Best Budget Hiking Backpacks

10 Best Budget Hiking Backpacks in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: January 7, 2021)

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just an occasional hiker, having a budget-friendly hiking backpack is an easy decision to commit to, almost a necessary one to have. Luckily, we are now blessed with a variety of good if not great budget-friendly hiking backpacks. While studying different backpacks, we’re very impressed by the number of options you can have and still hike through your trails with success! Planning a hike on a wet hike? We have a guide for the best waterproof backpacks for hiking as well.

We’ve narrowed down the hundreds of hiking backpacks out there to the top 10 bests of the best. We’ve considered a number of features which we will elaborate on the last part of this review. We hope that we can get you the budget hiking backpack you’re looking for! But if you’re looking for some more high-quality backpacks for long trails, check out the best backpacking backpacks.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 9 hrs of research

Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Hiking Backpack

Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Hiking Backpack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • Lots of features not commonly found in other backpacks
  • Stitching is good quality
  • The hydration pack is great
  • Good support on chest and back

Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Backpack

Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Backpack – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • Lots of useful pockets
  • Side water pockets are big
  • Zippers are of great quality
  • Chest straps add comfort

Best Budget Hiking Backpacks – Overview

If you’re doubting whether buying a way affordable backpack for your hiking trip, we can totally understand you. While a lot of people may think, you get what you pay for, this top 10 list may just be an exception to that thought. Below are backpacks that have been tried and tested by thousands of users and have proven credibility and reliability as a must-have hiking backpack. For something a little more expensive but still within budget, we created a guide for the best hiking backpacks under $100.

Budget Hiking Backpacks Reviews

1. Outlander Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack

Outlander Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack

The Outlander Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack comes with a stylish look, this packable go-anywhere pack is for super-minimalists who make every gram count. Ultra-light. Ultra-durable. Ultra-awesome. The backpack is perfect for day-to-day use or occasional travel. When not in use, this backpack shrinks to the size of a generously sized hamburger.
So stow it away and unfurl it in an instant when the moment calls.

With a sleek design meeting a wide choice of colors, we’re confident this backpack will score as highly on looks as it does on functionality. Being a true space saver, add no unnecessary weight to your load. Stuff the bag into its own pocket for storage. This hiking backpack is made of highly rip-proof and water-resistant nylon, breathable mesh shoulder strap where stress points are reinforced and it has a durable 2-way AbrasionResistant SBS zipper. Our handy guide to the best ultralight backpacks features more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • Water-resistant
  • Durable 2-way AbrasionResistant SBS zipper
  • Wide variety of colors

Specifications:

  • Brand: Outlander
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Dimensions: 16.92″ H x 10.63″ W x 7.08″ D
  • Weight: <0.5 lbs
Pros
  • Spacious main compartment
  • Can be folded when not in use
  • Durable and can hold a lot
  • Cool on your back
Cons
  • Backpack can’t stand on its own

2. Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack Hiking Backpack

Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack Hiking Backpack

The Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack Hiking Backpack is an 18-Liter day pack that comes with its own 2-Liter hydration bladder and so much more! It’s designed with a low-profile cut that fits comfortably. You’ll get the best fit with the adjustable shoulder, chest, and waistbands. Shock-absorbing chest strap works with the rest of the harness to reduce bounce. Take it hiking, cycling, camping, backpacking, and anywhere you may need a bit of gear and a lot of on-demand water.

The Oasis1100 is light, adjustable, comfortable, and just the right price. It’s an 18-Liter backpack and a terrific companion for all your day-long or overnight outdoor adventures. It is designed with multiple compression straps so you can tighten your pack down for a great fit that will reduce bounce. An integrated rain cover keeps your pack (and the gear inside it) dry when it rains. It’s stored on the bottom of your pack and is sewn-in so you don’t have to worry about losing it on the trail. Love hydration backpacks? Check out our review of the best hydration packs for running for our top picks.

