A backpack is an essential piece of hiking gear, but they can be quite expensive. If you’re looking for a good quality, affordable hiking backpack, we’ve got you covered!
We’ve put together this guide of the best hiking backpacks under $100 to help you find the right one for your next trek.
For this list we've considered 24 different hiking backpacks.
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We reviewed over 24 backpacks for this article. Below are the best hiking backpacks under 100 that made our short list.
Read our complete buyers guide for hiking backpacks.
The OutdoorMaster 50L is a high quality hiking backpack with a 50L main compartment as well as a laptop compartment and multiple storage pockets for all your smaller items and water bottles.
This backpack features a hip strap and padded shoulder straps to ensure comfort and stability. It also has loops for trekking poles and straps at the bottom to hold you sleeping bag.
The OutdoorMaster 50L Hiking Backpack is a fantastic hiking backpack to carry and protect all of your equipment on your trekking trips.
The Outlander 33L Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack is a simple, yet durable, hiking backpack that is perfectly suitable for most hiking trips. It is small, lightweight and made from quality rip-proof and water-resistant material.
This backpack also folds up into its own pocket so that you can store it easily when you’re not using it.
The Outlander 33L is ideal for travelling and hiking as it is affordable, durable and weather-resistant, however, it is not suitable for carrying heavy gear or equipment.
The Teton Sports Explorer 4000 is a large, rugged hiking backpack with an internal frame and multiple compartments to store all of your gear in. It has many features including a sleeping bag compartment, compression straps and space for a hydration bladder.
This backpack is comfortable to wear with its padded straps and reinforced stress areas. The Teton Sports Explorer 4000 is also adjustable so that its suitable for both men and women.
This high-quality hiking backpack is perfect more serious hikers who are used to carrying a heavier, more protective pack.
The Mountaintop 65L Hiking Backpack is made from water-resistant nylon and features a steel internal frame. This internal frame supports the structure of the backpack and balances the weight so that it's not all sitting at the bottom of the pack.
This hiking backpack has adjustable shoulder straps as well as hip straps that have handy pockets so that you can have your snacks or essentials, like sunglasses, at hand.
It also features ventilation channels around the mid- and lower-back sections so that you don’t get sweaty while you trek.
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack has a fully adjustable design with a multi-position torso to ensure comfort and good fit for all body types. It features padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel with channels for good air flow.
With an internal frame and multiple storage compartments, the Teton Sports Scout 3400 is ideal for any hiker or backpacker on a budget.
It also features a sleeping bag compartment and an integrated rainfly with its own storage pocket.
The Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Hiking Daypack is a lightweight, multi-compartment hiking backpack that is great value for money.
It is made with tear- and water-resistant fabric to help keep your gear protected from the elements. The shoulder straps feature a mesh lining and are padded for extra comfort.
This backpack is spacious and made from lightweight material so that it can fold up into one of its own pockets for easy storage.
The Venture Pal Hiking Dayback is an excellent multi-purpose backpack that is affordable and suitable for any outdoor activities.
The Hikpro Hiking Daypack is a small, minimalist hiking backpack with three zippered compartments to hold your essential gear.
This backpack is made with water-resistant material and is ideal for day hikes and general outdoor adventures.
It is made from tear-resistant fabric with a double bottom layer to add to its strength.
The Hikpro Hiking Daypack also folds into its own pocket for easy and convenient storage so you can pack it away and unfold it when you need it.
A good hiking backpack is an essential piece of gear to have for any trek or even just a day outing.
The OutdoorMaster 50L Hiking Backpack is a great, all-round hiking backpack for hikers on a budget. This backpack has multiple compartments for all of your gear and is big enough to fit all your essentials in.
If you’re a more experienced hiker and are used to carrying a large backpack, the Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack or the Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack are both excellent options under $100. They have internal frames to support their large structures but this also means that they are on the heavier side and are not the best options for beginner hikers and people who are not used to carrying a lot of extra weight.
The Mountaintop 65L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack is similar to the Teton Sports hiking backpacks but is made from a lighter material so that it isn’t as heavy. Unfortunately, this material is more prone to tearing if the backpack is over-packed so keep that in mind when making your decision.
