Here is a run-down of the 7 best hiking backpacks under $100 available on the market today.
P.S. If you’re in a hurry, here are the 3 reigning champions from our list:
1. Best-seller pack combining large capacity, surprising durability and great features at a stellar price:
2. Best feature-rich large capacity hiking backpack under $100:
• MOUNTAINTOP 70L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack
3. Best low-capacity bag combining quality and mind-blowing price:
It may not be possible for everyone to spend hundreds of dollars on sporting gear like hiking packs especially if you’re a novice and you’re just finding your way, or if you’re not an avid sports person and wouldn’t go hiking more than once a year. We’ve done a bit of research on the market and rounded up the most affordable, yet durable and feature-rich packs you could purchase today. Don’t miss the guide at the end of the list!
THE 7 Best Hiking Backpacks Under $100
1. Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack
PRICE: Most popular hiking backpack on the market at $72.24
The Teton Sports Explorer 4000 is meant for those who are looking for hardcore adventure. This pack is a clear winner on many points: durability, quality, and versatility. It has been an Amazon bestseller for many seasons in a row, and continues to generate 5-star user-reviews. The limited lifetime warranty Teton Sports provides guarantees top-notch quality on all its products.
This pack is made of 600D Oxford Canvas and reinforced with a sturdy 600D ripstop to help the Explorer 4000 earn its excellent customer ratings for quality. It is effectively waterproof, with the added rain-fly feature to keep your gear safe in wet weather. The internal frame is also a high-performance feature in this pack. Reinforced stress points on this backpack make sure that neither you, nor your pack will suffer, even on heavy trips.
The Teton Sports Explorer 4000 was designed to be a high-capacity storage device.
- Multiple compartments, zippered-pockets both inside as well as outside the pack
- Several gear loops, and daisy-chain gear-webbing mean that you could find a place for just about anything.
- The side-pockets can also double as gear loops so that you have a great place to stow away awkward equipment like tent poles, etc.
- A sleeping bag compartment at the bottom of the backpack
- wider equipment loops to accommodate larger sleeping bags, tents or mat.
- The compartment tucked away between the shoulder straps at the back of the pack can store a 3L hydration pack.
- the multi-direction compression straps hold everything sturdy and in place.
The Explorer 4000 was designed for comfort.
- The multi-position torso-adjustment feature can be adapted to a wide range of body-shapes and sizes.
- Padded shoulder straps, adjustable chest straps and wide padded waist straps are ergonomically designed to contour to your body.
- An open cell-foam lumbar pad and molded channels provide airflow and keep you comfortable, even on a hot hike.
- The internal frame keeps the bulk secure and, with the adjustable aluminium stays, you will not feel the strain of carrying weight around.
- A reliable rainfly works with the waterproof backpack shell to keep your things safe in unexpected weather.
The Explorer4000 is adaptable on many levels.
- The many pockets and gear loops give you multiple storage options, and a smaller load can be secured using the compression straps – meaning the pack can function well over a 2-3-day hike, a 4- day camping expedition, or even a long-haul trip.
[i2pc show_title=”true” title=”Plusses & To Note” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Plusses” cons_title=”To Note” ][i2pros]
Comes with TetonSports Limited Lifetime Warranty!
Be sure to take note of size and weight measurements and the manufacturer’s recommendations for user height and weight.
|Related : Best Portable Camping Toilet Seats|
2. MOUNTAINTOP 70L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack
Feature-heavy, but affordable at $79.99
This 70 L backpack is a great choice for a beginner. Material quality and performance have both been tried and tested, and excelled. This pack has been compared to more expensive brands in terms of durability and performance.
Just like most other packs on our list, this is a water-resistant nylon pack which comes with a separate rain cover. YKK zippers and buckles give you snap-free, no-damage guarantee.
You will love the surprising amount of space and multiple pockets with a spot for anything you could think of.
- A roomy main compartment is a front pocket with organizer strips on the outside for tools and sporting gear.
- The bottom compartment can be used as sleeping bag storage. This pocket is separated from the main compartment with a zippered panel, which can be let out so that you have one large main compartment.
- Another neat feature about the pack is its multi-zipper access to the main compartment from the top, sides, and even the bottom.
