To see a full list of hiking backpack manufacturers and their products, head to the backpacks list.
There are many excellent hiking backpack brands out there to choose from. And while you have likely heard of most of the big ones, there are also some really excellent backpack brands that you have probably never heard of. Smaller manufacturers actually make some of the best backpacks around, and they do it right in the USA. But regardless, if you’re looking for a new hiking backpack, a good place to start is with a look at the different brands making hiking backpacks.
Hiking Backpack Brands
- Black Diamond - They don't make too many large backpacks, but if you're looking for something to stay active with on a day hike, a Black Diamond backpack might be ideal. The Black Diamond Axiom, for instance, is not particularly large, at just 30 liters, but is perfect for a day trip or even a weekend with a smaller amount of gear.
- Deuter - Deuter makes a whole range of hiking backpacks, from small backpacks intended for just day trips, all the way up to large expedition backpacks with more storage capacity than most people will ever need, even for a week in the outdoors. The ACT Lite 65 is a good example of something right in the middle. It's definitely a multi-day backpack, with 65 liters of storage capacity, and a popular choice in that capacity range.
- GoLite - GoLite backpacks are designed, as the name suggests, to help you go light. Their products are designed to be lightweight and portable, ideal for backpacking or hiking without having to drag around what might feel like weights. The GoLite Jam is a great example of their product, and definitely one of their most popular backpacks. It's fairly small, doesn't have a frame and is relatively lightweight. You wont get a whole lot of gear in to it, but then that's kind of the point.
- Granite Gear - Another hiking backpack manufacturer that makes a wide range of backpacks, from the small and lightweight all the way up to large backpacks intended for multi-day expeditions. Their Blaze A.C. 60 (Women's) won the 2011 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, and is a popular choice. It's simple, but also durable and well built, and is a versatile choice for backpackers, hikers and campers.
- Gregory - Yet another backpacker manufacturer that has products running the gamut, from small and lightweight, intended for a single day, all the way up to some monster backpacks that top out at over 100 liters of capacity, which is enough space to stuff a whole closet worth of clothing in to. The Baltoro 75 is a good example. It's big, can carry a lot of gear and isn't particularly lightweight. It's the kind of backpack you want when you're headed out for a serious adventure.
- Osprey - Osprey makes it all, from big huge behemoths that might weigh more than you when they're fully loaded up, all the way down to smaller and lighter options for a weekend or even just a day. The Exos is one of their more popular backpacks, and a good example of their work. It's solid, and has all of the best features that you could want from a backpack, including plenty of ventilation along the back.
- The North Face - A lot of The North Face's best products are designed around performing well in bad conditions on the side of a mountain, and their backpacks are no different. Many come with convenient spots to store an ice axe or skis, for instance, and are strong and durable. The Prophet 40, for instance, is big enough for an overnight trip or even a weekend in the mountains, and has plenty of storage options for bulky cold weather gear.
- ULA Equipment - ULA Equipment is a favorite among many lightweight backpackers because of their excellent lightweight backpacks. The Circuit is one of their most popular options. It comes with a small and simple frame, to keep weight to a minimum, and plenty of storage space for those larger backpacking or hiking trips. Features like hip belt pockets are a definite bonus for backpackers who don't want to stop just to get a snack from their food bag in the main pocket. And it weighs less than just about anything else you'll find. They're also a company that manufacturers everything right in the USA.