Best Hiking Backpacks – (2020 Review & Guide)

Backpacks can make or break your hiking trips. These bags will carry your items while going through the wild outdoors. A good backpack will need to be lightweight and allow for better weight distribution so it does not hamper your hike. It must also be sturdy enough to resist the elements. Certain useful features such as a built-in rain resistant cover is a plus as well.

MOUNTAINTOP Backpack Hiking
MOUNTAINTOP – Best Hiking Backpacks – Image credit from Amazon

With so many outdoor backpacks in the market, finding and buying the right one can be overwhelming. Let us help you out by picking 10 of the best hiking backpacks that will enhance your outdoor experience in 2020.

#1. AmazonBasics Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

AmazonBasics Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

AmazonBasics Best Hiking Backpacks this list can carry up to 50L worth of items with an additional 5L with the use of an extension collar. You can find several outer compartments on the bag to place important gear or water for easy access. This also includes a compartment for your sleeping bag. Apart from the storage capacity of the bag, this one is made from polyester material. The material makes the bag durable and suitable for the rugged outdoor environment.

The bag also has a water-repelling coat that keeps your gear dry when it rains. Simply take the coat out of its compartment and spread it out across the bag.

Conclusion: While we appreciate the many pockets available for small gears such as phones and compasses, the straps are a problem with the bag. On long walks, the straps loosen over time because it lacks anything that can secure it in place while the bag is moving with your footsteps.

Pros
  • Numerous outer compartments for small items
  • Water-repelling coat to protect hiking gear from rain
Cons
  • Unreliable straps that loosens when moved too much

#2. TETON Sports Scout Internal Frame Hiking Backpacks

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

The TETON Sports Hiking Backpacks in this list can carry up to 55L of items. This bag also includes many quick access pockets for items you need to use and store immediately such as your phone. TETON’s backpack also includes a dedicated sleeping bag compartment at the bottom.

TETON’s backpack features an open-cell foam lumbar pad that softens the contact of the bag to your back or lumbar region. It also features a molded channel to allow airflow within the space between your body and the bag, which can keep your back cool and comfortable.

Conclusion: The carrying capacity and features that aim to provide comfort while carrying the backpack gives this bag a good score from us. The flaw is with some of the zippers on the bug, which can easily get stuck while opening or closing a compartment.

Pros
  • Multiple outer pockets
  • Comfortable padding and design
Cons
  • Zippers may easily get stuck

#3. Mountaintop Internal Frame Hiking Backpacks

Mountaintop Internal Frame Backpack

The Mountaintop Internal Frame Hiking Backpacks has a 65L carrying capacity. The real feature of this bag is its Bearing System that makes carrying the backpack more comfortable during your hike. The bag uses an ergonomic design that allows for the distribution of the bag’s weight to your shoulders and hip. The adjustable shoulder strap can nearly anyone’s height and utilizes breathable padding that allows airflow between the space of the strap and your body.

The buckles and zippers of the Mountaintop backpack come from high-quality materials. These materials make sure that the straps and compartments are always close despite frequent bag movement. Another useful feature of the bag is its water-resistant material and a built-in rain cover that you can deploy when it pours. Both features help keep your belongings dry.

Conclusion:  The bearing system somewhat made the bag comfortable to carry for long hikes. In addition, the water resistant material adds some much-needed protection for your items when going through wet environments. Unfortunately, the material is not quite as sturdy as another bag. The fabric may rip if it receives a moderate amount of damage such as falling onto rocks while the bag is full.

Pros
  • Quality buckler and zipper
  • Bearing system comfortable system
Cons
  • Material is susceptible to tearing

#4. Osprey Packs Exos 58 Hiking Backpack

Osprey Packs Exos 58 Backpack

The Osprey Hiking Backpacks utilizes a durable and lightweight material that makes the bag sturdy against most physical wearing and tearing. In addition, the 6065 aluminum peripheral frame has an internal suspended cross strut that allows for better carrying support for up to 60L of items.

The Exos series backpack also utilizes the Airspeed suspension ergonomic design. This makes the harness and straps comfortable to wear while carrying the pack across long distances.

Conclusion: The durable material and comfortable padding make this Osprey Backpack a good entry to our list. The only flaw we can find with the bag is the hip strap that can dig into your clothes during long trips.

Pros
  • Durable bag material
  • Airspeed suspension design for comfort
Cons
  • Front hip strap lacks padding

#5. Mardingtop Internal Frame Military Molle Hiking Backpack

Mardingtop Internal Frame Military Molle Backpack

True to its name, the Mardingtop  Military Molle Backpack has an attractive camouflage and functional molle webbing. The webbing lets you hang various gears with a carbineer such as a sleeping bag, cookware, trekking pole, and much more. In addition, the carrying capacity of the backpack is up to 65L. With the two detachable side pocket, the pack can carry an additional 10L of gear or 1000ml water bottles.

Mardingtop backpack utilizes a carrying system feature that makes it easy for you to haul the pack. The system consists of S-shape shoulder straps that easily fit nearly anybody figure and a torso-length adjustment strap. This backpack also uses YKK zipper and buckles, which are reliable and has a long lifespan.

Conclusion: The Mardingtop military hiking backpacks has most of the necessary features we want out of a hiking backpack. This includes the molle attachments. Unfortunately, the waist strap can become uncomfortable when carrying the backpack for prolong periods.

