My first backpack was heavy, uncomfortable, and struggled to carry all of my gear. It made for very unpleasant hiking trips! Now that I have more miles under my belt, I’ve learned what to look for in a backpack to keep me comfortable on the trail and not cost too much. I am confident that if you know what to look for, you can find a great backpack for less than $150.
The best backpacks are durable, carry weight well, and fit your body appropriately. There are many affordable options available to hikers who want a backpack that will last for hundreds of miles, carry an appropriate amount of gear, and protect you against soreness.
Backpacks are an expensive, but vital part of your hiking experience. A cheap, low-quality pack can be a waste of money, and make your hiking trip even more difficult. However, even if you are on a budget, there are some great hiking backpacks available for under $150.
Our choice for the best hiking pack under $150 for men is the Kelty Coyote. For women, we recommend the Osprey Renn. They both provide the right combination of durability, comfort, and affordability. We love these packs because they offer a good starting point for you if you are just starting to hike, or you are looking for the best value for your money.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for when you purchase a multi-day hiking pack. With a budget of $150, you will have to compromise when it comes to comfort and/or quality. However, you can find a solid, dependable pack if you look hard enough. We’ve attempted to do some of that work for you here!
|70||Kelty Coyote||Osprey Renn||MountainTop||Berghaus Trailhead||Nevo Rhino||Teton |
|Go Back Trail UltraLight|
|Weight (Lbs)||4.6 Lbs||3.3 Lbs||3.3 Lbs||3.7 Lbs||4 Lbs||1.8 Lbs||2.6 Lbs|
|Capacity (Liters)||65 L||50 L||55 L||65 L||60 L||33 L||25-40 L|
|Overall Rating (Out of 100)||75||80||70||70||65||70||75|
Kelty Coyote 65 Liter Backpack
Pros: Does a great job of distributing weight. Even when fully loaded, it will feel more like a day pack than a heavy backpack. Pockets are distributed in a logical manner, adding to the convenience. Sturdiest pack that we reviewed.
Cons: The heaviest of all our packs that we reviewed, and does not come with a rain cover. The waterproofing is not as good as top of the line packs.
Bottom Line: The Kelty 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. One of our favorite features in a backpack is good pockets on the hip best. Of all the packs we reviewed, the Kelty is the most durable – it will definitely provide the most value for the money.
If you have a budget of $150, we recommend the Kelty Coyote 65L Backpack. It offers the best combination of comfort, durability, and accessibility for multi-day hikes. You can purchase the Kelty Coyote HERE.
Osprey Packs Renn 50 Women’s Backpack
Pros: Osprey makes some of the best backpacks on the market, regardless of cost. Fits women very well. The weight is appropriate for women and the pack has excellent durability.
Cons: A bit minimalistic compared to other Osprey backpacks, not as many compartments as other models.
Bottom Line: Osprey backpacks are outstanding packs for multi-day hikes. The Renn is a great option for women who are beginners. It adjusts to the hiker quite well both with regards to height and shoulder and waist positioning. Despite being light and comfortable the Renn is a very sturdy backpack.
If only Osprey had a backpack for men under $150 that matched the Renn! We would 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.
MountainTop 55L Hiking Backpack
Pros: Extremely affordable backpack. Still has good levels of comfort and adjustability for the price. Can fit both men and women.
Cons: Will not hold up well with extremely heavy loads over time. May not be a good option for taller individuals, as the torso height adjustment is limited.
Bottom Line: This is definitely a get-what-you-pay-for type of pack. We appreciate that this backpack is cost effective, and if used correctly, can last for some time. This backpack can carry whatever you need it to, but packing too much does put a strain on the aluminum and plastic frame. The MountainTop will provide an average level of comfort but some adjustments will be necessary as you continue your hike.
Overall, this is a good packpack for true beginners or those who need a multi-day hiking pack perhaps two or three times a year. If you want a more durable pack, we suggest another backpack on this list. You can purchase the MountainTop 55L Backpack HERE.
Berghaus Trailhead 65L Rucksack
Pros: A powerhouse backpack; able to carry as much gear as you need for a multi-day hike. Very sturdy and durable pack for the weight. Suspension system is excellent.
Cons: Definitely made for larger individuals, smaller-framed persons may struggle to adjust the size to find comfort. Do not have the same number of compartments as other packs.
Bottom Line: Berghaus hails from Britain and make excellent backpacks, or “rucksacks.” These packs are clearly made with durability and strength in mind; they will not wear down quickly and provide very good levels of stability and support for heavy loads. Many users have commented that it makes the load feel lighter than it is.
The Berghaus Trailhead is a true contender for the crown of best multi-day backpack under $150. This pack does a great job of distributing weight and supporting a hiker through difficult hiking trips. You can purchase the Berghaus Trailhead HERE.
Nevo Rhino 60L Internal Frame Backpack
Pros: Very convenient pack for hikers who like pouches and compartments for their gears. Easy to access almost anything you need for your hike. Good durability relative to its light weight.
Cons: Despite its carrying capacity, it can feel small on larger individuals. Does not adjust well to different-sized hikers.
