Best Backpacks for Hiking

The right backpack can make or break your experience when you’re out on the trails. No matter whether you’re sweating through Appalachian swamps in the summer heat or rambling over alpine ridges, the best backpacks for hiking align with your body and your needs.

There’s a lot of consideration when thinking about the best backpacks for hiking. You’ll likely want something that is within your price range, an appropriate weight, ergonomic and comfortable, and has the capacity to carry what you need.

Let’s look at 5 of the best hiking backpacks on the market today. Get your gear and get on with your next adventure!

What Makes a Hiking Backpack the Best? 

You want a hiking backpack that will hold everything that you need, without taking away from your hiking experience. Here are a few key features to help you find the ideal hiking backpack for your needs:


Hiking shouldn’t be an expensive hobby. That said, your backpack is one of the most important aspects of your hike. The last thing that you want is to have a strap fail or realize that weatherproofing doesn’t work halfway through your hike. You can find a durable hiking backpack with all the bells and whistles at around $80. For specialized features and a stylish bag, expect to pay a bit more.

Bag Weight

You need a backpack that is strong enough to carry everything that you need on your hike. However, you don’t want your backpack to add significantly to the weight that you have to carry. The bag you choose shouldn’t weigh more than about 5 lbs to give you all the strength that you need.

Ergonomics and Comfort

You’ll be carrying your backpack for long distances, often over rough terrain. You need a bag that has plenty of padding for your shoulders. Bags with sternum and stomach straps help to center the weight, reducing strain on your lower back. If straps are provided for additional loads, they should keep the load centered.


The lighter you travel, the more you’ll enjoy your hike. However, you need a bag with enough volume to carry everything that you need. The ideal bag has sufficient capacity inside the bag for a lighter trip. Straps and outer pockets can let you pack more for a longer trip.

Best 5 Hiking Backpacks

BivWack 40L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

This convenient backpack has plenty of capacity at 40 liters. It is also very lightweight. You can store even more thanks to the rolling mouth design.

A 3.5 mm rope is included to strap additional supplies to the bag. You can also replace it with another rope if necessary. This rope is perfect to attach all kinds of odds and ends that don’t conveniently fit inside of the bag. A number of pockets are positioned at different parts of the bag. You can reach essentials without taking off the backpack.

A rainproof cover is conveniently included in a pouch at the bottom of the bag. Just drape it over your bag to keep your things safe from severe weather. This bag is designed ergonomically with a back pad and shoulder cushions to reduce pressure. The back pad is mesh for great breathability so that it won’t get stuffy.


  • Lots of capacity to fit most of what you need inside the bag
  • Plenty of attachment and expandable options to attach things outside of the bag as well
  • Water-resistant and comes with a waterproof cover for heavier weather
  • Lightweight, ergonomic design is comfortable even when fully loaded on long hikes


  • Hip strap does not fit well around people with wider stomachs 
  • Mesh pocket on the back can pick up burrs and seeds 

Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Travel Hiking Backpack

If you don’t want to spend one penny more than you have to for an efficient backpack to get you outside and enjoying nature, this one might be the right choice for you. At under $25, it is more affordable than the vast majority of other hiking backpacks. It can’t hold as much as some other options, but with a capacity of 40 liters, it will have you covered for the average day hike.

A waterproof pocket on the inside gives you somewhere to put damp objects so that they won’t get the rest of your backpack wet. The nylon fabric is resistant to tears and to light weather, although it isn’t entirely waterproof. 

The nylon isn’t as thick as some other options, but tough metal zippers and enhanced durability at stress points make it unlikely to tear with regular use. A double-layer bottom is protection against terrain when you set the backpack down and keeps the backpack fairly sturdy even when fully loaded.

