When choosing the right mountaineering backpack, not all backpacks are created equal. As a climber and outdoor enthusiast, your average everyday backpack just won’t do.
Having the right equipment and gear for your outdoor adventures can be the difference between reaching your climbing goals or having to call it a day early.
Fortunately, due to the increase in mountain climbing popularity over the years, the options for the best mountaineering backpacks continue to increase.
In today’s ultimate list, we’ll explore some of the best hiking backpack brands, the best heavy duty backpacks, best backpacks for heavy loads and all the gear you need to make your next hiking and climbing trip memorable.
We know that the perfect mountaineering backpack not only needs to be waterproof, lightweight, and high quality, it needs to be able to keep you focused on wherever your adventures take you.
In our top 5 best mountaineering backpacks of 2018, we examined hundreds of backpacks and created our top list based on price, functionality, and even comfort.
Whether you’re new to the world of climbing and hiking or are a seasoned pro needing the best gear, investing in the right backpack is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Whether you’re looking to set a new personal best for climbing, or just want the best mountaineering backpack for the money available we’re confident you’ll find your next backpack on our in-depth list.
Let’s take a look at what we believe to be the top 5 best mountaineering backpacks on the market today, and help you decide which backpack is best for your specific needs.
The Wasing 55L Internal Frame Mountaineering Backpack
One of the most popular mountaineering backpacks on the market today, and for a good reason, the Wasing 55Lk Internal Frame backpack really delivers for seasoned climbers and hiking enthusiasts alike.
With your choice of 5 distinct colors, dark blue, red, green, light blue, and yellow, you can proudly wear your backpack in style and feel confident knowing it will be exactly what you need for your specific use case.
At just under $50, the Wasing 55L is an incredibly good deal for those on a budget but who don’t want to sacrifice on quality overall. The skin of the backpack is made from water-resistant polyester which is incredibly durable when put through a wide variety of outdoor activities. This isn’t that backpack that will rip or tear after just a few uses.
The backpack has most if not all of the standard features you would expect from a high-quality mountaineering backpack. The Wasing 55L has an outside pickax pocket, adjustable buckle, rain cover and a total carrying capacity of 55L. While the standard backpack base holds 50L comfortably, it can be extended with the extension collar to offer 5 L more of carrying space.
The Wasing 55L can be used rain or shine and comes with a high-quality bottom zipper access rain cover to help cover your gear in the event of a storm, so you can be rest assured your equipment is safe and dry.
Thanks to the included adjustment buckle, you can also adjust the backpack to a wide variety of settings based on your specific preference. Whether you prefer a more tighter fit or enjoy hiking and climber with a looser fit, the backpack is fully adjustable to fit your needs.
The backpack also includes incredibly padded shoulder straps and a comfortable hip belt to keep you comfortable while climbing.
Unlike some other mountaineering backpacks that add unnecessary features at the cost of additional weight, this bag does a great job of creating the best of both worlds; it includes all the features you need while remaining lightweight so you can climb and hike for as long as you possibly can.
One nice thing about the Wasing 55L is that its pockets are designed with high-quality material and can be accessed easily throughout your hike or climb, no need to spend minutes trying to get the gear you need when you need it.
This bag is nearly as good as it gets.
- Incredible value for the price, you won’t find a bag this high quality for cheaper.
- Comfortable and well equipped to meet virtually all of your hiking and climbing needs.
- Can be purchased in a wide variety of colors and styles to meet your specific needs.
- While the material for the backpack is high quality, the Wasing 55L isn’t as durable as some of the higher end backpacks.
- Depending on your specific body type and height, the bag might feel less comfortable than other backpack options.
Mountaintop 70L/75L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack
Next on our list is the incredibly durable and spacious Mountaintop 70L/75L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack. Not just suited for hiking, this backpack is also the perfect fit for all your mountaineering needs. The Mountaintop 70L can be purchased in over ten different colors so you can find the exact style you’re looking for.
With zipper front access across the bag, you can easily access and retrieve anything you’re carrying which makes it one of the most convenient bags around.
Included in the bag is it’s signature daisy chains which can be hooked to a carabiner so you can carry your hiking stick, ice ax, or tripod for your photographs during the hike.
The mountaintop 70L also comes with over eight different compression straps giving you virtually unlimited possibilities for what you can carry with you on your climb or trek.
Whether you’re bringing a sleeping bag, hammock, or even your tent, you can easily attach your gear to your backpack and carry it with you with ease.
One great feature of the Mountaintop bag is the bottom compartment divider that creates the perfect place to hold your shoes or wet clothes.
There’s nothing worse than mixing your dirty clothes or shoes with your other nice gear. The bag also comes with a hydration access point making it easy to up to a 3L container so you can stay hydrated on the fly.
