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The best hiking backpacks -the most professional hiking bag purchase guide in 2020

hiking backpacks

1. Classification of outdoor bags

A mountaineering bag is a more general and broad concept. According to the intensity of outdoor sports, distance, body load capacity, and purpose, backpacks can be divided into:

2. How to choose a backpack

Whether you are buying for the first time or supplementing, choosing a suitable hiking backpack requires many considerations. We compared many popular and best-selling backpacks. These backpacks are not only suitable for multi-day trekking, but also versatile for general mountaineering activities. There will be special articles about women’s backpacks and hiking backpacks.

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

This is a very critical step:

1. Travel distance

2. The season of travel

3. The terrain and climate conditions of the destination

4. Activities you will participate in during the trip

Know your needs, and then you need to see how much you are willing to spend and your budget, so we can buy what kind of bag.

Looking forward to the effect of buying Fan Bingbing at the price of sister pomegranate, well, it’s dawn, it’s time to wake up!

Below 80 $: Most of the backpacks purchased on this budget are domestic outdoor brands, and some also have a backpack system, but the quality is average and the load is average, which is only suitable for leisure hiking.

Do not push to buy and use!

Do not push to buy and use!

Do not push to buy and use!

Say the important thing three times! !!

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

80-160 $: You can buy a relatively good backpack, suitable for short-term hiking on outdoor new donkeys. It has a better carrying system and can meet the needs of ordinary outdoor enthusiasts. If it is used occasionally on foot, this price is also enough Up.

160-400$ : mainly foreign brands, many senior travel friends use backpacks at this price, mostly international brands, except for the price, others are more trustworthy! For long-term walking, you will have to upgrade to this price in the end, so it is better to get it in place in one step.

Highly recommended!

Above 400$: It belongs to the outdoor luxury category, such as some bird bags and some small crowdsourcing, which are generally unbearable by travel friends. It is only for reference by ashes and local tyrants.

There are many outdoor brands, and there are many varieties, especially in recent years, many domestic brands have emerged, dazzling. But the brand that everyone generally chooses has basically not changed.

The editor thinks that there are not many domestic bags that can be obtained. What other brands are there? Welcome to leave a message.

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

Of course, there are many excellent backpack brands abroad, so I won’t introduce them one by one. Among them, there is a new brand, Boreas (the god of north wind), which has to be mentioned. The design of the bag is very characteristic and the carrying is very good.

This article mainly introduces backpacks with a capacity of 55-75 liters. Such a capacity basically covers most people’s use of hiking for 2-8 days.

Based on experience, comfort, and weather conditions, most backpackers will also prepare ample backpack capacity during 2-3 days of activities.

In addition, the manufacturer has also designed different capacities for the same model of backpacks, except for the capacity, such as the overall design, bracket form, shoulder strap, and waist belt are the same?

If most of your activities only last about 2 days, you can choose the same small-capacity model after reading the evaluation of the large-capacity backpack.

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

A backpack of 40-60 liters is suitable for 1-5 days, 50-75 liters is recommended for 2-7 days, and 60-85 liters for activities over a week are more suitable. However, because 60-70 liter backpacks are the most popular and can best meet the requirements of most people, we also mainly focus on backpacks with this capacity in the evaluation.

     Everyone pursues lightweight backpacks. Although a lightweight backpack without brackets reduces its own weight, when you pack the equipment you usually carry into the backpack, you will find that this is not a good idea.

So the best way is to streamline your equipment. If you don’t have much equipment and are very lightweight, then an ultra-light backpack without support is suitable. If your backpacks are old and heavy, you can replace it with a new lightweight backpack.

To choose a backpack that suits your body type,

Top 10 Best Ultralight hiking Backpacks

The first thing to note is the size of the backpack bracket. Height is not the only factor that determines the size of the bracket.

Most manufacturers provide accurate suggestions on what backpack size is suitable for different torso lengths.

So how to determine the size of the backpack bracket?

Measure down to the pelvic girdle from the seventh section of your spine (lower your head forward, the largest part of the neck spine. Note: Dazhui point). The pelvic girdle is easy to find. Place your hands on your hip bones, with your thumbs facing back, and your thumbs pointing to the intersection with the spine is the endpoint of the measurement.

The second point is that the backpack belt is in the best position of the human body.

The ideal position is below the upper edge of the hip and the upper edge of the waistband, not exceeding 1/2 the width of the waistband.

The third point should be noted that after the backpack shoulder strap is adjusted, you should be able to see that it conforms to the shoulder contour and there is a small gap above the shoulder.

