Going on hiking is not that easy. The trails are going to be difficult to tread on. You will find yourself taking challenging paths to reach your destination. And the destination for some of the trips can take hours to reach.
In such scenarios, going unprepared would not be the wisest decision. You would have to carry a lot of essential items with you. And for carrying all of those, you would require a good bag.
Now, even if your budget is a bit limited, you should not settle for anything other than the best hiking backpack under $100.
Even though there are expensive and cheaper options out there, the models we are going to introduce you to will be worth the money you would have to spend on them.
9 Best Hiking Backpack Under $100
As we have mentioned, there are plenty of cheaper options out there. But most of them will not be able to offer the number of features and amount of space for accommodating things.
However, the ones that we have picked excels in both of the factors. Take a look at the ones that we have handpicked exclusively for you:
#1. Osprey Hikelite 18
You will never know how long you exactly have to carry your backpack when you are on a hiking trail. And it can be a little uncomfortable if you sweat too much on such trips.
Well, Osprey factored that issue in when they were manufacturing this unit for the market.
To start with, it is the quintessential example of what a hiking backpack should be. The back of the unit has ventilated mesh panel.
It has vents on the side too, which will let air pass through. And as the air will find passages to flow through, it should be able to cool your back off, making it comfortable for you to carry it.
Aside from the panels and vents on the back, this one integrates a rain cover on the front. That cover can repel water exceptionally well.
So, even if it does rain when you are hiking through the trails, there will be no need to worry about your gear and the inside getting drenched with water. It has two pole attachments as well.
There is an integrated hydration bladder as well. It would be able to carry reservoirs that are up to 3 liters in size.
Because of that sleeve, you would not have to sacrifice the valuable space inside just to accommodate a bottle of water.
Also, there are stretchable side pockets, which will enable you to keep the small items.
Those side pockets are going to offer you quick access to the small items that you might need while you are on the trail.
You will not find the need to open the inside for that. And as the pockets are scratch-resistant, the electronics or the gadgets you might store in them will stay safe and secure, even when the trail gets a bit rough.
#2. MOUNTAINTOP 40L
The items that you might be planning to carry on the hiking trip might be quite large in number.
And for that, you are going to require something that has a large amount of capacity. That is where this one from MOUNTAINTOP steps in.
First of all, the total capacity of the unit is 40 liters. That capacity is more than enough to pack all of the essentials and have some extra room for food and other items.
You would not feel like you lack the ability to carry anything for the trip if you purchase this one.
Moreover, the materials that the manufacturer has utilized for making this are all high in quality.
The body is of high-grade polyester, the zipper is from YKK, and the buckle is also from YKK. Such a combination of materials makes this one of the rugged backpacks you can find in the market.
Aside from the materials, the depth of the main compartment is 4.5 inches. There are other compartments on the inside, which will enable you to keep all the items in an organized manner.
So, you will not have to spend too much time trying to find something while you are on the trail.
It has a perfect dimension as well. The size that it has meets the airline specifications. That means even if you do decide to fly to the hiking spot, you will not have to pay anything extra for having this pack.
Also, there are a wide variety of color options available for this. To be precise, you will find 24 of them.
Lastly, the hip belt that is on this unit is adjustable. You will not have to struggle that much to close that belt. It comes with an adjustable sternum strap on the back.
#3. TETON Sports Scout 3400
Though there are plenty of large-capacity backpacks out there, there are only a few that will have a dedicated sleeping bag compartment. Well, this one that is from TETON is one of those few.
To begin with, the overall capacity of the 3400 internal frame backpack is quite high. The space that it has inside is rated at 55 liters.
With that amount of space, you would not have to leave any essential items behind before going on a hiking trip. In fact, you might have some space left after packing all of the essential things in this one.
Aside from the capacity, it sports multi-dimensional compression straps. Those padded shoulder straps are going to make it feel effortless for you to carry this on your back.
It also has a belly strap, which will provide additional support. You will not face any difficulties when you are carrying this, even when the inside is full of items.
It integrates a rainfly on the bottom. The rainfly is sewn-in, and you can tuck it away when you do not need it.
