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The ultimate guide to the best hiking backpack for long trip

A backpack is one of the most essential gear when you set out for hiking. If you are planning on hiking across the country or traversing hiking trails, you ought to get a good hiking backpack. This is especially true if you are on a long trek. Having the best hiking backpack for long trip can maximize your experience in the great outdoors.

What are the best hiking backpack for long trip?

In the past, hikers relied on strapping a huge external frame which would take a huge toll on the body. Today’s hikers opt for minimalism and an ergonomic design for their backpacks. The current market has a plethora of offerings ranging from ultralight bags to comfort-oriented bags. Based on usage like thru-hiking or weekend extended trips, there are backpacks for every upcoming challenge.

With the backpacks listed in this blog, you can explore the world and keep your belongings safe and secure. Having the right backpack could be the differentiating factor between an epic trail hike and a tormenting one. These backpacks are sure to help you go the extra mile without incurring any burden and pain on your body.

Best hiking backpack for long trip overall – Osprey Aether 65 Men’s Backpacking Backpack/ Osprey Ariel AG 65 Women’s Backpacking Backpack

Product Dimensions – 33.46 x 15.75 x 11.02 inches

This is a popular line of backpacks as Osprey is known to build high-quality outdoor gear. The Aether series is built for backpacking and long hiking trips. Osprey pays close attention to detail in its Aether series of hiking backpacks. This is an ideal backpack for those who want a customizable, and perfect-fitting pack. It is one of the top-selling backpacks and it gets a LightWire frame. This backpack offers a stable carry and can handle the highest of loads. It features a Custom Fit-on-the-fly hip belt and a shoulder strap. The top lid can be detached and used as a daypack for side trips. This backpack is constructed with high-quality bluesign, high-tenacity nylon, and PFC-free DWR

What I liked

  • It has a comfortable suspension system with adjustable shoulder straps, a padded hip belt, and a ventilated back panel. This gives a secure and comfortable fit, and it distributes weight evenly.
  • It is spacious and gets a 65-liter capacity. The backpack has ample space and can accommodate all your gear for multiple hiking trips. It gets many pockets, compartments, and attachment points, which helps you be organized.
  • It is built with high-quality materials that make it robust.
  • It gets many adjustment points that allow users to adjust its fit based on their body shape and size.
  • It also features an integrated rain cover which can be deployed for protection against wet weather.

What I disliked

  • The backpack is on the heavier side compared to other backpacks in the market.
  • Osprey backpacks are not affordable, and the high price point can be a letdown for budget-conscious buyers.
  • It comes only in limited color options meaning there is restrictions on variety.
  • It does not have specific attachments for specialized gear like that on other backpacks.

Best hiking backpack for long trip sporty – Gregory Mountain Products Zulu 55 Backpack

Item Package Dimensions L x W x H – 24.41 x 13.39 x 7.48 inches

Gregory Mountain Products specializes in manufacturing outdoor backpacks, and adventure gear. It is renowned for its high-quality backpacks that are preferred by a vast majority of outdoor enthusiasts. Founded in 1977, this brand was conceived to create innovative and functional backpacks. This hiking backpack gets a free float suspension with assistance from a free float 360 flex panel. This permits harmonized movement between the user and the backpack. It gets a full body u-zip main opening in front of the bag which assists in easier unloading. The padding in this backpack offers true on-the-back breathability which eliminates pressure points and it also gets moisture-wicking cooling benefits.

What I liked

  • Known to be having a comfortable suspension system and an ergonomic design.
  • This backpack gets multiple adjustment points which help in giving it a customized fit based on the body size and shape.
  • It gets a capacity of 55 liters which is handy for multi-day trips and extended backpacking adventures.
  • It has multiple pockets and compartments that help organize and access your gear efficiently.
  • Build with quality materials, it is durable and can be used in rugged terrain.
  • The back panel of the backpack gets mesh ventilation that promotes airflow and reduces the buildup of heat.

