It is not that easy to properly plan out a hiking trip.
Firstly, you need to select the location. Then you have to plan out the transportation and the cost to reach that place.
Lastly, you will need to pack all of the essentials with you inside a bag.
Even if the first two steps go out smoothly, the last step is the one that most struggles with because not all of the bags are really suitable for hiking.
That is why people look for the best hiking backpack under $200.
Those will not be able to accommodate all of the essential items that you are going to need for the trip but also have extra features, which will make it easier for you to carry out the hiking trip.
8 Best Hiking Backpack Under $200
There will be plenty of options in the market at this price segment. However, not all of the units you will stumble upon are going to be worth the money you would need to spend.
To make things easier for you, we have huddled a list of the ones that we believe are worth checking out.
They are as stated:
#1. Kelty Coyote 105 Liter
Hikers always prefer to get a proper fit for the backpack that they are going to carry. And even though most of the brands could not deliver that properly.
Kelty went out of the traditional ways and delivered exactly that in this unit that they are offering.
To start with, it has a total capacity of 105 liters. And 105 liters of capacity will be more than enough to accommodate all of the things you are going to require.
In fact, you will have some extra room left after packing all of the essentials inside. You need to have to leave anything behind.
Even though it has a substantially large capacity, the overall heft of the unit is considerably low. It weighs just 5 pounds when there is no stuff inside. And you can pack about 70 pounds of items inside it.
The design that it features is tailored for hikers. That means even when it is full of stuff, you will not have any problem carrying it.
Other than the design, there are plenty of pockets on the unit. You will find two on the front and two on the wing side.
Also, there are dedicated water bottle pockets on the side.
And to add a cherry on the top, all of them have zippers. For that reason, you should be able to easily keep all of the items secure.
Talking of which, it packs Fit Pro technology. This technology will enable you to adjust all of the straps and other ribbons, which means you will have full freedom over customizing the fit.
And you can make those adjustments on the fly too. So you would be able to carry it securely.
Aside from that, the material that Kelty had opted for is high in quality. It features a solid build quality. You can expect it to last for an extended amount of time.
#2. Osprey Stratos 34
Going out for a long trip means that you need to make sure that you have a good amount of hydration liquid with you.
However, if you opt for this one, you will not have to worry about not having a sufficient amount of water with you.
First of all, it has a built-in water reservoir. The bladder’s overall capacity is 3 liters, which means you would be able to carry more than enough amount of water with you on your trip.
There will be no need to worry about not having enough water when you are out on the trails.
Aside from the built-in bladder, the shoulder straps that it comes along with are fully adjustable. For that reason, it will be possible for you to get a perfect fit.
So, you will be able to securely carry this on your back. Also, there is a fair amount of padding on the straps, which means you can carry it with full comfort.
Alongside the straps, Osprey had utilized ventilated mesh on the back panel. That mesh will let the air pass through.
As a result, you will not sweat that much when you are carrying this on a summer day. And there is a trekking pole attachment on the side. That will enable you to carry poles without any issues.
The material that it is of is nylon. It can repel water exceptionally well. Also, it integrates a rain cover on the bottom.
You can take it out and cover the entire pack and protect it from rainwater and splashes.
There will be no need to worry about the internals getting wet when you are caught off-guard by the rain.
Other than that, the belt has zippered pockets. You can put all of the small items that you might need quick access to there.
It even has a sleeping bag compartment.
#3. The North Face Terra
You might have already heard about the brand The North Face. They are quite popular when it comes to shoulder bags. And they are now offering recommendation-worthy backpacking packs in the market as well. This one is one of them.
To start with, it will offer you plenty of size options. It comes in nine different sizes. And the sizes start from 40 liters and end all the way up to 65 liters.
Because of having that many size options, you are sure to get the one that is going to be suitable for your hiking trip.
Other than the size options, you will find this one in different color options as well. Depending on the looks you are shooting for, you can choose grey, black, green, taupe green, and shady blue.
Each of them has an elegant outlook, which means you will look quite sleek when carrying them on your back.
Aside from the outlooks, the material that these are of is of high quality. For utilizing such a construction material, this one will be able to hold up with the regular day-to-day use and the harsh environment of hiking terrains pretty easily.
You can expect it to last for an extended amount of time.
Alongside that, the material is quite resistant to water as well. It can repel splashes of water reasonably well. So even if you get caught off-guard in the rain, there will be no need to worry about the internal getting drenched in rainwater.
Talking of which, every model has a separator inside. That separator will divide each of the compartments. The separators will allow you to keep all of your items organized.
You will not have to panic and bring all of the items out from the inside when you are looking for one specific item while you are on the trail.
#4. Gregory Mountain Products Wander
When you are on the lookout for a good backpacking unit, you might want something that will make it easier for you to load and unload the items inside. Well, in that case, you should have a look at what Gregory Mountain Products has to offer here.
First of all, the unit features a full-body u-zip zipper. Such type of zipper will enable you to get access to the inside instantaneously.
As a result, loading the inside up and unloading it when you are emptying it out will be relatively easy for you. You would not have to go through that many issues for that.