Key Features:

  • Free 2L hydration pack
  • Sewn-In rain cover included
  • Adjustable chest strap

Specifications:

  • Brand: Teton
  • Capacity: 18L
  • Dimensions: 18.5″ H x 10″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 2 lbs
Pros
  • Lots of features not commonly found in other backpacks
  • Stitching is good quality
  • Hydration pack is great
  • Good support on chest and back
Cons
  • Some users report bladder leakage

3. Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Hiking Backpack – Premium Pick

Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Hiking Backpack

The Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Hiking Backpack is at home on a 14,000-foot summit or on a trip to the local farmer’s market. Designed to attach to a number of Osprey’s larger packs and travel bags for use as a separate pod pack on day trips away from base camp, it is the perfect companion on any trip. Access to the main compartment is easy with a large zippered panel. Side mesh pockets hold water bottles and other items while a front pocket with a mesh organizer and key clip secure small items in a single secure spot.

The Daylite Series started out with humble beginnings, a simple accessory to attach to our larger packs. However, its lightweight, simplicity, durability, comfortable carry, and price have proven to be wildly popular, and today their popularity is undeniable. While the Daylite and Daylite Plus continue to serve well as add-on packs for traveling and more, they shine on their own with incredible versatility and are now available in an even more robust color palette than before. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best day packs for hiking.

Key Features:

  • Hydration pocket on back
  • Mesh-covered die-cut foam back panel
  • Attachable to other Osprey backpacks

Specifications:

  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Dimensions: 18″ H x 9″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
Pros
  • Includes a laptop sleeve
  • Light and comfortable
  • Durable and well known brand
  • Versatile uses
Cons
  • bely band is not detachable

4. Gonex Updated 35L Hiking Backpack

Gonex Updated 35L Hiking Backpack

The Gonex Updated 35L Hiking Backpack is a large backpack with a capacity of 35L, so it is large enough to carry what you need in the trip. It comes with water-repellent nylon and polyester fabrics and comes with a high-quality rain cover which you can just take from the bottom of the backpack. It has a front upper zipped pocket with an elastic rubber band string.

This backpack’s shoulder strap is very comfortable and has a soft sandwich mesh fabric. The waistband has a zipped pouched for quick access for your small items and even up to 5.5-inches phone. The back panel is a thickened 3D mesh fabric that strengthens comfort for your back to quite a significant extent.

Key Features:

  • Water-repellent material
  • High-quality rain cover included
  • Single contoured aluminum frame bar

Specifications:

  • Brand: Gonex
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 20.8″ H x 12.6″ W x 9.4″ D
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
Pros
  • Comparable to more expensive brands
  • Rain cover is a plus
  • Customized fit feel because of MotionFlex
  • Great back panel padding
Cons
  • Not a lot of pockets

5. Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Backpack – Best Value

Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Backpack

The Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Backpack provides several pockets for handy storage and convenient organization. In addition to its roomy main compartment, the backpack features two front zipper pockets for smaller items, an internal zippered pocket, and two open-mesh side pockets for quick access such as guide books, water bottles or umbrella. This hiking backpack is a true space saver. It is easy to fold the backpack to a small pocket(a sandwich size). Simply unfold from your checked bags and use it as a carry on for your excess baggage.

This hiking backpack is made of high-quality nylon material and professional skills to provide you with superb experience! To ensure its longevity, stress points are reinforced with numerous bar tacks and use 2-way Abrasion Resistant. It is perfect not just for a hiking day trip, but also for vacations, travel, camping, and even shopping! Make sure you also check our selection of the best lightweight hiking backpacks.

Key Features:

  • Multi-compartments in pockets
  • Foldable when not in use
  • Shoe compartment included

Specifications:

  • Brand: Venture Pal
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 13″ W x 7.5″ D
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs
Pros
  • Lots of useful pockets
  • Side water pockets are big
  • Zippers are of great quality
  • Chest straps add comfort
Cons
  • Backpack looks a little too long

6. Zomake Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack

Zomake Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack

The Zomake Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack is designed for everyday use or short travel adventures, the ZOMAKE backpack works well as a carry-on, day-trip pack, or small backpack. The go-anywhere bag offers a sleek stylish look and exceptionally useful packing space—all in a lightweight design that’s perfect for savvy, minimalist packers. The daypack’s adjustable breathable straps ensure a proper fit and comfortable all-day use.

