When you're going out on a hike, there are a lot of equipment and accessories involved. All these items get packed away and end up stuffing your bag to the point where your zippers barely close. If that is the case, which is very likely, then your bag is going to get heavy, round, and tall.

As your bag increases in size, so does the difficulty in carrying it. What is going to make or break a hiking backpack, as the best hiking backpack, will be its support system.

Most of the backpack rests over the shoulders, so having great padding and ventilation is a must. On top of that, one essential feature of the straps is their adjustability. Everybody has a different-sized back; some people need longer or shorter, and some people need skinnier or broader. Being able to change how tightly the straps are form fitting against your shoulders is essential.

Along with the shoulders adjusting properly, we want a hiking backpack that can take some of the weight off of our shoulders, and that happens through a well-designed hip support system. Again, it all starts with comfort. You are going to want extra padding and great ventilation because chances are you will have this backpack on for hours and days on end, and you may break a little sweat in the process.

After having great padding and ventilation, it is crucial for a sturdy hip belt that buckles tightly and securely. This hip belt will divert a lot of the weight of the backpack away from your shoulders and make the whole package seem much lighter. It helps straighten your back out too, which is significant because the weight of carrying a backpack often pushes our posture forwards.

Comparison Table

What To Look For In A Good Hiking Backpack

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Shoulder and Hip Support

Bottom Compartment That You Can Open

Roomy Hip Belt Pocket

External Straps and Loops

An Internal Hydration System

Small Detachable Backpack

Water Bottle Pocket at the Side

An Integrated Rain Cover

Hiking Backpack Vs. Travel Backpack

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So many times over the lines that distinguish a hiking backpack from a travelers backpack get blurred. And that is because you can use both for either purpose; a travelers backpack can be used for hiking, and a hiking backpack can be used for traveling.

However, each experience is uniquely different from the other, and so each bag is specially designed to compensate for those differences.

The truth is most people who are looking for a hiking backpack are looking for a pack that can carry a large quantity of equipment, accessories, or clothes. When we talk about hiking, we aren't talking about just finding a small trail that takes an hour to the top and 30-40 minutes to get back down.

Those hikes count as hikes, but with the best hiking backpack, we are talking about daily excursions. We are talking about setting up sleeping arrangments in the wild.

This is the experience that requires loading everything you need to survive, rather than just some stuff you would like to have while you climb.

Travel backpacks make for great packs when you are on a small trail or just going for a day-long hike. You can get away with that. But taking a travel backpack onto a serious hike that lasts a few days, you are likely going to run into a few issues, and learn the hard way.

You can read or reread the section above if you want to learn more about what makes a hiking backpack a hiking backpack.Now that all that is out of the way, let's get into what are some of the best hiking backpacks available.

Best Hiking Backpacks For Endless Adventure

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Osprey Aether 70L AG Medium Rucksack

When talking about the best hiking backpack, it is nearly impossible to leave Osprey out of the conversation. And one of their premier backpacks is the Osprey Aether 70L AG Medium Rucksack.

The Aether features anti-gravity technology for an experience of excellent support with amazing comfort. The majority of weight from the pack is seemingly lifted from off of your back, and the center of gravity is continuously balanced, making this hiking backpack fantastic for trekking.

The pack also features compression straps on the front, so you can squeeze the weight of the bag inwards causing the force of gravity to come even more to the center and feel balanced

With 70L of storage space, you will be able to fit everything you need into this backpack. The bottom of the pack is designed with a separate sleeping bag compartment, which is accessible by a zipper. You can remove the divider in between the sleeping bag compartment and the rest of the bag if you are looking for extra extra space. The Aether also features removable sleeping pad straps for the outside of your bag.

The Aether features a large mesh pocket right in the front of the bag that fits easily accessible items like fresh clothes. And spacious hip belt pockets for all your easy access items, such as your phone, cash, or quick snacks.

Strap and secure in an umbrella or other large item thanks to the dual mesh side panel pockets and dual upper side compression straps.

You can lift and detach the top off of the bag for a day pack. These smaller sized pouches make summiting the peak of a mountain or venturing off a campsite for a few hours an easy experience. No need to lug around the weight of the entire backpack; you can just take a few essentials.

Osprey Ariel AG 65 Pack - Women's

Osprey Ariel AG 65 Women's Backpacking Backpack (2020 Model)
  • Removable top-lid converts to DayLid daypack
  • Top to bottom suspended mesh wraps shoulders, back and hips for a fully integrated backpanel fit
  • Front stretch mesh pocket and zippered hipbelt pockets for quick storage

If you are looking for the best hiking backpack, you will most likely not go wrong with an Osprey. The company puts so much care, concern, and attention to detail to their products; it can be downright inspiring.

This Ariel AG 65 Pack, for Woman, is a prime example and one of the best hiking backpacks on the market. They design the backside, shoulder straps, and hip support systems with anti-gravity suspension. So you will hardly feel the weight of the pack and your center of gravity will remain balanced. It is built with a LightWire tensioned, full peripheral frame, to achieve these measures of support.

At the bottom of the bag, they have built in a separate compartment for sleeping bag storage, which is accessible by a zipper. The divider to the compartment is also removable, providing you with extra bag space, if necessary.

There is an internal compression strap that buckles across everything you've packed up to about 3/4ths of the way. This is an excellent way to squeeze everything you can into your pack and make the most of the room they have given you.

There are side compression straps, so you can pull the weight of the bag inwards, and center the force of gravity even more.

