When looking for a hiking backpack, there are some brands that withstand the test of time and endurance. These brands mentioned in this article have the stamp of approval regarding high quality hiking backpacks. The specs that are looked at are material, features, durability, reviews from consumers, accessibility and viability. So whether you’re backpacking through backcountry or hiking through your nearby forest, you want to have any of these best hiking backpack brand strapped on your back to feel prepared and ready for adventure.
The Osprey brand is located on a lot of top review sites. It was founded in 1974 in Santa Cruz, California however the headquarters is now located in Colorado, USA. This brand is the most popular among consumers due to the operational aspect. This company offers exceptional warranties, the availability is accessible and the models are very functional and durable. The price range for this brand could go anywhere from $75-$390 USD.
Top Model – Osprey Atmos 65 AG
There is more than one model that are top of the line however I chose the Atmos 65 for the best brand model. It can carry loads up to 45-50 lbs. The frame is an interior one however the consumers say it is very comfortable along with the suspension. When looking at gear and features, this model has taken the bag, no pun intended. Features include a floating top lid which is removable, a rain cover, tool attachments, dual zippered front panel pockets, which are easily accessible, internal and external compression straps for stability, a comfortable and adjustable hip belt with a pocket, adjustable harness, anti-gravity suspension and loads of ventilation. Osprey definitely wins top spot for a high quality backpack brand.
Arc’Teryx was founded in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1989. The Arc’teryx brand is known for great construction, beautiful, sturdy hardware and tightly woven, durable material. The price range for this brand of packs goes anywhere from $64-$475 USD.
Top Model – Arc’Teryx Altra 65
This pack is a very pricey but it can carry heavier loads if you are going on a longer trip. There is a removable and expandable lid and also a map pocket! The hip-belt provides ventilation which promotes cooling and good air flow. There is a ton of storage and pockets. A front kangaroo style pocket (looks like a pouch), 2 stretch mesh side pockets, and a draw cord on the main compartment for increased capacity. There is a hydration reservoir sleeve however the reservoir is sold separately.
This pack is very durable and multiple reviews state it can last a long time. The pivoting hip belt is good for lower back pain prevention. Some say it is quite noisy however the company provides lubrication/grease for the belt and when applied, the noise should settle down. The weight distribution on this pack is impeccable. If you are into hiking for the long term, this pack is a solid investment. It should be noted that there is no rain cover included.
The North Face Brand
About The North Face
The North face brand marketing seems to be helping people to be outside more and enjoy the outdoors, appealing to the emotional side. The North Face was founded in 1968 in San Francisco. The brand also speaks for itself in terms of the quality being consistent, the packs are aesthetically pleasing and there are a variety of reasonably priced packs available. The price range is from $65-$289 USD.
Top Model – The North Face Banchee 65
Pocket use and location is very well designed on this pack. There are two back zippered pockets and a stretchy beaver tail pocket (hanging mesh pocket). There is a hip belt which also contains a zippered pocket which snacks or a small camera could be stored for easy access. Altogether there are 8+ pockets. This model holds more than 50 lbs of load. This pack is very lightweight but supports the load well.
The frame is internal with a middle pillar and vertical axis. This allows for flexibility when you are shifting as it shifts with your weight also. The fabric is rip stop nylon and there is built in lumbar support. The lid is not removable and there is no rain cover however most people who bought this product recommended it for stability and comfort.
Gregory was founded in 1977 in San Diego, California. Gregory packs are known for their comfort, the ability to carry heavy loads, delivering ample suspension, supportive padding and excellent organization. The price range is from $70-$399 USD.
Top Model – Gregory Baltoro 65
This pack carries heavier loads of 60 lbs+, however it is reported to be slightly on the heavier side. Dual zippered lid pockets and a large “U” shaped main compartment opening offer an easy to find system. This pack offers lower lumbar support however some people find it a little too stiff. The definition of stiff depends on your need of support when it comes to comfort. Some may need a bit more lumbar support and if you do, this pack offers just that.
It also offers one of the most stable suspensions this is probably due to the fact that it can carry more weight. There are dual hip belt pockets which you don’t see on a lot of packs. This backpack also has a reachable mesh pocket on the left side of the backpack. A removable backpack cover is also included, for rain and weather durability and a removable hydration backpack. If you need to carry more this pack is the one for you.
Deuter was founded in 1898 in Augsburg, Germany. Since then, the Deuter brand has been up and working for over 115 years. The brand offers a wide variety of packs to meet a variety of needs. The brand is very durable, heavy duty and is known for carrying heavy loads. The price range is from $59-$349 USD.
Top Model – Deuter Air Contact 65
This pack is on the heavier side however it has a lot of features and it has good value. For those who love their pockets, loops and hooks, this one is a great find. There’s a zippered map pocket and 2 side stretch pockets. It is a comfortable pack due to the suspension, lots of padding and very beefy adjustable shoulder straps. There is a built-in pack cover which is quite effective. It is easily accessible however quite tall.
Some consumers report that the hip belt lacks in ventilation, so if you are hiking in warmer temperatures, this pack may not be for you. This frame is internal however it compares in stability to an external frame. The material is very durable rip stop nylon. The pack comes with a sleeping bag compartment so you can stash your sleeping bag right there in the pack. There is a hydration pocket; however the reservoir is sold separately.
REI was founded in 1938 in Seattle, Washington. REI brand packs have a reputation for value and quality. They most recently updated their brand to include lighter materials, more updated waterproofing, and uploaded suspensions. These upgrades have driven the brand into the top five of the industry. The price range is from $69-$209 USD.
Top Model – REI Flash 65
This pack comes with a compression technology which pulls the load closer to your centre of gravity. The hip belt has loads of padding which is very comfortable and hip hugging. There are twin tool loops and many other tool keepers for poles and such. It does contain a hydration pocket; however once again, the reservoir is sold separately. This pack boasts an internal frame, adjustable torso, 8 exterior pockets and is made of durable rip stop nylon. Most reviews are mixed however there is an option to upgrade the pack to connect to an additional one for added capacity. There is a draw string cord on the main compartment which makes it easily accessible. The price is more affordable than the other packs mentioned in this article.