Hiking

12 of The Best Hiking Backpacks Under $100 – Buying Guide

best hiking backpacks for under $100All hikers need a backpack. It is in this piece of hiking gear that they can keep all their equipment, accessories, and gadgets. If you are camping out overnight, it is also how you will carry your tent and sleeping bag. There are lots of options available and this guide aims to give you all the information you need to buy the best backpacks available. There are also reviews of 12 of the best hiking backpacks under $100 to help you decide which backpack to buy.

Quick Overview of The Best Hiking Backpacks Under $100

Backpacks Having Capacity Under 50L

NameCapacityWeightPrice
Outlander Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack20-33L0.46-0.50 lbsCheck Price
Hikpro Hiking Daypack For Men & Women20L0.47 lbsCheck Price
Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Hiking Daypack35L0.7 lbsCheck Price
Mountaintop Hiking Backpack with Rain Cover40L2.1 lbsCheck Price
Mubasel Gear Packable Lightweight Backpacks35L0.66 lbsCheck Price
G4Free Lightweight foldable Hiking Daypack40L0.8 lbsCheck Price

Backpacks Having Capacity of 50L or 50L+

NameCapacityWeightPrice
Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Hiking Backpack65L5 lbsCheck Price
OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack50L2.4 lbsCheck Price
Mountaintop 70L/75L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack70-75L4.2-4.3 lbsCheck Price
Mardingtop 65L Hiking Backpack with Rain Cover65L5.8 lbsCheck Price
Loowoko Hiking Backpack with Rain Cover50L2.6 lbsCheck Price
OUTLIFE Hiking Backpack Lightweight Trekking Bag60L2.2 lbsCheck Price

Best Hiking Backpacks Under $100 (Under 50L)

1. Outlander Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack

This light and compact backpack can carry all the bits and bats you need while enjoying a short day hike as it has a capacity of 33 liters.

Durable:

The backpack is made from rip-proof and water-resistant fabric so that it is long-lasting. It also has bar-tracking reinforcement on stress points.

Strong Zippers:

The zippers on this backpack are 2-way abrasion-resistant SBS metal zippers and these are both durable and easy to use.

Lightweight:

This backpack is perfect for day hiking as it is lightweight at only 0.5 pounds. It is also compact as it folds into an inner zippered pocket.

Multiple Compartments:

You can store plenty of items in this backpack. It has a main compartment, an inner zippered pocket, two zippered front pockets, and two elasticized side pockets. It has also been updated to feature a carabiner clip.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Lots of compartments
  • Durable
  • Compact
  • Water-resistant
  • Carabiner

Cons

  • Flimsy material
  • Weak side pockets

Final Verdict

This is the best cheap hiking backpack if you are only an occasional day hiker and do not need to carry lots of extra gear.

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2. Hikpro Hiking Daypack For Men & Women

This budget hiking backpack holds more than you would expect from first sight and is great for traveling.

Good Shoulder Straps:

The shoulder straps of this backpack are wide and made using breathable mesh. It is easy to adjust the length for a comfortable fit.

Storage Compartments:

This backpack has a large main storage compartment that holds 20L, plus an inner zippered pocket and an extra zippered pocket on the front. It also has two elasticized mesh pockets on the sides.

Lightweight:

At only 7.5 ounces, this is a lightweight option that will not weigh you down while enjoying the outdoors.

Durable Materials:

It is made from a tear-resistant nylon material that is water-resistant. It is reinforced in 14 places and has abrasion-resistant SBS metal zippers.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Spacious main compartment
  • Easy to organize belongings
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Durable
  • Color options

Cons

  • Flimsy material
  • Lacks structure
  • No padding

Final Verdict

This ultralight backpack is great for occasional day hikers, travelers, and people who are enjoying outdoor activities on vacation.

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3. Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Hiking Daypack

A lightweight and compact option, this backpack works well for both outdoor activities and for traveling abroad.

Lightweight and Collapsible:

This bag folds neatly into its inner zip for easy storage and unfolds just as easily. At only 0.7 pounds, this is also a lightweight option.

Comfortable:

The shoulder straps are made using breathable mesh and have sponge padding for comfort. The straps are adjustable to get the best fit and the chest strap will keep the backpack in place.

Good Storage:

This backpack has a spacious main zippered compartment that has a 35L capacity and it has two separators to create different storage spaces inside. There is also a large zippered outer pocket and two elasticized side mesh pockets.

