Our gear expert Chris Townsend takes a look at some of the best budget hiking backpacks, ranging from daypacks to bigger backpacks for multi-day trips.

Got a bit more budget? Take a look at our best hiking backpacks for men and best hiking backpacks for women or if you want a complete overview check out the best hiking backpacks. For now though here are some of the best budget hiking backpacks

A good backpack is an essential part of your hiking gear whether you are day walking or wild camping. It is possible to spend a great deal on a backpack, but it isn’t necessary. There are many excellent models that are accessible for people who are on a budget. Here I’ve looked at a selection in different sizes from reputable companies. Whichever budget backpack you choose, ensure it fits and carries comfortably.

Guide to budget friendly backpacks.

Best budget daypacks

Daypacks for three-season hiking generally have capacities of 20-30 litres. This should hold all you need for a day out.

Blue Hiking Alpkit Presta 25L

Alpkit Presta 25L - £70 | $94

First on our list for the best budget hiking backpacks is the Presta 25-litre daypack has zip access, padded back and hip fins, stretch side and front pockets, hip-fin pockets, internal valuables pocket and hydration sleeve, and side straps.

The back has ventilation channels and there’s an emergency safety whistle built into the sternum strap. It’s made from coated ripstop nylon with a PFC-free durable water repellency treatment and weighs just 630 grams.

Berghaus Arrow backpack

Berghaus Arrow 30 - £65 | $95.99

The 30-litre Arrow is a traditional-style rucksack with a buckled lid and two big, zipped, side pockets. There’s also a zipped lid pocket and an inner hydration sleeve.

The Arrow 30 is made from coated polyester and has a padded back with ventilation channel, a waist strap, and a sternum strap. There are attachments for walking poles and a rain cover. The Arrow weighs 745 grams.

The best budget backpacks 35-50 litre

Medium-sized packs in the 35-50 litre range are suitable for winter hiking with extra clothing and hardware for snow and ice, hut-to-hut (or hotel to hotel) trips where you need more than a daypack, and for three-season overnight camping trips.

With compact gear those at the larger end may also be suitable for multi-day backpacking.  They aren’t too big for three-season day hiking either and could be described as general-purpose packs. Here are some of the best budget backpacks for 35-50 litre packs.

The North Face Hydra 38L

The North Face Hydra 38-Litre - £140 | $169.95

The Hydra is a fully specified pack with an internal aluminium frame and a mesh trampoline back panel that creates an air gap so your back stays dry, making it good for hot weather hiking.

The pack has a padded hipbelt, buckle fastened lid and six pockets – two mesh side, large front stash pouch, zipped lid, and two zipped hipbelt. There’s a hydration sleeve inside, external lash points for extra gear, and a sternum strap with built-in safety whistle.

There are two sizes. The average weight is 992 grams.

Lowe Alpine Airzone

Lowe Alpine AirZone Camino Trek 40 - 50L - £140

The Camino Trek is a versatile pack as the 40 litre capacity can be increased by 10 litres by raising the lid which attaches with buckles at the front and the back.

As well as the top opening there’s a zipped front panel for easy access to the contents. The pack has an internal frame and Lowe Alpine’s AirZone breathable back to maximise airflow and keep your back dry.

The hipbelt is padded. Features include a lower compartment with zipped entry and an internal zipped divider panel, bellows side pockets, stretch water bottle side pockets, lid pockets, hipbelt pockets, rain cover, front bungee system for attaching extra gear, side compression straps, and ice axe loops.

There are two sizes, weighing 1.53 and 1.6kg.

The best budget hiking 50 litre plus backpacking packs

Packs over 50 litres are for big loads for multi-day camping trips. These are the packs where a proper fit is essential for comfort. Most packs have adjustable backs or come in more than one size.


Sierra Designs Gigawatt 60

Sierra Designs Gigawatt 60 - £110 | $119.95

This 60-litre pack has a back that’s adjustable to fit torsos from 40 to 43cm. For support and comfort there’s a sprung steel perimeter frame and a padded back panel with airflow channels. The hipbelt is wide and well-padded.

The main compartment can be accessed by a diagonal top zip or a zip side. There’s a zipped top pocket and huge zipped hipbelt pockets. On the sides and back there are oversized mesh pockets.

The pack also has compression straps and ice axe/trekking pole loops. It’s made from durable 300-denier ripstop polyester and weighs 1.84kg.

Black vango sherpa rucksack

Vango Sherpa 60:70 - £105

Vango’s Sherpa pack is recommended by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award due to its fit, comfort and durability. It has a back system that can be adjusted while wearing the pack.

There are two back lengths as well, the shorter one designated the 60:70S.

The big hipbelt and the shoulder straps have thick padding and there’s a padded back panel that slides up and down twin frame bars to adjust the fit.

The pack is made from 600 denier coated polyester. There are two compartments. The larger upper one has a buckle fastened lid, the lower one zipped access.

Gear can be further organised in eight pockets. On each side there are zipped expansion and open-topped mesh pockets. The lid has zipped pockets inside and out.

On the front there’s a flat waterproof zipped pocket designed for maps. Finally there’s a single zipped pocket on the hipbelt.

Side and lower front compression straps can be used for attaching extra gear and if that’s not enough there are daisy chain loops on the front for attaching bungee cord.

Other features are ice axe/trekking pole loops and a rain cover in the base. The Sherpa 60:70 weighs 2.46kg.