- A hydration bladder pocket gives you easy access to a 3L hydration pack fitted with a handy tube that can be threaded out to the shoulder strap for easy access during a long hike.
- The hip straps are also fitted with handy pockets for your emergency gear.
- Numerous compression straps around the pack give you a number of choices on where you want to secure your sleeping arrangements and other gear.
- Additional buckles on the shoulder straps give you the choice of hanging any extra gear.
Ergonomics rules the design of this bag, so that weight is evenly and comfortably distributed.
- Shoulder pads are thickly padded and meshed to absorb strain and keep you cool.
- Load lifter compression straps hold the weight just right.
- The additional chest and hip straps secure the pack perfectly.
- Stress points are thickly padded
- The air-diversion technology at the back and shoulders ensures that you are not hot and sweaty under all that weight.
- You can customize the size of the pack to your own body dimensions with the 8-stage sternum strap, or height adjuster at the back, held secure with magic tape. This gives you a 5-inch adjustment space.
- Hip straps are adjustable to about 30 inches.
- Shoulder and chest straps are also adjustable to keep everything secure.
This backpack is very versatile. You could extend it out to fit all the hiking/ outdoor gear you will need, or zipper it down to use as a carry-on on your next flight.
[i2pc show_title=”true” title=”Plusses & To Note” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Plusses” cons_title=”To Note” ][i2pros]Classy design and the tasteful colors mean you are always looking good!
The sternum strap is a novel feature that needs to be explored.
Mountaintop is great with customer service and prompt with responses.
Please follow manufacturer instructions for height and weight ratios.
|Good to know: 6 Best Lightweight Camping Stoves|
3. OneTigris LITE Roamer
Lightweight champion, 5-star endurance at $79.98
Lightweight and durable. This gentle giant not only looks good, it even feels great on the body! It is a combination of comfort and long-lasting performance at a good price.
The plaid 420D ripstop nylon delivers endurance and the comfort of near-weightlessness. The internal frame made of high-quality carbon fiber makes the pack sturdy, yet light. YKK waterproof hip pocket zippers and X bungee cord storage make for maximum space, easy access and safety for your gear.
- This hiking pack is designed with a buckled roll-up rucksack opening so that you have a 35+5L capacity at your disposal.
- Quick-access utility pockets on the front face, mesh pockets on the back, roomy elastic side pockets and wide hip-strap pockets add to the storage capacity.
- X bungee cord straps secure any other carry-on items in place.
- The thick, S-shaped shoulder straps are complemented with load-lifter straps that draw the weight securely and position the pack closer to your body.
- Thick, padded, ergonomically designed hip straps secure and distribute the backpack-weight in the right proportion.
- Side-compression straps help to draw everything in and keep your gear secure.
- Side-zippers are water-proof and the roll-top closing secures over the main compartment like a dry bag, keeping your things dry.
OneTigris LITE Roamer can be used on almost any outdoor adventure or vacation trip.
[i2pc show_title=”true” title=”Plusses & To Note” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Plusses” cons_title=”To Note” ][i2pros]
Check out the 2”X5.5” patch panel near the front handle – take your ideas and motivation patches wherever you go!
The mesh pockets at the back of the hiking backpack are designed for camping mats or other similar items. There is a LOT you can carry with this pack!
This pack comes with height and waist measurement recommendations, so measure up for the best experience!
A major absence you may note is the lack of a hydration pocket. Hopefully the roomy side pockets will give you enough space to carry a large bottle.
Another drawback is that the pack has a single-access main compartment, meaning that essentials that should be within immediate access need to be carried in the side-pockets, hip-strap pockets, or quick-access mesh pockets in the back.
|Read also : Best 6 Person Tent Under 200$|
4. Loowoko 50L Backpack
PRICE: Almost a steal at $49.99
You may not have heard of Loowoko, but this brand is a serious contender on the budget hiking backpack market, combining great quality with large capacity at a very competitive price.
As far as durability goes, this ruck is a definite winner. The water-resistant rip-stop nylon material performs very well in keeping your gear safe. The durable polyester lining divides compartments and orients the bag to fit a variety of gear.
