When you’re looking for the best hiking backpack there are some things to look for that indicate you’re choosing the right accessory. Here are just a few features to consider before you settle on the final backpack for your next hiking adventure.


There are two things to consider when choosing a size; the capacity and the measurements. The measurements refer to the length, width, and diameter of the, with different shapes and sizes available. The capacity is always shown in liters and refers to how much space is within the bag.
Depending on how long you’re hiking for and how much gear you need, this should be compatible with the hiking backpack volume.


Hiking backpacks are almost always made of durable but lightweight materials. This means they won’t weigh the hiker down and will give you more weight to be used for your gear.

The durability is important because it has to last outside and in harsher conditions than usual. Commonly, these bags are made of nylon, polyester, Cordura, and canvas, all offering a lightweight but tough approach.

Number Of Compartments

This might not appeal to all hikers but if you’re someone who likes to keep your gear organized it’s an essential feature. There are many different compartments to a hiking bag or you can go for a simple approach, depending on your personal preference. Cell phone holders, shoe storage pockets, water bottle holders, and various compartments are available on these bags.

Extra Features

There are a number of additional features that can make your hiking experience more enjoyable but if you prefer a simple approach you’ll probably want your backpack to reflect that. Rain pouches, built in navigational compasses, emergency whistle, and water filters are just some of the impressive feature you can find on a hiking backpack.


When you’re traveling long distances you want a bag that’s comfortable and supportive so you should find one with ergonomic features. These can include padded shoulder straps, contoured back, a weighted construction to keep you balanced, and efficiently placed compartments that allow for minimal strain as you reach for things.


Although not important to everyone, there are some that like to look the part when outdoors and want a hiking backpack that’s stylish as well as practical. There are various colors including those closely matched to nature like green and brown, otherwise a sleek, all black approach might be better suited to your taste.

The backpack is the quintessential hiking accessory as it gives you somewhere to keep all of your belongings but leave your hands free to explore your surroundings. Whether you’re checking out the local wildlife or taking a well-deserved sip of water, you’ll be glad you had your hands free while all of your gear is kept safely on your back.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good hiking backpack?

A good hiking backpack should meet certain criteria. The capacity of the backpack should be able to accommodate the amount of gear you intend on carrying; base this on the length of your trip and how much you plan on packing; you should avoid carrying more than necessary.

The back should properly fit your body; the length of your torso, not your height, is what matters most. There are three main types of backpacks; internal-frame, external-frame, and frameless. The best option depends on your specific needs.

A good backpack will offer effective ventilation to prevent overheating, will be easily accessible, and offer enough compartments to stow all of your essentials. Padding is also important; a good back will feature padding along the back, as well as on the handles. It should also contain straps along the chest and waist that can secure the backpack in place.

Do I need a hiking backpack?

If you intend on taking a hike that will last a period of several hours or longer over moderate to intense terrain, you should definitely consider investing in a hiking backpack. These backpacks are specifically designed to accommodate the essential gear that you will need while you are hiking. They are also designed to offer the maximum amount of comfort while it is strapped to your back and you are walking.

Make sure to select a backpack that properly fits your torso, is lightweight, breathable, and is the right size to hold your gear.

How do I choose a hiking backpack?

It’s important to pick a backpack that fits the size of your torso. Measure along your spine from the top of your hips to the base of your neck and select a backpack that matches these dimensions.

You should also consider the capacity of the pack. A 20 to 50 liter pack is ideal for a 1 to 2 night trip; a 50 to 60 liter pack is suitable for a weekend excursion; a 60 to 80 liter back is ideal for multi-day trip, and a pack that is 80 liters or more is suitable for an extended excursion.

The pack should also feature padded straps that can be adjusted, offer support, is breathable, and offer easily accessible compartments.

What is the best day pack for hiking?

The best day pack for hiking measures 20 liters or less in size. It should be sized to fit your torso appropriately. The shoulder straps should be padded and adjustable. It should be made of durable, yet lightweight, breathable material. It should also offer pockets that are easily accessible, yet close securely.

Can a hiking backpack also be used as a carry on?

Hiking backpacks can be used as a carry on, as long as they meet the requirements that are set forth by the TSA, as well as the requirements of the airline for carry-on luggage. Backpacks that feature internal frames are ideal for carry-on use.

What do hikers carry in their backpacks?

Hikers back the essentials that they will need to ensure their safety and comfort. The specific items will vary, depending on the length and extent of the excursion, as well as personal preference. However, there are some basic essentials that should be packed.

Food, water, bug repellent, sunscreen, a first aid kit, navigational tools, clothing, extra footwear, toiletries, trash bags, and a pocket knife should all be packed. For hikers who are camping, a backpack and tent should also be stowed in a pack.

The Most Important Piece Of Hiking Gear

Regardless of your hiking skills, you’ll no doubt understand that the gear you take along with you on the trails can mean the matter of a good or bad experience. In some cases, it can be even more serious and mean a matter of life or death, so choosing the best hiking backpack is about more than just finding something stylish.

These bags might look simple on the outside but they are responsible for holding our gear, keeping us safe and balanced, and being the one reliable thing we can count on in the great outdoors. With the job of holding important supplies like food and shelter you really don’t want to trust any old backpack to take hiking which is why you need to make the right choice.

Too many people focus on the stuff inside their bags while leaving the choice of the backpack to the last moment. However, your hiking backpack should actually be considered the most important piece of hiking gear you own and be given even more thought than the others.

With the best hiking backpack in your possession, you won’t have to give a second thought to the safety or condition of your gear. No matter if it’s raining or sunny, through rugged conditions or smooth ones, having the perfect hiking backpack for your adventure is the smartest investment you’ll ever make.

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