After the weight adjustment belt is tightened, it should be at a 45° angle to the shoulder strap. But it is also acceptable in the range of 35-60°.

hiking backpack
hiking backpacks

     3. How to pack

Sleeping bag on the bottom

The tent is unpacked and placed to save space, and the tent pole is placed on the side

If the moisture-proof pad is too large, it can be tied to the outside

Place water and heavy objects on the upper-middle

Put the food on the top so it can be taken out and eaten

Commonly used things are placed in the head bag of the backpack, such as toilet paper, headlights, glasses, etc.

PS: standing items

In addition to the necessary camping equipment, some items are essential and easy to be forgotten outdoors. You should always carry them in your backpack:

Outdoor Sambo: Vaseline for condoms and sanitary napkins

Life-saving blanket: it must be kept dry, otherwise it will not open

Flintstone: It’s still important to make fire outdoors

Thin down jacket: A small down jacket will make you no longer cold at night, even in summer (only for western and northern regions)

Four. Backpack adjustment

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

Adjust the belt: tighten the belt, you must tighten it! Tightening the belt of the backpack is to distribute most of the weight of the bag to the waist and hips so that the shoulders are not tired.

Adjust the shoulder straps: Tighten the shoulder straps, based on the feeling that you feel that your shoulders and chest are not tight. Tightening the shoulder straps is to make the backpack closer to the back, and to keep balance during walking.

Adjusting the center of gravity belt: The connecting belt between the upper part of the strap and the backpack is a center of gravity adjustment belt. It usually maintains a 45-degree angle. Tightening can move the center of gravity to the shoulders, and loosening can move the center of gravity to the hips, passing between the shoulders and hips. The adjustment can reduce fatigue. On flat roads, you can adjust the center of gravity a bit higher, and lower the center of gravity when going downhill. (If it is too loose, the bag will shake, which is not conducive to stability)

5. Evaluation Standards and Weights of Hiking Bags

Here we mainly compare the comfort of the brace, shoulder strap, and waist belt of various backpacks in long-term use.

In addition to testing the basis weight range of 13.5-20.5KG, it also tested the performance of the backpack under the load of 25-30KG.

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

In addition, we pay special attention to the comfort of backpack shoulder straps and waist belts when users use them with a long-term load.

Within the normal load range of 13.5-18KG, the new Osprey Atmos 65 AG brings the best comfort due to its spring-loaded carrying system that can evenly distribute the weight.

Gregory Baltoro 65 and Arc’teryx Altra 65 have the best comfort when carrying heavy loads.

Both use high-quality foam, achieving a perfect balance between carrying and comfort.

In addition, the shoulder straps and shoulders of the two can also fit well.

Gregory Contour 60 and Osprey Aether 70 are slightly behind in this regard.

In fact, when carrying medium-weight items, the difference between these backpacks is not obvious.

The shoulder straps and waist belts of Air contact backpacks are comfortable to use, but they are a bit worse than Altra 65 and Baltoro 65.

Air contact’s backplane is very heavy, and the heat dissipation is not very good, and the shape of the shoulder strap does not fit the user well. If you want to carry something more than usual, we still recommend Altra and Baltoro.

As long as they are not overweight, the performance of Osprey Atmos 65 AG and North Face Banchee 65 is not bad either.

For example, when the weight is about 18KG, it is as comfortable as Altra and Baltoro.

But if it exceeds 23KG, the comfort will be significantly reduced.

The lightest backpack in the review is the Osprey Exos 58, which basically weighs between hiking and ultra-light backpacks.

hiking backpacks
hiking backpacks

The REI Flash 62, which weighs 1.3KG, is close behind.

The backpacks that are lightweight, strong, and comfortable and still have good performance are The North Face Banchee 65 (1.6KG), Osprey Volt 75 (1.7KG), Gregory Z65 (1.9KG), they are all lightweight, comfortable, and basic The function has achieved a good balance.

Osprey Atmos 65 AG (2.0KG) and Arc’teryx Altra 65 (2.2KG) is the lightest backpacks that maintain the most complete functions.

Baltoro 65 (2.5KG) and Deuter Air Contact (2.7KG) are the heaviest backpacks in the review.

Altra 65 has left a deep impression on us in terms of comfort and lightweight performance.

Carrying comfort refers to whether the backpack support can well transfer the load from the backpack to the waist belt and transfer a small part to the shoulder belt.

Further, we will compare the foam used in the backpack, the hinges, and the feel of the back.

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

Gregory Baltoro, Arc’teryx Altra, and Deuter Air Contact all performed perfectly.

Altra beats Baltoro and Aricontact by a small margin. The belt turntable technology used by Altra can transfer the load to our hips, making you feel lighter when you pack.

However, Baltoro’s carrying and comfort are also very strong, most people will like Baltoro’s super comfortable lumbar carry. Deuter Air Contact and Baltoro have only a very small gap. It is equipped with a thick and comfortable back panel, but it is a bit bulky.