- 50 L capacity this bag offers the beginner plenty of room for learning and the pro plenty of reasons to consider his/her next hike.
- The main compartment is supplemented with 2 pockets on the top, 2 on the front face of the bag, 2 mesh side-pockets, 2 pockets on the waist strap and a roomy pocket on the bottom.
- 8 adjustable straps and clips for hanging extra gear leave very little to be desired.
- This backpack has been designed ergonomically.
- The high elastic breathable fabric in the back ensures great ventilation.
- Plentiful sponge padding on the thickened S-shaped shoulder straps ensure that you are comfortable on long journeys or hikes.
- Chest and hip straps make for maximum comfort adjustment. They comfortably mould to your body and take the strain out of your shoulders and neck.
- This backpack is surprisingly light-weight and has been known to startle many users with the amount and variety of luggage it can handle.
- An all-over rain cover is included in a small little pocket of its own – a great little addition at the $50 price point.
This hiking backpack is great for both beginner enthusiasts, as well as long-time hikers. It functions well on 3-4-day hikes, camping expeditions, and other sporting activities that require a lot of gear. Its dimensions fulfill size requirements for most airlines, so you may want to consider carrying the Loowoko instead of your suitcase on your next trip.
[i2pc show_title=”true” title=”Plusses & To Note” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Plusses” cons_title=”To Note” ][i2pros]Loowoko is dedicated to its customers, and replacements, with upgrades have been reported from some very happy customers.
You can choose to travel in style with the Loowoko range of 6 attractive colors
[/i2pros][i2cons]Do make sure you take size and dimension details into consideration when choosing your pack.
5. NEVO Rhino Hiking Backpack
PRICE: Great value at $49.99
The Nevo Rhino 45+5L Hiking Backpack is like a hidden gem among the tons of brands that vie for attention on the market. The sleek and compact exterior is complemented by great performance and high-level endurance: a surprising combo at this price.
This pack is made to last with water-proof, durable Nylon that is lightweight and breathable. The air circulation system and carrying capacity have been compared to bigger, more expensive brands. Zippers, handles, straps and mesh pockets have been repeatedly tested to great results.
You will be surprised by how much this smallish-looking bag is able to handle in terms of capacity.
- Storage has been carefully thought out and enables you to easily carry 1-3 days’ worth of hiking/camping/sporting gear.
The bag comes with pockets everywhere!
- The side pockets are made of mesh and can hold small items or extra water bottles, in addition to the hydration pocket inside the roomy main compartment.
- The waist strap is fitted with a large pocket for your essentials.
- The sleeping bag compartment has enough space to hold two pairs of shoes if you are not planning on carrying your sleeping bag.
- A nylon elastic loop on the face of the bag can be looped to any extras you could think of.
- The ergonomically designed internal frame bracket equips the bag to handle more weight, while keeping the weight evenly distributed and the body stress-free.
- Thick, padded shoulder straps are complemented by chest straps as well as a thick dual-wishbone waist strap
- And yes, there is an all-over rain cover included in the pack!
This handy pack comes in a range of colors and sizes, giving you the benefit of an all-rounder pack that can tide you through a weekend get-away, a hiking trip with friends or an everyday adventure.
[i2pc show_title=”true” title=”Plusses & To Note” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Plusses” cons_title=”To Note” ][i2pros]NevoRhino packs in great features and storage options at an unbeatable price. Their 100% guarantee on durability, strength and features pushes their product up a few notches. Customer service is on-point: returns and replacements have been highly appreciated.[/i2pros][i2cons]Please note that size and capacity measurements are important considerations to any hiking backpack purchase. Follow manufacturer recommendations for the perfect fit and comfort to ensure a stress-free backpacking experience.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
6. FENGDONG 35L Lightweight Pack
PRICE: Best value light hiking backpack at $17.99
Here’s a great little pack that will do well for the shorter hiking trips, overnight camping, or other shorter adventures. This lightweight backpack gives great promise of a long-term relationship with its solidly made nylon body and strongly secured stress-points.
There isn’t much left to chance here with the water-proof, tear-resistant nylon fabric, heavy-duty abrasion-resistant zippers, double-layered bottom piece and enhanced bar-tacks at all major stress points on the backpack.
