How do you choose the best backpack for hiking with a price range of under 100 dollars? Sometimes cheap hiking backpacks are prone to wear and tear even if it’s brand new. In fact, you might see shoulder straps tearing apart or zippers being broken, and many more.
Your backpack is one of the most important gear for hiking. It will hold all of your hiking essentials such as your sleeping bag, tent, and other outdoor gear. There are many options in the market and it would be overwhelming to choose the best one.
In this guide, I have researched relevant information on how to choose the best backpack for hiking and the good thing is that they are under 100 dollars. So if you’re on a tight budget, you can still buy a high-quality and durable backpack for your hiking adventure.
However, you have to consider several things when searching for the best hiking backpack. Firstly, you’ll need to know how much gear you would want to carry on your hike. This is important because this will determine the volume or capacity of the backpack you intend to buy.
Secondly, you’ll also need to check if the backpack will fit your size. This is extremely important because if your hiking backpack doesn’t fit well, it will cause discomfort, pain, and soreness; especially if you’re planning on long-distance hikes.
Lastly, backpack features are also important, however, everyone has their own preference when it comes to the features of a hiking backpack. For instance, adjustable shoulder straps, hip belt pockets, water bottle pockets, a waterproof backpack, and many more.
Since there are many options to choose from, I made a list of the best hiking backpack priced under $100. I narrowed down the list and read on for a few recommendations.
best hiking backpack under 100
Thule Stir Hiking 20L Backpack
The Thule Stir Hiking 20L Backpack has an easy access top lid and protective storm flap. Also, the Stir is a durable backpack with elastin-coated Robic and nylon material.
The adjustable mesh shoulder straps provide excellent ventilation. It also has a removable sternum strap and a hide-away hip belt. Also, the Thule Stir also has multiple attachment points and is designed with reflective material.
In addition, the Stir is compatible with any hydration system you may have. The breathable back panel provides excellent back ventilation keeping you comfortable and dry. It also has multiple storage pockets for your phone, compass, wallet, and other essentials.
Burton Day Hiker 25L Backpack
The Burton Day Hiker has a vertical three-strap board carry system and internal shovel pocket; which is perfect for snowboarding and hiking.
In fact, it also has a fleece-lined accessory pocket for your goggles or sunglasses. The hydration sleeve can double as a laptop sleeve. On the other hand, it also has additional pockets for water bottles, tablets, and other gadgets.
Gregory Citro 20L Backpack
The Gregory Citro 20L Backpack offers enough space for your hiking gear. One of the best features of this backpack is the VaporSpan back panel. It provides free-flowing ventilation to keep you dry and comfortable.
In fact, the VaporSpan utilizes a unique leaf-spring lumbar system that is designed to fit your lower back for a supportive as well as a comfortable fit. There is an included three-liter reservoir for extra drinking water. In addition, the SpeedClip mounting system will secure your water supply while hiking.
This is perfect for afternoon hikes and quick treks. This backpack also has a magnetic sternum strap and a magnetic bite valve. You can stash maps and rain jackets on the front stretch pockets. The soft-touch pocket also provides protection for your sunglasses.
ARVA Calgary 26L Backpack
The Arva Calgary 26L Backpack is perfect for hiking, backcountry tour, and snowboarding. It has carry systems for snowboards, skis, ice axe, and snowshoes. The additional pockets for hydration reservoirs and goggles. The waist belt is adjustable and ensures a supportive stride.
Gregory Compass 30L Backpack
The Gregory Compass has padded backpack straps for comfort. It also has U-zip back panel access so you can reach your gear much faster. The Compass has an external-access padded laptop sleeve and you can fit a 15-inch laptop inside.
The zippered mesh organizer pocket will keep your small gadgets and gear in place. The side compression straps keep your backpack from bouncing while hiking. You can also use the dual daisy chains to secure other items.
Kelty Redwing 50L Backpack
The Kelty Redwing is an all-around travel backpack is the largest Redwing backpack from Kelty. In addition, the FitPro suspension is fully adjustable for a more customized fit. It also has a padded air mesh that provides excellent ventilation and comfort.
The aluminum stays provide stability with heavy loads. The internal sleeve can be used to put your hydration reservoirs or you can also use it to secure your laptop.
Patagonia Chacabuco 30L Backpack
Patagonia Chacabuco is made from a highly durable recycled polyester. In fact, it has a DWR treated fabrication for weather protection.
The Chacabuco also features a zippered pocket for easy access to your gear. You can store your water bottles on the stretch-woven pockets.
The shock cords can be used for bulkier items such as an extra layer. It also has an internal padded sleeve so you can bring your laptop with you.
The North Face Borealis 28L Backpack
The North Face Borealis features a high-capacity of 28 liters and you can pack a 15-inch laptop inside. This backpack is versatile and inexpensive. One of the best features of the Borealis is the integrated hip belt which you can’t find in most laptop bags.
It also features a water-resistant fabric to protect your gear from the rain. This backpack is designed to carry your laptop and at the same time for hiking which makes it versatile. You can also adjust the backpack in accordance with your size.
In fact, the back panel has excellent airflow and breathability which is perfect for long walks and for hiking. The shoulder straps are also adjustable and very comfortable. In addition, the hip strap helps secure your backpack on your body. If you’re out hiking, you can also put a hydration bladder on the laptop sleeve.
Osprey Packs Porter 30L Backpack
The Osprey Porter can carry everything you need for day’s hike with its 30-liter capacity. An excellent feature of the Porter is the multiple zipper access to the main compartment. This gives you easy access to your essentials.
The Porter is also great for traveling and you can bring your laptop with you since it has a dedicated sleeve for laptops. In addition, it also has a front organizer where you can put your travel documents.
The porter is versatile and you can also use it as a duffel bag. The StraightJacket compression helps stabilize the heavy load so you can carry your gear comfortably. You can also attach an Osprey Daylite Pack with the reinforced cord loops.
The North Face Shadow 30+10L Backpack
The North Face Shadow is an alpine pack that features a 30+10 liters function. This means that you have additional space for your essential gear.
This is perfect for hiking and long-day expeditions. The Shadow has abrasion-resistant ripstop nylon construction with a roll-top closure.
A great feature of this backpack is the removable waterproof pocket. In addition, it also has a hydration-compatible sleeve to carry extra drinking water. You can secure your ice axe with the tool-keeper straps.
In fact, you can remove the internal pocket, hip belt, and the frame sheet to make your pack lighter and easy to carry. You can expand the main compartment to add more gear.
These backpacks are just my recommendations. Of course, you have to choose the best backpack that suits your needs. For instance, it depends if you’re going to use a backpack just for hiking or if you want a more versatile backpack that you can also use on a daily basis.
It’s really hard to choose the best hiking backpack especially if it’s under 100 dollars. The hiking backpacks discussed above are just some of the big names in the outdoor industry. Often times, price correlates the quality of the product.
But there are cheaper alternatives that are more durable and versatile as compared to expensive ones. But it all boils down on what you really need for your outdoor activities. I personally use an Osprey Porter and I had no problems with it. It’s versatile and can double as a duffel bag.
I use it for afternoon hikes and weekend hikes. It’s also perfect for long-distance day hikes. You can still buy the best hiking backpack for just under 100 dollars, provided it meets the requirements you need; especially when it comes to capacity, durability, versatility, comfort, and the right fit.