Best Hiking Backpack – Why You Need to Make the Right Purchase

Wolfgang Güllich once said that the brain is the most important muscle in climbing. I fully agree with this statement, as I am a mountain junkie who is always ready for the next summit. My love for mountains started during a camping trip with my parents 15 years ago. I recently realized that mountain climbing is just like meditation. There are moments when all you can think of is moving from one hook to the next until you reach the summit. My name is Alan Fletcher, and, unlike Wolfgang, I write on everything else that is important in climbing. From how to attach hiking poles to backpack reviews, there is no limit to what I write. As a retired climbing guide who gives classes on mountain climbing, I have plenty to share with amateurs. 

Today, I focus on the best hiking backpacks. There is a variety of backpacks one can choose from. They have different sizes, materials, compartments, and weight. Your choice will be based on several factors, including the length of the hike and the amount of luggage you need to carry. There is also the durability factor, as you would hate to buy new hiking backpacks womens for each hike. I will guide you in making the right purchase because having a perfect backpack is important for a successful hike.

Top 6 Hiking Backpacks Worth Buying

A good hiking backpacks review samples to help you make an informed choice. I have picked six backpacks that are great for different reasons. Although the best backpacks for hiking are a matter of personal preference, a seasoned mountain climber knows that there are specific qualities that make a backpack great. Unlike other hiker backpack reviews, my comparison is based on:

  • Backpack capacity and weight
  • Compartments/pockets
  • Comfort
  • Material

That said here are the best hiking backpacks for women and men:

Venture Pal Best Backpack for Hiking

Top of my list of best hiking day backpacks is the Venture Pal. Its lightweight and easy portability are what I love most about this backpack. It folds into itself quite easily and zips up to take up less room in your luggage. It is quite spacious and has many pockets that come in handy when trying to keep things organized for the hike. The lower pockets have zippers and are secure enough for valuables. The upper pockets are easily accessible for the occasional snack, and the mesh side pockets are essential for water bottles that you will need throughout the hike. I also like this bag’s straps, which are very comfortable and strong enough to carry the weight of heavy luggage. The additional chest strap further increases the comfort level of these day backpacks hiking. The bag’s water-resistant fabric is an added advantage on hikes in the rain. 

If given a chance, there are a few things I would change about this bag to make it the perfect hikers backpack. I find that its material is rather thin for hikers who are doing rough terrains and have heavy luggage. It can easily give in and get a few holes at the bottom. The water-resistant material also has a tendency to peel after a few uses, which is certainly not a good thing.

  • Lightweight
  • Easily foldable
  • Water-resistant fabric
  • Too thin material

Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack

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Teton Sports Scout Hiker Backpack

The Teton backpack is by far the most spacious one I have included in my backpacks hiking review. It has a spacious main compartment and side pockets that come in handy for adding extra stuff that you may need to reach a moment’s notice. Ironically, this bag is also one of the best small hiking backpacks in terms of the strap size. Smaller sized boy scouts going for hiking will love this bag as the straps fit neatly around a small torso. The shoulder straps are also adjustable to fit individuals with a smaller frame, making the Teton a contender for the best women’s hiking backpack. The bag offers a high level of comfort and is quite durable for hikes on rough terrains. I also find it quite affordable, given its quality. 

On the flip side, there are some qualities of this women hiking backpack that could be improved. It is not light, which could become bothersome when carrying a lot of stuff for a long hike. While the side pockets come in handy, their positioning makes it difficult to quickly grab a bottle out of the bag as it is stuck between the pockets.

  • Spacious
  • Fits hikers with small frames
  • Durable
  • Is not lightweight
  • Side pockets not well positioned

Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

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Zomake Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack

If you are looking for hiking backpacks that can also be used on your daily commute to work or as carry-on luggage on a plane, Zomake bags are what you need. It is made of strong fabric that can handle quite a bit of weight. At the same time, it has a lightweight feel, which is an advantage when looking for best day hiking backpacks. You can easily walk with this bag all day without experiencing discomfort thanks to its strong straps. This bag folds into one of its own pockets for convenience. Furthermore, all its pockets are appropriately placed for easy access. The side pockets can hold water bottles on both sides, and there is an additional pocket on the inside for keeping items you want safe. 

Although this backpack for hiking is made of waterproof material, it can only withstand light rain. Going on a boat ride or anywhere that has plenty of water is not advisable while carrying this bag. However, the bag dries up quickly afterward, so that counts for something in hiking backpacks reviews. All you need to do is air dry it, and you are good to go.

  • Made of strong material
  • Lightweight
  • Spacious with enough pockets
  • Not waterproof

ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack

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Mosiso Sling Backpack

The best backpacks for day hiking are often smaller yet spacious enough to carry hiking stuff. This sling bag is no exception, as it comes with plenty of space for its size. Keeping all your stuff organized in it is quite easy as it allows you to fit the essentials. I have noticed that it keeps one cooler than a normal backpack as it slings across the back and allows ventilation. This makes it one of the best womens hiking backpacks. It also serves well for kids who have smaller frames and cannot carry a bigger hiking bag comfortably. Remember, you can switch shoulders while carrying this bag, giving each side a break after a while. The comfort while using this bag is great. The outer fabric is not only waterproof but also has some structure that allows the bag to stand straight instead of collapsing into a limp heap when not full. Most backpack hiking reviews leave this detail out.

