Backpacks

Whether you’re setting off on an alpine climb, afternoon trail run, or extended thru hike, you need a pack to carry your outdoor gear and essentials while on the go.

Below you'll find our top picks for the best backpacks for hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, trail running, and more, thanks to hundreds of independent reviews by real hikers, backpackers, alpinists, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

From field-tested ultralight packs to load haulers to kid carriers to hydration packs, our reviewers have shared their real-world experience to help you select an appropriate, dependable backpack for your next outdoor adventure. Find your pack. Pack your gear. Head out.

Learn more about how to choose a backpack below »

Category

Daypacks
Overnight
Weekend
Expedition
External Frame
Winter Packs
Hydration Packs
Front Packs
Lumbar/Hip Packs
Child Carriers
Dry Packs
Portage Packs
Rope Bags
Accessories

Brands

ULA Equipment
CamelBak
Osprey
Gregory
Deuter
Granite Gear
Patagonia
Equinox
Sea to Summit
Kelty

User

Unisex
Men's
Women's
Kids'
Girls'

Price

less than $25
$25 - $49.99
$50 - $99.99
$100 - $199.99
$200 - $299.99
$300 - $399.99
$400 - $499.99
$500 and above

Top-Rated Backpacks

Sort by: name | rating | price | availability | recently reviewed

Osprey Mutant 28 Daypack
$130
Marmot Rogue Overnight Pack
$50
Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L Weekend Pack
$199
Patagonia Stealth Hip Pack Lumbar/Hip Pack
$119
Kelty Coyote 75 Expedition Pack
$200
Fjallraven Foldsack No. 1 Daypack
$100 - $110
Boreas Gear Buttermilks 40 Overnight Pack
$70 - $123
Marmot Axial Daypack
$68
Backcountry Access Float 42 Avalanche Airbag Pack
$49 - $489
Montane Torque 40 Overnight Pack
$114
 
MindShift Rotation180° Panorama 22L Daypack
$160
Watershed Big Creek Dry Pack
$116 - $129
 
Gossamer Gear Kumo Superlight Overnight Pack
$175
REI Stuff Travel Daypack Daypack
$30
 
Granite Gear Air Style Hiker Wallet Pack Pocket
$10
Columbia Beacon Daypack Daypack
$27
Osprey Mira AG 34 Daypack
$175
ALPS Mountaineering Infinity 5500 Expedition Pack
$136
Mountain Hardwear Lightweight Exp. Duffel Pack Duffel
$44
Bergans Skarstind Hip Pack 10 Lumbar/Hip Pack
$38
 
Gossamer Gear QuikSak Daypack
$69
Pacsafe VentureSafe X30 Daypack
$127 - $169
 
Gossamer Gear Hipster Pack Pocket
$15
Kelty Radii 27 Daypack
$80
Lowe Alpine Mountain Attack ND 35:45 Overnight Pack
$100
 
Deuter Rain Cover Mini Pack Cover
$18
Hyperlite Mountain Gear 4400 Southwest Weekend Pack
$375
Marmot Ledge 28 Daypack
$50
Pelican 1015 Micro Case Waterproof Hard Case
$15
Montane Featherlite Alpine 35 Overnight Pack
$145
Patagonia Paxat Pack 30L Daypack
$119
Salewa Guide 35 Overnight Pack
$110
Osprey Ozone Daypack 24 Daypack
$100
Arva Protector 20 Winter Pack
$105 - $127
Under Armour Protego Backpack Daypack
$56
 
Fjallraven Skule 30 Daypack
$110
Boreas Gear Mission 26 Daypack
$90
Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack Dry Pack
$140 - $219
Mountain Hardwear Fluid 24 Daypack
$50
Cotopaxi Cayambe 20L Winter Pack
$130
DaKine Trek 26L Daypack
$45
Marmot Bootjack 18 Daypack
$62
Ortovox Tour 30+7 ABS Avalanche Airbag Pack
$842
Edelrid Liner Rope Bag
$30
CAMP Phantom 2.0 Daypack
$42 - $44
Platypus Duthie A.M. 15.0 Hydration Pack
$105 - $149
Deuter Sun Roof / Rain Cover Child Carrier Accessory
$29
 
