Every year an estimated 40 million Americans will go camping. Many will leave the comfort of modern amenities behind them and head off into nature. We all love nature. To get connected with nature camping is one of the outdoor activity we involve ourselves. Lasting from several days to months at a time, hiking is an activity where your gear will make or break the experience. One of the most critical pieces of gear you can get as a backpacker is your backpack. So, how to choose the best camping backpack? Here is our top 10 best camping backpack comparison for your quick reference and fast decision making.
Our Top 10 Best Camping Backpacks Comparison
|35" x 19" x 12"||4.0|
|North Face Banchee||50L|
|26" x 12" x 10"||5.0|
|Deuter Air Contact||65L|
|11" x 16" x 33"||4.9|
|12" x 26" x 17"||4.6|
|High Sierra Titan||55L|
|9" x 14" x 32"||4.2|
|31" x 17" x 6"||4.8|
|Osprey Ariel 65|
|30" x 17" x 8"||4.8|
|Teton Sport Scout 3400|
|55L||4" x 17" x 30"||4.5|
|North Face Cobra||52L|
|10" x 14" x 23"||4.5|
|Osprey Packs Exos||55L|
|25" x 15" x 4"||4.8|
The Osprey Women’s Ariel
“Best Suitable For Carrying Heavy Loads Comfortably”
The Osprey Women’s Ariel is a streamlined backpack created specifically for mountaineering. With the shape of women in mind, a major benefit of this camping backpack is the superior fit and comfort. Designed to be worn for extended lengths of time, it is the perfect thing to take with you on moderate and long distance hikes. A large capacity improves its versatility and ensures that you will always have enough room to carry what you need.
A major benefit of the Osprey Women’s Ariel is the removable top pocket. Typically, the top pocket functions as a cover over the drawstring closure on the top of the pack. With this backpack, you can detach the top pocket. The ends of the top pocket can be tied together around your waist, effectively creating a snug fanny pack that you can take with you in those moments when you are heading off the trail and into town.
A final reason why you should consider the Osprey Women’s Ariel is because of the accessibility. A lot of care and design has been put into making the Osprey accessible from multiple directions and a number of different zippers. In addition, here are tool attachment points and places for accessories on the exterior. With all of these benefits in single backpack, it is easy to see why the Osprey Women’s Ariel comes so highly recommended. Read Full Review.
The Arcteryx Altra
“Best Suitable For High Quality with Optimum Styles”
The Arcteryx Altra 65 Pack – Men’s Backpack is a sleek and simple backpack designed for long-term hiking. Engineered to keep weight down the Arcteryx Altra does away with extraneous straps and other things that add weight while supplying only limited functionality. In doing so, you wind up with a sturdy, lightweight backpack that has enough room for everything you need during your travels.
A major benefit of the Arcteryx Altra 65 is how it is fitted to the male frame. With regular/tall and short/regular sizing options, you can improve comfort to your frame. What makes this even better is the easy gear organization. It is designed for easy, one handed access allowing you to get things you need without taking the pack off.
If nothing else, consider the Arcteryx Altra for its lightweight design. Utilizing a composite construction, the backpack is only 6.2 pounds on its own, meaning that you will have a much lighter backpack than if you go with the competition. While a bit more on the expensive end, you get everything you pay. Read Full Review.
The TETON Sports Scout
“Best Suitable as Compared to Quality with Price”
Designed to be everything you need for a price you can easily afford, the TETON Sports Scout is a versatile backpack that will try its best to meet your needs. Mesh lumbar support, padded waist, and shoulder straps/padding all provide the benefit of more comfortable hiking experience. A lot of space is provided on the exterior as well to help you store everything you need.
The TETON Sports Scout is often seen as a great beginner/intermediate backpack. Inexpensive, it will give you a good idea of what backpacks can do and how comfortable they can be without breaking the bank. The overall quality and material selection is good, meaning that you will get a lot of use before this backpack gives out on you. That will provide plenty of time to decide on whether or not hiking is for you.
An added benefit of the TETON Sports Scout is the yellow rainfly. Tucked and hidden away, it is not seen until the weather goes south. It is easy to unfold and does a pretty decent job of keeping your gear dry. Once the rain has stopped and the rainfly is dried, it can easily be tucked back out of site. All of this and more are yours for one remarkably low price. Read Full Review.
