If you’re about to go on a multi-day trek or some other related trip, you’ll want to outfit yourself with one of the best travel backpacks and best expedition backpacks specially built to hold anything you need for several days. Although there are various choices available for the best expedition backpacks, you’ll need an outdoor backpack that’s up for the job if you’re trying to go on a long expedition.
We picked the best expedition backpacks with a size of 70 liters or more and reviewed them here. These backpacks provide ample packing space for more than five-day expeditions. Be mindful, though, that a backpack’s required capability depends heavily on the tools and supplies you need/choose to bring with you. Winter journeys, for example, require extra supplies such as crampons, gaiters, waterproof coats, etc. and hence often a larger backpack. Nonetheless, an expedition backpack should be packed enough to remain comfortable on your back and so the backpacks mentioned here could be too heavy for shorter trips.
Osprey Packs Aether AG 70 Men’s Backpacking Backpack comes with a custom fit harness and hipbelt, great for a week on the trail or gear-intensive weekend. For backpacking, thru-hikes, and alpine expeditions, the Aether AG Series has a pedigree. They set the bar for technical backpacking packs by combining Anti-Gravity technology with customizable fit and innovative features like the new convertible top lid to create a more capable and comfortable pack for long-haul load carrying on any multi-day excursion.
When you need a pack that can carry heavy loads for up to a week or more, there is no better option than the Aether AG 70. Ready for any adventure, the Aether series has the ability to travel all sorts of terrain and carry the proper tools to do so. The bungee tie off helps ensure your axe ice stays in place. You may also be interested in some of the best Osprey backpacks from our list, so check them out.
Removable top-lid converts to DayLid daypack
Top to bottom suspended mesh wraps shoulders, back, and hips for a fully integrated backpanel fit
Front stretch mesh pocket and zippered hipbelt pockets for quick storage
Large front J-zip provides quick access to the main compartment
Dimensions: 33″ H x 16″ W x 13″ D
Weight: 2.5 lbs
The top is a “day-back-pack” in which you can store small easy to reach gear
Long zipper on the outside of pack allowed to easy entry into the pack
There is a separate zip sleeping bag/pad compartment at the bottom of the pack
The 2 waist zipper pouches on the belt are perfect for lunch and snack food and folding knife
Need more cushion in the shoulder straps and hip straps
Built for whatever you throw at it, the TETON Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack, by TETON Sports is affordable and thoughtfully designed with your comfort in mind. The padded back panel is channeled for airflow and padded shoulder straps are adjustable for your size and load. In fact, the Explorer is fully adjustable in the torso, waist, chest, and shoulders. Get the perfect fit for your next adventure into the backcountry with the Explorer 4000.
This well built internal frame backpack has features you’re used to seeing on most higher-priced packs. You’ll be surprised by the quality and added features including pass-through side pockets for storing tent poles, etc. Hydration ready (bladder not included) up to 3-Liters. The high-quality Explorer4000 is loaded with features like a sleeping bag compartment, multi-directional compression straps, and multiple compartments and pockets for strategic packing. Be sure to also check out our list of internal frame backpacks for more great items like this.
Pass-through side pockets
Sleeping bag compartment
Brand: TETON Sports
Dimensions: 32″ H x 18″ W x 12″ D
Weight: 5 lbs
Relatively comfortable with large loads
Good pack if you want to modify it yourself
Three exterior zippered side pockets are useful for small stuff
The bottom pouch is difficult to access, due to the design of the bag
Appalachian, Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, Great Himalayan, Machu Picchu, Bibbulmun … you can hike them all. The Gregory Mountain Products Women’s Deva offers massive capacity and the constantly-adapting comfort of Response A3 suspension, allowing you to tackle the longest self-supported trips on your list. With enough room for any expedition plus the kitchen sink, this 85-liter monster is the largest all-season backpack in our line.
Pre‑curved, ergonomically tapered shoulder harness straps are available in multiple sizes, featuring LifeSpan foam and a new easy-change design that allows fine-tuning within each harness size. It also has a side-mounted, ergonomic, stow‑away bottle/accessory pocket with a mesh drawstring closure for securing loose items. A beloved Gregory feature.
Response A3 suspension for a comfortable, balanced carry.
Swappable 3-D hipbelt and shoulder harness for a custom fit.
LumbarTune to customize lower back support.
Integrated, color-matched rain cover.
SideKick doubles as daypack/hydration sleeve
Dimensions: 34″ H x 19.5″ W x 15.75″ D
Weight: 5.9 lbs
The lumbar pad adjustment is pure genius
The articulating straps that pivot at each hip and shoulder joint are amazing
The pad that rests over your lower back has a very nice sticky surface
This backpack comes with a removable day backpack that doubles as the water bladder sleeve
The water bottle holder can’t hold large water bottles
The Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack is a load hauler ideal for extended trips into the backcountry with support for heavy loads while adjusting easily for a custom fit. The perfect fit suspension offers one-size-fits-all versatility and comfort with an on-body adjustment system.
