Hiking is one of the best pastimes around. It allows you to move your body all while breathing fresh air and experiencing nature. Multiday hikes are especially great because they allow you to reconnect with your roots.
Of course, you need to carry a multitude of items if you are hiking for an extended amount of time. That’s where hiking backpacks come in handy. Hiking backpacks are specifically designed to help your hiking experience without adding too much discomfort.
Because the backpack can make such a difference on your hike, it’s crucial to select the best backpack for you. To ensure your hiking experience goes over without a hitch, we have analyzed 35 products over 29 hours, as well as considered 640 consumer reviews.
From this research, we found that the Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack is the best hiking backpack in Canada in 2021 because it is highly durable, a great fit, and comes with many features, but it is a bit on the expensive side.
Table of Contents
- Hiking Backpack Comparative Table
- Our Pick for The Best Hiking Backpack
- Our Alternative Pick for a Hiking Backpack
- Our Budget Pick for a Hiking Backpack
- Our Younger’s Pick for a Hiking Backpack
- Alternative Products to Consider
- Why Should You Trust Us?
- Things to Know Before Buying a Hiking Backpack
- How to Properly Choose Your Hiking Backpack
Hiking Backpack Comparative Table
|Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack
||9.6/10||See price on Altitude Sports (Men’s)|
||9.5/10||See price on Altitude Sports|
|Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack||
||8.8/10||See price on Amazon|
|Deuter Fox 40 Backpack
||9.5/10||See price on Altitude Sports|
Our Pick for The Best Hiking Backpack
The Best Overall
The Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack is our top pick for the best hiking backpack. It offers a highly comfortable fit, complete with models for both men and women, as well as durable materials and incredible features, but this backpack is very expensive.
Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack Video Review
What We Think of The Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack
If you’re looking for the best overall backpack for hiking, you will like the Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack. This backpack has everything you could want from a hiking backpack, making it suitable for day hikes, extended trips, males, and females.
Starting with the basics, this backpack is designed for an exceptional fit and comes with all the necessary features. It comes in both a male and female size, allowing you to find the backpack that fits your body perfectly.
The backpack also comes with many features, including a Stow-on-the-Go trekking attachment, AntiGravity suspension, and more. These features make the backpack incredibly useful and functional.
It also has a 65 L volume capacity, providing you a lot of storage for your items. Plus, it features a 3 L water reservoir. These two features together make it a great backpack for long hikes.
The last notable feature about this backpack is that it is made by a trusted brand. The materials, zippers, and features are all durable, meaning you won’t have to worry about it breaking prematurely.
Feels great. The backpack feels and looks awesome.
The one negative about the Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack is its price. This backpack is highly expensive. Those on a budget or those who don’t hike frequently should not pay for this backpack.
For extreme hikers, however, the price is worth it. The Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack is highly durable, comfortable, and functional, which allows it to aid your hiking experience, not distract it.
Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack Specifications
- Brand: Osprey
- Style: Day pack
- Material: Not listed
- Volume: Not listed
- Features: AntiGravity suspension, removable floating top lid, integrated FlapJacket. stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment, adjustable harness, fit-on-the-Fly hip belt to dial in perfect fit, internal hydration reservoir sleeve (up to 3L), front stretch mesh pocket, dual access stretch mesh side, dual upper and lower side compression straps, zippered hip belt pockets
Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack Pros and Cons
- Perfect fit
- Male and female sizes
- Comes with a lot of features
Our Final Opinion about the Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack
The Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack is the best overall backpack for serious hikers. Though its price may put it outside of some people’s budget, its specs and features are perfect for people looking for the best hiking backpack money can buy.
Our Alternative Pick for a Hiking Backpack
The Best Runner Up
The Osprey Stratos 34 is our best runner up because it is durable and comes with great specs. It specifically stands out as a day bag because its ventilation and interior organization are superior for hiking backpacks.
Osprey Stratos 34 Video Review
What We Think of The Osprey Stratos 34
If you weren’t quite sold on the Osprey Atmos AG 65L Backpack, but still want a great backpack, we recommend the Osprey Stratos 34. This backpack is comparable to our top pick in many ways, making it our best runner up.
The Osprey Stratos 34 is the right backpack for you if you need a backpack with panel-loading organization. It is also great for those who hike in hot or wet conditions, thanks to its impressive ventilation features.
This backpack has a single piece construction, which makes it much more breathable than other backpacks of its type. This construction is part of the fully adjustable AirSpeed back system that allows you to control back ventilation.
