Hiking around the trails or climbing rocky terrain is a demanding task. You need to bring a particular set of equipment, specially made to take on nature’s toughest challenges. This is why you need to understand the best backpack brands for hiking.
Using the best backpack brand for hiking can significantly reduce your weight and improve your overall hiking experience. Gone are the days when you needed to carry a massive backpack with big pockets to put your water bottle and carabiners on. Thanks to the evolution of modern manufacturing processes, we now have a hiking backpack that is 100% safe and won’t break your spine!
Today, we’ll present some of the most recommended alternatives to the best hiking backpack brand. So if you’re planning on exploring the backcountry anytime soon, you better stay here and stick with us until the end! And without further ado, let’s check out our reviews below!
Table of contents
- Sierra Design Flex Capacitor
- Osprey Levity 60
- Granite Gear Blaze Backpack
- Teton Sports Scouts 3400
- Mystery Ranch Glacier
- The North Face Terra
- Lowe Alpine AirZone
- Kelty Coyote 65
- Gregory Paragon 58
- Deuter Aircontact Lite
- Jack Wolfskin Highland Trail 55
- Gregory Zulu 55
- Arcteryx Bora
- How to Choose the Best Backpack Brands for Hiking
- Which Company Makes the Best Hiking Backpacks?
- What Kind of Backpack Should You Bring in Hiking?
- Is a Hiking Backpack Worth It?
Sierra Design Flex Capacitor
The Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor is a hiking backpack for various purposes. This innovative backpack will allow you to expand its capacity from 40 to 60 liters in seconds, thanks to its unique gusset system. Unlike any similar product on the market, the Designs Flex Capacitor features a perimeter expansion. This will help you get in and out of your equipment more efficiently and quickly.
This backpack has side zippers and side pockets with adjustable capacity for storing smaller items. You can use them to put your wallet or sunglasses. As for additional features, the Designs Flex Capacitor boasts an EVA foam back belt and padded straps. That’s why wearing this backpack for a long time won’t be a problem. If you’re looking for the best backpack brands for hiking, this one will make a great candidate.
- Unique gusset system
- Y-Shaped DAC Pressfit suspension
- The zippers can get stuck
Osprey Levity 60
The Osprey Levity 60 is a modern hiking backpack designed not to break your spine. This smaller pack is the same quality as the larger backpacks and has everything you need for a week’s trek. It is made of ultra-high molecular ripstop and ultra-lightweight Cordura nylon. Once you put on this backpack, you’ll forget it’s sitting on your back!
Hiking for hours can be extremely tiring, and wearing a heavy backpack won’t help. Luckily, the Osprey Levity 60 has a 3.5mm light wire frame to help distribute the weight along your spine. For even greater comfort, this backpack features a cushioned ExoForm harness. Apart from that, a webbing panel on the back acts as a vent. You’ll be able to go on an intense hike without having any sweat fall down your back! No wonder the Levity 60 is often included in top backpack brands for hiking.
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- Compression straps
- Cord-loop attachment
- Side pockets
- Cannot support more than 30 pounds
Granite Gear Blaze Backpack
The Granite Gear Blaze Hiking Backpack is a complete package. It promises both comfort and durability in a single product. Get yourself a perfect fit with the help of the innovative Air Current frame. This backpack will be an excellent choice if you want to take a long hike with lots of stuff to carry. Pack your pack with the gear you need without worrying it’ll tear the main frame. Meanwhile, the high-abrasion Robic Nylon material will ensure this backpack lasts forever.
Need to access your stuff quickly? There is an intelligent cinch and roll closure system. It will give you direct access to your belongings without risking them getting wet. Meanwhile, the side pocket is removable. You can use it as a chest bag if you want. In short, the Granite Gear Blaze is the best hiking backpack brand to consider. If you don’t mind the $260 price tag, this product is for you.
