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February 27


How to Buy the Best Backpacking Backpacks for 2023

By Jonathan

February 27, 2023

A hiker carrying a backpacking backpack

A hiker carrying a backpacking backpack

A backpack will probably be the main luggage you will carry on your hiking and backpacking adventure. Therefore, you need to get good quality without spending a fortune.

You will find millions of backpacks in the market in different sizes, shapes, colors, and quality. This guide will give you some pointers you can follow when shopping for a backpack.

If you hike frequently, you can have several backpacks in different sizes. To guide you in making the right choice, here are some factors you should have in mind when buying a backpack.

We have also provided a few options of the best-rated backpacking backpacks for 2023 that you can have a look at.

Top things to look for when shopping for a Backpacking backpack in 2023

The best backpacking backpack for 2023 should accommodate all your hiking gear.

The best backpacking backpack for 2023 should accommodate all your hiking gear.

Your choice of a backpack will either make or break your adventure. You can have a fun-filled and easy journey or come back home with sores and a hurting back and shoulders and dread ever going out for a hike.

You might want to consider a few pointers when shopping for a backpack, and they are as follows.


When going out for a backpacking adventure, comfort is critical. The best backpacking backpack for 2023 should offer comfort as you walk and brave the terrain.

A comfortable backpack must be well-padded in all the right places. The most important parts that must be padded for comfort include the hip belt, shoulder straps, and back contour.

The padded hip belt protects the hip area, which carries most of the backpack's weight as you walk. Besides being padded, the hip belt should also be adjustable so you can lose it or tighten it accordingly.

Your shoulders provide the primary support for the backpack. Padded shoulder straps protect your shoulder area from the excessive pressure that can result in skin chafing.

The back contour should be padded in a lumbar shape such that it flows with the shape of your back. This shape will allow air to flow freely between the backpack and your back hence preventing you from excessive sweating.

The padded back contour will also prevent you from developing back pains during or after the backpacking adventure.


Waterproof backpacks are ideal for hiking in winter.

Waterproof backpacks are ideal for hiking in winter.

You should be prepared for a rainy day when you are out in the forests. Unprecedented rain happens all the time.

Besides the rain, you could be hiking in winter when your stuff is at risk of getting wet.

It will help if you get a waterproof bag to keep your items dry, whether it rains or not.

An alternative option is to pack your items in dry bags that you will put in the backpacking backpack. Consider having a waterproof backpack cover.

Backpacks made from entirely waterproof material are a more expensive but worthwhile investment for any serious backpacker.


Proper ventilation on the backpacking backpack will first prevent your back from excessive sweating, which can lead to discomfort and skin chafing.

Well-ventilated backpacks have a suspended mesh back panel which is the most appropriate for curbing sweating where the bag rubs with the body.

The suspended trampoline-style mesh ensures a gap between the backpack and the back, allowing air to circulate freely and dry the sweat emanating from the back that would otherwise soak your clothes.

These bags are more popular with hikers who go out during the hot and humid season. They could also be appropriate if you intend to carry heavy luggage.


We must discuss the best backpacking backpacks for 2023 by mentioning the cost factor. Hiking can be expensive, especially if you intend to make long-distance trails. You, therefore, need to cut costs where possible.

Getting an affordable backpacking backpack can be a challenge because of the many options available in the market. However, you should be careful not to trade quality for cost because it will be more costly in the long run.

Always compare prices in different stores because you will often find the same item being sold at different prices depending on the store's location and target market.

Do not go for cheap; go for affordable and reasonably priced backpacks.

Organization and Accessibility

The items in your backpacking backpack must be accessible.

The items in your backpacking backpack must be accessible.

One of the most vital attributes for backpackers is organization. Over time, you learn that organizing your items well makes it easier to access them without rummaging through the entire backpack.

The best backpacking backpacks for 2023 should have pockets in the right places so that all your items can remain organized throughout the journey. It should have small pockets to store the smaller things that can easily get lost in the luggage.

Well-organized pockets will improve accessibility, giving you an easier time when unpacking for the night or getting an item you need. Elastic side pockets are the best because they stretch to the item's size and lie flat when empty.

A hip belt pocket is also vital for storing small items you need more often. This includes a phone, camera, chewing gum, sunscreen, and lip balm.

Look out for side panels, the top lid design, and the J-shaped openings that make it easier to get stuff out.

Extra shovel pockets are an added advantage even when you do not need to carry a shovel. You can stash your jacket, map, or any other lightweight items that you want off your hands.

