One of the most crucial things that every hiker be it a beginner or an expert needs is a good hiking backpack. However, as most brands out there cater solely to professional hikers, their backpacks are pretty feature-heavy and expensive as well. As a result, it becomes very difficult to find a good backpack on a budget.
However, that is what we are here for as today we will talk to you about the best budget hiking backpack. We have tested these bags on the trails and personally at home as well to give you the best possible review experience. In addition to that, we will also be talking about a few factors that you must consider and keep in mind while buying your hiking backpack. So, without wasting any more time, let us get into it.
Things You Should Keep In Mind
First Things First: A common mistake that beginner hikers often do while shopping for camping gear is that they tend to get the backpack first. Do not do this. What you would rather want to do is buy your shelter first, then your sleep system, and then finally your backpack. Now the question may arise that why so? Well, the thing is these are the things that you will be packing inside your backpack. So according to the size of those, you will need to select your backpack as well.
Do Not Cut The Budget: Budget is a very subjective thing. So what you are willing to spend on your hiking backpack depends entirely upon you. However, that does not mean you can get a good hiking backpack for very cheap. These types of backpacks are made from very durable materials and are not like your average backpack. So make sure you have a decent budget in hand to spend on these.
According To Size: Hiking backpacks come in different shapes and sizes. Now you might be attracted to getting a bigger backpack as it will be able to pack more stuff. This is will not be a wise decision, and here is why. Getting a large backpack will not solve your problems, because big backpacks are tall in size as well. And you would not want to get anything that does fit in with the length of your torso. Keep in mind that bigger backpacks will be heavier to carry as well.
TETON is a very well known brand in the hiking and camping community. Ask any outdoor aficionado and they will be able to tell you how that their products are always top of the line. Being such a high-quality brand, TETON serves beginners and budget buyers as well. The TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack is an example of that.
Even though it might look like a simple backpack, it has some wildly outdoor capabilities and that is what makes it so special. Starting off, it comes in a number of different colors, so you are not limited to your choices here. You can choose whichever suits you the best. The unique part about this backpack that made us like it over others is its portability factor. We have tested a lot of hiking backpacks, and we can ensure you that the size to service factor that the TETON Sports Oasis is very rare.
Being at 18 liters, this is not a very huge bag, but do not judge it by its size because it still holds on to quite a lot of stuff. And if that wasn’t enough, they have included a hydration bladder as well. The bladder is around 2 liters and has a push lock cushion valve system, which is enough to keep you well hydrated on a short hike. One common feature that is often not included in budget hiking backpacks is bungee cords. However, the TETON Sports Oasis does not shy away from that as it has a front panel filled with bungee cords to keep in-store small handy items. There are compression straps as well in order to keep everything in place. While they might not be in plenty, but you still get a few attachments to hook up carabiners.
Now let us come to the part which matters the most and that is how is the main compartment. Keeping in mind that this is a compact backpack it still has more than enough space inside with organization being its main priority rather than space. As the hydration pack is completely separate from the main compartment, you do not have to worry about any leaks. There is a rain cover as well to keep the backpack protected from the rainy weather.
For any backpack be it big or small, padding is crucial. Because if the backpack does not have good padding then you won’t be able to carry it around comfortably. The TETON Sports Oasis has decent padding provided and has a good mesh lining. Even though the padding is not the best, you won’t be taking this on long hikes anyway. It is more than enough for the price that you will be paying for it. In case you are packing heavy and the backpack seems to be swaying here and there then you can take the help of the hip belt to put everything locked up.
Value for money
Can be used for multi-purposes like running as well
Can be used as a daily backpack as well
The tube on the hydration pack is a bit too long.
2. Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack
If the TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack is not big enough for you then the Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack will be quite a good upgrade, considering that it is a bump in size and also has additional features as well.
