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7 Best Hiking Backpacks – Top Picks and Reviews for 2017

Good camping backpacks are sturdy, reliable, and contain multiple storage pockets that allow you to carry a wide range of items. They should also be comfortable and support your health by minimizing back and waist pain. Finding the best backpack for your camping needs requires focusing carefully on the demands of your experience and sorting through the various features that are included with each bag.

Finding the best backpack for your camping needs requires focusing carefully on the demands of your experience and sorting through the various features that are included with each bag.

The following six backpacks are among the most popular on the market for 2017. Each is a gem of backpack design and more than worth your serious consideration.

Let’s take a look at each of them individually and gauge their strongest points.

Here’s our comparison chart to the top hiking backpacks for men and women:

6 Best Hiking backpacks for Men and Women

  1. Gregory Mountain Men’s Baltoro 65 – Best Hiking Backpack for Men
  2. Osprey Women’s Ariel 65 Backpack – Best Hiking Backpack for Women
  3. TETON Sports Scout 3400 – Best Backpack for Camping
  4. Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG
  5. The North Face Unisex Borealis Backpack
  6. Osprey Packs Talon 22 – Best Pick for Cyclists


 Best Hiking Backpacks for 2017

Top Pick: Gregory Mountain Men’s Baltoro 65 – Best Hiking Backpack for Men

Gregory Mountain Products focuses on creating backpacks that suit multiple camping needs. While they are sometimes a little pricier than other models, they are often among the most popular and useful on the market. Their Men’s Baltoro 65 is one of the best models they’ve produced in recent years. Here’s a look at its best features and why you should consider purchasing one.

Responsive Suspension

While “suspension” may make this backpack sound like a pickup truck, it simply indicates the balancing action of the backpack. With an A3 suspension, this pack is comfortable to carry and well-balanced on your back.

LumbarTune Support

Carrying a backpack for extended periods of time can be a painful and difficult task. The patented LumbarTune support of this backpack helps create a customized lower back support system. As a result, you’ll feel more comfortable on the trail for a longer time.

SideKick Option

Keeping your bag well-covered is crucial to proper camping. This bag not only comes with an integrated rain cover to protect it, but also comes with a SideKick option that serves as a daypack and hydration sleeve. As a result, you can stay well fed and hydrated on the trail.


While this bag is a little more expensive than some of the others on this list, it has the kind of high-quality features that makes it a popular choice for a wide range of camping enthusiasts. Don’t be afraid to try this one out!

2nd Pick: Osprey Women’s Ariel 65 Backpack – Best Hiking Backpack for Women

While Osprey is well-known for creating high-quality backpacks for men, they also work hard to create packs that women can use. Their specialty is in creating gender-specific backpacks that maximize comfort by adjusting to the unique needs of that sex. This backpack is their best model for women because it provides a variety of useful amenities.

IsoForm Hip Belt

A good hip belt is a necessity for any backpack. They help stabilize the backpack and decrease your stamina drain when using one. The IsoForm belt used on this model is firm enough to avoid serious shaking, but it is also cushioning enough to provide extended hiking comfort.

LightWire Peripheral Frame

Backpack frames are designed to withstand the majority of the weight contained in a backpack. This LightWire frame will shift the weight of your backpack to your hip belt, evenly distributing it to avoid the aches and pains caused by heavy backpacks.

External Hydration Sleeve

Storing your water inside of the backpack is often a bad idea. Why? It is easy for the water to come open and spill everywhere inside. That’s why this pack includes an external hydration sleeve. This keeps your water away from your delicate interior items.


For just $160, this is a pretty solid deal. Osprey has created a women’s backpack that will survive the wear-and-tear of the wilderness. It will also help protect their backs and their health from the pain that comes from an unbalanced pack.

Best Value for Money Pick: TETON Sports Scout 3400 – Best Budget Backpack for Camping

TETON is a respected producer of great camping gear that has been in business for over a decade. They work at creating items that are fairly priced and offer a high level of quality. Their Sports Scout 3400 is one of their most popular items. Here’s what you can anticipate if you decide to invest in this great little backpack.

High Level Of Storage

With 3,400 cubic inches (hence its name), this backpack can store a wide range of items. When you’re camping (or even just going to school), that extra room can be used to pack all of the essential items that you’ll need for the day or the trip.

Variety Of Amenities

A good backpack is adaptable to a variety of situations. This model has two barrel-lock drawstrings that make it easier to close, as well as gear loops for ski poles, axes, shovels, and more. With the top carry-loop, it is easy to carry this backpack where you want to go.


