If you’re an outdoorsman, there’s no doubt you know the importance of a good quality hiking backpack. The right backpack can help you maneuver even the most difficult hiking excursions. Rough terrain and bad weather are just a couple of the things that can turn an otherwise great hiking experience into a miserable day in the woods. It’s important to be able to carry everything you need to the trail so that you are prepared if an emergency or otherwise bad situation arises. Having the best hiking backpack for the job is the first step in making sure you are ready to hit the trail.
A good hiking backpack will be able to hold everything you need for your hike. Many hikers take along extra equipment for climbing, a dry change of clothes, climbing gear, and water, among other things. Some hikers even like to bring along camping equipment, in case their hike turns into an overnight stay. Being prepared and planning ahead for any situation that may arise helps you get the most out of the hike. But how do you know you’re buying the right backpack?
Top 10 Hiking Backpack Reviews
Below, we will review ten of the best hiking backpack on Amazon to determine which is the best according to our pre-set factors. These backpacks include:
- Marmot Compressor Plus Backpack
- Mountaintop 40 Liter Hiking Backpack
- Wasing 55L with Internal Frame
- ONEPACK 50L Waterproof Backpack
- Outdoor Master Hiking Backpack 50L
- Mountaintop 65 Liter Internal Frame Backpack
- The North Face Cobra 60 Hiking Backpack
- Patagonia Chacabuco Pack 32 Liter
- Osprey Talon
- Deuter Futura Pro 42 Liter
So which is the best for you? Let’s take a look.
Marmot Compressor Plus Backpack
Feature #1: Rip-Stop Fabric
Specially designed fabric can hold up against even the sharpest of hazards. Whether rock climbing or maneuvering thick foliage in the woods, you run the risk of your backpack snagging and tearing open. This can create a huge problem if you wind up spilling the contents all over with no way to carry them back. Knowing your backpack literally cannot be ripped is a great reassurance when you’re heading down the trail at the beginning of the day. Another great bonus to rip stop fabric: You can’t cut into it, either. This prevents a great deal of theft from occurring.
Feature #2: Foam Back Sheet
The foam back sheet protects your body from being bumped or rubbed wrong while you are hiking through the woods with a large load on your back. It also allows air flow to reach your back, which helps to keep you cool while you are out on a hot day. Keeping your body cool prevents pools of sweat from forming against the skin which can lead to rashes or other irritation. Additionally, you will stay better hydrated if your body is not trying to make up for overheating. Staying cool and comfortable will go a long way in enjoying your hike while wearing this backpack.
Feature #3: Gear Loops on Front
Gear loops allow you to add extra items to your backpack when needed. You can attack water bottles, climbing ropes, spikes, or any number of things you may feel are important to bring along for your hike. Sleeping bags, too, make a great addition to your backpack if you are thinking about spending the night out in the woods. Having he gear loops on the backpack give you an endless number of possibilities when it comes to customizing your packed equipment for the journey ahead.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack scored a total of 4.8 of 5 stars on Amazon after a total of 8 reviews.
Although the reviews were small in numbers and hard to get a good read on, there were some key points that stood out. The backpack appears to be lightweight, comfortable, and an excellent choice for the price. On the downside, there were some complaints that the backpack was actually too large, which made it an awkward accessory to walk around with. Additionally, the backpack only appears to be “somewhat” water resistant with some reviewers complaining that it didn’t seem to do as great of a job keeping out water as they originally hoped for.
Pros of the Marmot Compressor Plus Backpack
- Great Choice for the Price
Cons of the Marmot Compressor Plus Backpack
- Lacking Waterproofing
- Too Large for Some
Mountaintop 40 Liter Hiking Backpack
Feature #1: Rain Cover
The Mountaintop 40 Liter Hiking Backpack comes with its own rain cover. This is a large bag-like fabric piece that slips over the entire backpack to shield it from water in the event of rain. This design works well to keep moisture out of enclosures and zippers, where waterproofing is sometimes hard to achieve. The cover slips over the bag, closing behind the bag or at the bottom where the rain can’t get in. Most backpacks can be used with a water cover, however in most cases the rain cover must be bought separately. The Mountaintop is unique in that it provides the rain cover with the initial purchase.
