Nature Immerse
Best hiking backpacks 2017

Best Hiking Backpacks Reviews 2018

Why All the Fuss?

When we started selling packs, it was hard to decide what hiking backpacks to stock. No company should be more interested in making money than offering quality merchandise.

We decided to embark on the search for the best hiking backpacks around. It was not easy. First, there had to be tons of research carried out. Then out of the top 10, we conducted tests in the field in search of the best.

Those backpacks went everywhere (well, everywhere one can go in 6 months). Our test subjects (talking about the bags, not the hikers) went on day hikes, weekend hikes and even days of hiking. From the Inca Trail in Peru to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa and even to the nature trail in the hometown.

Before we get started with the reviews, you need to catch up on some basics about hiking backpacks. Hiking backpacks are just bags specially designed for walking (and climbing) while exploring nature.

There are hiking backpacks intended for one-day hikes and others designed for multiple day trips. They differ from ordinary backpacks because they are made specifically to deal with the ordeals that come along with hiking- the constant thirst, long tiring trails, extreme weather conditions and not forgetting the large amount of gear you have to carry with you.

As a hiker or someone who might be joining the club soon, you need to consider a hiking backpack. Your travel pack, school backpack or whatever other type of bag just won't do. You can't get out of buying a hiking backpack. Well…, you can, but you will have to pay a high price for it.

Here's a list of some troubles you'll have to deal with:

  • Back, Shoulder and Neck pains.
  • Health effects such as spinal misalignment.
  • Massive discomfort which will, in turn, lead to you not enjoying the hike.
  • A heavy bag that will slow down your hiking speed.
  • Tiring quickly characterized by shortness of breath.

Why You Should Buy a Hiking Backpack?

You can’t live without a hiking bag so you better start loving them. Okay, lemme not force them on you.

I have some solid points on why they are worth loving or liking, at the very least.

Essential Comfort During Hiking

Hiking is not that comfortable, especially for the unfit like me. But with the right backpack (a hiking backpack) there will be less discomfort to worry about.

They are made light to ease the load you are carrying. They also have hip belts and chest straps to keep the bag comfortably rested on your back. Furthermore, the generous padding on the straps and back is just perfect for hours of hiking.

Large Capacity for All Hiking Necessities

Hikes, even the simple day hikes, require one to carry a lot of stuff. From the sleeping bags, rock-climbing gear, to the safety must-haves such as first aid equipment.

So where will they all fit? That's where a hiking backpack comes in.

Most ordinary bags do not have the capacity to fit all these in. It would be extremely bothersome to have to carry multiple bags. You need no extra luggage when hiking and yet you need all this gear particularly when rock climbing will be involved.

And guess what, hiking backpacks also usually multiple compartments unlike regular ones. This feature allows for easier organization and content access. For instance some have a sleeping bag compartment.

A bag may also be the right size but even then, ordinary bags and travel packs can't handle that much weight for extended periods of time

More Durable than Casual Bags

Can regular packs withstand the natural elements and the unavoidable consequences of hiking? No way Jose!

Only hiking backpacks are made in a way that makes them as durable as need be. The materials used, the type of zippers, the stitching and even the design are all made to increase longevity.

Unique Features

Manufacturers of hiking backpacks know exactly what the bags are for. Therefore they include special helpful features.

For instance some come with whistles which are great safety measures when going on hikes. Others are waterproof, water resistant or have rain covers to take care of unexpected showers.

There are even those with water bladders to take care of constant thirst that comes with hiking.

Comparison chart - Best Hiking Backpacks

Rank

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

Product

Award

Price

$$

$

$$$

$$$

$

Shipping

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Capacity​​​​

55L

35L

75L

65L

40L

Color Options

Tan, Green, Orange

Wide range

Blue, Black, Red

Brown, Red

Wide range

Adjustable Shoulder / Load Strap

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Item Dimensions

29.9 x 16.9 x 3.9 inches

9 x 2.2 x 8.5 inches

31.5 x 19 x 14.5 inches

19 x 17 x 13 inches

13.4 x 7.8 x 22.8 inches

Pack Weight

4.4 pounds

11.2 ounces

5.1 pounds

3.44 pounds

12.6 ounces

Pros

Perfect for beginner or quick trip pack

Versatile, many storage pockets

Perfect for more than 5-days trips

Sits well on hips and make backpackers feel stabilized

Durable at an affordable price

Cons

Waist straps are big

Hard to take small things out

The cell phone compartment is small

Medium pack comes with a small hipbelt

Lacks structure

4 Best Hiking Backpacks Review 2018

Name

Capacity

Features

Editor Rating

Price

G4Free Hiking Backpack

22.8 x 13.4 x 7.8 in

40 liter

High capacity, handy and lightweight.

