A backpack can be a great investment. They are an easy way to store all the things you need to take for a trip out in one space, and suitable for a variety of different activities. '
From camping trips to long hikes. From day trips at the zoo even to a day out shopping. They can provide lots of storage and make carrying lots of different things very convenient.
But it can be difficult to know where to begin when buying a laptop. There are so many different options on the market which can make it very confusing.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to the best budget backpacking packs available. It's packed full of all the information you need to ensure you make the purchase that is best for you.
In a hurry?
If you desperately need a backpack for a trip that you’re going on soon but don’t want to pay extortionate prices, why not choose the Mountaintop 55L backpack?
We’ve ranked this backpack as the best on the market because of its excellent value for money, and all the great features it has, including:
- This 55L backpack comes available in a variety of colors for personalization.
- The aluminum rod system that the backpack is built around supports your back and evenly distributes weight onto your hips and legs.
- It comes with bottom access so you can keep the main compartment and bottom compartment of your backpack separate, but can also access the main compartment through the bottom access if you wish.
- The backpack has a specific hydration compartment that can hold a 3L hydration bladder.
Top 5 Best Budget Backpacking Packs
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Our favorite budget backpack on the market is the Mountaintop 55L backpack.
This is an excellent choice, especially if you want something outside of the box. You will find that a lot of backpacks only come in monotone colors, but this range by Mountaintop is available in lots of different color choices.
It is designed with an aluminum rod to ensure the weight is evenly distributed throughout the 55L backpack, making sure that the weight balances across your hips and legs instead of your back.
This design comes with a hydration compartment to store a 3L hydration bladder for easy access to water while you are traveling.
It also comes with a waist belt and shoulder straps to ensure the backpack stays secure throughout your journey and for optimum comfort.
- Variety of color choices
- Supports your back
- Even weight distribution
- Hydration compartment
- Extra safety features
- Lots of pockets
- No notable drawbacks
Another great choice is the Nevo Rhino backpack. Similarly to the mountaintop backpack, this is a great choice if you want a unique color for your backpack.
This 45L backpack has a lightweight design making it the perfect choice for lots of different outdoor tasks. It is built with high-quality, durable nylon to ensure a long lifetime, and also has sturdy zippers all tied together with excellent craftsmanship for an excellent product.
If you plan on going on outdoor adventures, even if the weather is not looking great, this is a good choice as it comes with a waterproof rain cover to protect the backpack’s contents.
It has a breathable design which makes it an excellent choice for hiking as it will stop you from overheating. With an additional waist and hip buckle, this backpack is one of the best currently on the market.
- Variety of color choices
- High-quality build
- Durable material
- Breathable design
- Extra support
- No notable drawbacks
You should also consider the ZOMAKE small hiking backpack. This is a much smaller backpack than the two that have come before it, but it's a great choice for day trips.
Despite its 25L capacity, this backpack offers plenty of room for all the essentials you need to take for a day out walking or visiting attractions.
It is built with water and tear-resistant material for an extremely durable design, making it a perfect choice if you want to be able to use the backpack in years to come. This backpack also has the added benefit of being collapsible.
When it is not in use you can easily fold it away into the inside pocket, making it easy to carry and store. With all these excellent features on offer, it's easy to see why this is one of the best backpacks available.
- Tear-resistant material
- Lightweight and roomy
- Folds away into a small pocket
- Only has a 25L capacity
If you are looking for a women’s backpack, you should consider the Kelty Women’s redwing backpack.
This backpack is aimed towards women but if you have a smaller build you should check the measurements as it might work for you. This is a great choice if you want to keep your backpack well organized.
It comes with lots of different compartments and pockets which will allow you to separate stuff and things for a very organized backpack.
It also has a variety of suspension features to ensure that the weight contained in the 40L backpack is evenly distributed across your body for safety and comfort.
With all these great features considered, it's easy to see why this is one of the best backpacks on the market.
- Versatile design
- Suspension features
- Lots of pockets
- Lightweight design
- Only suitable for women
Finally, you should think about the AmazonBasics internal frame backpack.
As the name suggests, this is a lot more basic than some other backpacks, but it is excellent value for money if you are working on a budget.
It has a huge 65L capacity providing you with more than enough room for the majority of activities.
It has lots of different storage compartments and pockets including one for your sleeping bag if you choose to go camping. It comes with adjustable straps with padding to allow you to fit the backpack perfectly to your body.
