10 Best Cheap Hiking Backpacks in 2021

Outdoor activities are fun, no doubt, and hiking is one of the most enjoyable. It can relieve stress and add to a good workout as well.

However, before going on that hike, you should pick a backpack to pack those essentials with you. Picking the right backpack can be a tough job since a lot of brands claim they make the “best” bags.

But, you want a mixture of quality, longevity, and durability, all at an affordable price. For this reason, we bring the best cheap hiking backpacks you can get your hands on.

We will cover the top 10 brands out there and present their pros and cons. So, from now on, be assured of buying only the best!

Benefits and Drawbacks of Cheap Hiking Backpacks

Let us now discuss some key benefits and drawbacks of hiking backpacks specifically. This section will present the key benefits and disadvantages in a succinct but hopefully informative way.

Let us take a good look at the benefits.

  • Free Hands

When on a hike, the last thing you need is your hands occupied and tied up. A large and good quality hiking backpack can be an amazing asset in this regard.

Instead of holding everything, you can pack all the essentials in one place. This includes water, drinks, electronics, food, and of course, first aid.

  • Stay Organized

Being organized on hikes is really crucial. With poor or mediocre organizations, you could land in some trouble later on. You could misplace things or even lose out on essentials.

In a hiking backpack, everything is neatly organized, very often compartment-wise. This helps in locating important items exactly when needed, saving you a lot of headaches.

  • Keep Things Safe

Safety is paramount when going hiking, or really anywhere. With its multiple safety features, a hiking backpack will surely keep your valuable stuff well protected.

Now let us look at the other side of the coin, i.e., disadvantages or drawbacks.

  • Cumbersome

A hiking backpack is obviously quite large in size. As thus, it can be a bit tiresome to carry around with you at times. This is especially true if you are carrying a lot of things with you.

  • More Space Needed

Well, you have to take your backpack off at some point. Either when you reach your destination or when taking a rest.

A large backpack can be a burden in the sense that it requires more space to store it away. When short on room, storing a large backpack is an added pressure.

10 Best Cheap Hiking Backpacks Review

It is now review time! Learn all about the top 10 brands right here, and see whether you can find your pick from these amazing products.

#1. Osprey Talon 22 Hiking Backpack

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The first item on our review list is the Talon 22 Men’s hiking backpack from the renowned brand Osprey. This zipper closed bag is ideal as a hiking partner into the woods or beyond.

Its main compartment is well sealed off from dirt and dust via the dual zippers running across. Furthermore, the hydration sleeve is a perfect carrier for water containers and can carry up to a 3L bottle.

If you are worried about fitting or adjustment issues, then worry no more. The shoulder harness is well placed with a dial to ensure you have the best fit at all times.

The pockets on both sides are also very well placed. Its meshed fabric allows some good breathing and aeration space and is ideal for carrying packets of food or containers of drinks.

If you feel like carrying your helmet with you, do not worry about carrying it by hand all the way. This product comes with a special attachment for helmets, allowing you to secure the helmet with ease.

The hip belt region features two zippered pockets. This region may be compact, but it is well sealed and protected, allowing you to store food and dry snacks inside.

For warm days, hiking can release a lot of sweat, which would otherwise accumulate. To dispel the heat, the back panel is covered with meshed fabric and allows good ventilation.

Finally, take advantage of the full 22 L capacity this product has to offer. Pack all your essentials in one place, and rejoice that there will still be space left for more. This backpack has a robust capacity and ideal for hikers.

Pros
  • Well zippered compartment
  • Has a waist compartment for food
  • Well aerated against heat
  • Has a special area for helmet attachments.
Cons
  • The hydration sleeve must be bought separately.

#2. TETON Sports Scout 3400

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The second product on our list is the ruggedly built, heavy-duty hiking backpack from Teton Sports. Built and streamlined for the highest comfort, it leaves no stone unturned when it comes to convenience.

With a capacity of 55L, it is more than adequate for all of your camping and hiking requirements. You can fit in extra clothes, food, and even basic first aid and still have room left for more.

This product is ideal for both men and women of all ages, making it the ultimate choice for adults of all age groups. Furthermore, it can carry enough essentials for a long 4-day trip and hike.

