A backpack is one of the most essential things you need to have when hiking or engaging in any other outdoor activity. However, hiking backpacks and other outdoor gear can be quite costly, but that is for a good reason. After all, they have to be comfortable enough so you can wear it for extended periods. They also have to be sturdy at the same time to contain all your possessions securely.
Therefore, it is important that you find the right hiking backpack for your needs. We put this review together to help you do just that!
List of the Best Hiking Backpacks of 2020
1. Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpacks
Comfort may be the ultimate selling point of the Osprey Atmos. Its suspension system features of one of the bag’s key technologies, which the company calls Anti-Gravity. This feature improves comfort and wearability by helping distribute the weight of the bag evenly. This way, you do not experience the usual pressure points that ordinary backpacks can’t protect you from.
The Osprey Atmos is also very easy to adjust. It has compression straps, and the adjusting parts are very intuitively designed. These straps are directly connected to the frame of the bag, which means you can easily adjust it when you are carrying a relatively small load.
Finally, we think it’s worth noting that the Osprey Atmos won the Editors’ Choice Award of Backpacker in 2015, which means it definitely delivers in all areas and not just comfort. Check out our complete guide about the best hiking sock.
2. Gregory Mountain Products Men’s Baltoro 75 Liter Backpack
The Baltoro is another award-winning hiking backpack. It won Backpacker magazine’s 2015 Editors’ Choice Gold Award and Outside magazine’s Gear of the Year Award, which are no easy feat!
Needless to say, this bag does come with a lot of features, and one of our personal favorites is the LumbarTune. This feature allows you to customize the fit of the bag for optimal lower back support. Hiking can be a pain (literally) when you have back trouble, and this feature is very helpful in that area.
The suspension is an improved version of its predecessor in the same product line. It can carry heavier loads, and the overall adjustability is also better. Other features include a waterproof pocket where you can fit an average-sized digital camera.
3. MOUNTAINTOP 50L/70L/80L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack
As we mentioned earlier, hiking backpacks do tend to be a little expensive because they are designed to withstand so much rugged use and abuse. However, if you are shopping for only a quick trip that happens just once in a blue moon, we think this backpack from Mountaintop may sit well with you.
You can easily access the main compartment through the zippered front access feature of this bag. There are also daisy chains, which you can hook a lot of stuff to directly or using sturdy carabiners. There are compression straps and elastic bands that add a lot of versatility to the bag and help you secure everything together.
4. Kelty Coyote 65 Hiking Backpack
This 65-liter pack from Kelty is new. It came out just this year. We think you will find this model useful if you like the earlier models from Kelty (80L for men and 70L for women) but do not need as much space for your upcoming trip.
The Coyote 65 looks like a traditional top-loaded pack, but there is another zipper in front, which allows you to access the main compartment as well. You may enjoy using this backpack if you are the type who tends to be quite OC about separating your knick-knacks because it has a lot of pockets. Its top lid can even be used as a sling or a day pack.
5. Deuter Aircontact 65+10 Backpacking Pack
We recommend that you use this backpack if you are going on a long, far, and rugged trip. Weighing 6 lbs, this backpack can be hefty, but that is for a good reason. It is noticeably very well-built and sturdy. It seems to be highly ideal for rough treks and hikes.
In addition, the zippers are a lot bigger and thicker than the common types. Like Coyote 65, this bag also has plenty of pockets. Each of those is made with very thick fabric that can withstand heavy use.
It also has what they call the AirContact system, which simultaneously helps with load support and ventilation. It is specifically designed to prevent moisture buildup on your body during long treks.
6. Scandinavian Gear 65l Backpack
If you are particular about having ready access to the main compartment of your backpack while trekking or hiking, you may like this 65-liter backpack from Scandinavian Gear. Its main compartment is accessible from the top, the side, and the bottom.
There aren’t too many pockets, but the ones present should be enough to hold all your essentials. There are inner, top, side, and waist pockets aside from the two mesh pockets for bottles. Its straps (torso, shoulder, hip, chest) are adjustable, and the entire body is water-resistant. It also comes with a rain cover.
7. Deuter ACT Lite 60+10 Backpack
Finally, a hiking backpack that is specially designed for women! The Deuter ACT Lite looks very feminine, from the color options to the form and the cute details. If you are a woman, you can always choose to use a backpack designed for men (and vice versa), but it is always best to use gear that takes your anatomical characteristics into account.
The Deuter ACT Lite is ergonomically designed to give you maximum comfort while fully supporting your load and protecting your possessions inside. The company’s AirContact ventilation system is here as well, ensuring that no moisture builds up on your back.
Conclusion: When going hiking, it is always best to be prepared by having the best gear around. You can start prepping by getting one of these best hiking backpacks for yourself. They all have unique features to offer, though, so make sure to examine your needs before adding that nice backpack to your cart!