- Nylon lining
- Zipper closure
- Air current frame
- Dual-density shoulder harness
- There’s a lack of back ventilation
Teton Sports Scouts 3400
Despite what most people think, getting the best backpack brands for hiking doesn’t necessarily require you to shell out a lot of cash. There are many great affordable alternatives available, especially if you know where to look. The Teton Sports Scout 3400 Backpack is one of them. This massive pack can hold up to 55 liters of objects. That should be more than enough to meet all the basic needs, including large storage, convenience, and organization.
Again, the Teton Sports Scout 3400 is made for those on a relatively small budget who don’t mind wearing a bulky backpack. If you’re an infrequent climber, this bag will make a great investment for your once-a-year trip or any quick weekend getaway. So if you need a new hiking backpack but don’t plan on spending much, this one would be cool.
- Built-in hydration sleeve
- Internal frames
- Harness system
- Integrated rain cover
- No pockets on the hip belts
Mystery Ranch Glacier
Despite its lesser-known status, Mystery Ranch Glacier is frequently dubbed one of the top backpack brands for hiking. This premium-built backpack offers tons of features that make it good enough to challenge other similar products with a more well-known reputation. For instance, the backpack has a composite internal frame and is made of nylon material. This means the bag should be able to serve you at its highest performance for at least more than five years!
The Mystery Ranch Glacier has two vertical torpedo pockets and a Speedzip compartment if you need to carry some extra stuff. There is no need to use extra pouches or accessories to put your cellphone, cards, or snacks. Better yet, you can access them quickly when needed! Like any other hiking backpacks on this list, you’ll also get a pocket for your water bottle and loops for your trekking poles.
- Nylon material
- Composite internal frame
- 71-liter capacity
- Top-loading construction
- No hip belt pocket
The North Face Terra
The North Face Terra doesn’t need any introduction. As you’d expect from a TNF product, this backpack has an excellent back panel, a molded hip belt, and zipped side entries. Another thing that makes it so popular among the climbing community is its user-friendly design. Thanks to its abundant organizational compartments, we can guarantee that this backpack will sit well with almost any climbing gear.
For unmatched comfort, TNF uses the OPTFIT suspension system. This will allow you to get a snug and secure fit. Meanwhile, additional shoulder pads will only make your hiking experience more enjoyable. If you often struggle with your hips during your adventures, this backpack will help you eliminate that problem. As for your sleeping bag, the Terra boasts a massive pocket at the bottom. If you’re looking for the best hiking backpack brand, it won’t get any better than this.
- 600D polyester
- Internal aluminum frame
- Vertical channel
- Extensive pockets
- They’re quite hard to come by
Lowe Alpine AirZone
Anyone planning to hike in warmer climates should consider getting the Lowe Alpine AirZone. This bulky backpack features a mesh system supported by an open area at the back to ensure you get the optimal airflow. In other words, this pack will do a great job of keeping your back cool during your hike. Lowe attaches an adjustable chest strap and a wide hip belt with a harness to ensure good stability. This combination will keep the backpack close to your back and move with you as you make your maneuvers.
There are side pockets, a stretchable front pocket, and a zippered internal pocket for extra storage. You can use them to store smaller or collapsible items, like an extra pair of socks, a raincoat, or some snacks. Just like the other backpacks on this list, the lid of the Alpine AirZone is also extendable for up to 10L of extra storage space. If you don’t think that’s enough, this backpack is also made of 210D mini-ripstop nylon and 450D polyester to ensure durability. So if you still have no idea what the best backpack brands for hiking are, this impressive bag should give you a few things to consider.
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- Internal frame
- Six pockets
- 450D polyester
- 210D mini-ripstop nylon
- Not feature-rich
Kelty Coyote 65
The Kelty Coyote 65 would be ideal for wetter conditions. This hiking backpack has side zippers that allow you to access your belongings without opening the main lid. This hauler can also accommodate up to 65 pounds of weight. This should make the backpack more than ideal for a quick trip around the backcountry or a casual trip with friends or family. There should be more than enough space to store three days’ worth of clothes, a sleeping bag, and a few smaller pieces of equipment.
