Is it possible to get a good hiking backpack for under $100?
Getting a high quality, high capacity, lightweight hiking backpack for under 100 dollars is quite a challenge.
- High Quality
- High Capacity
- Get a Realistic Idea of the Volume Size Backpack You Need
- TOP 6 Best Affordable Hiking Backpack Reviews 2018
This has to do with durability, how long the seams will hold up, whether or not the zippers will fail or zip smoothly, if the buckles and snaps can hold a heavy load, the fabric will last for more than a few trips without wearing a hole in the bottom of the bag.
Characteristics like this speak to the quality of the bag.
It is a very large capacity for a special style of hiking.
40 to 60 liters is medium or ‘normal’ capacity and might be used for overnight or 3-4 day hikes, or even as a daypack for hiking.
Under 40 liters is smaller, maybe a daypack or overnight hike size, depending on the season and how much gear you plan to bring.
Cooler weather required more gear, and hence, a larger backpack. The opposite is true for summer hiking.
There are high capacity, high quality bags that weigh a lot.
Military issue bags are a typical example of this. They can weigh several pounds or more unpacked because of the durable material they are made from.
In some cases, a lightweight bag is light because it is made from less expensive and less durable material.
A lightweight bag made of high quality material is more expensive because the material is more expensive, which is why it is a challenge to find a bag that is high quality and lightweight for under 100 dollars.
It can be done, but it will probably be a lower capacity bag.
Get a Realistic Idea of the Volume Size Backpack You Need
You need to determine what size pack you need.
Get all your gear together and either borrow a back or find a box the gear fits into entirely. Do not forget space for food and water.
Measure the box, or note the liter capacity of the borrowed backpack to get a realistic idea of the size pack you need.
In general, overnight hikes, and maybe 3 or 4 day hikes can be done with 50 liter bags. If you are camping and hiking with others you may be able to share some gear and spread the weight of those items.
The item most novice campers over pack is clothes. If you are hiking in the summer you may need less. Also consider the more you back, the more weight you have on your back.
Most hikers rarely need a 70 to 90 liter backpack. These backpacks are for longer hikes where you need to pack in all your supplies, water and food.
Sportsman, hunters and hikers involved in special activities may need packs this large, but the average hiker will not.
Get your gear and clothes together and try and fit it into a pack to get the best idea of the size you need.
Consider the length or amount of time you plan to hike
Spend some time thinking about the length of your hike, or how long you plan to hike on each trip. The biggest variable in pack size will be how much consumables you need to pack.
If you go on a two week hike and need to carry all food and water, you need a bigger pack than someone who is hiking for 3 days with access to drinking water.
The actual gear for these two hikers may be similar, but the space occupied by food and water will be different.
Most overnight and 3 to 4 day hikers are good with a 45 to 55 liter backpack.
Consider how often you plan to hike
How often you plan to hike should determine how durable and high quality of a bag you should consider.
If you plan to hike three times a year, you may not need the best quality pack.
But if you plan to hike every other weekend one season, you may need to invest in quality and consider shaving pack size to get a pack in your budget.
TOP 6 Best Affordable Hiking Backpack Reviews 2018
These reviews focus on three pack aspects:
Best affordable hiking backpacks for multi day hikes
TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack
This 55 liter internal frame backpack has a great suspension system including padded shoulder straps, sternum strap, adjustable harness and lumbar pad all work to carry the weight on the pack on your hips and keep your back ventilated.
The pack has sturdy buckles, 600d rip stop nylon material and water resistant fabric make a reasonably durable pack.
This pack has bungee straps on the top and front to hold gear on the outside.
There is a mesh front pocket, gear ties on the top and bottom, and compression straps to hole a sleeping pad.
The bag has a lower sleeping bag compartment, two stretch mesh side pockets, and a zippered back pocket.
This backpack is compatible with a hydration system. The main compartment can be accessed from the front or top of the pack and has a drawstring top close.
This pack also has a zip out partition to divide the main compartment.
- Effective and useful suspension system.
- Relatively high quality for the price.
- 55 liter capacity.
- Can not use large water bottles in the side water bottle holders.
Best cheap hiking backpack for a large volume of gear
TETON Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack
This larger 65 liter backpack by Teton has a heavily padded hip belt, lumbar pad, padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap and adjustable harness to match your torso size. The back has good ventilation.
