TRAVELING

Best Backpacking Backpacks: The Easiest Way to Carry All You Need on A Trip

Best backpacking pack
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

If you want to go on a trip in the great outdoors or you just want to see the world, you will need a good backpack that will suit your needs. However, the best backpacking backpacks are not easy to find. Even though the market is saturated with products, choosing the best one is confusing and time consuming. Not to mention boring.

So how do you choose the better one for you? We prepared a list of 8 backpacks that go great for backpacking trips and you can choose from here. But first let’s see which type is best for you. There are certain criteria you need to follow in order to find a backpack that suits your needs. Of course a good backpack is not cheap but it is an investment that will be with you for a long time.

How Do I Choose The Best Back Backpack for Me?

There are 3 main features that any backpack must meet before being considered for a top 10.

Best Back Backpack

And they are all listed below.

Capacity

Here you will have to think of the length of the trip, how much and what you need to take with you.

  • Carrying capacity between 30L and 50L – If it’s only a weekend trip then you can take a smaller backpack for light things. But you have to be careful with the planning because we don’t want you to take less than you need.
  • Carrying capacity between 50L and 80L – If you go for a trip that will last between 3 and 5 nights then you definitely need a bigger backpack. These kinds of backpacks are the most popular because they are somehow versatile and can be used on both short and long trips.
  • Backpacks with a carrying capacity of 70L or larger – You can buy them if you want to go on an extended trip for 5 days or more. This one is very useful too if you go on a shorter trip but the weather is very cold so you have extra space for more clothes, a bigger tent like the ones made for all 4 seasons and a wormer sleeping bag. Also if you have kids with you, this version is better because they can’t carry to much stuff so the parents will end up taking most of the weight.

Frame type

  • Most backpacks have an internal frame that transfers the load to the hips and it fills like it’s hugging your body. This one is best for uneven terrain because it keeps your body stable.
  • The ones with the external frame are best if you have to carry a heavy and irregular load (for example an inflatable kayak) because you have better organization options. It also offers good ventilation.
  • You also have the ones with no frame if you don’t have something heavy to carry or you just want to climb a mountain faster.

Ventilation

If you hate to have a sweaty back because it’s too hot outside then you have the option with suspended mesh back panel. The frame stays a few inches away from your back so the air is free to circulate. There are also models that have some sort of ventilation “chimneys” built into the back frame to solve this problem nicely.

Sleeping bag compartment

This feature is pretty important because it saves you from a lot of trouble.

Sleeping bag compartment

There is a space normally at the bottom of the backpack where you can put your sleeping bag, or you can use it for other important gear that you may want to reach fast.

Pack access

You know the rule right? Things that you won’t need until you reach your destination or maybe you took them just in case you will need them, go as deep inside as possible. The things you will need most during the trip should be on the top. But there are backpacks that have many zippers to help you compartmentalize small things that you’ll need on the road. Some even offer access without getting the backpack off your back.

Hydration reservoir

Almost all backpacks have an internal pocket where you can put a hydration reservoir.

Backpack Hydration reservoir

Take 1 or 2 hoses and you are good to go.

Backpack fit

Now the only thing left to do is to find the right fit for you. For this, you will have to do some measurements:

  • Torso length – You can find backpacks available in different sizes from small to large which are specific for a certain torso length. And these sizes differ from manufacturer to manufacturer and will be different depending on the gender they are made for. There are also backpacks with an adjustable size which is perfect especially for those who are in-between sizes. Also a very good option if you don’t want to stay and take all the needed measurements. You just buy it and then adjust it until is perfect for your body.
  • Waist size – 80% or even more of the weight of the backpack is supported by the hips. Usually backpacks have a wide range of hip belts sizes so you don’t have to worry that much for this.

Best 8 Backpacks to Consider for Your Next Trip

Now that you have an idea of what type of backpack is best for you and your body, let’s see that list we were talking about at the beginning of the article.

Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpacks

Osprey Men's Atmos 65 AG Backpacks

Load capacity: 65 liters

Weight when empty: 4.8 pounds

Type of frame: 3D suspension system

Price: starting at $248 and ending at $702.

Best use: short trips (3 days)

Description: Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpacks is a backpack with very good reviews that is best suited for shorter trips and has a lot of useful features.

It has very good ventilation, spreads evenly the load across your body, and you can adjust it to any size you want. Still, there are some people who won’t fit that well so you should consider making the measurements before buying.

Most people said it can’t handle a payload bigger than 50 liters although in commercials you get 65.

