The 8 Best Hiking Backpacks of 2019

Hit the trail with these packs

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Osprey Atmos at Amazon

"It’s packed with features to keep you well-fed and hydrated."

Best Budget: Eddie Bauer Stowaway Packable 20L Daypack at Amazon

"Has all the space you’ll need without a bulky price tag."

Best for Long Hikes: Columbia Trail Elite 55L Backpack at Columbia

"Has a spacious design that’s conscious of your body’s needs."

Best for Women: The North Face Women’s Backpack at Backcountry

"You’ll be ready for anything the trail throws at you."

Best for Men: TETON Sports Scout 3400 at Amazon

"Male hikers love this backpack for its feature-packed design."

Best for Day Hiking: Patagonia Nine Trails Pack 14L at Backcountry

"Fits a surprising amount of gear."

Best with Water Pack: Osprey MANTA 24 at Amazon

"Has all of the space you need for your equipment."

Best Lightweight: Osprey Exos 58 Pack at Amazon

"Perfect pick for newer hikers who aren’t used to carrying a heavy load."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Osprey Atmos

Osprey Atmos

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you’re on the trail for a day or for a week, Osprey’s Atmos hiking backpack is the perfect companion. It’s packed with features to keep you well-fed, hydrated, and prepared during your hike.

This pack has room for a hydration reservoir, a sleeping bag compartment, and mesh side pockets for water bottles and other small must-haves. The Stow-on-the-Go attachment lets you store trekking poles when they’re not in use.

The Atmos’s perfect fit and premium comfort make it a favorite among hikers. The Anti-Gravity suspension feature and compression straps protect you from back pain or muscle strain no matter how much gear you’re carrying. InsideOut side compression straps stabilize the load and help you maintain a streamlined profile. An adjustable harness and hip belt give your body even more help handling your supplies.

Best Budget: Eddie Bauer Stowaway Packable 20L Daypack

Hiking gear can get expensive, but this daypack from Eddie Bauer has all the space you’ll need without a bulky price tag. It’s roomy and durable, with two external zip pockets, two elasticized mesh pockets for water bottles, an interior back pocket panel, and four front lashing loops to tack on even more gear. Lightly padded, adjustable shoulder straps help you pull your weight without uncomfortable pinching, and the StormRepel fabric sheds moisture so you can hike rain or shine. This pack comes in a rainbow of fun hues, and reviewers loved its sleek good looks.

Need a new bottle to stash in your bag? Read our roundup of the best water bottles.

Best for Long Hikes: Columbia Trail Elite 55L Backpack

Columbia Trail Elite 55L Backpack

Courtesy of Columbia

Longer hikes are a great way to get fit and reconnect with nature. However, lugging around enough gear to get you through a full weekend (or more) of hiking can strain your back and dampen your fun. Columbia’s Trail Elite Backpack has a spacious design that’s conscious of your body’s needs.

This bag works hard to evenly distribute weight so you don’t wind up with pulled muscles or aching shoulders. An aluminum frame and tensioned back panel keeps all of your gear in place without straining your back. The shoulder, waist, and sternum straps prevent this pack from uncomfortably shifting around. Sleeping bag straps and trekking pole attachments help you carry all of your gear for extended hikes, and there’s room for a hydration pack up to three liters.

If you're going on a long hike, you'll need to make sure your feet stay dry and blister-free. Take a peek at our article on the best hiking socks.

Best for Women: The North Face Women’s Griffin 75 Backpack

The North Face Women’s Griffin 75 Backpack

Courtesy of Backcountry

The Women’s Griffin 75 Backpack is the perfect hiking backpack for women who want to go the distance on their hikes. You can adjust the load on your back without even taking off your pack thanks to this bag’s Dyno Carry System. It has self-equalizing adjustable load lifters to prevent excessive stress on your back muscles. The bag’s motion-control hipbelt lets you hike freely without worrying about your bag shifting around.

A wraparound J zipper provides easy access to your gear. There’s also a built-in hydration sleeve and two tool keepers. You’ll be ready for anything the trail throws at you.

