7 Top Hiking Backpack Picks for 2018

Besides being great for your health, hiking can reward you with some of the best experiences and scenic views in the world.

Hiking can teach you valuable life skills, like resilience in spite of the situation you’re facing, setting goals, and overcoming tough challenges and obstacles in life.

There are countless hiking spots around the world where you can enjoy amazing moments.

However, before you set off for the hiking trip of a lifetime, there are many things you should consider, one of which is the backpack you decide to bring with you.

There are many individuals who can otherwise map out a backpacking excursion down to the last detail, but struggle when it comes to choosing a hiking backpack that will suit their needs well.

When you’re high up in the mountains or trekking through rough terrain, you will appreciate bringing a well-designed backpack but regret bringing a poorly-made one. You might be OK with an average/cheap backpack for casual situations, but if the going gets tough, having the wrong backpack with you may mean having to cut your adventure short, or worse.

However, the process of going through and selecting a hiking backpack can be very confusing.

When you do your research and look at what’s available, you’ll come across a huge variety of products. You may feel overwhelmed, like there are so many good choices that it’s impossible to select the best one for you.

What to Consider when Buying a Hiking Backpack

There’s no doubt that the market is filled with a variety of hiking backpacks, all of them claiming to be the best.

To simplify the process for you here, we’ve noted some of the most important things you should consider when deciding on a hiking backpack to purchase.

Backpack Quality

When it comes to a hiking backpack, you shouldn’t compromise on quality. Ensure that you pay special attention to the frame and quality of material that are used in the production of the backpack.

The backpack’s overall build should be reliable and long-lasting, the stitching should be tight and neat, and zippers and other potential weak points should be reinforced, as these are all indications that you’re investing in a quality product.

Backpack Weight

One of the most important things to consider is the weight of the hiking backpack that you are planning to buy.

Remember that while it should be sturdy, the backpack should also be manufactured with lightweight materials and technology so that when you inevitably fill the backpack with all your items, it won’t feel heavy on your body and drag you down. A lightweight pack will allow you to move around freely and easily.

Backpack Pockets & Compartments

It’s important to take note of the number of pockets and compartments that you will get with a particular hiking backpack. There are some backpacks that have only a single main compartment, while others have more pockets to help you better organize your gear.

Too many compartments may do more harm than good, but a few well-placed pockets will allow you to access your stuff easily and save you from wasting your time looking for the items you need.

Backpack Comfort

Pay attention to the design of the hiking backpack. Make sure that it’s ergonomically designed and easily adjustable to accommodate your body’s unique dimensions. Believe us, your back will appreciate a comfortable and evenly distributed backpack. It’s highly encouraged to give any backpack you’re considering a test run before purchasing it, if you’re able. For maximum comfort, make sure that the back panel and any belts and straps are padded.

Backpack Price

You may have found your perfect backpack, but is it worth the price tag? You’ll find great picks at almost any price point, but you do get what you pay for. Don’t feel like you have to shell out 500 dollars or more for a great hiking backpack, but do view it as an investment you shouldn’t skimp on.

With the above points in mind, here are our seven top hiking backpack picks for 2018:

HMG 2400 Southwest

The HMG 2400 Southwest is an ultralight (only 1lb 12oz) 40L backpack with a minimalist design, but it makes up for an unassuming exterior with a sturdy frame, durable Dyneema fabric, and high weather resistance. If you’re planning to hike anyplace where the weather can be unpredictable, the HMG 2400 Southwest is a perfect choice; if it starts to rain, the bag will protect all your items from getting wet.

While the pack is short on internal organization, offering only a main internal compartment and three outside pockets, its ability to shoulder heavy loads while being under 2lbs itself makes it a winner. The 2400 is generously padded and sports aluminum stays to ensure that your bag will sit comfortably on your body regardless of the contents.

Osprey Atmos AG 65