One unique feature of this product is the amazing sleeping bag compartment that comes inside it. The compartments are very suitable and well placed, as sleeping bags are an important item to have when going hiking.

If you are worried about rain or inclement weather, then worry no more! The rainfly provided can adequately cover the product in times of wet weather, keeping your gear clean and dry.

Another specialized compartment is the bungee storage area or unit. The special aspect of this compartment is that it can store emergency attire like raincoats and jackets, in case you feel the temperatures drop.

With this product, it is not all about internal storage and compartments, as it can hold just as many items via external pockets and loops.

An example is the side pockets, which can hold dry food and gear loops. Furthermore, the compression straps also help in organizing things and keeping stuff compact.

Pros
  • Has multiple external pockets
  • Special storage area for sleeping bags
  • Ideal for both men and women who are adults
  • Large capacity for carrying extra items
Cons
  • A bit on the heavier side.

#3. MOUNTAINTOP 40L

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The 40L backpack from Mountaintop stores is well built for hiking and camping trips. Made of polyester, it is different from most commercial backpacks you see on the market today.

Get ready for this polyester-made gem of a product. The polyester makes it strong and quite tough against tear or wear as well.

This backpack is divided into a number of compartments, and the whole product is 20″ deep. Such a feature makes it more than adequate to carry a standard-sized laptop that measures in at 15″.

Furthermore, there is also a special compartment for a bladder and can also house clothes and food. Because of its convenient size, it is suitable to be carried on airlines and flights too.

This means you do not just have to take it on road trips- but also fly with it across borders for an adventure.

If you think that it is a bit loose to be worn properly, then worry not, as there is a fix for that. The hip belt has been placed for that exact reason.

It can fit waists with sizes ranging from 25-55″, making it possible for individuals of all build to own this product.

To reduce pressure on the sternum, the strap is also padded and made of molded foam that is soft to the touch. This ensures you can carry whatever weight is put inside and not suffer from shoulder spasm.

If shorter trips and hikes are your thing, then you are also in luck! This bag is ideal for short treks, and to make things even better; you can choose from a variety of sharp colors.

It ensures you have freedom of selection, and thus choose a color that helps you stand out from the crowd.

Pros
  • Adjustable waist belt for a large number of sizes
  • Padded shoulder strap
  • Made of polyester
  • Can carry a standard-sized laptop
Cons
  • Is not flexible enough to be overpacked

#4. Loowoko 50L

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The large-sized 50L is a masterpiece from Loowoko that has been designed for excellence. With amazing polyester lining, it is hard to pass over.

This zipper-enclosed product is as safe and secure as they come. The 50L capacity means you can pack more than needed and still have room left for some more. This includes clothes, food packs, and also drinks. Not to mention essential drugs.

Being so large, it is quite adequate for a 3 or 4-day trip to any part of the globe. Furthermore, it has a plus point of meeting all airport and aircraft luggage carrying standards, so you can take aboard with you.

With 8 adjustable straps, fitting it will no longer be a big issue at all. As a matter of fact, you can use this product and hang your sleeping bag, hammock, tripod, and other related gear.

This makes it the backpack to have for any trip. With nice breathable mesh shoulder straps, there is no reason to worry about getting heat trapped inside and feeling uncomfortable after a while.

The straps have good sponge space inside, and this does a very good job of regulating heat and expelling excess heat as well.

A similar method is applied for the back panel, which prevents your back from hurting and also minimizes the breakout of too much sweat.

Finally, the rain cover provided is excellent when it comes to keeping things dry. You can use it when traveling through inclement weather and ensure that all your valuables inside and clean, dry and spotless.

Pros
  • A rain cover is included
  • Meets all flight and airline requirements
  • The back panel does not trap heat
  • Strong polyester lining to prevent a tear
Cons
  • None found

#5. G4Free 50L Waterproof Daypack

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When it comes to ease of use and convenience, there are very few products that can compete with the 50L capacity hiking backpack from the one and only G4Free store. Equipped with a USB port, this product is the latest breakthrough in backpack manufacturing.

The material of this product is very sturdy and strong, not to mention durable. Made entirely of nylon, it is completely resistant to water, thereby resisting damage from spills, rain, and leaks.

Its pull string zippers are not just there for show; rather, they serve a very specific purpose of adding strength to the overall product.