And because of having this, treading on the tracks when it is raining will be worry-free. You need not have to worry about the stuff that you have kept inside getting drenched in such scenarios.
Alongside that, it has bungee storage on the back. It will offer you the ability to store your jackets and other items.
You would not have to sacrifice the space inside for keeping the items that you might need quick access to. There are side pockets as well.
Other than that, it has a dedicated sleeping bag compartment. You should be able to make it hold most of the inflatable sleeping bags inside it.
Also, the inside has separate compartments, which will enable you to organize the stuff you will keep inside.
#4. Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L
The best hiking backpacks are usually large in size and can accommodate a lot of items. However, without proper straps, it gets a bit difficult to carry them on the back.
That is what Loowoko had in mind when they brought this one to the market.
First of all, it has eight different straps. All of them are adjustable. That means you will have full control over the fit.
There would not be a scenario where you find that the straps are too loose or too tight. And as you are sure to have a proper fit with them, you will be able to carry the pack on your back securely.
The overall size of the unit is 50 liters. It will have plenty of space to accommodate all of the important stuff and still have some space left.
And the dimensions of the pack comply with the standards of airlines. You will not have to pay anything extra if you want to fly to the hiking destination with this on your back.
Alongside that, the back of the pack features a breathable mesh panel. That panel will let the air circulate through, which will lower your back sweating chances when you are treading on the trail.
Also, the shoulder straps have a good amount of padding. Those paddings are going to increase the overall comfort.
Other than that, the manufacturer has sourced out premium quality materials for the overall construction. It integrates a rain cover too.
The rain cover has a polyester exterior, which is high in quality. It can resist ripping exceptionally well.
Also, it does a great job of holding the water from entering the inside.
Apart from that, there are plenty of color options available. Depending on the looks you prefer, you can choose green, black, dark blue, orange, and red.
#5. MIAOU Expandable Camping Daypack
Do you find the regular color options that most of the brands are offering a bit bland? Then what you are probably looking for is this one that is being offered by MIAOU.
Unlike some of the other packs out there, this one comes in different camo color options. There are three desert camo, two ACU, and one tan color option available.
And all of the options will come flaunting high-quality accessories. Starting from the strap to the chain-hook, all of them are of high quality.
The zipper that it integrates on the front is exceptionally smooth. You should be able to drag it all the way across using a minimal amount of force.
Also, the back has a mesh panel that will let the air pass through. As a result, your back will have a lower possibility of sweating.
Other than that, the overall capacity of the inside is quite substantial. This one has an 85 liters capacity rating, making this one of the biggest hiking backpacks that you can find for under 100$.
You will not have to worry about the space for this. Instead, all you need to worry about is how much weight you can carry.
On that note, the padding that the straps have is quite thick. Because of how thick the paddings are, the comfort level that it can provide is exceptionally high.
So, carrying loads of weight will be pretty easy for you. And as there are separate compartments, you would be able to keep all of the items in an organized manner.
Alongside that, the exterior of the pack is of waterproof material. It will repel water, which will protect the items and the electronics that you might have kept inside safe.
Two side pockets are considerably large. You can keep water bottles and other small stuff there.
#6. The North Face Jester
One of the backpack manufacturers that you might have already heard of is The North Face. And aside from providing regular packs, they have quite a large lineup of reliable hiking packs too.
This one would be a great example of how reliable their offerings are.
The thing that sets itself apart from the other options that are out there is the dedicated laptop sleeve that it has.
That means you will not have to cramp your laptop on different compartments and risk damaging it with this one.
Also, there are other separated compartments, enabling you to keep your items organized.
Aside from that, the front of the bag has a bungee system. So even if you can not accommodate all of your items on the inside, you will have the option to keep them on the front.
You can also use this portion to keep the stuff that you might require quick access to.
It integrates FlexVent technology. This technology makes the shoulder straps flexible by putting custom injection molding in them.
As a result, you are going to have a comfortable experience when you are carrying this one full of items inside. And both the straps and the back have proper padding on them.
Alongside that, the back part of the unit has a mesh panel. That panel will let the air circulate through.
And because air will circulate through the back, the chances of your back sweating too much will be pretty slim. This panel will enhance the overall comfort even further.