Aside from the zipper that it sports, there are front mesh pockets. You can use that pocket to store your jackets and other clothing.
There will be no need to fill up the inside for storing those. Also, the pockets have high-quality buckles. Those will hold the pocket tightly, which means the stuff you will keep inside will be secure.
Other than the pockets, the unit has dual side pockets. The pockets are reasonably large in size, and you should be able to keep medium to large water bottles inside it at ease.
It also has a built-in water reservoir, which you can use to carry a good amount of water when you are on the trip.
Apart from that, the hip belts that you will find in the unit are all adjustable. Because of the adjustability, you will have the freedom to customize the fit according to your preference. You can securely carry it on your back.
Talking of which, the total capacity of the unit is 70 liters. That amount of interior space is more than enough to carry all of the items.
In fact, you will have quite an amount of space left after packing all of the essential things inside it.
#5. Ortovox Peak Rucksack
If you were on the lookout for something that is relatively large in size and has a good build quality, then what you were looking for is this one that is being offered by Ortovox.
To start with, it features a construction of 420D nylon. This nylon is known for being high in quality. For that reason, you can expect it to resist tearing exceptionally well.
It will also be able to withstand the wearing that is caused by day-to-day use and rough environments.
Aside from the construction material, the volume of the unit is 45 liters. That amount of capacity is more than enough to accommodate all the items you might need for a ½ day trip.
And to add a cherry on the top, there are separated compartments inside, letting you keep all of the things in an organized manner.
Other than the capacity, the unit features a swiss wool back system. The back panel contains a good amount of padding, which is of virgin wool.
Because of having such an amount of padding, you will not face any discomfort when you are carrying this on the back.
Alongside that, the nylon that it features on the exterior does a great job in repelling water. That means splashes of water will not be able to get inside that easily.
Also, the wool of the back panel can absorb moisture reasonably well too. It should be able to keep your back cool and eliminate the chances of you sweating too much.
All of the compartments that are on the front have a zipper. The zipper that it features is relatively smooth. You should have quick access to the inside.
There is also an emergency pocket, which will enable you to keep all of the emergency items at an easily reachable place.
#6. U.L.E. Mountain Hydration Pack
Sweating excessively can become quite uncomfortable when you are on a hiking trail. However, if you are carrying this one on the back, you will not have to worry about that one bit.
First of all, it features a unique design on the back panel. Having such a design, it will be able to redirect the air through the back, which will keep you cool throughout the journey.
And as the air is going to flow through, the chances of you sweating too much on the trip will be pretty slim.
Even the shoulder harness that the pack has is breathable. That will increase the cooling factor even further. Also, the overall weight of the unit is quite minimal.
It is just 100 oz in weight. Because of how lightweight it is, you should not feel that much strain on your shoulder when you are carrying this.
Aside from the breathable nature, you are going to receive a removable belt. You can attach that belt to the bottom to make it work as a hip belt.
As it is adjustable, worrying about not getting a proper fit is not something you would have to do for this. Also, it will increase the overall stability of the pack.
Other than that, there are several pockets on the unit. You can keep small items inside it. And as they are on the front, you should have quick access to them. Also, all of them have zippers on them.
Apart from that, it integrates a water reservoir. That crux reservoir can contain a good amount of water inside. And as there is a wide opener on the front, filling it up will not be an issue either.
It is also removable, which will make it easier for you to clean it after prolonged use.
#7. Osprey Exos 48
Even though there are a lot of units out there, not that many will offer you the freedom to choose the size. Well, that is where packs from brands such as Osprey stand out.
To start with, it comes in three different sizes. Depending on the number of items you want to carry, you can choose the small, medium, or large.
No matter which one you are going to pick, you will find separate compartments inside. Those separate compartments will make it easier for you to organize the stuff inside.
Alongside that, all of the versions have a built-in water reservoir inside. The water reservoir is quite large in size too.
It can contain up to 3 liters of water, which is more than enough liquid to keep you hydrated for the entire trip. You will not have to worry about not having enough liquid with you.
Other than that, there are front stretch pockets. The front pockets will come in handy when you want a quick storage solution for the rain gears that you are carrying.
You will also find other pockets on the side, which you can use to carry water bottles with you.
Aside from the pockets that it comes with, there is a removable floating top lid. That lid integrates Flapjacket, which will protect the gears inside when the top lid is opened.
As a result, there will be no need to worry about the items getting damaged or getting drenched in the water when you open the top lid.
Apart from that, it comes in two different colors. You can choose anyone from tunnel green or blaze black. Both of them have Axe attachments on the side.
That attachment mechanism will enable you to securely carry Axe and hiking sticks with you securely.
Lastly, you will be able to carry a sleeping bag with you using the removable sleeping pad straps.
#8. Backcountry Access Stash
Some of the units you are going to stumble upon on the market will integrate a hydration bladder.
However, not all of them will have an insulated exterior like this one from Backcountry Acess.
Unlike some of the other units, the material that it sports on the exterior has the capability of insulating the inside.
Because of that insulation layer, it will be able to keep the inside cool, even when you are out on the hiking trail with the scorching sun over your head.
Aside from that, there are side pockets that you can use to accommodate water bottles.