What I disliked

  • It is heavier compared to ultralight backpacking options.
  • It comes in limited color options which might not appeal to everyone’s taste.
  • It does not come with a built-in rain cover.
  • It gets fewer attachment options compared to backpacks in the same category.

Best hiking backpack for long trip for travel – Jack Wolfskin Highland Trail 55 Men/Jack Wolfskin Womens Highland Trail 55

Product Dimensions – 13.78 x 11.42 x 29.92 inches

Jack Wolfskin is a German outdoor apparel and equipment company. It manufactures a wide range of products for the outdoors like – clothing, footwear, backpacks, and hiking gear. Traversing rugged mountains and nature can be enjoyed better with this backpack. It is one of the largest backpack offerings from the brand and it is equipped with a height-adjustable X-Transition back system. This is a comfortable backpack and it delivers good ventilation on the back allowing users to carry heavier loads with much ease.

There is enough space to store necessary items and it is ergonomically designed for usability purposes. This backpack has a lid pocket with an extra-long zip and opens wide to search for necessary items quickly. Carrying water bottles becomes easy with the special holster on the waist belt.

What I liked

  • It gets a capacity of 55 liters that offers ample storage space.
  • The company is known to manufacture outdoor equipment of good quality which makes it durable even in rugged conditions.
  • It gets a well-designed carrying system that includes – padded shoulder straps, a supportive hip belt, and a back panel.
  • These backpacks have different compartments for organizing gear and essentials.

What I disliked

  • It is on the heavier side on account of its size and capacity.
  • It is not suitable for everyone’s body shape.
  • It is relatively more expensive than other backpacks with similar features.
  • The aesthetics and design of the backpack may not be as per everyone’s liking.

Best hiking backpack for long trip affordable – TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

Product Dimensions – 16.93 x 29.92 x 3.94 inches

Teton Sports is a company that specializes in outdoor gear, and it offers a wide range of products for hiking and backpacking. It is known to provide high-quality and affordable gear. This is one of the top-selling backpacks with an internal frame. It is ideal for backpacking trips and it has a 55 l capacity. Weighing around 4.5 lbs (2 kg), this backpack features a multi-position torso adjustment that fits a wide range of body sizes.

It gets durable open-cell foam lumbar pad and molded channels which maximizes comfort and airflow. Known for its quality and design, this backpack has a sleeping bag compartment, compression straps, and exterior pockets for strategic packing.

What I liked

  • It is an affordable backpack and will appeal to budget-conscious buyers.
  • Built with durable materials, it can withstand rigorous hiking.
  • The padded harness and hip belt ensure it is comfortable to wear.
  • It gets an adjustable torso and can fit many body sizes.
  • This backpack comes with an integrated rain cover and is suitable for usage in wet weather.

What I disliked

  • It is on the heavier side.
  • The zippers can be difficult to operate.
  • It does not feature hip belt pockets.

Best hiking backpack for long trip for comfort – Gregory Mountain Products Baltoro 75 Backpacking Backpack

Product Dimensions – 32 x 20 x 10 inches

Gregory Mountain Products is known for innovative design and top-notch construction. It is a brand preferred by professional athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. This backpack has a free-float a3 system, and it gets a hip belt, shoulder harness, and a lower back panel that adjusts according to your body’s shape. It is one of the best when it comes to providing a customized fit, and it is available in three torso sizes.

The fit can be sized up or down to adjust as per your body’s shape. It has padding which delivers true on-the-back breathability, and this eliminates any pressure points. This backpack also gets moisture-wicking cooling benefits, and the polygiene stays fresh technology prevents the growth of odor to keep your backpack fresh for longer periods.

What I liked

  • Built with durable materials, this backpack can withstand rigorous hiking. It is constructed with materials like – 210 D and 420 D nylon and reinforced 630 D nylon.
  • This backpack gets a comfortable suspension system, and it reduces the stress on the back. The suspension system gets a padded hip belt, shoulder straps, and a back panel.
  • This backpack has ample storage like a main compartment, a top lid, two side pockets, and a sleeping bag compartment.
  • It has a lot of versatile features like – a built-in rain cover, trekking pole attachments, and a hydration sleeve.

