Whether you’re planning an epic through-hike or a quick weekend jaunt, keeping your pack weight down is key. The entire outdoor industry is going light, and there’s a good reason why. The lightweight backpacking backpack is way more comfortable and enjoyable.
Gone are the days when backpacking consisted of strapping on a huge external frame and lumbering through the forest with an aching body. Trends in backpacks these days air towards minimalism and thoughtful ergonomic design.
The most important factor when choosing a backpacking pack is to pick something that is comfortable. Next, you want your backpack to be as lightweight as possible while still being incredibly tough and durable.
But quality hiking backpacks are not cheap, and whilst there are some good value options on the market, it’s best to think of this purchase as an investment. That’s why we put together this list of the best backpacking packs on the market. We’ve researched dozens of lightweight backpacks to narrow this list down to the very best of the best.
From ultra-lightweight bags for minimalists and through-hikers to comfort-oriented options for weekend warriors and extended trips, these are our favorite backpacking packs that excel in carrying comfort, organization, and weight.
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- TETON Scout 3400
- NERO Rhino Backpack
- OSPREY Talon and Tempest Pro
- KELTY Coyote 65
- Deuter Speed Light 20L
- Berghaus Ridgeway 65 plus 10L
- Gregory Alpinisto 50 pack
- The North Face Terra 65
- Osprey Xena 85
- Granite Gear Blaze 60L
The Scout 3400 comes in a variety of colors and will hold 3,400 cubic inches or 55 liters of gear. It’s a great pack for light backpacking trips that last two to four days. Its shell is made from 600D diamond ripstop and 600D Oxford canvas that will hold up to years of rugged use.
It has a fully adjustable fit in the torso and waist belt. The shoulder straps have upper load adjustment for balance. Once you’re all packed, the thick padded shoulder straps, foam lumbar pad, and molded back panels will help you carry the load longer and more comfortably.
You’ll get the most out of the space provided because the Scout 3400 backpack has a large sleeping bag compartment, multi-directional compression straps, and multiple compartments and pockets arranged for strategic packing. If you find yourself out in the rain, you can keep your gear dry with the included rainfly.
The Nero is a minimalist, ultra-light frameless backpack perfect for hikers with low base weights looking to comfortably carry 20 pounds or less. Since its made with Dyneema composite fabric or aerobic, the Nero’s pack material is waterproof. Seams on the DCF versions are sealed with Dyneema composite fabric tape, making the packs highly water-resistant.
The Nero includes the same buckles featured on the Arc series backpacks. It also includes integrated roll-top closure straps that allow you to compress your pack’s volume. The side straps can be used to help stand up taller items in the side pockets. Along the side and front, you will find a variety of loops for attaching optional add-ons like the top-side pockets, shock cord lashing, and ice axe loops.
The shoulder straps are constructed from comfy 3D mesh that features a daisy chain to attach accessories like the optional shoulder pouch. The sternum strap is adjustable and can be moved up or down as needed. The Nero side pockets are large and sized to fit a standard one-liter bottle or two tall water bottles. Featuring elastic in the opening and a drain hole for wet days on the trail.
The pockets are positioned low on the pack and slanted forward for accessibility. The front mesh pocket is large enough to store a tent for drying or to hold the gear you want to access quickly. The included webbing belt has a maximum adjustment of 56 inches and can be removed if not needed.
Three belt positions allow you to move the belt up or down to fit a range of torso heights. Padded belt pouches are also available for purchase for those who desire extra cushioning and storage space. A closed-cell foam sit pad is included to provide cushion and support when on your back.
The sit pad is held securely by a shock cord and can easily be removed to sit on during breaks. Both the shock cord and sit pad can be removed if not desired. There are two loops available for adjusting the shock cord to fit a larger sit pad on the back.
The Talon and Tempest Pro offer upgraded durability and weight savings with Osprey’s Nano Fly fabric and design enhancements, making it perfect for full-day technical pursuits or light and fast missions. It’s designed to optimize stability during committing adventures such as bike packing or alpine climbing while maintaining ventilation and comfort.
The Talon Pro comes in 30 and 20 liters, while the Tempest Pro comes in 28 and 18 liters. These packs are designed to have a close-to-body fit that moves with you thanks to the BioStretch harness, continuous wrap hip belt, and injection molded ridge foam Airscape back panel. they’ve also designed the Tempest Pro with women’s specific fit in mind.
The Talon Tempest Pros are constructed with both ultra-lightweight Nano Fly and quality Blue Sign-approved recycled high-tenacity nylon.
The Talon and Tempest Pro packs have all the features you need to achieve your outdoor objectives, including a top panel external zipper slash pocket, an internal zippered mesh pocket with key clip, easy access expandable stretch mesh harness pocket, a large stretch woven front panel pocket, tuck away ice axe attachments with bungee tie off, dual upper and lower side compression straps, stretch woven side pockets, and external hydration reservoir sleeve, dual zippered fabric hip belt pockets, lid lock bike helmet attachment, and a blinker light attachment.
The Talon Pro 30 and Tempest Pro 28 feature a wide mouth bucket-style main compartment opening for easy access to your most important gear. The Talon Pro 20 and Tempest Pro 18 have dual zippered panel access and lid lock bike helmet attachment for added convenience on multi-sport adventures.