The entire product is built in such a way as to maximize aeration, minimize heat-trapping, and ensure that sweat does not accumulate.

Furthermore, the large capacity means you can now carry a lot more than needed and keep emergency items nearby at all times when on a hike.

Make the most of the large number of pockets offered, with the large front pocket being the center of attention. In addition to that, there are also a number of zipper pockets, and these are useful to carry clothes.

The rain cover included is also stored in a specially designed pocket or chamber. It can be used to protect the product and the valuables inside from even the heaviest downpour.

Keeping yourself hydrated on a long hike, or even a short one, is of paramount importance. The manufacturers really understand that, and that is why they included a compartment only for a hydration bladder.

This makes the product suitable not only for hiking in particular but also for other strenuous activities, such as trekking, camping, and mountain climbing.

Comfort is a big aspect of the game, and an uncomfortable hike will add to your woes and misery.

To prevent this from happening and to make the hike as enjoyable as possible, this product has been designed with a very breathable and soft back panel.

Made of mesh material, it does not trap heat and rather promotes superb air circulation, preventing you from breaking out in a sweat, and feeling uncomfortable.

Furthermore, the well-padded shoulder straps are placed to prevent your shoulder from cramping up, especially when carrying large loads.

To conclude, there is also a designated space or pocket just for your favorite electronics. This includes phones, iPods, and chargers, and so on.

Hence, you do not have to leave social media behind on hikes anymore and can make the best of your time.

Pros
  • Comes with space for electronics
  • Special area for the hydration bladder
  • Completely waterproof in build
  • Can be used for various activities.
Cons
  • A bit tough to carry for smaller framed people

#6. Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Backpack

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A highly durable and lightweight backpack, this awesome product from Venture Pal tries its best to impart quality, convenience, and durability.

The first thing you will notice about this product is its durability. Made of a high-quality, tear-resistant material, it is also resistant to water as an added bonus.

With extra strength, it is highly long-lasting, and this is evident by the double-layer bottom piece that gives it toughness and longevity.

The two-way SBS metal zippers keep everything inside safe and secure. They can be secured and operated on either side, thereby preventing the application of excessive force.

Breathable shoulder pads are made of mesh material, and the sponge padding further adds an extra layer of insulation. This prevents shoulder strain and also aims to maximize aeration across the entire product.

Keep things organized with the many compartments offered. The main zipped compartment can hold up to 35 L and is useful for housing the main items like clothes, food, and water.

Its front pockets are useful for holding small packets of food and can even be used to hold chargers, phones, and other electronics. If you want to carry an umbrella for rainy conditions, then you will find the two side pockets to be more than adequate.

Weighing in at only 0.7 lbs, this product is as lightweight as it possibly comes. You can fold the product to a compact shape when you need to store it away. This trick can be used on airplanes and flights.

Pros
  • Multiple pockets available
  • Lightweight but very durable
  • Resistant to water
  • Side pockets for carrying umbrellas.
Cons
  • The zipper can be broken if too much force is applied

#7. AmazonBasics Backpack with Rainfly

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An epic 75L capacity beast of a product from Amazon Basics, this hiking backpack combines size with durability and is not short on comfort either.

With a capacity of 75L, there is no doubt you can hold a lot inside this product. Starting from the conventional items, you can also carry a lot of extras, including clothes, medicine, and containers of repellent if needed. It is an excellent choice for big guys.

The product is not just large when it comes to size, but the compartments are numerous and well placed. A large sleeping back chamber is perfect when going on camping trips, as a sleeping bag is one of the essentials you will surely need to carry with you.

Comfort is also a key aspect of this product. The adjustable straps make carrying it on your back all the easier. Being padded and well filled with open-cell foam, your shoulders will not even feel any weight while you carry your stuff around.

With a waterproof exterior, getting drenched in the rain is no longer a big issue at all. The water repellent surface does an amazing job of keeping things dry and clean.

Furthermore, a rain cover is also provided in case o stronger downpours.

Pros
  • Made of water repellent exterior
  • Has a very large capacity
  • Separate chamber for a sleeping bag
  • Compression straps can be adjusted with ease.
Cons
  • The shoulder strap may slacken a bit if loads heavier than 50lbs are carried

#8. RUPUMPACK Insulated Hydration Backpack

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A backpack built for adult men and women, the versatile backpack from Rupumpack is one to have. Being useful not just for hiking, it is a solid performer for the outdoors.

With a tough nylon lining, this product is no underperformer when it comes to toughness and durability. Considering the strong zipper closure, you can rest assured all your belongings will be kept safe at all times.

Its 2.5L bladder has been placed for a very specific purpose. The importance of water cannot and should not be understated. The manufacturers added the EVA-made bladder to hold fresh ice.

If you are worried about the taste of ice being affected, then worry not. The bladder is totally free of any chemicals that could otherwise alter the taste of ice. Hence, you can store ice safely and use it with your water pack for cooling off sessions.

An ideal partner for hiking, this product also provides top-notch service when it comes to other activities. These activities include skiing, cycling, camping, and mountain climbing. In short, this product is as versatile as it possibly comes along.

With two extra pockets on the waist strap, you can now have your hands completely free. The waist pockets were designed to hold essential electronics, such as iPods and phones.

An open compartment is also adequately placed. This one, however, serves a different purpose. You can store your towel and hat in there and take it out at a moment’s notice. This prevents you from having to rummage through piles of stuff just to grab a towel for cooling off.

A hydration insulation layer is also included. This one is made of aluminum foil. The foil can enclose any water vessel or container and thus keep it cool for up to 4 hours.

When carrying water, keeping it cool can be a major challenge, and this product helps to alleviate that tension and worry.

Well-aerated mesh fabric has been added to the shoulder straps, waist straps, and back panel. This aims to improve the overall circulation of air and thereby prevent the buildup of sweat.

Pros
  • Includes a 2.5L bladder to store cool ice
  • A hydration layer keeps liquid holding containers cool
  • Extra compartments added for holding phones
  • Ideal for both men and women, and can also be used by children.
Cons
  • The water bottle holder does not have a fastening belt

#9. WintMing 70L

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A khaki-colored, smart-looking product from WintMing, this 70L capacity backpack has been custom-made for hiking trips to any corner of the globe. The polyester lining adds to both resilience against wear and tear and also serves to make it lightweight.

Its 70L capacity means that you can now hold a lot of items and even take a few extras along with you. The elastic drawstring allows ample expansion of the product.

This is quite a handy feature, as it allows you to fit in a range of items that you would not be able to carry otherwise. The list includes a hammock, laptop, shoes, and even some essential clothes.

Furthermore, the front zipper pocket allows you to carry packets of food if needed. The two side pockets are placed specifically for carrying water bottles.

An assault-type backpack, you can attach other hiking gear to it if you feel that it is needed. You can attach spare pockets, water bottle bags, and also an extra hiking backpack.

Being made of waterproof fabric has its advantages, no doubt. The 600D Oxford fabric is resistant to spills, keeping the inside dry and safe. It is also resistant to wear and tear, so a little rough use will not spell its end.

Made for comfort, it has become highly popular among campers and hikers. The mesh shoulder straps are well padded for extra shoulder protection.

Its high elastic back support allows ample air to pass through at all times. This prevents sweat and dirt from accumulating, thereby preventing discomfort.

Weighing in at 1.3kg, you would think it weighs a great deal, but it surprisingly does not. This means you can carry it around easily and use it for almost every other outdoor excursion and activity.

Pros
  • Ideal for a range of activities
  • Khaki color tends to stand out
  • Extra kits can be attached as needed
  • Wear-resistant as well as waterproof.
Cons
  • Cannot be carried by hand when on a flight

#10. Sunhiker Hiking Backpack

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The final product on our long list for today is the cycling and hiking backpack from Sunhiker. This bag is elegant looking with its medium build and suitable for adults of all ages.

With a capacity of 25L maximum, it is rather on the medium scale when it comes to overall capacity.

That should not put you off, though, as it has a multitude of other features to offer. It is very suitable and also recommended for those who want to travel light and tension-free.

A large backpack can mean more space but more worries as well. You have to carefully keep tabs on whatever goes in, and this could sometimes be a bit tough.

With this bag, you are preset for a light hike and going short distances, so you can simply pack what you consider to be the essentials.

