Best Budget Hiking Backpack

Did you know that hiking ranks among the best ways to connect to nature? And that for an enjoyable hike, you need a good hiking backpack? Well, now, you are in the know. The bag you choose does not have to come at a price that threatens to make you bankrupt. A decent budget hiking backpack will do the trick.

Some people argue that cheap is expensive, but I believe that this is not always the case. When you go through the list of backpacks below, you will most likely agree with me.

Best Budget Hiking Backpack

What is the Best Budget Hiking Backpack?

We have compiled for you the top 8 Best Budget Hiking Backpack in 2024. In this article we go through the products that we have used ourselves, checked what other users thought about them and we ranked them accordingly.

With years of experience with budget backpacks for hiking and having used several budget hiking backpacks you can trust our review.

Moreover, you can scroll to the end of this review to see our mini buying guide as well as the answers to some of the frequently asked questions about budget hiking backpacks.

1. Gonex Ultralight Hiking Backpack

Gonex Ultralight Hiking Backpack
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 20 liters
Size: 17 x 12 x 6 inches (43.2 x 30.5 x 15.2 cm)
Material: Nylon
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No

Made with high-quality,tear and water-repellent nylon fabric, this backpack by Gonex might just become your long-term hiking companion. It is of excellent quality with durable SBS metal zippers and reinforced seams and stress points for extra strength. The backpack fits into a compact pouch for easy storage and it makes the perfect companion for any outdoor sport.

It features a 20L capacity with three zippered compartments, an outer pocket for books and snacks, and an inner pocket for valuables. The pack is perfect for day hikes and day trips where you need to pack lightly and it comes in a variety of colors.

Pros

  • Lightweight and roomy,
  • Comfortable padded straps,
  • High-quality zippers

Cons

  • Color bleeds when washing

2. ZBRO Waterproof Backpack Dry Bag

ZBRO Waterproof Backpack Dry Bag
Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 30 liters
Weight: 2 pounds (0.91 kg)
Material: Rubber
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: Yes

This ZBRO backpack will help to keep your gear dry and clean at all times with its waterproof construction. It is quite visible during the night thanks to its reflective stripe that you can see from a distance. Worry no more about your wet clothes mixing with the clean ones since all you have to do is to keep them in the outer mesh pocket.

It comes with a removable inner pocket where you can store your money, phone, or keys. The bag is ideal for hiking in wet weather and for water activities such as fishing and kayaking.

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Pros

  • Waterproof construction to keep your contents dry,
  • Large 40L capacity to fit gear for two people,
  • Breathable mesh and bungee strap,
  • Waterproof construction for use in wet conditions

Cons

  • Straps are a little scratchy and may be uncomfortable to wear

3. Mothybot Hydration Backpack

Mothybot Hydration Backpack
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Capacity: 20 liters
Weight: 1.59 pounds (0.72 kg)
Size: 17.7 x 10.7 x 2.4 inches (45 x 27.2 x 6.2 cm)
Material: 600 Denier Polyester, PVC
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No

One of the most outstanding aspects of this backpack is the thermal insulation compartment that keeps the water in your hydration bladder cooler for longer. It also comes with a leak-proof 2L hydration bladder that is BPA free and easy to clean.

This hydration backpack features a rugged 600D Polyester with PVC lining construction for long-lasting performance. It also has multiple compartments to store your clothes, among other necessities.

Pros

  • Hip straps add to its comfy design,
  • Breathable material on the back panel and shoulder straps,
  • Solid stitching on the seams for extra strength,
  • Insulated bladder compartment that keeps drinks cool

Cons

  • Little padding and reinforcement at the bottom

4. Osprey Stratos 34 Hiking Backpack

Osprey Stratos 34 Hiking Backpack
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 2.95 pounds (1.34 kg)

YouTube video

The Osprey Stratos-34 is a 34L hiking backpack which I think would make an excellent bug out bag. Although it does not come with tactical features such as MOLLE webbing, the Stratos-34 is a versatile backpack with plenty of storage for your survival kit.

One of the outstanding features that I liked about this backpack is the dual zipper panel access to the main compartment. Like the Mystery Ranch backpack, the panel opening gives you much more convenience compared to a top access backpack. However, its tube frame constricts the interior spaces and does not expand outwards like the Mystery Ranch pack. The Stratos-34 features adjustable shoulder straps and waist strap to help you find the perfect fit. The waist strap also features two zippered pockets where you can keep small items that you need on the go. The pack has a high-quality construction that features 420HD Nylon fabric, which provides a high level of tear resistance and waterproof abilities. Another positive is the well-ventilated mesh back panel and a lightweight air suspension frame that helps to support the weight of the bag and makes it comfortable to carry.

