Best Back Packs

Backpacks are an expensive, but vital part of your hiking experience. If you plan on hiking as a regular hobby or pastime, you will need a backpack that can hold up to whatever conditions you throw at it.

I remember my first multi-day hike. It was 36 miles along the Washington coast. I had an old, beat up backpack and I was miserable. It was uncomfortable and didn’t carry my gear well at all. One decision I made at the end of that trip was that I was going to get a good backpack going forward. I’ve had a couple of hiking backpacks since then, and because I’ve invested more, I’ve had much better times on the trail.

Based on my research, I’ve identified a few packs that you should consider as a long-term solution for hiking. My choice for the best hiking pack for men is the Osprey Atmos AG 65 (link to Amazon). Osprey is a well-known and highly-regarded brand, and the Atmos is their flagship backpack. Comfort and durability are key for a good backpack, and the Atmos does the job very well in both regards.

The Atmos AG 65 offers Anti-Gravity suspension, which actually helps lighten the load on your back. There are adjustable harnesses and an adjustable hip belt to ensure that you are most comfortable.

The pack weight comes in at 4.5 pounds, which is quite reasonable for a pack with the capacity of 65 liters. With that capacity and the extra pockets and attachment points, the Atmos AG 65 gives you plenty of options for carrying whatever gear you need for a multi-day hike.

The Atmos AG 65 is not inexpensive, and at 65 liters it may be a bit too large for your hiking needs. If you are looking for a smaller bag, and/or one that does not cost as much, Osprey does have other options. But you can’t go wrong with this brand or this bag.

Best Women’s Backpack

I am also recommending an Osprey backpack for women, namely, the Osprey Packs Renn 50 Women’s Backpack. This pack fits women very well, as the weight is appropriate for women and it adjusts to the hiker quite well both with regards to height and shoulder and waist positioning. Despite being light and comfortable the Renn t0 is a very sturdy backpack.

The only downside I might see with the Renn 50 is that it is a bit minimalist, without as many compartments as other models. But the overall size should accommodate for this.

I would even recommend this pack for a longer ultralight trip – it’s weight is very manageable and it will meet the demands of a difficult trip. Get this pack for the woman in your life – you can buy it HERE.

Best Ultralight Hiking Backpack

If you really want to experience an ultralight hiking experience, I would recommend the Gossamer Gear Gorilla. Gossamer Gear is a leading brand for ultralight gear. Weighing in at less that 2 pounds (30 oz.), the Gorilla still has a capacity of 40 liters and can carry up to 30 pounds. This bag also offers great durability and is a great option for hikers who want to be as minimalist as possible.

It is a simple pack but has enough pockets and loops to meet your needs. As with the best ultralight packs, the Gorilla has a top loading flap that buckles down and adjusts to accommodate different-sized loads. The flap also has a zipper pouch that makes smaller gear or food much more accessible. One of my favorite features is the removable back panel – great for an easy seat on a rough surface. And the front mesh pocket is perfect for storing any extra gear that you need to reach in hurry.

Best Value Option

The Kelty Coyote 65 Liter Backpack (link to Amazon) is an excellent value option, coming in under $150. The Coyote is a very good multi-day backpack for the money. This pack does an excellent job of distributing weight evenly along the body, with its adjustable straps and sturdy waist belt. Besides the stability and comfort that this pack provides, we love how the pockets are situated – it keeps important items close by and easily accessible. Of all the budget packs we reviewed, the Coyote is the most durable – it will definitely provide good value for the money.

The Coyote is a bit heavier than most packs, coming in at 4.6 pounds. However, if you have a budget of $150, we recommend the Kelty Coyote 65L Backpack. It offers a good combination of comfort, durability, and accessibility for multi-day hikes.

Considerations For Choosing a Multi-Day Hiking Backpack

If you are heading out on a multi-day hike, there are important considerations when deciding what kind of pack to use.


You will always want a pack that you can depend on during a hiking trip. That means no worrying about a zipper breaking, or a buckle breaking, or a seam ripping apart.

Further, you will also want a pack that will be structurally strong. The frame should be strong and rigid and be able to support a load of 40 lbs or more (NOTE: we always recommend looking for ways to lighten your load; having a strong pack will only be a benefit to you).

Consider how often you plan to hike. If you hope to be a frequent hiker and tackle tough terrain, find yourself a durable, quality pack.

Appropriate Capacity

Choosing an appropriate capacity for your pack depends on several factors, including how long you plan to be hiking, and what time of year you will be hiking.

These considerations will impact what kind of gear that you will bring along with you. The longer you hike, the more food you will need. A hike in the winter will require heavier, larger clothing and shelter.

Most multi-day hikes that are 4 days or less, undertaken any time of year, require a 50 to 60 liter backpack.

Weight Of The Pack

Usually, you will have to trade weight for durability. Many hikers want to choose a lightweight pack to lessen their load for a multi-day hike. If this is the case, it will be difficult to find a very durable pack without spending more money.

Ultralight backpacks are expensive because they are made of higher-quality materials that can still carry a load despite their own composition.

As with any purchase, take your time, do your research, and feel good about your decision before you decide on a backpack. Wear it with weight – if you don’t like it, return it and find something better.

Happy Trails!