The Gregory Mountain Baltoro
“Best Suitable For Back-country Adventures”
The Gregory Mountain Products Baltoro 75 Backpack is among one of the best recognized high performance backpacks currently on the market. Having received countless awards for providing superior comfort, the Baltoro 75 has improved functionality that will benefit your experience time and time again. While expensive, it definitely earns its place as a high quality and high performance outdoor backpack.
Do you suffer from back pain? Have you never had luck with other backpacks being comfortable? The Baltoro 75 is among the best backpacks for providing a balanced and steady hiking experience. It includes a lumbar tune that can customize the hips, shoulders, and waist to perfectly fit your body. You can even swap out the hip belt with other models for a superior fit.
Terrified that you will lose your electronics to wet weather while hiking? The weather shield hip pocket incorporates a TPU-coated covering. Along with a heavy duty zipper, you will be able to keep your electronics dry even in the worst conditions. Read Full Review.
The North Face Cobra
“Best Suitable For Winter Mountain Adventure”
The North Face Cobra 60 Hiking Backpack combines the beneficial design elements seen in other North Face hiking gear with an amazingly lightweight design. Measuring only 3.68 pounds, you can benefit from every addition pound saved with additional food, gear, and water.
Unlike other hiking backpacks covered here, the North Face Cobra expands beyond simple walking to include versatile options for things like sledding, skiing, and more. Benefiting you by dramatically improving the versatility of the bag, you will be able to take the North Face Cobra with you on adventures where other backpacks simply won’t make it.
A final benefit of the North Face Cobra worth considering is its 3661 cubic inches of interior space. When fully loaded, the North Face Cobra still manages to be comfortable to wear. The amazing interior size means that you can carry more when necessary. If storage and lightweight design are important to you, then the North Face Cobra should be on the top of your list.
The Osprey Men’s Atmos
“Best Suitable For Those Need Extreme Comfort”
The Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpack provides several unique benefits that are infrequently seen in other camping backpacks. It has 4 different exterior zipper pockets for storage of a lot of different things depending on need. Accessible while the pack is on, you get compartments that are easily reachable and practical. Not all camping backpacks are designed as well.
A benefit that makes Osprey an excellent name in backpacks is the effort spent in ventilation. The backpack makes use of materials and its construction to increase ventilation throughout the pack. This benefits you by helping to dry out things that may be damp, by airing things out and stopping them from getting an odor, and decreasing how hot the pack feels on your back.
Another benefit of the Osprey Men’s Atmos is its versatility. Using what is has lovingly coined as the ‘anti-gravity suspension system,’ the Osprey provides unrestricted movement. Contouring its shape to your body and fully adjustable, you get a backpack that can react more dynamically with your movement, increasing your flexibility and reaction time. This is even further improved by a 4-5 pound weight with up to 60 pounds worth of storage weight.
The Deuter Aircontact
“Best Suitable For Durability, Comfort and Classical Design”
A juggernaut of a backpack, the Deuter Aircontact gives you the benefit of size and features. With among the biggest loads supported by this camping backpack, the Deuter Aircontact is great if you need to carry a lot of stuff with you.
One of the best benefits of the Deuter Aircontact is that it manages to provide a great deal of storage space without becoming overly bulky. For example, you can easily adjust the shoulder and waist straps to provide a comfortable hiking experience. You can also easily access various parts of the large backpack in order to find what you are looking for. Despite its size and weight, you will not have a problem benefiting from the size and accessibility.
In addition to the 65 pounds of storage provided, the Deuter Aircontact also comes with a 10 liter storage compartment. Fantastic for putting water aside for when you are camped, the benefit of the separate water storage is that you have more room for camping supplies. Enough water to last you through a day and then some, it is hard to match the beneficial qualities of the Deuter Aircontact when you need to move a lot of supplies by foot.
The High Sierra Tech Series Titan
“Best Suitable For Its Great Price with Ease of Use”
An all around solid purchase, the High Sierra Tech Series Titan does a little of everything. The superior storage space allows for you to carry more things. The numerous pockets and attachment points on the exterior allows for you to attach poles, lights, and more. Versatility is the biggest benefit the High Sierra Tech Series Titan can provide.
Another benefit of the High Sierra Tech Series Titan is the lifetime warranty that is provided for manufacturing defects. Having such a warranty on something as complex as a camping backpack is really handy. Even the best designed backpacks can sometimes suffer from weaknesses and issues in manufacturing. With this warranty in place, you can return the backpack and get it replaced if a defect were to ever make itself known.