Say goodbye to uncomfortable hiking backpacks because the Kelty Coyote 65 comes with PerfectFit suspension straps. You can easily adjust them to match your body shape. Meanwhile, the sturdy shoulder straps and wide hip belts create a reliable combination that should make this backpack last longer than you might think. So if you don’t mind the relatively small main compartment, this is one of the top backpack brands for hiking worth considering.
- Poly 430D material
- Internal spring steel
- Five pockets
- The construction could’ve been better
Gregory Paragon 58
The Gregory Paragon 58 is known as a backpack for serious hikers. This impressive pack has an amazing set of features that will make any adventure easier to tackle. It’s indeed offered at a premium price tag, but you’ll undoubtedly get many technical qualities that you rarely find in other similar products. This 58-liter pack is designed to help you carry serious weight while exploring challenging terrain. The proprietary suspension system helps create a more comfortable overall experience, while the side loading feature allows you to quickly access your belongings without messing around with the main lid.
As for performance, the Gregory Paragon 58 has proven to perform well in various climatic conditions. Thousands of reviews on Amazon say this bag has demonstrated exceptional durability and resistance to the elements. So when it comes to the best backpack brands for hiking, this bag has set the bar high. Seriously, check this one out if you have the time.
- Hybrid suspension
- Full-length side zipper
- Sunglasses Quickstow system
- Available in two sizes
- Low tear-resistance
Deuter Aircontact Lite
The Deuter Aircontact Lite is a smart backpack that would be great for any short weekend getaway. It can accommodate up to 65 liters of goods. In comparison, the main lid is expandable for another 10 liters of extra capacity. Taking that into account, this backpack is quite large for a medium-sized bag. Interestingly, it doesn’t look too bulky, which we appreciate. Apart from that, a ventilation system utilizes an open-cell foam construction. After spending almost three days with this backpack, we can confirm that it does an impressive job of keeping your back cool throughout the hike.
Finding the best hiking backpack brand that provides great support for your spine isn’t the easiest thing to do. Luckily, the Deuter Aircontact Lite is nowhere near lacking in that department. Compression straps support an ergonomic lock hip belt to keep your spine comfortable throughout the adventure. Meanwhile, the separate bottom compartment allows you to store your sleeping bag without messing around with the main compartment. Add that to the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty, and you’ve got yourself the perfect hiking backpack.
- Maximum ventilation
- Ergonomic effort
- No rain cover included
Jack Wolfskin Highland Trail 55
The Jack Wolfskin Highland Trail 55 is every mountaineer’s dream. Not only stylish, but this bag is also available at a reasonable price. Whether you’re a serious hiker or a traveler looking for a new pack for your weekend trip, this backpack will make a remarkable choice. And in case you still have no idea what Jack Wolfskin is, the German-based brand is one of the largest outdoor gear manufacturers in the world. Their products strike a great balance between urban style and challenging outdoor needs.
Back to the Highland Trail 55, this 55-liter nylon bag represents a versatile choice. It’s tough enough for an adventure in the wild and stylish enough to wear on a stroll around the city center. This makes the Highland Trail 55 the perfect 2-in-1 package. It boasts a polyester lining, DWR coating, and YKK zippers. Meanwhile, the main compartment can be expanded up to five liters. As of this writing, the Highland Trail 55 is only available in black. So if you’re looking for backpack brands for hiking, don’t hesitate to grab this one.
Having quality equipment is a must for any climber. If you’re looking for one, you should check out our best backpacks for climbing.
- Stylish design
- Clamshell opening
- Zipped front pocket
- Spacious sleeping bag compartment
- It’s not breathable
Gregory Zulu 55
Getting the best mountaineering backpack is crucial to a memorable hiking experience. That’s why we recommend you consider getting the Gregory Zulu 55. It’s a 55-liter backpack specifically made to help you do backcountry trekking. The main compartment is spacious and has many dividers to help keep your things organized. As for the material, this backpack is made of a combination of 210D Honeycomb Cryptorip Nylon and 135D high-density nylon. It also boasts a range of premium materials such as LifeSpan EVA Foam for the back cushion and 4mm alloy steel for the main frame.