Better In Comfort
As we mentioned earlier that while looking for budget hiking backpacks, you will not be able to get a full package and some corners will surely get cut out. The reason why we test these bags is so that we are able to give you a detailed and personal experience review so that you can get the best bank for your buck, regardless of what your budget is. When it came to the TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack, it did not get such good marks on the comfortability factor. However, the Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack does excel in that department. Instead of substandard mesh material padding, the backpack has sponge padding surrounding it, keeping your shoulders at ease at all times. Even though the sponges do add up a bit of weight, that is compensated by the inclusion of breathable mesh that is there to keep you cool and dry. The shoulder straps are adjustable and you can manoeuver them according to your preference. Often at times, when you are carrying a lot of gear, things get to move around a bit when you are hiking and cause discomfort. Thanks to the chest strap feature this won’t be an issue and everything will be securely locked in place.
For any hiking backpack, the availability of storage compartments is more important than anything else. Because what good will a hiking backpack be if it cannot pack stuff. I would say that the Venture Pal Lightweight has more than enough pockets and compartments to deal with. Starting off, there are two pockets on the side for storing water bottles. Two front pockets with zippers and one main compartment. You can get the backpack in different sizes and space inside will vary accordingly. No matter which size you go for, even the smallest size variant is more than enough for a day’s hike. You can always upgrade according to your preference. Inside the compartment, you will be able to see there is a divider to keep your wet things separate from the dry ones and helps a great deal to keep everything organized.
It might not be as small as other compact backpacks, but as it is made from lightweight nylon material, there is very little addition of weight to the backpacks. This lightweight factor also makes the backpack very compact as well. Something magical that we found out was that you can fold it into the zipped inner pocket for easy storage and handling. This means that you can easily fold and unfold the backpack according to your use and preference. Be it trains, buses or airplanes, this one is a fit in for all.
So, Should You Get It?
Whether or not you will get a particular hiking backpack or not depends on a number of factors, with your trail and use being the major points. In the case of the Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack, there is no doubt that it is a great option for normal hiking or other outdoor activities. However, if what you want is a heavy-duty hiking backpack to match with your rough hiking, then this might not be the best option to go for. Other than that there aren’t many complaints.
Comes in a number of different sizes and colors.
Easy to carry.
Multiple small compartments.
Not very durable.
The zippers are a bit flimsy.
3. Piscifun WaterprVenture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypackoof Dry Bag Backpack
After talking about the Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack, it is time to have a look at its big brother the Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Backpack. With the 40L model, Venture upgraded and did everything better in comparison to the basic Pal variant. So how is it similar to different in comparison?
Well, other than the name and the built style, there aren’t any major similarities. Because the 40L version is a completely different type of backpack catered for a different type of user. Starting off with the build, while it might look similar to the base model, this one is built very well and has a thicker nylon material. However, there is nothing to worry about because it does not add any significant weight to the backpack. It has the same pockets on the side, but bigger and with more security. A major upgrade on this one is that of the wet pocket. While the base model might have been waterproof, this one has a separate waterproof compartment to make things easier. This acts perfect for your sweaty or wet clothes.
Big hiking backpacks like these need to be made very well so that they can last the tide and trails. The venture is very well aware of the fact that this backpack will be used by long time hikers and that is why they have made this like a rock. The nylon material on it is lightweight, high quality, and won’t tear off very easily.
Keeping in mind that this is a 40L backpack, the space inside it is plenty. However, the problem with huge camping backpacks is that they are not very good at managing all this space. Fortunately, with its multi-compartment designs and pockets, the task of organizing your stuff becomes much easier here.
Easy to carry and fold into.
Good organizing features.
Value for money.
The interior could have been better.
4. Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag – Roll Top Dry Compression Sack:
The majority of the hiking backpacks found on the market tend to be very generic and similar looking. So if you are looking to have something different, there aren’t really many options. Regardless, there is nothing to worry about because we got you covered. We have found out the Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag and it is a complete gem.