Durability:

It is made from strong, long-lasting, tear-resistant, and water-resistant fabric. The bottom of the bag has a double-layer piece for extra wear and tear and there are bar-tracks at major stress points for extra reinforcement. It has heavy-duty two-way SBS metal zippers.

Pros

  • Folds into inner pocket
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Good straps
  • 35L capacity
  • Multiple compartments

Cons

  • Poor inside lining
  • Flimsy structure

Final Verdict

The Venture Pal Backpack works well as a carry-on option when traveling abroad and is also good for general single-day outdoor activities.

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4. Mountaintop Hiking Backpack with Rain Cover

This backpack offers multiple options for storage and is a durable item that is suitable for outdoor use.

Adjustable Straps:

It comes with six adjustable straps that you can use to tighten or expand the backpack. You can also use them to secure or hang your gear.

Space for a Laptop:

This backpack has multiple compartments, including one designed to fit a laptop. There is also a compartment for a hydration reservoir. In addition to the main compartment, there is also a front zippered pocket with an internal mesh pouch, a middle zippered pocket, an inner zippered pocket, and an elasticized side mesh pocket.

Spacious:

This backpack has a capacity of up to 40L, which is one of the most spacious hiking backpacks under $50.

Pros

  • Good storage options
  • 6 adjustable straps
  • Attachment points
  • Breathable back panel
  • Durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Bottom zippered access

Cons

  • Heavy at 2.1 lbs
  • Hip belt not removable

Final Verdict

This is one of the best hiking backpacks under $100 for people who want a multi-functional item they can use both for their outdoor activities and in their daily lives.

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5. Mubasel Gear Packable Lightweight Backpacks

For general use as a day-to-day backpack and not for overnight hikes, this is one of the best cheap hiking backpacks.

Lightweight and Compact:

This is a lightweight backpack as it weighs only 0.7 pounds. It is also compact and foldable as you can fold it into its own internal pocket for neat storage when not in use.

A Range of Compartments:

There are plenty of storage options with this backpack. It has a large main compartment that has a capacity of 35L. It also has two front zipper pockets for storing smaller items and two side mesh pockets.

Materials:

This backpack is made from durable materials that can withstand day-to-day wear and tear. However, it is not intended for use as a backpack for serious outdoor pursuits enthusiasts that spend time in extreme conditions.

Shoulder Straps:

The shoulder straps have extra padding so the straps don’t dig in or put extra strain on your shoulders.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Storage options
  • Guarantee
  • Color options
  • Budget hiking backpack

Cons

  • Not for heavy use outdoors
  • Poor-quality fabrics

Final Verdict

This is more suited for use as a camping backpack than as a hiking backpack for serious hikers, but it is good value for money.

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6. G4Free Lightweight foldable Hiking Daypack

One of the best affordable hiking backpacks for day hikes and overnight hikes, this backpack has many appealing features.

Lightweight and Compact:

This is a reasonably lightweight option as the backpack weighs 12.7 ounces. It is compact as you can fold it into a small pocket to store away neatly.

Adjustable Straps:

The shoulder straps are made from breathable material and are padded to prevent putting pressure on your shoulders. The straps are also adjustable to fit both men and women and have a chest clip to distribute weight more evenly.

Good Compartments:

This is one of the best affordable hiking backpacks in terms of the compartments. It has a capacity of 40L which is ideal for day hikes or one night away. The main compartment is spacious and other compartments include an interior top ouch, an exterior top pouch, a front spandex pouch, and two sports bottle holders.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Good adjustments
  • Compartment options
  • Water and tear-resistant

Cons

  • Does not hold its shape
  • Single stitching on some seams

Final Verdict

This is a cheap yet versatile backpack that you can use for everyday purposes as well as day hiking or single overnight treks.

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Best Hiking Backpacks Under $100 (50L or 50L+)

1. Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Backpack

This is the best affordable hiking backpack that is suitable for both men and women, thanks to its adjustable features.

Capacity and Compartments:

It has a capacity of 65L and has many compartments. These include a main compartment, a separate sleeping bag compartment, weather-shielded side pockets, and both internal and external compartments for storage of smaller items.

Adjustable Features:

One of the best aspects of this backpack is that it has many adjustable features. This means it is suitable for both men and women and you can adjust it to fit all shapes and sizes. It has an adjustable torso length, making it one of the best hiking backpacks under $100 for tall people. The shoulder straps, chest strap, and hip belt are all adjustable.