It is not weaker than any other high-quality backpack either. The nylon fabric is incredibly hard to tear off, and more so, it is also very lightweight.

This means you will not be dragging any excess weight around with you. The scratch-resistant fabric and durable structure of nylon mean this product is going to last you a long time, even when roughly handled.

With the breathable shoulder straps, any stress on your shoulders will instantly relieved. This makes it suitable for people who want to go on trips outdoors but cannot carry heavy loads on their shoulders.

The compartments inside offer more than enough space to store away your valuables. Everything is highly organized, and with a smoothly operating zipper, you can rest assured everything will be kept safe as well.

Carry not one but two water bottles at the same time. The water bottle holders are smartly placed on both sides, leaving you with the option of choosing either one or both to store your water.

Finally, get ready to take this amazing product with you almost anywhere. While it is custom made for hiking, it can be used on camping trips, cycling, and even basic sports.

Pros
  • Can be used for various activities
  • Good for people who cannot carry large loads
  • Made of durable and wear-resistant nylon
  • Double water holders.
Cons
  • Not suitable for long and extended hikes

Before You Buy What To Look For

It is time to go deeper into some small technicalities. When picking a high-quality backpack from any brand on the market, there are some common specialties you should keep an eye out for.

Here we will discuss just that and more, so be sure to give it a good read.

  • Adequately Sized

This should come as a no-brainer, but a backpack that falls short on size requirements will do absolutely no good at all.

When it comes to size, every person has different requirements. Some are happy with a size large enough to carry the essentials, while others want the extra space for other commodities.

What size you pick is largely decided by the type of trip you are going on. For short trips, a small to medium-sized backpack will do the trick since you need only a few basic items.

Similarly, for longer trips or long hikes, a large backpack is very much ideal. You will need to carry clothes, food and also water bottles. Hence, carefully decide on this factor first.

  • Comfort

No one can, and no one should ever pass up on comfort when it comes to backpacks. An uncomfortable backpack will make the entire trip quite an ordeal.

When it comes to comfort, this is something that also varies from person to person. Some are okay with just a shoulder strap, while others want double padded shoulder pads.

However, when it comes to longer trips and hikes, we suggest aiming for padded shoulder straps, as this will put less strain on the torso.

Also, waist straps can also add to comfort as they provide extra harnesses. When embarking on treacherous climbs, a waist strap adds to the safety and also comfort.

  • Strong Material

A backpack should be made of a material that does not easily tear, rip, or puncture. Thus, it is of crucial importance that the material of the backpack must be strong enough.

When carrying items in your bag, it can easily result in tears and breaks, so you should aim to get a backpack that can resist that.

One of the most common materials used in backpacks today is nylon. Nylon is light, has a low density, but is also quite durable in the long run.

However, nylon also has different grades, each with a different strength and durability rating. This resistance to tear and wear is called the denier.

If you plan on using the backpack on long trips or carry a lot of items, aim for a higher denier. This denier number must be above 100 at the very least. This will ensure that the backpack you buy will last longer and without issues.

  • Waterproof/Resistance to Spills

Spills are bound to happen every now and then. They are quite inevitable. Even if spills do not manually occur, the bag can still come into contact with water in the form of rain or moisture.

Thus, a waterproof backpack will protect the precious commodities inside. Waterproof backpacks can resist water from rain and sweat. In doing so, they protect the things inside.

When carrying electronic devices like phones and laptops, this feature is an absolute must. If the electronic products inside are not well protected, it could spell disaster on your trip and might even lead to short circuits.

  • Number of Compartments

For those who like to travel with a lot of essentials packed, either out of necessity or due to personal use, then the number of compartments play a very large role.

Nowadays, most backpacks made for hiking come with a robust number of compartments. In some cases, the number of compartments could even be six or more. These are in the form of pockets, zipped pouches, water bottle carriers, and so on.

If you are a person who likes to carry a lot of stuff, such as electronic devices like phones, chargers, laptops, and cameras, then you should ideally buy a backpack with a large number of compartments.

This will ensure your hands are free when traveling and relieve you of the worry of not taking enough essentials.

Even if you travel light, the bag you buy should at least have a compartment for water. This is a very important detail, and you can never be prepared when it comes to carrying water.