The lean and tall design of the High Sierra Tech Series Titan is great when for transportation on buses, trains, and planes. It is easier to handle, prop up, and store aside without fear of falling over. It also makes accessing things from the top pockets far easier as the base and waist belt form a stable footing for the rest of the bag.
The North Face Banchee
“Best Suitable as Lightweight and Comfortable Handling”
So far, we have only reviewed larger camping backpacks. The Banchee 50 Backpack is smaller by comparison and designed for carrying less weight. While you will lose out on storage capacity, you gain flexibility, agility, and movement with the Banchee. The Banchee is favored among those doing long distance hikes who either have limitations on what they can carry or don’t need to take a larger pack with them.
While smaller, the Banchee is none-the-less versatile and capable of holding a great deal of storage space. The limited interior volume and 50 pound capacity benefits those who need to carry smaller, heavier things. A lot of times people will end up putting cooking supplies and food in one of these smaller bags.
With a comfortable and snug fit, the Banchee combines the comfort of larger bags with improved ability to move. The end result is a bag that works well for those with back problems. You may have luck with the Banchee 50 Backpack if other similar backpacks have been too uncomfortable in the past.
The Osprey Packs Exos
“Best Suitable For Comfort and Smart Storage”
The Osprey Packs Exos 58 Backpack includes many of the benefits we reviewed in #6. On top of this, it adds a removable floating top pocket. Perfect for when you need to go into town, the removable top pocket fits snugly around the waist. Additional smaller pockets provide even more space for organized storage. Excellent for anyone who likes ditching his or her bag without major reorganization, the removable top pocket adds a lot.
Another benefit of the Osprey Packs Exos is its design. Modeled more after the ‘large tube’ design, the Osprey has few of the exterior pockets and containers that other larger bags have. Instead, it gives itself over to a lot of interior storage. Great for things like tents and other camping supplies that take up a lot of room, the Osprey stores a lot.
You will typically find packs with a similar design for far less. This is because the Osprey design is relatively straightforward. That being said, the Osprey Packs Exos is well worth the cost due to its attention to comfort and smart storage. While there are less expensive backpacks out there, they will not be anywhere near as comfortable or as versatile as the Osprey.
How To Choose The Best Camping Backpack
Decide Your Specific Need First
So you want to get the best camping backpack? Good for you! The first place you are going to want to look is at you. How is your body shaped? What do you intend to do with the backpack? How long do you want to be able to travel with your backpack? Start the process by determining what your needs are. If you have any existing medical problems like issues with your back, then you will want to consider this as well. As you will see when you begin searching through available camping backpacks, there are dozens of different makes and models to choose from. Knowing where you stand before starting the process will help you narrow down on the best camping backpack in no time.
Consider the Weight & Size
Weight and size are considerations that should also be addressed before you begin comparing prices. Are you hiking alone or are you hiking with other people? Are you sharing supplies or is every person carrying their own gear? The objective in backpacking is to pack as light as possible. The less you carry, the easier and more rewarding the experience will be. Any person who has packed too much or brought too large of a bag will relate how much of a pain backpacking can be when you are over encumbered.
Your typical backpack will range between 3-7 pounds. The majority will have a carrying weight between 50-65 pounds. On top of this, some may have extra storage for water. If you have your other gear already, then take a moment to weigh it all and see how much it comes to. That can help you figure out what range and by extension what backpack you should consider getting.
Consider No. of Items to be Carried
Are you bringing with you a lot of small things? Having pockets on the exterior makes it easier to organize what you have and makes acquiring it without removing your pack far easier. Whether it is a quick snack or a map, being able to get them easily can shave minutes off of stops and keep you on time to reach your destination before sun down. Some models of camping backpacks are designed with accessibility in mind. Ventilation and wet weather protection are other features that you may benefit from depending on the weather and the amount of moisture you have to deal with. Better ventilation means less damp clothes and less odor as well.
How to Choose Best Camping Backpack – Video
This video will guide you step by step to choose the best camping backpack for your next hiking/ camping activity.
Things To Consider While Buying A Camping Backpack
How Often Will You Use It?
A cheap backpack is perfect for a one-off trip into the wilderness. If you plan to return with any frequency, buying something with a little more quality will pay for itself again and again in the long run. Durability increases dramatically with more expensive packs. Stitching is better, zippers are more durable, and Velcro/buckles are designed for repeated use. Many top end camping backpacks also come with a limited lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects. Spend the money if you have repeated use in mind.