Comfortable:

This backpack is comfortable to wear, and this is not just because of the adjustable features. It has reinforcement in stress areas, padding to the straps, and features to improve breathability and reduce the amount your back will sweat while carrying the backpack.

Pros

  • Good capacity
  • Decent compartments
  • Great adjustable features
  • Rainfly
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • None

Final Verdict

This is one of the best budget hiking backpacks for both men and women as the adjustable features mean this is a comfortable backpack to carry and it has a decent capacity to accommodate everything you need for an overnight hike.

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2. OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack

For those who enjoy day hiking, this is one of the best backpacks available.

Multipurpose:

The design of this bag means it is suitable for a variety of activities, including hiking, camping, travel, and everyday activities. You can even use it as carry-on luggage.

Weatherproof:

The fabric of this backpack is water-resistant, and it comes with a waterproof rain cover to use during heavier showers.

Compartments:

The main compartment has a 50L capacity. There is also a compartment for a laptop and another to store the supplied rain cover. It also has a range of internal and external pockets for smaller items and two elasticated mesh side pockets for sports bottles.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Weatherproof
  • Rain cover included
  • Lots of pockets
  • Multipurpose
  • Lightweight at 2.4 pounds
  • Color options

Cons

  • Flimsy fabric
  • Weak zippers

Final Verdict

This is the best day hiking backpack under $100 as it has just the right amount of space you need and the right features for hiking in the day.

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3. Mountaintop Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

The expandable feature means this is a versatile backpack for short hiking trips or for day hiking.

Expandable:

This backpack has a capacity of 70L. However, it has an expandable collar with two drawstrings that allow you to expand the capacity to 75L.

Compression Straps:

It comes with six compression straps. You can use these to secure or hang your hiking gear, such as a hammock or sleeping bag.

Adjustable Features:

This backpack has a nine-stage torso adjustment feature that is held in place with Velcro. As the torso is adjustable, it is one of the best options under $100 for tall people. The straps are also adjustable to give a comfortable fit.

Compartments:

It has a good range of pockets, in addition to the main compartment. These include a hydration pocket, side pockets for bottles and both internal and external pockets for storing smaller items.

Pros

  • Adjustable torso length
  • Adjustable straps
  • Expandable capacity
  • Comfort features
  • Durable and weatherproof
  • Color options
  • Hydration compatible
  • Rain cover

Cons

  • No extra access points
  • Poor padding on straps

Final Verdict

This is a great option for day hiking and trips of less than three nights that will suit people of all sizes thanks to the adjustable features.

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4. Mardington Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

This backpack is suitable for spending up to three days outdoors enjoying activities including hiking, trekking, shooting, hunting, camping, and climbing.

Durable:

It is made from durable and water-resistant 600D polyester and has strong YKK zippers. It also includes a rain cover.

Capacity:

This military-style backpack has a capacity of 65L but can extend to hold a further 10L for longer trips.

Large Hydration Compartment:

It has a large hydration compartment that can fit a 5L bladder and the tube is fed through the top of the of the backpack. There are also two side compartments to hold large sports bottles.

Molle Webbing:

This is ideal for a range of outdoor pursuits as it features molle webbing to hang all the tools you need.

Pros

  • Durable materials
  • Rain cover included
  • Mole webbing for tools
  • Good compartments
  • Expandable capacity
  • Color options

Cons

  • Wipe-clean and air dry only
  • Poor padding

Final Verdict

This is one of the best hiking backpacks under $100 for people who enjoy a range of outdoor pursuits and plan trips of several days.

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5. Loowoko Hiking Backpack with Rain Cover

The Loowoko Hiking Backpack is a strong contender as one of the best hiking backpacks under $100 and its features will appeal to both hikers and enthusiasts of other outdoor pursuits alike.

Adjustment:

All the straps on this backpack are adjustable for improved fit. The adjustable side straps will keep your kit secure and compact. You can also use the straps for handing your gear.

Good Shoulder Straps:

This backpack features S-type shoulder straps that are widened, thickened, and padded for extra comfort. They are made from high elastic breathable materials that ease the burden and improve back ventilation.

Weatherproof:

It is made from rip-stop polyester fabric that is water-resistant. It also comes with a rain cover to stop rain getting into openings and zippers.

Pros

  • Rain cover included
  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof
  • 3-4 day trips
  • Good pockets
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Weak Seams

Final Verdict

This is best-suited to hikers who enjoy trips of around three days and want a backpack with plenty of adjustment features.