  • Well Aerated

A highly ignored aspect when buying backpacks for hiking or any other strenuous activity is the fact that backpacks can easily trap heat, sweat, and moisture.

When this happens, there is a rise in temperature inside, and if sweat is retained, then there is an emission of foul odors.

However, a backpack that is well aerated or well ventilated will help to circumvent this issue. The heat will be expelled through special vents on the side and thereby preventing the buildup of moisture and heat.

This will also protect all your items that are packed inside, leading to more safety. Hence, when buying a backpack of your choice, always make sure that the aeration system is capable of heat dispersion.

  • Good Quality Zippers

Your backpack has no use if you cannot even open it in the first place. The zipper is of extreme importance in this regard, as poor-quality zippers will sabotage the entire bag and everything inside.

Its zipper may unknowingly break off, and something could easily slip out of the bag without you noticing (for instance, a wallet). Hence, zipper selection is also a very important aspect.

Most zippers today are made with either metal or plastic. Metal zippers have some advantages in that they are stronger, more durable, and can’t be pulled out easily. But plastic zippers are also equally good. They are also long-lasting, easy to fix, and, more importantly, do not corrode and rust.

Hence, whichever you buy is your choice, but make sure it does not snag or break during use.

Types Of Backpacks

Now that you have a good idea of what it is to look for when buying a backpack for hiking, it is time to take a close look at the different variants of backpacks out there.

  • The Rucksack

One of the most common forms of backpacks and widely used all over the world, the rucksack is a big hit among students, both school and college-goers.

A rucksack is characterized by its loose-fitting design and flap fastening system, instead of the traditional zipper method.

It is loose to be worn, and the space inside may be divided into a number of compartments or have just one large compartment. This one is ideal for carrying books and/or clothes, as the space inside expands pretty well when it is being filled up.

  • Laptop Backpack

As the name suggests, this type of backpack is ideal for carrying laptops or even large tablets. The reason is that it has a specialized compartment just for a laptop.

Other than that, it is roughly the same size as a standard backpack. This type of bag is a huge hit among students and working professionals, who often have to carry their laptops with them at all times.

  • Military Style Backpack

Another large-sized, specialized backpack. The military-style backpack is used by members of the military for a number of reasons.

For one, it is pretty large and can have a capacity of over 25 liters. Secondly, it has several specialized compartments. This type of backpack is built for heavy-duty use and can also be used by people who are not in the military, of course.

A large number of special compartments allow for more storage volume, enabling you to carry more essentials. Hence, when going on hikes, this is a good choice.

  • Frame/Backpacking Backpack

This is another product that has been specialized for hiking, climbing, and trekking. It is very noticeable, with its tall and elongated frame.

As a result, it can be filled more easily and can carry several types of items all at once. They also have a capacity exceeding 50 liters in some cases.

However, despite their large frame and size, they are not uncomfortable to carry at all. On the contrary, they can be carried on your back quite easily and exert no pressure that would otherwise lead to back pain.

  • Drawstring Backpack

A very popular type of backpack that is very useful for carrying light items and can be used when you want to travel light. The drawstring goes over your shoulders and can be tightened or loosened, depending on what you want.

This type of backpack is also very useful for carrying light clothes and also books, making it popular among students of all ages and also adults, especially gym-goers.

  • Suitcase Backpack

The ideal type of backpack for frequent fliers and those who prefer crossing borders on their hike. This suitcase backpack is a combination of a suitcase and a bag.

It has special rollers underneath and can be pulled via a lever on the top handle. This allows you to free your hands to a large extent and also drag a lot of weight around with you.

What Should You Have In Your Hiking Backpack?

More often than not, hikers are often faced with a dilemma as soon as they start packing their bags for that long-awaited hike.

Knowing what to pack and how much to pack is also an art and an important part of any journey, long or short. Packing the wrong things leaves less room for what’s really important, and this could prove to be a big problem later on.

Hence, to alleviate this painful dilemma, we are providing this section to help you decide exactly what should be in your bag. So read on without delay!

  • Clean Water

This is really a no-brainer if there ever was one. No matter where you go, or no matter how long you are away, it is crucial to have a supply of clean water with you.

Now this water could be store-bought, or it could be bottled straight from the nearest filter- the choice is yours. But having a supply of clean water is a must.

