Often we’re asked about what are the best backpacking packs in 2021 that we recommend. Choosing a backpack for your planned outdoor activities can be more complex than you’ve imagined. First things first, there are a lot of backpack models that you can find on the market, and picking one of them is a daunting experience. The last thing you want is to mistakenly choose the backpack and you need to deal with it for a long time in the future.
For this reason, you should perhaps take the time to learn as much as you can about what makes a good backpacking pack and what characteristics to look for when buying one. Amongst these many backpacking packs, there will be one which you can pick to match your needs and requirements.
To guide you through, we put together a list of the ten best backpacking packs the market has to offer right now.
List of 10 Best Backpacking Packs of 2021 – Reviews
1. Osprey Atmos AG 65 ($270)
Osprey Atmos AG 65 is an excellent backpacking paack that offers balancing comfort and durability. The pocket design is thoughtfully laid out with variety of options to divvy up gear, and the materials are all super quality and hold up well to rough treatment. Its top-loading main compartment with padded 3D suspension contouring promotes ventilation and upper body mobility. The upper and lower side compression straps reduce bulk and stabilize the load for optimal weight distribution and carrying comfort.
2. REI Co-op Flash 55 ($199)
REI Co-op Flash 55 is a great backpacking pack that is very light and features four large side pockets, seam taping on the lid for water protection, and a convenient roll-top closure. The pack hasa range of removable features such as compression straps, two hipbelt pockets, a shoulder strap pocket, and the aforementioned water-resistant top lid. Loaded for a week or stripped down for an overnighter, this pack keeps your load stable and steady. Seamlessly integrated suspension makes your hike cool and comfortable.
3. Gregory Baltoro 75 ($330)
Winter weekends and extended trail trips are all on the table with the Gregory Baltoro 75 pack. It is designed to haul heavy loads with strong suspensions and great organization. The removable hydration sleeve converts into a fast and light daypack with shoulder harnesses and accessory pocket. Its customizable suspension system delivers dynamic support, making easy work out of long miles.
Best Budget Backpacking Pack
4. REI Co-op Trailbreak 60 ($149)
The new REI Co-op Trailbreak 60 is a great budget backpacking pack. It features simple foam padding along the backpanel and hipbelt, an internal steel frame for structure and support, and a 35-pound max load that can work well for many overnight and multi-day treks. The padded back, shoulder straps and hipbelt provide for comfortable carry. Its stash pockets on back and hipbelt are great for a camera, snacks and extra layers
5. Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest ($345)
This incredible pack is one of the strongest you can find in terms of strength-to-weight ratio. The superlight, robust main compartment is made with 100% waterproof Dyneema® composite fabric. At 55 liters, it has the capacity to take on seriously long trips and has become a go-to pack for thru-hikers. If you live to descend and emerge from rocky canyons and otherworldly formations with calloused hands and sunbaked river sediment, this pack is just for you.
6. Granite Gear Blaze 60 ($270)
Granite Gear Blaze 60 is a top-notch backpacking pack that provides an awesome mix of carrying comfort, organization, and weight. Designed to go the distance—no matter how rocky, muddy or tough, it hauls the gear you need for multiday adventures off the grid. The adjustable Air Current frame has 50 lb. load rating and helps you dial in the perfect fit. In addition, its tall vertical hidden zipper allows you to access the main compartment quickly, especially to get to the contents at the bottom of your pack.
7. Gregory Paragon 58 ($230)
Gregory’s Paragon 58 is an amazing pack that comes with well-balanced design and a useful feature set. At 3 pounds 9 ounces, it’s a great choice for anything from overnight to extended trips. The pack provides an easily adjustable suspension, a lot of mesh to help you stay cool along the padded backpanel, and a quality feel overall with sturdy zippers and supportive foam.