The Coyote 65 pack is built to carry life on your back in the great outdoors without stretches on your mind or on your body. This pack is equipped with the new AMP Flow ventilated back panel to keep you cool and comfortable. The advanced perimeter frame provides superior load transfer and stability, featuring the customizable fit Pro quick and easy torso adjustment system. This pack is super comfortable on the go.
To keep everything nice and stable, there are load lifters up top and hip belt stabilizers down here. The Coyote has all the pockets you need to stay organized on the trail. The zipper for the floating lid is on the side, making it easy for your hiking partner to grab your sunnies.
On the inside, there’s an organizing pocket and a clip for keys. Inside the spacious main compartment, there’s a hydration sleeve. Out front, this zippered pocket is a great spot to stash an extra layer. It has signature wing side pockets that can easily fit your favorite Nalgene, while the pass-behind functionality means you can slide in a fly rod and secure it in one of the side mesh pockets.
You can also attach your trekking poles to the tool loops and secure the tops under the side compression straps. Down low, the zipper access lets you get at your sleeping bag quickly. The two hip belt pockets are the ideal spot for your needed now items.
The patented strap design allows you to switch between a duffel bag and a backpack, you never have to worry about dangling straps again. Whether you’re headed to the gym, the office, or a weekend getaway, the 30L travel bag will hold everything you need and more. You’ll find your things easily with pockets designed specifically for shoes, liquids, tick, and everything in between.
The features include a full perimeter zipper, RFID safe Pocket, Roller back sleeve, mesh Pockets, a cord pass-through with an easy access pocket, a water bottle pocket, a water-resistant pocket, a shoe compartment that fits two pairs of shoes with a ventilated door and more.
They know traveling can be rough on your belongings so they engineered this bag to be durable and long-lasting. The bag is created with water-resistant materials and zippers that will keep your precious cargo safe.
6. Berghaus Ridgeway 65 plus 10L
If you like to have your stuff neatly organized in pockets and compartments of all shapes and sizes, then Berghaus Ridgeway 65 plus 10L hiking backpack is exactly what you need. It’s made from durable polyester, it has got plenty of storage for you to stock up on maps, snacks, and other Essentials that will help you along the way.
Besides, you are given the opportunity to expand the side pockets and give yourself 10 more liters of space to store things like electronic gadgets, a few sets of clothes, and a technical and lightweight tent.
Apart from having zippers all throughout, the hiking backpack has got a bio-fit system that ensures optimal comfort where regardless of your body size and shape. You can further adjust the fit with the height and chest harnesses and a hip belt that has even more pockets for you to make use of.
If you are looking for the best backpack for an Alpine Expedition search no more, the Gregory Alphinisto is one of the best backpacks for hiking because it is specially designed for winter environments.
The pack comes with a ski-carrying system and a variety of removable components ideal for snowy Journeys. It is a great backpacking backpack as well and you could definitely use it on a trip around the world.
The Gregory Alpinisto is super practical since it has numerous gear loops and other attachment sections.
Additionally, it comes with lash points glove-friendly hardware, and hip belt padding, and if you are a winter hiking fan this is probably the best hiking pack made by Gregory for Mountain expeditions.
Lighter, tougher, and more technical than ever, the Alpinisto 50 brings the best in materials, features, and construction for demanding Alpine situations. Its top-loading design also offers full side zipper access with a split top skirt design, an oversized reinforced front panel cramp in a pocket, and a removable lid compartment for smaller items.
Comfortable and breathable back panel with a floating lid molded hip belt, and zippered side entry, are just some of the features of the North Face Terra hiking backpack.
This Sleek looking hiking companion will quickly find its place in your closet alongside other backpacking essentials due to its user-friendly design and an abundance of organizational storage. It has got an optic suspension system that guarantees a secure, snug fit, and padded shoulder straps that foster the highest level of comfort possible.
The hip belt is designed to store all of your Essentials at your fingertips while also being built from the softest air mesh fabric. This is particularly important for prolonged hikes that cannot handle digging into the hips feeling for too long.
Access to your stuff is granted to you by the spacious zippered side entry and the bottom pocket that stores your sleeping bag.
A hiking backpack that takes on the challenges that lie ahead of you is what Osprey Xena 85 liters is all about. Wild Expeditions that require long hours of Exploration are what the manufacturer had in mind when designing a tenacious backpack with adjustable bio-form, torso harness, and an airspace back panel that provides you with comfort and ventilation.
The star-on-the-go feature is unique to this model and is Handy for quickly attaching trekking poles to the pack. The customizable bio-form CM hip belt allows you to proportionately distribute the weight while also providing you with enough storage.
You will find a lower base compartment, zips, and dual side zips that give you direct access to your stuff without having to open the backpack from the top. We found these features to be helpful when you are out and about with zero time to waste.
The Granite Gear Blaze hiking backpack presents an excellent blend of comfort construction and durability. The air current frame is a relatively new feature that allows you to align the load with your torso size and fit it snugly. This is particularly essential for times when the load is big and the hike is long.
The refit hit belt along with the molded foam back panel makes it easy for you to pack up to 50 pounds of stuff without worrying about jam-packing your backpack to the brim and ruining it.
The high abrasion fabric known as robic nylon equips the bag with unheard-of durability that exceeds any other hiking backpack’s longevity. You will find a cinch and roll closure system that allows you to quickly access your stuff while also preventing it from getting wet. The lift of the backpack is completely removable which means that you can use it as a chest bag that stores all of your Essentials.