As with the other backpacks on the list, included with the Mountaintop 70L is an easily storable rain-cover soft shell that protects all your gear from adverse weather.
At the cost of around 80 dollars, this Mountaintop bag is one of the best values in the mountaineering backpack space and again made from some of the best material around. The bag is built with some of the highest quality nylon imported directly from Korea.
Mountaintop is also considered to be one of the best hiking backpack brands around giving you the peace of mind knowing that with your purchase you’re backing one of the best companies in the space.
Whether you need the perfect bag to go hiking with your friends or want a backpack the whole family will love, the Mountaintop 70L is a fantastic option at an extremely decent price.
While not without its faults, you’ll be hard-pressed to finder a better bag for the price and quality.
- An incredible value for the price you’ll want to use this bag every time you go hiking or climbing!
- Available in over ten distinct colors, so you can climb and hike in style!
- An incredibly spacious back while not being too heavy while in use.
- This backpack does not have mid-pack access which some users prefer.
- For taller individuals, the straps might be considered slightly uncomfortable depending on your specific adjustment settings.
- While the materials for the backpack are high quality, given the price range the pack isn’t as durable as some of the more expensive options.
Arcteryx Alpha FL 45
The Arcteryx Alpha FL 45 is the backpack of choice for many Olympians and elite hikers and climbers thanks to its simplicity in design and incredible overall performance.
While the Arcteryx Alpha mountaineering backpack is an investment at just under $300, for climbing enthusiasts it just might be the best purchase you’ve ever made.
Considered by many to be an ultralight backpack, the Arcteryx Alpha has all the features of the best packs in the space while remaining easy to carry in a wide range of conditions.
One area the Arcteryx stands out is that it provides the ultimate protection for your gear. Built with a super weather resistant advanced composite construction fabric, it is one of the safest bags to hold and carry your things bare none. The sealed seams of the main compartment will keep your items dry from the snow and rain.
Best yet, you can even fit your professional camera in the bag with ease if you’re looking to take that breathtaking nature shot! In addition to being weather resistant to the extreme, the entire bag is glove friendly so you can you access all your items without the need to take off your gloves in those extremely cold or wet climates.
The included RollTop extension collar also adds a complete seal to the top of the pack ensuring the main compartment stays dry even under the harshest of conditions.
The Arcteryx also has four integrated side points which allow for you to attach an additional gear you might need on your hike or climb with ease.
Whether you need to carry an ice pick, a sleeping bag, or any other climbing tools, there’s plenty of space for whatever you need. The dual haul loops handles on the bag also make it easy to carry or maneuver when it’s cold, or you’re in a tricky position to manage your bag normally.
Don’t let the simplicity of this incredible bag fool you; it’s one of the best all-around backpacks for virtually anything you wish to tackle in the outdoor world.
Rain, ice, wind, or snow, the Arcteryx Alpha is a fantastic backpack companion to be at your side. The Arcteryx brand continues to deliver on being one of the best mountaineering and outdoor brands in the world today, and they hit it out of the park with the Arcteryx Alpha
- Incredibly great value even at a higher price point than most mountaineering bags.
- Both lightweight and durable without sacrificing the features you would expect from a top class mountaineering backpack.\
- One of the most stylish backpacks you will ever own.
- Not the best option if you’re looking for a backpack that can hold the most stuff.
- While the bag is spacious, you do have to be conscious of your packing to get the most from the pack.
- The foam pad cannot be removed which can be frustrating to some.
Gregory Denali 75 Backpack
Considered to be ’the best alpine expedition pack” ever made by the iconic Whittaker Mountaineering brand, the Gregory Denali 75 backpack is as good as it gets.
With literally thousands of hours of testing and development based on hundreds of beta testers feedback, Whittaker aimed to create a backpack offering that could stand the test of time and based on the raving reviews, delivered.
The Gregory Denali 75 was built with a top-loading design in mind making it a cinch to unzip and unlock all your essential hiking and climbing gear.
The Denali 75 comes with multiple adjustable Ice Axe loops so you can easily attach and retrieve your ice ax with ease. This high quality and durable bag also comes with an incredibly useful expedition hip-belt which allows you to attach any additional gear or ice clippers for easy access.
The backpack also comes with a detachable top lid which gives the added flexibility of turning the backpack into a daypack when the moment calls for a lighter backpack companion.
As standard with most mountaineering backpacks, the Denali 75 L has an easily accessible water bottle pocket with a quick access side pocket as well.
The bag includes dual front-panel daisy chains giving you complete flexibility on what you carry with you, and it’s puncture resistant front panel ensures all your gear is protected to the max.
The Gregory Denali 75 is without a doubt one of the best heavy duty backpacks on the market today. Last but not least, when using the Gregory Denali, you won’t go thirsty thanks to its internal hydration reservoir with hose port opening. The bag is also built with high visibility interior lining so you can easily navigate the contents of your backpack.
