The Best Hiking Backpacks for Unforgettable Adventures

Are you ready to embark on your next hiking adventure? Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just starting out, having the right backpack is essential. From durability to comfort, a reliable backpack is your trusted...

Are you ready to embark on your next hiking adventure? Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just starting out, having the right backpack is essential. From durability to comfort, a reliable backpack is your trusted companion on the trails. As an experienced hiker, I've tested out numerous backpacks to find the best ones suited for various styles, sizes, and functions. So, if you're in need of a new backpack or looking to upgrade, here's my list of the best hiking backpacks to enhance your outdoor experience.

Best Overall: Osprey Talon 33

Osprey Talon 33 The Osprey Talon 33 is your go-to backpack for any hiking adventure. Here's why:

  • Perfect Size: With a 33L capacity, this backpack strikes the ideal balance between storage space and mobility.
  • Customizable Fit: The Talon 33 is adjustable to fit your torso, ensuring maximum comfort on long hikes.
  • Breathable Design: The "AirScape" mesh backpanel keeps you cool, even on hot days.
  • Organizational Excellence: Stay organized with multiple pockets and compartments, making it easy to access your essentials.
  • Versatile: The Talon 33 securely holds hiking poles, a snow axe, a water bladder, and more, making it perfect for a variety of outdoor activities.


  • Ample space for layers and gear
  • Comfortable, even when partially packed


  • S/M back panel may be too long for smaller women
  • Straps can be a bit long, even when the bag is full

When it comes to finding the best hiking backpack, the Osprey Talon 33 tops the list. It's the ultimate combination of functionality, comfort, and durability. Whether you're embarking on a day hike or an overnight adventure, this backpack has got you covered.

Best Hydration Pack: CamelBak Cloud Walker 18

CamelBak Cloud Walker 18 Quench your thirst on the go with the CamelBak Cloud Walker 18:

  • Great Water Capacity: With a 2.5-liter Crux™ reservoir, you'll stay hydrated throughout your hike.
  • Compact and Comfortable: The Cloud Walker 18 is designed for easy carrying and comfort, making it perfect for day hikes.
  • Secure Reservoir Tube: The plastic clip on the right shoulder strap keeps the reservoir tube secure while you walk.
  • No-Frills Design: This no-nonsense pack gets the job done without unnecessary features.


  • Breathable and well-ventilated
  • Compact and comfortable
  • Secure reservoir tube


  • No waist strap
  • Bottle holders instead of a zipper side pocket

For shorter hiking trips where water is your main gear, the CamelBak Cloud Walker 18 is an excellent choice. It's lightweight, practical, and keeps you hydrated on the go.

Best Kids' Hiking Backpack: CamelBak Kids' Mini M.U.L.E. 50oz Hydration Pack

CamelBak Kids' Mini M.U.L.E. 50oz Hydration Pack Introduce your little ones to the joy of hiking with the CamelBak Kids' Mini M.U.L.E. 50oz Hydration Pack:

  • Perfect Size for Kids: This 50-ounce pack is specifically designed for children, offering them a sense of independence and responsibility.
  • Compact and Easy to Organize: The Mini M.U.L.E. is lightweight and easy to organize, with multiple pockets for their essentials.
  • Versatile for Adults: This smaller pack can also double as a lightweight option for adults on shorter trips or trail runs.
  • Fun and Colorful Designs: With a wide range of bright colors and cool patterns, kids will love the Mini M.U.L.E.


  • Super compact and easy to organize
  • Wide range of bright colors and designs
  • Fits a large bladder


  • Challenging to insert a full bladder into the pack
  • Some difficulty in fitting thicker layers in the body compartment

The Mini M.U.L.E. is the ideal companion for young adventurers. It encourages independence and makes hiking enjoyable for kids of all sizes. Plus, its versatility means adults can also benefit from this lightweight pack.

