Comfort is an important factor in your well-being. This list offers you the best hiking backpacks on a budget to help determine what makes your life much easier. It is important to be aware that the better the features, the more expensive the bag becomes. You should figure out what features you need the most before deciding on the best budget hiking backpack you need. Below is a list of the top 9 products that are affordable and equipped with many great features.
If you are interested in purchasing your own backpack then there are a few things you need to know: you need to assess your needs – the size, material, and weight are all big factors that come into play. It is important to determine what size pack you need, how much do you plan on carrying in terms of weight, and how long do you plan on hiking.
Usually, weekend packs are usually for one to three days. Multiple days are around three to five days at a range. It is really out of your best interest to not cram the day before a hike. The result leaves you unnecessary worry and damage to your hiking bag.
Top 11 Best Budget Hiking Backpack List
1. Mountain Top
The Mountaintop Top Internal Frame Hiking Backpack is a huge bag, allowing you to carry everything that you need to make your outdoor life easier and more fun. In terms of durability, the bag can do well against abrasion because of the rip-stop, nylon fabric, and YKK zippers.
The backpack gives a substantial amount of durability to endure rough terrain and mountaineering. It is also water-resistant so you will not need to worry about getting your belongings and your electronics wet. There is a rain cover to protect your pack, which is located in a separate compartment.
The bag carries different various straps for weight distribution and other adjustments as a bonus feature. The hiking backpack itself weighs about 4.4 pounds. There is also a hip belt pocket, allowing you to carry smaller items for quick access to your wallet, keys, or phone. The bottom access provides you a sleeping bag compartment. The top collar has a capacity to carry about 5 liters worth.
Lastly, there’s a hydration compartment that is located separately from the bladder sleeve in the main compartment. Despite all of its beneficial features, the pads of the pack are not adequately suited for long treks. Its rain cover is not large enough to cover fully if more items of 10 liters are added. During a long duration of travel, the waist straps may loosen up here and there. However, this is one of the best budget hiking backpacks on this list.
Sample Customer Review… Just got back from a 22 mile overnight hike in the smokies and I am very satisfied! My boyfriend has a $300 osprey pack and this little gem was just as if not better for long hikes than the higher-end packs. I had about 40lbs packed in and most of the trail was uphill and could barely tell I had that much weight on my back. If you want a very functional and comfortable pack and not looking to spend over $100…..invest in the mountain top!!!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
2. Loowoko 50L Hiking Backpack
The Loowoko 50L is perfect for any climate and is great for travelers facing unpredictable weather or terrain. Going somewhere hot? The mesh shoulder straps are super breathable and the elastic back support offers ventilation. Worried about rain? This backpack is waterproof and includes a rain cover for added protection. Not sure what the weather will bring? No problem, as there is an abundance of pockets and storage for you to pack supplies for any condition. A major benefit of this backpack is that even though it is large, it is super lightweight in comparison to most packs of its size. You still have all the room you need without having to sacrifice comfort, as the padded straps and lumbar padded back support are a luxury to have. For those of you who don’t like to trade comfort for additional space, this backpack offers both for a steal!
Sample Customer Review… I cannot even begin to rave enough about this pack! It is awesome! I am an avid hiker and I have a lot of packs, most of which were over $200. I got this pack because I was going on a last-minute hike and my sister had my medium-sized pack and couldn’t get it back to me in time. I ordered this pack plus 2 others with next-day delivery. The other two packs were terrible and I returned them (i doubted them even being the size they stated they were), but this one compared to the quality and functionality of all my others. I packed it up and got everything I needed for a 3 day 40-degree weather hike in there. The fit is amazing! This pack is so comfortable to wear and adjusts in all the right places. I am a 5’4″ 125lb woman and it fit me perfectly but it also fit my friend well who is 5’9″ 200lbs! Being a cheap pack I was concerned about the zippers but they’re still great showing zero signs of blowing out and all of the ties and straps are still excellent too. I highly recommend this pack to everyone.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
3. Teton Sports Explorer 4000
For those that need the extra room, the Teton Sports Explorer 4000 is 65L (others on this list are closer to 40L or less). The sleeping bag compartment, spacious main compartment, and weather shielded side pockets allow you to pack everything you would need and more for a hiking excursion. The larger size of this backpack correlates to the heavier weight at about 5 pounds. However, the torso, waist, shoulder, and chest straps are all adjustable, allowing you to find a comfortable fit and distribute the extra weight of the backpack equally. Another key feature of this backpack is its breathability. There is an air channel on the backside of this backpack, allowing for cool air to keep your back as sweat-free as possible. This backpack is perfect for longer excursions or for those who tend to pack heavy. If you need a high-quality, spacious backpack to get you through rugged conditions, make sure to take a look at the Teton 4000.
