Best backpacking backpacks for beginners


      Best backpacking backpacks for beginners



what's the simplest hiking backpack


Honestly, it depends on what quite adventure you're happening – will you escaping into the mountains for weeks at a time or just happening day hikes?


I swear by Osprey – really there's no competition, Osprey definitely DO make the simplest packs within the world – the question is, are you able to afford the worth tag?


I will hike with my Osprey Aether 70 litre gain most multi day hikes and if i'm on a multi-week expedition, I carry my Osprey Aether 85 litre pack, it’s big but I find it super comfortable though so it’s not really a drag on behalf of me .


For anything under every week , I carry the REI Co-op Traverse assuming I don’t need to carry a tent and can be sleeping in huts or lodges.


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For the sake of transparency, a number of the links in our content are affiliate links. this suggests that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn alittle commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse products or services that aren't up to scratch.


how to choose a hiking backpack?



                              Best BACKPACKING packs


HMG 2400 & 3400 Southwest

HMG Southwest 2400 backpack



§  MSRP: $310 / $345


§  WEIGHT: 1 lb. 14 oz. / 2 lbs.


§  VOLUME: 40L / 55L


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 35 lbs. for both packs


§  PROS: Ultralight, nearly waterproof, durable/burly, spacious hip belt pockets


§  CONS: On the pricey side, not as cushy/padded as some packs


BOTTOM LINE: The Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 and 3400 Southwest strike an exceptional balance between weight, weather resistance, and sturdiness . These burly ultralight backpacks have a minimal design, but their frames are highly effective and feel sturdier than most lightweight packs. 

The unique DCF fabric and taped seams on the Southwest make it one among the foremost weather-resistant and sturdy packs we've ever tested. While the Southwest comes at a better price than many other packs on this list, it'll last for several years and thousands of trail miles if treated with care.


Most of our backpacking gear is ultralight and compact, so we take 2400 for many of our 3-5 day backpacking trips. If your gear isn't quite dialed in otherwise you want the power to hold bulky winter gear, we recommend bumping up to the 3400 sizes.


MORE: If you pair the Southwest with several HMG’s waterproof stuff sacks/pods, you’ll have an almost completely waterproof system. inspect our full review of the Southwest here.


Osprey Atmos and Aura AG 65



§  MSRP: $270


§  WEIGHT: 4 lbs. 6 oz.


§  VOLUME: 65L


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 50 lbs.


§  PROS: Can comfortably carry heavier loads, adjustable torso, separate bag pocket, comfortable, durable, spacious, many organization


§  CONS: Expensive, heavier than some packs, tons of straps may feel a touch “busy” for a few


BOTTOM LINE: Okay, so you’ve read our advice on hiking light and you’re just not sold. or even you're keen on the gear you've got and carried a touch extra weight doesn’t bother you. If that’s the case, inspect the Osprey Atmos 65 AG (men’s sizes) and Aura AG 65 (women’s sizes). 

These packs will hold 35-50 pounds far more comfortably than any ultralight backpackand they are still lighter than many traditional packs. The Atmos and Aura even have tons more padding than most lightweight packs and can generally be easier on your shoulders and hips. If you prioritize comfort over minimalism, the Atmos and Aura are pretty tough to beat.


Gossamer Gear Gorilla 50




§  MSRP: $240


§  WEIGHT: 1 lb. 14 oz.


§  VOLUME: 50L


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 30 lbs.


§  PROS: Ultralight, durable, well-padded and cozy , convenient SitLight pad


CONS: Front pocket mesh not very durable, a touch pricier than some packs (hip belt not included in base price)


BOTTOM LINE: The Gossamer Gear Gorilla 50 has been among our favorite packs for an extended time because it’s well-designed, durable, and cozy. The Gorilla features a unisex ergonomic hip belt that carries weight well on the trail, but the belt also can be removed for truly ultralight adventures.

 one among our favourite features of the Gorilla is its removable SitLight pad (this upgraded pad also can be purchased separately), which acts as back padding on the trail and a cushy seat around camp. 

The Gorilla’s capacity is 50 liters, so it is a good, comfy option for those with their gear dialed in. If you would like a touch more room , take a glance at the Mariposa 60, which is additionally an excellent pack. inspect our full review of the Gorilla here.


Deuter Aircontact Lite 50+10 & Aircontact Lite 45+10 SL


§  MSRP: $200


§  WEIGHT: 3 lbs. 14 oz. / 3 lbs. 12 oz.


§  VOLUME: 60L / 55L


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 50 lbs.