Best Lightweight Hiking Backpack: Deckers X Lab NVRSTP

Deckers X Lab NVRSTP Experience the perfect hybrid backpack with the Deckers X Lab NVRSTP:

  • Ultralight and Snug to Body: Weighing only 1 pound, 5.7 ounces, this backpack sits comfortably on your body, providing a snug fit.
  • Organized and Versatile: With 19 pockets, including a built-in wet bag, pole holders, and carabiner assist, the NVRSTP is great for outdoor enthusiasts who value organization.
  • Ideal for Fastpacking and Scrambling: This backpack is designed for endurance athletes, offering lightweight convenience for intense hikes and runs.


  • Ultra-lightweight and snug to the body
  • Organized and perfect for holding fishing rods
  • Ideal for fastpacking and high-alpine scrambling


  • Front pockets may feel cluttered if not fully utilized
  • Excess cords can be cumbersome
  • Items may fall out of the "C-shaped" main pocket if opened while wearing the backpack

For those seeking a lightweight and versatile backpack, the Deckers X Lab NVRSTP is the ultimate choice. Its unique features and customizable options cater to the needs of endurance athletes and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Best Sling Hiking Backpack: Patagonia Guidewater Submersible Waterproof Sling 15L

Patagonia Guidewater Submersible Waterproof Sling 15L Stay dry and organized with the Patagonia Guidewater Submersible Waterproof Sling 15L:

  • Durable and Waterproof: This fully submersible backpack is made from 100% recycled nylon and is perfect for wet and rugged conditions.
  • Comfortable and Supportive: The padded shoulder strap and additional support strap ensure a secure fit, even on steep hikes.
  • Versatile Design: The Guidewater Sling is not only great for hiking but also doubles as a reliable fishing backpack.
  • Thoughtful Features: With a fishing rod holder, net pocket, and removable organizer, this backpack keeps your gear easily accessible and well-organized.


  • Fully submersible
  • Extremely supportive for a sling
  • Great for carrying lightweight fishing gear


  • Sling style may not appeal to everyone's preference
  • Limited to one main body pocket and internal organizer

The Patagonia Guidewater Submersible Waterproof Sling 15L combines durability, functionality, and style. Whether you're hiking or fishing, this backpack has everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors.

Best Hiking Backpack for Fishing: Orvis Bug-Out Backpack

Orvis Bug-Out Backpack Make fishing expeditions a breeze with the Orvis Bug-Out Backpack:

  • Sustainable Design: Made from 100% recycled Cordura ECO fabric, this backpack is not only great for fishing but also helps reduce environmental impact.
  • Storage Convenience: The Bug-Out Backpack features top and side-entry access, net and rod storage, and various pockets to keep your fishing gear organized.
  • Versatility: With an internal pocket for a hydration bladder or laptop, this backpack can double as an everyday carry-all.
  • Comfort and Support: The chest and hip straps provide extra stability, ensuring a comfortable fit even on long hikes.


  • Extremely organized storage compartments
  • Comfortable and supportive for extended hikes
  • Versatile for multiple outdoor activities


  • Waist strap could benefit from more padding and support
  • May fit slightly loose on smaller adults, even when fully tightened
  • Rod tube extension is a bit tight

The Orvis Bug-Out Backpack is a reliable companion for fishing enthusiasts. Its exceptional organization, comfort, and sustainable design make it the ultimate choice for angling adventures.

Best Backpacks for Backpacking

If you're planning a backpacking adventure, consider these top picks:

Osprey Aether and Ariel

Osprey Aether and Ariel The Osprey Aether (men's) and Ariel (women's) are versatile backpacking packs that deliver superior performance:

  • Customizable Fit: These packs come in various sizes and models, ensuring a perfect fit for every adventurer.
  • Comfort and Breathability: The packs are designed to carry heavy loads while keeping your back breathable and comfortable.
  • Organizational Excellence: Stay organized during your backpacking trips with the numerous pockets and compartments offered by these packs.
  • Durability: Osprey is known for its quality craftsmanship, guaranteeing that these packs will withstand the test of time.

The Osprey Aether and Ariel are backpacking classics that offer comfort, durability, and exceptional functionality. Whether you're embarking on a weekend trip or a longer excursion, these packs have everything you need.