In comparison to another hiking backpack best, this sling bag is rather small. I would not recommend it for a proper hike that would take several days, as you would be limited to carrying very few items.

  • Can be carried on either shoulder at a time
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Not big enough for long hikes

MOSISO Sling Backpack, Multipurpose Crossbody Shoulder Bag Travel Hiking Daypack

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4 Monster Packable Hiking Daypack

What makes 4 Monster one of the best backpacks for hiking? It is easily foldable into a palm-sized pouch that takes up very little space. Ironically, the tiny pack opens up to become a bag that can fit quite a lot of stuff. The bag’s straps look thin but very comfortable. Being one of the best hiking backpacks under 100 dollars, one would worry about the quality of its material. However, the bag is quite durable, with strong material that is also waterproof. The water-resistant zippers are a bonus. They ensure that water cannot sip into the bag at any point. Thanks to its compact build, it is a contender for the best women hiking backpack.

In comparison to others I have reviewed, this small hiking backpack may not be able to fit a lot of stuff for a long hike. I also do not like that the material of this bag is see-through, as this presents a few privacy concerns. The hiking backpack sewing pattern on this one could be improved, but that is a minor issue that does not affect performance.

  • Folds into a small pouch
  • Has comfortable straps
  • Has waterproof material and zippers
  • Material is transparent

4Monster Hiking Daypack

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Nevo Rhino Day Hiking Backpack

If you are looking for affordable day hiking backpacks that hold up as well as name brands, you should give Nevo Rhino a try. It is incredibly spacious, with two main compartments that keep everything organized. The pouches at the top and front are easily accessible for storing snacks, sunglasses, or anything you would like to get at a moment’s notice. The bag’s straps are adjustable to fit whichever build you have. It also has a separate rain cover that shelters the bag when it’s raining. I find it to be the best budget hiking backpack. I would have ranked this among the best hiking backpack small if it had side pockets that could “accommodate” a water bottle, one of the most important things to carry for a hike.

  • Spacious
  • Has a separate rain cover
  • Comfortable and adjustable straps
  • Does not have accessible side pockets for water storage

NEVO RHINO 45/50L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

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Frequently Asked Questions on Packing for a Hike

If you are an amateur, one of these questions must be on your mind:

What size backpack do I need for hiking?

This depends on the length of your hike. Knowing how to pack a hiking backpack also saves on space and lets you carry a smaller bag. A small daypack with 20 liters capacity would suffice for a ½ day hike, while an overnight stay for several days requires you to have a bigger and sturdier backpack. All-day hikes need at least 35 liters backpack for sufficient space for your gear. Weekend hikes that last 1 to 3 nights require 50 liters. A hiking backpack detachable daypack is great for this purpose.

What must I carry in my backpack when hiking?

You need your hiking gear, which includes appropriate dressing, sleeping bag, hiking poles, boots, compasses, maps, sunglasses, toiletries, a flashlight, first aid kit, camera, and power bank. You should also carry enough water and food to keep your energy. Having a hiking backpacking camping food list would go a long way in ensuring you carry the right foodstuff.

Most importantly, you must figure out how to pack a backpack for hiking to ensure you carry everything you need.

How do I pack for my hike?

Knowing how to properly pack a hiking backpack will save you lots of time during the hike. It will also ensure you easily access anything you need without stopping to rearrange everything. I always advise hikers to organize everything they need into smaller packs within the bag for easy accessibility. Add a few empty grocery bags for the dirty stuff. Carry enough socks. Your meals should be packed in portions that you can finish at a go. This is how to pack a hiking backpack for travel.

Final Thoughts on Hiking Backpacks

When it comes to the best backpacks for thru-hiking, there is lots of variety. Because they come in different sizes, materials, and designs, it is easy to make the wrong choice. The most important thing is to determine the nature of your hike. Choose a small bag from hiking backpack reviews for a half-day hike. A bigger bag is necessary for all day and weekend hikes. Consider your build to ensure you buy a comfortable backpack, the best women’s hiking backpack is good for small builds. The material is another important consideration to ensure your valuables remain safe and dry throughout the hike.

Based on my experience, the best hiking backpack 2016 has one thing in common with top-rated bags in all other years. They are all strong enough to withstand the elements on unpredictable terrain. This quality is the same in the best hiking backpack 2017. You should have this in mind while making your next purchase.

Have you learned something new from this hiking backpack reviews best? I hope that I have covered everything you would like to know about backpacks for hiking. What experience have you had with the men and womens hiking backpacks on this list? Please let me know in the comment section below.

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