We highly recommend backpacking backpacks with a sleeve for hydration reservoirs and tube portals. The reservoir is sold separately, though some bags come with an inbuilt one.

Once you get the right backpack, remember to arrange your items on a priority basis; the last thing out should be the first.

Size and weight

The size of your backpack will be determined by the length of the trail you are visiting and the camping mode. If you are a van camper, you might need a smaller backpack to put in some essentials.

Backpackers and long trial hikers need more spacious backpacks that can fit their entire luggage ranging from food, clothes, tents, and first aid kit. Your physique will also determine the ideal size of a backpack.

Besides the size, the bag's weight is also vital, considering the number of things you will need to carry. A light backpacking backpack is only ideal for a shorter distance since it may not have most extra but essential additions.

The material will also contribute to the weight, with heavier ones being more durable.

Personal preferences

You have your preferences when it comes to the color and physical appearance of the backpacking backpack.

However, alongside your choice of color, you should consider getting a backpacking backpack with the reflector strip. The reflector will make you visible in the dark and might come in handy if you need to be spotted by an aircraft.

You could also look for a gender-specific backpack, going with the colors and shape. These preferences might be insignificant but will add some gist to your adventure.

Product Reviews

Here is a suggested list of the best backpacking backpacks for 2023 that you can consider picking from as you plan to hit the trails.

TETON Sports Ultralight Plus Backpacks; Lightweight Hiking Backpack for Camping, Hunting, Travel, and Outdoor Sports

TETON Sports Ultralight Plus Backpacks; Lightweight Hiking Backpack for Camping, Hunting, Travel, and Outdoor Sports


  • This is the ultimate backpacking backpack that is spacious enough to fit all your belongings that will go in and on the backpack.
  • The waist and hip bands are adjustable to fit any body structure
  • All the materials used to make this backpack are durable, ranging from the zippers to the waterproof oxford canvas and even the straps and buckles. Therefore there is no risk of your backpack tearing open when you are in the middle of the Pacific crest Trail
  • The lumbar area is well-padded to provide extra comfort and make the luggage feel lighter because the backpack sits nicely on the hip area.
  • This fantastic backpack comes with ties, gear loops, and compression straps that you can use to carry extra but essential items such as an ice axe, helmet, climbing rope, or trekking poles.
  • It is reasonably priced for the comfort and durability that it offers.


  • This backpack has several access points to the main storage area, making it challenging to lock unless you buy an equal number of locks for the access points.
  • The top lid tends to slide forward, leaving the main compartment exposed. Therefore, you may need a rain cover to protect your items from getting wet when it rains.
  • You can only put in luggage weighing up to 50 lbs. Beyond that, the backpack becomes overstretched and uncomfortable to carry.
  • It contains steel rods underneath which can easily rust and become weak, compromising the sturdiness of the backpack.
Osprey Atmos AG 65 Men's Backpacking Backpack

Osprey Atmos AG 65 Men's Backpacking Backpack


  • This fantastic backpack has an anti-gravity suspension which makes you feel like your luggage is lighter than it actually is.
  • It has a stretch mesh pocket at the front to store and quickly access some of your hiking gear.
  • This backpack has an inbuilt hydration reservoir sleeve that can hold a reservoir of up to 3L.
  • The top lid has dual zippers, making the content more accessible.
  • The sleeping bag straps are removable, so you can take them off when you are not carrying your sleeping bag to the hike.
  • The two zipped front pockets provide additional storage.
  • The backpack is exceptionally light, meaning the only weight you will bear is from the luggage you pack in.
  • It comes with a rain fly and a dedicated pocket for storing the rain fly. You can always use this extra pocket for storage when there is no chance of rainfall.


  • The straps on the hip belt area can slip down and exert more pressure on the shoulders, especially for petite people.
  • If you fly to your hiking destination, the backpack's frame is big and might not fit most luggage compartments.
  • It is impossible to open the Zippers on the hip belt with one hand, making the pockets non – functional since you cannot access them on the go.
MOUNTAINTOP 40L Hiking Backpack for Women & Men Outdoor Travel Camping Day Pack with Rain Cover, 21.7 x 13 x 7.9 in, Fuchsias

MOUNTAINTOP 40L Hiking Backpack for Women & Men Outdoor Travel Camping Day Pack with Rain Cover, 21.7 x 13 x 7.9 in, Fuchsias


  • The fabric used to make this backpacking backpack is tearing-proof and water-resistant. The durability makes it the best choice for long-distance hikers.
  • It has multiple storage pockets, all big enough to accommodate extra luggage.
  • It contains a ventilated back system and breathable mesh padding, both of which ensure air flows swiftly, preventing your body from excessive sweating.
  • The storage compartments make it easy to pull out items without unpacking the entire backpack.
  • The cover zipper can hold sensitive documents you cannot afford to lose, such as ID cards and permits.
  • This backpack comes in many unique colors that you can choose from to meet your personal preferences.
  • The buckle straps are long and can be adjusted to create more room for extra hiking gear.


