15 Best Budget Hiking Backpacks of 2023 (Expert Review)

Finding the best budget hiking backpacks can be a challenge, especially because of the endless list of options available. However, I sorted through the mountain of backpacks on the market.

As an expert international traveler and avid hiker, I’ve researched and tested over a dozen backpacks in my quest for the most comfortable and durable backpacks for hikers. Plus my choices are completely independent and based on personal experience. In this article I share my top considerations for choosing the most ideal hiking backpacks, plus my reviews on my top picks.

In this article, I answer all the questions by providing detailed reviews of the best budget hiking backpacks. I will also guide you on all the important factors to consider before making your decision. However, your research will be easier if you are pointed in the right direction, which is the purpose of this article. Let’s get right to it and I hope you can find your best hiking backpack for your next adventure!

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Best Budget Hiking Backpacks Overview

Osprey Atms AG 65 TOP PICK for extended day hikes and light overnight camping50L
4.56 lbs.
Fjallraven - Kajka 55WMulti-day hiking and camping55L
7.3 lbs.
Gregory Mountain Baltoro 65TOP PICK for weekend long & multi-day hiking trip55L
4.84 lbs.
Granite Gear Blaze 60L BackpackLightweight backpack for a comfortable multi-day hiking50L
2.2 lbs.
Osprey Aether AG 70Great for Multi-days trek65L
5 lbs.
Osprey Packs Talon 22TOP PICK day hike backpack20L
2 lbs.
G4Free 50L Hiking Backpack waterproof DaypackGreat day pack or for weekend trip50L2.6 lbs
Deuter Speed Lite 20 Hiking BackpackPerfect fit for a short day hike20L1.08 lbs.
Osprey Stratos 36 Hiking BackpackFor long day hikes & light overnight camping24L
3 lbs
Osprey Levity 45 UltralightTOP PICK light backpack for day hikes & weekend trips45L1 lbs.
N Reno Rhino Internal Frame Hiking BackpackGreat light backpack for 2.-3 days backpacking, hiking and camping40L
1.4 lbs.
Arc'teryx Bora AR 63TOP PICK for long multi-day hiking in extreme weather/ water and weather proof61L
5 lbs.
Deuter Aircontact Lite 50+Great backpack for weekend-long backpacking trip45L
3 lbs.
Key Coyote 60-105 Liter BackpackTOP PICK Best budget backpack for multi-days hiking trail and trek60L
4 lbs.
Terra Peak Adjustable BackpackGreat budget backpack for multi-day hikes55L
+ 20L storage under the hood
4.73 lbs.
best budget hiking backpacks

15 Best Budget Hiking Backpacks Review

Our Top Pick

1. Kelty Coyote 85L


This is my top pick on this extensive list of the best budget hiking backpacks. If you want a multi-functional unisex backpack for multi-day hikes that comes at a budget-friendly price, then I recommend Kelty Coyote 85L.

This backpack is a versatile backpack for hikers that will comfortably carry up to 50 pounds. The well-padded and contoured shoulder straps and hip belts effectively transferred weight to your lower body.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Multi-day hiking trail 
  • FIT:  This hiking backpack has customizable torso length and adjustable straps to give you a perfect fit. Wide shoulder straps and hip belts help for even weight distribution. 
  • MATERIAL: 420-denier polyester 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 4 lbs. | 60-105L 
  • FRAME: This backpack for hikers comes with an internal frame pack with a mix of steel, aluminum, and high-density polyethylene provides structure and secures your load. A mesh back panel provides ample airflow to keep your back cool and dry. 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: padded shoulder straps, sternum straps, load lifters, and hip belts 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 7 exterior pockets including front zippered pockets, hip belt pockets, and signature wing pockets
The Kety Coyote is a budget backpack with durable material and a well-constructed frameThe hip belt straps need frequent tightening during hikes as they would often become loose
This backpack is comfortable and carries a heavy load pretty well
It has enough pockets and compartments for proper packing organization
Best value for the money

2.Terra Peak hiking backpack 

Best durable budget hiking backpack

The Terra Peak hiking backpack is a unisex backpack designed for exploring the great outdoors, and one of the top picks best budget hiking backpacks.