The very first thing that will catch your attention is the design and very likely so. It does not look like a traditional hiking backpack at all. Many traditional and old school hikers may argue that this does not serve the purpose of a hiking backpack. Well, we think it does and we will tell you why.
You need your hiking backpack to be durable so that it can overcome even the toughest of conditions. As the same suggests the Earth Pak is built to be a completely dry backpack. And that they do very well thanks to the unique material from which it is made. We made it undergo several severe durability tests and water tests and it did not drop a sweat.
A really nice touch that we do not see from outdoor gear companies is that they also give you a phone case along with the bag. This isn’t your regular phone case but rather a very special one. It is a 6.5-inch waterproof phone that is IPX8 certified. Meaning that it won’t let any water whatsoever enter your phone. It would have been quite an expensive phone cover if it was sold separately.
Keeping Comfort Away
Now, be aware of the fact that this backpack has only one shoulder strap. Meaning that it won’t be the best of the bunch if you are looking for comfort. However, there is a trick to it if you want the best comfort for you and that is by choosing the right size. This bag comes in a number of sizes starting from 10L to a max of 55L, so you get to choose from a wide variety. Even though it has one single strap, it is very comfortable and won’t be much of a hassle to carry around with on your trails. The only downside I would give it is that the heavy-duty waist belt comes only with the 55L version. Other than that we don’t have any hard feelings with this one.
The single strap allows it to be worn in multiple ways.
Comes in different colors and sizes.
Added rugged and durable phone cover.
Some people might not like the single strap unique design.
We were looking to review something that was not from one of the top outdoor gear brands but will also hold immense quality and value for money as we are talking about the best budget hiking backpack that you can find out there. G4Free might not be your household brand, but they sure make some excellent outdoor gear like the G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack 40L Travel Camping Daypack Foldable.
Okay, so what is it that is making us drool over this backpack. Out of the different features in hand, the thing that stands out the most is how lightweight it is in comparison to the size and price point. When you are going out on a hiking trip, your gear will always add weight to the backpack and that is why you would want your backpack as light as possible. Despite keeping such a low weight it still has all the necessary features needed for a backpack of this stature.
Starting off at 40L, the storage capacity will be more than enough for your long trips. And thanks to the lightweight factor you can carry it around on short trips as well. Even though it is not the largest backpack out there, what you get for the price is truly amazing.
Do not judge it by its price because it gives quite the comfort for what you are paying for. The nylon fabric of which it is made up is of good quality and will surely last a very long time. In addition to the main compartment, there are several pockets and pouches on it to make things easier for you. Summing everything up, this backpack provides a very good overall performance and build quality in terms of a budget backpack. Comfort, durability, and overall budget. This is something you cannot get wrong with.
Very Well made for the price.
Provides a bit of everything on small scales.
We could not find any major problems
6. ZOMAKE 30L Lightweight Packable Backpack Water Resistant Hiking Daypack
Almost all hiking backpacks in the market carry a design that is very outdoorsy and big. You cannot really use these backpacks other than taking them hiking or other outdoor activities. If you are looking for something that will serve the purpose of hiking, but you will also be able to carry it around everywhere then look no further than the ZOMAKE 30L Lightweight Packable Backpack Water Resistant Hiking Daypack. It is a very versatile backpack giving you the best of both worlds. Starting off with the design it literally looks like a bag you will carry to school and not a hiking backpack. Do not let the looks deceive you because it is still something that you can use for hiking. If you think that this backpack is small then wait till you hear its capacity. It has a whopping capacity of 30 Litres. Along with the main compartment of the backpack, there are two zipped front pockets, two side pockets as well as external attachment points. spacious pockets keep all things organized and separated, it’s roomy enough for your laptop, tablet, clothes, towel, journal, and a couple of beers.