Aside from the superior ventilation, this backpack has a lot of compartments too. These compartments allow you to make the most of the 34 L capacity, which is small for long hikes but perfect for day hikes.
Excellent backpack!! The Stratosphere 34 is an excellent multipurpose backpack. The quality and finish are excellent and it was delivered very quickly.
Like our best overall hiking backpack, the Osprey Stratos 34 is very expensive. Once again, this model is not suited for those on a budget. This drawback is especially notable since this backpack is too small for anything other than day hikes, making it less versatile too.
Nevertheless, the Osprey Stratos 34 is our best runner up because of its superior ventilation, compartments, and features. Just know that this is not the best hiking backpack for extended trips.
Osprey Stratos 34 Specifications
- Brand: Osprey
- Style: Day paco
- Material: Nylon
- Volume: 34 L
- Features: Panel loading convenience, dual zippered panel access main compartment, front panel vertical center zippered pocket, front panel stash pocket, side stretch mesh pockets, larger top panel zip pocket, two side compression straps, inner hydration reservoir sleeve, stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment, ice tool loop with bungee tie-off
Osprey Stratos 34 Pros and Cons
- Great ventilation
- A lot of compartments
- A lot of features
- Best for day hikes
- Small capacity for extended hikes
Our Final Opinion about the Osprey Stratos 34
The Osprey Stratos 34 is a great choice if you are looking for a day bag. It is super lightweight all while providing superior ventilation and organization.
Our Budget Pick for a Hiking Backpack
The Best Value Pick
The Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack is our best value pick because it is highly affordable yet suitable for multiple hiking trips. This makes it perfect for those on a budget who need a versatile hiking bag.
What We Think of the Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack
If you are on a tight budget, our top two picks are likely out of your price range. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for an affordable hiking backpack. The Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack is the perfect option for those on a budget.
Since this backpack is our best value pick, we love how affordable this bag is. Costing a fraction of the other bags, this hiking backpack will be perfect for most everyone, regardless of the budget.
In addition to being highly affordable, the Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack is very durable and efficient. It is designed with ergonomic and comfortable features, ensuring that the backpack doesn’t disrupt your hike.
With a 60 L capacity, you can take this backpack for more extended hiking trips. Its 8 adjustable straps make it even better. These straps allow you hold a variety of items, such as a sleeping bag, tripod, or hammock. Despite its large capacity, it is lightweight!
Best value. Its light but still durable enough. It has a lot of pockets and feels comfortable. It is exactly as advertised.
Although this backpack is great for a number of reasons, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of too. One of the most important drawbacks to note is that it is frameless. Though this makes the backpack lightweight, it also makes the backpack less comfortable. Those with back pain should definitely opt for another bag for this reason.
With these factors in mind, the Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack is a great choice if you are on a tight budget. Although it is not without its faults, this backpack is affordable, efficient, and suited for short and long trips.
Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack Specifications
- Brand: Bseash
- Style: Day pack
- Material: Polyester
- Volume: 60 L
- Features: Padded shoulder straps, adjustable shoulder straps, ultralight, waterproof, lightweight, foldable, water resistant, tear resistant
Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack Pros and Cons
- Large capacity
- Suitable for long and short hiking trips
- Does not have a frame
Our Final Opinion About the Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack
The Bseash 60L Waterproof Lightweight Hiking Backpack is the best choice if you are on a tight budget. There are certainly better hiking backpacks out there, but you won’t find a bag priced anywhere close to this one.
Our Younger’s Pick for a Hiking Backpack
The Best For Children
The Deuter Fox 40 Backpack is our favorite pick for youngers. Because of its smaller frame and customizable bar length, this backpack is the perfect size for children and even grows with them!
Deuter Fox 40 Backpack Video Review
What We Think of The Deuter Fox 40 Backpack
Your child will love to go hiking with you, but they need to carry their own weight. Make sure that your child is comfortable by getting them a backpack suited to their small frame. We recommend the Deuter Fox 40 Backpack for youngers.
This backpack is specifically made for a child’s smaller frame. This allows the child to hike with the backpack much more comfortably. With a 40 L capacity, this backpack provides enough space for extended hikes without weighing too heavily on your child’s back either.
At the same time, the bag accounts for the fact that children grow quickly. To ensure you don’t have to buy another hiking backpack for your child after their next growth spurt, it comes with a customizable length. It features a VariQuick back length adjustment system, allowing the bag to grow with your child.
