Tips on selecting backpacks

Consider the size, weight, shape, materials, pockets, hydration and attachments. For tips on how to pack your backpack, look here.

Hydration Packs

A Hydration packs primary purpose is to carry water. Most have additional pockets and features.

CamelBak 2017 HydroBak
Features: Crux bladder delivers 20% more water per sip, with an ergonomic handle for easy refilling and an on/off lever to prevent leaks
Breathable air mesh back panel for a lightweight, comfortable fit
Reflective accents for visibility in low-light environments
Secure zippered pocket for essentials
Lightweight, ventilated mesh harness
Weight: 0.66 lb
Size: 3.94 x 8.46 x 12.6 inches

Traditional hydration pack

CamelBak Ultra Pro Hydration Vest
Features: Carries water bottles. Two 17oz Quick Stow flasks that are lightweight, collapsible and feature our classic one-piece silicone bite valve for rapid hydration
3D Ventilated mesh offers multi-directional airflow and cushioning to maximize comfort and breathability
Secure phone pocket conveniently located for quick access and includes a zipper closure for added security
Dual adjustable sternum straps increases stability and offer a range of adjustments for customization
Stretch overflow pocket offers easy access to toss in a rain shell or stash extra gear.
Weight: 14 lbs

A vest pack which carries collapsable bottles.

Salomon Skin Pro 10 Bag
Features: 10 liter bag with focus on hydration. The one-size-fits-all skin pro 10 set is a light, slim fitting pack that’s versatile enough for hiking, running, or biking. Using Salomon stretch sensei construction, the pack has a new strap adjustment that improves stability and lets the pack adjust to different sizes. The versatile, stable gear carrying system makes it easy to attach poles, ice axes, a helmet and pad
Weight: 1.2 lbs
Size: 7.1 x 6.7 x 15.8 inches

A day pack focussed on hydration

Day Packs

Here we class a day pack from as a pack 20 – 40 liters in size.

Jack Wolfskin Velocity 12 Rucksack

Features: Spacious main compartment with dual-zip closure. Interior slip pocket is hydration bladder compatible. Front pocket with organization slip. Helmet compartment. Side mesh pockets. Anchor loop for LED attachment. Reflective paneling for low-light conditions.
Volume:-:9 x 4 1⁄2 x 17 inches

A great everyday pack

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

Features: Ultralight minimal. While traveling or backpacking there is often a need for a small day pack to carry just the essentials for a day trip and then disappear when not in use. The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack does just that with deluxe features not found most crushable daypacks.
Volume:17 x 9 x 7 inches

Fantastically light. Great as a spare travel bag – or food shopping!

Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack

Features: Well padded everyday pack with hydration/laptop pocket. Dual stretch mesh side pockets.Front Panel Shove-It Pocket.
Volume:18 x 10 x 10 inches

Part hydration part pack, does both very well.

Mid-size Packs

For overnight or weekend backpacking. 20 to 40 liters in volume.

Osprey Kestral 38

Features: External trekking pole holder, comfortable compression straps. Light internal frame. Removable rain cover. Tool attachment loops. Front mesh pocket. Zipper waistband pockets. External hydration sleeve (simplifies refilling)
Weight: 3lbs 2oz
Volume: (M) 38 liters

My favorite backpacking pack. Comfortable and easy to organize your stuff.

Jack Wolfskin Moab Jam 24 Basic Day Pack

Features: Spacious main compartment with zip closure. Interior slip pocket. Exterior zip pocket provides quick access to smaller items and a secure attachment for keys. Base pocket with integrated rain cover. Side mesh pockets with elastic closure. Elasticated helmet attachment. Side compression straps. Reflective detailing and LED loop for added visibility. Tube duct and attachment for hydration packs. Elasticated waist belt features 3 quick-access pockets and can be stored behind the well ventilated back panel.
Weight: 1.6lbs
Volume: 19.2 x 13.7 x 5.1 inches

Large every-day pack

Patagonia Ascensionist 30

Features: Minimalist lightweight sturdy and waterproof pack. Has everything you need, but absolutely nothing more
Weight:2 lbs
Volume: 30 liters

Wonderfully light and durable.

Huge Packs

For through hikes – 40 liters and upwards

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Windrider 40L Backpack

Features: Features: Has enough capacity for minimalist overnighters. Despite its ultralight weight, the Windrider is surprisingly comfortable and durable for long hikes. Its Dyneema Hardline suspension system includes spacer mesh foam at the shoulder straps and waist belt, and there are supportive aluminum stays that you can remove for even less weight. Hyperlite Mountain Gear made this pack out of the same Dyneema rope fabric used to catch climbers when they fall, so you know it will last for many seasons. The Windrider also has a roll-top closure and taped seams for reliable protection in wet weather. There’s an internal sleeve styled for hydration reservoirs, and a loop designed for ice axes. The Windrider also has external mesh pockets, zippered waistbelt pockets for valuables, and top and side compression straps for a secure load.
Weight: 1 lb
Volume: 40 liters

Outstandingly light. I have pack envy for this one.

Suretex Backpack 50Liter
Features: Multiple gear straps, cord loops and attachment slots carrying tent, hammock, sleeping bag, trekking poles or a variety of other alpine gear for any occasion.
Pocket-Pocket rich design provides enough room no matter if it’s a day trip or a week-long journey. Two convenient separators in the main compartment to help organize everything for your trip.
Back support- The suspension system and metal frame provide a sturdy carry while the back-ventilation system provides excellent airflow to help keep you back cool and dry; the padded straps and waist belt make for an easy and comfortable carry, even for those long days.
Weight: 3 lbs
Size: 25.59 x 8.66 x 12.6 inches

A fully feature great value pack.

Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 50
Features: OutDry™ waterproofing technology bonds a durable membrane to the main compartment so that your gear stays safe and protected from the elements. Removable, zippered top compartment holds internal security pocket and key clip while easy-to-reach side pockets for water bottles or other gear. Details Rainroom tested for 24 hours, the OutDry™ construction of the main compartment is guaranteed waterproof Removable, zippered top compartment holds internal security pocket and key clip Easy-to-reach side pockets for water bottles or other gear Customizable suspension provides 3-inches / 8 5-cm of torso adjustment Reversible top pocket is seam taped and can be removed and clipped into front shoulder straps to carry wallaby pouch style Materials Fabric Accent.
Weight: 3.9 lbs
Volume: 28 x 16 x 6 inches

A really versatile large pack.

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