In Depth review -Ten Best Affordable Hiking Backpacks

Hiking is an extremely fun-filled activity and also one of the best ways to interact with Mother Nature. It offers you an opportunity to get away from all the noise in the civilized world.

The entire time you are either soaking up the stunning views around you, and the tranquility that you rarely get when you are in the civilized world, and the only way to enjoy it is if you have the best adventure backpack.

Why can't you use your laptop or your regular class backpack? Well, every situation requires its unique bag and hiking is fun yet rough and tumble activity.

In respect to that, it needs a pack with lots of organized space so that any of your movements don't end up disorganizing everything. Luckily, you don't have to look anymore because below is a review of the best lightweight hiking backpacks to help you make a choice.


Factors to consider before buying an adventure backpack

Backpack- Hiking Camping Guide

Before we take a deep dive, it is essential you understand some of the factors you should consider before buying one and below are some of them.

Weight : This is one of the most visible and also essential aspects to consider. A lightweight backpack will enable you to cover more miles using less energy and at the same time ensure that you carry all your essentials. Whether you are out for camping and hiking or a simple epic thru-hike, being able to cover more miles without getting tired will make it more fun

Frame : Backpacks come in two frame designs. Internal and external but the best ones are the internal frames as they are not only hidden inside the bag but are also offer excellent support for your load. Thus making you comfortable.

Fit : Even if the weight is perfect, the frame is on point, and all the other aspects are okay, the last thing you want is to keep on adjusting your backpack or stopping in between your hike to rub your itchy shoulders because the bag was too tight. So measure your torso length and hip size belt to ensure that it is a perfect fit so you can enjoy a smooth sailing hike

Other factors to consider

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    Design
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    Material
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    Capacity
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    Waterproof
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    Price

Top ten best affordable hiking backpacks

Available in three colors, namely hunter green, mecca orange and coyote tan, the Teton backpack happens to be one of the best lightweight hiking backpacks on the market. 

It packs a lot of impressive features and what makes it even better is that it won't punch a hole in your budget. Check out its features below.

Features

Torso adjustable shoulder straps -   As mentioned earlier, one important factor to consider is the fit of your bag so you can be comfortable while carrying it. One way to know your fit is by measuring your torso length. 
Storage  -  Teton backpack has a lot of storage space to ensure you carry all your hiking necessities with you. For instance, the top lid has two separate compartments while the main one is below the top cover.

Padded hip belt -  Apart from being adjustable, the Teton backpack is made to ensure maximum comfort thanks to the padded hip belt. It provides maximum airflow and fits on your body well for a maximum fit. 

Additionally, it has attachment loops on the bottom of the hip belt from which you can suspend a few things, say a water bottle, walking poles or an ice wax

Tough - The Teton bag is the best adventure backpack thanks to the thick polyester fabric material, and if you don't know the difference, it is easy to confuse it with canvas thanks to its toughness. 

Additionally, it boasts an internal support system thus you can be sure it will last the entire trip and more in future.

Pros

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    Comes with a warranty for quality assurance.
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    Lots of packing configurations.
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    Adjustable waist belt and shoulder straps.
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    Built-in water-resistant rainfly.

Cons

  • It is not waterproof hence will get damp if placed on a wet surface
  • It’s a little bulky
  • Even though the sleeping bag compartment is excellent, it is way too small.

Maxpedition has a reputation for bringing forth great products into the market, and the Falcon II is no exception. It packs all the bells and whistles of the best lightweight hiking backpack as shown below

Features

Capacity - One noticeable feature of this backpack is its many storage compartments which help you organize your stuff effortlessly.

For instance, it has five internal slip pockets embedded on the front which offer plenty of space. Also, there are two more zippered pouches on the front, one on the top and the other on the bottom while the two grommet ports at the bottom further enhance storage and at the same time act as drainage ports.

Also not forgetting, there are two mesh pockets on the front and on the back which you can use to carry simple items like a notebook. The main compartment is large enough to accommodate your clothes and even sleeping bag, and you'll be good to go

Highly resilient - No one wants to purchase a new bag after every hike because that is not only costly but also frustrating. However, the Maxpedition Falcon-II backpack clears this worry because its material and design spell resilience.

For instance, it is made of 1050 denier nylon which is sturdy enough to withstand heavy loads on long journeys.

This material is also great as it resists abrasions from rough surfaces so whenever you are out on an adventure on rocky terrain, you will still go back home with your bag as good as new

DuPont Teflon fabric protector - Apart from rough surfaces, hiking can get you and your stuff looking all messy, but with Falcon II, you will be the only one going home dirty.

