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Overnight Packs

Top Picks

How we choose: The best overnight packs highlighted here were selected based on 812 reviews of 372 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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REI Trail 40

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

A great pack for lightweight and ultralight backpackers.

Reasons to Buy

  • Plenty of pockets
  • Good hip pad and shoulder strap adjustment
  • Comfortable
  • Twin-zip design
  • Large exterior mesh pocket for damp items
  • Included rain cover
  • Integrated whistle
  • Integrated water bladder pocket

Reasons to Avoid

  • Relatively heavy compared with ultralight packs
  • Not enough compression straps

I originally purchased this bag to use as a daypack when hiking with my girlfriend. However, this was around the same time I started moving to ultralight hiking and now I use it for any kind of hiking / backpacking trip. I have only had this pack for about two months, but have already put over 250 miles on it with various loads. FIT I found the large REI Trail 40 to be a little bit on the small side (I'm 6'2"), but only slightly. The pack sits very comfortably, but the hip-belt is very slightly above where I would expect it to sit.

Read more: REI Trail 40 reviews (4)

Mystery Ranch Coulee 40

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

The Coulee 40 could either be a really large daypack, think carry stuff for a small family, or serve you for overnights with lightweight gear. The two fiberglass stays help it carry quite a bit of weight comfortably, and the hip and lumbar pads are very good as well. The key feature that makes this backpack great is the three zippers that allow full access to everything. It's outstanding, my new favorite smaller backpack.

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfortable and capable suspension
  • Easy access to contents
  • Solid hydration options, whether you use reservoirs or bottles
  • Unusual storage options
  • Fit adjustment

Reasons to Avoid

  • 3.8 pounds, on the heavier side

BASIC DETAILS ABOUT THIS BACKPACK The Coulee 40 is a backpack from Mystery Ranch, the Montana-based backpack company founded by the same guy that brought us Dana Design backpacks years ago. This pack holds about 2400 cubic inches of your stuff, primarily in the main storage area, but with a few interesting other spots. The frame consists of a shoulder "harness" that incorporates a hard plastic piece and adjusts up and down to fit your torso length to a "T", a wide-ish hip belt that wraps around your hip bones and keeps weight off your shoulders, and two synthetic/composite stay rods inside the pack that make up the key portion of the internal frame.  Adjustments abound on this backpack.

Read more: Mystery Ranch Coulee 40 reviews (2)

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

The 2400 Southwest internal frame, DCF backpack is a minimalist’s dream. It holds just enough for an overnight or for a multi-month journey, it just depends on the user. It also seems up for the challenge of lasting through multiple long thru-hikes. I considered a long list of packs for my thru-hikes and this one came out on top, for good reason.

Reasons to Buy

  • Made of DCF=water-resistant
  • Simple/minimalistic
  • Made in Maine, USA
  • Lightweight—28 oz
  • Durable
  • Can remove/replace waterbottles from side pockets without having to take pack off

Reasons to Avoid

  • White fabric shows dirt..but could be used as a canvas for art, writing, etc
  • Not fully watertight
  • Probably over-rated load capacity at 40 lbs

Conditions of Testing: I bought this pack in September of 2017. While owning it for less than a year, I have put over 2,000 miles on it so far. I used it on a 170-mile section hike of the AT and then for a 4-month thru-hike of New Zealand’s 3000 km Te Araroa.  I plan to use it again for my upcoming 2018 PCT thru-hike. It's hard not to feel a bit sentimental over something that has been so integral to my happiness this past year, but at the same time, given my extensive use of it, I am also comfortable in giving it such high praise.

Read more: Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest reviews (4)

The North Face Terra 40

user rating: 5 of 5 (6 reviews)

I'm a big fan of this pack. Like most things I buy, I got it on sale so I'm happy with the price (around $80). At first i thought i would not like the shoulder straps or the back panels that contact your body. They seemed bulkier than necessary. Well, i was wrong. Both have been great. The straps are very adjustable and were very comfortable on a recent 15 mile hike (filled with 3L bladder, 2 MRE, GSI Soloist, Brunton Raptor, EMS Gortex rain shell, spare REI wool socks, and power bars).

Read more: The North Face Terra 40 reviews (6)

Osprey Exos 38

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Best lightweight backpacking pack I've used. Definitely recommend for lightweight packing, for those who are not into ultralight backpacking and comfort is still important. Do not recommend for people packing heavier loads. I have definitely found that packing >30 lbs significantly and negatively affects comfort. Normally, my total pack weight is somewhere between 24-28 lbs, food and water included.