For just $65, this is practically a steal. You have a lot of storage room, a handsome style, multiple storage pockets, and amenities that make this the kind of backpack you should seriously consider for your next camping trip.

4th Pick: Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG

Osprey is a sporting goods manufacturer with one major goal in mind: producing quality backpacks and camping gear that is perfect for both genders. To meet this end, they have produced the Atmos 65 AG backpack for men. This is one of their most respected models on the market today because it provides multiple features that you can’t get anywhere else.

Anti-Gravity Suspension

No, your backpack isn’t going to float, but its anti-gravity suspension delivers a comfortable, balanced, and well-ventilated backpacking experience. It includes a seamless back panel that will help make this backpack more comfortable and easy to wear.

Fit-on-the-Fly Belt

Adjusting your backpack during a camping trip needs to be a quick and easy task. The fit-on-the-fly belt of this model makes it easier to keep your backpack sitting comfortably on your body at all time. It is located on the hip for even easier adjustment ability.

Eight Storage Pockets

Each model of this backpack comes with five exterior zipper pockets that are roomy and easy to open and close. It also includes three slip pockets that you can use to store food, water, and much more. This makes it a very adaptable backpack for a variety of situations.


Osprey does it again with this high-value backpack. While it can cost over $200 in some situations, it is a more than worthwhile investment. You can’t ask for much more than what this model offers you.

5th Pick: The North Face Unisex Borealis Backpack

The North Face is primarily a clothing producer that also dabble a little with sporting goods. One of their most popular sporting items is their Unisex Borealis backpack. It is designed to be perfect for both genders and fits people of a wide range of heights and weights. There are also several features that make it more than worth considering.

High-Quality Nylon

Nylon is an inexpensive material that still offers campers a wide variety of protection benefits. The all-nylon construction of this backpack helps keep its price down while still providing you with the high-quality backpack that you deserve.

Multiple Interior Pockets

Keeping your items separate inside of your backpack is crucial. To address this problem, this backpack has several different interior pockets that protect your clothes from getting caked with food. Make sure to shut them all the way to fully protect your goods.

Top Handle For Carrying

The easy-to-use top handle of this backpack makes this one of the easiest to haul. It is perfect for those moments when your back starts to hurt and you need to carry your pack in your hands. It can be adjusted slightly for improved comfort.


While not one of the greatest backpacks on this list, this inexpensive North Face bag still offers some great benefits. It is perfect for the occasional hiker or weekend warrior who needs something to carry their shoes and extra clothes in to keep them clean while out on the busy camping trails.

6th Pick: Osprey Packs Talon 22 – Best Pick for Cyclists

Having already discussed Osprey above, let’s just focus on what makes this pack different from the models previously discussed. For one thing, it is available for as little as $67 from many retailers. It has also been fine-tuned for comfort using a variety of unique features. While it is similar to the Osprey models mentioned above, it is worth discussing some of the ways in which it differs from them.

BioStretch Hip Belt

BioStretch material is gender-specific, meaning that it will adjust to better fit male or female campers. That’s why it is so important to buy Osprey bags for the right gender. BioStretch helps make it more comfortable than other backpacks at a fraction of the cost.

Light YKK Buckles

The very light YKK buckles utilized on this backpack are designed to hold fast and never let go. This helps keep the bag tight to your body at all times to avoid discomfort. It also avoids those annoying situations when your buckles come loose and your bag tumbles away.

Lidlock Helmet Attachment

Those who are on a cycling tour love this backpack because it comes with a lidlock helmet attachment guide. This makes it easy to attach your helmet to your backpack and keeps it from falling off at crucial situations. Perfect for the “on-the-go” camper who needs a place to store his goods.


The many features of this backpack make it one that is perfect for cyclists who don’t want to spend a lot of money. It is also suitable for lighter and less serious camping situations, such as camping in a tent or relaxing on the beach.

How to pick just one?!

So which of these backpacks is right for your needs? The Osprey Packs Talon 22 is a great choice for cyclists, especially because it is so inexpensive. On the other hand, the TETON bags mentioned here provide a high-level of comfort that is hard to beat. While being a little more expensive than some of the other bags here, they are still a great investment due to that comfort.

It all comes down to which of the features you think suit your needs. By feature shopping in this way you can find the perfect backpack for your camping experience. Don’t neglect the three most important factors – comfort, storage, and price – and you can’t go wrong.

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