The Osprey Ariel AG 65 comes with spacious hip-belt pockets that keep snacks and small accessories like your phone safely stored away. ‘

The Ariel Ag 65 also comes with a removable day pack. You can remove it from the top of the overall bag, unzip and pull the straps out of storage compartment, and use to take small treks after setting up the tent or to get to the peak of a mountain amidst a climb.

Gregory Women's Deva

Gregory Mountain Products Women's Deva 70 Liter Multi Day Hiking...
  • 3D AIR HIPBELT AND SHOULDER HARNESS: Gregory’s PreCurve technology and multi-density foam construction combine to...
  • WISHBONE INTERNAL FRAME: A high-strength aluminum frame defines the perimeter of the back panel, preventing the pack...
  • FREE DAYPACK: Removable hydration sleeve converts into fast and light SideKick Daypack with shoulder harnesses and...

Gregory is a remarkable company, so it makes sense that they get brought up in the discussion about the best hiking backpack. The Deva Pack is an awesome pack to have with you on the trails.

One of the stand-out features is the contoured hip belt, paired together with an incredibly breathable and padded back panel.

Each strap is completely adjustable, so no matter how tall, short, skinny, or broad you'll find yourself wearing the Gregory Deva like a glove. In fact, Gregory uses what they call UpLift compression technology to pull the pack load up and in to bring it all closer to your center of gravity and convenience your journey's.

The pack is constructed with an internal frame to keep the shape of the backpack full even when there is nothing inside. And even though it only holds 45L of equipment, clothes, and accessories, while the other options on this list offer more space, the quality of what is possible is too hard to ignore.

There is a chamber available for an internal hydration system, which is not included. There are six available exterior pockets, and mesh pouches on each side designed for and capable of holding 1L bottles securely in place.

This same backpack is available in Men's and Woman's versions.


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ONEPACK is such a fantastic company, and their grade-A quality shows in their hiking backpacks, which are easily some of the best hiking backpacks available.You can fit 70L of equipment, clothes, accessories, and whatever your heart desires. All that is easily stored away into the pack through the easy top-loading feature they incorporated into the make.

There is also a J-zip on the front of the pack that allows you easy access to everything inside of your bag too.

REI integrate their UpLift compression technology to hoist the packs load up and in helping you manage the center of gravity, and stay in control of all the weight. The Traverse also features an internal framing made of steel, so the backpack maintains its shape and figure whether it is stuffed entirely or not.

The ONEPACK 70L features a hybrid trampoline back panel, which will conform to your body making a comfortable fit, always. And the mesh ventilation system will keep you cool at all times too, which is a considerable feature because you will more than likely be carrying your pack for hours on end, days straight.

ONEPACK customized their approach to a water bottle holder, placing a mesh pouch along the side of the backpack, just behind the hip belt. This design allows for easier access to your beverage. But the 70L is also loaded with a wonderful compartment for an internal hydration system. You can line your straw through the pack up and have it come out right over your shoulder so no hose is dangling around and instead you have a seamless experience.

The 70L has the ability for you to remove the top lid and use it as a day pack, so you can venture off the campsite or up to the summit without having to carry your entire load with you.

A simple but phenomenal feature is the integrated rain cover. Now enjoy your trek without the fears of weather slowing you down to a halt. And enjoy not having to stress over the inside of your pack getting soaked.

Fjallraven - Men's Abisko 65 Backpack, Stone Grey

Fjallraven - Men's Abisko 65 Backpack, Stone Grey
  • Simple, light backpack for trekkers, backcountry skiers, and travellers who like to move about without too much weight....
  • The back panel has been updated for better air circulation and the hipbelt has a new design that gives even better...
  • The main compartment has a snow lock at the top and the extra opening at the front makes it easier to pack and have an...

This Fjallraven Abisko 65 Backpack is a fantastic option for those just looking for something simple. The design is sleek and straight forward. And the backpack itself is lightweight and made of a polyester/polyamide combination, which gives it easy to carry yet durable attributes.

The back panel has excellent air circulation. The hip belt is newly designed for a more embracive and secure grip. All the straps are designed for adjustments

There is a snow lock section on the top of the pack to ensure that no snow gets in when you're in those type of conditions. When the top opens up there is a spacious and great overview of the internals of the backpack. So you can dig through everything you have or neatly tuck everything away with ease.

The large zippered pocket covering the front of the pack provides easy access to items such as phones or a change of clothes. There are two stretchable pockets on both sides of the backpack great for holding beverages up to 1 Litre in size.

The Fjallraven Abisko 65 is designed with compression straps along the sides to keep the backpacks integrity in shape when the backpack is empty. They also help keep the center of gravity when the bag is full. The bottom of the pack has a pre-shaped solid base giving excellent support for when you place it on the ground. There are two stretchable pockets on both sides of the backpack great for holding beverages up to 1 Litre in size.

The Fjallraven Abisko 65 is designed with compression straps along the sides to keep the backpacks integrity in shape when the backpack is empty. They also help keep the center of gravity when the bag is full. The bottom of the pack has a pre-shaped solid base giving excellent support for when you place it on the ground.


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Getting the best hiking backpack can be tough, but with the right information and insight, anything is possible.

We have reviewed the essentials of what makes a hiking backpack, we evaluated the difference between travel backpacks and hiking backpacks, and we considered the best hiking backpacks available. With all this information you should be well on your way to getting the most out of your trips, by having the best hiking backpack you can!

Let us know what you think! If you have tried any of these hiking backpacks out and have some opinions of your own shoot us a comment or message about it. Happy hiking!

Last update on 2023-01-28 at 00:34 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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