It is treated with DuPont Teflon fabric protector which resists dirt and grime. That means if you are on some camping, you don't have to stress on the dirt factor, all you need to do is use a wet cloth to wipe off the dirt

Comfortable design - Besides being durable and having a large capacity, this backpack also features a convenient design to make your walk as much fun as it could be.

For instance, it has high-grade foam padded shoulder straps for ultra-comfort as it helps distribute the weight evenly while the snug fit ensures that there is no need to keep on adjusting the straps.

Pros

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    Lots of external and internal pockets for easy organization.
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    Padded and curved shoulders for utmost comfort.
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    Durable stitching to withstand tough hiking and camping conditions.
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    Water and grime resistant build.

Cons

  • It is quite pricey.
  • Even though it is lightweight when you add your stuff, it can be quite heavy.

Designed from scratch to being one of the best lightweight hiking backpacks, Osprey 65 AG packs a bunch of features which will help brighten up your hiking days. Check them out below

Features

Best hip belt We mentioned earlier that comfort is vital while you are on any hike. One of the elements which contribute to this factor is the hip belt.

You will be climbing and going down hilly places and holding tightly to your bag sucks.

Fortunately, Atmos 65 AG features the best hip belt around. First if all, it is ventilated for extra comfort and breath ability.

Then it has two spacious easily accessible zip pockets which are quite convenient because here you can pack up your favorite chocolate bar or any other snack which you love to munch on while on hikes, your compass, flashlight, mobile phone, camera or even GPS.

In other words, you can keep items you want to access easily. It also snuggles your waist perfectly for better balancing and is padded for extra comfort

Adjustable shoulder straps and hip beltApart from ventilation and zippered pockets, Atmos 65 AG hip belt offers you more than you bargained for as its adjustable up to 3 inches.

That means it is suitable for different body sizes and shapes. That adds even more comfort as you can adjust it to suit the kind of load you are carrying and offer balance.

That is not all because the shoulder harness adjusts up to 4 inches. This when combined with the adjustability of the torso belt, then you end up with a perfect fit and utmost comfort

Lightweight - One of the features which we also considered while reviewing the best adventure backpacks is its weight. Some bags are not suitable for hiking as they tend to be heavy and that is even worse when you add your luggage.

But the Atmos 65 AG stands at a weight of 4 pounds 9 ounces and features a medium internal frame. That means it is incredibly lightweight and only becomes heavy when you pack up

Many compartments -Another noticeable feature of this pack is its storage capacity. Also if you have problems with being organized, it makes this easier for you as it contains many compartments.

Apart from the two zippered ones on the hip belt, it features a sleeping bag and reservoir compartment, hidden, front side, stretch mesh, and front side pockets.

The lid to has two of them atop each other and is also removable while the main compartment is the largest and offers plenty of space for your clothes and other essentials

Pros

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    Features an anti-gravity suspension hip belt.
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    Countless storage compartments such as the sleeping bag pocket making it easy for you to organize your stuff and minimize extra luggage.
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    Adjustable shoulder harness.
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    Comfortable design, for instance, padded hip and shoulder straps.

Cons

  • Not perfect for super heavy loads.
  • The hip belt creates some noticeable noise while you are walking. Could be as a result of the padding or the ventilated design but we did not like it. Otherwise, it is one of the best affordable hiking backpacks.

Kelty is a household name in the world of packs and whatever they present to the market is always on point. So let us walk you through the features of yet another best affordable, lightweight hiking backpack

Features

Suspension design -Making the top of the list of Kelty’s backpack best features is its Perfect-FIT suspension system. This aspect makes hiking easy as it provides a perfect fit for your body size.

You no longer have to fret about your torso or shoulder measurements because it will fit whichever size you are, whether petite or all on the weighty side.

Durable build -If you are looking for a backpack which apart from fitting you well is also durable and stable, then your search might as well end here because Red Cloud 90 fits the description.

It boasts HDPE frame sheet which provides load-bearing strength on the pack and keeps it in shape no matter the kind of load and also acts as a shock absorber. The frame is lightweight twin aluminum for durability purposes.

Ventilated back panel-When on a hike, whether it is sunny or windy, you’ll always find yourself sweating.

Also because you are carrying your pack for long distances, the contact between it and your clothes causes your back to be all sweaty and hot.

However, with this pack, that is laid to rest thanks to the ventilated padded back panel which offers breathability.

Lots of storage -If we start highlighting all the storage compartments on Red Cloud 90, then you’ll be surprised because there is so much you can do with it.

For instance, it has two zippered side pockets, a removable lid which also converts to a lumbar pack, large zippered front pocket, two mesh water bottles and a few others for easy organization.

Pros

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    Comfortable design.
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    Easy to organize.
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    Durable and can face harsh weather conditions without wearing out.