The large compartment and exterior pockets provide enough storage room for an extended day hike or a weekend trip. A 2L hydration bladder and a small tubing hole ensure you stay hydrated on the trails.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Multi-day hikes 
  • FIT:  This hiking backpack has a fully adjustable internal frame with cushioned suspension straps that can be customized to achieve a perfect fit. 
  • MATERIAL: 600D Tara pro-Ripstop polyester 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 4.73 lbs. | 65L and an extra 20L of storage under the hood and inside pockets 
  • FRAME:  This hiking backpack has a padded and breathable 3D mesh back panel for proper ventilation 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: padded shoulder straps, sternum strap with SBS buckle, hip belts, and load lifter straps 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 4 exterior pockets including mesh side pockets and deep side butterfly expansion pockets. An exterior zip pocket on the lid provides easy access to the rain cover.
An included rain cover makes the pack waterproofThis pack doesn’t have hip-belt pockets or and the top lid cannot be removed.
It’s a durable heavyweight backpack, the empty pack weighs just below 5 poundsAn integrated day pack in the top lid would have been nice
Has a large main compartment and enough pockets for load organization
Easily adjustable harnesses ensure proper weight distribution and carrying comfort

3.Nevo Rhino hiking backpack

Best budget lightweight hiking backpack

The Nevo Rhino hiking backpack has an internal frame with a 40L capacity, and it is made of durable waterproof material, making it one of the best budget hiking backpacks on the market today.

This backpack offers enough space for 2 to 3 days of backpacking, hiking, or camping. Ergonomically design, it fits comfortably plus the perfect bracket disperses the weight, reducing the sense of gravity. This backpack comes in 40/ 50/ 60/ 65/ 80L sizes and a large variety of colors is available. 

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: 2 to 3 days of backpacking, hiking, and camping trips 
  • FIT: Ultralight day pack with a bracket that disperses the weight, reduces the sense of gravity, relaxes the entire body, and easily performs outdoor activities. 
  • MATERIAL: durable waterproof Nylon material 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 1.4 lb. | 40L 
  • FRAME: It comes with an internal frame of 4mm real steel to enhance the support. 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: The waist buckle system stands up under big loads and is easy to tighten and a thickly padded split dual wishbone waist pad with independent top and bottom hip adjustments offers a more custom fit. 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: has multiple compartments and a storage area with an area underneath that is zippered separately for easy use. Also, 2 side pockets for the water bottle and umbrella.
It comes with a sleeping bag compartment at the bottom which can neatly store the outdoor sleeping gear & waterproof rain coverThe water bladder is not included in the backpack
Includes hydration compartment for a 3L water bladderNot as adjustable as the more expensive backpacks
This backpack has a pair of waist bags on the belt which can store cell phones, keys, sunglasses, and small items.
Great value for the money

4.Osprey Levity 45 men’s & Osprey Lumina 45 Women’s

TOP PICK Minimalist lightweight backpack

We cannot talk about the best budget hiking backpacks without adding the Osprey Levity 45 for men, and Osprey Lumina 45 for women, which are backpacks with a perfect balance between durability and lightweight.

These ultralight backpacks are specially designed for minimalist hikers who are particular about light and smart packing. They are made with breathable fabric and have enough pockets for proper pack organization.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Short multi-day backpacking hiking trips 
  • FIT: Ultralight hiking backpack’s customizable suspension system ensures a good fit and carrying comfort, and mesh-covered shoulder straps and hip belts provide good ventilation. Compression straps help keep the load in place. 
  • MATERIAL: 30D Cordura Silnylon, 210D NanoFly nylon 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 1 lb. | 45L 
  • FRAME: Lightweight backpack with a 6065 aluminum frame sheet provides structure and a 3D tensioned mesh back panel allows for sufficient airflow. 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: Hiking lightweight backpack with padded open mesh shoulder straps, sternum strap with an integrated safety whistle, hip belt, and load lifter straps. 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 4 exterior pockets including a bellowed front fabric pocket, two side pockets for water bottles, and a zippered pocket in the top lid.
It has a solid metal frame and excellent build quality, yet it weighs less than 2 poundsThis backpack does not have hip belt pockets
This backpack is well-ventilated with a suspended open mesh back panelThe fabric on the pack body is very thin and requires extra care
The contoured shoulders straps and hip belt are also mesh-covered for improved all-round ventilation
Exterior pockets are large and very useful, they are made with durable fabric

