Best Hiking Backpack Under 100 – Expert Review

Updated: February 13, 2024

For a solid hiking backpack under $100, I recommend the Mountaintop 55L. This is a great quality bag, with decent capacity and some awesome features (like many pockets and a hydration system compartment).

If you need a hiking backpack that is slightly bigger, but still under $100, then the Teton Sports Explorer (65L) is a great option.

For a budget daypack, check out the Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Hiking Daypack.

Best Hiking Backpack Under 100 (Top Picks)

Best Overall

MOUNTAINTOP 55L Internal Frame Backpack for Men Women with Rain Cover

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TETON 65L Explorer Internal Frame Backpack for Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Rain Cover Included

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Top Backpacks For Hiking Under 100

(Detailed Reviews)

We reviewed over 24 backpacks for this article. Below are the best hiking backpacks under 100 that made our short list.

  1. Mountaintop 55L Hiking Backpack - Best Overall
  2. Teton Sports ExplorerMost Durable
  3. Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack
  4. Outlander 33L Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack
  5. Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Hiking Daypack - Best Value

Read our complete buyers guide for hiking backpacks.

Best Overall Hiking Backpack Under 100

1. Mountaintop 55L Internal Frame Hiking Backpack

MOUNTAINTOP 55L Internal Frame Backpack for Men Women with Rain Cover

5/5 Overall Rating

The Mountaintop 55L 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. 

Main Features
  • YKK zippers
  • YKK buckle
  • Includes waterproof cover that has its own storage pocket
  • Features an extension collar with two drawstrings
  • Hydration system compartment
  • Multiple compartments and pockets
  • Bottom access
  • Water-resistant fabric
What we like
  • Large and spacious
  • Sturdy
  • Easy to adjust
  • Compatible with a hydration bladder
  • Breathable fabric against the back
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Light for its size
What we dislike
  • Not very comfortable when carrying heavy loads
  • Fabric could tear if you over-pack 

2. Teton Sports Explorer Full Internal Frame Backpack

TETON 65L Explorer Internal Frame Backpack for Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Rain Cover Included

4.7/5 Overall Rating

The Teton Sports Explorer 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 is also adjustable so that its suitable for both men and women.

This high-quality hiking backpack is perfect for more serious hikers who are used to carrying a heavier, more protective pack. 

Main Features
  • 65L capacity / 4000 cubic inches
  • Dual aluminum stays adjust to the shape of your back
  • Adjustable torso and shoulder straps
  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Multiple compartments and storage pockets
  • Includes a rainfly
  • 600D diamond ripstop nylon
  • Durable open-cell foam lumbar pad and molded channels for maximum airflow
What we like
  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable to any body shape
  • Versatile for many trip types
  • Large capacity
  • Breathable
  • Weather-resistant
  • Can handle a decent amount of weight
  • Great quality
What we dislike
  • Hip strap is quite hard
  • Small bottle holders

3. Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack

TETON 55L Scout Internal Frame Backpack for Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Rain Cover Included

4.7/5 Overall Rating

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. 

Main Features
  • 600D diamond ripstop polyester
  • Sewn-in rainfly
  • Aluminium internal frame
  • Multi-position torso adjustments
  • External storage pockets
  • Bungee storage
  • Compatible with hydration system
  • Back airflow channels
What we like
  • Spacious
  • Comfortable
  • Good quality
  • Durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Effective suspension system
  • Sturdy zippers
What we dislike
  • Small pockets for water bottles
  • Not suitable for petite people as it is very large

4. Outlander 33L Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack

Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack-Black-L

4.6/5 Overall Rating

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. 

Main Features
  • 33L Capacity
  • Rip-proof and water-resistant nylon
  • Breathable mesh shoulder strap
  • Durable 2-way Abrasion-Resistant SBS Zipper
  • Reinforced stress points
  • Folds into its own pocket
  • Multiple compartments and storage pockets
  • Includes a carabiner clip
What we like
  • Very lightweight
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Strong zippers
  • Very affordable
What we dislike
  • Weak side pockets
  • No chest or hip straps

5. Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Hiking Daypack

Venture Pal 35L Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Travel Camping Hiking Outdoor Sports Backpack Daypack

4.6/5 Overall Rating

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. 

Main Features
  • Two-way SBS zippers
  • Double-layer bottom piece
  • Breathable mesh straps
  • Chest strap with whistle buckle
  • Multiple compartments and storage pockets
  • Folds into its own pocket
  • Lifetime warranty
What we like
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Good quality zippers
  • Perfect for travel
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable 
What we dislike
  • Poor quality inner lining
  • May be too small for hikers with a lot of gear

The Bottom Line

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 Full 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 55L 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 is an excellent option. However, it's not suitable for carrying heavy gear as the straps are quite small and thin. 

Best Hiking Backpack Under 100 - Buyer's Guide

What size hiking backpack should you get?

Determining what size backpack you need depends on the type of hike you’re going to be taking it on.

Day hikes
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 wintertime 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.

What type of hiking backpack should you get?

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
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
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. 

Other features

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.

Rain cover
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.


About the author 

Adie Marais

Adie is a nature and wildlife lover living in Cape Town, South Africa. Growing up, she had many opportunities to explore the outdoors by hiking, going on safaris and venturing into the karoo with her family. This led to her love of animals, the environment and discovering new places to explore.

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