How Easy Is It To Put On?
As we mentioned above, your typical camping backpack will only weigh a few pounds when empty. At this weight, it is a breeze to get it on. The only trouble is that camping backpacks when full can weigh upwards of 60 pounds. Some backpacks are designed with putting on and taking off in mind. If you have issues with your legs shoulders, or back, then consider reading the reviews for the backpack before purchase. You can use the reviews as a first hand source for information on taking on and taking off. If something is a pain to do, then you will most likely find it in disgruntled comments.
How Does It Stand On Its Own?
A minor point for some, having your backpack fall over again and again gets on some people’s nerves. The majority of camping backpacks are accessed top down, meaning that you have to stand the backpack in an upward facing direction to access things. A backpack with rounded siding or that naturally leans away from the waist belt has a bigger chance of spilling out the content of your open bag when it tips over. If this bothers you, then look for a backpack with a stable flat base.
Is That Really The Best Price?
Look for the model number of the backpack and search for it online. Chances are you will find a few different listings for it. In addition, consider going into a store that sells it to compare prices. You may find that one of the outlets currently has a discount on the backpack. Twenty or thirty minutes of searching can save your hundreds of dollars on your purchase.
Top Camping Backpack Brands You Should Consider
Camping backpacks will typically range between $100-$500 depending on your need. Recognized brands in backpacking have a legacy of creating superior backpacks that have been proven over the years to remain durable and dependable even through heavy use. Included below is a list of recognizable brands for camping backpacks.
Top Camping Backpack Brands List
• Arc’teryx – This Outdoor and Sporting goods manufacturing company is based in Canada. It was established in 1989 by the founder Dave Lane Jeremy Guard. It mainly produces products targeting military and law enforcement bodies. But some of their products specially camping/ hiking backpack are popular in civil entities. This company is expanding its ventures in other countries including China, Bangladesh, Vietname, Laos.
• Five Ten – Founded in 1985 by Charles Cole, Five Ten is an America based outdoor sports gear manufacturing company. Its climbing shoes are famous worldwide over a decades. They also produces products like athletic footwear, camping backpacks and other outdoor sporting gears. This company is purchased by Adidas in 2011.
• Osprey – The Osprey is United States based popular backpack manufacturing company, founded in 1974 by Mike Pfotenhauer, Laurie White. This company is known as Osprey Packs. They famous for making long lasting, all weather proofed camping backpacks with innovative ideas and creative designs. The high quality backpack gears produced by the company over a long period of time shows its love to outdoors sports.
• Gregory Mountain- Gregory Mountain Products is a United States based company started in 1977. Wayne Gregory founded Gregory Mountain Products in San Diego, California to design and manufacture world class backpacks. They are a leading manufacturer of supreme backpacking, mountaineering and hiking products and accessories. Gregory is a leader and pioneer in the industry of backpacking products, they added many innovations in backpacking designs. The Gregory research and design team continues to lead the way in innovative backpack technology and performance. In June 2014 Samsonite International SA acquired Gregory Mountain Products.
• The North Face – In 1966, The North Face started their first mountaineering/hiking retail store in San Francisco by two hiking enthusiasts , Douglas Tompkins and his wife Susie Tompkins. The North Face then began designing and manufacturing its own brand of hiking/mountaineering clothes, accessories and equipment. Through their continuous innovations and explorations they became the best manufacture and supplier in the United States. The North Face maintains strong links with the outdoor community for different expeditions and athletes by sponsoring them. The North Face is presently owned by VF Corp.
• TETON Sports – The TETON Sports is a United States company situated in Salt Lake city of Utah. TETON Sports have been in the sporting good industry for nearly fifteen years as a leading manufacturer of durable affordable gear that will outperform and long last. TETON Sports is a manufacture of sleeping bags, cots, tents and backpacks which are very popular and customer oriented. TETON Sports make quality gear that lasts for years and is very affordable.
The Bottom Line
A reliable camping backpack will make every adventure you take into the wilderness more enjoyable. Comfort, support, storage capacity, and ease of access are but a few of the things that a good camping backpack will provide. While some people may skimp out and buy second hand or cheap backpacks, remember that any backpack you buy will spend almost the entire trip on your back. You want something that will be dependable, reliable, and functional. Above guide line are some things you should consider when purchasing a camping backpack.