The folding options are usually seen on more expensive backpacks. Consider yourself lucky as you are getting it on this one. The great thing about this is that you can easily fold the backpack into its own pocket for storage. It is something very easy to do. The build quality might not be the best in the market but still provides decent water resistance thanks to the double layering. While testing, we have often seen that backpacks of this price point do not have good zippers. As small as it might seem to be, you wouldn’t want a faulty zipper on your hike. Fortunately, the zippers on this one are very nice and sturdy.
If you are looking for the best budget hiking backpack with a tall design then the FENGDONG 40L Waterproof Lightweight Backpack would be your best bet. It will also be an option to consider if you are looking to get something with good waterproof abilities.
The FENGDONG 40L Waterproof Lightweight backpack is a very comfortable one because of its breathability features. It has a mesh design that will keep you cool and dry throughout your hike. However, it does add any significant weight because of that. As you can already guess from the size of the backpack there is plenty of space to accommodate your hiking needs. As we mentioned before, this bag’s specialty lies in its waterproofing capabilities. The waterproofing system on this one is better than the more expensive backpacks.
It might look very large and bulky, but once you pack everything inside and it takes shape then it will be very comfortable to carry as it only weighs 1.9 pounds. The pocket storage can be folded and unfolded as well according to your need. This is also something you get on the more expensive backpacks.
If you do not like the heavy and bulky aspect of most backpacks out there, then the Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack with 2L BPA Free Bladder will be the right one for you. Small and minimal hiking backpacks like this don’t usually have a hydration bladder. However, this one does. A full 2-liter BPA-free food-grade one to be precise. A 2-liter hydration bladder is perfect for all hikes, be it long or short.
There are many of you out there who like to hike in the cold weather. For them, this backpack will be a blessing because it comes with a thermal insulation bladder. So you can sip on some warm fluids from time to time. Space inside might not be plenty, but it isn’t small as well. The three compartments will help you out to keep your clothes, keys, and other necessary small items secured. Many hikers often complain that hydration bladders on budget backpacks are not very good and they leak often. While this is true, the bladder on the Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack has a leakage proof design. We have tested its bladder for a very long time and it did not show any issues whatsoever.
Backpacks of this design and style are very fun to use because of their portability factor. The Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack is so lightweight that you won’t even feel like you are carrying something on your back. And that is what you would want to look for in your hiking backpack.
The Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L Travel Camping Backpack with Rain Cover will probably be the big daddy of this list as it gives you whole lore more than its price. It gives everything that you would have found in other expensive brands like Teton.
Starting off, we would suggest everyone get the 50L variant of this. Because that will be the best value for money according to all the features. Now, if you ask us who this backpack is for we would say everyone who likes to go for a hike. While many beginner hikers shy away from carrying a larger backpack, we would rather say that a larger backpack makes things rather easier as you will be able to carry a lot. However, if you still want something small then you can go for the smaller variants as well.
Despite being quite large, it still gives the opportunity for easy access to your hiking gear. Do not let all the belts and cords confuse you because once you fit everything in and start using it, you will find everything to be quite easy and fun.
The last one might come as a surprise to you and very likely so because Osprey’s products are actually not that budget-friendly and tend to cost a bit more than average. However, if you do have your eyes set on the best budget hiking backpack then surely give this a check. For all those of you who do not know, Osprey is one of the top companies in the outdoor gear industry and the Osprey Talon 22 Men’s Hiking Backpack speaks quality all around. It might not have a whole lot of features and pockets, but what it does it does that great. While other backpacks might give you a whole lot of extra space, we can say without a doubt that this is one of the most comfortable backpacks on the list. This comfort comes from additional ventilation with very minimum padding to keep things nice and simple.
Even though we have said that it does not pack much, that is not entirely true. Because its attachments like the one for the helmet, bungee, trekking poles, and ice ax loops are not something you find in every other backpack. All these additional things make this a very versatile hiking backpack. All in all, we would like to say that the Osprey Talon 22 Men’s Hiking Backpack is a simple, straightforward, and no-nonsense hiking backpack. It almost does everything perfectly.