It is absolutely critical for you to pay attention to the quality of a backpack when purchasing a backpack for your hiking and expedition trips.
Quality doesn´t mean that you have to stick to a name-brand; however, it does mean well-built. When selecting a backpack, you should ideally get one that is appropriately sized, has padded hip belts, lightweight internal frame, and is constructed of the most sturdy and durable fabric and materials.
Now, the backpack market is flooded with outdoor brands, all of which claim to be the best and of the highest quality. However, the ones worth purchasing are very few and far between; some of the options on the market are truly rubbish.
Before we talk about the various hiking backpacks that provide the best bang for the buck, let´s discuss some of the important factors you need to consider when shortlisting and selecting the best hiking backpack for the money.
Pay attention to your comfort
We can´t stress enough on the importance of you choosing a hiking backpack that is comfortable. If you intend to carry a heavy load in your pack, it is critical for the backpack to boast a hip belt that conveniently transfers the majority of the weight onto your hips, thus, preventing back strain and pain.
Spare no expense in your purchase
Let us be blunt here—you get what you pay for. The more you spend, the better a hiking backpack you will get. There is no denying the fact that a high-quality backpack will cost you a pretty penny.
However, you should consider it as a long-term investment as the high-quality backpack will give you a lifetime guarantee. We highly believe that it is worth spending the extra buck for higher-quality backpacks.
Opt for something lightweight
It is ideal for your backpack to be as lightweight as possible. Generally speaking, the backpack should be lightweight and incredibly durable and tough. However, you should be careful of ultralight backpacks that break pretty quickly and can´t stand the wear and tear of being thrown around.
Try to go for internal frame backpacks
Internal backpacks have supporting rods built into the bag instead of outside of it, making them practical and easy to carry around. On the other hand, external frames make your bags heavier. And, trust us when we say this—you wouldn´t want a bulky and complicated backpack when you are hiking across difficult terrain.
Pay attention to the fabric and material of the backpack
It is inevitable for backpackers to face the elements when hiking. Rain, heat or even snow, everything can happen when you are out there in the wilderness. During such harsh conditions, you will need a backpack that is capable of resisting the elements. Hence, it is necessary for you to pay attention to the fabric and material of the backpack when choosing a backpack.
Now, light and resistant materials such as Dyneema are perfect, especially because this fabric is resistant to water. Although Dyneema backpacks are priced rather exorbitantly, they are undoubtedly worth the investment.
If you don´t have the time to conduct your own research and would rather prefer us to direct you to some of the best hiking backpacks for the money, you can rest assured knowing that we have you covered. Without further ado, here are the backpacks, in our opinion, that are worth their weight in gold.
Osprey Aether 70
Manufactured by the renowned manufacturer, Osprey, the Osprey Aether 70 is undoubtedly one of the best all-rounder backpacks in the world.
This backpack fares extremely well in the comfort and durability department. We also love the fact that this backpack features plenty of pockets and compartments to keep things extra organized. You can bet your bottom dollar that you have enough space on the Osprey Aether 70 to fit all of your gear.
In addition to that, you can even attach your gear on the outside. It also helps that the backpack boasts an AirScape ventilated back panel that can help you keep cool on the warmest escapades.
The North Face Cobra
Now, if you are on the lookout for a backpack for winter and mountaineering treks, you should look no further than The North Face Cobra.
This mountaineering backpack has been specifically designed for winter environments and even features a ski carrying system and a wide range of removable components perfect for snowy escapades. Now, what makes this particular backpack ideal for difficult winter travels undoubtedly has to be its ultralight weight.
It is also quite practical as it has external wand pockets that give easy access while on the trail. We also love the fact that it comes with reflective hits, hip belt padding, and lash points.
Berghaus Freeflow 20L
If you are strapped for cash and can´t afford to go big on a backpack, we would recommend the Berghaus Freeflow 20L. There is no denying the fact that this backpack is one of the best budget hiking backpacks around.
The backpack´s free flow V fresh air technology ensures that there is plenty of airflow between the pack and your back, keeping you cheerfully dry throughout the hike, ensuring that sweating is kept on the low.
We also love the fact that the backpack has a padded hip belt, numerous pockets for storage, a built-in rain cover, and a safety whistle on the chest strap. This backpack is extremely cheap considering the quality.
Deuter Air Contact
Although the Deuter Air Contact isn´t exactly the lightest backpack, it is definitely one of the most comfortable, best hiking backpacks for the money.
This particular backpack is sturdy, durable and has been specifically constructed for long hikes. The waist belt and shoulder straps are perfect for carrying heavy loads and its ventilation system ensures that you remain fresh and cool, regardless of the weather conditions. We are huge fans of the backpack´s detachable rain cover and its super-resistant dual zippered cargo pockets.
You can also check out our article on what we think are the top five mountaineering backpacks here.