Top 5 Summertime Hiking Backpacks

Dudarev Mikhail /
Dudarev Mikhail /

Summertime is approaching faster than you think. With bright blue skies and the sun shining, nature is welcoming us back out into her warm embrace. Getting out there with the right gear is important, and even a trail walk through the city park can be improved with the right backpack. Here’s the top five to look at for this summer

  • Best overall- REI Co-op Trail 40 Pack. Capable of holding 40 liters, the bag can take a lot of weight. Built to last for a 2–3-day hike or simply a trek through the park, this bag has a great reinforced frame and ample foam padding. Keeping the weight light and the storage up is one of the best parts about this bag. Made of durable nylon, the bag won’t rip or get soaked when you get caught in the rain.
  • Best for day hikes: Fjallraven S/F expandable hip pack. A simple hip bag (not to be confused with a fanny pack), it holds water and snacks securely as you make your way through nature. Capable of expanding to 11.5 liters with straps for a day hike, it can handle extra gear in a pinch. With emphasis on storage being front and center, it makes it easy to get prepped for that quick trip.
  • Best for overnight trips: Earth Pak 55L waterproof backpack. With a rolltop design, this backpack is perfect for 1-3 day hikes and has pockets and pouches for everything you could want. For those who participate in water activities while on hikes, this pack is perfect as its waterproof aspects are nothing less than perfect.
  • Best for thru-hikers: Deuter Aircontact Core 65 + 10 Pack. Constructed for those 5+ day hikes, it looks like an AI bot designed a mix of a rucksack and a duffel bag. Constructed with a rugged and lightweight internal frame, this bag holds 65 liters full of gear, and with a few quick uprolls the bag expands for an extra 10. Expandable with compartments, it gives space to keep dirty gear from contaminating the clean.
  • Best for under $50: Reebok Gear 3-Day Assault Pack. Looking more like surplus military gear than a new backpack, it’s not made to look pretty, but with the tons of Molle straps everywhere it is efficient as can be. Holding 40 liters, it can get you through a 1-3 day hike just as easily as a stroll through the park. Bonus: these packs make great diaper bag alternatives for men who want something more masculine. At the price, they aren’t a big deal if the kid has a blowout on it.