When you’re a hiker, at some point, someone will suggest a backpacking or camping trip to you. This isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for many, getting away from the world into the wilderness for a few days, with nothing but what you can carry with you, is an immensely freeing and enjoyable thing to do.
If that resonates with you, you will at some point need to consider investing in a suitable backpack, for just such an adventure. A backpacking backpack differs from a hiking day pack, primarily in size and capacity, but also in some capabilities, as you need that bit more when you are carrying your shelter and sleeping kit with you.
Here in this article, we lay out some of the best backpacking packs for men in 2018, that are currently available on the market today. They all, more or less, have all the functionality and features that you, as a backpacker or camper, should be looking for when getting a suitable backpack for extended trips into the wilderness, so anything from a few days up.
All the backpacks listed here also score well across multiple review sites and multiple user reviews, so if you’re in the market for a new backpacking backpack, they’ll give you plenty of ideas and options to consider.
#1 Osprey Atmos AG 65
The Atmos AG 65 Features Summary:
Best Uses: Backpacking for 2+ days, mountaineering, general use e.g. travel
Osprey are one of the leading manufacturers of hiking backpacks, renowned for their quality, comfort, style and efficient design, alongside the famous Osprey lifetime warranty. The Atmos AG 65 backpack has a 65-liter capacity and one of the best suspension systems on the market, AG standing for anti-gravity. Its size and comfort make it the ideal companion on hiking trips lasting 2-7 days.
The Osprey Atmos AG 65 comes in three sizes to ensure a perfect fit, whether your torso length is longer or shorter than the average, with a seamless wrap-around your body design. This design, combined with the highly adjustable harness and hip belt, makes this one of the best-fitting, most comfortable packs you’ll come across. Weighing around 4 lbs (the exact empty weight depending upon size), the Atmos AG 65 packs in a huge array of features at a relatively low weight for an unrivalled level of comfort.
Osprey’s AG suspension system not only effectively transfers weight to your hips, its comfortable back panel is covered with mesh that allows plenty of ventilation between the pack and your back, a feature that keeps backs cool and dry, free from perspiration build up. This is one of this backpack’s most popular features and something that clearly marks out the Osprey AG 65 as a market leader in terms of comfort.
Perfect for a weekend or week-long hiking trip, the Atmos AG 65 has all the space you’ll need, plus dual upper and lower side compression straps. These straps ensure that you remain streamlined and stabilizes less bulky loads.
Removable sleeping pad straps allow you to strap on a sleeping pad without losing internal space, while giving you the option to remove them completely if not needed, reducing catching hazards and annoying dangling bits. Further attachment points include handy stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachments and dual ice ax loops complete with bungee tie offs, so you’ll have your poles or axes within easy reach and ready to go when you need them.
Other popular Atmos AG 65 features include a lower zippered sleeping bag compartment with removable divider, a detachable lid with integrated flap jacket covering to protect your gear, an internal hydration reservoir sleeve (bladders up to 3L), sternum strap with safety whistle, zippered hip-belt pockets for small items and simple but indispensable dual mesh side pockets that can be easily accessed on the go. This pack is water resistant and comes complete with rain cover.
In short, the Osprey Atmos AG 65 is the perfect hiking companion, offering you the space and features you need on a trip out in the wilderness without compromising on comfort. It is at the higher end of the price range for this type of backpack, but for the quality and comfort it provides, this is money well spent.
Where to Start When Choosing a Backpack
If you are totally new to this, it can get confusing when you start to look into it. There are so many options to choose from when trying to find the right backpack for you, and the prices vary so widely, it can be difficult to know where to start.
There are numerous things you need to think about, but first and foremost, you need to think about capacity. A backpacking backpack, will typically run from 50 to 75 liters (but that can be a little less or more). The reason you need more capacity, is that you need to carry your shelter, typically a tent, and your sleeping kit with you.