Venture Pal Hiking Backpack

8.5 x 2.2 x 9 in

35 liter

Durable, comfortable, organized.

TETON Sports Scout Hiking Backpack

17 x 12 x 30 in

55 liter

Durable & comfortable.

TETON Sports Oasis Hiking Backpack

18.5 x 10 x 7 in

18 liter

Good design


1. G4Free Hiking Backpackhigh capacity, handy and lightweight

This 22.8″ X 13.4″ X 7.8″ backpack comes in 7 colors- black, dark blue, gray, light blue, orange/red, purple/red and yellow/green. When not in use, just fold it up into a small carry case that is just 9.4″ X 7.8″ X 3.9″-designed to fit even in your car’s glove compartment.

It has a drawstring lock instead of the usual zipper lock. That means you get more or less slack as required.

It’s roomy. This is definitely its greatest asset. A 40 liters backpack will fit everything including a hammock. It has 1 main compartment with a top double-sided pouch, 2 Top pouches (interior and exterior), 1 front Spandex Pouch, 2 Sports Bottle holders, and a chest Clip on the strap.

This hiking bag is extremely durable. It is made from High-Quality water and tear resistant Nylon fabric that can hold up heavy loads. Most importantly, its price doesn’t match up to what it offers!!!

Things We Liked

  • Comfortable. The straps are padded and adjustable to suit anyone. There are chest clips to help tighten the backpack more securely and comfortably.
  • Ultra-light to give you a great hiking experience.
  • It is water resistant (not waterproof) as it is made from parachute material.
  • Durable- the bottom of the backpack is double lined for extra durability

Things We Didn't Like

  • The cushioning on the straps may not be as generous as it should be. Your shoulders might not endure a whole day of hiking with this especially when you are carrying heavy gear. Doesn't seem suited for the heavy stuff.

First of all this backpack is an import from China. They make it in five colors- black, blue, fuchsia, orange and royal blue. It is roomy enough (20 x 13 x 7.5).

There is one main zipped compartment that can handle 35L, two zipped front pockets and two side pockets for your water and juice bottles or umbrellas.

The pack is super affordable. This backpack is made from high-quality rip and water resistant material. It’s definitely a heavy duty backpack. The double layer bottom piece provides extra strength while the bag has heavy duty two way SBS metal zippers.

This backpack is foldable into its own zipped pocket for easier storage. While folded it is 9 x 8.5 x 2.2 inches. It does have compression straps and it’s water resistant. The design on this is just wow. Let’s see what it brings to the table other than mere aesthetics.

Comfort is key, and this backpack has breathable mesh shoulder straps with 3mm sponge padding. The straps and the included chest strap are adjustable for maximum comfort.

This bag is super light. No one wants to carry a weighty bag and with this you won’t have to.

Things We Liked

  • The manufacturers offer a promise-lifetime warranty on workmanship! Only a few companies can bet on their products like that.
  • Easy washing. Just throw it into the washing machine and/or dryer and voila, it's clean. If it gets rained on don't worry, It will be dry by morning.
  • Breathable. Why is this a great feature? When it's hot there are fewer chances you will sweat much.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The most nagging thing about the backpack is that the zipper catches if you don't flip the fabric over it when unzipping. That will take some getting used to.
  • The padding is minimal which means it might not be ideal for laptops. But who needs a laptop when you are out in nature? (Although that and its lack of a flat bottom might make it poor at multitasking).

3. Teton Sports Scout Hiking Backpackdurable & comfortable

This awesome looking backpack comes in 3 colors- Coyote Tan, Hunter Green, and Mecca Orange. It is a 4.5-pound bag with a lot to offer. There are multiple pockets-side mesh pockets, front mesh pocket, bungee storage for things like a map, zippered pockets on each side, internal and external hood pockets.

I love the padded pocket inside the main compartment for a water bladder. The padded pocket has tube clips both left and right. Do note the water bladder is not part of the package. Some people use the compartment to pack a laptop.

There is a pocket where a rain cover is stored. They give you a limited lifetime warranty for defects in materials and workmanship. You should note this warranty doesn’t include wear and tear and will only cover the original owner.