Pros

  • Ample storage space,Adjustable straps for optimal comfort,Durable, tear-resistant 420HD Nylon fabric,Breathable mesh back panel.

Cons

  • Somewhat limited interior due to streamlined frame,
  • Somewhat higher cost for occasional users.

5. Matein Unisex Travel Backpack

Matein Unisex Travel Backpack
Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Weight: 1.54 pounds (0.7 kg)
Material: Polyester
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No

An all-purpose backpack designed for the modern nomad – the Matein Unisex Travel Backpack is both functional and affordable. The backpack stands out with its generous storage capacity, featuring a partitioned laptop compartment, spacious main compartment, and a front organizer pocket. This layout effectively aids in meticulous item placement and effortless access.

Furthermore, the bag is ergonomically designed for balanced weight distribution across the shoulders, ensuring a relaxed carry throughout the day. Also integrated into its design are practical side pockets, large enough to secure your favorite hiking water bottle.

A distinctive feature of this cost-effective backpack is its innovative technology support. It comes with an external USB port coupled with a built-in charging cable, enabling you to recharge your devices on the go with ease. It’s like carrying your personal mobile power station!

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Additionally, the Matein backpack has a thoughtful baggage attachment feature – a sturdy luggage strap that allows you to securely fasten the bag on your rolling luggage for efficient portability.

Pros

  • “ETRAMPING” coupon code offers a 10% discount at manufacturer’s checkout,Softly-padded shoulder straps and a foam-padded handle,Secure anti-theft pocket at the back,Luggage strap to easily secure to rolling luggage,External USB port for on-the-go charging.

Cons

  • Insufficient padding on the base of the bag,
  • Limited color variants available.

6. Venture Pal Hiking Backpack

Venture Pal Hiking Backpack
Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Nylon
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No

One standout feature on this affordable hiking backpack is the wet pouch, designed to segregate damp or dirty clothing from the rest of your belongings. Don’t let your sweaty gear ruin the rest of your pack! This bag offers an impressive 40L capacity – larger than most in its class. It features a spacious main compartment and additional zippered pockets at the front and sides for increased organization.

Despite its considerable size, the Venture Pal Backpack maintains comfort through an ergonomic layout. For easy transportation and storage, this backpack conveniently folds into a compact, portable pouch. The backpack’s robust construction and design are evident, with hard-wearing zippers offering sustained endurance. The bag’s chest clip with a buckle is also worth mentioning, as it equitably distributes weight, lessening the burden on your shoulders.

The Venture Pal Hiking Backpack is not only practical but pleasing to the eye, available in a wide range of vibrant colors. Performance-wise, it excels with a fast-drying material for easy cleanup post-hiking.

Pros

  • Wet pouch keeps other items dry Large 40L capacity Ergonomically designed for comfort Heavy-duty zippers for durability

Cons

  • Material is a bit slippery for one-shoulder carry
  • Not ideal for petite individuals due to size

7. TETON Sports Oasis1100

TETON Sports Oasis1100
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Size: 18.5 x NaNNaN inches (47 x NaNNaN cm)
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes

YouTube video

TETON Sports Oasis 1100 amalgamates function and price, offering a package set featuring a 2L hydration bladder and a stylish backpack tailored for adventure enthusiasts. This daypack brings a sturdy storage solution to the hiking arena with an 18L capacity, fashioned from 600D ripstop polyester fabric enhanced with a polyurethane coating for optimal water resistance.

Coming in a medley of eye-catching color schemes, this backpack accommodates all body types with its adjustable shoulder straps and waist belt. Although some larger-framed users noted slight discomfort with the waist strap, its padded shoulder straps and back panel equipped with an air mesh covering ensure a day’s wear without straining.

The set’s hydration bladder boasts a 2-inch wide screw cap that is especially handy for infusing cold refreshment during hikes with ice cubes. Although it’s not quite as trouble-free to clean as more premium versions like the Osprey bladder, it offers nearly full-capacity fills. Additionally, its practical and durable design has a kink-free drinking tube and an easy-to-use pull/push bite valve.

A noteworthy boon is the pack’s compatibility with other hydration bladder brands like Camelbak, providing valuable flexibility to upgrade to a larger 3L option if needed. If you are considering your first hiking backpack purchase, the TETON Sports Oasis package could tick all the right boxes in terms of affordability and functionality.