The Outlander 33L Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack is an ultra-lightweight option for hikers who just need to pack the essentials. It has a simple, attractive design and is suitable for any outdoor or day-to-day activities.
For more casual hikers looking for something simple, lightweight and affordable, the Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Hiking Daypack and the Hikpro Hiking Daypack are both excellent options. However, they are not suitable for carrying heavy gear as they are quite small and thin.
Determining what size backpack you need depends on the type of hike you’re going to be taking it on.
If you’re looking for a hiking backpack to take on short day-hikes, then a smaller backpack should suit you fine. Backpacks with a capacity between 20 and 30 liters will be able to carry all your essentials, like sunglasses, sunscreen, GPS, rain jacket etc.
Weekend hikes (1-3 days)
If you’re going on a hike that requires you to spend the night somewhere, you’ll need a backpack with a capacity between 30 and 50 liters. However, you’ll need a bigger pack if you’re trekking in the winter time as you’ll need to pack more clothes and winter-specific gear.
Multi-day hikes (3 - 5+ days)
For extended hiking or backpacking trips, a backpack between 50 and 80 liters is required to be able to carry your sleeping bag, clothes and other gear.
Check out our comprehensive backpack size guide to find the perfect backpack for your next outdoor adventure.
Hiking backpacks come in many shapes and sizes but there are also different types of hiking backpacks including daypacks, internal or external frame backpacks and frameless backpacks.
The type of backpack you get depends on what type of hiking you’ll be doing and what gear you need to be able to carry in your backpack.
Daypacks are usually made from soft fabric and are much lighter than other backpacks. They are generally frameless or have soft backs as they are designed for single-day outdoor activities. They are made to carry your essentials but are not made for heavy loads. Some may feature a hip strap to prevent the pack from moving around while you hike.
Internal frame backpacks have a built-in frame, usually made from plastic sheets or aluminium stays, and can carry heavier loads than daypacks or frameless backpacks. Internal frame backpacks will have chest or hip straps to help hold the load closer and more securely to your body to help you to stay balanced with the extra weight on your back.
External frame backpacks have a visible frame and usually have a square-shaped design. These backpacks are best suited for trail-walkers as they are ideal for carrying heavier, bulkier gear.
Frameless backpacks are designed to be lightweight and compact. These backpacks are great for day hikes or travelling with, although they are not suitable for carrying heavy loads.
Higher capacity backpacks, especially ones with internal frames, will be heavier than smaller hiking backpacks as they are made from stronger fabrics. Small, lightweight hiking backpacks are made from thinner, less durable material, making them unsuitable for long treks.
The suspension of a hiking backpack is particularly important to consider if you’re looking at higher capacity backpacks. Backpacks with good suspension will help to keep you stable and balanced while you hike.
Make sure you look for hiking backpacks with adjustable hip or chest straps so that you can secure the backpack to your body. A good tip is to look for a backpack with padded straps so that it is more comfortable to carry for long periods of time.
Most hiking backpacks will have multiple compartments to store your different items in - the larger the backpack, the more compartments and pockets it is likely to have.
Some useful things to look for are a shovel pocket, elasticated side pockets for water bottles, hip belt pockets, a sleeping bag compartment, front pockets and various access points.
The material that a backpack is made out of determines its durability and how long it will last. Look for a hiking backpack made from sturdy, strong fabric. Lightweight backpacks are generally made from less durable fabrics as they are thinner.
Hiking in warm, humid weather can be very uncomfortable as sweat can get trapped between your back and your pack. Some hiking backpacks have mesh or air channels/ chimneys along the back panel to help improve airflow and reduce perspiration.
Hydration system compartment
Some hiking backpacks have a specific compartment designed for hydration systems (sold separately). This is very convenient for multi-day treks so that you don’t have to keep reaching for your water bottle.
Having a rain cover for your hiking backpack is essential if you enjoy hiking throughout the different seasons of the year. Some backpacks come with their own rain cover or even have it sewn-in somewhere.
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