Also, it integrates a hydration bladder. That bladder can contain a good amount of water inside.
So, even if you can not make it accommodate large-sized water bottles, you would not have to worry about not having enough water.
Other than that, there is a dedicated tool pocket on the front. You will be able to use it to carry a shovel, saw, or probe.
Also, you should be able to use it to carry hiking poles and ice Axes with you. The shoulder straps also have pockets on them, which you can use to store small items and electronics.
Talking of which, it adopts compression straps for the shoulder. They have a good amount of padding on them, which will make it comfortable for you to carry the pack.
There will be a considerably less amount of strain on your shoulder, which will make it easier for you to carry it when it is full of stuff.
Apart from that, the back panel has molded foam. The foam that the manufacturer has used for this is breathable.
It would be able to circulate air through, which will keep you cool throughout the entire journey.
There is also a strap, which will enable you to carry snowboards with you without facing any issues.
What to Look for Before You Buy?
If you really want to get something that is going to worth every penny you will spend on it, going through the reviews will not be enough.
There are a couple of factors that you will have to consider before you head into the market.
The factors that we are talking about are as follows:
Before anything else, you should consider the overall capacity of the unit. And the capacity is something that is going to depend on the number of items that you are going to carry.
On that note, the number of items you will carry will highly depend on the trip you are planning out.
If you are planning to go on a half-day trip, then the number of items will be considerably low in number. And for such a trip, going for something that is close to 30 liters will be enough.
However, if you are looking to go on a full-day trip, you need to opt for something that is around 50 liters.
On the other hand, if you plan to take a multi-day trip, you should opt for something that is more than 50 liters.
With those, you should be able to carry all of the essential items and have some space left for carrying other stuff.
No matter how large of a capacity the bag has, if it does not have any separate compartments inside, it will be quite tough for you to organize the stuff inside.
Without keeping your items organized inside, you will go through a lot of hassle when you are trying to find something specific.
In such moments, you would have to bring all of the items outside just to look for the specific item. And that would not be that much of a hassle-free approach, would it?
For that reason, you should opt for units that have separate compartments inside.
Aside from the compartments, you need to consider the overall build quality of the unit. And for the build quality, you need to factor in the material that is utilized for the overall construction.
If the material is not that high in quality, the build quality that the unit is going to have will not be that high.
And you would want to opt for something that has a good build quality because the hiking trail environment will not be ideal for the regular packs.
The units will a high build quality should be able to withstand the rough terrains at ease. They would be able to resist wear and tear exceptionally well.
Pockets are essential for backpacks. The higher the number of pockets on the front, the easier it is going to be to keep the small items properly.
You would also be able to use those pockets to keep the items you would want quick access to.
Alongside that, you would also have to consider whether there are pockets on the side or not.
Those pockets will let you keep the water bottles. And do check whether the side pockets can accommodate the bottle that you carry or not.
Even if most of the units are going to feature side pockets, most of them can carry bottles that are at a max of 1 liter in size.
For some trips, you might want a dedicated container that can carry a good amount of water. And you would need a good amount of water if you want to stay hydrated throughout the entire trip.
That is where the units with built-in water reservoir steps in. Those are capable of carrying at least 2 liters of water.
With that much water with you, you might not need to carry any extra bottles with you to stay hydrated throughout the trip.
Most of the brands are going to utilize nylon and polyester. And both of the materials as somewhat capable of repelling water.
However, if you want the maximum protection from water and want to make sure that the items stay dry, you should opt for the ones that integrate rain fly on the bottom.
The material that most of the rain fly is going to extremely resistant to water. So even if you do get caught off-guard when you are on the trip, you will not have to worry about the items inside getting wet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all of the backpacks in the market waterproof?
Most of the brands are going to utilize polyester and nylon for constructing these. And both of these materials are somewhat resistant to water.
However, if we are talking about fully waterproof, only the units that integrate rainfly on the bottom will be able to offer you that.
Is 420D nylon a durable material for a backpack?
The 420D nylon is considered to be one of the highest grades of nylon that is out there.
Considering that, the durability level that it will be able to make the backpack achieve should remain considerably high.
Is it necessary for a backpack to have separate compartments inside?
Yes, we highly recommend getting the ones with separate compartments. Those will enable you to easily organize the stuff that you will keep inside.
You would not want to panic a lot when you are looking for something in an emergency situation. For that reason, you should opt for the ones with separate compartments inside.
Are backpacks with built-in bladder worth it?
The units with a built-in bladder will enable you to carry a good amount of water with you. And if you are planning to carry out a long trip, you will need a considerably good amount of water.
Keeping that factor in mind, we would say that they are definitely worth it.
Where should I keep the things that I need quick access to in a backpack?
You should keep such kind of stuff on the front pockets. And if they are not small in size, make sure you keep them in a separate compartment inside.
If you do not keep them in a dedicated compartment inside in an organized manner, you would have to go through a lot of hassle when you are trying to find something specific.
By getting the best hiking backpack under $200, you can assure that the hiking trip you are going to take will be somewhat hassle-free.
That being said, we assure you that no matter which one you pick from our recommendation list, you will have no regrets about the decision you are going to take.