Other than that, the front compartment has an extra padded sleeve. You can use that to keep electronics inside. There are two reasonably large-sized pockets on the side.
Those should be able to accommodate small to medium-sized water bottles. You can even keep other stuff inside them.
#7. WolfWarriorX Tactical Hiking Pack
A pack that can resist water is quite important because there is a high chance that it might rain when you are on a hiking trail.
Well, WolfWarriorX had factored that in when they were manufacturing this for the market.
First of all, the manufacturer has utilized 600D material for manufacturing this one. That material is well-known for being highly resistant to wear and tears.
And as this one is made of the same material, you can expect this one to last for an extended amount of time without showing any issues at all.
Alongside that, the material can resist water exceptionally well.
So, even if your trail has few water bodies, or if you do happen to get caught off guard in the rain, you would not have anything to worry about. It will repel the water drop and splashes and keep the inside dry.
As the name suggests, this one is available in a few different military color options. There are six different ones that you will be able to choose from.
All of them have 39 liters of capacity, making this unit one of the compact backpacks for hiking. And you will have the option to expand it to 64 liters after detaching the chain.
Other than that, the straps that it includes are all adjustable. And all of them have a proper amount of padding, which is going to make it comfortable for you to carry it.
The chest belt can disperse the pressure efficiently. As a result, you will not feel like you are carrying a ton of brick on your back.
Aside from that, the inside has different compartments. Those will let you keep all of the things inside organized.
So, you will not have to struggle that much when you are trying to find one specific item.
#8. RUPUMPACK Insulated 18L
You would have to carry a bit of food when you are planning out a long trip on the trails.
However, the extensive heat on the trial can deteriorate the condition of the foods. That is where insulated packs such as this one come into play.
The inside of this backpack under 100 dollars has a dedicated bladder compartment. This compartment is 2.5 liters in size, and the outer layer of this is insulated.
The size is good enough to carry multiple food boxes. That insulation layer will keep the exterior heat away, keeping the food in good condition for a long amount of time.
Alongside that, the material of the bladder is free from BPA. So you will not have to worry about the food getting infused with toxic chemicals.
And it has a large 8.6 cm opening, which will let you keep ice inside. That opening will also make it easier for you to clean the inside.
Besides the bladder, there are two extra pockets on the side. Those two can accommodate water bottles. You can even use that to keep the items that you need quick access to.
Also, an open compartment will enable you to quick-dry wet towels, hats, or umbrellas.
Other than that, the backside of the unit has ventilated mesh layer. This layer will let the air pass through the back area.
As a result, you would not sweat that much when you are passing through rough terrain. And the unit has multiple straps that will make sure that you can carry it securely.
Lastly, the outer materials are water-resistant nylon. Because of being water-resistant, splashes of water and rainwater will not be able to make their way inside.
Also, the design that it implements keeps the zipper hidden, protecting the insides from dust.
#9. FENGDONG 35L Lightweight
You might not need that much capacity when planning a day trip on the trail.
Well, in that regard, getting something that is large in size would be pointless.
But do you know what would not be pointless? Get this lightweight pack offered by FENGDONG!
First of all, the overall form factor of the unit is reasonably compact and small. It is that small you will be able to fold it into its pockets and store it somewhere.
However, the capacity is quite high for the size that it has. It is 35 liters in size, making it ideal for trips where you do not need to take too many things with you.
Aside from the size and the capacity of the unit, it is quite comfortable to carry too. The comfort level is enhanced for the breathable mesh that is on the straps and the back.
Those positions are what are going to make contact with your back. And as air is going to pass through them, you would not sweat that much when carrying it.
Alongside that, there inside has different compartments. And each of the compartments is separated using properly.
Because of that, you should be able to keep all your items inside in an organized manner. Two side pockets have the ability to carry water bottles and small items.
Other than that, the material that is one is of is reasonably high in quality. It is of tear-resistant nylon fabric. The material can resist wear and tears exceptionally well.
So, you can expect it to last for a long amount of time. Also, the durability is further enhanced for the double-layer bottom part that it has.
Lastly, there are multiple color options available. It comes in green, purple, black, grey, blue, and orange.