Best Budget Hiking Backpacks | MULTI-DAY HIKING

5.Osprey Atmos AG 65 + Osprey Aura AG 65

TOP PICK: Best Osprey Backpack

The Osprey Atmos AG 65 male version and, the female version, Osprey Aura AG 65 are two comfortable and durable backpacks popular among hikers.

These packs are built for comfortable multi-day backpacking trips; with a well-ventilated suspended mesh back panel and adjustable torso length and straps to ensure carrying comfort.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Extended day hikes and light overnight camping
  • FIT: the adjustable shoulder straps, hip belt and mesh back panel snugly hugs your back for a good fit. A fully adjustable suspension system helps you get the perfect fitting.
  • MATERIAL: Nylon (100D x 630D)
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 4.56 lbs. | 50L, 65 L
  • FRAME: LightWire internal frame for support and suspended mesh Anti-Gravity back panel for air proper circulation for keeping the back cool and dry.
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: adjustable shoulder harness and Fit-on-the-Fly hip belt, sternum strap with safety whistle, and load lifters
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 8 exterior pockets including two zippered top lid pockets, two stretch mesh side pockets, two zippered hip-belt pockets, front stretch mesh pocket.  Other notable features include two ice tool loops and stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment and zippered sleeping bag compartment at the bottom
Great workmanship and durable weather-resistance fabricThe only access to the main compartment is from the top of the bottom
Great value for moneyAn additional side panel zippered access would be nice
Enough room in the main compartment for multi-day tripsAlthough the fabric is fairly weather-resistance, a rain cover would be nice for assurance
Generous amount of pockets and loops for stashing small items and securing your gear

6.Fjallraven, Men’s Kajka 75 Backpack & Fjallraven – Kajka 65 W

Best multi-day backpack option for comfort and functionality

If you are looking for a multi-day hiking backpack that is durable, comfortable, and loaded with functions, the Fjallrave Kajka 65W for women and the Fjallraven Kjaka 75 for men is the right backpack for you.

Besides the higher price, this still makes it the best budget hiking backpack, because of the value you get this sturdy backpack. It comes with a wooden frame to reduce the pack’s carbon footprint and comes with a perfect fit adjustment system.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Multi-day hiking and camping
  • FIT:  The support system is designed to distribute even extremely heavy loads, and the user-friendly Perfect Fit Adjustment System allows easy adjustment for different bodies
  • MATERIAL: Vinylon F 100% Vinylal
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 7.3lbs 14oz. | 75L
  • FRAME: This backpack comes with a wooden frame to reduce the pack’s carbon footprint
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: The generous hip belt offers a high degree of carrying comfort on long hiking days
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: The main compartment is loaded from the top and has a snow lock. It also has a large vertical opening in the front and another one at the bottom to help the user get an easy overview of the contents. It can be divided into an upper and lower section, for wet/dry compartments.
The support systems are designed to distribute extremely heavy loadsThe backpack itself weighs 7.3 lbs
Very functional design with a detached top lid that can be used as a separate bagPrice can be steep
Very easy access as the entire front can be opened for total access to contents
Comes with attachments for hiking poles, ice axes, rain cover, and a hydration system

7.Gregory Baltoro 65 & Maven 55

TOP PICK Heavy-duty backpack for hikers

The Gregory Baltoro 65 is one of the best budget hiking backpacking and it is the perfect backpack for the heavy-duty hiker who packs lots of gear for a long weekend on the trails.

