Hiking is one of the most exciting things about camping trips, and everyone knows it's not a hike if you don't have a backpack strapped to your back. There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to backpacks – they come in varying qualities, sizes, and designs that make them different. The good news is that you don't have to worry about searching for the best camping backpacks in 2021 – we've highlighted some of them in this buying guide as well as guidelines to help you make the best pick.
Many elements make up a superb camping backpack, however, comfort always takes precedence. A miserable camping trip is what you get with a pack that hurts like hell – and that is an experience you should do well to avoid. Backpacks often come with various compartments and features that allow you to arrange as many essentials as you want while maintaining a compact shape. You can learn a lot more about camping backpacks in this buying guide, so read on.
Camping backpacks are going to be fairly large, you may or may not have a framed backpack; frames on the exterior are far more old school than interior these days. You’ll have a lot of straps to strap things down. If you're walking into the woods, you have to have it fitted and you have to make sure it's packed correctly; that’s why capacity is so important. Comfort is important, but portability and weight is much more important for a camping backpack I would say. Also, it’s critical to have a waterproof camping pack or a cover for it. You do not want any of your supplies to get wet!
The Venture Pal Travel Hiking Backpack is made of top-quality nylon linings that make it water and tear-resistant. It features a unique multi-compartment design that allows proper organization of camping gear and a double-layer bottom pad for extra strength. This camping backpack comes with a chest clip and whistle buckle that combine to generate comfort by equally distributing weight.
The strength of the Venture Pal Travel Hiking Backpack is one of its most unique features. And in combination with sponge paddings for extra comfort, it is no surprise that this product is Amazon’s choice. It offers relatively large compartments that will allow users to pack extra camping gear while staying compact.
Two of the comfort-oriented features of the MOUNTAINTOP Hiking Backpack are the ergonomic S-shaped shoulder straps and breathable molded foam back panels. It is pretty compact with 40L storage space and other compartments that will allow to pack as much gear as you can. This camping backpack also features an adjustable hip belt ideal for waist sizes between 25 and 55 inches and a fixed belly strap.
This backpack was custom-made for shorter hikes and sloping terrains. When strapped, the MOUNTAINTOP Hiking Backpack sits perfectly on the hiker’s back, and its position or slack can be adjusted based on preference.
The TETON Sports Scout Backpack offers easy access to items, courtesy of its Bungee storage feature. It comes with a multi-compartment design, including a sleeping bag compartment and external storage components like gear loops, side pockets, and compression straps to make packing more convenient. Another unique feature of this camping backpack is the 55L storage capacity that makes it perfect for carrying items for up to 4 days of hiking.
The TETON Sports Scout Backpack is the perfect fit for all kinds of hiking and camping adventures. It features a comfortable and compact design that can handle anything you throw at it. This camping backpack is a highly durable option that will stand the test of time and rigorous hiking adventures.
The 8 adjustable straps for tying up a wide range of camping/hiking essentials are the top features of the Loowoko Hiking Backpack. This camping backpack comes with a rain cover and is made of polyester lining – two qualities that make it waterproof and less resistant to water and UV damage. It comes with sponge pads that ensure shoulder comfort and S-shaped shoulder straps that offset weight.
Travel camping gets a lot better with the Loowoko Hiking Backpack, courtesy of its heavy-duty and comfortable design. It allows air ventilation and is suitable for men and women of all weight classes.
This assault backpack allows you to pack almost anything – water bottles, umbrellas, torches, mats or sleeping bags, and other camping gear. The WintMing Camping/Hiking Backpack also features perfect S-shaped adjustable mesh shoulder straps and the right amount of sponge paddings for unmatched comfort. In addition to these superb features, this camping backpack weighs only 2.86lb, which is impressively lightweight for a camping backpack.
The incredible storage space of this camping backpack is one of its standout features. It was designed for military purposes, so it is more durable, waterproof, and scratch-resistant than traditional models. And even with a boatload of camping essentials, this backpack promises to enhance hiker movements and reduce fatigue by being light as a feather.
Weighing only 2.1 pounds, the Bseash Camping Backpack is one of the most ultralight packs the market has to offer. It is made of nylon fabric and ripstop polyester that makes it highly durable and tear-resistant. The eight adjustable straps of this camping backpack increase packing space and convenience; plus, it also features an impressive 60L storage capacity and multiple pouches for hauling as much camping gear as you like.
The Bseasch Camping Backpack was designed for long-term travels and climbing elevated terrains. Its unique main compartment closing drawstring design ensures tight closure to keep items from fall off.
With a 35/40L storage capacity and multiple pouches to go with, the G4Free Hiking Backpack is one of the most spacious camping backpacks you’ll ever find. It is made of tear and water-resistant nylon material strong enough to withstand stress and offset weight. This camping backpack weighs only 0.89 lb. and comes with a drawstring buckle strap that allows users to adjust the slack.
The G4Free Hiking Backpack is incredibly light and durable. It has ample space to fit just about anything you’ll need on your camping trips, such as sleeping bags, towels, cameras, fishing rods, food, trekking poles, and even a couple of beers. It is a versatile backpack perfect for various activities, including beach days, occasional travels, camping, and hiking.