On top of these specs, the backpack comes with many features, including load adjustment straps, ice axe attachment, walking pole holder, and more. These features allow your child to keep up with you, no matter the journey.
MY 11 YEARS OLD SON, LOVED IT, FITS WELL, AND HIKE TETONS MOUNTAINS HAPPY TO CARY THE CAMPING EQUIPMENT.
One thing you may not like about this backpack is its price. Although it is not as expensive as our top pick, it is certainly more expensive than our budget pick. If you are on a budget, you may not want to pay for a child’s backpack this expensive.
Despite its price, the Deuter Fox 40 Backpack is the perfect hiking backpack for your little traveler. Its smaller frame, matched with the customized bar length, makes it perfect for your younger.
Deuter Fox 40 Backpack Specifications
- Brand: Deuter
- Style: Day pack
- Material: Not listed
- Volume: 40 L
- Features : Contact System, VariQuick System, pull-forward hip fins, compact hip fins, load adjustment straps, adjustable sternum belt, SOS label, ice Axe Attachment, walking pole holder, lid compartment, bottom compartment, compatible with 3.0 liter drinking system/bag, special compartment in the inside of the backpack to keep your valuables safe, elasticated inner compartment for storing wet/sweaty clothing, water reservoir, etc., compression straps, hip fin with loops
Deuter Fox 40 Backpack Pros and Cons
- Perfect size for children
- Comes with a customizable bar length
- Comes with a lot of features
Our Final Opinion About the Deuter Fox 40 Backpack
The Deuter Fox 40 Backpack is the best hiking backpack choice for children. Although it is expensive, it grows with your child and fits their body perfectly.
Alternative Products to Consider
Gregory Amber 44 Backpack Review
The Women’s Pick
The Gregory Amber 44 Backpack is an impressive women’s hiking backpack. It is perfectly designed for smaller frames, but it still packs all the power and functionality of large bags.
Gregory Amber 44 Backpack Video Review
What We Think of The Gregory Amber 44 Backpack
If you are looking for a women’s hiking backpack specifically, we recommend the Gregory Amber 44 Backpack. This backpack is made for women’s body while remaining highly durable and functional.
Because this backpack is made for women, the length of the torso is much shorter than men’s backpacks. It also comes with adjustable hip belts and other fit features. These aspects make the backpack perfect for people with smaller frames, women and men alike.
The backpack is very efficient too. It comes with numerous features that allow the backpack to aid your hiking experience. Just a few of its features include rain cover integration, sleeping bag compartment, and dual trekking pole.
Something else we like about this backpack is its capacity – it is perfect for day and extending hiking trips alike. The 44 L capacity isn’t too heavy for a day, but it’s not to small for a few nights either, allowing the bag to be used frequently.
This is a great pack. Very comfortable and with the adjustable harness fits very well. Good pockets and excellent storage. Hip pockets now larger so will hold plus size phones and compact cameras. Highly recommended!
Like many of the other hiking backpacks on this list, one complaint we have about the Gregory Amber 44 Backpack is its price. It is pretty expensive, making it less suited for those on a tight budget. At least it is very versatile.
Other than that, the Gregory Amber 44 Backpack is a great women’s hiking backpack. It is comfortably designed for slimmer frames, while still packing the functionality and features of other top hiking backpacks.
Gregory Amber 44 Backpack Specifications
- Brand: Gregory
- Style: Day pack
- Material: Polyester
- Volume: 44 L
- Features: Adjustable TrailFlex suspension, TrailFlex adjustable hip belts, TrailFlex ventilation, wishbone spring steel frame, rain cover integration, dual zippered hip belt pockets, dual side pockets, front stretched of pocket, floating top lid, solar ready, reinforced bottom panel, dual trekking pole, dual compression, sleeping bag compartment
Gregory Amber 44 Backpack Pros and Cons
- Designed for smaller frames
- Moderate capacity
- Suitable for long and short trips
Our Final Opinion about the Gregory Amber 44 Backpack
The Gregory Amber 44 Backpack is a great choice if you are looking for a women’s backpack. Although it is a bit expensive, it is highly functional and fits perfectly along slimmer frames.
Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35 Review
The Men’s Pick
The Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35 is our men’s pick because it has a long torso, making it better suited for larger frames. It is also very functional, though it is expensive and not ideal for extended hiking trips.
Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35 Video Review
What We Think of The Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35
If you are very tall and bulky, you probably want the opposite of a slim bag. If that sounds like you, we recommend the Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35. This backpack is very large, making it perfect for taller hikers.