The Coyote offers a sleeping bag compartment to keep your gear organized and make packing a breeze. Plus, the top lid converts into a sling pack. This large liter pack holds everything you need, and the advanced CloudLock II suspension and dual LightBeam aluminum stay to give you outstanding support for your heaviest loads on extended trips in the backcountry.
Top Lid converts to sling pack
Zippered side pockets
Front pocket w/ organization
Stretch front pouch
Dimensions: 34″ H x 17″ W x 14″ D
Weight: 5.31 lbs
Well made, well stitched and tight
With a floating, removable, top pack, you can even strap a bear vault to this pack and extend the capacity by 7 plus more liters
The front panel excess is fantastic
The adjust as-you go suspension system works really well
Meet the big brother in the Nomad series. The Roamm Nomad 65 +15 Backpack comes with the same robust features as the Nomad 45 but with extra hauling capacity and an included detachable +15 liter daypack for peak bagging and unexpected side trips. Built to meet the demands of your inner explorer, the Roamm Nomad 65 +15 will quickly become your best friend and go-to pack for all of your wandering.
Whether you’re hitting the high mountain trails, crossing glacier fields, navigating jungles, or traveling the world, this fully featured pack offers all of the functions and comfort that you would expect from a company built on an adventure. Organize and access your gear with top, bottom, and side access to the main compartment, plus an adjustable sleeping bag diaphragm. Attach a solar panel, helmet, crampons, or anything else to the utility loops on top of the lid, and stash important gear or documents in the zippered mesh pocket inside
Adjustable shoulder harness
+15 full-featured detachable daypack
Dual ice axe/trekking pole loops
Oversized dual zippered pockets
Dimensions: 26″ H x 11″ W x 6″ D
Weight: 5.29 lbs
The pack is lightweight
There is one side zipper on the side of the pack to access your main compartment
There is a sleeping bag divider in side and a spot to hang a water bladder
The second pack is nice it has a mesh back where the shoulder straps are to hold extra gear when attached to the main pack
The buckles seem to hold up well but are a bit small
The Gregory Denali 100 Hiking Backpack remains the pinnacle of big- mountain expedition performance. With the ability to comfortably carry heavy loads into harsh environments over demanding terrain, this pack provides confidence and reliability every step of the way. The removable frame stays, top pocket, bivy pad, and hipbelt padding allow this pack to conform to the needs of the day. The extensive research and real-world expedition testing behind the development of the Denali 100 makes it not only the best technical big-mountain pack we have ever made but quite possibly the best anyone has ever seen.
By combining guide-tested essential features with the latest technology and materials, the Denali becomes lighter, stronger, and more versatile, while remaining balanced and comfortable under heavy gear loads over long distances and in technical terrain. Fusion Flex Pro suspension, strippable features, puncture- and abrasion-resistant winter construction, and alpine-ready components are just some of the elements behind the outstanding performance of this uncompromised alpine pack.
210D Nylon, 420D high-density Nylon
Top-loading design with full-length side slash zip access
Strippable aluminum frame stays, top lid, bivy pad, and hipbelt padding
Removable lid pocket with occipital cutout and security pocket on the underside
Ultra-durable expanding side pockets
Dual-access front panel pocket with zip-away internal divider
Dimensions: 36.5″ H x 15″ W x 13.2″ D
Weight: 6.23 lbs
It’s huge but compresses down to be a reasonable size
The cut is narrow for tight spaces, but not too tall either
The drawstrings are made for big bulky gloves
The buckles are color coded so you can quickly find where to attach instead of fumbling around for the right pair
The buckles don’t seem as stout as they used to be
The Osprey Aura AG 65 Women’s Backpacking Backpack is the best-fitting and most comfortable women’s-specific pack ever made for traditional backpacking trips. The innovative Anti-Gravity suspension makes it feel like you’re carrying less weight and seamlessly wraps around your body. With easy to use stretch side pockets, Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment, and FlapJacket for lidless use.
Dual upper and lower side compression straps stabilize loads and maintain a streamlined profile and dual access stretch mesh side pockets for storing water bottles and other gear. Also, the removable floating top lid with dual zippered pockets and web attachment points. Once the lid is removed, you have an integrated FlapJacket flap to protect your gear.
Dual ice tool loops with bungee tie-offs
Large front stretch mesh pocket
Removable sleeping pad straps
Sternum strap with safety whistle
Two zippered front pockets for additional storage
Dimensions: 33″ H x 15″ W x 16″ D
Weight: 4.42 lbs
Super comfortable, carries the weight well
Completely adjustable to properly fit your torso size and hips
Ventilated mesh by your back for airflow
Might need to add some padding such as sheepskin to the hip belt
The extraordinarily capable Gregory Deva 70L Pack – Women’s is a high‑performance hiker’s dream, thanks to its generous 70-liter capacity and ever-adapting, dynamic Response A3 Women’s suspension. From week-long winter outings to transcontinental treks, this women’s‑specific high-volume pack will never leave you wanting more.
