Best Hiking Backpack

Welcome to Best Trail Backpacks!

Looking for the Best Hiking Backpack for your Outdoors Adventures?

Well, you have come to the right place!

The days where the knapsack was a one-compartment bag that had to fit all our needs are long gone. Nowadays, there is a myriad of backpacks available on the market, one for practically every purpose unimaginable.

Since I am an avid hiker myself, I fully understand the importance of compartmentalization to keep your things organized while on the trails.

The different compartments and capacities a bag have 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 often overlooked, that is until you hit the bush.

After a thorough review of countless hiking bags using my own buying guide that I will share with you shortly, I came across my top five hiking backpacks.

So, without further ado, let’s dig in, shall we?

The Ultimate Buying Guide

I put together the following buying guide, which takes into account the 4 core features that are paramount to consider for finding the best trail backpack for your outdoor adventures.

1. Size

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 enormous backpacks, but it’s not the case.

First off, to choose the right-sized backpack, you have to bear in mind what is the intended purpose of the bag. For instance, is it for a day hike, a weekend hike, or are you planning to go on an adventure around the world!

Size

You need to choose wisely your backpack for what you are planning to do. Don’t forget that size means weight, and that can be an inconvenience when going on a short hike.

Furthermore, opting for a hiking bag too small for your excursion will result in leaving behind some essentials. On the other hand, by choosing a rucksack too big might lead you to overpack your bag with unnecessary items for the journey, adding extra weight that could cause additional strains on your body or injuries.

2. Facilitation

Now, facilitation is a fancy way of saying storage or compartments! If you want to make your hiking excursion an enjoyable journey, it is paramount that you have easy and quick access to whatever you need.

The last thing you want while on the trails is to have to empty your whole hiking bag each time you need to get either liquid, a camera, a map, matches, or a flashlight!

Facilitation

So, the answer to this is, external pockets, internal and external storage compartments to help you keep your things organized and accessible at all times! 

3. Quality

It goes without saying that when purchasing a trail backpack, you want something that will withstand the harshest outdoor conditions you put it through! So, you want a rucksack that will last for more than a few hiking trips!

Therefore, when looking to buy a hiking bag to use for many years to come, you need to pay close attention to the backpack’s overall built. What I mean here is, don’t overlook the quality of the seams, the zippers, the fabrics used, and the shoulder and waist straps.

Awesome Quality

Lastly, a high-quality hiking backpack doesn’t automatically translate into a lofty price tag, as my picks for the top hiking bags will point out!

4. Comfort 

Last but not least, comfort!

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 many 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.

Comfort

Such features include good quality padded shoulder straps as well as having a waist strap for larger hiking backpacks to help alleviate the strains on your body.

There are a lot of other essential features, 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.


Click Here to View my Picks for the 5 Best-Hiking Backpacks According to the Criteria Mentioned Above

Without further ado, here is a quick overview of my five best backpacks:

1. 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.

Features

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.

TETON Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack

The way the straps are placed, around the torso, shoulders, chest, and hip, carrying your many loads could not be made more comfortable.

PROS

Large 65L volume capacity.
Internal frame.
Quality material.
Comfort design and padded straps.
Multiple external pockets.

CONS

Though the sleeping bag compartment is handy, it may be too small for what one has.
Again, though the material is excellent, 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.

Summary

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.

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.

2. 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.

Features

It’s hard to look further than 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, several issues 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.

Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack

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. 

PROS

Hipbelt – this is a feature at the base of the bag which evens out the 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.

CONS

No sleeping bag compartment.
No convenient straps to facilitate adding any exterior features.

Summary

The Kelty Coyote 80L 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.

3. Mountaintop Backpack

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.

Features

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.

Mountaintop 65L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack with Rain Cover

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.

PROS

Sleeping bag compartment.
Hydration system that allows holding bladder easily.
Elastic bands to keep straps from dangling.
Super Carry System allows you to adjust for length.
The design allows for flowing ventilation.
Comfortable straps.
Built-in rain cover.

CONS

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.

Summary

Many strong features make this bag an excellent choice for many 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.

4. Teton Sports Scout

When searching for conscious backpacks, the Teton Sports Scout 3400 immediately stands out from the pack, boasting several features that seem to have been designed to cater to 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.

Features

Many features make 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.

Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

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.

PROS

Multiple compartments.
Large storage capacity.
Comfortable design and material.
Durability.

CONS

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.

Summary

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 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.

5. G4Free Lightweight Backpack

Continuing on our search for 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.

Features

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).

G4Free 40L Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack

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 rough terrains. Allowing for mindfulness seems to be the overall intention of this backpack, and it delivers on that well.

