free! All this is to help our elite backpacker readership (that's you!). Please visit this link to learn how to help Keep the website up and running

For the sake of transparency, some links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book accommodation, buy books or classify your insurance, we will charge you a small commission without you having to pay any additional fees. I will only link to the content I actually use, and never endorse products or services that do not meet the requirements. thank you for your support.

Swear-there is indeed no competition, Osprey will certainly make the best packaging in the world-the question is, can you afford the price?

In most multi-day trekking trips, I will take the Osprey Aether 70-liter backpack for trekking. If I’m going for a multi-week expedition, I will carry the Osprey Aether 85-liter backpack. Although it’s large, I think it’s super comfortable. This is not a problem, for me.

For anything during the week, I will carry the REI Co-op Traverse, provided that I do not have to carry a tent and will sleep in a hut or cabin.

"Learn how to support this site. We strive to publish the best backpacker resources on the web for free! All this is to help our elite backpacker readership (that's you!). Please visit this link to learn how to help Keep the website up and running

For the sake of transparency, some links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book accommodation, buy books or classify your insurance, we will charge you a small commission without you having to pay any additional fees. I will only link to the content I actually use, and never endorse products or services that do not meet the requirements. thank you for your support.