The Denali can be used for cross-country skiing, setting up base camp at some of the world’s most intimidating mountains, or just used for your family hike. It’s one of the most compact yet feature rich backpacks on the market and is well equipped to handle virtually anything you throw at it.
If you want a little more bang for your buck, be sure to upgrade for the larger version as an extra 6 L in carrying space can make a difference. The Gregory Denali can be purchased with 72 L, 75 L, and 78 L capacity depending on your specific needs.
- Incredibly comfortable and can handle a wide variety of weather conditions with little to no wear and tear.
- The Gregory Denali 75 L can be bought in three different sizes (small, medium, and large) to fit your specific hiking and climbing needs.
- Produced by one of the best outdoor and climbing brands in the world today Whittaker Mountaineering.
- While still considered to be a great value, the price point may be out of range for some climbing and hiking enthusiasts.
- Currently only available in one color (black.)
- Depending on your specific needs, the bag might be a little small for certain situations.
Osprey Packs Mutant Mountaineering Pack
One of our absolute favorite mountaineering backpacks is the beautiful Osprey Packs Mutant 38 Mountaineering Pack. Designed with the help and feedback of professional athletes and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world, the Osprey Packs Mutant is a thoughtful and durable mountaineer bag and an incredibly lightweight backpack overall.
The backpack comes with dual Tool Locks with bungee tie-offs so you can attach virtually anything you need during your climb or hike with easy accessibility.
The Osprey Packs Mutant also has a built-in hydration sleeve that can hold up to 3 L worth of hydration so you won’t have to worry next time that climb takes a little longer than expected.
As expected from a bag this high in caliber, you can also effortlessly navigate through the bag without needing to remove your gloves. The backpack also has room for a removable integrated flap with a pocket to comfortably carry a hat or lightweight helmet.
The Osprey Packs Mutant 38 has multiple quick release upper side compression straps to help you lock down anything you need throughout your climb.
The backpack also has a front daisy chain for secure additional gear attachment and the removable top lid, which is a nice touch for when you don’t want to be carrying the full backpack.
The Osprey Packs Mutant 38 is also designed to be incredibly easy to carry with their three-point haul system, carrying your bag with your hand has never been easier.
The sizing can vary significantly based on which bag you choose so be sure to take a close look at each of the three tiers specific offerings; you can pick up your Mutant backpack in a 22 L, 38 L, and 52 L size covering virtually all your camping, hiking, and climbing needs.
Osprey left no stone left unturned in the development and production of this incredibly affordable and durable backpack. If you’re in the market for a new bag or want to upgrade to a pack that will remain your companion for years to come, the Osprey Packs Mutant 38 is a fantastic option to consider, and one that will likely leave you pleased throughout your next adventure or climb.
With a well-respected brand like Osprey, you can’t go wrong with picking up your very own Mutant backpack. Just don’t be surprised when your outdoor friends quickly follow suit.
- An incredibly gracious satisfaction guarantee, if they are unable to repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge, they will replace it.
- Backed by one of the best outdoors brands around, Osprey continues to lead in the backpack and outdoor gear innovation space.
- Incredibly compact and durable, this backpack is one of the best values on the market bar none!
- A mid-tier priced option, the Osprey Packs Mutant 38 might be out of some individuals budgets.
- The backpack is currently only available in one color.
- The standard size might be a little small depending on your specific needs; however the backpack can be upgraded to a larger size if needed.
In our top five best backpacks for mountaineering, we worked to choose the best mountaineering backpacks based on a wide variety of factors to help you find the perfect fit.
We’ve tried to find you the best hiking backpack for the money, the overall price matters. We aimed to select bags that were both affordable and also feature rich. A cheap bag that’s low quality and lacking features obviously didn’t make the cut just as we found the highest price bags weren’t always the best as well. best hiking backpack for the money
You might be wondering…what are backpacks made of? Are they strong enough to last through all types of weather? Well we’ve made sure that the five bags we listed were incredibly durable and could handle a wide variety of use cases. There’s nothing worse than a bag that looks and feels good but falls apart quickly. Each of the bags on the list have been reported to be incredibly high quality regardless of the price.
When it comes to choosing the right bag, brand matters. We aimed to highlight brands that are known for their high-quality backpacks and known for great support.
While there are dozens of solid options for mountaineering backpacks, not all bags have the needed features to handle whatever you need when hiking or climbing. Each bag on the list is featured packed providing you everything you need regardless of your hiking or climbing goals.
Lastly, we believe that all the bags on the list are some of the most comfortable backpacks you can buy. While of course features, and pricing matters, if the bag isn’t comfortable on your throughout the day, it’s not a bag deserving of our list.
We’re confident that no matter your backpack needs our list covers the best heavy duty backpacks on the market today! Good luck!