Sample Customer Review… I received this pack a few days ago and to be honest I was concerned that it wouldn’t adjust to fit me. I am 6’3″ tall and didn’t see many reviews about Tall people. This pack more than adjusted to fit me, it had room to spare. I actually have it one notch below the max. The great thing about this pack is that my wife (5’4″) can also wear the same pack and for that reason, we will be ordering a second pack. Besides the height, I felt this pack was more than adequate for capacity. I read many reviews about the small sleeping bag pouch, but I was able to fit my summer bag(+40), tent, stakes, and tent rainfly in the pouch with room to spare. I will just strap my tent poles on the side, which has straps specifically for that purpose. I do have a large winter bag which would be snug, but I would definitely strap that on the outside with all the extra straps this pack has. This pack has hidden pockets just about everywhere, which is nice when you have lots of gear you want to get at without unpacking everything. I started stuffing all my things in this pack to see what kind of balance it had and it felt great and was very sturdy. Let’s be honest though, the real reason I bought this pack was for the price… wow great pack for the money.Read more reviews at Amazon.com
4. Teton Sports Scout 3400
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack carries a 55L liter capacity. It is one of the largest sizes on this list, which can provide you some relief confidence during your travel. It is an expensive investment but worthy enough as it is a highly popular pick.
The fabric is made out of 600D diamond ripstop polyester, providing a highly durable bag with long usage and water resistance. This hiking backpack is the best for hiking since it can endure weather and abrasion from rocks or sand. In addition, the adjustable waist belt and torso helps users secure their balance and bag during a long hike.
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 also has thick-padded shoulder straps for added comfort to prevent shoulder strain. It also has molded channels as well as pads to allow breathability and airflow. Users will not need to endure a sweaty ordeal and discomfort while moving to their desired location.
The largest compartment of the pack can easily fit a sleeping bag for organization purposes. The multi-position torso adjustments allow necessary support to prevent the bag from shifting too much. The pack includes several pockets and small compartments to grant easier and faster access to essentials when required. If you need to grab your phone to check the time or for notifications, you will know the specific spot.
The downside is that the pack will become a bit heavy, but this only shows users that it can pack a good amount of important items. The size for the sleeping bag compartment is 14 inches x 8 inches x 8 inches, allowing most sleeping bags to fit. There is also a hydration bladder in the pack to allow you to quickly find your water supply. The large external mesh pocket is available for your clothes and other items.
Sample Customer Review… I used this pack for 7 days straight, 50+ miles of hiking, up to 15,000+ ft of elevation, and through 4 national parks(Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands) and could not be happier. through all of the stops, I had at least 20lbs of gear on my back and it was never a problem because the bag is comfortable. I will say that I am 6’1″ 185lbs and athletic, and it did take a day of adjustments to get it to where it was perfect, but it did end up being perfect. also, on top of that, my girlfriend was annoyed that her 200$ Deuter bag had less storage on it than this. I would not hesitate to purchase this bag and have found that Teton products are on par with some of the best out there. I am kind of interested to see what else they offer, and will definitely look to them in the future for all of my hiking needs.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling out of town or on the road to a hike, you need a decent pack like the OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L. The pack’s 50L capacity has the potential to carry a tent and other essentials to keep warm and safe during rough weather.