What I disliked

  • At 4.96 pounds it is heavier than many lightweight backpacks.
  • It is pricey making it beyond budget for certain buyers.

Best lightweight – Gregory Mountain Products Focal 48 Backpacking Backpack

Item Package Dimensions L x W x H – 24.5 x 13 x 3 inches

Gregory Mountain Products manufactures outdoor backpacks and is headquartered in Holladay, Utah. Founded in 1977, this brand sells products in over 60 countries.

This backpack gets a free float suspension which enhances ventilation. It gets a suspended mesh back panel that features the brand’s free-float dynamic comfort cradle lower back system which optimizes the fit and comfort.

It gets top to bottom ventilation, and it uses ultralight, high-tenacity, recycled fabrics. This helps to go travel many miles without any discomfort. It also features the polygiene stay fresh technology which prevents the growth of odor to keep your backpack fresh for long periods.

What I liked

  • It gets a ventilated and suspended mesh back panel that keeps you cool and comfortable.
  • It features a dynamic hip belt for even weight distribution.
  • Built with durable materials, it can withstand rough and challenging terrains.
  • It gets multiple pockets and compartments for additional storage.

What I disliked

  • Not as large as some other backpacks.
  • Low water resistance means it is not ideal for wet conditions.
  • It is pricier than other backpacks.

 

Best capacity – Osprey Aether Plus 85 Men’s Backpacking Backpack

Product Dimensions: ‎ 31.89 x 16.14 x 15.75 inches; 5.97 Pounds

Osprey backpacks are known for being high-quality, durable, and comfortable.

This is an ideal option for hikers looking for a customizable, and perfect-fitting pack. This backpack has one of the largest volumes and it has a strong LightWire frame. Offering a stable carry able to handle the heaviest of loads, it gets a custom fit-on-the-fly hip belt and a shoulder strap. Having a detachable top lid, it is constructed with a high-quality blue sign. It uses materials such as – high-tenacity nylon, and PFC-free DWR. Featuring a frame sheet that maintains a comfortable back contact, it has ventilated airflow channels to maximize stability for carrying heavier loads.

It has a mesh-covered foam lumbar which creates a supportive, lightweight, and comfortable surface. It also features an extendible hip belt which allows for incremental length and it also gets angle adjustments that provide a fine-tuned fit for different waist sizes. This hiking backpack also gets a crossbody ergo pull hip belt which pulls the pack weight into the lumbar. The hip belt is tightened for proper distribution of weight, and for better carry.

What I liked

  • Built with high-quality materials like – nylon fabric, PFC-free DWR makes it ideal for long hiking trips.
  • It has adjustable features like – Custom Fit-On-The-Fly Hipbelt and Shoulder Straps.
  • It gets a large capacity of 85 liters, so you won’t run out of space.
  • This backpack has a removable top lid that makes day hikes easier.
  • It also gets an integrated rain cover that can be deployed for protection from the elements.
  • It gets multiple pockets like – a large front panel,  two side water bottle pockets, and two hip belt pockets.

What I disliked

  • It is a large and heavy backpack.
  • It is not the most breathable backpack.
  • It is a pricey option.

Best durability – Granite Gear Blaze 60L Backpack

Product Dimensions: ‎ 8 x 12 x 15 inches; 1 Pounds

Granite Gear produces lightweight, durable, and comfortable backpacks. Their hiking backpacks have necessary features like – an adjustable harness, a ventilated back panel, and a variety of pockets and compartments.

This is purposely built for hikers who wish to travel long distances in comfort. It gets an AC frame which allows you to lock your fit as per the size of your torso. The frame of this backpack works with the adjustable Re-Fit hip belt and the molded foam back panel. This allows you to comfortably pack 50 lbs of luggage, and it uses a custom fabric which makes this backpack highly durable.

