A hiking backpack in a grassy field. Photo by Adam Hornyak on Unsplash

A Hiking Backpack Guide: 9 of the Best in 2024

Last Updated on 9 January 2024

Embarking on a hiking adventure is an exhilarating experience, but the key to a successful and enjoyable journey is having the right gear.

One essential piece of equipment is a high-quality hiking backpack to carry all your necessities comfortably and efficiently. With so many options on the market, selecting the perfect backpack can be a daunting task.

In this blog post, we’ve curated a list of top-tier hiking backpacks, each excelling in specific areas to cater to a variety of outdoor activities and preferences.

Let’s dive in and explore the ultimate guide to hiking backpacks in 2024.

Exciting Line-Up of Top-Tier Hiking Backpacks

Two people hiking with backpacks with the mountains in front of them. Photo by Toomas Tartes on Unsplash

Hiking backpacks, also known as hiking packs or walking backpacks, come in various shapes, sizes, and designs.

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Whether you’re embarking on a day hike, an overnight solo camping trip, or a multi-day trekking adventure, there is a backpack designed to cater to your needs. And if you are camping overnight, don’t forget your camping kettle. Nothing wakes you up in the morning like a hot cup of tea!

From compact and lightweight options for short trips to spacious and durable designs for longer hikes, the range of hiking bags available ensures that you’ll find the perfect pack to accompany you on your journey.

Our carefully curated list features the best hiking backpacks in the market, each excelling in a specific area, such as durability, ventilation, versatility, compact design, budget-friendly options, and more.

By considering the ideal capacity, material, weight, and additional features, you’ll be able to find a good hiking backpack that suits your needs and enhances your outdoor experiences.

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9 of the Best Hiking Backpacks

  1. Deuter Unisex Futura Pro 40L: Best for Durability
  2. Osprey Europe Renn 50L Women’s Pack: Best for Ventilation
  3. Osprey Men’s Rook 50L: Best for Versatility
  4. Mammut Unisex Ducan 30L: Best for Compact Design
  5. Mountain Warehouse Ventura 40L: Best Budget Option
  6. Lowe Alpine Sirac 50L: Best for Multi-Day Hikes
  7. Granite Gear Crown 3 60L: Best Lightweight Option
  8. Rab Aeon 35L Daypack: Best for Day Hikes
  9. Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor Backpack 25-40L: Best Adjustable Capacity

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1. Deuter Unisex Futura Pro 40L: Best for Durability

A durable and practical hiking backpack with extra protection for longer hikes

Key Features

  • Capacity: 40 litres

  • Material: Premium materials with reinforced frame

Product Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting materials

  • Comfortable carrying with maximum back ventilation

  • Generous storage capacity with multiple compartments and pockets

Product Cons

  • Slightly heavier than other options

The Deuter Unisex Futura Pro 40 is constructed from premium materials and designed to endure wear and tear, making it the perfect companion for outdoor enthusiasts who prioritise durability. Its innovative design ensures comfort while carrying and maximum back ventilation, allowing you to focus on conquering the trail.

With a generous storage capacity featuring multiple compartments and pockets, the Futura Pro 40 is suitable for short trips and ambitious hikers tackling strenuous tours, such as longer hikes. The reinforced frame and adjustable straps enhance the backpack’s longevity, ensuring you have a reliable pack for many adventures to come.

2. Osprey Europe Renn 50L Women’s Pack: Best for Ventilation

A picture of the Osprey Europe Renn 50 Women's Pack, the best hiking backpack for ventilation, with a woman wearing it while hiking in the mountains.

Key Features

  • Capacity: 50 litres

  • Material: Lightweight and solid construction

Product Pros

  • Designed specifically for female backpackers

  • Ventilated back panel and adjustable shoulder straps for comfort

  • Multiple compartments and pockets for easy access

Product Cons

  • Not waterproof

The Renn 50 Women’s Pack provides easy access to your belongings with its multiple compartments and pockets. Although it doesn’t offer extra protection like a waterproof backpack, its overall design and features make it a popular choice among hikers seeking a well-crafted and reasonably-priced backpack for their adventures.

Specifically designed for female backpackers, the Renn 50 Women’s Pack delivers a solid construction with a ventilated back panel for enhanced comfort and adjustable shoulder straps. Lightweight and comfortable, the Renn 50 Women’s Pack has a solid construction that delivers the right type of support for various hiking activities. Whatever your hiking adventure whether you’re a hiking beginner or a veteran at it, the Renn 50 from Osprey is a brand you can rely on that’ll deliver amazing results.