Feature #2: 90 Day Warranty
The best way to tell that a manufacturer is willing to stand by their product is if they offer a warranty. A warranty is how a company tells its customers “we know this product is made to the best of our ability and we will refund or replace it if it isn’t.” For 90 days after purchase, you can return the backpack for any reason and the company will replace your money. That’s how you know they are sure you’re going to love the backpack after you buy it. With that kind of confidence from the company that manufactures it, it’s a hard option to pass up.
Feature #3: Multiple Colors Provided
Everyone has their own individual sense of style, so it only stands to reason that you might want to be able to express yourself in the colors of your backpack. Too many hiking backpacks only come in one or two color choices. The Mountaintop backpack actually gives you a wide variety of color options- everything from pastels to neons to more earthy tones- so that you can make the best expression of yourself. This is an attractive option for many individuals who feel that other backpacks are too boring, or are geared at one gender or another without options for themselves.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack earned a total of 4.3 of 5 stars on Amazon after a total of 8 reviews.
Again, there aren’t many reviews from which we can pull a lot of information. However, this time around, also, we are able to pull a little bit of information about potential wins and loses in the design of this bag. On the upside, the backpack is comfortable to wear. It also fits in the carry- on compartment of most airlines, making it a great option for traveling. There is also a built in place for a hydration system, which is a great bonus for long hikes. The downside appears to come in in terms of durability. The straps and zippers wear out, which is an unfortunate development in terms of long- term customer satisfaction.
Pros of the Mountaintop 40 Liter Backpack
- Fits in Airline Carry-Ons
Cons of the Mountaintop 40 Liter Backpack
- Lacks Durability
Wasing 55 Liter with Internal Frame
Feature #1: Contoured Aluminum Frame
The Wasing backpack advertises that it comes equipped with a contoured aluminum frame which can adjust to fit your back. This helps to distribute the weight evenly across the back, preventing stress points that can lead to strains or other injuries. It also is advertised to help with balance, which is a good plus for anyone that plans to spend any amount of time hiking in unstable terrain such as rocky hills, muddy paths, or wet ground. Being able to stay well- balanced on the path can prevent injury, as well. This is a great thing to keep in mind when considering this backpack.
Feature #2: 90 Day Warranty
Again, as with the Mountaintop brand backpack, the best way to tell that a manufacturer is willing to stand by their product is if they offer a warranty. For 90 days after purchase, you can return the backpack for any reason and the company will replace your money. That’s how you know they are also sure you’re going to love the backpack after you buy it. With that kind of confidence from the company that manufactures it, it’s another hard option to pass up. Looking for warranties is a great idea if you are a first time buyer, by the way. You have a chance to return them if they aren’t right for you.
Feature #3: Airflow Channels
Airflow Channels also work to keep the back cool. The channels are actually open pockets of fabric built into the backpack which allow air to run through the pack, touching the skin and keeping the body cool. As previously discussed, this helps to prevent dehydration and overheating as well as skin issues associated with excess sweating. It’s a wonderful and thoughtful feature to include into the design of a backpack, especially considering the complex design that is required to make it work well. Wasing really goes above and beyond expectations with this feature.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack earned a total of 4.3 of 5 stars on Amazon after a total of 178 reviews.
The main complaint about this backpack is that it is actually an external frame, not an internal frame. The difference is that an internal frame is actually built into the backpack, making it less bulky and easier to maneuver. An external frame, which is what this one actually is, is on the outside of the backpack and the fabric of the bag hangs off of it. It decreases durability and function- a disappointing find for many purchasers! On the upside, there are lots of attachment straps and it seems to be a pretty versatile pack in terms of functionality.