PROS

Versatility – this well exemplified by the front spandex pouch.
Water-resistant.
Tear-resistant.

CONS

Limited compartments.
Straps not comfortable or ideal when bag fully loaded.

Summary

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 you intend 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.

Final Verdict

I found that the idea of coupling particular needs with my four essential features needed in a hiking backpack, namely size, facilitation, quality, and comfort was the way to go for the best formula to finding the right hiking bag.

Judging by the reviews, this rather unconventional method of product-seeking was not flawed, and the top five results bear testimony to that.

Lastly, there is a lot of suitable high-quality backpacks out there, and it can be hard finding the right one. So, recognizing what your particular needs are, usually goes a long way in helping you make the right choice when looking for the best trail backpack on the market.

So, here they are, the 5 best trail backpacks available online:

Top Recommendation
Preview
TETON Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack for Backpacking, Hiking, Camping; Hunter Green
Size
4.5 out of 5 stars
Facilitation
4.5 out of 5 stars
Quality
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Delivery
-
Price
$84.99
Preview
Kelty Coyote 80 L Backpack - Ponderosa Pine
Size
5 out of 5 stars
Facilitation
5 out of 5 stars
Quality
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Delivery
-
Price
$125.00
More Information
Best Seller
Preview
Mountaintop 65L Outdoor Hiking Backpack Camping Backpack Internal Frame Bag, Black
Size
4.5 out of 5 stars
Facilitation
4 out of 5 stars
Quality
4.5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Delivery
Price
$63.99
More Information
Preview
TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack for Backpacking, Hiking, Camping; Mecca Orange
Size
4 out of 5 stars
Facilitation
4 out of 5 stars
Quality
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Delivery
Price
$77.38
Best Value
Preview
G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack Travel Camping Daypack (Dark Blue)
Size
3.5 out of 5 stars
Facilitation
3.5 out of 5 stars
Quality
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Delivery
Price
$20.99
More Information

Last update on 2020-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

22 thoughts on “Best Trail Backpacks”

  1. Hi there,
    Thank you for sending me the link to your website. I bought a backpack for 7.25! It is exciting because I didn’t know I have an Amazon gift card that was leftover from my birthday. I’ll give you some feedback or pictures from my hike when I get it if you are interested.
    Thanks again & kind regards,
    Nurse Becca

    Reply
    • Wow, it sounds like you got a great deal! Which backpack did you buy, if you don’t mind me asking?

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Reply
  2. Very great insight into these very nice hiking backpacks. For me, after my emergency beacon, a good backpack is the next most crucial thing. The one I use currently is too old, and I am already thinking of getting another one.

    You have so much here to choose from. All the backpacks here have their own pros and cons, and choosing the best for me is quite a pain. Do you know which is the best? Have you tried anyone personally?

    Reply
    • They all great backpacks as I view them as my top 5 of the best hiking trail backpacks available online! They are all my favorites! I personally think that by picking any of them you can’t go wrong.

      You first need to figure the purpose intended for the hiking bag. If you plan to go on a long-distance hike, then you should opt for a large capacity backpack, like the Kelty Coyote 80L. On the other hand, if you are thinking of going on a short a weekend hike, then the G4Free 40L Travel backpack is a good pick.

      It all comes down to your personal preferences and purpose for the rucksack. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line, I would be more than happy to help you further.

      Reply
  3. Teton Sports Scout is the perfect trail running backpack for me from this list, and I genuinely wish to get this.

    I just gave my backpack to my cousin, who came over for the holidays. Hence, there is a need for me to buy another backpack, and I want a different brand from what the one I was using before. I like the buying guide you gave, and undoubtedly, it contains all the right tips to ensure that I purchase the right backpack for trail running. Thanks for this post.

    Reply
    • The Teton Sports Scout 3400 backpack is a great pick and not too pricey! If you want to learn more about this awesome Teton 3400 backpack, I urge you to read my full review here.

      Reply
  4. Wow, you’ve done a great job putting this article together, having a functional and durable hiking backpack can make your adventure an enjoyable one. The backpacks here are really nice and beautiful with amazing features too.
    I remember one time where I went hiking with my dad, and his backpack got turned! It was a horrible experience for him also for me cos it disturbed my convenience as I had to put some of his stuff in my pack and we left some on the trail.
    I’ll share this article with my friends, and I’m sure they’ll find it helpful. I’ll also get a backpack for myself from this list, they all look good, but my favorite is The G4Free Lightweight Backpack. I appreciate your efforts in putting this together.

    Reply
    • I am happy to hear that you found value in my post and are willing to share it with your friends, thanks.