This backpack only weighs .7 lbs,  which is one of the lighter options that you are going to find at any price point. It is so small that it can fold into itself to make a tiny package. This makes it great for storing between hiking trips and also makes it an ideal extra backpack to keep with you in case you need it. This backpack is comfortable too, thanks to the mesh shoulder straps with sponge padding that relieves pressure on your shoulders while remaining cool. A chest clip is designed to distribute weight and keep it centered. 

There are a number of compartments in this bag so if you have lots of small things to carry, you won’t have any trouble staying organized.  It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns so that you can pick a design that you love. 


  • Very light and compact bag that is easy to store or keep with you in case you need it.
  • Waterproof section on the inside keeps your other things dry in case you have wet stuff to store
  • Extremely affordable option is surprisingly durable


  • If you are a serious hiker, you will likely find that this backpack misses the mark, as it has neither capacity nor padding for long hikes 
  • If it is fully loaded or overloaded too frequently, the stitching will begin to break down
  • Tends to be lumpy against your back unless you pack it carefully

Osprey Aether AG 60 Men’s Backpacking Backpack

This is a serious hiking backpack that is loaded with all of the bells and whistles to make it likely to be the only hiking backpack you will ever need for excursions as long as a week. It is designed to make your load feel even lighter than it really is, thanks to the anti-gravity suspension. 

It has a full peripheral frame with light wire tension that distributes pressure evenly between your shoulders, back, and hips. An isoform harness and CM hip belt provide support for heavy loads. Side compression straps keep the weight centered. This backpack truly feels like it is part of you when you are hiking with it. 

A compartment is set aside specifically for your sleeping bag to keep it clean and easy to access no matter what else you put in the bag. An internal compression strap enables you to put as much in the bag as you possibly can. If you have stuffed it so heavily that it won’t zip closed, an integrated flap cover enables it to still keep your stuff inside even when it’s not zipped closed.

This backpack is truly ready for anything, with ice ax holders and a bungee tie so that even if you want to go hiking in freezing conditions you’ll be prepared. Hip belt pockets are the perfect place to put things that you want to be able to access without taking off the backpack. A day-size pack attaches to the top in case you’d like to leave your hiking backpack at camp and bring a few essentials with you. An internal hydration reservoir sleeve can hold three liters of liquid in the reservoir of your choice.


  • Extremely well-balanced to keep you comfortable even when it is fully loaded
  • Compression straps, a fold-over lid, and other features to make the most of every inch
  • Works well for people of all sizes and is a favorite of people who have had back problems in the past.


  • Does not come with a rain cover, which many people would expect at this price point
  • Some people find the hip belt portion to be uncomfortable 
  • Weighs over 5 lbs when empty, which is a fair amount of extra weight

3F UL Gear 16 – 40L Lightweight Hiking Backpack

Looking for a lightweight and waterproof hiking backpack for your next adventure? This unisex pack offers a minimalist approach and is a great introduction to ultralight backpacks.

This backpack weighs in at just 0.9kg, or about 2 lbs. Don’t let the light weight fool you, as this day pack is sturdy, durable, and trail tested. Duraflex buckles and YKK zippers are trustworthy and reliable.

An outer mesh pocket with an adjustable bungee cord will keep your gear secure. Padded and adjustable straps will help you stay balanced and comfortable as you conquer the trails. 

All of these features add up to a versatile, lightweight pack that is ready to hit the trails.


  • Lightweight pack with ample volume makes carrying large loads easy
  • Adjustable straps and outer bungee cord let you customize the hiking backpack to your needs
  • Unisex styling fits most body types comfortably


  • Requires an additional foam mattress frame
  • Outer mesh pocket could pick up burrs and seeds

Find the Best Backpacks for Hiking with BivWack Outdoors

It’s practically an unspoken mantra among those who love the outdoors. The right backpack can make or break your next adventure on the trails. The best backpacks for hiking need to line up with your body and your individual needs.

BivWack Outdoors offers trail-tested packs perfect for your next ramble. From lightweight packs for the minimalist hiker to structured bags for experienced backpackers, let BivWack Outdoors be your partner for gear and more.