Fengdong has designed this pack for major capacity.
- The main compartment in the pack is quite roomy. You’ll be surprised at how much you can fit in!
- Zippered pockets on the front panel, mesh pockets on the side and a separator and zippered pocket in the main compartment help you keep your things organized and ready for use.
- This backpack can fold into itself and be stowed away neatly.
- The two-way heavy-duty zippers are a handy advantage.
- You also have a strong carrying handle, sizable, padded shoulder straps and adjustment strap buckles to keep your things secure and well-managed.
- Breathable sponge pads on the shoulder straps enhance overall comfort.
- The upgrade on this model comes with a wet bag integrated into the main design. It can be accessed through the front zipper and is lined with a water-proof material. This feature enables you to store wet clothing/moist articles securely away from the main compartment.
- This hiking/travelling pack is also one of the lightest on the market!
Without any major changes you can carry this pack on your shorter hikes, overnight adventures, flight-trips and any major sporting/traveling trip.
[i2pc show_title=”true” title=”Plusses & To Note” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Plusses” cons_title=”To Note” ][i2pros]It comes in a range of beautiful colors ranging from basic black and grey to striking orange or purple.
7. KL928 Outdoor Backpack
PRICE: Smallest big surprise, great quality buy at $53.99
The DavidNile Adventure 40L pack is a great pick if you’re looking for functionality. It may look tiny, and it might not average the advertised 40L capacity, but it is a sturdy, pleasure-to-use, made-for-longevity entry.
This hiking backpack from DavidNile is made of water-resistant, anti-scratch durable nylon. SBS zippers and robust, functional buckles and straps enhance its dependability.
The style and design of this hiking bag is impeccable with a catchy color combination that somehow balances quiet confidence with geeky fun.
- Multiple storage features make this pack any backpacker’s/hiker’s/outdoor adventurer’s dream.
- A wide middle compartment works together with a bottom footwear pocket and a front organization hold to maximize space.
- Side pockets on the bag are an added extra, as are the hip/waist pockets on the hip/waist belt.
- Elastic ties, extra loops, D-shaped buckles and adjustable straps are generously peppered around the body of the bag to hold hiking poles, sleeping bags and other gear.
- An elastic pocket can function either as a laptop sleeve or a hydration pocket, depending on your need.
- You should check out the detachable heat-dissipating partition. This mesh segment works to prevent sweating and discomfort on longer hikes and is attached to thickly padded hip straps that hold the backpack in place.
- An emergency whistle comes with the buckle in case of a crisis..
For lighter trips and long commutes the heat-dissipater can come off with the hip-belt attachment, turning it into an everyday backpack.
[i2pc show_title=”true” title=”Plusses & To Note” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Plusses” cons_title=”To Note” ][i2pros]The DavidNile Adventure pack is designed to be adaptable – the detachable mesh partition, perfect size and sharp design work together to function well in any setting.
[/i2pros][i2cons]This bag does not seem to live up to its advertised capacity. It would function best on day hikes, camping trips or as a 1-3-day hiking backpack. Note that product dimensions have been included in the package.[/i2cons][/i2pc]
Our Top Picks:
Talkopedia suggestion & winner on all points!
- Durability with Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Great capacity with extra storage features
- Killer price with high-end brand features
- Plus, points on capacity
- Feature-rich entry!
- Great on quality!
- Surprisingly good quality
- Killer Price!
- Folds into itself!
MINI BUYER’S GUIDE
Buying a hiking backpack online can be intimidating, and filled with too much uncertainty.
Ideally you would find the perfectly fitted backpack at a high-end store where an experienced salesperson would measure you, give you a few options, let you try a few packs on, with and without some weight and have you strapped into your dream-pack on the other side of a few hundred dollars. (PHEW!)
In the absence of the above situation your best bet is to arm yourself with a bit of information and make an informed decision. There are a few things to keep in mind when you buy a hiking backpack for less than $100!
1. Temper your expectations!
You can get a lot for less than $100 – some of these packs come with features that are comparable to high-end brands. But it is important that you don’t over-expect!
2. Learn to pack a hiking pack
Stuffing a backpack to capacity and then wondering why the seams burst, or the zippers tore off is just silly. Even smaller loads can be packed in wrong.