Features:

  • Adjustable harness: you can easily adjust it to your torso length
  • Fit-on-the-fly hip belt: it has hip belt pads that extend up to 5 inches or 15 centimeters for different hip sizes
  • Compression straps: you have compression straps on the upper side to stabilize loads and lower side cross straps that you can use for external gear. You also have an internal strap for better stabilization
  • Internal reservoir sleeve: it makes the job easier for loading and unloading a hydration reservoir
  • Removable sleeping pad straps and floating top lid: these pads and the top lid are good for carrying extra gear but if you don’t want them you can remove them to save some weight.
  • Dual zippered front panel pockets: extra storage for items that you need to have easy access during trip
  • Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment
  • Tool attachment

Cons: carrying capacity smaller than 50 liters, snow can enter in the back panel.

Osprey Xenith 75 Pack

Osprey Xenith 75 Pack

Load capacity: 75 liters

Weight when empty: 6 pounds

Type of frame: adjustable

Price: starting at $330 and ending at $540.

Best use: trips longer than 5 days

Description: Osprey Xenith 75 Pack is the model best suited for longer trips (5 or more days). This model is the favorite amongst long road travelers not only because you can carry a lot of stuff with you. It is also comfortable and has a lot of great features.

Features:

  • On the upper side you have a pocket with two compartments
  • You can adjust it so it fits your torso and waist size
  • It has a pouch for hydration reservoir
  • Two ice axe loops: you can also use them for other external gear
  • Lots of compartments and external pockets that are easy to access
  • Multiple zippers that will help you get to different layers of the main compartment
  • Very comfortable and has a good ventilation

Cons: Some people said that is harder to search for things in the top dual compartment.

Gregory Mountain Products Men’s Baltoro 65 Backpack

Gregory Mountain Products Men's Baltoro 65 Backpack

Load capacity: 65 liters

Weight when empty: 6.2 pounds

Type of frame:  A3 suspension system

Price: starting at $234 and ending at $849.

Best use: short trips in every season (3 to 4 days)

Description: Gregory Mountain Products Men’s Baltoro 65 Backpack is very comfortable and it is designed to be used in every season.

Many users mentioned that if you have this backpack, you won’t need another one for a long time (unless you want something smaller). It may seem a bit steep for a backpack, but you also get some nice features that will make your trip much easier.

Features:

  • Response A3 suspension: with this you will have a comfortable and balanced trip
  • Front U-zip: you have easy access to the main compartment
  • Sleeping bag compartment: you have external access to this compartment and you also can remove the internal divider
  • Waterproof pocket: perfect for your phone or any other digital devices
  • You can change the hip belt and shoulder harness for a custom fit
  • Integrated raincover that matches the color of your backpack
  • Many different pockets for all kinds of things

Cons: A little bit too heavy than the average ones.

The North Face Banchee 65 Pack

The North Face Banchee 65 Pack

Load capacity: 65 liters

Weight when empty: 4 pounds

Type of frame:  dynamic aluminum frame

Price: you can find it at $242.38

Best use: short trips (3 to 4 days)

Description: The North Face Banchee 65 Pack is another awesome backpack with which you can carry up to 65 pounds. It is also very comfortable even if you’ve had it in your back for a long time. It has a dynamic aluminum frame that helps you move the way you want and carry the load you need.

Features:

  • Equipped with extra 8 pockets that will help you on your longer trip
  • Optifit suspension system: for a more comfortable trip
  • Sleeping bag compartment with separate entry
  • Beaver tail pocket for drying wet clothes or gear. Keeps them separate from your dried ones
  • Floating lid and 2 tool keepers

Cons: The compression straps are okay to use only when the backpack is almost full. Also, it’s not very easy to search through the external lid pocket.

Arcteryx Altra 65 Pack – Men’s

Arcteryx Altra 65 Pack - Men's

Load capacity: 65 liters

Weight when empty: 6.1 pounds

Type of frame:  C2 suspension system

Price: starting at $445 and ending at $518.99

Best use: short trips (3 to 4 days)

Description: You can carry up to 65L with it and Arcteryx Altra 65 Pack – Men’s is very comfortable even if you have more than 50L in it. The frame transfers the weight evenly on your hips, it is water resistant and many people were impressed by its longevity.

Features:

  • C2 suspension system
  • Hydration pocket with access from exterior
  • You can extend the top lid and the collar for bigger loads
  • Dual zippered lid: now you can easily search for things in the lid
  • Front U-zip: you can access more easily all the stuff in the main compartment
  • Huge kangaroo pocket

Cons: Although it’s comfortable when it has bigger loads, it can get a little heavy at maximum weight

Osprey Packs Volt 75 Backpack

Osprey Packs Volt 75 Backpack

Load capacity: 75 liters

Weight when empty: 4.06 pounds

Type of frame:  adjustable

Price: you can find it at $199.95

Best use: trips longer than 5 days

Description: Osprey Packs Volt 75 Backpack is designed for those who just want something simple and large enough so they can go for a week somewhere without spending too much.