The right hiking boots are essential for having a great trip down the trail. Check out our guide to the best hiking boots for women.

Best for Men: TETON Sports Scout 3400

This men’s hiking backpack is a bestseller, and with good reason. It has enough room for a full weekend’s worth of hiking supplies, including a sleeping bag compartment, external side pockets and gear loops, and bungee storage for easily accessing must-haves. The integrated rainfly protects your hiking gear in a sudden downpour, and it tucks away in seconds when you don’t need it anymore.

The backpack itself weighs only four and a half pounds, but it has a 55-liter capacity. Adjustable, multi-directional compression straps, plus a foam lumbar pad and molded back channels, will help you find the perfect fit that won’t budge during strenuous hours on the trail. Male hikers love this backpack for its feature-packed, comfortable, durable design.

If you’re on the hunt for more hiking gear, check out our list of the best hiking boots for men.

Best for Day Hiking: Patagonia Nine Trails Pack 14L

Patagonia Nine Trails Pack 14L

Courtesy of Back country

A day hike is one of the best ways to connect with nature during the warmer summer months. You’ll still need a hiking backpack to take on the trail, but you won’t need a large bag that fits long-trek accessories like poles and days’ worth of clothes. Patagonia’s Nine Trails Pack was originally designed for bikers, but it’s a perfect bag for day hikers.

This lightweight-yet-durable pack is water resistant, and it also protects against abrasion and punctures when you’re roughing it. The main compartment contains a two-liter HydraPak reservoir, plus room for spare tubes, extra clothing, and food to keep your energy up. The front zippered pocket has space for small tools and must-haves, like your wallet and keys. You can store extra gear in the stretchy, cinch-woven pocket on the outside of the bag—just adjust its tightness with its compression straps.

The bag’s longer torso length and low-profile design hugs your back to move with you during your day hikes. It fits a surprising amount of gear for a day hiking bag, but it won’t hold you back with unnecessary accessories or weight.

Best with Water Pack: Osprey MANTA 24

Staying hydrated on the trail is crucial for achieving your hiking goals. Whether you’re out for a casual trip in the sun or taking a multi-day trek on a strenuous trail, you need to keep your water intake up for your own well-being. Osprey’s MANTA 24 pack has all of the space you need for your equipment, plus a 24-liter hydration pack for serious sipping.

The MANTA’s super-ventilated back panel helps you stay cooler during your hike. It uses AirSpeed suspension geometry and an adjustable harness to keep the pack’s weight off your back and evenly distributed. Side mesh pockets and dual zippered hipbelt pockets keep small items like keys, cell phones, and quick snacks at your fingertips. The adjustable sternum strap helps your bag stay in place throughout the ups and downs of your hike, and its built-in bite valve attachment keeps your water inches away from your face. The ice tool loop and integrated rain cover will keep you ready for anything the trail throws at you.

Still not finding what you’re looking for? Take a peek at our guide to the best hydration packs.

Best Lightweight: Osprey Exos 58 Pack

You’re already lugging around plenty of hiking equipment when you’re on the trail—why make it tougher with a heavy backpack? Osprey’s Exos 58 Pack is less than three pounds, but it still has plenty of room for your gear.

This featherweight pack still has room to store gear like trekking poles, ice axes, sleeping pads, and rain gear. The tensioned back panel keeps excess strain off your back, and an ergonomic hip belt and harness keep you comfortable on any trail. If you want to make your backpack even lighter, you can remove the floating lid (which has top and under zippered pockets for storing smaller items) and replace it with the fixed FlapJacket to minimize weight and protect your hiking gear from the elements. The bag also has room for an internal hydration reservoir sleeve that stores up to three liters of water.

The Exos is a perfect pick for newer hikers who aren’t used to carrying a heavy load, or hikers who want a customizable pack that allows them to include or remove storage sections.

Our Process

Our writers spent 6.5 hours researching the most popular hiking backpacks on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 21 different hiking backpacks overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 33 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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