Do some research on the right way to pack your hiking backpack. It’ll be a life skill worth developing!
3. Take care of your pack
Pack maintenance goes a long way in seeing your budget pack through a long life.
MINI-GUIDE ON BUYING A BUDGET HIKING PACK
Here’s a mini guide on how to choose the next-to-perfect hiking carry-all for your next trip.
LOOK FOR QUALITY
Yes, you CAN get a good quality hiking backpack under $100!
Most good quality packs are made of abrasion-resistant, water-proof/water-resistant nylon fabric. Look for words like ‘rip-stop’ and ‘bar-tacks’, especially on higher capacity packs and dernier numbers like 600D. YKK zippers and buckles or SSB zips offer great quality and longevity.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE
Manufacturers include size and weight recommendations with almost all of their products.
The best way to determine the right bag-dimensions for your body-type is to measure your torso from the base of your neck to the top of your hip. Your hip-size is the other measurement you need.
Now all you have to do is to look for manufacturer’s recommendations on body measurements and determine what would be right for you.
If you fall into an anomalous category you may want to look into gender-specific or age-specific products. A petite woman may find that unisex backpacks may not cut the deal for her body-type. She may have to look into women’s hiking carry-alls. Similarly, children may require age-specific packs, as against general ones.
Also consider that most brands offer different models of the same product, keeping different body-types and other parameters in mind.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT CAPACITY
Most backpacks would fall under one of the three categories:
These would be great as daypacks, day-hikers, and sometimes even overnight bags. They could double as travel luggage as well, or even daily-use packs.
Most hikers go for this range of carry-capacity. These are great as introduction packs for first-time hikers.
These whoppers promise days and nights that you can securely camp out in the wilderness, if you are able to pack well and remember everything you need. Most experienced hikers would steer clear of these and keep to minimalist living, even on the longest hikes, but these serve well for family hikes or group outings if your focus is on a good time with lots of comfort.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT FEATURES
Depending on the capacity of your pack, it is important that you determine what it should deliver.
Look at least a few of the following features:
- rip-stop/water-resistant fabric
- Storage: number and size of pockets are important. How much more are you getting over the main compartment? Zippered pockets, dividing panels, elastic side-pockets, gear-loops, buckles and organizers add to storage capacity and help you organize your gear successfully.
- Internal Frame: This is almost a necessity when you’re carrying larger loads. It gives the pack a solid base and helps lighten your load. Removable frames help make your hiking pack versatile.
- Hydration Pack: Many packs come with a dedicated hydration pack fitted with an outlet tube that you can access on the outside so that you don’t have to keep reaching for your bottle for a drink. This is great when there is a lot of gear involved.
- Rain-cover: these are a great feature, especially on bigger over-night packs. Safety is always a priority!
- Ergonomics: Look for padded, S-shaped straps, thick, padded waist or hip straps and contoured frames for the best experiences.
LOOK FOR PLUSSES
It’s always great to get a little extra over the main features of the pack. Look for plusses like brand warranty, easy-return/replacement policies, or up-grade options.
Tiny features like D-shaped buckles to hang extra gear, organizer strips for smaller equipment, or lockable two-way zippers are also great plusses.
READ THE FINE PRINT
Always read manufacturer’s recommendations…! These become especially useful when figuring out how to fit a pack to your body dimensions, and what capacity you will need to carry all your gear.
…Arm yourself with a pinch of salt!.. Capacity instructions are sometimes exaggerated, so start your bag out on a lighter pack and work things up.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I trust the manufacturer’s claims on quality and durability when backpack shopping online?
- Most of the time, yes, the company’s claims will be certified. But, just to be sure, read user reviews and choose a pack with the least number of weak points.
What are the 3 most important things to look for when buying a budget pack online?
- Quality: material, zippers, seams, frame
- Capacity: be realistic about how much space you need. Start small.
- Dimensions: make sure you take the torso and hip measurement and spend some time matching pack dimensions to your body type.
I love a particular pack by a budget hiking backpack company but it doesn’t come in my size. What do I do?
- Check out other models by the same brand. They usually take a majority of body sizes and types into account.