ALPS Nomad RT 75

Looking for a backpack with adjustable load capacity? The ALPS Nomad RT 75 is your go-to backpacking companion:

  • Versatility: The rolltop feature allows the pack to adjust from 65L to 85L, making it suitable for various backpacking needs.
  • Adjustable Fit: This pack offers an adjustable torso and a removable waist strap, allowing you to customize the fit.
  • Easy Access: The front zippers provide easy access to the main compartment, while the exterior pocket keeps essentials within reach.

The ALPS Nomad RT 75 offers a balance between adjustability and simplicity, making it a great choice for backpacking enthusiasts who appreciate customization without compromising convenience.

SWD Long Haul Internal Frame

Looking for a backpack that perfectly fits your body type? The SWD Long Haul Internal Frame is your answer:

  • Customizable Options: This pack offers a range of customization options, including fabric colors, internal pack capacity, torso/frame sizes, and hip belt sizes.
  • Perfect Fit: With the ability to fine-tune the pack to your body, you can say goodbye to discomfort and enjoy a backpack that's tailor-made for you.

The SWD Long Haul Internal Frame provides a level of customization rarely seen in backpacks. If you struggle to find the right fit, this pack will ensure optimum comfort throughout your backpacking journey.

Best Backpacks Made From Sustainable Materials

If you're passionate about eco-friendly gear, these backpacks are for you:

Cotopaxi Tarak 20L Del Dia Backpack

Cotopaxi Tarak 20L Del Dia Backpack Discover the perfect blend of sustainability and functionality with the Cotopaxi Tarak 20L Del Dia Backpack:

  • Sustainable Design: Each backpack is made from 100% repurposed materials, reducing waste and offering a unique design.
  • Compact and Lightweight: The Tarak 20L is ideal for day hikes, with a hydration sleeve and multiple pockets for organization.
  • No-Frills Design: This backpack keeps it simple with three pockets, an ice tool system, and minimal toggles and loops.
  • Comfortable and Durable: Despite its thin fabric, the Tarak 20L is impressively durable and comfortable, making it perfect for smaller frames.

The Cotopaxi Tarak 20L Del Dia Backpack goes beyond practicality and sustainability. Its unique design and dedication to repurposed materials make it a standout choice for environmentally-conscious hikers.


GOT BAG ROLLTOP Equip yourself with the world's first backpack made of ocean plastic with the GOT BAG ROLLTOP:

  • Eco-Friendly Materials: This backpack is made from ocean plastic, collected by Indonesian fishermen and transformed into durable polyester fabric.
  • Waterproof and Durable: The ROLLTOP features an eco-friendly organic polyurethane coating, ensuring exceptional waterproofing and durability.
  • Thoughtful Design: This backpack boasts thick, sturdy straps, inner and outer pockets, and a design comparable to other synthetic backpacks.
  • Ongoing Innovation: GOT BAG continues to develop new features based on customer feedback, including waist straps and water bottle side pockets.

By choosing the GOT BAG ROLLTOP, you contribute to ocean conservation while enjoying a high-quality, eco-friendly backpack. It's a win-win for both you and our planet.

How to Choose the Best Hiking Backpack

Choosing the perfect hiking backpack depends on your specific needs and preferences. Consider the following factors:

  • Hiking Style: Determine the type of hikes you enjoy and the gear you typically carry.
  • Size and Capacity: Assess the volume of storage space you require for your gear.
  • Fit: Ensure a proper fit by considering your measurements and consulting with experts if needed.
  • Special Features: Identify any additional features that are important to you, such as hydration compatibility or specialized pockets.

Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, it's easier to find the right backpack for your hiking adventures.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to hiking, having the right backpack can make all the difference. Your backpack is your trusty companion, carrying everything you need for unforgettable outdoor experiences. So, choose wisely and invest in a backpack that suits your style, size, and function. Whether you opt for one of the backpacks mentioned in this roundup or use them as a guide to find a quality used pack, you're on your way to incredible hiking adventures. Stay prepared, stay curious, and let the trails guide you to new heights.