Pros of the Wasing 55 Liter Internal Frame Backpack
- Great Volume
- Many Straps
Cons of the Wasing 55 Liter Internal Frame Backpack
- Falsely Labeled as Internal- Actually External Frame
- Lacks Durability
ONEPACK 50 Liter Waterproof Backpack
Feature #1: Anti-Scratch Polyester for Durability
The Anti-Scratch Polyester fabric used in the ONEPACK is specially designed to keep fabric from breaking or tearing when it comes into contact with sharp items either on the inside or outside of the pack while you are out on the trail. The Rip- Stop Fabric we saw earlier in this review works well to prevent cuts, but the fabric can still wear through. Anti-Scratch Polyester is built to prevent the wearing- through of the fabric even after prolonged exposure to irritants over time.
Feature #2: 30 Kg Load Bearing Design
The design of this backpack can handle up to 30 kg of weight. This is an amazing amount of weight to fit into one backpack. Being able to carry the added weight helps you stay better prepared when you hit the trail for an all-day hike or weekend long nature retreat. Additionally, the design of the backpack distributes the weight evenly across the upper and lower back and both shoulders so that you are not bearing the brunt of the weight on any one part of the back that may hurt you most. It’s a great design that is beneficial in terms of health and convenience for any hiker.
Feature #3: Fully Adjustable Straps
The straps of the backpack are fully adjustable. This helps the backpack work well for anyone of any height or size. All too often, backpacks are built for an “average.” If someone is heavier set, too tall, too short, or even too thin, the backpack won’t fit them well. One of the biggest complaints that people have when shopping for a hiking backpack is that it can be very difficult to find one that fits well. A fully adjustable strap system can completely eliminate this concern, leaving one backpack as a wonderful option for anybody. Especially if you are an outside- of- average size, adjustable strap systems are a great thing to keep an eye out for.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received a total of 4.2 of 5 stars after 73 reviews on Amazon.
Most of the reviews were overall very good. The backpack appears to be comfortable and fits well for most, however there were mixed reviews on efficiency and design. While some people felt that the internal compartment system of the backpack worked well, there were others that said it didn’t make a lot of sense and really disliked the way the compartments were arranged. Additionally, the backpack seems to have a bad zipper system, leading to a number of breaks and malfunctions.
Pros of the ONEPACK 50 Liter Waterproof Backpack
Cons of the ONEPACK 50 Liter Waterproof Backpack
- Bad Zippers
Outdoor Master Hiking Backpack 50 Liter
Feature #1: Attachment Points
There are a lot of attachment points on this backpack, making it a great consideration for anyone that plans to use the backpack for extended stays, rock climbing, or any other venture that may require a lot of extra gear.
Feature #2: 6 Month Warranty
As with the previous 90- Day Warranties mentioned, this one is a sure sign that the company stands behind the quality of their product. They are so sure you will like it, and that it will stand up in terms of durability, that this company even goes further by doubling that time to six full months under warranty. As always, this is a great thing for newcomers to shop for when they aren’t yet sure what kind of backpack they might like.
Feature #3: Rain Cover Included
Again, this is another backpack that includes the rain cover for convenience. This is, of course, a great feature for those who are shopping on a budget.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received a total of 4.5 of 5 stars on Amazon after 801 reviews.
While most of the reviews for this backpack were good, there was one small complaint. On the upside, the backpack seems to be well built, available in a lot of fun colors, and comfortable. Again, this is a backpack that fits into the overhead compartment of most airlines, making it a great choice for the adventurous traveler who wants to see the nature from all points of the planet. It also seems to be a very durable backpack if reviews are to be believed. The aforementioned complaint is simply that the backpack feels a little clumsy if you over- pack it.
Pros of the Outdoor Backpack Hiking Backpack 50 Liter
- Fun Colors
- Carry- On Size
- Rain Cover Included
Cons of the Outdoor Backpack Hiking Backpack 50 Liter
- Clumsy When Over- Packed
Mountaintop 65 Liter Internal Frame Backpack
Feature #1: Compression Straps
Compression Straps help to hold the pack together, making it a less awkward backpack to maneuver with through harsh terrain or if the backpack is not filled to capacity. Basically, the backpack tightens, holding the contents tight together, so they feel more like one item rather than a large sack of items that shift and create a clumsy feel or weight that isn’t distributed evenly.