The hiking backpack is waterproof, and it also contains a rain cover to allow you to carry your bag with no problems. It is also made out of nylon as the fabric to provide durability and comfort. Inside, it contains a laptop compartment so you can work while enjoying your surroundings.
There are plenty of small and large pockets to contain your essential items conveniently. In addition, there are various attachments to carry hydration bottles, sleeping ware, and others. As for stylish options, there are a multitude of colors (black, light blue, green, yellow, red) to choose from.
This bag is so versatile that you can make use of this for any daily activity, apart from hiking. To balance the load, there are several straps to keep your things in place. The hip straps and side straps allow you to carry your belongings without too much strain. The heavy-duty YKK zippers can withstand the load with no problems.
Sample Customer Review… We just got back from 2 weeks in Italy – this is the only piece of ‘luggage’ that I brought – my son brought this too. We had to hike up a significant distance to one of our overnights. This is by no means a fitted, hikers backpack – but it was very comfortable for what we used it for – hauling 20 pounds of our daily ‘stuff’ – clothing, toiletries, guidebooks, cameras, etc… I am 5’4″ and 120 lbs and my son is 6’1″ and 180 lbs and the pack did fine for both of us. A little big for me but not too much and a little small for him but not too much – the size issues did not result in discomfort even when fully loaded. The pack is extremely lightweight and at first, I thought it might not make it two weeks with the abuse we would be giving it. I figured it would essentially be a ‘disposable’ pack. But honestly, it held up great and I will be keeping it and using it again for sure. The waterproof cover is a luxury not to be expected in a pack at this price. I would absolutely buy this pack again.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
The Outlander 33L Lightweight Hiking Backpack is made out of ripstop fabric and a water-resistant coating, allowing you to carry this without any mind. The capacity is 33L, allowing you to only carry what you need and want at a good size. If you don’t need to use the pack right away, that’s okay. You can fold this bag into a carry-on bag to save space.
The shoulder straps also have a breathable mesh and sponge padding to allow comfortable usage during a long hike or travel. There are adjustable shoulder straps for flexibility in sizing. The 33L stores enough items for a one-week hike which is a nice feature.
The Outlander 33L Lightweight Hiking Backpack has multiple sections: 1 large compartment, 2 side pockets, 1 internal zippered pocket, and 2 front zipper pockets. The zippers are SBS, so they are abrasion-resistant and durable. Overall, the hiking backpack is lightweight so you don’t need to worry about back pain and discomfort while hiking.
Sample Customer Review… We’ve just returned from 7 days of hiking with these beauties; both my daughter and I loved them. We have the smaller of the two sizes (20L) and found them perfect – they suit Frontier’s size requirements for a “personal item” and were light and comfortable for hiking in upper 90’s weather for mountainous 9-mile hikes in both North Carolina and Colorado Springs. They helped us conquer the legendary “Incline” of Manitou Springs and a fabulous bike ride all the way down Pikes Peak when hydration, stability, and comfort were paramount. They easily carried several water bottles, personal items, car keys safely zipped into the carrying pouch, light jacket, sunscreen, snacks, maps, phone, etc. (I even washed mine when we returned last night and it came out looking like new after I snipped a few threads around the zipper.) Even if it had not survived for another trip, these were well worth the price. And yes – I have gotten mine back into its pouch several times with ease. I traveled with this packed in my larger backpack until we were preparing for the day trips; she slid hers under the airplane seat easily. Both worked beautifully.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
The Wasing 55L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack contains 55 liters and maybe a good dupe for the OutdoorMaster 50l. It is made out of water-resistant rip-stop polyester for durability and comfort. It also has a back panel with airflow channels to allow breathability for your back, allowing it to stay cool. The molded foam on the back panel has enough airflow to keep your back dry and cool.
In this pack, there are about 9 pockets with half inside and outside, allowing you to organize and pack efficiently. The hip belt pocket, bladder sleeve, front pocket, 2 side pockets, and rain cover compartment are part of the 9 pockets. The backpack comes with a rain cover, allowing more water resistance. When you accidentally get an injury without a cellphone, there is an emergency whistle buckle on the pack when the time comes. Hopefully, you don’t end up in that situation.