What To Look For Before Buying?
If you are really on the hunt for one of the worthy ones, going through the reviews will not be sufficient.
Alongside just reading the reviews, there are a couple of crucial points that you need to consider.
By factoring those in, your chances of getting the worthy ones will be considerably high.
And the points are as follows.
Before anything else, you should consider the material that the pack is of. The material will dictate how rugged and how durable the overall package is going to be.
Most of the brands are going to utilize nylon. However, not all of the nylon they are going to utilize will be of the same grade.
The nylons that are higher in quality will make the pack achieve a considerably high level of durability. Those can resist wear and tears exceptionally well.
And as hiking terrains are usually rough, you need something with a high durability level. That is why you need to opt for the ones that are high-quality nylon.
Water Resisting Capability
As we have mentioned, most of the brands are going to utilize nylon for manufacturing these. And nylon can usually resist water.
However, the water-resisting capability will differ from one to another as not all of the nylons are the same.
And when we are talking about the terrains of hiking trails, there is a high possibility that you will stumble upon water bodies.
Splashes of those water bodies have a high chance of landing on your pack. And if the water does make its way inside, all of the materials will not be dry when you open the zipper up.
Also, you might carry electronics will you on the trips. Well, as you know, water and circuits do not go along that well.
So, if the water does manage to get inside, it will not only harm the other items but can also damage the electronics as well.
Considering all of these, you need to opt for the ones that are highly resistant to water. With one of those, you will be sure that the inside of your pack will be dry as a desert no matter what happens.
For the ones that do not have a proper water-resistant material, you need to check whether it has a rainfly on the bottom or not.
If it does have this, you will not have to worry about the material not being that water-resistant because the rainfly should be able to protect the entire thing from rainwater and splashes of water.
Most of the brands are going to utilize good quality material for the exterior. However, many will skimp on the accessories part.
But the quality of the accessories is equally important as the quality of the material.
A good backpack should have good chains. The chain should be smooth and easier to drag. And the smoother the zipper, the less you need to struggle when you are trying to access the insides.
Alongside that, it should also have good buckles. Flimsy buckles tend to break over time.
And if you happen to get one with flimsy buckles, there is a high chance that you will not be able to use it for a long amount of time.
So, you need to factor in the quality of the buckle as well.
The straps play an important role in making it easier to carry the unit securely. And the first thing that you need to consider is the number of straps.
The higher the number of straps, the easier it will be for you to carry the pack on your back securely.
Other than the number of straps, you should consider whether the straps are adjustable or not. The height and the width of the waist are not the same for every people.
And if you do happen to get a pack that does not have adjustable straps, there is a high possibility that you might not be able to get a proper fit.
Without getting a proper fit on the straps, carrying it securely would be quite impossible. You will feel like it is falling off from your back.
For that reason, you would want to opt for the ones that come with adjustable straps.
Breathable Mesh Panel
The weather on the hiking tracks might not always be favorable. You might find yourself treading with the scorching sun on your head.
Also, the surface area of most of the hiking packs is large. And all of that area will be in contact with your back.
Now, if there is no air passing through that area, you will find your back drenched in sweat, which can be a bit uncomfortable.
This scenario can make hiking harder than it has to be. However, if there is breathable mesh on the back, the chances of this happening will be pretty slim.
The mesh will make sure that the air is not blocked. Instead, it will let the air circulate through, which will eventually cool you off.
So, the possibility of your back being drenched in sweat will be pretty low if you get one of the units with breathable mesh on the back.
And getting one that has the same mesh on the straps would be getting a cherry on the top.
Another thing that will have a high impact on the overall comfort is the padding. The thicker the padding, the less amount of pressure you would feel while carrying this.
Also, many of the paddings utilized by manufacturers can distribute the weight evenly, making it easier for you to have the pack on your back.
And even if the rest of the straps do not have any padding on them, make sure that the shoulder straps have a proper amount of padding.
If you get one that does not have a good amount of padding on the shoulder straps, carrying the unit around for a long time would be excruciating for you.
One of the most important things that you must consider when you are in the market for one of these is capacity.
Depending on how long you need to be on the trail, you need to choose the one number of essential things that you are going to need.