Pros
  • Molle webbing
  • Carry system for comfort
Cons
  • Waist strap not suitable for long trips

#6. One pack Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

ONEPACK 70L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

The Onepack hiking backpack is made with polyester and waterproof nylon fabric. This allows the bag to be durable enough for the rugged outdoors while making the pack light. The fabric also keeps your gear dry.

The bag uses an Airstripes Back system cushion at the back part of the pack as well as the shoulder and waist strap. The cushion minimizes the stress of the contact points to your shoulder and waist while letting in a good amount of air to keep both parts of your body cool during your trek. Other notable features of the bag include the use of durable SBS metal zipper, a trekking pole attachment, and a hip-belt pocket for easy access to small items while carrying the bag.

Conclusion: The material of the bag and its many useful features make this a considerate inclusion to the list. The flaw of this backpack is the small number of outer compartments for numerous small items or gears that you may need to use regularly throughout the trek.

Pros
  • Hip-belt pocket
  • Bag is resistant against tearing
Cons
  • Lack of outer compartments

#7. Gonex Hiking Backpacks

Gonex 55L Hiking Backpack Outdoor

The Go next backpack can carry up to 55L of items and is made with durable nylon fabric. The nylon fabric is resistant against tearing and can keep water out of your belongings. In addition, the backpack has multiple pockets for storing small items and a dedicated shoe compartment when you need to wade through flooded terrains.

This bag uses a 3D Bearing System that uses an aluminum rod support. This helps distribute the weight of the backpack evenly to your body to avoid stressing out your shoulders on long treks.

Conclusion: The aluminum support rod and sturdy nylon material give this bag an entry to the list. Unfortunately, there are a few outer compartments for other useful gear such as water bottles.

Pros
  • Nylon fabric is resistant against tearing
  • Aluminum support rod for even weight distribution
Cons
  • Few outer compartments

#8. Deuter Act Lite Hiking Backpack

Deuter Act Lite 65+10 Hiking Backpack

The Deuter Act Lite Hiking Backpack can carry up to the 65L worth of belongings. This includes a compartment for a hydration system that lets you access up to three liters of drinking water while carrying the bag. The bag also has a hip bag that lets you store and access important items such as your phone.

The bag has a crossed aluminum frame that follows the movement of your body and allows for even distribution of weight. This keeps the strain away from your shoulders by moving some of the weight to your hips.

Conclusion: The cross aluminum support frame and breathable AirContact cushion make the Deuter backpack comfortable to carry for long walks. Though we would like for this bag to have additional outer compartments for other medium sized items.

Pros
  • Large carrying capacity
  • Crossed aluminum frame provides even distribution
Cons
  • Few outer compartments

#9. MaxMiles Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

MaxMiles Internal Frame Backpack

The MaxMiles Backpack has a very high carrying capacity of up to 100L when counting the carrying capacity of the outer pockets. In addition, the backpack has a formfitting profile design that lessens the chance of it snagging into rocks or branches while carrying it.

The bag has a built-in aluminum frame at the back, which distributes the weight evenly across your body. It also keeps enough space between you and the bag for better airflow, which can keep you cool during your trek.

Conclusion: The overall carrying capacity is astonishing for this backpack. However, the buckles and zipper are not as strong as other bags on the list. Some of the zippers on our bag often gets stuck and refuses to close while the buckle can easily pop open when we move the backpack.

Pros
  • Large carrying capacity of up to 100L
  • Aluminum frame allows providing even weight distribution
Cons
  • Low-quality zipper and buckles

#10. Granite Gear Hiking Backpack

Granite Gear Crown 2 60 Backpack

Granite Gear Backpack can carry up to 60L of items. The bag two hip pockets and a dedicated compartment for a hydration bladder. In addition, the nylon material of the bag can repel water to keep your belongings dry.

The bag also uses a V.C. Mark 2 Frame that keeps the weight of the bag’s load evenly distributed. While the frame can weight up to 15kg, you can remove it to lighten the backpack.

Conclusion: With a high carrying capacity and multiple compartments, the Granite Backpack easily finds a space in our outdoor gear closet. The heavy frame is a bit of a hit and miss because of how heavy it is. Other bags have frames that can provide better weight distribution without being too heavy.

Pros
  • Waterproof material
  • Multiple outer compartments
Cons
  • The supporting frame can be heavy

How to Choose the Right Hiking Backpacks

You need to consider several factors when picking the right backpack for your outdoor trip. The right backpack should fit the following criteria below.

Material
Your backpack needs to withstand rocks, branches, and other objects that can tear it apart. Bags made with durable materials such as nylon can withstand tearing.

Comfort
The comfort ability of the bag depends on how it can distribute the total weight across your body to lessen the load on your shoulders and place some of it to your hips. You must also get a good amount of airflow between your body and the backpack to keep your back cool throughout your trip.

Carrying capacity
The carrying capacity of the bag depends on what you need to take with you on your hiking trip. If you are carrying only a few items with you for a day-trip, you need a backpack with small carrying capacity. Hikes that can take up to multiple days though may require bags with large spaces.

Features
The last thing to consider is the additional features that come with the bag. Some of them might be useful for your trips such as a hip compartment to store your phone or wallet.

Final Word

You should have a good idea of what kind of bags to take with you on your next hiking trip. Out of all the 10, the Gonex Hiking Backpack is my pick out of the rest because of its 3D Bearing System support and hip compartment. If you need one with larger carrying capacity, the MaxMiles backpack will fit the bill.