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6. OUTLIFE Hiking Backpack Lightweight Trekking Bag

The materials and storage options of this backpack make it ideal for various outdoor activities, including hiking and trekking.

Durability:

Made from high-quality nylon fabric, this backpack is water-resistant and durable. The bottom has a double layer of fabric for extra strength when carrying larger loads. It also comes with a rain cover for extra protection from heavy showers.

Comfort:

Comfort is important when covering long-distances carrying large loads. Hikers have good shoulder protection as the straps have high-density, air-filled padding. Another comfort feature is the back-ventilation design that improves airflow and reduces sweating. The adjustable straps allow both men and women to personalize the backpack for a comfortable fi.

Good Compartments:

This backpack has a capacity of 60L. Other than the main compartment, this backpack has a front pocket, front backpack access, a laptop compartment, a lower pocket for an extra pair of running shoes, an inner protective pocket, a zippered waist pocket, and two side pockets.

Ultralight:

At just 2.2 pounds, this is one of the best backpacks under $100 for ultralight backpackers.

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Durable
  • Rain cover included
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Good capacity
  • Weatherproof
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Straps are prone to pulling back through clips
  • Short straps

Final Verdict

As this is a lightweight hiking backpack, it is one of the best options for ultralight backpackers or those who simply want to lighten their load.

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Things to Consider When Buying a Hiking Backpack

It is important to get the best hiking backpack for you, so it is a matter you should give some careful thought and not buy the first backpack you see. Take the time to compare the different options and the features of each. There are many factors to consider when making your choice and this guide gives an overview of each of these considerations.

Backpack Size and Capacity

The most important aspect of choosing a backpack is getting the right size. If you enjoy day hiking trips, you will need to take less gear with you than if you go on extended hiking trips that last several days. For the latter, you will need to take extra gear, such as a tent or sleeping bag and you need a bigger backpack to carry them around. For this reason, backpacks are categorized according to the length of a hiking trip and the backpack’s capacity. They usually fall into the following categories:

  • Weekend/ 1-3 nights/ 30-50 liters- These are best suited to those who go day hiking or those who spend the night out only in the summer. They do not have the capacity to carry all the gear you need for winter overnight hikes. Some ultralight backpackers will choose these bags as they are smaller and lighter.
  • Multiday/ 3-5 nights/ 50-80 liters- The multiday backpacks are the most commonly bought as they are perfect for trips of several days in the summer or for single overnight trips in the winter.
  • Extended trip/ 5+ nights/ 70+ liters- These are a popular choice among those who take longer expeditions and need to carry lots of gear. However, they are also chosen by people who take trips of only one or two days in the winter months so there is enough capacity for extra clothes and a thicker sleeping bag. They are also bought by people who hike as a family and the parent needs to carry their child’s gear, too.

Backpack Frame Types

There are mainly four types of backpacks for outdoors use; daypacks, internal frame packs, external frame packs, and frameless.

  • Daypacks- These are usually frameless or soft-backed. They are a lightweight backpack that is usually used for single-day hikes, bike rides, runs, or climbs. A daypack is intended to carry lighter loads of under 15 pounds. Some have hip belts to stop the backpack banging against you when you stride.
  • Internal frame packs- These are for carrying loads upwards of 15 pounds. The frames are within the backpacks and are made from either plastic frame sheets, curved Delrin rods, aluminium stays, or a combination of these.
  • External frame packs- These are for larger loads and use an external frame that holds the main bag section away from your back. They are best-suited to trail walking.
  • Frameless- Fans of ultralight backpacking often choose a frameless backpack as these are lighter than those with frames.

Ventilation

A common problem for hikers is suffering from a sweaty back where their backpack lies. Some backpacks have features to add extra ventilation between your back and the backpack. These include:

  • Suspended mesh back panels- This is sometimes called a tension-mesh suspension and it is a design that involves the backpack resting against the breathable mesh instead of your back.
  • Ventilation chimneys- These are built into the back panels of your backpack and improve airflow to reduce sweating.

Compartments and Openings

Having enough storage space in your backpack is vital and separate areas for storing different items are useful. For this reason, most backpacks have different sections designed for specific uses and to make finding your gear easy. They also have lots of openings with different types of fastenings.