Reasons to Buy

  • lightweight
  • comfort
  • still has pockets and compartments for organization
  • Osprey's lifetime guarantee

Reasons to Avoid

  • durability
  • the mesh side pockets did not hold up very well. Holes developed in the first year of ownership (to be fair it saw heavy use in the first year of ownership, however it still didn't hold up quite as well as the previous Osprey pack which did not need any repair whatsoever)

Fit: 5/5 stars, excellent fit. I am a woman 5'7", 135 lbs. I bought the pack when it was "unisex" or men's only, I have it in M. They have a women's specific version of this pack available now (Eja 38), which I have not used. I found the original unisex version of this pack to be perfect with no homemade modifications necessary for better fit. I was not able to try the pack in person as I bought it online. Going off of Osprey's recommended sizing measurements, I originally ordered a S, but I have a comparatively long torso, so a M fit me much better.   Comfort: 4.5/5 stars, excellent comfort.

Read more: Osprey Exos 38 reviews (3)

Osprey Stratos 34

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Incredibly comfortable pack for long day hikes. Superb quality, but with bad pocket design.

Reasons to Buy

  • Suspension
  • Comfort
  • Weight
  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Rain cover

Reasons to Avoid

  • Pocket design

I've used this pack for nearly four years now. It's my everyday pack for work as well as long day hikes.   Comfort and Suspension: The suspension system is unbelievable, and even in its maximum load, it makes the weight disappear. I can snugly fit the pack to my back, thus it eliminates any momentum while moving. I experienced no hot spots or too much friction on the waist belt. It's relatively ventilated with a mesh back, a mesh shoulder and waist straps, with foam lining, and a space between the body of the pack and the mesh panel.

Read more: Osprey Stratos 34 reviews (3)

Osprey Kestrel 38

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (10 reviews)

This is just about the perfect pack for me. As an archaeologist who does field survey walking and excavation in Asia, this pack has served my needs perfectly. Yes, it is slightly over the size regulations for acceptable carry-on luggage, but if it isn't bulging out of the seams, then you will be able to get on with most carriers (I still haven't had to have my Kestrel 38 checked in). The pack is comfortable, fits everything I need and is generally well designed. I'm not fond of packs with the trampoline style back air circulation system.

Read more: Osprey Kestrel 38 reviews (10)

Deuter ACT Lite 45+10 SL

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Well organized, makes weight balancing a breeze. I love the easy of getting stuff into and out of this pack, including myself. I wore this thing while hiking the W in Patagonia over six days with zero hotspots.

Reasons to Buy

  • Weight balancing is easy
  • Compartments / straps are organized usefully
  • Very adjustable for a range of frames

Reasons to Avoid

  • No sleeping mat strap, so I lined mine up vertically
  • Hip compartments were the least useful because of size/access

I was fitted for this pack at a big retailer—and I was most impressed with all of the points of adjustment that this pack offers. It is designed for women, but even then, I'm very short torso'd. Most packs gave me sore hips due to length, but this one cinched up great.  The pack is also organized well. The bag compartment keeps my sleep stuff in one place and the central compartment works well for weight balancing. I found the front of the pack (meaning the straps and hip belt) the least useful for anything other than tissues or lip balm, but what are you messing with the front of your pack for while hiking anyway? ;) Like all top load packs, how well the gear is organized/accessible is up to you.

Read more: Deuter ACT Lite 45+10 SL reviews (4)

Osprey Kestrel 48

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (16 reviews)

Light pack that is one with your back and allows for great organization.

Reasons to Buy

  • Great fit and support
  • Lightweight
  • Nice organization
  • Great side compartments

Reasons to Avoid

  • Top pocket non detachable
  • Hipbelt too big

Fit and Ride: This pack has a really great fit. It stays close to your back and rides with you like no other pack I know. This is why I have had these in several volumes for different purposes. The shoulder harness length is adjustable to fine tune your fit and it really adds to the comfort level in the end.  The only thing that is only just OK for me is the hip belt size. If I tighten it to the max, it is only just tight enough (I am 184cm tall and 72Kg). So for me in the summer it just works.  The pack has the standard straps to compress the volume down.

Read more: Osprey Kestrel 48 reviews (16)

Osprey Stratos 36

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5 reviews)

Pack is targeted for overnight or short multiday adventures. I use it for my dayhikes as well.

Reasons to Buy

  • The Almighty Osprey guarantee
  • Easy to load
  • External trekking pole loops
  • Comfort with moderate loads

Living in Southern Arizona, the water I carry for a dayhike is the heaviest item I carry. I routinely carry 6 (or more) liters when I hike. My dayhike pack weight exceeds the base weight for some ultra light enthusiasts' thru hike pack weight. While my previous pack would accommodate this much cargo, after three hours or so the back and shoulder pain would set in. This led me to start looking for a framed pack. I chose the Stratos 36 with the intention of using it for my weekend dayhikes and the occasional back country overnight adventure.  My pain issues have disappeared.

Read more: Osprey Stratos 36 reviews (5)

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Other Types of Backpacks

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Daypacks (under 35L)

Weekend Packs (50-69L)

Expedition Packs (70L+)

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