8. Granite Gear Crown2 60 ($200)
Float down the trail in ethereal comfort on your next multiday adventure with the roll-top, ultralight, weather-worthy design and adjustable hipbelt of the Granite Gear Crown2 60 pack. It features 2 large hipbelt pockets with durable water repellent (DWR) treated zippers. In addition, the removable lid has a compartment with DWR-treated zippers. It features a hydration port and internal hydration hanger (reservoir sold separately).
9. REI Co-op Traverse 70 ($249)
Traverse 70 is a great pack that comes with decent features such as a large J-shaped zipper for access to the main compartment, plenty of exterior pockets, and a rain cover. The UpLift Compression technology pulls the pack load up and in, closer to your center of gravity, to improve your balance and stability. Its hybrid trampoline back panel conforms to your body for a comfortable fit, while mesh ventilation helps keep your back cool. With this pack you will stay comfortable, well balanced and well supplied on extended hikes.
10. Osprey Rook 65 ($165)
This pack offers top quality at very affordable price. It is well-built and reasonably light. With a straightforward design and a highly adjustable fit, the men’s Osprey Rook 65 pack is easy to use and endlessly versatile for whatever the trail throws at you on those multiday trips.
Backpacking Packs Buyer’s Guide
Every adventurer wants to make sure that they have all the items and necessities on their back so that they can travel and adventure well. Although you are just going for a while, you wouldn’t neglect the importance of the complete items which can support you for days to weeks. And here is where your backpacking packs come to help.
So, here are the factors which you need to consider to narrow down your candidate’s list.
The very first step to finding out the best backpack for you is to arrange your budget. Budgeting is the most determining factor in choosing the backpack which you are going to use for a long time in the future. How much are you willing to spend your money for backpacks? How much money will you be able to prepare for it? If you strive for the highest quality, you might want to take more time to save your money so that you can reach the higher ranges of the priced products. But after all, you don’t have to break your banks to get it.
The backpack sizes
The backpack size is arguably the most important factor to consider before everything else. Why? It is because it will determine how much weight you are bringing in your journey. The backpack sizes will provide the space for your supplies. The rule is simple. The more time you will be spending outside, the more capacity you will need from your backpack.
Here are the pack’s sizes that are common in the marketplace:
* Overnight packs: less than 35 liters of capacity
* 2-3 days packs: between 35 to 50 liters of capacity
* Weekly packs: 50-75 liters of capacity
It is very important to choose the right size for your backpack.
When you notice the size of the pack, consider seeing the hip belt. The size of the hip belt should be matching with your needs. If it is too large, you won’t fit to carry the load. If it is too small, it will make you exhausted quickly. The pack should come with the adjustable hip belt which you can present to your liking.
The features of the backpack
Each model from different brands comes with different features. You will want to focus on the features which you can reap for your trip.
There are two main types of frames for the backpack: internal and external.
The backpack with the external frames is the original model. If you still can find the old model of the backpack that your father has, you will see that it uses the external frame. They can carry heavier loads, but look bulkier.
The backpacks with internal frame come with the lighter weight of materials. The designs are also lower in profile. The internal frame backpacks are more compact and ergonomic. The streamlined shape of the backpack makes it close to your shoulder so that you will be able to maintain the balance while challenging the terrains out there.
The padding is very important to protect your hip and shoulder. If you plan to bring more supplies, you will need to choose the packs which can carry the heavier loads. The hip belts of the backpack should be customizable. The padding is also important. If you are planning to go in hotter months, consider to pick packs with lightweight foams.
Not only your shoes, but your backpack must also be breathable as well. The ventilation system of the backpack is very important to keep you comfortable during the journey.
If there are compartments where you can place your sleeping bag, blankets, or other items, then it will be great.
Last but not least, you would need the pack which comes with rain cover if your destination has rainy conditions. Even if it does not come with it, the brands should be able to provide the cover separately.
All of those factors do matter. When you apply these factors to narrow down your list, you will quickly find the best backpack product for you. Good luck in your shopping!