Bottom Line: The Nevo Rhino is a very underrated pack and while it may not be as heavy-duty as the Kelty or Berghaus, it is still a very good pack for medium-length hiking trips. It does provide as much space as you would need for a multi-day hike and gives a high level of comfort and adjustability for the price.
We call this pack underrated because it is quite comparable to the Kelty, but at about $50 cheaper. The Nevo Rhino looks great, carries well, and provides a good level of comfort. You can purchase the Nevo Rhino Backpack HERE.
Teton Sports Pursuit 2000 Daypack
Pros: We included the Teton Sports Pursuit 2000 Daypack because it will give you a good idea of what ultralight gear feels like. Weighs less than 2 pounds. Does carry weight well and is comfortable to the wearer.
Cons: At just 33 L, this is not a pack meant for more than 2 or 3 days of hiking. The hip belt is unreliable, can fail after heavy loads or longer usage. Can struggle to distribute and carry heavier weights.
Bottom Line: The Teton Sports Pursuit 2000 is a good option if you want to have a multi-use pack that can also introduce you to ultralight hiking. The ventilated padded back panel and shoulder straps are quite comfortable for a budget pack. You can fully adjust the fit in the waist, chest and shoulder, but it will be a bit uncomfortable with heavier loads. The shell has RipStop fabric for most rugged conditions with reinforced seams and a sewn-in rainfly. It does have multiple pockets and gear loops to provide storage options.
This pack will not be your go-to ultralight pack for any trip, but it is a great option for grab and go hikes or day hikes. You can purchase the Teton Pursuit 2000 HERE.
Go Back Trail Ultralight BackPack
Pros: A simple, lightweight, minimalist backpack that will give you a good taste of ultralight hiking. The large mesh pocket on the front of the pack makes for easy packing of items that you need to reach in a hurry. The roll top function allows you to manage the space of the pack, from 25 L to 40 L. Very affordable at around $60.
Cons: Not as light as the Teton Pursuit 2000. This is definitely a starter pack – it may not hold up well with loads over 25 pounds for longer hikes.
Bottom Line: We like the hip belt on the Go Back Trail Ultralight – it is padded with accessible hip belt pockets. It also does well to distribute weight, keeping the load off of your shoulders and back. We love the mesh pocket in the front – it is perfect for maps, rain gear and water. The lashing loops on the sides provide some helpful packing options. The semi-frameless internal frame keeps the overall pack weight down and helps to distribute the pack weight to your hips rather than your shoulders.
We prefer this pack to the Teton Pursuit 2000. While you probably shouldn’t expect this pack to last for thousands of miles, it is a really good affordable option for multi-day ultralight hiking trips. You can purchase the Go Back Trail Ultralight Backpack HERE.
Considerations For Choosing a Multi-Day Hiking Backpack
Let’s be honest – the more you spend on a hiking backpack, the better quality pack you will generally get.
Quality hiking backpacks can be expensive. While there are some good value options available, you should consider your backpack as an investment. It will be a vital part of your hiking set up for years to come.
However, if you can’t make a large financial commitment right away, you can still make a smart budget purchase that will give you a good starting point for both enjoying your hikes and deciding on what you will be looking for when you upgrade to a more expensive model.
If you are heading out on a multi-day hike, here are some 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).
If you choose to try an ultralight pack, many models do not offer the same level of structural support that heavier packs provide. However, they can be just as comfortable and reliable.
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. If you are only looking to hike a handful of times each year, you can get away with a lighter pack that might not offer the same stability and strength.
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.
If you are looking to start ultralight hiking, you will be looking for a lighter pack, and one that requires less gear.
Most multi-day hikes that are 5 days or less, undertaken any time of year, require a 50 to 60 liter backpack. An ultralight pack meanwhile, can be as small as 35 liters for the same duration of hike.
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.
It could be difficult for you to find a light, durable backpack for under $150. If you do, it will likely mean you have to find a smaller pack, rather than a lighter one with the same capacity and durability.
Backpack Fit To Your Body
Size is different that capacity or weight – it has all to do with how the pack fits your body. Two factors can influence how your pack fits – the size of the hip belt and the length of the suspension system.
If the hip belt is too large, the load will not rest correctly on your hips, putting greater strain on your shoulders and back. Your hips and midsection have larger bones and muscles, so they should carry the brunt of the weight. Be sure to have a pack with a hip belt that you can adjust to your body.
The same goes for the shoulder harnesses. Packs are sized by the length of your back or torso. You will need to measure each back according to your own body, as no two manufacturers offer exactly the same measurements.
In order to measure a pack to your body, measure from your C7 vertebrae (the prominent bone at the bottom of your neck) down to your iliac crest (the line running between the tops of your hip bones). That length, measured in inches, will correspond to each manufacturer’s sizing charts. Most packs feature a suspension adjustment so you can get the right fit.
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.
Once you find a pack that fits your body, carries weight well, gives you a strong level of comfort, and gives you the ability to pack how you want, you’ll have the right pack for you. Then you’ll have an idea of what packs are best for you.