§  PROS: Highly adjustable torso, breathable & well-padded frame, top lid doubles as removable daypack


§  CONS: Heavier than some packs, mesh pockets aren’t as durable or protective, water bottles are slightly cumbersome to access


BOTTOM LINE: The Deuter Aircontact Lite 50+10 (men’s) and 45+10 SL (women’s) are quite just like the Transformers of the backpackingworld. the massive fit range on the torso makes it easy to dial within the perfect fit or to loan the pack bent friends. The removable lid converts into a daypack and is ideal for exploring side trails without having to require your entire pack along. 

And if you’re wondering about the + within the 50/45+10, the most compartment expands to permit for an additional 10 liters of capacity if needed. The Aircontact is great for anyone trying to find a flexible package that will easily adapt to their needs. If you would like a bigger capacity, these packs also are available a men’s 65+10 model and a women’s 60+10 model.


Gregory Optic 48 & Octal 45




§  MSRP: 189.95


§  WEIGHT: 2 lbs. 8 oz.


§  VOLUME: 48L / 45L


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 40 lbs.


§  PROS: Affordable, sturdy frame transfers weight well, good back ventilation


§  CONS: Outer pocket mesh not very durable, water bottles are slightly cumbersome to access


BOTTOM LINE: The Optic 48 (men’s sizes) and Octal 45 (women’s sizes) are Gregory’s response to the increasing demand for lightweight backpacking gear. With features almost like Osprey’s Exos and Eja, the Optic is comfortable, sleek, and well-ventilated. Though almost as comfortable as Osprey’s stretch mesh back panel, the frame on the Optic 48 feels very sturdy. 

The suspension transfers weight to the hips extremely well and may carry heavier loads quite comfortably. Overall, the Gregory Optic 48 may be a solid lightweight pack with great features and a really affordable tag.


REI Co-op Flash 55




§  MSRP: $199


§  WEIGHT: 2 lb. 10 oz.


§  VOLUME: 55L


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 40 lbs.


§  PROS: Lightweight, affordable, customizable, comfortable, good pocket organization


§  CONS: One mesh hipbelt pocket lacks durability, average weather protection, bladder clip can snag gear


BOTTOM LINE: The REI Co-op Flash 55 (view women's sizes here) is a reasonable option for hikers looking to stay their pack burden. It features a snug hip belt, good pocket organization, and a removable top lid. our favorite feature of this pack is that the “Packmod” - the straps and pockets are often reconfigured into an entire bunch of combinations. 

therefore the Flash can easily transition from an ultralight weekend backpacking pack to a trusty winter snowshoeing pack. together with the foremost affordable packs on this list, the Flash features a lot to like. REI also offers the Flash during a 45L model (women’s sizes here). inspect our full review of the Flash 55 here.


ZPacks Arc Blast


§  MSRP: $325


§  WEIGHT: 1 lb. 5 oz.


§  VOLUME: 55L (Feels more like 40L)


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 30 lbs.


§  PROS: Ultralight, weather resistant, good back ventilation and luxury if not packed too full


§  CONS: Expensive, materials almost as durable within the end of the day , hip pockets cost extra, wait time could also be required


BOTTOM LINE: The ZPacks Arc Blast may be a featherweight pack that’s great for thru-hikers and ultralight backpackers carrying base weights around 15 pounds or less. This pack’s unique arching frame creates a taut mesh back panel that gives excellent ventilation when not packed too full. The Arc Blast also has torso adjustment straps to assist you dial within the perfect fit. 

ZPacks lists the Arc Blast’s volume at 55 liters, but we feel its max volume is closer to 40 liters to urge the right fit. This pack is formed with DCF fabric, which makes it highly waterproof and ridiculously light, but it also increases the worth. All things considered, the Arc Blast is an exceptional backpack for ultralight trekkers with their gear dialed in. The Arc Haul is additionally an honest option for those willing to hold a couple of extra ounces for increased durability. inspect our full review of the Arc Blast here.


Osprey Exos & Eja 48


§  MSRP: $220


§  WEIGHT: 2 lbs. 10 oz. / 2 lbs. 9 oz.


§  VOLUME: 48L


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 40 lbs.


§  PROS: Affordable for the standard , exceptionally comfortable, good back ventilation


§  CONS: No hip belt pockets, water bottles are slightly cumbersome to access


BOTTOM LINE: The Osprey Exos 48 (men’s sizes) and Eja 48 (women’s sizes) are extremely comfortable lightweight backpacks with great all-around value. The tensioned-mesh frame is sturdier than that of most lightweight packs and may carry heavier loads more comfortably. Our biggest complaint with the most recent model is that the lack of hip belt pockets.

 We spend tons of your time on the trail, so we wish to have quick access to small items like our telephone (for gps), chapstick, and a couple of snacks. the shortage of hipbelt pockets might not be an enormous deal for everybody , though, and these packs still have tons of great features to supply . Overall, if comfort is your main priority, these packs are among the absolute best . If you are looking for more room , this pack is additionally offered during a larger Exos 58 / Eja 58 size. inspect our full review of the Exos/Eja here.