If you are just heading out for a day out on the trail, then this is much too big, and a day pack is what you need. Now, even between day packs and a backpacking pack, there can be a lot of daylight. A typical day pack could be 25 liters and a backpack, as we have already indicated is up at 65 liter (and beyond) mark.
What about the in between? There are indeed packs in the 30 and 40 liter marks, as well as above 80 liters. What are they for? Well really, it depends what you need them for. For example, if you're a hike leader, a 25 liter day pack may not be enough to carry all the extras you as a leader should be carrying e.g. a bothy bag, safety equipment, etc.
I don't want to stray too far into that, but hopefully it helps to illustrate a point, namely that you need to know what you need your pack for. Typically, for a few days plus backpacking, you need in and around a 65 liter backpack. If that still sounds right, you're in the right place 🙂
We go into the specifics of what you should look for in our backpack buying guide, but as a quick guide, we have listed out the key things in the bullets below:
And that's just some of the things to think about. As you can see, there are a lot of factors involved, so it is a good idea to get very clear about what you need and what you would like to have, keeping functionality and comfort at the forefront of your buying decision
So, that's the introductory blurb bit done, let’s crack on and take a closer look at some more of the best backpacking backpacks for men.
#2 Gregory Baltoro 65 Review
Gregory Baltoro 65 Backpack Features Summary:
Best Uses: Backpacking, Through Hiking, Hiking, Camping
The Gregory Baltoro 65 backpack is an excellent hiking backpack with a proven track record. Its molded shape and comfortable suspension with adjustable, exchangeable harness offer extra personalization and increased comfort on both long and short hiking trips. Gregory is a small, but well-known brand that have been creating the very best in backpacks since 1977.
The Baltoro is sure to have the space that you need with its 65-liter capacity, while providing easy access to your gear thanks to its front U-shaped zipper. It is made from 210 and 420 denier high-density nylon, ensuring high durability and protection from whatever crosses your path.
Weather-resistant, this backpack benefits from an integrated rain cover which is situated inside the top lid in an easy access zippered pocket. Furthermore, the Baltoro 65 also features a weather-shield pocket with a highly weather-resistant YKK aqua-guard zipper for peace of mind when trekking with electronic devices.
Weighing in at 4.84 lbs (2.2kg), the Baltoro 65 is not the lightest pack in this range, however, it does offer a lot of padding and excellent comfort levels, making it well worth the extra pound or two. This stable backpack has an aluminum wish-bone frame that transfers your load to your center of gravity, assisted by the 3D air hip belt and shoulder harness.
Fashioned from 3D curve technology, complete with air mesh to aid ventilation, the Baltoro 65 relieves pressure and eliminates hot spots for great comfort and stability even when fully loaded. The fully adjustable nature of this backpack’s fittings including its lower-back Lumbar Tune system make this one of the most popular backpacks available on the market. Available in three sizes, this backpack is one of the most highly customizable in terms of fit.
Aside from its highly-rated suspension and customizable harness system, the Baltoro 65 has plenty of other indispensable features for hassle-free hiking. External sleeping bag access allows for easy access, alongside the ergonomic sidewinder bottle holster with drawstring fastening.
This backpack also features a useful “sidekick”, a detachable hydration sleeve that can be converted into a handy daypack, complete with harness and accessory pocket. The main pack has handy dual side-mounted pockets with zipper access for frequent use items, alongside the weather-shield hip belt protection pocket.
#3 Osprey Volt 60 Review
Osprey Volt 60 Features Summary:
Best Uses: Backpacking, camping, travel
Market leaders Osprey have created the Volt 60, an excellent hiking backpack with great features, including the renowned Osprey All Mighty lifetime guarantee. The Volt 60 is in the mid-range in terms of price for this type of backpack.
The Osprey Volt 60 liter backpack is well designed, simple and durable. With enough space for short or medium trips into the wilderness, this competitively priced backpack offers all of the features you need and expect from a top-quality manufacturing brand.
Removable sleeping pad straps and a floating top-pocket that extends to accommodate bulky loads ensure that you’ll have plenty of space for all of your gear, even the more cumbersome items.
