For backpacking, a certain kind of backpack will outperform just about anything else that you might think of bringing with you. The best backpacks for backpacking are, beyond anything else, lightweight. Backpacking is hard work, and the reason for that is that you have to carry everything you bring on your back. Most people don’t think about it, but the backpack itself is one of the heavier items that you will bring with you. So do yourself a favour and get a lightweight backpack, though make sure it’s big enough to carry everything else too.
Best Backpacks for BackpackingFeatures to watch for when trying to find the best backpacks for backpacking.
- Lightweight – Backpackers have to carry everything they’ll be using, and that includes the backpack itself. Backpack weights can vary quite a bit, and it really does pay to get a lighter backpack. If you can manage to get the weight of your backpacking equipment down far enough you can get in to things like frameless backpacks, which are very lightweight.
- Capacity – Something else you need to pay close attention to when choosing a backpack for backpacking is the capacity of the backpack. You need to carry all your gear, of course, but you also need to account for things like water and food, the amount of which will vary quite a bit, depending on the length of the trip and the conditions on the trail.
Best Backpacks for Backpacking ReviewsA few of the very best backpacks to take backpacking with you, that will have your friends drooling.
- ULA Equipment Circuit - You've probably not heard of ULA Equipment, but they make some excellent backpacks aimed at lightweight backpackers, and they do it in the USA, which is more than most backpacking manufacturers can say. The Circuit is one of their most popular backpacks, and at just 2.25 pounds, or 1.02 kilograms for 68 liters of capacity, it's not hard to see why. Beyond those basics, there are a number of features, like a sleeve for a hydration bladder, pockets on the hip belt and big external mesh pocket that is useful for letting wet clothes dry while walking, for instance, that make this a favorite with many backpackers.
- GoLite Jam - On the smaller side of things, at just 50 liters, is the Jam from another lightweight manufacturer, GoLite. It's actually frameless, so you wouldn't want to carry much more weight than 25 or 30 pounds, but that shouldn't be a problem for most lightweight backpackers. It doesn't have too many frills, but does have a sleeve for a hydration bladder and pockets on the hip belt, both of which backpackers will appreciate. It also only weighs 1.85 pounds, or 840 grams, something else that backpackers will definitely appreciate.
- Osprey Argon 85 (Women's Osprey Xenon 85) - At the almost needlessly large end of the scale there is the Argon 85. 85 liters is too much space for most people, but some might be interested in the bevy of features available. A big sturdy frame and a back panel with air flow channels is joined by a removable lid for day packing, multiple access points to the main pocket and plenty of external pockets too. If you want big and feature rich, this is a great choice, but at 6.43 pounds or 2.92 kilograms, prepare to be worn out at the end of the day.