Best Backpacking Backpacks

Jason Loomis
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If you want the best backpack for backpacking, then you’re probably pretty serious about it.

If you’re planning a multi-day trek or backpacking trip, you need to think about your backpacking backpack, just as much as your gear, food and water.

You need to make sure all your gear is in the backpack, add your clothes, then think about the water you are carrying (which means a hydration bladder or more than one), as well as the snacks and toiletries you will need.

As a matter of fact, with the best backpacking backpack, you might not even need the extra gear, clothes or water.

Limiting factors like the weather, your hiking boots, and the gear, clothes and food you’re carrying are all important things to consider when choosing the best backpacking backpack.

NameCategoryProduct
Kelty Redwing 44 BackpackBest OverallKelty Redwing 44 Backpack
TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance BackpackBudget PickTETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack

1. Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack

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Pros:

  • Carries heavy loads well
  • Spacious
  • Plenty of pockets, loops, and straps
  • Includes rain cover
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Gets heavy when carrying less than 25-30 lbs
  • Can be uncomfortable when packed to capacity

The Kelty Redwing 44 is a reasonably sized pack that has some great features for outdoor adventures. It can be used for day hikes or backpacking trips.

It comes with a 2L Antidote Reservoir, which makes it a great hydration pack. It also has a mesh water bottle pocket, so it’s handy to keep your water bottles in separate compartments. This is convenient in the event that you’re just carrying a drink with you – saving the reservoir for longer hikes.

The Redwing has a top loading design, along with two large zippered pockets on the sides, which make it easy to access your supplies. It also has a convenient laptop sleeve inside the front pocket, where you can store your laptop or tablet when you’re on the move.

2. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack

Our rating: 9 / 10

TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack

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Pros:

  • DOT certified for motorcycle riders
  • Adjustable fit so you can carry more
  • Very comfortable
  • Internal frame design
  • Excellent capacity
  • Right at 3 pounds
  • Very well-made

Cons:

  • Lots of straps to take a while to get used to
  • A bit pricey
  • Inconsistent quality control on the zippers

And Adventuring.

For a reliable, versatile, top-quality internal frame backpack, look no further than our top pick, the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack. This backpack comes with several advanced features which make it a high-performance choice.

The Scout 3400 has a suspension system made up of multi-density polyethylene-plastic lumbar support, load-transfer disc that evenly distributes load, and contoured foam torso panels which conform to your body’s shape.

3. Osprey Kestrel 48 Backpack

Our rating: 7 / 10

Osprey Kestrel 48 Backpack

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Pros:

  • The zippered hip belt pockets are waterproof and stretchy
  • The pack features an adjustable ventilated back and extended shoulder straps
  • The Osprey One hand touch buckle release lets you access the pack’s opening very easily in one step
  • The material is very sturdy and quite water resistant
  • The ComforTech backpanel provides exceptional support and ventilation
  • The pack’s capacity is ideal for mountaineering and multi-day hikes

Cons:

  • Accessories and extra pockets are not included
  • The pack is not ideal for women, particularly if the figure is curvy

The Osprey Kestrel is an open-topped 48-liter backpack capable of supporting a maximum load of 35 lbs. The opening is very easy to access with its one-step latch release and there is no fumbling about with overly complicated zippers and straps. The Kestrel’s suspended mesh back panel helps keep you cool and well-ventilated, which is an important feature for supporting multi-day hikes.

The suspension of this pack is also state of the art with its mesh back, adjustable ventilated extended shoulder straps, and padded hip belt – which is great for distributing the load more evenly between the body’s center of gravity and out towards the hips.

4. Maxpedition Gear Zafar Internal Frame Pack

Our rating: 5 / 10

Maxpedition Gear Zafar Internal Frame Pack

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Top-notch quality
  • Packs a TON
  • Comfortable
  • Compactible
  • Water resistant
  • Fits 20 Liters of gear
  • Padded shoulder straps with fastening chest strap

The Maxpedition Gear Zafar is touted by many customers and reviewers as one of the best internal frame packs you can get. It’s a lightweight, durable and waterproof pack that can hold quite a bit.

It’s the go-to for hikers, hunters, survivalists and campers who need to carry a few dozen pounds of gear. The foam padding and adjustable straps make even a long trek more comfortable.

The front has a quick-access pouch that can hold a map or other important items you may need to get to quickly. The pack is about 25.5 inches tall x 14 inches deep x 7 inches wide.

5. Gregory Salvo 24 Backpack

Our rating: 4 / 10

Gregory Salvo 24 Backpack

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Large storage

Just like the name suggests, the Gregory Salvo 24 is a 24-liter pack that is suitable for anything from multi-day treks to weekend going away trips and more. This pack has been constructed using 370D, 150D Nylon ripstop fabric that makes it extremely durable.

One of the standout features of this backpack is how light it is. This is due in part to it being made from a high-density foam that is a step above the standard foam you find in most backpacks.

The Gregory Salvo 24 has an adjustable torso length which gives you an option that most backpacks do not offer. If you are tall it is likely that you like your backpack to sit higher on your hips as it tends to make it more comfortable. However, if you are shorter you would prefer your backpack to sit lower on your waist.

Conclusion

By now, we hope we can recommend the best backpacking backpack in this review. The most important features that you need to consider before buying a backpacking backpack are versatility and ease of use. If you need to navigate in the city and make your way through sidewalks or alleyways, you need to look for a versatile backpack. You also need to choose a backpack that you can easily adjust for your comfort level. Please remember that comfort is the most important thing you need to think about when choosing a backpack.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Kelty Redwing 44 BackpackBest OverallKelty Redwing 44 Backpack
TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance BackpackBudget PickTETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack