What are the best mountain backpacks in 2022

Gone are the days when backpacking consisted of strapping on a considerable extergiantframe and lumbering through the forest with an aching body. Trends in backpacks these days err towards minimalism and thoughtful, ergonomic design.

Whether you are heading to the mountains for a quick hike or for weeks at a time, you must ensure the right gear.

I’ve been hiking for nearly ten years and have tried over ten awesome hiking packs… This is why I wrote this article on the best backpacks for hiking and adventuring to help you find your soul-pack.

Trekking is one of my favorite past-times when travellingtravelingetGettinge the city and into the woods or mountains is crucial. It helps reset my batteries and feel cone makes me tied to nature. Plus, it’s free! As a broke backpacker, I spend much time camping and hiking in the mountains.

For those who like backpacking with a bit more comfort, or in colder months when you need a heftier sleeping bag, something between 35 and 55 litres should be right. Any correct beyond that; frankly, you’ve got too much stuff for an enjoyable multi-day trekking trip. Then, anything over 55L should suit anyone heading into areas of wilderness for long periods of time – when there’s little chance of resupplying and you have to carry everything you need in with you.

What are the best mountain backpacks in 2022:Our top pick

Best hiking backpack for womenCamelBak M.U.L.E. Mountain Biking Hydration BackpackView on Amazon
Best hiking backpacks for menEasy Refilling Hydration BackpackView on Amazon
Best camping backpackTETON Sports Ultralight Plus BackpacksView on Amazon
Hiking backpack WomenTETON Sports Explorer Internal Frame BackpackView on Amazon
Lightweight hiking backpackARC’TERYX ALPHA AR 35View on Amazon

Here are the best mountain backpack recommendations:

1.CamelBak M.U.L.E. Mountain Biking Hydration Backpack

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Air Director Back Panel: Channels air flairflowep you cool.

Removeable Stability Belt: For additional fit and stability.

Ventilated Harness: Lightweight and breathable.

Adjustable Sternum Strap: Offers a range of adjustments for a custom fit and increased stability.

Secure Phone Pocket: Keep essentials safe and easy to access.

2.Easy Refilling Hydration Backpack

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Air Director Back Panel: Channels air airflow keeps you cool.

Removeable Stability Belt: For additional fit and stability.

Ventilated Harness: Lightweight and breathable.

Adjustable Sternum Strap: Offers a range of adjustments for a custom fit and increased stability.

Secure Phone Pocket: Keep essentials safe and easy to access.

3.TETON Sports Ultralight Plus Backpacks

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Internal frame backpack for hiking, backpacking, camping, and travel; Pack all your backpacking gear in and on this pack. Neoprene sleeves for rope

Extra padded split wawaistbandhip and torso adjustments offer a perfect customizable fit; Unique lumbar adjustment; Travel backpack for men, women, and youth.

Strong shell for the most rugged hiking and camping adventures; Multiple compression straps, stsoliduckles, and stormproof zippers; Including rainfly covers for you and your backpack.

Lightweight frame for stability – you feel less of the load; Padded lumbar region sits comfortably on your back; Designed for pros at a price that is friendly to beginners.

4. TETON Sports Explorer Internal Frame Backpack

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Perfect backpack for men, women, and youth

Multi-position torso adjustment fits wia de range of body sizes; Durable open-cell foam lumbar pad and molded channels provide maximum airflow and balance


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The Arc’teryx Alpha AR 35 is a classic rucksack design, originally born out of the needs of dedicated climbers, but the result is an all-rounder in many respects. That climbing heritage gives you a very slim profile, just as applicable on the North face of the Petit Dru as the District line, as well as loads of attachment points. These might seem unnecessary for everyday life, but the ax loops are just as helpful in holding hiking poles as they are for technical leashless ice tools.

The main thing you’re getting here is excellent wear resistance, which means this pack will last for decades. Arc’teryx has got all technical here, building the rucksack body from a ‘liquid crystal polymer ripstop grid’ incorporated in a ‘high tenacity nylon fabric,’ which certainly sounds tough as nails. There’s a removable top lid, back frame sheet if you need to cut weight and a superb strap/hip belt combo that is near-indestructible but comfortable on long days. If you need a reliable daysack that’ll last till you get too old and doddery to use it, this is a top choice.

Backpack Weight and Load Range

Looking beyond how much space your gear takes up in a pack, it’s essential to ballpark the total weight. If your equipment is older or you prefer a comfort-oriented (read: heavier) setup, getting a pack that can handle the extra weight is a good idea. Alternatively, if you’re into minimalism and ultralight gear, you can get away with a corresponding lightweight pack. In looking at backpacks, the pack’s frame, suspension, and padding are relevant considerations for hauling ability. One quick reference point is the pack’s empty weight, provided for nearly every model sold.

A heavier pack is logically most often capable of hauling more weight. It will have a beefy frame, rugged fabrics, and thick padding. There are some exceptions, and backpacks overall are becoming lighter but are still adept at comfortably handling a heavy load. Below is a basic guideline for matching pack weight and hauling ability.

Pros of Backpacking

1. You’ll Experience the Places You Visit – you’re not just going to find yourself staring at the hot tourist spots; you’ll live and experience everything there is in the place. Backpackers aren’t restricted by tour dates and schedules. You can literally go and do what you want.

2. Boost Social Skills – backpackers develop great social skills since they have no one to really guide them through. This means you’ll have to make new friends, spend time researching on the Web, and really get down and dirty with the locals.

3. Everything is With You – you won’t leave a few things behind when you’re out water rafting or travelling from bus to bus because everything you need is on your back. This is convenience in its most basic form and that freedom is one of the main elements that backpackers enjoy.

4. It’s Cheaper – travel agencies charge a lot of money but when you go backpacking it’s all up to you how you travel. Will you go with expensive cabs or will you venture through local public transportation? Will you cycle up the mountain trail or ride a horse? In most cases, backpacking makes it much more affordable.

5. No Restrictions – You can stay in any hotel or inn and you can opt to camp out by renting tents or couch-surf with a new friend in the area. There are absolutely no restrictions when you backpack.

Cons of Backpacking

1. You’re Travelling Blind – unless you do your research, you’ll be unaware of the places to stay, the tourist spots to go to, and where to find good local delicacies.

2. Less Than Spectacular Accommodations – backpackers usually don’t get to enjoy the best resorts and instead have to stay in dorms and cheap inns. It is part of the experience but at times it can get weary.

3. Limited Amenities – as expected with shoving everything in a single backpack, you won’t be able to carry more than the bare essentials. Sometimes a sudden emergency might require a change of clothes and if you don’t have any, you’ll have to buy cheap shirts on the spot.

How do I choose a mountaineering backpack?

To find the best balance of weight and durability, look for packs that use a combination of fabrics. Robust fabrics on the bottom and side panels, and lightweight fabrics on the upper sides, front, and lid — where wear and tear is much less. If the backpack is waterproof or resistant, consider how long that will last.

What is the ideal bag use in mountaineering?

As a general rule, ~30 liters or less capacity works for summer day trips. About 50 liters or more will do well for a weekend. 60-80 liters can be great for multiple days. Generally, a 100+ liter bag will be the biggest you need and can serve you well for week long climbs, or months-long expeditions.

How do I choose a climbing bag?

Why is a backpack an ideal bag for mountaineering?

Backpacks are better than shoulder or messenger bags for carrying books and supplies. That’s because the pack’s weight is evenly spread across your body. The strongest muscles in the body — the back and the abdominal muscles — support the group.

How heavy is a mountaineering pack?

(If you weigh 150 pounds, your pack should not exceed 30 pounds for backpacking.) A loaded day hiking pack should not weigh more than 10 percent of your body weight. (If you weigh 150 pounds, your package should not exceed 15 pounds for hiking.)

What kind of backpack will you bring for hiking?

Most people will find that a 60-70L pack has sufficient volume for extended weekend backpacking trips (two to three nights out). Some might need only 50L, while others may need as much as 100L. As a rule, a half-full large pack is more comfortable than an overloaded small bag.

What’s the difference between a hiking backpack and a regular backpack?

An everyday backpack will generally only have two pouches, the main pouch, and a smaller front pouch. Still, in a hiking backpack, there will also be front-loading pouches, side pouches for snacks and items you need quickly, and even a pocket just for your water bladder.

Do I need a unique backpack for hiking?

No, you do not need a unique backpack for hiking.

Any regular backpack will work for day hikes. However, if you go hiking often or need to carry lots of gear (such as on overnight hiking trips), there are many features of hiking backpacks compared to regular packs, which might make them worth buying.

Ultralight Backpacking Packs

We see more and more ultralight backpacking packs each year on the trail for a good reason. These packs have a fully functional less-is-more mentality, cutting roughly 2 to 3 pounds off the weight of a standard backpacking pack and featuring bare-bones organization (the majority have one main compartment, hip belt pockets, and a few external dump pockets). In addition to streamlined storage, they shed pounds with thin yet premium materials (Dyneema and Robic nylon are standard) and minimalist suspension systems that generally include an aluminum stay and back foam panel. If you’re interested in lightening your load and don’t mind a simplified design, an ultralight backpacking pack could be a good option.