A mesh back panel provides airflow while an adjustable torso length ensures a perfect fit for a comfortable carry. Baltoro 65 is a hiking backpack for men while the Maven 55 is for women.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Weekend long & multi-day hiking trip 
  • FIT: adjustable torso length and customizable straps help achieve a perfect fit. The contoured padded shoulder straps and hip belt comfortably wrap the back and help to transfer weight to the hips and legs 
  • MATERIAL: 210-denier Honeycomb CryptoRip HD/210-denier high-tenacity nylon 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 4.84 lbs. | 65, 55 L 
  • FRAME: internal aluminum frame with a breathable back panel provides excellent ventilation and prevents sweaty backs while on the trail. 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: soft, contoured shoulder harness and a hip belt with EVA foam padding plus sternum straps and load lifters. 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 9 exterior pockets including water-resistant zippered hip-belt pocket, stretch-mesh side pocket, 2 front zippered organization pockets with stretch-mesh pocket, dual-zippered pockets at the top lid, zippered bottom sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider, and rain-cover compartment.
Has an impressive amount of zippered pockets and a main roomy compartment for organizationThe empty pack weighs almost 5 pounds
Ergonomic suspension straps and adjustable torso length makes for custom fit and proper load distributionFitting the loading backpack on your back can be a challenge
Enough gear loops and sleeping bag compartment for long multi-day or weekend hiking.
A small day-pack is included for versatility.

8. Granite Crown 60 & Granite Gear Blaze 60L

Best minimalist hiking backpack

These are ultralight backpacks designed for the minimalist hiker. Both the Crown 60 for men and Blaze 60L for women, come with a solid frame and ample padding to provide sufficient cushion for comfort.

At 2.2 lbs, these backpacks for hikers are light packs, yet their internal frame sheets can be removed to give ultralight packs.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Comfortable multi-day hiking and one the best budget hiking backpacks
  • FIT: This hiker backpack has gender-specific designs with adjustable torso length and adjustable straps to achieve a good fit and comfort. The hip belt can be adjusted via a Velcro patch. 
  • MATERIAL: 100D High-tenacity nylon / 210D high-tenacity Ripstop nylon 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 2.2 lbs. | 50L, 60L 
  • FRAME: This backpack for hikers has an internal frame with an integrated polypropylene frame sheet and molded back panel for rigidity and support. Padded shoulder straps and hip belts provide a nice cushion. 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: dual-density shoulder harness with adjustable hip belts, load-lifter straps, and removable sternum strap. 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 4 exterior pockets including two large hip-belt pockets with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treated zippers and two stretch mesh pockets.
Very light pack with enough room for a multi-day hikeThe fabric is light and requires extra care
Adjustable suspension straps for better fit and carrying comfortThe hip belts are an excellent feature, but their bulkiness may slow you down on the trail
Removable hip belt and back panel for customization to achieve a greater degree of comfortThese packs do not carry very heavyweight (more than 35 pounds) well
Cost relatively less than most backpacks in its range

9. Osprey Aether AG 70 & Osprey Ariel AG 65

Best comfortable heavy haler backpack for hikers

The Aether AG 70 and the women’s version; the Ariel AG 65 are heavyweight hiking backpacks designed for long multi-day hiking, and this is by far one of the best budget hiking backpacks I ever had.

With a well-cushioned suspension system, Anti-Gravity technology, and top-of-the-line technical features, these trekking backpacks comfortably carry a heavy load

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Multi-day trek backpacking 
  • FIT: The Aether/Ariel AG Series is designed to fit a variety of body shapes and sizes with adjustable torso length and a custom Fit-on-the-Fly™ Hip-belt. Internal compression straps ensure proper organization. 
  • MATERIAL: Nylon (210D & 500D) 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 5 lbs. | 65L, 70L 
  • FRAME: LightWire peripheral frame comfortably transfers pack load and an injection-molded back panel ensures proper ventilation. A lightweight suspended mesh panel wraps the body to provide comfortable close-to-body carry. 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: Has Custom Fit-on-the-Fly™ shoulder straps and hip belts, sternum straps, and load lifters. 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 7 exterior pockets including a small zippered front panel pocket, dual-zippered hip-belt pockets, large dual-access stretch mesh side water bottle pockets, zippered sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider, and removable sleeping pad straps.
Very comfortable packs and are built with durable materials for carrying heavy loads on challenging trails. Comes with a lifetime warranty.The empty backpack weighs over 5 pounds which is very heavy
There is a daypack integrated into the top lid, this is an impressive and very useful featureThe mesh back panel does not provide enough ventilation and the hip belts are not ventilated
A main roomy compartment and lots of pockets encourage great organization.
These Osprey hiking backpacks are easy to adjust and fit, with included rain cover

Best Budget Hiking Backpacks | DAY PACK

10. Osprey Talon 22 Men’s & Osprey Tempest 20 women’s

TOP PICK Osprey Daypack Backpack

The men’s version Osprey Talon 22 and the women’s version Osprey Tempest 20 lightweight day-pack are popular among folks that go on day hikes a lot for good reasons.

They are roomy, comfortable, breathable, and durable, making them one of the best budget hiking backpacks. These day packs come in a variety of beautiful colors and adjustable harness systems to fit different sizes and body shapes.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Best day pack for a day hike 
  • FIT: the Talon and Tempest both come with curved and flexible back panels to provide a nice fit with enough space for ventilation. The suspension system is adjustable; the shoulder harness can be easily adjusted via a Velcro patch for a better fit. 
  • MATERIAL: recycled high-tenacity nylon 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 2 lbs. | 20L, 22L 
  • FRAME: This day pack comes with an internal polyethylene frame sheet for load support and a mesh-covered back panel to encourage airflow and keep your back cool on hot days. 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: Daypack with adjustable shoulder straps, hip belt, sternum strap with safety whistle buckle, and load lifter straps. 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 6 exterior pockets including two stretchy side pockets, two hip belt pockets, a zippered exterior pocket at the top, a stretchy pocket along the front, and an external hydration sleeve in the back panel.
This day pack is lightweight and comfortable with enough exterior pockets for stashing snacks and small items during your day hikeThis daypack has a somewhat rigid frame, and they don’t carry the heavy loads well
It doesn’t have an adjustable torso, but there are two designs, Talon and Tempest, for men and women with adjustable harness designs for each genderThe lightweight mesh along the back panel doesn’t feel very durable
Has an external hydration sleeve for up to 3L reservoir, Stow-on the-go trekking pole attachment The external hydration sleeve is sold separately
Multisport ready with a helmet and light attachment and an ice ax loop

11. G4 50L daypack with rain cover

Best budget option for a hiking day pack

The G4 50L day-pack is a lightweight and comfortable multi-functional pack, it’s a great option for a medium hike with lots of room for all your essentials.

Besides hiking and camping trips, this backpack is also a great alternative to a carry-on suitcase and an excellent option for a backpacking trip overseas, making it one of the best budget hiking backpacks available today.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: day hiking or weekend trip 
  • FIT: This day pack has a good fit with adjustable harnesses which effectively relieve weight from the shoulders. 
  • MATERIAL: durable waterproof nylon 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 2.6 lbs. | 50L 
  • FRAME: This day pack has ventilated mesh back panel that prevents a sweaty back and keeps your back comfortable during your hike 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: Daypack with padded shoulder straps, hip belts, chest straps, and load lifters 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: one quick-access front zipper pocket, 2 hip-belt pockets, 2 side pockets with a USB port, and 1 bottom rain cover pocket.
It has a separate shoe and dirty laundry compartment to help you section and organize your backpackIt doesn’t have a hydration bladder and although it has padded shoulder straps they don’t seem to be very comfortable for extended hikes
The fabric is water-resistant and the included rain cover makes it waterproof
Adjustable straps with ample padding for a comfortable carry
Enough quick-access pockets to stash snacks and your valuables during a hike

12. Deuter Speed Lite 20

The best backpack for a short day hike

The Deuter Speed Lite 20 is a versatile and lightweight day-pack for a short hiking trip.