It is designed with a water-repellent material but also comes with a waterproof cover to protect you from heavier rain. If you are looking for a great budget backpack this might be the perfect choice for you.
- Big capacity
- Lots of storage compartments
- Adjustable straps with padding
- Waterproof cover included
- Basic design
Best Budget Backpacking Packs Buying Guide
With so many different backpacks, all available in different sizes and colors by different manufacturers, making the decision can be difficult.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide to ensure you know exactly what to look for when you’re buying your next backpack.
The first thing you should consider is the storage the backpack offers.
There is a common misconception that storage means size, but this is not the case. The size will look at the capacity of the backpack, whereas the storage will look at the different compartments and pockets that the backpack has.
Different backpacks will come with different storage options, but the majority have one main compartment. Some backpacks will have dividers so that you can separate this middle compartment, whereas others will not.
Some backpacks will have a variety of exterior pockets so that you can easily store things you want to be able to access conveniently, or waterproof pockets to keep your important belongings safe.
You may find that some backpacks will have a special compartment to store a water reservoir or a separate place to keep your sleeping bag.
There are all sorts of compartments out there which you can choose from. It is always good to choose a backpack which has more than one compartment, but the choice of which pockets is yours.
Another thing you should consider is the size of the backpack. In most backpacks, you will only have to consider the size of the backpack when it is in use, but if you want a foldable backpack you should also consider the size when it is folded away.
The perfect size backpack will depend on what you want to use it for. Backpacks are usually measured by their capacity, which will be stated in liters. You will find that they come in all different sizes, ranging from 20L up to 65L+.
If you plan on using the backpack exclusively for day trips, you might prefer to buy a smaller capacity backpack. A 20L backpack will supply you with enough room to store a spare jacket, as well as snacks, drinks, and important items.
Whereas, a 20L backpack will likely be too small if you want a backpack for traveling. You will struggle to attach a sleeping bag to a 20L backpack, so if you want to use the backpack for traveling or camping you should invest in a bigger bag.
Smaller bags are usually more lightweight, easier to carry, and also easier to store when not in use (as they take up less space). But they do fit a lot fewer items than a larger backpack.
You should weigh up what you want to use the backpack for, against the pros and cons of each design, and decide from there.
It is all good and well to consider the size of the backpack, but you also need to compare the size against your torso shape.
If you plan on using the backpack for hiking or long-distance traveling, comfort will be a key feature that you are looking for. Comfort is only achievable by buying a backpack that fits your height and torso length.
Different backpacks will be designed in different shapes. Some will be better suited to certain body types, while others will not. Every backpack will come with measurements that will dictate whether or not it is the right fit for you.
Many manufacturers will dictate the different sizes by labeling backpacks as either male or female. Backpacks designed for women will often have smaller measurements, their capacity will not necessarily be smaller but the backpack will be designed for a smaller shape. Whereas men’s backpacks tend to have larger measurements.
However, the male/female label does not mean that the backpack is only suitable for these genders. The best way to find the backpack which is the perfect size for you is by measuring your height and torso length and comparing it to the dimensions advertised for the backpack.
Finally, you should consider any additional features that the backpack may include. It has become more common for backpacks to come with lots of additional features to make them stand out from their competitors.
The majority of the additional features you may find will relate to safety or protection from bad weather. You may also find features that are added to make the backpack more comfortable when you are using it.
A lot of these additional features aren’t that great, but there are some which you should watch out for. If you are looking for comfort and security while using the backpack you should look for hip belts and buckles. These help secure the backpack to your back and also ensure you are carrying the weight on your hips and legs rather than straining your spine.
A chest strap will also help if this is what you want. Extra safety features you should consider are whistles and reflective panels. A whistle allows you to alert passers-by of your location in case of an emergency while reflective panels ensure you will be seen during the night.
Finally, if convenience is something you are looking for, you should consider carabiners or water bottle pockets. You will likely want access to your water while you are out, and these features make this easy.
These features will appear more or less important to you depending on what you want out of the backpack, so you should buy one which suits your needs the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a 60L backpack carry on size?
If your 60L backpack is flexible, there is a good chance you will be able to fold it down to fit within the size limits for carry on luggage on most airlines.
Is a 40L backpack big enough for traveling?
Yes, a 40L backpack will be big enough for travelling.
The key to traveling is finding a backpack that is neither too small nor too big, and a 40L backpack falls directly into the perfect zone.
What is a hydration pack?
A hydration pack is usually made with rubber or flexible plastic and contains water for you to drink while traveling.