3. Osprey Men’s Rook 50L: Best for Versatility

A versatile and lightweight men's hiking backpack with plenty of pockets and features

Key Features

  • Capacity: 50 litres

  • Material: Durable and lightweight construction

Product Pros

  • Highly versatile with multiple pockets and attachment points

  • 50L capacity suitable for backpacking

Product Cons

  • Limited color options

The Osprey Men’s Rook 50 is a highly versatile backpack equipped with multiple pockets and attachment points, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of outdoor activities. With a capacity of 50 litres, it’s suitable for backpacking and accommodates all the gear you need to carry for your adventures.

This camping backpack has been met with positive reviews, with users praising its comfort, durability, and versatility. Its straightforward design and construction make it a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts looking for a reliable backpack that caters to various adventures.

4. Mammut Unisex Ducan 30L: Best for Compact Design

A compact and lightweight hiking backpack with plenty of room for essentials

Key Features

  • Capacity: 30 litres

  • Material: High-quality, lightweight, and water-resistant

Product Pros

  • Compact design ideal for shorter excursions and day hikes

  • Easy-to-reach side pockets and suspended mesh back panel for ventilation

Product Cons

  • May not be suitable for longer trips with more gear

The Mammut Unisex Ducan Trekking and Hiking 30L Backpack features a concise design, making it suitable for shorter excursions and day hikes. It’s equipped with easy-to-reach side pockets and a suspended mesh back panel for ventilation, ensuring you stay comfortable and organised during your hikes.

Although it may not be suitable for longer trips with more gear, the 30L capacity is ideal as a daypack for those day hikes and light camping overnights. Users have praised this lightweight backpack for its comfort, utility, and well-crafted design, making it a multifunctional choice for hiking and trekking.

5. Mountain Warehouse Ventura 40L: Best Budget Option

A budget-friendly and lightweight hiking backpack with plenty of storage

Key Features

  • Capacity: 40 litres

  • Material: Nylon

Product Pros

  • Budget-friendly option

  • Ample storage space

  • Comfortable wear with padded shoulder straps and back panel

Product Cons

  • Not as durable as more expensive options

For those seeking a budget-friendly option without compromising on storage space and comfort, the Mountain Warehouse Ventura Hiking Backpack is an excellent walking backpack to accommodate your hiking essentials.

While it may not be as durable as more expensive options, its spaciousness and user-friendly design make it a viable option for hikers on a budget thanks to its 40-litre capacity. Ideal for long hikes or walks, it’s equipped with padded shoulder straps and a back panel for added comfort when carrying it.

6. Lowe Alpine Sirac 50L: Best for Multi-Day Hikes

A lightweight and waterproof multi-day hiking backpack with plenty of room for gear

Key Features

  • Capacity: 50 litres

  • Material: Nylon

Product Pros

  • Designed for long hikes and multi-day adventures

  • Multiple pockets and hydration sleeve

Product Cons

  • Heavier than other options

The Lowe Alpine Sirac Multi-Day Hiking Backpack is designed for long hikes and multi-day adventures. It features multiple pockets and a hydration sleeve, ensuring you have ample space and easy access to your gear. This backpack’s durable construction and versatile design make it a reliable choice for outdoor enthusiasts whether you’re hitting the trail or camping throughout the year.

While it may be heavier than other options, the Sirac 50 offers a comfortable fit with its adjustable back system and padded shoulder straps. Whether you’re embarking on a weekend camping trip or a multi-day hike, the Lowe Alpine Sirac is a dependable companion that will carry your gear securely and comfortably. What more could you want when heading out into the wilderness for some R&R?

7. Granite Gear Crown 3 60L: Best Lightweight Option

A lightweight and durable hiking backpack with plenty of features and storage

Key Features

  • Capacity: 60 litres

  • Material: High-tenacity nylon

Product Pros

  • Lightweight design

  • Spacious main compartment with roll-top closure

  • Multiple pockets and attachment points

Product Cons

  • No external water bottle pockets

Though it lacks external water bottle pockets, the Crown 3 60L Backpack’s lightweight design makes it a popular choice among hikers seeking a backpack that won’t weigh them down.