Being the best backpack brand for hiking, the Gregory Zulu 55 is light and simple. It has a great suspension system and boasts an impressive ventilation feature. This backpack will make a great investment if you plan to hike in warmer climates. In addition to having complete features, this bag won’t hinder your movement. Seriously, check this one out.
- Free float suspension
- Rain cover
- The 3D comfort cradle system
- 55 liters volume
- Hip belt pockets are hard to open
Arcteryx has long been recognized as one of the best outdoor apparel manufacturers in the United States. But did you know that they also produce some of the best hiking backpacks? Their best backpack, which was first released to the public in 1993 and is still in high demand today, is none other than the legendary Arcteryx Bora. The model you’re looking at right now has gone through dozens (or even hundreds) of redesigns and upgrades. As a result, the Bora has emerged as one of the most sophisticated mountaineering backpacks on the market.
As of this writing, the Arcteryx Bora is offered at around $500. It’s a price tag that will likely scare off any infrequent climber. But if you’re serious about mountaineering, you’ll know the price they’re asking for is worth it. You get nothing less than solid construction, premium materials, and a reliable set of features. Not to mention there is a long-term warranty from the manufacturer. So if you’re thinking about the best hiking backpack brand, Arcteryx should be the first to cross your mind.
- Ripstop nylon
- Multi-day packs
- It’s expensive
How to Choose the Best Backpack Brands for Hiking
Before choosing any backpack brand for hiking, you need to understand that hiking backpacks are generally made for specific purposes. For example, you can find a backpack that essentially acts as a suitcase, with additional clips and pockets. On the other hand, other backpacks come with extra sleeves for hydration packs, which would work great for trail runners.
Therefore, you need to identify what type of activity you plan to do or prefer to do. You see, most of the top backpack brands for hiking are generally releasing their products in different versions. Each of them is made to tackle a different challenge.
Are you confused already? Don’t worry! To make your life easier, we’ve compiled some crucial factors that will help you find your ideal backpack. Without further ado, here are our three tips for choosing the best hiking backpack brand.
As we said earlier, identifying your activity is a great first step in determining the best backpack brands for hiking. For example, if you need a lightweight bag that supports agile movement, you could go with something like the Zulu 55. On the other hand, if you’re planning to go on a long trip, getting a bigger pack is always a good idea. You can get something like Aether 65 or AirContact Lite.
Next, determine how long you plan to adventure. For example, day packs would make a great option for shorter trips. They generally come with capacities between 10 to 40 liters. But for longer treks, we recommend getting bigger backpacks. However, these backpacks typically come with a price tag that will shy away from most infrequent climbers. You can find some more affordable alternatives, but they’re quite rare.
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Finally, look at how many features the backpack has and see if you need most of them. For example, if you are traveling to some water, getting the best hiking backpack brand with floating capability would be a great decision. On the other hand, if you consider yourself a serious climber, you might consider getting a backpack with loops for hiking poles.
Which Company Makes the Best Hiking Backpacks?
The North Face, Osprey, and Arcteryx are some of the most recognizable names among the mountaineering community. You can look at Kelty or Gregory’s product catalog for a more affordable alternative. But no matter your choice, always get a backpack that suits your activity and needs.
What Kind of Backpack Should You Bring in Hiking?
Most mountaineers will go with a 50-60L backpack. It’s considered the gold standard for a two or three-night adventure. If you need to carry more gear, consider getting a 100L backpack. However, please remember that the bigger the backpack, the slower it will be for you to move.
Is a Hiking Backpack Worth It?
Yes, of course. A hiking backpack will help you carry many things in a single pack while keeping them organized. Wearing a hiking backpack is recommended for long hikes, weekend trips, or any backpacking trip.