The elastic or suspension backpack system mainly uses mesh materials combined with traditional brackets,

This type of carrying system separates the back and the backpack with a mesh material, so it can enhance the ventilation of the back and bring a cool experience to the user.

Nowadays, more and more backpacks also adopt this design, but it is not comfortable to carry such a heavy load.

For example, Gregory Baltoro 65 does not use such a suspension system, so it is more efficient when carrying heavy objects.

The usability of the backpack mainly includes whether the main compartment and other pockets are easy to pack and take out items, whether the number and location of the additional pockets are easy to use, and whether the pockets of some backpacks are flashy.

In this case, ease of packaging is the determining factor in determining whether these pockets are useful.

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

Finally, if the backpack has enough straps, you can hang some equipment outside, and such a backpack is also more versatile.

For those who like to use multiple pockets to sort and store items, Gregory Baltoro 65 has the most pockets.

It may be the favorite of this type of travel companion, but it also makes it the heaviest of the backpacks we tested.

Deuter Air Contact also has the same number of pockets, but we don’t think these pockets are of much use.

Although each backpack has different characteristics, they almost all have a top bag.

The top bag can store small things that may be frequently needed, such as sunglasses, sunscreen, insect spray, and so on.

Among the backpacks we tested, we like the top bags of Arc’Teryx Altra 65 and 75 the most. When you ask someone to pick and place items for you, the items stored in the bag will not fall out.

Although Altra does not have as many pockets as other backpacks, all the pockets are just right and easy to use.

Although the top bags of Atmos 65 AG and Banchee 65 have the same capacity as Altra, and the extended zipper can store items more easily, they are still not as perfect as Altra’s top bags.

    Access to items in the backpack is one of our “ease of use” items, which refers to whether we can easily access large pieces of equipment without having to pour out the entire bag.

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

Although this feature is very useful, it varies from person to person.

Easy access to items is useful for hikers, but for some situations, suitcases are more suitable.

Although backpacks with easy access to items are more popular, there are always pros and cons, because the added zipper will increase the weight of the entire backpack, so you should carefully weigh the pros and cons when buying a backpack.

Think about your bad habits before you buy them. Can these openings be easily loaded into your equipment?

Or is it just because it looks beautiful?

All the backpacks we tested have a head bag, many have side zippers, a “sleeping bag compartment”, or the entire back can be opened to access items.

In the backpack tested, the huge U-shaped opening of Arc’Teryx Altra almost runs through the length of the backpack. Extremely convenient to use

    Although it is not necessary, our testers liked the feature of attaching a pocket to the belt, which can conveniently store frequently used items such as card cameras, energy bars, and small bags of nuts.

hiking backpack
hiking backpack

The North Face Banchee 65, Osprey Volt 75 and Atmos 65 AG are good representatives of this type of backpack.

    All the backpacks reviewed have a dedicated water bag compartment, which can adapt well to almost all brands of water bags.

If you do not plan to use the same brand of water bag as the backpack, you can refer to our article on water bag evaluation.

The greater the adjustability of the backpack, the more body shapes it can adapt.

Most of the backpacks we tested can replace shoulder straps and waist belts of different sizes.

Many retail stores provide it for free, and you can specify the size you need when placing an order online (for example, you can order a medium bracket with a small belt).

In this regard, Deuter Air Contact has the strongest adjustment ability, and you can even choose the length of the shoulder strap on the chest. This is a convenient and economical way of growing young people. But its fit to the body is not very good.

hiking backpack

The adjustability of Osprey Aether 70 and Osprey Volt 75 is not only comparable to Deuter Air Contact, but they can also better adapt to the user’s body shape.

Although Arc’teryx Altra does not have such a large adjustment range, the individually adjustable shoulder strap can easily change the left and right width and up and down positions.

The North Face Banchee 65, Gregory Baltoro 65, and Osprey Atmos also have good adjustability and can be well adapted to the user’s body shape.

PS: hiking backpack rain cover

If the backpack you buy is not equipped with a rain cover, you can use a large garbage bag to temporarily replace it in a critical moment. If you often encounter rain during your journey, you can consider buying the rain cover of the following brands.

Gregory Rain Cover

Arc’teryx Pack Shelter

Osprey UL Raincover

Best overall: Osprey Atmos 65 AG

Two-day travel or activities with a weight of 13.5-16KG: Osprey Exos 58

For short trips whose overall weight is in the range of 18-20.5KG, or those who like to have more space for sorting items: The North Face Banchee 65

Travel within ten days with a weight of 13.5-32KG: Arc’teryx Altra 65

Long-distance travel for more than 10 days or activities with a weight of more than 27KG: Gregory Baltoro 65

07. Award-winning hiking backpack

Introduction to the best hiking backpacks

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