Cons

  • Lacks built-in rain cover.
  • You may encounter problems with the zippered lower compartment.

The fact that we have another Osprey pack on our list is sufficient proof that it makes top-shelf gear and Exos 58 is no exception as you can see from its features below

Features

Frame - In most cases, the structure often determines the weight of the bag, and in this case, Osprey Packs Exos 58 backpack happens to have the best frame.

It boasts the superlight airspeed aluminum frame which not only enables it to handle your load effortlessly but also absorbs shock, distributes weight evenly and contributes to the durability of your backpack.

Ventilation - Exos 58 has a mesh back panel. This promotes breathability and prevents sweating by creating a separation between the pack and your back as you no longer have direct contact with the main padded compartment.

Straps -Exos 58 packs many attachment points which further promote a snug fit whenever you are carrying it. For instance, the straps can be threaded on your chest on a Z style.

This is not only effective in promoting a tighter fit but also prevents movement of the pack whenever it on your back.

When combined with the hip belt and the adjustable shoulder straps, you can be assured that whether you are running down a hilly area, going up a mountainous region or biking, the backpack stays tight enough to offer you flexibility.

Trekking pole attachment point -One of our favorite features of this backpack is that it has an underarm trekking pole attachment.

This comes in handy because it is not all the time that you will require them and carrying them by hand can be quite tedious.

It is not once or twice that hikers throw away their poles only to regret later when they get to a steep point.

Fortunately, this becomes a problem of the past thanks to the elastic loop on the hip where you can attach yours.

Pros

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    Extremely lightweight.
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    Durable internal aluminum frame.
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    Plenty of pockets.
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    Caters for hydration through the elastic pocket where you can put your water bottle.
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    Trekking pole attachment and ventilated back panel

Cons

  • When you carry loads of over 35 lbs, it becomes quite heavy.
  • You may find opening the main compartment a bit hard due to the drawstring.


If you've never come across this pack, then we are glad to be the ones to break the news about it. It is among the best adventure backpacks on our list for good reasons.

Features

Durable -Most hiking backpacks in the market which are at Deuter's price range are often of 100D nylon.

However, this one sets the pace for the others as it is made of 210D nylon while its bottom has 600D polyester. That means it is resistant to abrasions from rough surfaces and will withstand the test of time.

Comfortable -Even though the hip belt lacks padding, it offers ultimate comfort to your back thanks to the padded pack panel which ensures you do not feel the impact of the load on the main compartment.

You are probably worried about sweating well; you have no reason to because besides the padding it also has a simple open mesh for breathability.

Perfect fit-You don't have to adjust the position of the straps, and neither do you have to keep on rubbing your shoulders and torso because it is too tight.


Reason being, it has body-hugging sternum straps which are also adjustable to enhance the fitness. However, the adjustability is not as perfect in comparison to the others on top of our list

Pros

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    Comes with its nylon rain cover.
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    Lots of storage space.
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    Hydration system compatible.
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    Boasts a loop helmet holding.

Cons

  • Has a heavy build making it more cumbersome when you pack up.
  • The hip belt is not entirely comfortable as it is not padded.

If you are planning to go on a simple day hike or three days of serious camping activities, then you sure need to take this backpack with you as it will be your best buddy all through. Check out some of its features.

Features

Stows away-Usually, most hiking backpacks cannot be put under multi-purpose use due to their size but this is a unique one.

The hip belt, back panel and the harnesses can be stowed and zipped away in one of the main compartments.

This leaves the bag looking smaller and slimmer for those days when you are going for a one day hike and back and you don’t need to carry too much stuff or other outdoor activities.

Secure- When carrying a backpack, you want to be assured that its contents are safe.

Unfortunately, not most brands cater for this but Osprey is not just any other brand. You can now rest assured that your stuff is packed away in safety thanks to the lockable sliders which prevent anyone from accessing the main compartment which is where most of your valuable stuff usually is. 

That means you can now feel free while walking because no one will try to steal your stuff when you are unaware

Even distribution of weight- The reason why most backpacks become uncomfortable to carry after a while is because their weight is often concentrated on one point causing pressure to your spine and also due to a heavy frame which adds on extra grams.

Well ventilated backpack - This bag incorporates the mesh design on its back panel, the hip belt and the shoulder harnesses.

This ensures that your back remains dry during the entire hike while the mesh on the other parts enhance even more comfort because it prevents chafing when you carry it for long periods

Pros

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    Lightweight.
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    Well ventilated hence comfortable to carry.
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    Multipurpose bag, can be carried on hikes or trips.
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    Multipurpose bag, can be carried on hikes or trips.
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    Quality stitching and durable build

Cons

  • Color fades easily.
  • Not big enough for long hiking trips.
  • Has less pockets in comparison to others on our list.