Berghaus Freeflow 25 Daypack
$72
Mountain Hardwear Summitrocket 30 Daypack
$150
Mammut Neon Cargo Pack Duffel
$90
Page 40 of 100:  « Previous  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  Next » 

How to Choose a Backpack

Like most outdoor gear, choosing the right backpack depends on how you plan to use it and selecting one that fits you, your needs, your budget, and your gear.

Capacity (or How Big?)

Consider the following questions to help determine capacity, or how big of a pack you really need.

  • How long are you heading out for: a day, an overnight, a week?
  • What's your outdoor style? Are you a minimalist, or deeply attached to creature comforts, or somewhere in between?
  • How much and what gear will you bring for specific trips and activities? Don't forget group gear and seasonal items (for example: winter gear will take up more room).

Pack Sizes

Obviously you need a backpack that fits all your gear. If possible, lay it all out, including food and water, and be honest about what you'll need to fit in your pack.

Backpack sizing varies between individuals and manufacturers, but the following ranges are a basic starting point:

  • Day Pack:
    less than 2,000 cubic inches
    up to 30 liters
  • Overnight:
    2,000 - 2,999 cubic inches
    30-50 liters
  • Weekend and Multi-Day:
    3,000 - 4,499 cubic inches
    50-73 liters
  • Week-Long and Expedition:
    4,500+ cubic inches
    74 liters and up

Pack Tip: Don't buy a backpack bigger than you need. You'll be tempted to fill it and carry more than necessary, or you'll end up with an annoying floppy, half-filled pack.

Fit (Is It Comfy?)

Nothing beats the expertise of a knowledgeable pack fitter. Find one at your local outdoor retailer. In the meantime, here are some additional tips to help you choose a backpack that fits you well.

Torso Length

Size a backpack to your torso length. Don't assume you need the tall (or the regular or the short) model based on your height. The sizes of different manufacturers' frames may correspond to different torso lengths. Check each pack's technical specifications.

To find your torso length, have someone measure from the iliac crest at the top of your hipbone to the prominent bone at the base of your neck (the seventh cervical vertebrae). (See how to properly fit a backpack in this instructional video.)

Pack Gender

Many pack manufacturers produce women-specific or short torso versions. Women, kids, and others with short torsos can consider backpacks sized for them. On average, these fit the average woman better.

Pack Tip: Don't get stuck on a pack's gender though. Buy the one that fits you best.

Straps and Padding

Shoulder straps, which control the fit of the suspension system, should be well padded and adjustable.

An adjustable sternum strap, which connects the shoulder straps, helps bring the load weight forward and off your shoulders.

Since it supports your pack's weight, make sure the hipbelt provides adequate padding. Some pack makers offer interchangeable hipbelts in different styles and in sizes for both men and women for a better individual fit.

Load

Fitting your gear in the pack is one thing. Making sure it rides comfortably is another. What's the typical weight of your gear? Check that it matches the manufacturer's recommendation, particularly if you're opting for an ultralight pack.

During a fitting, load the pack with weight to see how well it carries. Walk around with the loaded pack, practice taking it on and off, move around, and climb up and down stairs and slopes.

How well is the pack's load distributed? Does it remain comfortable over its carrying capacity and intended uses? Does it feel stable?

 

Features & Organization

Consider the pack's organization. Is equipment stowed securely? Is it easy to access? Intuitive?

If you'll be carrying any specialty gear, such as ice axes, snowshoes, skis, or a snowboard, look for a pack with features or accessories designed to hold those items, rather than trying to jury-rig them on later.

Depending on your different activities you may need more than one backpack, perhaps a large internal frame pack for multi-day backpacking trips and a small daypack for day hikes.

Find the best pack for you and your activities and you'll be ready to hit the trail.