  • This backpack is more suited for tall people as the weight gets distributed better along the back.
  • It does not have an outlet for the hydration tubes, so the main compartment has to remain open for the pipes to pass through.
  • The side mesh pocket holders are wide but not tall enough to accommodate a standard water bottle. A filled-up bottle will fall out of the pocket and you might be forced to carry a smaller bottle.
  • This 40l backpack can only carry so much stuff. It is not an option for long-distance trekkers.
TOMULE Camping Hiking Daypacks, 40L Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack Travel Backpack for Women Men

TOMULE Camping Hiking Daypacks, 40L Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack Travel Backpack for Women Men


  • This backpack is fantastic, affordable, and can fit many essential items for a day or short-distance hike.
  • It is easy to store when not being used because it folds up small and nicely into a pouch that you can still use to carry your phone or keys.
  • The mesh side pocket is big enough to fit a standard water flask and holds it well such that it will not fall off when you bend.
  • It comes with an inbuilt wet bag to store your wet clothes, soiled shoes, and anything else you would not like to mix with the rest of the luggage.
  • You can carry this backpack as hand luggage when boarding a plane to your backpacking destination.
  • Besides backpacking, it can also come in handy in general travels or carrying personal belongings while running errands. This makes it an all-rounded backpack.


  • The rest of the backpack, such as the back area, is not padded because it is made to fold up and be compact when not in use.
  • Since it is a fold-up bag, it does not have a frame; hence it cannot stand alone without toppling over.
  • Despite having a wet bag inside, the backpack itself is not waterproof, and your items can get wet when it rains, and you have not carried a rainfly.
N NEVO RHINO Internal Frame Hiking Backpack 40/50/60/65/80L, Mountain Climbing Camping Backpack Daypack Waterproof Rain Cover

N NEVO RHINO Internal Frame Hiking Backpack 40/50/60/65/80L, Mountain Climbing Camping Backpack Daypack Waterproof Rain Cover


  • This backpacking backpack is large (50l, to be precise) and has an internal frame that creates even more space in the main compartment.
  • The quality is top-notch. It is made from a scratch resistance nylon stitched firmly in all the places that will get stretched, such as the straps.
  • The breathable mesh padding and streamlined suspension system make this backpacking backpack the most comfortable you can ever carry on your trail adventure.
  • It comes with a high-load waist buckle which remains standing under heavy load. The waist pad is adjustable to fit any body type and maintain maximum comfort.
  • This backpack contains straps on the outside that can hold extra items such as the tent, trekking pole, sleeping pad, or even jackets as long as they are folded well.
  • The backpack is highly adjustable. You can adjust the size, height, and even the length of the straps to the level that you are comfortable with.
  • Considering all the benefits, this backpacking back is quite reasonably priced.


  • It can be too big for a small-bodied person
  • The shoulder straps can be uncomfortable on the neck because they are too broad.
  • The backpack is too padded, and it reduces the internal space.


The best backpacking backpack for 2023 is the N Nevo Rhino Internal Frame Hiking Backpack which every backpacker should consider getting.

You need some extra comfort, especially when going for a long-distance hiking and backpacking adventure. We recommend this particular backpack because it is durable and comfortable to carry.

It can also accommodate most of your essentials in the main compartment, the pockets, and the straps on the outside.

From the discussion above, the pros of the N Nevo Rhino internal frame hiking backpack outweigh the cons, making it the ideal backpack for your trip. If you intend to fly to your destination, you can have this backpack as your hand luggage because it will easily go into the luggage compartment.

As a seasonal hiker and backpacker, consider having this backpack in your collection. The excellent quality will ensure you use it for the longest time.

About the author

My name is Jonathan J. Williams, a 36-year-old male, and hiking is my oxygen. It is my source of life. I hike on good days and bad days for relaxation and exercise. Backpacking and camping go hand in hand with camping; the three define my life. The trails and mountains keep calling at me.

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