Although the Volt 60 only comes in the one size, it is highly adjustable for a personalized fit. Complete with a LightWire peripheral frame, weight is transferred to the hips for better stability, aided by dual side compression straps and the custom fitting hip belt. The torso length can be adjusted by up to five inches, meaning that while there is just one frame size there is room to accommodate a range of torso sizes.
Comfort levels are further enhanced by the mesh back panel which also provides ventilation, preventing a build-up of perspiration between your back and the back panel. Dual mesh side pockets alongside the front mesh stash pocket provide plenty of easy access storage for item that you need to have to hand or wish to keep separate from the main compartment. The internal hydration reservoir sleeve allows for easy refills with a convenient location in the main part of the pack.
The Volt 60 also offers Osprey’s unique stow-on-the-go trekking pole storage system, in addition to secure dual tool-attachment loops, ensuring you’ll have quick and easy access to your poles or axes as and when needed. Zippered hip belt pockets provide you with ideal places to keep all your frequent use, small items easily to hand.
#4 Osprey Xenith 75 Review
Osprey Xenith 75 Features Summary:
Best Uses: Backpacking, camping, travel
The Osprey Xenith 75 backpack is designed for carrying loads between 40-70 lbs, making it a great choice for large loads on extended hiking trips, combining practicality and comfort with the lifetime repair or replace All Mighty guarantee that Osprey is famous for.
The Xenith 75’s capacity is complemented by removable sleeping pad straps, while the dual compression straps ensure that your load will be stable and allow you to attach extra gear to the pack. The stretch mesh frontal pocket is also useful for storing extra layers, while the mesh side pockets can easily accommodate water bottles or tent poles. Zippered pockets on the hip belt provide extra secure storage for small, frequent-use items.
Available in three sizes (75, 88 and 105), the Xenith 75 adapts to your torso size through its adjustable BioForm harness. This gender-specific shaped harness has no sewn seams for optimum comfort and fit, while the firm yet cushioned hip belt can be heat molded to provide an individual, tailored fit.
The back panel is covered in reversed mesh for enhanced breathability, essential when carrying a heavy load. Supported by a single 6061-T6 central stay, the back panel maintains its form while the LightWire frame efficiently transfers weight to your center of gravity for improved stability and ease of movement.
Other highly-rated features include a detachable dual compartment top pocket that converts to a lumbar pack complete with hip belt. This is especially useful for side trips on extended hiking trips. An external hydration sleeve is ideally located within the back panel, making refills quick and easy, keeping your gear dry and undisturbed.
A wide mouth sleeping bag compartment allows ease of access with a removable divider to keep your pack organized. The Xenith 75 also features the Osprey stow-on-the-go trekking pole system and secure tool attachment points with bungee tie-offs, meaning you can keep your hands free while maintain easy access to your poles and tools.
This large hiking backpack is durable and comes with a vast array of sophisticated and traditional features. It is nearer the higher end of the price range for this type of hiking backpack, yet it still offers good value for money.
#5 The Arc'teryx Bora AR 63 Backpack Review
The Arc'teryx Bora AR 63 Backpack Features Summary:
Best Uses: Backpacking, camping, travel
Canadian company Arc’teryx, founded in 1989, are known for their high-quality, stylish outdoor clothing and sporting goods. The Bora AR 63 is a versatile, multi-day hiking trip backpack, designed to withstand the elements and winner of the 2017 Backpacker Magazine Editor’s Choice Award.
The Bora AR 63 is available in two torso sizes, regular and tall, for optimum fit, combined with the GridLock™ shoulder strap adjustment system which adjusts in width and height. The patented hip belt further adjusts to your size and rotates side to side with an up and down movement to eliminate chafing and hot spots. Made from durable nylon fabric in both 420 and 630 deniers, certain exposed areas of the Bora AR 63 are coated in weatherproof AC2.
