When it comes to putting together a collection of gear for going backpacking, there are a few expensive items that you will need to get your hands on, and a good backpack is one of them. Cheap backpacking backpacks are not so hard to come by, provided that you’re willing to wait for a good sale to come along. But if you need it now, there are a few things you can do to get a cheap backpacking backpack that wont immediately fall apart the first time you use it.
Cheap Backpacking BackpacksWhat to look for when shopping for cheap backpacking backpacks.
- Features – Decide, before you go looking at backpacking backpacks, what features you really cant live without, because there are plenty of them to be had on a backpack. A sleeping bag compartment, for instance, is a convenient thing to have, but by no means necessary. The same could be said about fancy back panels with maximized air flow.
- Size – Generally, the bigger the backpack is the more it‘s going to cost you. It’s a good idea, then, to try and get the bulk and weight of the rest of your gear down as much as possible, so that you can get as small a backpack as possible. If you can manage to get your load weight down far enough you can start looking at frameless backpacks, which are typically quite cheap.
Best Cheap Backpacking BackpacksSome of the best cheap backpacking backpacks for your next outdoor adventure.
- The North Face Terra 65 - The Terra is a solid, basic backpack to take backpacking. It has everything that you would want for backpacking, including features like a sleeping bag compartment and a couple of mesh pockets on the side for easily accessed water bottles. It also has a good frame, and is hydration compatible. And the 65 liters of capacity is a good amount for most backpackers. The only real drawback with the Terra is the weight. At 5 pounds 1 ounce, or 2.29 kilograms for the large it's rather heavy, and depending on how long you are going to be backpacking for, a heavy backpack may not be something you want to have to carry.
- ULA Equipment Circuit - The Circuit has a similar capacity to the Terra 65 above, at 68 liters of total space, but a weight of just 2 pounds 4 ounces, or 1.02 kilograms, which really puts the weight of the Terra 65 above in to perspective. The Circuit also comes with plenty of excellent features, including an ultralight aluminum frame that's removable, a hydration sleeve inside for a water bladder, and even pockets on the hip belt, so that you don't have to take your backpack off to get a snack out, for instance. So lots of features and capacity, but with a very low, reasonable weight and a similarly reasonable price.
- REI Mars 80 (Women's Venus) - The Mars, and the smaller women's version called the Venus are the kinds of backpacks you want when you need to carry a big, large load but don't want to spend a lot. Most backpacks get more expensive the larger they are, but with 80 liters of capacity the Mars is actually cheaper than the smaller Circuit above. It has all the usual features of a large backpack, including a frame, plenty of padding, ample external storage pockets and a removable top pocket. But at 5 pounds 12 ounces, or 2.61 kilograms it's another backpack that suffers from being rather heavy. So big and cheap, but you can expect sore knees after a long day of walking with this backpack on.