An accurate torso measurement ensures the majority of the pack’s load is correctly transferred onto the main structure of the body – the hips. Pre-curved, ergonomically tapered hipbelts in multiple sizes, featuring LifeSpan foam and a new easy-change design for quickly finding the perfect custom fit. A removable EVA shim offers the user two stages of contouring in the lumbar region for the perfect fit.
Women’s-specific Response A3 suspension
Swappable 3-D hipbelt and shoulder harness for a custom fit
LumbarTune to customize lower back support
Integrated, color-matched rain cover
SideKick doubles as daypack/hydration sleeve
Dimensions: 28.5″ H x 17″ W x 13.5″ D
Weight: 5 lbs
The multi-compartment layout is amazing
The top part expands super wide, so you can dig around
The section that holds the sleeping bag can also have the divider removed if you need
The MOUNTAINTOP 80L Hiking Backpack has the zippered opening on the side to get to the inside middle of the bag. So, you can access the middle of the bag from outside without having to lift the top and empty everything to get to the middle. The torso height adjustment maxes out at 18″. You could use the front straps, or the top straps and secure the sleeping bag to the outside.
There is an 8 stage height adjuster at the back, held in place with a thick hardened area with magic tape. There is also a separate bladder sleeve in the main compartment. Big enough or a 3 liters hydration bladder. The hydration Access en the top for the tube. You can hold the bladder tube through the D shape loop which is on the shoulder strap.
Divider between the sleeping bag compartment
Separate bladder sleeve
8 stage height adjuster at the back
Front straps, or the top straps and secure the sleeping bag
Dimensions: 33.5″ H x 13.8″ W x 11.8″ D
Weight: 4.96 lbs
Shoulder straps are decently padded an comfortable
Sternum strap is easily height adjustable, has an elastic portion
Waist belt has zippered pockets on each side
The pockets are close to the kidney area, even on a smaller waist, but still accessible
Waist belt is decently padded, but is a single adjustment type
The TETON Sports Ultralight Plus Backpacks are a set of internal frame backpacks that have been developed by other rugged backpackers that can meet the demands of your most extreme adventures. They can adequately carry all the backpacking gear you need for any type of trip. While the size differences are great, the features and options of these packs are what set them apart from the rest:
The durable pack shell is made from treated 420D Oxford, which can stand up to even the roughest terrain in the most extreme parts of the world; oversized zipper pulls on the exterior pockets and main compartment zipper are easy to use, even with gloved fingers. Each of these backpacks provide superior comfort and a precise fit with the help of tension adjustments at the shoulders, chest, and torso. Aluminum stays provide strength and support right where you need it. Our handy guide to the best ultralight backpacks features more great products like this.
Multiple gear loops
Brand: TETON Sports
Dimensions: 34″ H x 15″ W x 17″ D
Weight: 6 lbs
It is, for the most part, comfortable
Shoulder straps & wishbone waistbelt are solid
With the compression straps, you can make the bag smaller at times you don’t need all the space
The back panels and the torso width are adjustable so they can be highly customized
Many straps and adjustments going on around waist and shoulders
It’s not enough for the pack to be solid, and to support loads of weight. It’s important to be able to hold it comfortably for many hours a day. Several components with potential adjustability are available, including hip belt, shoulder harness, load lifter, sternum strap.
A good expedition backpack will have plenty of space for your whole equipment. But that’s different from person to person, and there isn’t one perfect backpack for everyone. You will look for a backpack with a size well over 70 liters if you normally go on expeditions which are at least five days long. That should be enough for all your equipment with an excess of external attachment points. These large backpacks, however, are not very flexible and are not a perfect match for shorter journeys. That is, you’ll get a massive, pricey backpack that can only be used for very limited adventures.
The backpanel is a very useful part of the backpack because it allows ventilation so that you can evaporate the sweat off your back, rather than flow into your clothes and bag. The expedition backpacks in this guide have ventilated backpanels which are ergonomically formed. Most often have a suspended mesh fabric that provides a gap between the back and bag so that the air flows in between. This kind of design offers especially good ventilation.
In this review, all backpacks have an internal frame and they move the weight from the shoulders to the hips through the hip belt. It’s much safer to carry a heavy bag if the weight is shifted easily to the hips because the hips are protected by wider muscle groups than the arms. Research undertaken by Murdoch University in Australia found that hip belt raises stability levels and reduces exertion rates.
The best expedition backpacks for you should be very comfortable. And how is it that you make sure you have a very comfortable backpack? A few different things you need to look for – a ventilated backpanel with a thick padding, a thick hip belt, and a flexible and adjustable harness. The best backpacks come fitted with a height-adjustable harness so you can really get the personalized fit. The shoulder straps, waist belt, and sternum harness must all be fully adjustable.
We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best expedition backpacks as well as our guide on features to look for in an expedition backpack. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.