And by factoring in the number of things that you will pack, you need to choose the one that can accommodate all of them.
Usually, most of the packs are around 40 to 50 liters. Those are perfect for carrying things for an entire day trip.
However, if you want to pack some extra stuff with you, you should opt for the ones that are around 60 to 65 liters.
No matter how large the capacity is, if the inside does not have dedicated compartments, you would not be able to keep all your stuff organized.
And it is quite important to keep the stuff organized. Without that, you might have to spend quite an amount of time trying to find something that you might need in an emergency.
For that reason, we would highly recommend shooting for the ones that have dedicated compartments inside.
Also, make sure that the compartments are separated with a proper divider as well, or else you will not be able to enjoy the full advantage of having compartments inside.
For the hiking backpacks under $100, the overall size will highly depend on the amount of capacity that it has. The higher the capacity, the larger the size is going to be.
However, some of the manufacturers can keep the size compact without sacrificing too much on the overall capacity. Those are the ones you would want to get if you are looking for something small and compact.
Alongside that, if you are planning to fly to the hiking destination, you would want to consider if the dimensions of the bag comply with the airline specification or not.
If it does not comply with that, you might have to pay extra for carrying the pack with you.
Having extra pockets can be quite an advantage when you are out on the hiking trail. You would not want to always open your main compartment just to get the stuff that you are going to use frequently. It will slow you down.
Alongside that, these pockets will offer you quick access to the items that you might want to use from time to time.
Considering both of these factors, you need to make sure that the one that you are getting has extra pockets on the front.
Aside from the extra pockets on the front, you should check the size and the space that the side pockets are offering.
These are the pockets where you would keep your water bottle in. And if these are small in size, it would get quite tough for you to make them accommodate reasonably large-sized bottles.
However, if the bottle that you use is not that large in size, you should be okay with the ones that come with small to medium-sized pockets on the side.
Last but not least, you need to factor in whether the weight of the pack is too heavy or not.
Carrying something heavy for a long amount of time can lead to shoulder strains. And if you face such kinds of problems while you are on trial, it might get a bit uncomfortable for you to carry on hiking.
So, you should opt for the ones that are lighter in weight. Your hiking journey would be pretty easy with one of those.
And you would not face that amount of discomfort when you are on the trail.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Any Other Names For Hiking Backpacks?
Yes, there is another specific name that most people refer to. They call it an internal frame hiking backpack. You might even see people call it a backpacking backpack.
Nevertheless, no matter what people called them to, the functionality is the same, which is to carry the stuff that you would need for hiking.
What Size Backpack Should I Choose?
It will depend on the trip that you are planning to make. For the ½ day trips, getting something that is from 20 liters to 35 liters should be more than enough.
You should find more than enough space to accommodate all of the things you might need on such kinds of trips.
On the other hand, if your trip is reasonably long and you are planning to travel a farther distance, we would recommend getting something that is around 50 to 60 liters.
Those will have plenty of space. You should be able to carry most of your stuff and have some space left.
Many of them will even have a dedicated sleeping bed compartment.
Would I Be Able To Use Regular Backpacks For Hiking?
Yes, it is possible to use a regular pack for hiking. However, you need to consider two things.
One is the pack’s capacity, and the other is how many things you are actually going to carry. If the pack you are using is close to 20 liters and the stuff you plan to carry is not that many, you should have no trouble.
However, if the pack is less than 15 liters and the items you are planning to carry are quite numerous, you will find it hard to accommodate them.
For that reason, we highly recommend having dedicated hiking backpacks for these trips.
Where Should I Put The Flashlight In The Backpack?
The flashlight is something that you would want quick access to.
Considering that, the suitable position to pack it would be the side pockets or the pockets that are on the front.
Are All Of The Backpacks Waterproof?
Most of them are somewhat waterproof because most of these are going to utilize nylon for the overall construction. However, the resisting capability will differ from one to another.
For most waterproofness, we recommend opting for the ones that have a rainfly on the bottom.
As you are aware by now, you do not really have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good backpack for hiking.
Getting the best hiking backpack under 100 would be more than enough.
And we are hoping that we could make it easier for you to choose one.