This backpack is made from nylon and polyester, as well as a very lightweight frame. This makes the backpack incredibly lightweight as a whole, meaning it should not weigh too heavily on your shoulders.
Even if it does, it comes with a variety of comfort and accessory features such as a quick access skirt collar opening, foam shoulder straps, and a flat padded base. All these features enhance comfortability and functionality of the backpack.
As with every other backpack on this list, the Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35 comes with a few drawbacks. For example, its incredibly long length makes it less suited for women or short males.
This bag rocks !! Tempted to get the smaller version as well.
Additionally, it is pretty expensive. Especially when you factor in its small capacity, it doesn’t come with a lot of value since you cannot use this for extended hikes. Its small capacity only makes it suited for day hikes.
If you are looking for a hiking backpack with a long torso, however, the Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35 is a great choice. It is specifically designed for men who are tall. Plus, it comes with many functional features, even though it cannot hold a lot and costs quite a bit.
Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35 Specifications
- Brand: Mountain-Hardwear
- Style: Hiking
- Material: Nylon and polyester
- Volume: 35 L
- Features: Contoured ventilated back panel, lightweight frame sheet, quick access skirt collar opening, removable top lid, dual density foam shoulder straps, hydration system compatible, side pockets, Forward-Access gear loop, full length dual daisy chains, flat padded base
Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35 Pros and Cons
- Long torso
- Many features
- Small capacity
- Not suitable for smaller frames
Our Final Opinion about the Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35
If you are looking for a men’s hiking backpack, you likely need one with a long torso. The Mountain-Hardwear Scrambler 35 is a great choice, although it is expensive and is not suited for extended hiking trips.
TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack Review
The Versatile Pick
The TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack is our versatile pick because it has a very big capacity, but it is also lightweight, making it a great choice for versatile hikers.
TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack Video Review
What We Think of The TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack
Do you like to go on day hikes sometimes but long hiking trips others? If so, you need a backpack that is versatile enough for all hiking experiences. We recommend the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack for this type of a hiker.
This hiking backpack has a 55 L capacity, yet it only weighs 4.5 lbs. This large capacity and lightweight makes it perfect for versatile hikers. It has enough room for your extended trips, but it won’t feel too heavy or bulky for day hikes either.
Something else we really like about this hiking backpack is that it comes with customizable comfort. Its torso is designed with a multi-position adjustment, allowing it to fit many body types. It also features an open cell foam lumbar pad and molded channels for superior comfort and ventilation.
As our last pick, it’s obvious that this backpack will come with some drawbacks. For starters, it is a bit pricey. It isn’t as expensive as many of the other backpacks on this list, but it certainly isn’t very affordable either.
Another issue with this backpack is that it doesn’t uphold heavy wear and tear very well. Multiple users posted pictures of how the backpack quality fades with use.
I’ve been using this for a couple of years. Sturdy, comfortable, and well built. I’ve filled it to its capacity and had no problems with zippers giving out. A lot of straps for carrying. I’ve been impressed with this bag and expect to stay with the brand when I upgrade. Can’t beat the quality for its price.
With these drawbacks aside, the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack is the best backpack for versatile use. It has a large capacity, but it isn’t too heavy either. Just try to be gentle with it since it doesn’t age well.
TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack Specifications
- Brand: TETON
- Style: Backpacking
- Material: Oxford cloth
- Volume: 55 L
- Features: Light frame, sleeping bag compartment, compression straps, exterior pockets, multi position torso adjustment, open cell phone lumbar pad, molded channels
TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack Pros and Cons
- Large capacity
- Many features
- Doesn’t age well
Our Final Opinion About the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack
The TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack may not be the best quality, but it is great for versatile use. We recommend this for hikers who like changing up the distance and duration of their hikes.
Why Should You Trust Us?
All our recommendations on The Good Choice are the result of many weeks or months of research, comparisons, analyses of user’s ratings and if need be, interviews with experts and scientists. You will quickly notice that the products we suggest here are not the most expensive or the most trendy: they are those that will best perform their daily tasks, passing all security, reliability and efficiency tests while having an appealing price-quality ratio for everyone.
In the end, the products we recommend are those we would have wanted to buy, or those we will choose for our friends and family.
Things to Know Before Buying a Hiking Backpack
What kind of hiking backpacks are there?
There are different types of hiking backpacks on the market. Most backpacks are defined by their size and ideal hiking duration. The most common hiking backpacks include weekend, multiday, and extended trip backpacks.
