Welcome to Best Trail Backpacks! Today I will help you find the best hiking backpack for your outdoors adventures!
When considering what would make for the best hiking backpack, I realized I needed to ask myself a number of questions in order to find the right answer. The first of those questions was to ask myself was I was qualified to find the right backpack in the first place.
The answer, as it turned out, was not owing to the fact that I have tucked a good number of hiking trips behind me, but because I understand all about compartmentalization and categorization.
The different compartments and capacities a bag has to offer you is what immediately comes to mind when thinking of a hiking backpack, and rightfully so, given all the different items you need to make your trip a success. However, there are a handful of other features that are easy to overlook, that is until you hit the bush.
I found that the right backpack has to have a certain consciousness of your particular needs and it was by combining the core essentials of a hiking backpack with such particulars that I came across my top five.
Buying Guide (what to look for)
When looking for the best backpack, there are a few core features I consider essential, after which a few additional features would not hurt. Here they are:
The number one preoccupation when preparing for any hiking trip is whether you have enough space in your backpack to carry what you need. It seemed, at first, that the larger, the better, and my list would consist of five of the largest backpacks, but this was not true.
Size can mean weight, and that can be an inconvenience when planning a short hike. Finding the right size for your particular needs, I was to find, is the proper way to go about looking for the most suitable backpack.
You don’t always want to be thinking about the load on your back when exploring scenic terrains. So, ensuring that your backpack is comfortable to forget about is a major factor to consider. There are a number of measures taken to ensure that you did not feel the full weight of your load, and the more measures featured in your backpack, the better.
Ease of access to whatever you need – be it liquid, a camera, or a map – is essential to making the most out of a hiking trip. Thus, finding a backpack with external pockets that allow you to get to your tools quickly is a vital part of the experience.
It goes without saying that you want something to last the harsh outdoor conditions you put it through.
There are a lot of other features that are important, especially in very particular instances. However, I find that the four mentioned above constitute the core features of what you would want to look for.
Without further ado, the following is a list of the five best backpacks according to the criteria mentioned above:
Teton Sports Scout
When searching for conscious backpacks, the Teton Sports Scout 3400 immediately stands out from the pack, boasting a number of features that seem to have been designed to cater one’s very particular needs.
Part of what made it an obvious choice for my list was the way it appears to balance what is expected from a quality hiking backpack with the particulars it seems to want to cater to; beginner hiking trips.
There are a number of features that makes the Teton Sports Scout suitable for inexperienced hikers, such as the internal frame, which allows for better balancing on steep slopes. There are some that may prefer external frames, as that means you don’t have to shift the weight of the bag on your back, but that seems to be also taken care of by the number of measures taken to ensure comfort, such as the adjustable straps.
The adjustable torso straps also allow for ease and comfort, and coupled with the actual material of the bags; it seems sure to encourage first timers to make hiking a regular hobby.
What adds to this customization, and which you can expect from any quality backpack, is its large 55l capacity. That is no small feat for a bag with such conscious considerations of who uses it, allowing one to pack for a few nights without any hassle. Add that to its durability, and you have a backpack that perfectly balances what is expected from it with its own expectations of making life easier for you.
- Multiple compartments.
- Large storage capacity.
- Comfortable design and material.
- Not water resistant, so not really friendly for wet locations, though it does come with a rain cover.
- Basic features, nothing specialized for advanced activities, such as mountaineering.
When you’re looking for the best of the best, you want something that caters to your needs as well as something that separates itself from the rest of what is on offer. The Teton Sports Scout 3400 is one such bag that looks to impress while refraining from neglecting on its own basic needs.
If you’re looking to make mountain climbing or any other similar activity a hobby, pushing past the boundaries of what you can achieve, then this bag will be memorably your best tool to get you started.
G4Free Lightweight Backpacks
Continuing on our search of the best backpacks for different needs, it’s hard to miss the G4Free Travel Daypack. There are a number of places this lightweight bag can be used for. Despite its lightweight, it can carry enough to extend past its usage as a handy backpack for short trips into one that can serve for longer voyages, though not through very rough terrain.
Versatility is what makes this hiking backpack stand out from among the others. The G4Free boasts a 40l storage capacity, which is impressive, considering the handy tricks it also shows off, such as its lightweight and ability to fold easily to be stored in compact spaces. It’s the ideal backpack for packing what you need, flinging behind your back, and pursuing travels anywhere around the world, at any time of the year, and in any weather conditions (rain or sunshine).
The water-resistant nylon fabric ensures that you don’t have to worry about the contents of your bag if you’re trekking in a little drizzle or if you have to navigate through rivers and other wet conditions. Its fabric is also tear resistant, which means that you can happily forget about what you are carrying, even though going through bushy terrains. Allowing for mindfulness seems to be the overall intention of this backpack, and it delivers on that well.
- Versatility – this well exemplified by the front spandex pouch.
- Water resistant.
- Tear resistant.
- Limited compartments.
- Straps not comfortable or ideal when bag fully loaded.
The G4Free Lightweight Travel Backpack may be limited in that it does not afford much room for material needed for more technical hikes often undertaken by more experienced persons. If your intention is to travel around the world without too much baggage, and you don’t want to carry around an unnecessarily big, then it proves to be the perfect backpack for that purpose.
TETON Sports Explorer
Simply put, the Teton Sports Explorer is the ultimate hiking backpack, specializing in supplying all that is needed for a seasoned hiker’s successful outing. This fits in as well in the best list of backpacks as it consciously takes into account all that would be needed for an extraneous, long hiking trip.