A camping trip is a quest to explore new terrains and enjoy breathtaking sights, and choosing the perfect backpack to go with makes it an unforgettable experience. The best camping backpacks offer a way to carry all your camping essentials compactly and comfortably, and that is what you want when you're hiking interesting terrains or setting up your campsite.
Backpacks are great and all, but you can't just waltz into the shopping section and select one at random – that's not how it works. You must be intentional when making backpack decisions if you want to enjoy your hike or camping trip, and to do this, you need information. Luckily for you, this buying guide is an information hub where you will learn everything there is to know about backpacks.
What are the factors to consider when buying a camping backpack?
There are so many factors that determine the overall quality and performance levels of camping backpacks. However, note that other features do not matter if the backpack is not comfortable for use. Read on to learn about the best qualities to look out for before buying a camping backpack.
What is the ideal size for a camping backpack?
Camping backpacks typically come in sizes ranging from 40L to 85L. The ideal backpack size to go for will always depend on the amount of luggage you plan to carry and the timeframe of the camping trip. As a general rule of thumb, the more the luggage, the larger the backpack size to choose. That’s pretty straightforward.
For camping timeframes, note the following: 40-60L backpacks are the ideal options for 1-5 camping nights, 50-75L packs are recommended for hikes lasting two to seven nights., and for trips lasting up to a week or more, we recommend that you go for 60-85L packs.
Should camping backpacks ensure even weight distribution?
When loaded, camping backpacks can be pretty heavy and unbearable to carry. However, the best camping backpacks eliminate this problem by evenly distributing the pack's weight across your shoulder and body core, thereby reducing the strain on your back. Most camping backpacks come with this feature, but always check for the presence of a chest clip with a whistle buckle to be sure. Backpacks without these parts will be a pain in the back, literally. Avoid them.
How comfortable should camping backpacks be?
Comfort is the foremost quality of any backpack, and that is why the best packs come with specific features that make them comfortable to carry. For maximum comfort, go for camping backpacks with breathable shoulder pads and elastic back support – they make carrying a backpack less strenuous.
Hip belts also contribute to backpack comfort. These components support the majority of backpack weight, and are typically strapped across your body core. But unfortunately, standard hip belts may cause your body to feel a little bit sore after some time. A simple solution to this snag is to go for padded hip belts that offer a cushioning effect to ensure comfort.
Weight is another element that influences comfort levels. Your backpack shouldn't weigh a ton, so go for lightweight models that weigh at least 2.6 lbs.
Must a camping backpack be waterproof?
It is important that the contents of your backpack stay dry, even when it is raining. And that can only happen with a waterproof backpack. You can't control mother nature, so always get a water-resistant backpack, even if the weather report says it won't rain for a whole year. Alternatively, you can go for a camping backpack that comes with a separate rain cover.
What are camping backpacks made of?
Most camping backpacks today are made of nylon or polyester or a combination of both. Choosing which fabric to go for sometimes boils down to preference, but it is important to note that nylon backpacks are waterproof and incredibly strong. Some packs are made of treated nylon known as ripstop nylons, and they are more durable and popular than standard nylon backpacks. Polyester backpacks are more resistant to ultraviolet radiation, but they are not as strong as the previously mentioned options. You can go for a camping backpack with a blend of ripstop nylon and polyester for maximum results.
Is backpack ventilation necessary?
An excellent camping backpack will allow ventilation or dry perspiration of your back when carrying it. This is to prevent something known as a sweaty back syndrome – a situation where your back sweats a lot, which can be uncomfortable, especially if you're hiking when the sun is at its hottest. The best camping packs eliminate this problem by allowing fresh air to evaporate moisture from your back, courtesy of special mesh backs. Now you know what to do to avoid sweating like Theresa May in a field of wheat.
How easy is it to access items in a camping backpack?
Ease of access to camping essentials in a backpack is another major factor to consider when shopping. You shouldn't have to stress to open or reach your pack, so check if the zippers are easy to open and if the compartments open wide enough for you. Also, check the positions of the pouches or compartments and confirm that you can work with them.
Best Camping Backpacks FAQs
Can I adjust my camping backpack?
Of course! Camping backpacks typically come with adjustable straps that allow you to change the positioning and slack to your preference.
Are there different backpacks for men and women?
Yes, there are distinct male and female camping backpacks. Females generally have shorter torsos than men, so their packs are designed with shorter torso lengths. Female backpacks are also generally more streamlined and feature less storage space.
How much do camping backpacks cost?
Like all products, the quality of a camping backpack decides its price. Low-quality backpacks may cost as low as $15, while the high-end models go for up to $300 or more. We recommend that you go for quality packs since they offer better performance and comfort levels.
Drew likes to say that he grew up in the wild, which is partially true. He grew up in a farmhouse, surrounded by woods, fields, and a creek. Drew has spent much of his life outdoors, and is excited to guide you through his never-ending list of the best products to keep you from falling to the perils of nature. Nowadays, there is rarely a weekend goes by where Drew isn't out camping, hiking, or just back on his parents' farm.