It has a main roomy compartment, a water bladder sleeve, and enough exterior pockets for good organization, plus a padded harness system to comfortably secure your load during your hike.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Short-day hikes 
  • FIT: Day Pack with V-shape and anatomically shaped shoulder straps ensure proper fit and carrying comfort. The waist strap is basic, but it does help bring the load closer to your body for a nice and snug fit. 
  • MATERIAL: 210-denier Ripstop Polyamide and Ripstop Nylon 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 1.08 lbs. | 20L 
  • FRAME: Hiking day pack with a basic internal U-shaped frame with a ventilated 3D AirMesh 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: Hiking daypack with contoured shoulder straps, sternum straps, and basic removable waist straps. 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 4 exterior pockets including two stretchy side pockets, one zippered small pocket on top, and one larger stretch pocket. There are also two gear loops.
It’s compact and sits high up on the back and doesn’t sway or pull you back when you walk, and you can even run without feeling any discomfortThe breathable 3D Air Mesh back panel doesn’t provide enough ventilation, this isn’t a problem during winter, but your back will get very sweaty during the warm seasons
It’s very easy to lift and wear and has enough quick-access pockets for stashing small items
Very affordable day pack

13. Osprey Stratos 36 & Osprey Sirrus 24

The best backpack for long day hikes and light overnight camping

The day pack Osprey Stratos 36, and the women’s version, Osprey Sirrus 24 are great backpacks to take with you on an extended day hike.

Their main roomy compartment is designed to comfortably carry enough for day hikes and the pack’s adjustable torso length and customizable straps ensure the perfect fit and carrying comfort.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: long day hikes/light overnight camping 
  • FIT: Day Pack with adjustable harness system and torso length for custom fit and carrying comfort. The compression straps help secure the load closer to your body to prevent it from swaying during your hike. 
  • MATERIAL: Nylon (210D, 420HD) 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 3 lbs. | 24L, 36L 
  • FRAME: light-wire alloy frame gives the backpack a solid shape and a suspension-mesh system allows proper airflow 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: Hiking daypack with well-padded and fully adjustable hip belts, sternum straps, and shoulder straps 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 6 exterior pockets including two side stretch mesh pockets, two zippered hip-belt pockets, and under top-lid zippered mesh pocket, a front panel storage pocket. Other notable features include an integrated rain cover, removable sleeping bag straps and zippered sleeping bag compartments with dividers, and two loops to store trekking poles.
This backpack is well-designed and made with durable materials, they are also comfortable to carryAt 3 pounds, they are a bit too heavy for day-packs
The main compartment can be accessed via the top drawstring or the side panel zipYou may need to secure the straps after hiking for a while because they tend to become loose which makes the bag squeak a little
The Airspeed suspension and tensioned mesh back panel work effectively to allow enough airflow to your back

Best Budget Hiking Backpacks | WEATHER RESISTANCE

14. Deuter Aircontact Lite 50+10 & Aircontact Lite 45+10SL

TOP hiking backpack for comfortable, light weigh and volume expansion

Multi-functional Deuter Aircontact Lite is a backpack designed to make heavy loads seem lighter, and it creates a perfect balance between weight, carrying comfort, and ventilation.

The adjustable straps are designed to provide the perfect fit which effectively transfers weight from your shoulders to your hips. The Aircontact Lit 45+10SL is the version for women.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Weekend-long backpacking trips 
  • FIT: fully adjustable S-shaped shoulder straps and cushioned hip belts for carrying comfort and efficient weight distribution. 
  • MATERIAL: Nylon/closed-cell foam 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 3lbs 14oz. | 45L, 60L 
  • FRAME: internal X-frame aluminum stays with a 3D Air mesh back panel for improved ventilation. 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: adjustment of shoulder straps, hip belt, chest straps, and load lifters 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 5 exterior pockets including two zippered pockets on the hip belt, two stretch side pockets, and a large front stretch pocket. There is also a bottom zippered pocket for a sleeping bag.
Great workmanship and durable weather-resistant fabric, great value for moneyThe only access to the main compartment is from the top or bottom, an additional side panel zippered access would be a nice feature
Flexible and easily adjustable shoulder straps for custom fitting and carrying comfortAlthough the fabric is fairly weather-resistant, a rain cover would be nice for assurance
Enough room in the main compartment for multi-day trips and a generous amount of pockets and loops for stashing small items and securing your gear

15. Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 & Arc’teryx Bora AR 61

The best burly backpack for heavy hauling

Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 for men and the Arc’teryx Bora AR 61 for women are durable weatherproof packs designed for challenging mountaineering hikes.

It has an inventive RotoGlide hip belt and a shoulder harness that can be adjusted vertically and horizontally. The pack has ample storage space for long extended hikes and enough exterior pockets to aid load organization.

Features of this Hiking Backpack:

  • BEST FOR: Long multi-day hiking & extreme weather 
  • FIT: This great hiking backpack is contoured and gridlock shoulder straps adjust both in width and height for a precise fit. Cushioned hip belt with RotoGlide technology twists up and down as you move. 
  • MATERIAL: Ripstop Nylon (420D & 630D) 
  • WEIGHT | VOLUME: 5 lb. | 61L, 63L 
  • FRAME: flexible thermo-molded Tegris frame sheet with aluminum stays for vertical load support. Ventilated mesh back panel for ample airflow to keep your back cool. 
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEMS: Hiking backpack with adjustable gridlock shoulder straps, RotoGlide hip belt, sternum straps, and load lifters. 
  • QUICK ACCESS COMPARTMENT: 6 exterior pockets including two side pockets, 2 mesh hip-belt pockets, a large outer kangaroo pocket, and a separate top lid compartment. You also get compression straps, elastic hooks for stowing trekking poles, and ice ax loops.
Very well-constructed with durable waterproof material to withstand any kind of weatherThe RotoGlide hip belt is not as functional as you’d expect, it doesn’t move very smoothly when the pack is fully loaded.
It’s a top-loading backpack but with side access zippers for easy access to items placed deep within the pack.This pack has a very steep price, it’s one of the most expensive backpacks I’ve come across
It’s easy to load, adjust and carry, the harness system is highly adjustable for a custom fit
Best budget hiking backpacks

How To Choose The Best Budget Hiking Backpacks

While there are many hiking backpacks available, there are specific designs that are unique to different hiking and camping styles. When choosing a hiking backpack, one of the first things to consider is your hiking style and what backpack type can comfortably complement your hikes.

Type of Hiking Activity:

For instance, if you’re mostly a day hiker and engage in easy and refreshing walks, then a 20 to 30L day back is perfect for you. And if you enjoy extended day hikes and lightweight overnight camping, then you should be looking at a 35 to 50L hiking backpack with enough exterior pockets, sleeping bag straps, and latches/loops for external gear attachment. For multi-day hiking and camping, your companion backpack should be no less than a 65 to 120L hiking backpack.

  • Day Hike Backpack: 20 to 30L

  • Weekend Hike Backpack: 35 to 50L

  • Multi-Day Hiking Backpack: 50 – 65L

  • Hardcore Trekking: 65 – 120L

How to Find the Best Fit for your Hiking Backpack:

When buying a hiking backpack, it’s imperative that you find one with a good fit. How well a backpack fits largely depends on the suspension system and torso length which also determines how comfortably the pack will sit on your back and how snugly it will wrap your body.

A perfectly sized pack will efficiently offset the weight of your load while also letting you walk naturally without feeling an awkward bulk behind. Also, shoulder straps and hip belts should be well-cushioned and contoured to properly fit the shape of your body. Almost every backpack you’ll find will have adjustable straps, but this doesn’t automatically mean they’d fit.

The key to finding a backpack with a perfect fit is finding one with the right torso length and straps for you. To find your torso length, measure from the base of your neck to the top of your hip bone. If you’re a lady your torso length should be anywhere from 14 to 20 inches, and 16 to 22 inches if you’re male.