Features:

  • Adjustable torso harness: 17” – 23”/43 – 58.5 cm
  • Extendable fit-on-the-fly hip belt pad up 6 inch/15 cm
  • Easy loading and unloading of the hydration reservoir
  • Internal and dual side compression straps for better stabilization of the load
  • Trekking pole attachment
  • The back panel offers ventilation and comfort
  • Removable external sleeping pad straps

Cons: The hip pads are smaller and, even though it was designed for 75L you should try it first with 50L and see if you are ok with that. The straps and the belt may not be the best and they may be uncomfortable at maximum load capacity.

Osprey Men’s Aether 70 Backpack

Osprey Men's Aether 70 Backpack

Load capacity: 70 liters

Weight when empty: 6.7 pounds

Type of frame: custom made

Price: starting at $231.96 and ending at $699.60

Best use: longer trips (5 days)

Description: Osprey Men’s Aether 70 Backpack is lightweight and comfortable. It can carry up to 70L and it is equipped with a thicker hip belt and padding. However, this doesn’t add to the overall weight and is perfect for a longer trip.

Features:

  • Add-on attachment: you can use the built-in cord loops to attach another pack if you want for example the Daylight daypack
  • Loops for ice axe
  • External hydration sleeve
  • Side pockets
  • Stretchable front pocket
  • Hip belt pocket
  • Internal compression strap
  • J-zipper on the front for easier access to the main compartment
  • Zippered top pocket for smaller things that can be converted into a lumber pack
  • Removable sleeping pad straps
  • Sleeping bag compartment with divider

Cons: The only complaints about this model where about the price that it could be a little bit lower.

Osprey Packs Exos 58 Backpack

Osprey Packs Exos 58 Backpack

Load capacity: 58 liters

Weight when empty: 4 pounds

Type of frame: made from 6065 aluminum alloy with a suspended cross strut

Price: starting at $186.14 and ending at $429.25

Best use: short trips (3 days)

Description: Osprey Packs Exos 58 Backpack has a good reputation due to the comfort is providing and good quality materials that were used to build it. With this one you can carry up to 58L and it has really good suspensions that will give you a really nice trip.

Features:

  • Internal backpanel sleeve for 3L of hydration
  • You have a 6065 aluminum alloy peripheral frame that has an internally suspended cross strut that will give you a very good support for carrying the load
  • Removable floating top pocket that offers you a very good organization
  • Has a very good ventilation due to the EVA foam padded harness

Cons: It doesn’t have a lot of pockets so you can put smaller objects

These are all the backpacks on our list so be sure to check them and tell us what you think. Also, let us know if you use or used any of them and how it felt. Keep in mind that each backpack is different but they all must support certain features to make your trips fun and memorable.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Elliot Giles

    The Osprey Packs Volt 75 Backpack is a great backpacking pack with excellent hiking stability. I tested it, loaded with 45 pounds on 7 mile uphill hike and the backpack was sitting comfortably secure. This backpack is high quality and you can feel when you pack it. This Osprey pack just feels more solid and I have no worries when squeezing and pulling hard on the material.

  • Daniel Carraway

    My best guess is you like going on long trips right? For those kinds of adventure, the Osprey Packs Volt 75 backpack is the best choice. Just test the pack first and see if you’re comfortable when you have all your stuff. I find that as it gets heavier, the straps and belts are a bit uncomfortable. Try comparing that to the Osprey Xenith 75 Pack and you’ll immediately see and feel the big difference. Although if you already have the Osprey Packs Volt 75, try not to overload it to maximum so you won’t strain yourself.

  • Carl Thompson

    I’ve been using the Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpack for some time now and I must say it is the best piece of gear that I own. Comparing it to my old old pack is not even possible. The anti-gravity suspension puts this backpack is in a league of it’s own. The Atoms 65 is a exceptionable value for the money. if you are thinking of upgrading your old pack. This is the best backpack you will find.

  • Daniel Carraway

    This Osprey Men’s Atmos is really an excellent backpack. I use this for shorter trips of 2-3 days max. All my stuff can be packed conveniently and the material is lightweight so it doesn’t add up to the load. As I’ve always reminded all my friends and readers, don’t overpack even if it says it can handle a ton of weight. Your shoulders and back will thank you for that!

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