It has a large capacity-55L or 3400 cubic inches to be exact; large enough to fit all your hiking necessities.

Comfort is assured. The manufacturers put in extra effort to give consumers extra comfort, and it shows. From the durable open-cell foam lumbar padding to the molded channels. It even has a unique locking mechanism on the lumber straps. The multi-position torso adjustment fits a broad range of body size. Furthermore, the back frame gives good support and makes it easy to carry.

Things We Liked

  • It has compression straps to help reduce the volume of the pack and minimize movement of items inside the pack.
  • This Teton model is one of the few hiking backpacks with loops to hook things such as keys, knives, etc enabling you to carry more.
  • There is a sleeping bag compartment. Few hiking backpacks have this.
  • It has the same features as backpacks costing twice.

Things We Didn't Like

  • There are a few drawbacks: many customers wish there were more colors to choose from. The sleeping compartment is good but it small which means some sleeping bags won't fit in there. Furthermore, the pack is smaller than many backpacks and yet it's heavier (4.5).

You could get this sturdy pack with a great deal of benefits. First of all it comes in 5 colors- black, green, orange, bright blue and bright green. It measures 18.5 x 10 x 7 inches with a capacity of 18L or 1100 cubic inches.

You get 4 zipped pockets- a hydration pouch, main pocket, upper front pocket and front bottom pocket. It also has 2 side mesh pockets (9″ deep) and one rain fly pocket. There is also a butterfly opening for jackets.

However for the water bladder, bite valve and drink tube, you only get a one-year limited warranty on material or workmanship. Warranty excludes wear and tear and results of misuse. Do also note that shipping costs may apply even though you get repairs and replacements for free.

There is a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship provided you are the original owner.

A 2L (70 ounces) hydration bladder. The bladder is BPA-free, FDA compliant food grade and has triple heat sealed edges. It even has a 2 inch opening for easy filling and cleaning, a Kink-free sip tube, cushioned bite valve and a twist lock to prevent leaks. Don’t worry; there is a Velcro strap to hold the bladder in place.

Things We Liked

  • A bungee cord system for bike helmet or similar gear.
  • Clips that can be used to tighten or loosen the pack as desired.
  • A built-in survival whistle in the chest strap.
  • It is ultra-light- just a mere 2 pounds!
  • Comfortable - It comes with adjustable straps. It also has a low-profile athletic cut with full adjustments fits all frames comfortably. The straps have generous cushioning –there is high density notched foam stabilizer and mesh covering. The back panel is not only cushioned but also breathable; say goodbye to sweaty backs. The chest strap has comfort taped edges and built in shock absorbers; a feature not common in many backpacks.
  • Durable - This pack is made to last several years. The material, the hidden teeth zipper, and water guard are some of the essential features that aid in longevity.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It is a small backpack compared to most hiking backpacks. It may have all the necessary features, but the small size may be a deal breaker for those taking long trips. It won't even fit a 15" laptop, the 13" barely fits. All in all, this might be the perfect size for short hiking trips.

How to Choose the Best Hiking Backpack

Now that you know a hiking backpack is mandatory, here’s a hiking backpack buying guide to help you shop for one. What needs to be considered?

  • Size/Capacity
    The capacity will depend on a few things: How long is your trip? Where will you be hiking? What are you bringing along? I recommend 35-55L for overnighters, 45-75 for weekends and over 70L for more than a day's hike.

    Pro Tip: Buy all the gear you need first before you purchase the backpack so as to estimate the size you need easily. Ladies, I know you are tempted to try and carry the whole house, but only the essentials please. The hair dryer and extra clothes don't have to come with.

  • The Fit
    The backpack you choose must not be too low or too high. Contrary to popular belief, the perfect fit doesn't depend on your height but your build and back length. Try the bag out first and if you are online shopping measure your back length and get a backpack that fits that length.

  • Weight
    It's only common sense that a hiking backpack be super light. Who needs to drag a weighty bag along when hiking for hours?

  • Durability
    For a bag that will be up and about it needs to be extra durable. Examine the features, stitching and material used by the manufacturer.

    Most hiking backpacks are made from wear and tear resistant material. Check for features such as reinforced stitching, heavy-duty lockable zippers and double layered bottoms.

  • Frame
    Some backpacks have internal frames while others have external ones. Internal frame packs have support rods and frame built into the pack and hidden from view. External frame packs, on the other hand, have their rods separate from the actual pack.

    The latter are becoming less popular by the day. That is because internal frame packs look better and their rods won't get caught on anything. They are also slimmer which adds to comfort.