The backpack is made from 600 d rip stop nylon, includes a rain cover and rain cover storage pouch and high quality buckles.
The storage on this backpack is ample, including two top compression straps, a pouch in the lid, a drawstring top for the roomy main compartment, an interior zip pocket on the lid, two daisy chain elastic strips run vertically down the front of the pack for attaching more gear.
There is a front zippered pouch for sleeping bag, two generous zippered side pockets. Stretch mesh water bottle holders, and two lower ties.
The side pockets on one side open on the top and bottom making them ideal for holding longer gear, like trekking poles, ax handles, etc.
- High capacity with a lot of outside storage pockets and attachment points.
- Good pack for taller people.
- The drink holders are not very large.
- The hip strap is somewhat hard, can be uncomfortable.
Scandanavian Gear 65l Backpack – Multi-day Pack for Hiking
The Scandinavian Gear 65 Liter backpack has a comfortable suspension system.
The harness is adjustable, there are pockets on each hip belt, the backpack has padded shoulders and a sternum strap.
Durability, the pack includes a rain cover and is water resistant. The material is ripstop nylon and the straps are heavy duty.
Storage: The main compartment opens with two zippers on the side and from the top and bottom. The bag is divided into two compartments a large compartment and a medium size compartment.
There are two loops on the bottom to hold a tent or sleeping bag. There is also a side storage pocket. This pocket has less storage than other backpacks this size.
- Has good suspension.
- Includes a whistle and reflective strips.
- The water bottle pockets have an odd slant and should be slanted the other way, they are not tall enough.
Best affordable hiking backpacks for day hikes and overnight hikes
OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L
The outdoor master backpack is 50 liter medium bag.
Suspension: The pack has a hip belt, padded curved shoulder straps, sternum strap to hold everything on and keep the weight centered over your hips.
Durability: Brand name reliable YKK zippers, reinforced haul handle, rain cover, and nylon fabric.
Storage: This hiking backpack has a place for a hydration system, a padded laptop sleeve, zip pockets on the hip belt, external loops to hold trekking poles, straps on the bottom to hold a sleeping pad or tent, mesh stretch side pockets, a kangaroo style pouch on the front with a vertical zippered pocket on that.
- Modest size pack with good suspension and a lot of storage.
- The harness is not adjustable and does not have great ventilation making this a pack for shorter trips, and average sized folks.
Best hiking backpack under 100 for day hikes
TETON Sports Canyon 2100 Backpack
The Teton Sports canyon backpack is a smaller 20 liter daypack hiking backpack or for those who pack really light it could be used for an overnight trip.
Suspension: Air mesh harness is fixed, not adjustable, and includes shoulder straps, sternum strap and hip belt.
Storage: There is a map pocket and daisy chain straps that run vertically down the pack.
The pack has two bottom compression straps for tying on gear, and has a hydration pouch sleeve with threading ready for your hydration bladder. There is a zippered pocket at the top of the lid with a key clasp.
There are zippered butterfly pockets on each side as well as mesh stretch pockets on each side. There is a sleeping bag compartment and a 10 liter main compartment.
Durability: Made from high quality honeycomb denier. High quality buckles and zippers.
- High quality, functional suspension system.
- Backpack is streamlined and fits close to the body.
- No side compression straps, even though some marketing material states otherwise.
Best hiking backpack under 100 for tall People
High Sierra Classic 2 Series Ascender 40 Frame Pack
The high sierra is a 40 liter day pack or overnight pack.
Suspension: The back is a mesh padded back with a metal center support with padded shoulder and hip straps to keep weight centered on your hips. The harness is not adjustable, but the pack itself is somewhat long, good for tall people.
Durability: There is a rain cover that is attached to an inside pocket.
Storage: The backpack has compression straps, the main compartment opens wide with a panel opening that reaches to the center of the backpack. There s a mesh zip pocket with key clip and another sleeve for a tablet.
The pack has Velcro pole straps and straps above the two mesh water bottle pockets to secure the water bottle, plus the water bottle pockets are large and deep.
There are two compression straps to hold your bedroll or tent.
- Good suspension with center support up the back.
- Good for taller people.
- Included rain cover.
- Too long for short folks, great for tall folks.
- Harness is fixed.
This concludes out product reviews.
We hope our guide helps you find the best hiking backpack under 100$.