You can also adjust the shoulder straps and hip straps of this hiking backpack if needed. Despite all of the benefits, the lack of padding makes the backpack less comfortable for long periods of usage. On top of that, the lack of durability can become a problem for hikers who prefer to travel long hikes.
Sample Customer Review… I knew when I was leaving for my travels I wanted a really quality, durable, water-resistant backpack but I also wanted it to be affordable. Based on the research I had done at the time this bag was the best option for that. I have lived out of this backpack for about six months in countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. With only a few minor stitches needed along the way, this pack has been very good to me. It is lightweight, the shoulder and waist straps are very comfortable and breath well, the pockets are well thought out, the compression straps are strong, fit quite a lot and it truly was incredibly durable. The water-resistant feature works very well! I never had any issues with my things being wet. I was not gentle on this bag whatsoever. My travels took me to some pretty rural and different places. Over this time the bag was thrown, buried under other’s belongings, sat in the bottom of leaky boats, stored in almost 100% humidity, stuffed beyond belief, and just had a tough life. This pack lasted about six months before it had finally had enough of being stuffed to the brim with all of the things I collected along the way. I 100% would recommend this bag to anyone who is living the backpacker lifestyle!Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
8. Osprey Daylite Plus
Are you looking for something casual and different? Here is a low-volume and lightweight bag with a slot for a laptop for your traveling needs. It is a well-designed and sturdy pack with 14 different color combinations. You can suit your stylish needs as well as get a durable pack.
The shoulder straps provide a good contour; making it an appealing backpack. As a lightweight hiking backpack, it does not allow you to carry so much. It has a capacity of only 20L, only suitable for small hikes that are not demanding. It carries a lot of compartments and outer compartments for organization. This is an inexpensive pack for people who travel casually.
Sample Customer Review… I could not be happier with this backpack. As a train commuter, I have been using a bulky Swiss Gear backpack for the past 5 years. It has held up really well but I wanted something more streamlined. I was shocked that all of my gear, laptop included, fits into this smaller pack with room to spare. On top of that, the weight distributes across my shoulders and chest in such a way that I can barely tell I am carrying anything. All the same gear, but it feels 15 pounds lighter than my old backpack. Kudos to Osprey! I will be a customer for life. Super impressed!”Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
9. Venture Pal
For hikers, it is important to have a pack durable enough with a decent capacity of 40L. This hiking pack has heavy-duty nylon, allowing you to feel at ease when you accidentally collide with something. It is also water-resistant, so light rain showers and water will not be a problem.
The backpack weighs 0.7 lbs for minimalistic usage. Most importantly, the backpack has SBS metal zippers to allow your pack to tank the weight of your items. As for comfort, the hiking backpack has a breathable mesh with sufficient sponge padding for your shoulders. The straps are easy to adjust, and the chest strap secures the overall balance of you and your bag as you move. There are 7 pockets in total to give you flexibility in how you carry and sort your items.
Sample Customer Review… Bought multiple packs to try at Disneyland this spring. The first day I loaded this one up with 2-liters of water, snacks, camcorder equipment, a light jacket, GoPro equipment. With the additional straps this snugged down great so taking the pack on and off for each ride/attraction was simple. It was dragged, dropped, pulled on, snagged, smashed, and jerked, and held up like new. I loved the waterproof pocket on the inside which though designed to store our stuff, was a lifesaver for protecting sensitive items during rides that tend to splash a lot of water all over the rider. I did not even try the other packs and used this one the entire week. When done it folded up into its special self-contained pouch and went back into my suitcase taking up very little space. A great pack that will become a standard day pack going forward. Absolutely love it.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
10. Teton Sports Oasis
Teton Sports Oasis 1100 2 Liter Hydration Backpack is a versatile and stylish backpack. For those who like a minimalistic variety, this pack should appeal to you. It only carries a capacity of 18 liters, making this only for short hikes and travels. The backpack has an appealing design, making it obvious to locate during your hike. It carries useful features to provide support for your travel. It is lightweight with comfortable padding to provide comfortable wear.