Feature #2: Torso- Length Adjustment
You can adjust the torso- length of this backpack. As previously mentioned, backpacks that aren’t sized appropriately can lead to a lot of difficulty in terms of clumsiness on the trail. Clumsiness on the trail can cause someone to fall or become injured. A backpack that hangs too far below the torso can actually impede a person’s ability to walk, causing them to trip over themselves. This is particularly dangerous when rock climbing or hiking on paths at high altitudes. A serious fall could lead to a serious injury or even death. Always exercise caution when trying a new backpack and look for one that fits you well.
Feature #3: Hydration System Compatible
A backpack hydration system typically involves a bladder that fits inside of one compartment of the backpack. The bladder is filled with drinking water and hoses run from the bladder along the straps for easy access to the hiker. You can actually drink from the backpack directly without fumbling with bottles or canteens. While this backpack doesn’t come with its own hydration system, there are compatibility measures taken so that, if you choose to purchase a hydration system, the backpack will work with one. If you choose not to use a hydration system, you simply have an extra compartment to store your stuff!
Real Users Feedback
This backpack earned a total of 4.3 of 5 stars after a total of 126 reviews on Amazon.
The backpack was called “fun to use” by one review. Another complained that it falls apart too easily. Most of the main praises regarding the backpack, however, actually seemed to be about the customer service- which, while great, isn’t something you want to read about when looking at a potential purchase. If a number of people have had to look to customer service regarding problems, this is probably a pack you want to steer clear of.
Pros of the Mountaintop 65 Liter Internal Frame Backpack
- Great Customer Service
Cons of the Mountaintop 65 Liter Internal Frame Backpack
- Falls Apart Fast
The North Face Cobra 60 Hiking Backpack
Feature #1: Hydration Sleeve
This backpack features a hydration sleeve. Like the last backpack, it comes equipped to handle a water supply within the backpack, itself, which helps to avoid the potentially clumsy ordeal of having to handle a water bottle whenever you get thirsty. The bonus involved in this hydration compatibility, of course, is that the bladder is actually included. You will not have to buy the system separately because the backpack comes already equipped to get you on the ground and running (or hiking) with a steady water supply waiting right at the shoulder straps.
Feature #2: Reflective Hits
Reflective hits on the backpack help oncoming traffic see you if you are walking or hiking near a busy road. They also can potentially help you in a more dire situation where you fall or become otherwise incapacitated. The glow of a flashlight will strike back at the search party, alerting them to your location so that you can be helped fast when help is needed most. It’s, of course, not a situation that anyone wants to consider, but a smart hiker knows that you should always prepare for the worst, even if you’re optimistic about the best.
Feature #3: Tool-keepers with Lids
If you plan on doing rock climbing, you’re going to love this feature. The tool keeper pockets of this bag come with lids. You can actually store your climbing hooks and spikes, or other outdoorsy- type accessories, separate from your other stuff. The caps keep the tools protected so they won’t become damaged or slip out and become lost during your hike. When you’re ready to use them, they are conveniently stored and ready to go- without having to dig through your backpack to get to them.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack had no reviews on Amazon to work from, unfortunately. Without being able to read what other reviewers had to say, we have to make our own determinations ourselves. On the plus side, this backpack comes equipped with a hydration sleeve, which is a wonderful addition not seen in any of our other backpack options. The tool- keepers with lids, also, are a new feature that we haven’t seen before and are a good bonus for hikers who intend to do any amount of climbing or other outdoorsman activities aside from their usual hike. The reflective hits, also, add safety. The price of the backpack, though, is one of the highest on the list, which can potentially make this a difficult choice for shoppers on a budget.
Of course, without adequate real- world information, it’s hard to determine actual pros and cons of the backpack, so we are forced to skip this portion.
