How to Choose A Hiking Backpack
Outdoor Activities | March 25, 2021
January 26, 2023
We are all familiar with the discomfort caused by straps digging into our shoulders or waist, or the mess that comes with a disorganized bag without pockets or dividers. This has happened to many of us, and none of us want to go through such an unpleasant experience again! For your next outing on your favorite hiking path, whether you’re headed for the wilderness or the mountains, choose a backpack that suits your needs and make your hike as comfortable as it can be!
In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about the most popular hiking backpacks on the market, as well as the brands that design these staple hiking accessories. We’ll also throw in a few tips on choosing the right backpack for your needs.
In this article, you will learn more about these hiking backbacks:
Founded in the USA, Osprey is a well established brand in the practical hiking backpacks market. Manufactured in Vietnam, these bags are at the heart of the brand’s product line, and their all-powerful warranty is their main selling point. Osprey’s Tempest and Talon models, reviewed and updated several times over the years, are perfect examples of this.
Both the 24 L and 34 L versions of the Tempest hiking backpack feature a wide opening at the top and are extremely breathable, thanks to the AirScape® back panel. The bag is made with high-tenacity recycled nylon with a PFC-free durable water repellent coating approved by bluesign®, a sustainability certification organization.
A hydration reservoir sleeve, hip belt pockets, a large stretch mesh front panel pocket and ice axes and trekking pole attachments allow you to take everything you need with you. The Osprey Tempest bags weigh 885 g or 1.14 kg, depending on the model, and can carry between 5 kg and 8 kg (24 L model), or between 7 kg and 11 kg (34 L model).
The 20 L model comes in grey, black or purple and is perfect for short hikes, while the Tempest 40 L is great for multi-day hikes.
The 24 L, 26 L or 33 L Talon hiking backpack is also made using bluesign®-approved nylon, and is very light. Its flexible belt, breathable AirScape® back panel, and harness pulling the lumbar into the body make the backpack ideal for any type of sporting activity, not just hiking. Keep your freedom of movement and remain comfortable thanks to the adjustable harness system. The bag’s weight varies between 0.95 kg (2.09 lb.) and 1.21 kg (2.67 lb.) depending on the model.
You can also opt for either the day hiking bag or the expedition backpack version of the Osprey Talon.
When shopping around for a hiking backpack, you will undoubtedly come across the Deuter brand on stores’ shelves. Manufactured in Germany since 1898, the brand’s bags are known for their sustainable qualities, which is particularly true of the Futura model, continuously improved since 1999.
Your hike is sure to be comfortable thanks to the adjustable features of the Futura 32 L or Futura Pro 34 L backpacks. The back length adapts to your body thanks to the VariFlex system, the adjustable straps, the ActiveFit movable shoulder harness, and the ergonomic hip fins.
The separate lower compartment makes it easy to store your hiking equipment, and the rain cover keeps your clothes dry. The total weight of the Futura bags varies between 1.44 kg (3.17 lb.) and 1.56 kg (3.44 lb.). Deuter also offers a 24 L, a 26 L and a 45 + 10 L model.
Over the past 50 years, American company Gregory has been providing light and durable backpacks for both men and women, available in a wide range of sizes, frames and shoulder straps, such as the Zulu 30 or the Jade 28.
The Gregory Zulu 30’s steel spring frame with cross-stay works for any type of outing, in any season. All black and with a minimalist design, it lets your back breathe and is notoriously durable thanks to its high-tenacity nylon design. Side compression straps give you access to the lateral pockets, and a safety whistle is integrated into the strap. It features a rain
cover and weighs 1.24 kg (2.73 lb.).
The compact Gregory Jade 28 hiking bag is the perfect solution for your outdoors adventures. The CrossFlo suspension system is designed to wick away moisture and keep you comfortable in any weather, with a practical integrated rain cover and a pocket for your sunglasses on the shoulder harness. It weighs 1.22 kg (2.69 lb.).
You already know the brand, but did you know that SAIL began in Beloeil in the 1970s? Our Escape and Evasion day hiking bags will follow you on hiking paths throughout the province, or even abroad.
Ultra-light (130 g), the 10 L Escape backpack is available in burgundy, gray or black, while the 10 L Evasion model is available in five bright colours. The bags’ back and padded shoulder straps turn any hike into a pleasant one, whatever the bag weighs. Be ready for any eventuality with the 100% waterproof fabric, useful both in the summer and in the winter.
European brand Vaude manufactures some of the most sustainable and durable hiking bags on the market, and attaches a great deal of importance to the social impact of its 100% climate-neutral products. Discover the Brenta and the Bike Alpin, two models enjoyed by hikers.
The 30 L Brenta bag has a well ventilated back designed for sports enthusiasts. Its adjustable torso length and ErgoShape straps work with your body to allow you to move freely. Several pockets, many compression straps and an opening for a hydration system make it an impressively functional bag with a great capacity and a low weight of 1.15 kg (2.54 lb.). A 36 + 6 L model is also available.
The Vaude Bike Alpin backpack has a 24 + 5 L capacity, and it is appreciated for its vast amount of pockets, as well as its inside compartments. Smartphone, hydration system, map carrier… Everything was considered! Its helmet holder, reflective elements and safety light attachment make it a very practical addition to any cycling or ATV outings. It weighs 980 g (2.16 lb.).
Now that you know all the best hiking backpacks available in stores or online, you are probably wondering which model would suit you best. Here are the main points to consider when making this crucial decision for your next outdoor outings.