      Wow, it must have been a horrible hike as your dad’s backpack teared up like that! I must confess that I tend to overpack my bag, but after reading about your story, I will be more careful because I don’t want what happened to your dad and you, to happen to me, it would be a total nightmare! Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  5. Thanks for providing a buyer guide on how to choose the very best type of backpack for trail running. Getting the right backpack can really prove very integral to making the trail running really enjoyable. Therefore we must pack the right amount of things for our safety and treatments, too, while on it. Also, we need to pack our snacks and other necessities. 

    Thanks for your suggestions here, and if I were to pick, I would buy the Mountaintop Backpack.

    Reply
    • I am glad that you found value in my buying guide. Personally, I have a hard choosing one as my favorite, which is why they are all my Best Trail Backpacks! 

      Reply
  6. I don’t go on these adventures a lot, but it is always fun when I do. I have done the Blue Mountain Trek and many shorter trips. My mistake when doing the mountain trek was choosing a very large backpack because that’s what I thought would be ideal. The problem is that over a long trip, and one that is uphill most of the way, what seems to be easy to carry becomes heavy. I know now that the most important features for me are the external pockets, the divided insides, the material, and the life of the backpack. I like both the G4Free and the Kelty Coyote. Thank you for the details.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts about hiking. Both the G4Free Travel and the Kelty Coyote are excellent picks when it comes to hiking packs. Since you are still uncertain about which one to buy, you should read my full review on Kelty Coyote and then click here to get access to the G4Free backpack review. It should help you make up your mind to which to buy!

      Reply
  7. Just read your article on trail backpacks and found it very thorough. I like the fact you give a picture and all the pros and cons of each of the ones you picked. I actually was a little shocked at the price of the G4Free Travel Backpack and actually headed off to Amazon to double-check. It sounds like an excellent choice for a beginner who isn’t sure they want to make a huge investment.

    Great review and lots of useful information. Thanks.

    Reply
    • The G4Free Travel backpack definitely offers the best value and is an excellent backpack for beginners going on short hikes, for sure. Thanks for sharing for stopping by.

      Reply
  8. A great and in-depth look for the best hiking backpacks for outdoor adventures, I would say.

    I need to get a new backpack for my hiking excursions, as well as other outdoor activities that I have planned in the near future. It needs to be pretty big cause I need to carry my drone, laptop, and lots of protein packs plus hiking stuff.

    The Mountaintop backpack looks like the best of these for my purposes, as the sleeping bag compartment is essential for me. Also, the lack of water or rain cover is an issue, and this pack seems to have a built-in rain cover. So, the problem solved! Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
    • No wonder then that the Mountaintop hiking backpack is on the bestseller list on Amazon as it offers a bang for the buck!

      If you need more information about the Mountaintop before purchasing it, read my full review here. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  9. It is true that not having packed your backpack properly when going hiking will result in an awful experience. Thanks for sharing some tips about what to look for and why, when buying a trail backpack.

    Size is critical when it comes to the quality, as it’ll determine the durability of the bag and how long it’ll sustain you. By getting a backpack of lesser quality, you might end up with nothing in your knapsack as the hiking bag can tear-off, cut, or get damaged.

    I really love the Mountaintop backpack, and I’ll get one whenever I’m embarking on a hiking adventure with my friends. Thanks for sharing this informative article.

    Reply
    • Nice to know that you found value in my post about the best trail backpacks online. As you mentioned being interested in the MountainTop hiking backpack, I highly recommend that you first read my Mountaintop Backpack Review, to learn all about its awesome features before purchasing the hiking bag.

      Reply
  10. There are genuinely great hiking backpacks here. I have seen a couple of these rucksacks online. However, I didn’t know all about the features which you have explained here.

    I think I should indeed get one for my next adventure. The G4Free Lightweight Backpack is the perfect one for me. I should give it a try, especially after having read all its features. It looks really awesome. Thank you for this.

    Reply
  11. Hi Sonia!

    I used to hike a lot when a was young, but we didn’t have that wide range of different types of backpacks really, it was just a matter of which one you liked the most and the capacity of it.

    The fact that now many of them are water resistant, are made of lighter but more resilient materials and have so many compartments is amazing!

    I’d definitely go for the Mountaintop one. Love it! 🙂

    Thanks for the tips on how to make an educated choice!

    Reply
    • Hi Israel,

      Back in the days, a backpack had to fill many purposes. Today, things have drastically changed since there is a backpack for every activity you could think of!

      I don’t have a favorite hiking backpack; I have several actually! For instance, when traveling, I like to use the HIKPRO travel backpack as a carry-on bag, On the other hand, when I go for long weekend hikes I prefer the TETON Sports Scout 3400.

      Thanks,

      Sonia

      Reply

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