Pros of The Northface Cobra 60 Hiking Backpack
- Not Enough Info
Cons of The Northface Cobra 60 Hiking Backpack
- Not Enough Info
Patagonia Chacabuco Pack 32 Liter
Feature #1: Water- Repellant Finish
This backpack has a water- repellant finish that actually helps the water slide right off the backpack without finding its way in. This means that, whether you’re dealing with a heavy rain or if you’ve actually dropped your pack into a deep puddle, your backpack will not immediately absorb the water that it comes into contact with. Keeping the contents of your pack dry is very important in terms of safety, weight, and overall enjoyment of your hiking trip. Make sure you have a backpack that can stand up to the challenge. Again- prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
Feature #2: Made from Recycled Materials
Most people who enjoy taking in the outdoors through hiking or other adventurous pursuits are also concerned about protecting the environment and being green- conscious in their lifestyle choices and purchases. This backpack is made out of completely recycled and recyclable materials- you don’t have to worry about unhealthy chemicals released into the atmosphere during the manufacturing of this backpack and you don’t have to worry about how the environment will be affected when the backpack has run its course. Reducing, reusing, and recycling is a mantra for an earth- conscious generation and this backpack stands by the same belief.
Feature #3: 12” Laptop Sleeve Pocket
You can carry your laptop along in this specially-designed laptop sleeve. The laptop itself will be protected by extra padding and separate from all other backpack contents. It won’t get wet or damaged by anything else you have packed, and it will stay firmly and securely in place until you are ready to unpack it for use. This is a great feature for anyone that does a lot of blogging or photo editing and wants to get the most of their time in nature. No need to rush home to talk about your most recent adventure. Find a comfortable place and take care of business right where you are the world is your office!
Real Users Feedback
This product received a total of 4.9 of 5 stars after 9 reviews on Amazon.
Again, this is a product that didn’t receive a lot of reviews on Amazon for us to form an opinion from. Based on the few reviews that it did receive, though, there are some great testimonies that the pack is durable and fits well. However, it does not seem to be totally water resistant, the volume is lower than most people like, and there were some vague complaints about poor design.
Pros of the Patagonia Chacabuco Pack 32L
Cons of the Patagonia Chacabuco Pack 32L
- Lacks Water Resistancy
- Small Volume
- Poor Design
Osprey Talon Backpack
Feature #1: Webbing Pocket
The webbing pocket is specially designed to hold and carry climbing ropes. In addition, the webbing keeps the ropes bundled in place and untangled, while separate from the other equipment inside of the backpack. It also makes the ropes easy to grab without having to stop to unload the supplies or maneuver through the sometimes complex build- up of attachment straps.
Feature #2: Bio-Stitch Adjustable Harness
The Bio-Stitching Adjustable harness helps to distribute the weight of the entire backpack evenly throughout the body. You don’t have to worry about too much weight in one part of the backpack creating a stressful point to the body. The harness actually shifts the weight so that your whole body shares the burden of the weight.
Feature #3: Helmet Clip
The helmet clip is a special attachment clip secured to the bag that is designed specifically for holding a helmet in place. This is a great bonus for bike riders or rock climbers. Stay safe!
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received a total of 4.6 of 5 stars on Amazon after 31 reviews.
The reviews on this product were mixed. The pluses for this model were that many reviewers felt that the backpack was durable and that the weight distribution worked well. They said they didn’t feel a lot of pressure from the weight they packed into the backpack as they have with other models they have tried previously. Also, the attachment point system seemed to work well for most. The negative reviews were mostly centered around uncomfortable shoulder straps and a frustrating cord loop design that many had trouble figuring out.
Pros of the Osprey Talon Backpack
- Weight Distribution Great
- Attachment Point System Works Well
Cons of the Osprey Talon Backpack
- Frustrating Design
- Uncomfortable Shoulder Straps
Deuter Futura Pro 42 Liter
Feature #1: Load Adjusters
This system works very much like the weight adjustment harness on the Osprey model. The weight is adjusted evenly throughout the back to prevent points of strain or pain during your hike.