We’re big fans of ultralight packs and have used them successfully for years, but they come with one major caveat: you cannot overload your pack. With such streamlined suspensions and thin fabrics, UL packs aren’t built to handle loads over 30 to 40 pounds. If you’re a thru-hiker or lightweight enthusiast with a base weight (this refers to your entire gear kit, minus consumables) of about 15 pounds or under, this should be no problem. On the other hand, if you’re transitioning to ultralight gear, we recommend that your pack be the last thing you swap. Get yourself a lightweight tent, sleeping bag, pad, and cooking gear first, and then consider putting it together with a UL pack.

Backpack Organizational Features

The organization is of utmost importance when you’re playing the part of a moving van, carrying all your possessions in one place. This is where the old external framed packs had a distinct advantage – pockets and organization galore. It’s not to say internal framed backpacks aren’t improving, however, with numerous access points and creative packaging.

Main Compartment Access

Nearly every backpacking pack will have an opening at the top secured in a cinch cord, or roll-top, referred to as a top-loader. Additional access to the bottom or middle of the pack via a u-shaped zipper can be a big help, keeping you from shoveling through a once-meticulously organized bag to find some elusive item. These extra zippers add a little weight but are often worth it. In cases like the Gregory Baltoro/Deva or Osprey Aether/Ariel, the u-shaped opening is so vast that you can pack and remove items much like a travel suitcase.

Exterior Pockets

A top lid with zippered pockets is an excellent spot for some lighter-weight items you might need on short notice, like a headlamp. External floating pockets are becoming popular to stuff gear like a rain jacket or insulated mid-layer. Hipbelt pockets are another recent adoption for putting quick access items like lip balm, a camera, or lifesavers (an excellent energy booster on the trail). And finally, don’t forget about exterior attachment points or loops for an ice ax or trekking pole.


Hiking is all things to everyone, so getting the right balance between weight, size, and robustness is vital, especially for something you’ll be wearing on your back for many days. Modern materials mean that ye olde steel frame rucksacks are unnecessary unless you’re in training and want to carry the extra weight. Here are some things to look for when choosing the best hiking backpack for you:


Arguably the most crucial starting point. How much do you need to carry? Summer rambling along the coast requires a different set of kits to wild winter camping, but don’t get carried away and buy a giant windsock that needs a SAS team to have once filled.


Check and check again that the rucksack fits your back well. Most makes have different back sizes available, so try a few with both a light load and a heavy one (most shops have weight bags for this). If there’s a hip belt, this should rest on the top of your hip bones and adjust to a comfortable tightness – this can transfer a lot of weight from your shoulders to your hips, so don’t underestimate the importance of a well-fitting hip belt. And of course, none of this is any good if the straps aren’t adjusted correctly: here’s how to fit a backpack.


Walk around and move naturally to see if anything rubs or feels weird. By all means, try the super-techno suspended mesh solutions to get a sweaty back, but rest assured, after a long day with a heavy rucksack, your back will be sweaty, so don’t prioritize them over a perfect fit.


Lighter is nearly always better, meaning the minimum of random bells and whistles add weight. Don’t be afraid to cut off straps and fastenings you know you’ll never use.

Pockets and straps

Think about what you’ll need to carry and how accessible you’ll need it. Streamlined designs might look smart, but pockets start to look more appealing when you have to unpack the whole thing to access your torch in the middle of the evening.

Compression Straps

Compression straps tighten a pack from front to back and pull the load close to your body, helping to keep you balanced on the trail. Make sure the group you’re looking at has these side compression straps at both the top and bottom to aid in load stability and give them a good cinch each time you put your pack on. These straps are also helpful for storing taller items (such as tent poles) along the side of your package. When used for this purpose, we especially like a system like REI’s Packmod—seen on the Traverse 60 and Flash 55 packs—which allows you to move the straps to your preferred height via a series of daisy chains (or remove them altogether). And while some compression straps secure tightly with a simple plastic cinch, we prefer those with buckles for their ease of use, especially when attaching more oversized items like a sleeping pad.


Backpanel and hipbelt ventilation is a biggie for some, especially if you tend to run warm or plan on hiking in the summer heat. But finding an internal framed pack that breathes well can be a challenge, primarily because the point of a group is to hug and conform to your body, moving with you as you walk. Most packs have offsetting foam and mesh panels that do a passable job encouraging airflow, but you’ll likely still get sweat art on your back that traces where the foam panels contact your body.

Water Protection

Many items we store in our backpacks are vulnerable to moisture—including a camera, phone, and down sleeping bag—so we prioritize water protection. The good news is that most packs offer decent water resistance with hard-face nylon and a durable water repellant (DWR) coating, although expect sustained rainfall to penetrate the fabric.

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