The ZOMAKE daypack provides several pockets for handy storage and convenient organization. In addition to its roomy main compartment, the backpack features one front zipper pocket for smaller items, an internal zippered pocket, and two open-mesh side pockets for quick access such as guide books and camera or water bottle and umbrella. Adding no unnecessary weight to your load, it weighs 0.55lbs. It fits into an ultra-compact pouch. Easy to folds up into small pocket (Sandwich size). So you can easily pack it in your suitcase for use at their destination as an extra bag for the trip.

Key Features:

  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Folds up and lightweight
  • Waterproof material

Specifications:

  • Brand: Zomake
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Dimensions: 16.5″ H x 11.8″ W x 7.1″ D
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs
Pros
  • Lots of useful pockets
  • Side water pockets are big
  • Zippers are of great quality
  • Chest straps add comfort
Cons
  • Material has a thin style

7. G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack

G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack

The G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack is lightweight but durable to carry for your trip. Roomy capacity and multiple pockets to hold your travel and camping gears. The top double sided pouch can be used to store smaller items for better organization and foldable pouch when not in use. The main compartment is further secured with a top double sided pouch that offers additional storage. Inside the main compartment, you will find a fabric divider with elastic that can hold your computer.

One of the special features of this backpack is an elastic bungee and strap for tying up your pack or hanging sleeping bag, mat, hammock, tripod and other gears. There are four strings on the middle part and the bottom part. The chest clips will help to secure the load and it is also a whistle. You can blow your whistle for help when in danger to find your companions. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best packable backpacks for hiking.

Key Features:

  • High capacity up to 40L
  • Practical design and full-featured for hiking
  • Folds up to handy side

Specifications:

  • Brand: G4Free
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 22.8″ H x 13.4″ W x 7.9″ D
  • Weight: 0.79 lbs
Pros
  • Large capacity
  • Water-resistant
  • Durable material
  • Whistle is pretty cool and adds safety
Cons
  • Shoulder padding can be thickened

8. Mountaintop 28L/40L Hiking Backpack

Mountaintop 28L/40L Hiking Backpack

The Mountaintop 28L/40L Hiking Backpack is impressively practical for shorter treks and boasts an excellent value. The main compartment has an array of internal dividers including a space suitable for holding a hydration bladder and tube compartment to keep you organized on the go, while still leaving plenty of extra space for your other necessities. With its padded shoulder straps and a chest strap to distribute weight, the pack is easy to wear. YKK zippers and yarn fabric ensure that this pack will be around for a long, long time.

The backpack includes an adjustable hip belt on this bag that fits waist sizes 25–55 inches. If your torso is longer than 52 centimeters, then you’ll want a larger pack, those that allow a capacity of 50 or more liters. An adjustable sternum strap, breathable molded foam back panel, and S-shaped shoulder straps ensure you can properly carry the weight of your gear, and bottom pocket allows access to the main one, it is not a separate compartment, just allows easy access.

Key Features:

  • YKK zipper and YKK buckle
  • Includes rain cover
  • Adjustable hip belt

Specifications:

  • Brand: Mountaintop
  • Capacity: 28/40L
  • Dimensions: 21.7″ H x 13.8″ W x 6.3″ D
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
Pros
  • Lots of useful pockets
  • Side water pockets are big
  • Zippers are of great quality
  • Chest straps add comfort
Cons
  • Material has a thin style

9. OlarHike Hiking Backpack

OlarHike Hiking Backpack

The OlarHike Hiking Backpack is designed for everyday use or short day travel and hiking. Our backpack works well as a carry-on, day-trip pack or packable daypack. The Lightweight design is perfect for savvy minimalist packers. A great option for those who love practicality and portability. A ripstop-nylon construction sheds rain and prevent rain penetration effectively.