Feature #2: Air- Mesh Shoulder Straps
These shoulder straps allow air flow to the body, resulting in a cooler feeling hike through the woods, up the hill, or wherever you go. As previously mentioned, reducing sweat and overheating can keep your skin healthy, your body hydrated, and your time outdoors enjoyable. This is a great feature for anyone who intents do hike or spend outdoors time in a climate that is warmer than their body is used to. A comfortable hike extends endurance. You can spend more time doing what you love!
Feature #3: 3.0 Liter Hydration Pack Compatible
While this backpack doesn’t come with the water bladder, it is yet another backpack designed to take on a water bladder for an easy hydration option. This one can handle a water bladder up to 3.0 Liters- An Impressive amount of water for any backpack.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received a total of 4.3 of 5 stars after 11 reviews on Amazon.
Most reviews were positive. The backpack seems to be durable and comfortable, although some didn’t think the price tag fit the product. For many, there just wasn’t enough “bang for the buck,” so to speak. Another problem associated with the backpack is that it runs smaller than the advertising let on.
Pros of the Deuter Futura Pro 42 Backpack
Cons of the Deuter Futura Pro 42 Backpack
- High Price
- Smaller than Expected
Comparison between All 10 Models
So, of all the backpacks on the list, which seems to work the best? The answer is actually simpler than you might think. Read on as we compare the top 10 hiking backpack against some of the factors mentioned earlier.
Factor #1: Fit
The Outdoor Master wins when it comes to fit. While other backpacks had adjustable straps or torso points, the reviews for those products weren’t all they were cracked up to be. The reviews on the Outdoor Master in terms of fit, however, were overwhelmingly great. It came in well ahead of some of its competitors, including the Marmot backpack, which fit too large for most who tried it. The only slight complaint that people had regarding the fit of the Outdoor Master backpack is that it did seem to feel a little “clumsy” when over-packed. Of course, this is going to be true of any backpack and is more user error than it is a design flaw.
Factor #2: Durability
Again, the reviews for the Outdoor Master backpack design were overwhelmingly positive in terms of durability and a six-month warranty stands behind that promise. This is a huge leg up over many of the competitors on the list, including the Mountaintop 65 liter backpack which is said to fall apart very fast. The ONEPACK, also, was said to lack durability and fall apart shortly after purchase and the Wasing reportedly has a frustrating zipper design that causes the zippers to break during use. Clearly, the option with a six month warranty on its design and manufacturing is the best choice when ranked against competitors who make no promises whatsoever.
Factor #3: Is it water-resistant?
The Outdoor Master comes with its own water cover. How much more water- resistant can it be? While other backpacks claim to be water-resistant, resistant doesn’t quite hold up against the use of a full coverage rain cover. While any backpack can be used with a rain cover, only the Outdoor Master comes with one included, making it almost a two for one special in terms of quality for your money. The best news is that the rain cover seems to work well, according to online reviews.
Factor #4: Volume
With a 50 Liter capacity, the Outdoor Master wins again in terms of volume. Although some may say that the larger capacity is too large, it is better to have more room than necessary than not enough. The Outdoor Master does allow for strap tightening to decrease some of the clumsiness of the pack, making it a great pick for anyone that plans to take trips of various duration. The Deuter 42 Liter backpack was smaller than many reviewers expected, because what sounds like a lot of volume really isn’t when you are looking at it head on. Given that knowledge, why not shoot for the 50 liter?
We have a clear winner in the Outdoor Master Hiking Backpack, which hit a home run on all four of our chosen factors. The Outdoor Master Hiking Backpack has adjustable straps to fit perfectly to your body. It is also very durable due to the quality of material used in making the backpack. In addition, it comes with a rain cover and has big enough volume to fit your hiking gear. The best part is this best hiking backpack is very affordable. Check it out here. But if you are really on a very tight budget, check out my post on hiking backpacks under $100.