Having a good backpack, especially made for hiking, ensures that you will have fun on the trails.
The right backpack will keep you from pains and strains that an unbalanced regular backpack would induce.
A quality backpack is an essential piece of equipment constructed to keep hikers moving and comfortable while lugging needed gear.
Fortunately, there are hiking backpacks out there that are affordable and under $100
Here is our list of eight backpacks for hiking that will suit your need in size and use.
Table of Contents
It is hard to believe that this hiking backpack is less than $100 but it is even harder to believe that this backpack in black is actually less than $50!
With an internal frame and ergonomically designed, the Weikani Hiking backpack has numerous features that make it ideal for hiking.
Adjustable, padded shoulder straps allow you to feel comfortable all day long. The chest buckle has a safety whistle for emergencies.
There is a waist pocket for small items to be easily accessed and a water bag hole and a water pipe buckle.
While this backpack can hold 60 L, it weighs only 3.9 pounds empty. Durable polyester with a water repellent coating makes up the Weikani backpack.
It has an integrated water-resistant rainfly for light rain and a waterproof cover for heavier showers.
With five colors to choose from, you are sure to find one of the Bseash hiking backpacks that will appeal to you.
A large 60 L capacity, this backpack is the perfect size for two to four-day trips. This pack has a large compartment to stow your sleeping bag.
Multidirectional padded straps for shoulders, chest and hips are adjustable.
The backpack has an interior pouch for a water bladder, and there are mesh pockets on either side of the backpack.
This backpack is an inexpensive option for kids, too. The internal frame is sturdy, and the pack itself has a durable nylon structure.
An open-cell lumbar pad and molded channels keep your back comfortable and give you the airflow you need to keep from overheating. Water-resistant, the Bseash comes with a rain cover too.
This hiking backpack is especially light in weight as it has no frame, either internally or externally.
You will find a separate storage area that is especially handy for shoes and keep the rest of your items clean.
The top of the bag has zippered storage that is great for smaller items, like your phone or wallet, that you might want to access quickly.
The main pocket has a drawstring closure design. Included is a separate rain cover with this 60L backpack, handy in case of showers.
With adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps, you will be able to comfortably position the backpack for hiking.
There is also an emergency whistle, a lift handle, a guide for a hydration tube, and D-rings accommodations.
Coming in six different colors, this inexpensive backpack will suit your needs for a day hike.
The Molle tactical backpack has several parts to it that can be used independently or as one unit.
In this backpack, there is one front detachable waist pack and two side detachable accessory pouches.
Made from a high-density 900D Oxford fabric, the backpack is anti-abrasion, durable, and water-resistant.
All of the heavy-duty zippers have rain diverting flaps. This versatile backpack gives you various ways to use it, both as one unit or as separate pieces.
The adjustable shoulder straps have padding for comfort, and the back is breathable to afford ventilation. Using the central portion of this bag will give you 45L of space.
The waist pack is an additional 7L, and the two side pouches are 1L each. If you use the items all together, you will have about 54L of space.
It comes in a rugged-looking camo design, which is always a popular choice.
Sporting an internal frame, the Ubon hiking backpack is made from sturdy 600D nylon fabric.
The pack contains a sleeping bag compartment, a top lid pocket, a front pocket and two side mesh pockets that are great for water bottles.
A suspended air-mesh panel spreads the load's weight across your back and allows for air passage to help keep your back cool.
The internal frame of this 50L backpack helps to transfer stress from your back to your waist and distributes the amount of pressure felt.
With padded shoulder straps and two hip belts, your body will stay balanced under the weight of the pack. A double-layered top lid has two pockets, both inside and outside.
An emergency whistle is on one of the shoulders. There are loops for adding trekking gear. An integrated rain cover is inside the zippered bottom of the backpack.
Choose from black, navy, or yellow.
Made of 600D Oxford fabric, this backpack will carry it all. Great for hiking or even as a carry on luggage.
The S-curved shoulder straps feature a breathable mesh and thick honeycomb sponge pads.
While this backpack has 70L capacity, you can unzip the bottom to expand the bag to 100L. That is a lot of gear!
The molle system allows for a tent and hammock, and the side pocket can hold a water bottle.
You will also have an emergency whistle and adjustable waist buckles on this backpack. The material is abrasion and water-resistant.
This pack will hold the supplies that you need for several day hiking trips. It comes in black or four different camo colors.
With its sleek style, this hiking backpack could also be a fashion statement. It is a lightweight backpack perfect for day hikes or everyday use.
The ventilated AirSpeed back panel eliminates having a sweaty back. The pack has a front "shove it" pocket, and there is a stretch mesh pocket on both sides of the pack.
The sternum strap sports a whistle, and the webbed hip-belt is removable. There are trekking pole attachments and an internal hydration sleeve that will accommodate a 3L reservoir.
Fully lined with scratch-resistant material, the top pocket will safely keep your glasses or electronics.
An integrated rain cover will keep your gear dry should you need to use it. You'll have five different fashionable colors to choose from, including a snazzy orange.
The unique feature about this ECEEN hiking backpack is that it has a 21W foldable solar panel charger.
The SunPower cells and Smart charging technology delivers up to 3.0A and cuts down on charging time.
Built-in loops with carabiners can attach to your backpack and have a convenient pocket to hold the charge.
Designed for hikers, the ergonomic padded shoulder straps and back give you support.
This external frame backpack has an adjustable weight decomposition system, removing pressure and transferring most of the weight from your shoulders to your hips and legs.