  • Dry Food

When we say food, we do not mean a full 3-course meal, complete with a dessert. Part of going on a hike also means you are economical with your palate and eat wisely.

Rather, we mean dry food and processed food. This food could ideally energy bars like chocolates, packed biscuits, tinned fruits, and so on.

Remember to make sure your stomach can handle the food and you are not allergic to it. So it is also important to consult with your doctor and seek his/her recommendations regarding the type of food you should carry.

  • Essential Medication

Everyone falls sick at least once a while, and when going on a hike or preparing for one, it is prudent to expect the worst. Some common issues you may experience on a hike include muscle spasms, headaches, and joint aches due to fatigue, and so on.

In that regard, it is wise to take some over-the-counter pain killers like aspirin and pain-relieving spray. Also, if you have any other problems, like allergies, then anti-allergy medication is a must.

  • Anti-Septic

A serious issue many hikers often have to deal with is coping with the accidental cut or scrape.

This could include knee scraps, skin lesions, and so on. Infections can rapidly set in if the right steps are not taken. And when on a hike, your body will be vulnerable to bacterial attacks.

Hence, having ordinary antiseptic creams and medicine with you could go a long way. Remember to have some extra bandages as well, because sometimes deep cuts can also occur.

  • Torchlights

Sunlight will not last the whole time, and it is bound to get dark at some point. Hiking in darkness or low light is just calling disaster on yourself. A large number of hiking-related injuries occur in the dark.

Hence, the best thing to avoid such trouble is to make sure you have a functioning flashlight with you.

Of course, do not forget the batteries either, and better still if the batteries are rechargeable.

  • Extra Clothes

While you will be wearing specialized clothes for the hike, it is a good idea to keep an extra set of clothes with you. The clothes you are wearing could become dirty, or they could require changing at some point.

An extra pair of clothes can substitute for unforeseen circumstances, such as rain, ensuring you are always clothed comfortably.

  • Map/Locating Device

Maps may sound old-fashioned, but they are still in use today. It’s better to look old-fashioned rather than get yourself lost in the woods.

A detailed map of the area will ensure you are on track, and a map isn’t hard to find, as most popular hiking spots give out maps when you enter the designated area.

How To Take Care of Your Backpack?

Now that you know what to carry, it is time to discuss maintenance. Even the best backpack will lose its quality rapidly if not taken care of. So this section helps to ensure that doesn’t happen.

  • Do Not Rough Handle

Rough handling can lead to a lot of damage to your backpack. While it may seem that the backpack can handle rough use, it will eventually tear.

As a guideline, avoid throwing the backpack around or dropping it from a height too often. Instead, set it down gently, even when it is not packed, and store it in a place where it is packed tightly.

  • Avoid Spilling

Even if the backpack is resistant to water, you do not want to spill too much on it. This applies to water and also applies to other chemicals like detergents and how beverages. It could ruin the fabric and lead to fast deterioration.

  • Don’t Overstuff

The backpack does not magically expand and deflate. While it is elastic to some degree, it will not be able to handle too much load.

Hence, before filling the bag, know what its total maximum capacity is. This could be in liters, and it important not to fill it beyond this level.

Otherwise, it could tear during use, and that would mean all your valuables will be exposed out in the open and could even be ruined.

  • Dry If Wet

The fabric of the backpack will be susceptible to mold and mildew growth if left wet. Therefore, if the backpack becomes wet, for whatever reason, you should always dry it off.

The ideal process would be to dry it in the sun, but a fan or hairdryer should also do the trick.

  • Replace Broken Zippers

If you notice that a zipper is broken, then promptly replace it when possible. A broken zipper could damage the zip lining and ruin the entire bag.

Top-Rated Brands on the Market

The battle for the best brand starts! In this section, we will cover what we think and believe is the top-rated brand on the market. Read this section to find out views and opinions when it comes to brand selection.

  • G4Free

Our top-rated brand on the market is the one and only G4Free brand. This brand started its operations relatively recently in 2019. Ever since then, there has been no looking back when it comes to delivering quality and excellence.

Their 50L hiking backpack was not just picked for looks, although it also delivers when it comes to aesthetics. It has one of the largest capacities of any other brand backpack going around in the market today.

