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When on a backpacking trip, there are certain pieces of gear that you never want to see fail. Nobody wants to deal with a flimsy pack when they’re out on the trail braving harsh elements such as wind and rain, it’s important to be well-prepared with a pack that can go the distance. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of 9 durable backpacking packs that won’t weigh you down on your next thru-hike.
These hiking backpacks range in size and price, so you’re sure to find something that fits your needs from a quality manufacturer even if you’re looking for a budget pack. We only recommend products developed by reputable teams and crafted with quality materials so that you can prevent having to deal with malfunctioning gear while out on your adventure. From my experience, it’s important to stay away from the cheaper knock-off brands on Amazon and elsewhere as a quality pack can last you years, sometimes decades with proper care. We’ve ranked our suggestions by pack volume going from small to large.
30-44 Liter Backpacking Packs
These packs are a bit smaller and generally allow for 1-3 days of supplies in combination with other lightweight hiking gear.
Volume: 30 liters
Pack Weight: 4.7 oz
What we love: Ultralight pack that doesn’t break the bank; Reliable and lightweight Dyneema composite fabric; Easy roll-top enclosure
The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Stuff Pack is an efficient, ultralightweight, durable pack that’s offered at an attractive price. For only $129, this frameless pack provides peace of mind with its durable Dyneema composite fabric. This ultralight pack is a great option for shorter day hikes or for experienced ultralight thru-hikers seeking to lighten their load. This is the lightest pack we’ve found for the price, and you won’t be let down by its performance. Keep in mind this pack has a small max carry weight of 10 lbs.
Volume: 36 liters
Pack Weight: 2 lb 7 oz (S/M); 2 lb 14 oz (L/XL)
What we love: Easy to adjust for a great fit; Durable tactical engineering; Lots of gear loops and compartments
The 5.11 Tactical Skyweight 36L Pack is a fantastic choice for hikers seeking a durable lightweight pack with tons of compartments for organizing gear. The Skyweight is made from durable 330D ripstop nylon and has an internal frame, padded back panel, load lifters, and lumbar pad to provide comfort and support, and even comes with an included rainfly for added protection from the elements. Finding a great fit is a breeze with this pack and all of its adjustment options. The team at 5.11 have also designed a 24-liter version of the Skyweight, suited well as a day hiking pack.
Volume: 40 liters
Pack Weight: 2 lb 6 oz (S/M); 2 lb 11 oz (L/XL)
What we love: Easy top-loading design with removable lid; Proven design built for year-after-year durability
The Black Diamond Speed 40 Pack is an exceptional mid-range backpack choice. This lightweight pack has been around for a while, and the design built with BD X-rip 210-denier nylon with UTS coating has been proven to be functional and durable, suited for the toughest backpacking conditions.
Volume: 40 liters
Pack Weight: 2 lb 0.3 oz
What we love: 100% waterproof Dyneema composite material; Excellent pack that performs in virtually all conditions
The Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest Pack is consistently ranked as one of the best backpacking packs on the market. Its combination of lightweight yet enduring materials has been proven to excel in even the harshest of conditions. For hikers needing even tougher material, the black colorway of the pack takes you from 50 denier to 150 denier ripstop nylon, making it even more sturdy for only $20 more. If you need more volume, they also offer 55-liter and 70-liter versions of this very same backpack.
Volume: 42 liters (S/M); 44 liters (L/XL)
Pack Weight: 2 lb 15 oz (S/M); 3 lb 5 oz (L/XL)
What we love: Dependable pack from a company with an excellent lifetime warranty; Lightweight yet does not sacrifice comfort or fit
The Osprey Talon 44 Pack is another excellent choice. If you’re unfamiliar, Osprey packs come with a great lifetime warranty giving you piece of mind if anything malfunctions, however, I doubt you’ll have any as the packs are built well. Osprey designed the Talon 44 with durability in mind, and its internal frame system makes this pack very comfortable.
48-60 Liter Backpacking Packs
These backpacks are a bit larger, allowing you to pack supplies for longer trips with fewer resupply points or more gear for other outdoor activities such as fishing or photography.
Volume: 48 liters
Pack Weight: 2 lb 8.8 oz
What we love: Breathable design that distributes weight comfortably; Huge side pockets
The Focal 48L Backpack is perfect for those who want to spend a long time outdoors and need a pack that will last. It has plenty of room for storage, convenient pockets, and comfortable padding and mesh that allow you to move around freely without feeling burdened.
Volume: 55 liters
Pack Weight: 4 lb 9.9 oz
What we love: Extremely durable pack suitable for alpine treks, even in winter
The Mountain Hardwear AMG 55L Backpack is meant for the toughest of conditions. Durable ripstop construction offers durability and weather resistance even in the toughest alpine environments. This pack is equipped with a rope and ski carry system as well make it an ideal choice for winter excursions. This pack is a bit heavier than the other options we’ve covered, however, if you’re looking to do any type of alpine travel it will not let you down as this is easily one of the most durable backpacking packs we’ve encountered.
Volume: 58 liters
Pack Weight: 2 lb 15 oz
What we love: Another comfortable pack by Osprey; Durable, lightweight, and a lifetime warranty
The Osprey Exos 58 combines comfort and ventilation in a lightweight pack built for thru-hikes like the Appalachian Trail. As mentioned previously, Osprey packs are constructed to comfortably distribute weight for long-haul hikes, and come packaged with an excellent warranty. You really can’t go wrong with an Osprey pack.
Volume: 60 liters
Pack Weight: 2 lb 9.3 oz
What we love: Great price point for a large multiday pack; Easily adjustable to find a comfortable fit and customize as needed
The Granite Gear Crown3 60 is a multiday pack that is incredibly light but also quite comfortable. It features an adjustable hip belt, a unique frame sheet, and a detachable lid that can be used as a chest or lumbar pack. This pack performs very well in a variety of conditions due to its water-repellant construction.
How We Review Backpacking Packs
Time spent out on the trail has taught me that you truly need to trust your gear and know that it will perform for you, even in the harshest conditions. Backpacks, footwear, and shelter are all areas that you want to make sure you count on them for the extent of your hike. The backpacks I’ve reviewed are built to perform for you and developed by companies that you can trust for quality gear. With proper maintenance and care these durable, lightweight backpacking packs should last you thousands of trail miles and many years of adventure.