By this point in time, you may be familiar with the company’s quality material, which the Sports Explorer is not exempt from, but there is one particular feature that stands out to set this backpack apart, its large storage capacity. Allowing up to 4000 cubic inches of volume space, for a bag that itself weighs less than 5 pounds, it’s rather remarkable. There is plenty of room for hikers to store exactly what they need without looking to bag extra luggage.
Multiple exterior pockets ensure that storage capacity is not jeopardized with bulky items while letting one easily reach into what they need.
Comfort is another major plus that this backpack consciously takes into account. Using its trusted quality material, it has also been expertly designed to make sure weight and balancing are not an issue, and any strains on your arms are dealt with padded straps.
The way the straps are placed, around the torso, shoulders, chest, and hip, carrying your many loads could not be made more comfortable.
- Large 65l volume capacity.
- Internal frame.
- Quality material.
- Comfort design and padded straps.
- Multiple external pockets for convenience.
- Though the sleeping bag compartment is handy, it may be too small for what one has.
- Again, though the material is great, the downside is that it is not waterproof, so you have to be careful. The upside of this is that it comes with a rain cover.
It is hard to find fault with something as well designed as the TETON Sports Explorer 4000. One could say that it is too large if you are planning a short trip, but that is hardly an argument, and the company has already ensured that a smaller version is provided as shown above. That leaves one only to admire the well-designed backpack that can only prove to be a reliable friend on the road, climbing a mountain, or wherever you may be.
There are quite a number of features that make this hiking backpack stand out from some very tough competition but what it may very well be unique in is its design. Though it is a tough bag that can withstand a lot, as will be explained in detail shortly, it sets itself apart by somehow showing off a sleek design, and its functionality is just as impressive.
The Mountaintop Backpack offers you all the essential features you hope to find in a quality backpack. Starting off with its 65l volume capacity, there is enough room to fit in the bulk of what any professional hiker needs. A separator, dividing the interior into two halves, is a neat addition that takes into account what you need to be separated inside that large space.
When carrying a heavy load, comfort is something you want to make sure the backpack offers, and this is another area in which the Mountaintop Backpack excels. Aside from its padded material, the adjustable features included with this bag ensure that balance and weight are not a problem.
It has a clever eight-lever adjustable that makes sure all torso lengths are accommodated, and once the straps are comfortably adjusted, it fits any body size, making hikes, walks, and mountaineering all the more bearable.
- Sleeping bag compartment.
- Hydration system that allows holding bladder easily.
- Elastic bands to keep straps from dangling.
- Super Carry System allowing you to adjust for length.
- Design allowing for flowing ventilation.
- Comfortable straps.
- Built-in rain cover.
- Though the exclusion of too many external pockets and compartments makes the backpack less bulky, these can prove to be handy quite often, and risk being missed.
- Lightweight material, not the best.
Many strong features make this bag an excellent choice for a number of outdoor adventures but, unfortunately, turns out to be rather costly when considering its shortcomings. Just as with the other backpacks, it comes down to be a matter of what one’s particular needs are, and should it meet your demands, the Mountaintop backpack could very well prove to be the best of its kind.
Kelty Coyote Backpack
If you are looking for a backpack with large storage space, convenient pockets, a comfortable design, and all the other bonuses needed for a hiking backpack, then the Kelty Coyote delivers this to you with bold confidence, as if it is conscious of your needs. Quality and design are not compromised for all its hardcore practicality.
It’s hard to look further that the 80l volume capacity that the Coyote Backpack boasts, and really, why should you. However, this large size invites the inclusion of a lot of weight, and consequently, there are a number of issues that could arise from this increase in weight.
Comfort is one very particular issue that arises from increased volume capacity, and it is one aptly handled by the bags cushioned design, ensuring users the freedom to pack all they need without being bogged down. One other concern that derives from its large capacity is the balance, which the internal metal frame proves sturdy enough to help with.
The backpack itself is made of some very sturdy material, which adds more value to an already valuable item. With all the side pockets placed on it for convenience, the design still looks great. It also features a Perfect-Fit suspension system, which adapts itself to varying torso sizes, making sure all users are comfortable in it.
- Hipbelt – this is a feature at the base of the bag which evens out pressure on your hips, which works to support a heavy load and ensure comfort.
- Perfect-Fit adjustability.
- Padded straps.
- Hydrations sleeves.
- Sturdy frame.
- Quality material.
- Convenient side pockets and design in general.
- No sleeping bag compartment.
- No convenient straps to facilitate adding any exterior features.
This backpack works for seasoned hikers looking to engage in all sorts of activities, and it strives to make sure that it is a positive part of that experience. Allowing you to pack as much as you need, as well as providing comfort and ease of access to all the regular items you need to pull out during your outing, there are fewer backpacks better than this.
The amount of quality and consideration in its design is a perfect example of what you want to find in the ideal hiking backpack.
I found that the idea of coupling particular needs with my four essential features needed in a hiking backpack – namely size, comfort, facilitation, and quality – I had come up with the best formula to finding the right products out there. Judging by the reviews, this rather unconventional method of product-seeking was not flawed, and the top five results bear testimony to that.There is a lot of good quality out there, and it can be hard finding what’s right, and so recognizing what one’s particular needs are, usually goes a long way in helping you make the right choice when looking for the best hiking backpacks on the market.