Best Backpacking Packs of 2018
Big and heavy backpacking packs are a thing of the past. While backpackers were used to hauling huge packs while sacrificing physical comfort, nowadays packs are designed with a lot of thought. More on the minimalist side, ergonomics and ultra-weight, today’s backpacks are made to bring comfort into every aspect of your backpacking trip. As usual, Adventure Pickers guide for the best backpacking packs of 2018 will consist of several metrics. Weight, fabric and carrying capacities are tested along with other aspects.
Weight: 4 lbs. 9 oz.
Capacity: 50, 65L
Pros: Great suspension system made of a strong mesh panel along with angled water pocket.
Cons: Pockets on the hip belts are small .
The Osprey Atmos 65 AG is one of the best backpacking packs on our list. The amazing mesh panel that rests on your back extremely well making it easy to carry heavier weight and account for great ventilation. Osprey really did an awesome job with it. The design is great and materials are high quality and can withstand a few years of rough backpacking trip. One of the best features of the Atmos is its angled water bottle pockets that allow you to reach out and grab your water bottle without the need to take off the backpack. All of the above makes for a real comfortable backpack that we highly recommend.
Although an overall great design we thought that the pockets on the hip belt are way too small which makes them almost unusable.
Weight: 4 lbs. 15.4 oz.
Capacity: 65, 75, 85, 95L
Pros: Quality materials and very comfortable.
Cons: Heavier than others on the list.
The Gregory Baltoro 75 we reviewed is a really comfortable backpack. A Response A3 suspension system does a great job of adapting to your body and terrain, which will make the pack feel extra comfy and light. The suspension, straps and padding are designed for heavy loads and are evidently made of quality materials. Very spacious due to its size and allows for plenty of versatility when it comes to packing. On the feature list is a swappable hip belt to custom fit any size backpacker.
The fact that the Gregory Baltoro 75 is designed as a heavy hauler makes it heavier than other backpack on the list.
Deuter knows a thing or two about backpacking packs and the Aircontact 75+10 is not an exception. Strong, tough and durable is what you’ll get with this backpack, it will be able to endure most if not all of your backpacking abuse. The extendable lid will add an extra 10L of volume and strong compression straps will help keep the volume regulated. A detachable rain cover will help keep the pack dry from downpours. A built in inside pocket for a water bladder will hold 2-3 liters.
While other backpacks on the list are more adjustable to custom sizes, we still found the Aircontact 75+10 one of our favorites.
Weight: 2 lbs. 2 oz.
Pros: Extremely light without reducing features.
Cons: Not so comfortable at the weight limit.
The ultra light design on the Granite Gear Crown 2 / 60 is impressive. This pack carries a lot of heat compared to its light weight: A fully adjustable hip belt, a molded foam back panel, compression molded frame sheet and a removable lid that will help keep your bag secured.
As long as you don’t intend to push the weight limit on the Gear Crown 2 you’ll be getting a very good, highly featured and light weight backpack. While it’s not uncomfortable it can get cumbersome.
Weight: 4 lbs. 13 oz.
Capacity: 65, 80L
Pros: Comfortable and spacious.
Cons: Not high end materials.
Kelty Coyote 65 is great for budget backpackers. True, its not high end as the others on this list but cheap. For a decent price tag you’ll get a comfortable enough backpack that is a one fit. The body adjustment system allows for personal fitting for your body measurements. Water bottle mesh pockets are a bit tight and might squeeze your water bottle or force you to take a smaller bottle. All in all a great backpack for entry level backpackers or those on a budget.
As expected, due to its lower price tag, the materials are not high end. Nothing to worry about though when you know what you are getting into.
Weight: 2 lbs. 2 oz.
Pros: Custom fit both horizontally and vertically.
The Bora is indeed an amazing bag, despite and perhaps because of its price tag. Its rugged and comfortable and allows fro some of the best head & neck movement that we have seen. Very comfortable on longer treks and is very durable, stays strong and will keep looking great even after a few years of use. The RotoGlide™ hip belt design is original and will rotate side-to-side and up and down for a natural stride that reduces chafing and improves balance. Its great integration with the back gives the use a feeling of floating while carrying impressive weight.
Only con here is the price. If you are looking to invest in a high end backpack this is most definitely for you.
Weight: 5 lbs.
Pros: Great ventilation system.
Cons: No hip belt pockets.
The Granite Gear Crown VC 60 is a well known pack that delivers. It’s very light weight and the quality is overall pretty good although we have found the straps and clips smaller than other packs on this list. On the new model, the suspension system has been upgraded and is called Vapor Current. Made out of molded foam that allows for air circulation from bottom to top.
Not a big deal but there are no hip belt pockets.
Weight: 5 lbs. 29 oz.
Pros: 15L detachable day pack.
Cons: One of the heaviest on the list.
The Roamm Nomad 65 +15 is great value for money wide. Packed with a lot features that provide for a very spacious backpack. The most prominent of those features is the detachable day pack which can come very handy. We were actually impressed with the overall good quality of the backpack, it seems like Roamm has thought of everything. The main compartment has access from all sides, which it very convenient to reach your stored items. Overall a good contender on our list of best backpacking packs.
The Nomad 65+15 is heavy but detaching the day pack will help.
Weight: 5 lbs. 3 oz.
Capacity: 60, 70, 85L
Pros: Great and comfy for heavy hauls.
Cons: Problematic bottom compartment.
The Osprey Aether AG 70 is back with a new design for 2018 which includes a mesh panel at the back of the pack. Super sturdy, the Aether is perfect for heavy lifting and mountaineering with a lot equipment. The hip belt will provides custom fitting to all sizes and overall the bag is made with quality materials (Including the zippers). LightWire tensioned, full peripheral frame comfortably transfers pack load. With top to bottom suspended mesh wraps shoulders, back and hips for a fully integrated backpanel fit.
While trying to pack a sleeping bag, we found it hard to completely seal the lower compartment. An annoyance but not a deal breaker.
Weight: 3 lbs. 11.9 oz.
Pros: Extremely waterproof.
Cons: A bit small.
The Mammut Trion Pro 50+7L bolsters a very durable nylon shell supporting a 5,000mm water column which makes the backpack entirety waterproof. Perfect for wet weather, the removable, floating top lid with powder skirt provides 7 liters of extra, weather-protected space for winter expeditions. With the zippered back panel you’ll get super easy access to the main compartment. An excellent backpack from an excellent company.
The smallest in terms of weight capacity from our list of best backpacking packs, so depending on the expedition you planning this might just suit your needs.