This hiking backpack provides several pockets for handy storage and convenient organization. In addition to its roomy main compartment, the backpack features two front zipper pockets for smaller items, an internal zippered pocket, and two open-mesh side pockets for quick access such as guide books, water bottle or an umbrella. At only 0.65lb! This hiking backpack is super lightweight and is definitely a great companion for your hike.

Key Features:

  • Scratch and water-resistant material
  • Subtle reflective strap for the dark
  • Adjustable chest strap

Specifications:

  • Brand: OlarHike
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 19″ H x 12″ W x 6″ D
  • Weight: 0.65 lbs
Pros
  • No zipper cover on the outer front pocket to avoid getting caught
  • Larger mesh side pockets easily fit extra liter-sized water bottles more comfortably
  • Chest Strap with whistle buckle on the back helps keep contents tight and secure
  • Front pocket for phone
Cons
  • “Netting” on the inside of shoulder may not be preferred by some

10. Sunhiker Hiking Backpack

Sunhiker Hiking Backpack

The Sunhiker Hiking Backpack has a highly tear-resistant and water-resistant nylon. It is lightweight and can provide you with long-term security even for daily use. It has breathable mesh shoulder straps which help relieve the stress of shoulder. It offers multiple compartments for enough place to save your belongings in a more detailed classification. There are also water bottle holders on both sides.

With the presence of adjustable chest and hip straps, the weight distribution of this backpack is fantastic. There are two compression straps on the side to keep your things intact. This backpack is perfect for beginners or simply light packers. It also comes in a variety of bright colors to suit everyone’s taste.

Key Features:

  • High-quality tear and water-resistant nylon
  • Mesh back panel
  • Adjustable chest and hip straps

Specifications:

  • Brand: Sunhiker
  • Capacity: 20-25L
  • Dimensions: 15.8″ H x 9.4″ W x 5.9″ D
  • Weight: 0.76 lbs
Pros
  • Comfortable fit
  • Two pouches for water bottles with straps for additional security
  • Fits a lot of stuff
  • Chest straps add comfort
Cons
  • Mesh back panel may not be preferred by some users

Buying Guide

Quality

When picking a budget hiking backpack, the first feature that may come into your mind is the quality. Is the backpack durable enough to at least last short days of hiking? Will it rip halfway through or can it resist water in case an unexpected rain falls on your way down? It is understandable that these would be your primary concerns for a cheap backpack and they are valid. The top ten on our list can assure you these features as these have all been tried and tested by many hikers, beginners, and pros.

Size

The size depends on how much you normally pack or would pack. The weight of the backpack has been a significant factor when users choose their backpack. The good news is that most companies have come up with very lightweight hiking backpacks now, ideally, a backpack less than a pound is very common for hiking backpacks.

Breathability

The breathability of the backpack is highly important when choosing a hiking backpack. Hiking is already hard enough and a tight, not well-ventilated back panel can just make it a rougher hike. Unless you don’t mind sweating more calories and heat out then it might even work to your advantage! A budget backpack may not have a high-end well-constructed back panel but based on our research, meshed back panel does help some users when it comes to breathability.

Materials

The material definitely matters. Nothing else can hold up all your stuff while you’re navigating a steep mountain. Ensuring that a backpack can stay intact is a high priority in our study. It is good to note that most of these budget backpacks were meant for a day hike or a light hike nonetheless. Yes, most of these may be able to hold 30L up to even 45L but we suggest that you also allow for some allowance when putting much heavier stuff in our trip. Regardless, there have been a lot of pro hikers who have used these backpacks and found no problem.

Value

Well, value is probably the theme of this study. All these budget hiking backpacks are definitely worth it not just because of their price but definitely because of the key features and quality they offer. An extremely cheap backpack that will rip out in an hour is definitely not worth it no matter how cheap. We kept in mind and made sure that these 10 selected budget hiking backpacks can absolutely not disappoint you.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best budget hiking backpacks as well as our guide on features to look for in a budget hiking backpack. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.