Pros

  • Set includes a daypack and 2L hydration bladderBungee cord system for seamless organizationAdjustable straps and waist belt for varying body types600D coated nylon fabric for durabilityDual side pockets for water bottles

Cons

  • Waist strap may not comfortably fit those with larger builds
  • Possible leakage from bladder’s screw cap, suggest testing prior to use
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8. TARION TB-02 Light Camera Backpack

TARION TB-02 Light Camera Backpack
Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: High Density Waterproof Nylon
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No

The Tarion TB-02 Light Camera Backpack is an affordable option for the traveler who needs to carry a laptop and camera. This hiking camera bag is designed with a primary focus on safety with its eight padded and customizable dividers. You have the flexibility to reconfigure these compartments to securely store and protect your valuables, including drones.

For the trek enthusiast who values light travel, the Tarion TB-02 shines. It’s remarkably light and compact – an asset for those long hiking trips. One useful feature is the inclusive rain cover, providing waterproof protection to withstand unpredictable weather. The backpack has a dedicated 15-inch laptop compartment which is a convenient add-on for digital nomads. The major plus is the adaptable main compartment. Its removable dividers allow you to convert it into a roomy compartment when you need more space.

The Tarion TB-02 adds comfort to versatility. Its shoulder straps are adjustable, making sure you carry your bag with ease, no matter the load. The back panel, constructed with an air mesh design, promotes breathability for those sweaty hikes.

Pros

  • Dividers can be removed, converting into a day-pack
  • Thickened protective pads offer shockproof security
  • Handy for short trips
  • Lightweight and compact design for easy carriage
  • Include a strap to hold a tripod at the bottom

Cons

  • Strap stitching could be more durable

Verdict

To summarize, we have gone through dozens of budget hiking backpacks and decided that 8 are worth your consideration. Out of these, the absolute Best Budget Hiking Backpack is Gonex Ultralight Hiking Backpack which we highly recommend as our overall best.

If money is not an issue, you can consider Osprey Stratos 34 Hiking Backpack as this is our Premium Pick.

Otherwise, there’s no shame in spending prudently, Gonex Ultralight Hiking Backpack is the Budget Option.

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

Questions and Answers About budget hiking backpacks

What to look for in a budget hiking backpack?

When choosing a budget backpack for hiking, you should look out for the following features
SIZE
The size of the backpack depends with the duration of the hiking trip and the gear you intend to carry along. For instance, if you are going for a day’s hike, a small bag will suffice. However, the small bag will not be of much use when going for a week’s hike in the mountains.
If possible, get a bag with adjustable features to suit all your needs.
FABRIC
Just because you’re shopping for a cheap hiking backpack, it does not mean that you settle for any fabric that you stumble upon. Most backpacks are made from polyester or nylon. Go for the backpack that comes with a denier value of at least 600D to give you long-lasting performance.
ZIPPER QUALITY
Ensure that the zippers of the backpack you intend to purchase are of high-quality. You do not want to end up with zippers that break easily or get stuck when you try to close or open your backpack. Going through customer reviews will help you greatly to know if the zippers of the backpack you want are of top quality.
STITCHING
Whenever possible, choose a hiking backpack that comes with reinforced stitching as it makes the stress points strong enough to support your load.

What is good but cheap material for hiking backpacks?

Nylon and polyester are the popular materials used for making backpacks. Nylon is inexpensive, resilient to dry and wet conditions, and has a longer durability factor than polyester. The fabric is also lightweight, resistant to wear and tear, and easy to wash.

Can I use my everyday backpack for hiking?

The choice to use your everyday backpack for hiking will depend on the duration and what you intend to carry. If you are going for a short hike, and all you need is a water bottle and a few necessities, it might work. However, if you intend to carry all your hiking and camping gear, your day-backpack will not be the best choice.

What are the best budget hiking backpack brands?

Some of the best budget hiking backpack brands include
Sosoon
Gonex
Teton Sports
HIKPRO
Sinotron

Where should I pack my heavier items in a backpack?

Always pack the backpack with the heavier items in the middle of the backpack and close to your back. Also, try to distribute the weight of your pack by packing quick access items in the side and front pockets. The bulky items such as your sleeping bag should be at the bottom of the backpack while your lighter clothes and food items should be at the top.

Do I need a rain cover with my backpack?

Before purchasing a backpack, think about whether or not you will be in an area prone to rain and if it is likely that your belongings may get wet. If you are hiking near water then it’s important to make sure any backpacks you choose comes with a rain cover which will protect your clothes, sleeping bag, etc. from the elements and keep them dry.

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Picture of Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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