ULA Circuit




§  MSRP: $255


§  WEIGHT: 2 lbs. 9 oz.


§  VOLUME: 68L


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 35 lbs.


§  PROS: Durable, comfortable, spacious, well-constructed with details dialed in


§  CONS: Weight transfer pulls backwards slightly, debris can grind to a halt in mesh


BOTTOM LINE: The Ultralight Adventure Equipment Circuit maybe a comfortable, lightweight backpack made tough for the trail. The Circuit’s unique, three-part frame transfers weight to the hips well, but we do notice the load of the pack pulling backwards slightly, leaving us a touch less balanced than we’d prefer.

 The mesh on the front pocket of this pack is way more durable than most backpacks and generally this pack is sort of burly. If you’re looking to travel even lighter, ULA offers the Ohm 2.0 and therefore the frameless CDT for the truly ultralight traveler.


Gregory Paragon 58 & Maven 55


§  MSRP: $229.95


§  WEIGHT: 3 lbs. 9 oz. / 3 lbs. 6 oz.


§  VOLUME: 58L / 55L


§  MAX WEIGHT REC: 50 lbs.


§  PROS: Frame transfers weight well, spacious hipbelt pockets, size adjustable torso and hipbelt, side entry zipper, rain cover included


§  CONS: Heavier than some packs, tons of straps & pockets may feel a touch “busy” for a few



You get what you buy


I’ll level with you immediately – the more you spend, the higher a hiking backpack you'll get.


Quality hiking backpacks aren't cheap and whilst there are some good value options on the market, it’s best to consider this purchase as an investment. i like to recommend spending a touch more in order that you'll buy a hiking backpack with a lifetime guarantee – that way you'll make certain it'll last forever!


In my opinion, it’s worth spending the additional money and selecting an Osprey hiking pack as that way your backpack is going to be covered by Osprey’s almighty guarantee – meaning they're going to repair or replace it, regardless of what happens. However, note that there are some exceptions to the All-Mighty Guarantee. they're going to not fix airline damage, accidental damage, hard use, wear & tear or damp related damage. Still, it’s tons better than most guarantees on the market.


Go for something lightweight : Osprey Argon Hiking Backpack best backpacks for hiking


Trekking to Mt. Roraima in Venezuela with my Osprey Hiking Backpack

You want your backpack to be as lightweight as possible whilst still being incredibly tough and sturdy . I once had an ultralight backpack but it broke pretty quickly because it just couldn’t stand the wear and tear and tear of being thrown around.


The best backpacking backpacks are lightweight anyway so this isn’t such an enormous concern. If this is often an enormous concern for you, choose a daypack for hiking instead.


You want a troublesome backpack for backpacking


You want to settle on a rough and hard pack that will take a beating and still begin smiling. lately, most backpacks are tough but you would like to seek out something that's also water-resistant to stay your stuff from getting soaked during sudden downpours.


No matter how tough your pack is it'll eventually get damaged if you employ it constantly – I live out of my backpack – so again, attempt to pick a hiking backpack with a lifetime warranty.


Check out our list of awesome water-proof backpacks. : Internal frame backpacks are best


I always recommend going for a backpack with an indoor frame. the simplest backpacks for hiking have rods that support is built into the bag rather than outside of it, which makes it super practical and straightforward to hold.


External frames make your bag heavier and, believe me, once you are hiking within the wild, the last item you would like maybe a bulky, complicated backpacking backpack to slow you down. Pack light and you won’t need an enormous frame!


Volume is vital : tough hiking backpack for climbing


Capacity is perhaps the foremost important decision when it involves choosing your hiking backpack

Contrary to popular belief: go small or head home . It doesn’t matter if you think that you're a light-weight packer, if you carry around an enormous backpack, likelihood is that it's getting to be filled eventually with plenty of stuff you don’t really need .


Choosing a more minimalist backpack will assist you to economize space and keep your luggage light.


If you're hiking during a snowy area you would possibly want to travel a take stock, but otherwise, the simplest backpacks for hiking should be between 40-50L. Personally, I even have one 70l hiking backpack for giant expeditions and a smaller 30l backpack for day hikes.


Material can make or break…


If you're into hiking, you ought to know that, eventually, you'll got to face the weather . Rain, heat or maybe snow, everything can happen once you are out there within the wilderness.


Therefore, choosing the proper material is crucial once you are getting to buy one among the simplest backpacks for hiking.


Light and resistant materials like Dyneema are ideal, especially because this fabric is water-resistant. It is often more pricey than other fabrics like nylon, but it's well worth the investment, I promise!

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