  • 14-17” for small (usually women’s backpacks)

  • 15-19” for medium (can be men’s or women’s backpack)

  • 18-22” for large (usually men’s backpack)

best budget hiking backpacks

Fabric and Durability for Hiking Backpack

When you shell out bucks to buy a hiking backpack, the last thing you want is a ripped fabric in just a few weeks or months of use. This is very thick and durable fabric is an important feature of your backpack.

Hiking and travel backpacks are mostly made with durable nylon, some very solid materials to look for are Rip-stop Nylon, Cordura, Ballistic Nylon, Packcloth Nylon, etc.

Water resistance is also an important quality in hiking backpacks, to protect the contents of your pack from the elements. However, this isn’t a dealbreaker since most backpacks are not 100% waterproof and many of them come with rain covers. If yours doesn’t have one, you can get a backpack rain cover that will work just fine.

Weight of a Backpack for Hikers

There are lightweight backpacks for light packers and heavyweight backpacks for heavy haulers, and there are those that find a balance between the two extremes. Heavyweight packs (weighing about 5+ lbs.) are the most ideal option for carrying a lot of weight, from 50 pounds of gear and above.

While lightweight packs (less than 2.5 lbs.) are designed to carry no more than 30 pounds of gear. Backpacks for hikers that weigh between 3 and 4.5 lbs should be able to comfortably carry up to 40 pounds of gear. Some pack manufacturers will indicate the hauling capacity of the various pack models they offer to help you find the pack that suits your needs.

Best Frame of Backpack for Hikers

Most hiking backpacks come with an internal frame made of aluminum and durable molded plastic. This is an important part of the pack structure as it provides support for heavy load while also maintaining the shape of the pack and torso length for improved carrying comfort.

The internal frame of most packs is connected to the hip belt to enable seamless weight transfer from the shoulder and back to the hips and lower body. Backpacks with metallic frames tend to be heavier than those with plastic frames, however, they provide better support and contribute to the overall sturdiness of the pack.

Quick Access Pockets

A roomy main compartment is important on a hiking backpack, but having exterior stash points where you can hide small items you can quickly find while on the trail is very convenient, plus it helps for better load organization. You also need latches and straps for stowing trekking poles, a sleeping bag, and attaching some other gear.

A Good Backpack for Hikers Need a Good Ventilation System

The sweaty back tends to come with backpacking, but a well-constructed pack with a breathable mesh back panel that rests a few inches away from your back will allow for ample airflow and ventilation to keep your back cool and dry. A hiking backpack with a ventilated back panel is very important for hiking during warm seasons.

Price for a Hiking Backpack

Hiking backpacks can cost from as little as $50 to as high as over $500, however, the best backpacks for hiking tend to fall within the price range of $100 to $300.

I have had bad experiences in the past because of the wrong choices – During my one-month backpacking in Thailand, my backpack broke, and I even end up losing some personal items. I learned in a bad way that when choosing the right hiking backpack, you get what you pay for. And since then, I have been testing and investing in good-quality hiking backpacks! And if you don’t get it right, you’ll never truly enjoy your hike.

Best Budget Hiking Backpacks Final Verdict

I hope that by now you have chosen the best budget hiking backpacks for your next adventure!

Whether you’re a day hiker or you prefer light overnight camping, or maybe you swell by weekend-long hiking adventures. Whatever your hiking style is, the fact remains that your hiking backpack is one of the most important gears on every hike.

Custom fitting, carrying comfort, durability, and capacity are the most important things to consider when choosing the perfect backpack for you. And you still can have great quality and opt for the best budget hiking backpack without breaking your bank account.

You can find more reviews on the Best Hiking Gear in the Market:

the best budget hiking backpacks

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1 thought on “15 Best Budget Hiking Backpacks of 2023 (Expert Review)”

  1. I recently got an Osprey backpack and loving it so far, but it now seems like I’m starting a backpack collection for my various adventures so this will only help add to my collection. Between day hikes, overnight trips and multi-day hikes, I’m in need of all the suggestions I can get

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