If you like being unique, then you will definitely fall in love with this pack’s impressive design. Check out the features below.

Features

Great design, variety of colors- As mentioned earlier, one feature you will love about this pack is its design. It comes in a cyndrical kind of shape and bold colors such as green, red, yellow and blue for those who really like standing out and a black color for those who like being a little bit unique.

Durable build. Just a single glance at this pack and you can already tell it’s durable and your guess is not wrong. It boasts a heavy duty 21oZ Polyester build which means it is not tearing up anytime soon.

Because it has cylindrical design, most of the load impact will be on the bottom and as such, this part is reinforced with 34oZ PVC thus you don’t need to worry about your stuff causing it to tear.

Plenty of space-Apart from durability, this bag is convenient thanks to the plenty of space it offers.

You no longer have to stress on carrying separate bags for that team building camping activity.

Reason being it can expand upto 6700 cubic so you can easily pack up all your stuff together and in an organized manner.

Storm strip closure system -Again you don’t have to worry about the security of whatever is inside this pack thanks to this closure system. 

Adjustable harnesses -Another aspect which we loved about this adventure backpack is that it has adjustable harnesses which means you don’t have to worry about your size because they can easily adjust to your shoulder length and size.

Pros

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    Comes in an array of colors and has a unique design.
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    Compression straps eliminate the chances of encountering busted buckles and at the same time make packing easy.
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    Lots of space.
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    Made of durable materials such as PVC and the aluminum fasteners on compression straps.

Cons

  • Lacks a hip belt.
  • Does not have many pockets.

We couldn’t get enough of Ospreys. These bags pack a bunch of incredible hiking features which you will love and as such we had to let you know about this one.

Features

Suspension system – Not only keeps you comfortable and dry but also ensures evenly distributed load weight.

Sleeping bag compartment -Even though it is not as big as the other Osprey hiking backpacks, it comes with lots of pockets which are inclusive of the sleeping bag compartment.

That means you don’t have to leave anything behind in the name of carrying your sleeping effects.

Front loader access -Another feature which we loved is that this Stratos bag features a top and front loader access to the main compartment.

That makes it easy for you to open, retrieve and close it without disorganizing your things.

Color options -If you are looking for an affordable hiking backpack which gives you plenty of color options, then you will love the Stratos pack.

It offers you an opportunity to stand out with colors such as harbor blue, pine green and even orange. So the choice is yours.

Pros

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    Perfect especially if you are traveling to a hike in a far-off place thanks to its size.
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    Separate bottom pocket.
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    External trekking pole attachments.
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    Easy to pack up due to size.
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    In-built rain cover

Cons

  • Not easy to reach the side pockets hence you have to stop and remove it first.
  • If you are going on camping, then it is too small.

Closing our list of the best affordable, lightweight hiking backpack is the Kelty Coyote 80 backpack.

Even though it may not pack all the bells and whistles of the other packs on our list, it still happens to be one of the best and also reasonably packs in the market. Check out its features below

Features

Anti-barreling stay at the center feature -We know you've probably encountered this more times than you can recall even if it was not from a hiking backpack.

There are times when you pack up everything so nicely, but once you put it in your bag, something's amiss. The load sticks out from the main compartment causing you pain and also discomfort.

Fortunately, this pack boasts an anti-barreling stay at the center feature which ensures the back panel stays flat even when you pack your essentials to the brim.

Easy access-Nothing sucks like having to stop in the middle of a hike or biking activity just to remove something from your bag.

The Kelty coyote backpack caters for this as it features a top and front access which means you can quickly detach whatever you need effortlessly and without having to undo it

Sling pack -One feature we mainly couldn't help, but love is the fact that the top lid can now convert into a sling pack.

That makes it more convenient because you can always remove it whenever you are going on a side trip during camping

Pros

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    Easily adjustable.
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    Reasonably priced.
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    Front panel access makes it easy to open, close it and also take out your stuff without trying too hard.
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    Zippered side pockets keep your stuff safe.

Cons

  • Lacks a sleeping bag compartment.
  • Even though it has a durable metal build, this adds extra weight to the load.

How we wrote this review-Best Affordable Hiking Backpacks

One of our primary objectives while doing putting together the list of backpacks below is to help you make informed and wise choices without having to sweat out too much or leave a hole in your bank account.

That is why I and my time went backpack hunting and took our time to research and test countless lightweight backpacks to ensure that we only remain with the best of the best in the market.

We also asked previous verified buyers and product experts of their opinions so that we could make sure we give you backpack recommendations that will not only meet but also exceed your expectations.

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Daniel Ryan
 

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