Weekend backpacks are best when you are hiking for 1 to 3 nights, and they hold between 30 and 50 liters inside. Multiday backpacks are suited for 3 to 5 nights and can hold between 50 and 80 liters. Finally, extended trips are more than 5 days long. These backpacks hold over 70 liters.
You can also select hiking backpacks based on their frame. There are internal, external, and frameless backpacks. The majority of hiking backpacks have an internal frame because they are lighter and have better load support technology. External frame packs are ideal if you have odd sized items to hold, but they are not very common.
Frameless backpacks are best for day trips or those wanting an incredibly lightweight experience. These backpacks will typically only have the fabric material, and they do not provide as much support.
What features are best for a hiking backpack?
There are multiple features that can come with a hiking backpack, the most important include proper ventilation, convenient pack access, and pockets. These three features are the most essential for any hiking backpack.
More experienced or serious hikers may want to look for additional features, such as a removable day pack, sleeping bag compartment, attachment points, hydration reservoir, or rain cover.
How should a hiking backpack fit?
It’s highly important that you get a backpack that fits your body correctly. An ill fitting hiking backpack can make your hike extremely painful and uncomfortable. To begin, you want to get a backpack that matches your torso length. Most hiking backpacks come in multiple sizes, allowing you to select a pack that matches your torso.
It’s also important to look at the waist size. The bulk of the backpack’s weight will be supported by the hip. If the waist is too big for your hips, it will be difficult to carry the weight in your hip’s safely and comfortably.
If you have a small frame, you might want to look at women specific backpacks or youth specific backpacks. These backpacks will be smaller and include features that are more suited for a smaller frame.
What is the difference between a female and male hiking backpack?
Male backpacks are designed for the male body, whereas female backpacks typically have a design that is more suited to the female body. For example, they often have a shorter torso, curved straps, and extra padding.
Women who are 6 feet tall tend to prefer men’s backpacks, though, which is why it is completely normal to get the backpack that does not match your gender. What matters most is that the backpack feels comfortable around your body.
How to Properly Choose Your Hiking Backpack
In order to make the most of your hiking experience, you need the best hiking backpack for your needs, body, and hiking adventures. To help you pick out the best hiking backpack for you, consider the five factors below. These factors can help you determine which hiking backpack on our list or elsewhere is right for you.
Your Hiking Style (Location, Duration, Etc.)
The very first factor you should consider when selecting a hiking backpack is your hiking style. This includes the location you intend to hike in the most and the duration of your trips. Your hiking style will largely narrow down hiking backpacks for you.
For example, you will want a lightweight and well ventilated backpack if you are hiking in warm conditions for long periods of time. You will likely need less gear because of the warmer environment. Conversely, you will likely need a large backpack if you are hiking in cold temperatures, unpredictable weather, or tough terrain.
Because hiking backpacks see a whole lot of wear and tear, it’s important to look at the material of the backpack. The most impressive hiking backpacks are made with nylon or polyester material that has some wind and water resistance.
Pay special attention to the zippers on the backpack. Zippers are one of the first locations that break on bags. You want the zippers to be reinforced so that they last longer.
In order for a hiking backpack to do its job, it needs to fit comfortably. It’s important to select a backpack that matches your torso length and waist size. If you know you have a smaller frame, it’s a good idea to look at women’s backpacks simply because they are more designed for people who are smaller.
After looking at backpacks that match your size, it’s important to test out the backpack for yourself. If it doesn’t feel comfortable as you are trying it on, it certainly won’t feel comfortable after a long hike.
Once you have looked at the most important aspects of a hiking bag, you can move on to more luxury items, such as the additional features. Hiking backpacks can come with a multitude of additional features, such as hooks, sleeping bag compartments, rain cover, hydration pack, and more.
You want the features to match your hiking style. It’s a good idea to look for features you know you will use instead of features that just sound nice. After all, features will make the backpack cost more. There’s no point in spending extra money on a backpack if you know you won’t use the features that make it expensive.
Finally, the last factor to consider is cost. Hiking backpacks come in a wide range of price. If you consider regular backpacks, the price range gets even wider.
It’s good idea to match the cost of the backpack to your expected usage. For example, splurge on a super durable and useful hiking backpack if you expect to use it a lot. On the other hand, you can select a budget option if you don’t intend to use it all the time.
We do our best to provide you with a comparative guide of hiking backpacks allowing you to choose the best product possible. If we are missing information or new models, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or to send us a message.