It has a generous main compartment, perfect for the kit you’ll be bringing with you when heading out into the great outdoors. Added to that are the multiple pockets for organising your things, meaning you have more time exploring rather than worrying about where everything is.

Thanks to its high-tenacity nylon construction for durability and its reinforced bottom for extra protection, the Crown 3 60L Backpack is a reliable and functional backpack for outdoor adventures.

8. Rab Aeon 35L Daypack: Best for Day Hikes

A lightweight and comfortable daypack with plenty of room for essentials

Key Features

  • Capacity: 35 litres

  • Material: Nylon

Product Pros

  • Ideal for day hikes and light overnights

  • Durable and water-resistant materials

Product Cons

  • Limited storage capacity for longer trips

The Rab Aeon 35L Daypack is perfect for day hikes, offering a durable and water-resistant design with a comfortable and adjustable harness system. With a 35L capacity, it provides ample space for your essentials during short excursions or light overnight trips.

While its storage capacity may be limited for longer trips, the Aeon 35L Daypack’s durability and water-resistant materials make it a reliable and functional backpack for day hikes and quick outdoor adventures. Sleek and practical, this daypack is a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

9. Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor Backpack 25-40L: Best Adjustable Capacity

A lightweight and adjustable capacity backpack with plenty of features and storage

Key Features

  • Capacity: Adjustable from 25 to 40 litres

  • Material: Durable and lightweight construction

Product Pros

  • Adjustable capacity to suit various trip lengths and gear requirements

  • Lightweight design

Product Cons

  • Not suitable for extremely long or heavy-load trips

The Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor Backpack packs some serious punch when it comes to hiking.

Thanks to its lightweight design, this is an excellent choice for those seeking a versatile backpack that can be tailored to a person’s needs and preferences. With its adjustable capacity, you can modify the size of the backpack from 25L to 40L, giving you the space you need to carry your things.

Though it may not be suitable for extremely long or heavy-load trips, the Flex Capacitor’s adjustable capacity and lightweight design make it an excellent choice for those seeking a versatile backpack that can be tailored to their needs and preferences. This ensures you have the perfect pack for any trip.

Selecting the Perfect Hiking Backpack

The nature of your hiking trip and the amount of gear you plan to carry are critical factors when choosing the perfect hiking backpack. Backpacks vary greatly in capacity, from 10 up to 80 litres. Choosing the right size is key to a comfortable and efficient hiking experience.

Consider other factors as well, such as:

  • the backpack’s frame and suspension

  • straps and hip belts

  • fit adjustment features

  • pockets

  • side zips or other access panels

A secure fit and the proper use of both sternum and waist straps for heavier packs can help distribute the load evenly, thus enhancing your overall hiking experience. A comfortable and snug hip belt is vital during hikes as it helps redistribute the weight away from your shoulders and back.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the perfect hiking backpack is a critical decision for any outdoor enthusiast. By considering factors such as capacity, material, weight, and additional features, you can find the ideal backpack to suit your needs and enhance your outdoor experiences.

Our curated list of top-tier hiking backpacks in 2024 offers a variety of options, each excelling in specific areas to cater to different outdoor activities and preferences. With the right backpack, you’ll be well-equipped to conquer the trails and make the most of your hiking adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of backpack is best for hiking?

For a great hiking experience, look no further than capacities ranging from 36 – 68 litres. If you’re planning a day hike, opt for backpacks between 10 and 25 litres which can easily fit water bottles, picnic gear and other essentials.

How big of a backpack do you need for a day hike?

For a day hike, you should look for a backpack in the 10-25 litre range, which will provide ample space for water, food, jackets and other essentials. Look for a pack with a single internal cavity and smaller pockets to store your phone and water bottle or even items such as sunscreen.

Is a rucksack good for hiking?

Yes, a rucksack is a great option for hiking as long as it fits the body, offers comfortable padding and has adjustable straps and hip fins for extra support.

Can a hiking backpack be too big?

Choosing the right backpack size for your hike is essential as carrying a backpack that is too big can cause discomfort and put you at risk of overfilling it, leading to an uncomfortable day’s hike. It’s important to consider the weight of the backpack in relation to your body mass, with 10% ideal for children and less than 15% suitable for a light adult.

Are all hiking backpacks waterproof?

No, not all hiking backpacks are waterproof. Some may come with a rain cover or be made from water-resistant materials for protection in wet weather conditions.

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