But that is not all. It also features some amazing qualities not found on any other backpack from any other brand.

One of the features includes the USB port, which is included in newer versions. Also, it features top-notch aeration, thereby preventing heat from being trapped.

  • WintMing

The 70L behemoth is another one of our top picks. This backpack from WintMing is truly a giant in size and name.

It has everything good a backpack can offer. From the 600D Oxford fabric to the polyester lining to the khaki-colored texture- all these features stand out and also blend in when needed.

With mobile carrying facilities and comfortable shoulder straps, this product will be a very good hiking companion.

  • Rupumpack

Rupumpack makes this list with their 18 L capacity backpack, designed for hiking and camping.

The key aspect we really liked and which caught our attention was the 2.5L bladder. This shows shrewd foresight of the manufacturers and indicates the hiker’s wellbeing is their main concern.

But the 2.5L bladder is not all that we liked. With two extra chambers, their backpack can carry even delicate items people would want to take with them. This includes phones and cameras.

An amazing hydration layer does a great job in keeping liquids cool, allowing the hiker to regain his/her energy when required.

  • Amazon Basics

Amazon Basics makes it to this list for a number of strong reasons. First off, their 75L backpack breaks the chart when it comes to raw capacity. This allows more essentials to be packed for emergencies.

The second point is how neatly and smartly they inserted a chamber just for a sleeping bag. This feature will allow campers and hikers alike to utilize one bag for carrying everything.

Such a smart design is accompanied by the rain cover provided, which prevents the bag from getting drenched. All these features combined have thrust Amazon Basics into our list of top brands, with no hesitation on our part.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wash the backpack in a washing machine?

No, this should never be done. The washing machine is not made for handling backpacks and could end up damaging them. When the backpack gets dirty, you can soak a sponge in some water and then use the sponge to clean the backpack.

If the bag has stains on it, you could consider using detergent, but be sure to use a detergent that is suitable for nylon (the backpack fabric).

How large a backpack do I need for going on hikes?

This question is a bit tough to answer because there are several factors that are in play here. The main factor is the duration of the hike. Next comes how many essentials you want packed.

However, there are certain tips we can provide based on duration. For long hikes, perhaps over 5 days or so, it is better to buy a larger sized backpack. A 35-liter capacity is good to serve this purpose.

If you want to carry more, then aim for 40 liters or more, as this will leave room for extra clothes, food, and medicine.

For shorter hikes, lasting a day or two, you can make do with 20-liter capacity backpacks to pack just the essentials.

Is it safe to carry a camera in the backpack?

The majority of backpacks nowadays have a lot of special compartments. This includes compartments for phones, laptops, gear, etc.

If you really want to carry a camera with you, then you should get a backpack that has enough room for it. Once you manage that, carrying the camera is pretty safe.

Will it be a problem if water reaches the inside of the bag?

If the water reaches the inside of the bag, it is prudent to dry it off as soon as possible. Also, if you have items inside, you should take them out at once before you proceed with the drying.

Why does the shoulder strap feel uncomfortable?

This could be due to a number of reasons, but one key reason could be that the straps are not padded.

Padded straps are better for your shoulder, and exert less strain, so see if the padding is okay. If not, you can take it to the bag store to have padding inserted.

Will a regular backpack be suitable for hiking?

This depends on how long the hiking trip is and what exactly you want to carry with you. For short trips, a normal backpack should be just fine, but for longer trips, a hiking backpack is better.

The backpack is causing me back pain. Why is this so?

It could be due to a number of reasons, but one big reason is that the backpack has not been strapped on properly.

This results in poor alignment with the spine, resulting in discomfort. Another reason could be that the bag is overloaded, and your back cannot carry that weight around. In that case, consider taking some load off.

How can I maintain the zippers?

The zippers, which are made of plastic or metal, are prone to damage by wear. Keep them clean at all times, and try not to get sand on them. Also, clean the zippers regularly with a clean cloth.

Lastly, avoid overloading the backpack, as this puts pressure on the zippers.

Final Words

We hope you enjoyed this long article about the best cheap hiking backpacks money can buy. Hiking is a fun activity, but it needs good planning.

Choosing the right backpack is step one. So, do not postpone the hike any longer, because now you have found the best backpack for the job.

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