Its 63-liter capacity and 5 lb weight make it ideal for 3-7 day hiking trips, allowing you to easily pack all your essentials. The backpack is top loading with side access zippers. The lid is closed with two buckles and it is both extendible and removable. Mesh hip belt pockets are useful for keeping small items close to hand, and the handy side pockets can be used to transport 1 L water bottles or trekking poles. The Bora AR 63 is also compatible with most 2L hydration bladders.
Other features include a kangaroo pocket, ventilated back panel for increased airflow, two ice axe loops, a top lid zippered compartment and a thermo-molded Tegris® frame sheet with aluminium stays. This ensures a good weight distribution, although questions have been raised about the pack’s ability to effectively transfer weight to the hip area with a hip belt that rotates.
The Bora AR 63 is at the top end of the price range for this type of hiking backpack, it certainly looks the part and has many trademarked features.
Best Budget Backpacking Backpacks for Men
In this section we move into the best budget backpacking packs for men. If you're on a tight budget, then you may find something to suit your needs here. The backpacks listed here are cheaper than what we have looked at so far. that's all good, but we need to set a caveat.
That caveat is that you need to set your expectations appropriately. As a general rule, as you probably know, you get what you pay for. With that in mind, the backpacks listed below are cheaper, so it follows, they may not be as good quality as the previous listed ones.
That is not set in stone though, and it depends on your needs and your budget. All the backpacks listed below have lots of excellent user reviews and stand up well in use tests out in the field, so they are good packs. Ultimately, it's your opinion that counts, but we wanted to flag this before we push on. OK, so onward!
#6 Teton Sports Scout 3400 Review
Teton Sports Scout 3400 Features Summary:
Best Uses: Backpacking, camping, travel.
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 backpack is an excellent starter, entry-level model that is extremely competitively priced, making it one of the top-selling models in this category. It has a 55L capacity and a 4.5 lb weight, making it ideal for hiking trips that last several days with an internal frame for added support and weight distribution.
Although the Scout 3400 is low in price, it has a large number of features. It can be adjusted to fit a large range of torso sizes and it also has an adjustable waist strap. Comfort is further enhanced by the thick, padded shoulder straps that can be adjusted depending upon the load. The back panel is covered with open cell foam to increase airflow and ventilation, helping to keep you dry.
The Scout 3400 is an extremely durable backpack, made from 600 denier diamond ripstop and a 600 denier Oxford canvas shell, so you won’t have to worry about rips or tears. With plenty of zippered pockets, multiple compartments and a large sleeping bag compartment, the Scout 3400 has all of the space you’ll need for a few nights away from the comfort of home.
Multi direction compression straps help to stabilize the load and ensure that your gear doesn’t move around when you’re on the go. The large mesh storage pocket is useful to keep frequently used items to hand, while the integrated rainfly will protect your backpack and gear in the event of a downpour.
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 is a budget backpack that is a good choice for those looking for a starter backpack for overnight hiking trips. Although it may not be the most comfortable, it has a lot of very positive reviews and is definitely an interesting one to consider at a low price.
#7 AmazonBasics Internal Frame Hiking Backpack Review
The AmazonBasics Internal Frame Backpack Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, camping
Amazon sell a range of their own products, which are designed to be no frills, basic, entry-level items that do the job. This AmazonBasics Hiking Backpack with Internal Frame is great value for money and would make an excellent purchase for anybody who is looking to try out hiking as a new activity, or who just likes a bargain. Designed for several days hiking, with a 65-liter capacity and numerous features, this backpack has all you need for a trip into the wilderness.
This AmazonBasics Internal Frame hiking backpack is designed for a range of torso sizes, with an adjustable waist belt and shoulder straps. The open cell foam-covered back panel offers good support and ventilation, helping you stay cool and dry. The shoulder straps are broad and padded to help improve comfort levels when carrying heavy loads.