Mesh separates your back from the backpack to keep air flowing and your back cool. The main compartment has a drawstring closure.
There is a separate pouch for starring shoes. Side pockets for water bottles keep them handy and within reach.
The charging system is compatible with iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Note, Mini, Nexus, LG, HTC, GoPro, Kindle, and other 5V USB powered devices.
What is a Hiking Backpack?
Hiking Backpacks Are Specially Designed
If you are going on a hiking trip, you will need a backpack to carry all the necessary gear. And it may seem like any old backpack will do.
You might have a spare one in the closet or up in the attic, and it should suit your purpose, right? No, not really.
Specially designed, with a hiking backpack you can carry more cargo and carry it comfortably for long periods of time.
Most hiking trips are at least a day-long, and some can be a week or more. Being comfortable while trekking on uneven outdoor terrain dictates that the backpack you wear provides that comfort.
Internal And External Frames
One of the factors that distinguishes a hiking backpack from a regular one is that most hiking backpacks will have a framing system.
The framing system can be internal or external. The frame gives the backpack a more rigid structure.
That structure helps with even weight distribution and also lends more comfort to wearing the unit. Those backpacks with an internal frame tend to have a sleeker design and are usually lighter in weight.
They will have metal rods in specially designed packets within or on the outside of the backpack.
The rigidity and support from the rods are supplemented by shoulder straps to ensure that weight from filled backpack transfers efficiently from the shoulders to the hips.
This weight distribution will assist in keeping the wearer more stable while walking on uneven terrain.
While most hiking backpacks have internal frames, some use backpacks with external frames.
You might choose one of the external frame backpacks if you're carrying a heavier load or if you have items that are irregular dimensions.
The inflexible frame, most often aluminum, provides unparalleled load support. They will have adjustable harnesses.
Again, these types of hiking backpacks are used by the serious hiker who may be in the wilderness for extended periods and needs to carry everything but the kitchen sink.
Hiking Backpacks Have Larger Capacities
You will also need to consider a hiking backpack according to their capacity. Daypacks will usually have a capacity of fewer than 35 liters, which is a great size for a day trip.
Medium size holds between 35 and 50 liters. They will give you sufficient space for gear without being overly bulky.
If you will go three to five nights, look for a larger hiking backpack that holds about 50 to 80 liters.
When being gone for that length of time, you will need space for clothes, cooking gear, and a tent or hammock.
Advantages of Hiking Backpacks
An Organizational Tool
A hiking backpack will be designed with numerous compartments and pockets to help keep your equipment organized and easy to find and retrieve.
They will allow for keeping your gear handy when needed during your hike. Instead of having to unpack the entire backpack, the pockets will allow you to stash items for easy retrieval.
This also helps to keep from losing essential items that are not easy to replace when out of doors.
A hiking backpack will have exterior pockets for items such as compasses, rain gear, and things you need at a moment's notice.
Protection For Gear
Some hiking backpacks also come designed to cushion and protect your gear with padding to help keep equipment safe from damage.
Most backpacks are water-resistant, and some are waterproof. Some backpacks have a rain cover built-in.
If sprinkles seem evident, the cover can be pulled over the backpack to help keep it dry.
Padding For Comfort
Padded shoulder pads help to ease pressure on back and shoulders when you are carrying a heavy load.
That is another reason why you should not use just any ordinary backpack. It will not have back panels with foam pads ergonomically designed to be more comfortable against your back.
There are also hiking backpacks with suspended mesh fabric that creates space between the bag and your back to provide better ventilation and be less hot to wear.
A crucial aspect of a hiking backpack is the pack's ability to ensure that you have even weight distribution when carrying a full pack.
The frame system, the shoulder straps, and hip straps all work together to provide the support needed for heavy loads.
A sternum strap will also help with stability. A hiking trip can quickly become spoiled if you experience pain from the load you are carrying.
The design of a hiking backpack avoids that complication.
What To Consider
There are many different hiking backpacks on the market, and it can be challenging to choose just one. When choosing, consider these key points.
The measurement used to describe the capacity of hiking backpacks is in liters. Depending on how long you will be going, it will be important that you have the right size backpack.
One that is too small to hold all that you need will be extremely frustrating. One that is too big will bring its own set of problems with balance.
Just like Goldilocks, you need one that is just right. Look, too, for a backpack that has handy pockets and compartments that keeps critical items accessible.
High-denier nylon is known for its durability and resistance to wear and tear. This is essential for a backpack that will be spending its time being toted around in the out of doors.
Look for a backpack that has reinforced areas, on the bottom, for example, and in places that need abrasion-resistance the most.
The frame of the backpack, whether it is internal or external, is also essential. Aluminum is both strong and lightweight enough to add the necessary supportive rigidity a hiking backpack will need.
Last but definitely not least, look for a bag that is comfortable for you. Look for pads in the shoulder, hip, and sternum straps.
Check to see if there are ventilation channels in the back panel. See if the backpack has attachment points or loops.
These are handy for items not easily fit into the pack itself, like hiking poles. They are also great to hook your water bottle too.
Check, also, for a rain cover. Wet clothes are not comfortable, and rain covers will help keep water seeping through seams and zippers.
When hiking, your comfort and ease with which you carry your gear will be a major factor in how your hike goes, whether you are hiking for a day or several days.
The backpack you use will make all the difference between a good trip and a bad one. An essential piece of equipment, choose wisely to make the most of your time out of doors.