  • Panel access- These are zippered areas that give access to different parts of the bag. These are usually either a side zipper that makes it easy to find things at the bottom of the pack or a zippered front panel that exposes the interior.
  • Top-load openings– This is a feature you will find on most backpacks. It allows you to put items you will not need until the end of the day in the pack first.
  • Elasticated side pockets- These are on the sides of a backpack and lie flat when not in use. You can put things like your water bottle or other loose objects that you will need in them for easy access.
  • Shovel pockets- Most backpacks will have at least one shovel pocket. These are stitched on to the front of the backpack and fasten with a buckle. Their original purpose was to hold a snow shovel, hence their name. However, they are now used on three-season backpacks for extra storage space.
  • Front pocket- Sometimes, you will find a smaller pocket on top of the shovel pocket. These are for small and non-bulky items.
  • Hip belt pockets- These are smaller pockets for storing smaller items you may need to reach quickly, such as your phone.
  • Sleeping bag compartment- This is at the bottom of the backpack and is generally a zippered compartment that is an alternative to a stuff bag. However, you can use this space for anything you want.
  • Removable daypack- Also known as a top lid, this is a removable section of a backpack that you can use as a smaller backpack for shorter trips. Some convert into a hip belt pack for short day trips.

Other Features

Each backpack is different and has its own features. Some useful features to look out for on hiking backpacks include:

  • Attachment points- These are an important feature for those who hike in extreme conditions as you will need them for items such as trekking pole or an ice axe. Most backpacks will have at least a few tool loops. If you need more, then look out for backpacks with a daisy chain. This is a length of webbing with multiple loops on the outside of a backpack. You might also need a crampon patch that stops crampons piercing the backpack.
  • Padding- Some hikers suffer from sore points from carrying their backpack. If this is a problem for you, look for backpacks with padding on the hip belt.
  • Hydration reservoir- Most backpacks has a hydration reservoir, but you often have buy these separately. It is an internal storage space for putting in a hydration reservoir and sip tubes.
  • Rain cover- Although most backpacks are treated to make them water resistant, they have openings and zippers where water can enter the backpack. A rain cover will stop this from happening, so it is a good buy if you hike in all weathers. Some backpacks already have these included.

Women-Specific and Youth-Specific Backpacks

Women often have a smaller frame than men as their torso is shorter and narrower and the design of the backpacks reflects this. Women’s backpacks often have contoured shoulder straps and hip belts. Youth-Specific Backpacks have a smaller capacity than adult bags. Some have an adjustable suspension that accommodates the growth of the child. However, you can also consider women’s backpacks or smaller men’s backpacks for older children or teens.

Knowledge Base

Why Are Hiking Backpacks Important?

A backpack is an essential piece of gear for a hiker. You need a backpack to carry all your belongings and other pieces of equipment while out on a trail. A backpack is especially important if you are planning to spend the night outdoors as this is how you will transport your tent, sleeping bag, and camping equipment around with you. It is important to get a proper hiking backpack rather than any other type of bag because the design means that the weight is evenly distributed, so you are not putting too much strain on one part of the body.

Why Get a Backpack Under $100?

Although there are many backpacks available that cost more than $100, it makes sense to buy one for less as these are often just as good. Sometimes, the brand is the reason why a backpack is more expensive and not because it is a better backpack. Therefore, you can buy an affordable hiking backpack from a lesser known brand for under $100 without forgoing quality or practicality. Another reason backpacks are sometimes more expensive is if they have extra features. If you do not need all these extras, then paying more is just a waste of money.

Are Hiking Backpacks Good for Camping?

Hikers who spend the night outdoors take all their sleeping equipment, such as a tent and a sleeping bag, with them in their backpack. This means that hiking backpacks are perfectly suitable for camping. They are best for smaller tents, such as tents for one or two people, rather than larger family tents. If you are camping as a family and you have traveled in your car, you can take a hiking backpack with you for any days out while on your camping trip. You can use the hiking backpack to store food and belongings that you need to take with you for your day out. If you are only using the backpack in this way, it makes sense to buy budget friendly hiking backpacks rather than spending lots of money on an expensive hiking backpack.

Final Verdict

There is a good selection of budget-friendly hiking backpacks available and each has features that will appeal to different people. For those who want a hiking backpack with a capacity of under 50L, the best hiking backpack within $100 is The G4Free Lightweight Backpack. This backpack has enough capacity for use as an overnight backpack but is equally good as a budget option for day hiking and everyday use. In the 50L or greater capacity category, The best hiking backpack under $100 is The Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Backpack as not only is this value for money, it also has all the features you would expect from a hiking backpack.

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DopeOutdoors

We are a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts, who love to hike, climb, camp & test latest gears. Here we share and inspire people through our stories, comprehensive guides and in-depth gear reviews.

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