Made from durable polyester, this backpack is robust and comes with a water-repellant exterior coating. A rain cover is also included for ultimate protection during heavy downpours. Other noteworthy features include an extensible collar to enable you to transport more bulky items, numerous pockets for extra storage and ease of access, a sleeping bag compartment with external opening and multi-directional compression straps to ensure pack stability.
Weighing just over 4lbs, this backpack is a great weight for an extended hiking trip backpack. It also has a pouch for a hydration bladder (not included) with Velcro fastening located within the main compartment.
This backpack is excellent value for money, coming in at a very low price for an internal frame hiking backpack that’s suitable for extended trips. Of course, there are some quality issues, but you do get a fully functioning backpack, with many great features for a tiny price.
This backpack is great for those looking to try out hiking without spending a lot or for people who are on a tight budget. Anyone who is familiar with hiking and has experienced higher quality models will likely be disappointed by this backpack, through no fault of its own.
#8 Mountaintop 55L/65L Internal Frame Backpack Review
Mountaintop Internal Frame Backpack Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, camping, travel
The Mountaintop 55/65L Internal Frame backpack is an economically priced, entry level backpack. This backpack is a good choice for those on a budget. If you’re new to hiking and want to test the water before you invest in a more expensive backpack, then this could be an option for you.
Featuring an internal frame to help to evenly distribute weight, this backpack also has thick padded shoulder straps with D-shaped attachment points. An adjustable waist strap helps to make heavier loads more comfortable and stable, while trekking pole attachments add extra functionality.
This Mountaintop backpack also has a sternum strap with an emergency whistle buckle and bottom loops for ice axes. A top lid extensible collar with drawstring increases the backpack’s capacity by 5 liters. Numerous pockets and storage compartments make this backpack a great choice for an organized trip.
It includes two hip-belt pockets, for small, frequent-use items, 2 lid pockets, a hydration bladder sleeve, a front pocket and two mesh bottle pouches. Furthermore, the Mountaintop backpack also comes complete with a high-visibility rain cover to protect your belongings from wet weather.
The Mountaintop Internal Frame backpack is a competitively priced backpack that would be a good way to try out an overnight hike or trip into the wilderness, before investing in a higher-priced model.
#9 WASING 55L Internal Frame Backpack Review
WASING 55L Internal Frame Backpack Features Summary:
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, camping, travelling, general use
The Wasing 55L Internal Frame backpack is one of the cheapest available backpacks suitable for extended hiking trips, making it a good choice for those starting out or on a strict budget. Its 55-liter capacity provides more than enough space for a hiking trip lasting several nights, while its light weight of 3 lbs means you’ll have a lighter load. It also comes in a range of bright colors.
This backpack is made from heavy duty, rip-stop polyester, which is extremely durable. Like many others in this range, it comes complete with a water-resistant rain cover, multiple pockets and compartments and a hydration bladder sleeve.
The Wasing 55L backpack also comes with ice axe attachments and two mesh bottle pouches. Its single contoured aluminum frame bar can be adjusted as necessary, while its foam covered, molded back panel features airflow channels to help keep you cool and dry. A handy hip belt pocket keeps frequently-used items to hand, while the sternum strap helps to stabilize your load and comes with a useful emergency whistle buckle.
This backpack is an extremely economical option and has many positive reviews. It would be a great backpack for casual, light hiking or someone who is just starting out and doesn’t want to invest in a more expensive model right away. This backpack has everything you need to get started and offers an affordable way to see if hiking is for you.
So as you can see, there are a wide variety of backpacking packs for men in 2018 available on the market today, and one to suit all levels of budget. It's worth mentioning again, that in out opinion, you get what you pay for, so if you're a serious backpacker, it's advisable to get one of the pricier options, simply because they are of a better quality.
It's all about what you need though, and one of the budget options might do the job just fine. It is fundamentally important to know your requirements for what you need your pack for, before you purchase.
We really hope you found this article useful, if you did please like and share it around your networks 🙂 We will be updating it as newer and better packs come online. With technology ever advancing, new and improved packs are coming out onto the market regularly.