    Furthermore, they tend to be lighter; their rods are made from carbon fiber or sturdy plastic which makes them easy on the back and more durable.

Other Features and Accessories

A great backpack is one with all the right features and accessories. What features and accessories make your life easier?

  • A backpack with external hooks and clips will allow you to attach more things.
  • Get one with multiple pockets or compartments. Being a big bag is not enough. Imagine having to unpack the whole bag just to look for your phone. Compartments make organization easier.
  • Chest and hip straps make a backpack comfier.
  • Compression straps help reduce the volume of the pack and minimize movement of items inside the pack.
  • A waterproof or water resistant backpack comes in handy. You never know when it will decide to pour. If it lacks this a rain cover will do.
  • A backpack with excellent ventilation is perfect for keeping away a sweaty back.
  • One with side load access is extra convenient. However, do note that such backpacks are becoming rarer by the day as the feature may inhibit proper weight distribution.
  • A hydration bladder is a great plus when it comes to hiking. It helps you stay hydrated.
  • How comfortable is it? For comfort you need a hiking backpack with wide padded shoulders and load bearing straps.
  • Reputable retailer - To be on the safe side choose a reputable retailer who stocks original and quality merchandise.
  • Budget - It all comes down to how much you have to spend. Stick to your price range. That said, getting something low quality just because its dirt cheap doesn't make a good bargain.

The Verdict

Still wondering why you need to go through all the hassle to get a hiking backpack and yet you have a bag at home you could improvise? Let me drive the point home- hiking will be miserable without the right hiking backpack.

If you are still confused about the backpack to buy, get the Teton Sport Scout 3400 for its low-priced, high quality and a perfect size. 

Or if you like a roomy backpack, Venture Pal Hiking Backpack is also your best option. Furthermore, it is offered in a range of colors.

Now that you know all you need to about hiking backpacks get to shopping.

Happy hiking!

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Hiking Backpacks
Author Rating
51star1star1star1star1star

Lisa Schofield

Objectively myocardinate top-line processes whereas next-generation human capital. Quickly customize collaborative niche markets through functionalized "outside the box" thinking.

3 comments

Leave a Reply to Cold Smith Cancel reply

  • I like Teton Sports Scout compact, lightweight Backpack

    I went hiking on Phoenix, AZ with this backpack. Normally, I cannot carry any backpack for more than 12 hours per day but this is something different. The heavy stuff like bottles, water bottle for sparing, my personal digital camera and extra clothes like hoodie for keeping me warm really bother me. But when putting all in this hiking backpack, I worry no more. I would say it helps lessen weight on my back since it has a pretty thin profile. My habit is to switching out the bottle and because of this, thanks to the mesh pockets on either side. The check strap buckled secures the backpack.

    It did not take much room with in due to the fact that it easily folds up into its own pocket like a personal item.

    In addition, I ordered a free replacement because the seller properly answered my question about the lifetime warranty. Up to now, I see no issues with it so I am rating 5 starts for the service quality. If anything goes wrong, I will update for sure.

  • I look for the TETON backpack for so long and finally it comes and it is precisely what I was looking for. On commuting, my saddle bags are good enough, yet when there is extra stuff that I have to carry occasionally, it is troublesome. I am living in a small room so that the compact feature is what I expect for a backpack. And I also want a tough and sizeable backpack so that I can put heavy stuffs. Up to now, it fits my lunch box for the weekdays, my set of clothes just for back up and my personal laptop. TETON backpack’s material is high-quality, durable but lightweight. Recommend for any buyer out there.

  • I hardly ever put words for product but cannot stop myself from one good review and 5 stars quality rating for G4Free backpack. Definitely, I love it! It is my routine for travelling worldwide for many years recently. I also like TETON backpack but it was old and worn out. I was thinking about a new one for replacement since I am planning for a 3 months trip to South Asia, but I cannot afford an expensive one. Seeing this deal on Amazon, I found it was too good to be true. Yet when it arrived, I was totally stunned because of it was great material, perfect in sizing and its color is awesome. Now I am on my trip and I am so glad that I bought it. Using it as a day pack was convenient also. It does not matter if I carry a lot of stuff that end up in pretty intense weight, it helps me lessen and keep me comfortable during the day. I am picky when it comes to backpack but I absolutely recommend this product for those expect exactly the same durability and design like North Face and Patagonia at an inexpensive cost. Feeling happy when bringing it with me on every of my new adventures!

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