The straps are also adjustable to ensure that the bag does not shift so often around your back and shoulders. It also allows a compartment, a 2L- hydration bladder, to provide just enough to satisfy your hydration need. There is also a sip tube that provides convenient access to water. There are times that you feel too tired to reach for a large water bottle, a sip tube is available at your service. It can be really hard sometimes to find the best budget hiking backpack to fit all your needs!
This hiking backpack is probably the best one you can find out of the many bags on the market. There is a rain cover provided when you purchase this bag. In addition, the backpack has a honeycomb ripstop of 600D PU for maximum durability. The bag itself is about 2 lbs when unfilled. The expandable waist belt can stretch to 152 cm. It comes in the colors: green, orange, bright green, black, and bright blue.
Sample Customer Review… A great alternative to more expensive day packs. I took it camping this weekend which involved some long hikes with my boy scouts, including getting caught in a ton of rain. I was super-prepared with my TETON Oasis bag, and looked good while doing it! I got a ton of compliments on the bag. Was able to bandage up a scraped knee, stop a blister in its tracks, bust out raincoats for me and my 2 son’s when needed(the included rain cover came out in an instant and worked great!), keep me and my boys hydrated, and even had room for snacks for the little ones on the longer hikes. The side mesh pockets fit extra water bottles perfectly to bring along for the less prepared, or smaller items like flashlights. Tons of pockets, and tons of adjust-ability.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
11. Skog Å Kust BackSåk
The Skog A Kust BackSak Waterproof Floating Backpack is perfect for stylish points, lightweight, and durability. It comes in sizes of 25L and 35L. The bag weighs around 2.4 lbs. The fabric is made out of waterproof 500-denier PVC to keep your belongings dry and safe in various outdoor sports and hiking activities.
The sternum clip and sufficient padded back support allow you relief on your muscles. The D-rings at the sides allow you to hold water bottles and other gear. There is also an interior pocket and mesh pockets that keep your electronics and other values separate from wet towels.
The clips are Duraflex UTX clips so you can secure your bag as you carry them. You can also save space by simply folding the roll-down from the top at least three times, then click the top clip to form a handle. The bag is not intended for underwater use or long submersion.
Sample Customer Review… I bought this bag because I was going to Costa Rica and many articles/blogs I read regarding traveling in the country spoke about having a dry pack to ensure your camera gear or valuables didn’t get wet since in many areas you are bound to get rained on. My trips were in September and October (the rainest months of the year). My purchase was for the 25 Liter bag. I thought maybe that would be too small since I didn’t have a visual in my head, but now having it I think the 35 Liter would be ridiculously large for me. I love this bag! The outside is very easy to clean and wipe off. I hiked all around with my bag and even used it for work while I was visiting Costa Rica. It was perfect because it rained more in the area where my office was than where we ventured out and kept my laptop safe as well. You can fit a ton of stuff in the bag. It almost feels like a Mary Poppins bag. You can keep pulling endless amounts of things out of it. If you are going anywhere and need a dry pack or simply like the bag, go for it!!!! I would highly recommend it. I’ve received so many compliments on it.Read more reviews at Amazon.com.
Buying Guide: Things to Consider When Purchasing a Budget Hiking Backpack
Keep in mind what season and what location you will be hiking in. People usually like lightweight packs for faster movement for a small hike. On the other hand, extreme hikers like to carry more baggage for longer and slower hikes. Some backpacks have internal frames that cause a lot of sweating, making it unpleasant for users to continue longer hikes. There are many companies that use materials to prevent this inconvenience. On a side note, beginners should prioritize their clothing, water supplies, and some food in separate spots within your backpack. Advanced hikers should carry a larger bag and a sleeping tent for longer durations.
Hiking is part of your important lifestyle, promoting your health and mental well-being. It is especially important to grab a pack to support your daily values. You can find a durable, flexible, water-resistant, and lightweight bag from one of the hiking backpacks listed above. Find the best budget hiking backpack to satisfy your wants and needs for outdoor activities, adventuring, and a better lifestyle!
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Written by Tammy Mui and Cassidy Beshel