Materials like 210D Robic nylon UHMWPE triple ripstop give added durability in areas where there is high impact and high abrasion. It features a fully detachable lid and it can be converted into an optional chest pack to carry. It also gets a tall vertical hidden zipper which allows easy access to the main compartment.

What I liked

  • Built with materials like – 210D Robic nylon and 100D high-density ripstop nylon makes it is durable and lightweight.
  • It gets an adjustable harness that can be customized to fit your body.
  • The ventilated back panel keeps you cool while you hike.
  • It gets multiple pockets like – two large side pockets, two hip belt pockets, a top pocket, and a front pocket for additional storage.

What I disliked

  • It does not come with a rain cover, and the harness can be difficult to adjust.
  • It does not come with a lot of padding which might affect comfort.  

Factors Determining the best hiking backpack for long trip

Design –

It is advised to choose backpacks that don’t go overboard on their design. Design elements can be simple and lightweight. It has to carry your hiking gear and luggage, so seek a backpack that does not have unnecessary pouches, zippers, clips, and straps.

Material –

Especially used materials like – Ripstop nylon, and Dyneema composite fabric makes the backpacks lighter and water resistant. These materials are durable and functional, but it tends to make the backpack pricey.

Fit –

When you have your backpack fully loaded and on your back, having the right fit is highly crucial. Based on your torso length and hip-belt size you should opt for a comfortable option for your trip.

Main compartment –

The one-top loading compartment found on most backpacks should be able to store all your goods. Additional compartments and zippers only increase unnecessary weight.

Front mesh –

Many backpacks feature a large mesh or stretch material pocket on the front. This is a useful feature while hiking, and it is ideal to store your gear and keep items like jackets and bottles for easy access.

Hip belt –

The hip belt holds most of your weight onto your hips. This helps in avoiding your shoulders from over-exertion. This increases your comfort and transfers weight without slipping.

Shoulder straps –

The shoulder straps hold a significant weight of your backpack, and having comfortable padding on the shoulder straps avoids chaffing and odd pressure points.

Hip belt pockets –

Items that need to be accessible can be stored in the hip belt pockets. It is recommended to get backpacks that feature hip belt pockets.

Shoulder pouch –

Having shoulder strap pouches on your packs allow for easier camera access and getting a pack that has a shoulder pouch is beneficial.

Bottle holsters –

It is important to stay hydrated while hiking and you should have easy access to your bottles. Having bottle holsters makes it easier to grab your bottle while hiking.

Waterproof –

Despite claiming to be waterproof, backpacks do tend to leak. Having your items sealed in waterproof pouches or plastic materials makes it easier to keep those items dry.

Sternum strap –

These straps allow you to connect your shoulder straps across your chest for a secure feel. Having a sternum strap with an elastic section is a nice touch, they also tend to have an emergency whistle attached to the strap.

Load lifter straps –

These straps can be used to pull the tops of your shoulder straps toward your backpack. This helps in transferring the downward pressure to the front of your shoulders and chest. Many backpacks don’t offer this feature and it is not necessary if you carry light loads.

Price –

Investing in a backpack is not a bad idea, that being said, the price does not have to be too high. A high-quality backpack should help you hike many miles and it can be long-lasting.

Weight –

It is important to have weight reductions while hiking. Try and opt for a backpack that is lightweight and it should be able to carry your gear and luggage.

Volume –

Depending on whether you are on a thru-hike or a weekend hike, opting for a backpack that has decent volume allows for extra flexibility. If you intend on using your backpack for longer trips, having a backpack that can store heavier and bulkier gear is helpful.

Frame –

The lighter your pack, the lesser will be your frame. Opting for backpacks with simple and comfortable frames should be able to carry weights up to 35 lbs. If you intend on carrying heavier loads, opting for a full-frame pack will offer more support.

In conclusion, there are many factors determining the Best hiking backpack for long trip. You would like to make an investment that will serve you for years to come. Depending on where you hike, the conditions in which you will hike, and the duration of your hiking expedition, the list in this blog post should help you to get the best bang for your buck. 

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