What must be taken into account when choosing a backpack for long journeys? The options are multiple, but if you want to get your purchase right and choose the one preferred by the experts.
The capacity in backpacks is measured in liters. To give you an idea, in a 45 or 50 liter bag you can put everything you need to go backpacking for a long season, such as:
8 t-shirts, 3 pants, 2 swimsuits, 8 underwear changes, 8 pairs of socks, trainers, flip flops, a microfiche towel, a laptop, an external battery, a camera, cables, bathroom accessories and a small medicine cabinet. Almost nothing!
In addition, you can find the same model with different capacities (reaching up to 85 liters) for long-term expeditions or that require winter clothes, which take up more space in the backpack.
The backpacker specialists and experts ̶ and this you have heard many times ̶ they recommend traveling with the right thing. In addition, a small size will make it easier for you to carry it as hand luggage in low cost airlines.
Backpacks up to 50 or 55 liters are usually one size fits all with adjustable straps and straps. But, in those of greater capacity, the backrest is also regulated so that they can be carried by both a 1.50 m person and a 1.90 m person.
The way to know your size is to measure the back from the hip to the neck. This will be enough to choose the most appropriate model for your physiognomy.
Look, and this is very important, in the materials with which it is made:
- The main structure must be made of resistant nylon or polyester and, if possible, waterproof.
- The shoulder straps should be padded and with fine seams that do not make chafing.
- The backrest should be lined with breathable 3D mesh fabric to dissipate sweat and prevent the back from getting wet.
The bad thing about carrying a backpack as luggage is that if you need to take something in particular you have to go taking things out until you find it.
With the simple models you will not have another, but there are designs with front zippers with access to the interior or an upper and a lower opening that facilitates the search.
The compartments are multiple: interior or exterior pockets closed with zip or rubber and other mesh to put the water bottle.
There are even models that have an interior space to put a hydration bag.
You should also consider whether you want to take the sleeping bag or tent with you and how they are placed.
Some backpacks have a lower opening from where they are fastened and others have lateral straps to locate, for example, the mat on one side and the bag on the other.
Likewise, the external hooks are very useful to hang poles, wet boots or any tool that we may need.
Now that you know what the main characteristics of a good hiking backpack are, we are going to explain in detail the top five on the market one by one to make your choice easier. You will find them at very cheap prices from 35 euros.
The winner: Highlander Discovery 45-65-85 l
The Highlander Discovery is a favorite for long drives that take several weeks.
The resistance of its materials, the comfort with large loads and its excellent value for money, have made it the best valued model by hikers and expert travelers.
You can find it in three sizes according to its capacity: 45 liters, perfect for carrying it as hand luggage on low-cost airlines; and 65 or 85 liters for long trips or camping that require enough space to put the sleeping bag or tent.
People who have used it highlight its design that divides the backpack into two independent areas that are accessed through an upper and a lower zipper.
In this way you can use the top space for clean clothes and the bottom one to store laundry or spare shoes.
Specialists love its two large side pockets with vertical opening for easy access.
For delicate items such as sunglasses, mobile phone, GPS or flashlight, there is a zippered pocket on the top cover.
And, for those who practice trekking, and do not want to stop their march, it includes an internal compartment where a hydration bag is placed with a tube to drink without having to remove the backpack.
The documentation and the wallet will always be controlled in the pocket located on the strap that holds the bag in the lumbar area.
Another remarkable feature are the external hooks whose utility is to hang accessories such as hiking poles, the mat or the sleeping bag .
It is a backpack made of polyester and Oxford fabrics, resistant to tears and with well-finished seams that prevent the appearance of chafing after long periods of use.
Its padded backrest is adjustable in height in the 65 and 85 liter models. In addition, it has a removable metal bar that is placed on the back and serves to improve stability.
The Highlander Discovery is not a waterproof model, although it is not a problem, since it incorporates a rain cape in the lower pocket that covers it completely.
If you plan to travel with it in hot weather, you will appreciate the AirMesh breathable mesh fabric on the back that allows air to circulate and dissolves sweat.
Highlander Discovery models weigh less than 1.5 kilograms. You just have to choose between four colors, blue, black, red or teal, before embarking on the adventure with the certainty of being equipped with a quality backpack and without having made a large investment.
A good alternative: Mardingtop 50-60-65-65 + 10l
This second model has the MOLLE system (Modular Lightwear Load-carrying Equipment), which translates as Modular Light Load Equipment.
It consists of a set of anchors in the form of highly resistant straps that cover the surface of the backpack and serve to hang any accessory.
This type of backpack triumphs among the armies of half the world, but given its practicality when adding or removing departments, it has also become popular outside the military sphere.
Among the backpack models with this type of anchoring and storage system, the best are those of the Mardingtop brand. You can find them with capacities of 50, 60, 65 and 65 + 10 liters depending on the time you are going to travel or the material you carry.
The 50 and 60-liter capacity are simple and with a single-size non-height-adjustable backrest. On the other hand, the backrests are adjustable to size from 65 liters.
They all have a large number of pockets and compartments, a space for the laptop and plastic that covers it completely.
Under the hood there is space to place the tent and at the bottom there are straps to hold the mat or sleeping bag .
They are made of 600D polyester, a strong, durable, washable and waterproof material. And in all models the backrest area is made of breathable 3D mesh.
The zippers are from YKK, the acronym for the largest zip manufacturer in the world, a sign of quality and guarantee.
The shoulder straps are padded and, to make it snug and well balanced, it is also attached with a chest strap and a reinforced lower back belt.
This way, the load is distributed evenly and the back does not suffer after hours of loading as most of the weight falls on the hips and legs.
The robustness of this backpack is not incompatible with lightness, since the top model does not reach 2 kilograms in weight.
All sizes can be chosen in black, khaki or army green except the 65 + 10 liter navy blue, black or camouflage print.
Simple and compact: Amazon Basics 55-65-75l
Another highly valued model recommended by experts for long hikes is the Amazon Basics hiking backpack, with capacities of 55, 65 and 75 liters.
It stands out for being especially ergonomic and complete thanks to its multiple pockets, both exterior and interior.
It has a rigid internal structure that, together with the secure fit to the torso, shoulders and waist, provides a comfortable sensation while balancing the weight.
If we add to this a soft padding in the lower back area lined with breathable mesh fabric that allows air circulation, carrying it will be an easy task even with heavy loads.
Its design made of polyester ensures good performance against friction or possible tears. Furthermore, it is lined with a waterproof material that withstands light rain.
For storms of greater intensity, the cape included with the backpack should be worn. In this way our belongings will remain protected and dry.
The multi-directional compression straps on the Amazon Basics hold everything in place and prevent delicate objects from colliding with each other.
Another remarkable aspect is its ample storage space with pockets and large compartments to keep the load organized.
It also includes hooks for hanging poles, ice axes, wet boots or any other accessory.
The lower part is reserved for the tightly rolled sleeping bag . We will always have it at hand if we want to make a stop and lie down to rest.
It is suitable for adults and young people regardless of their height, since the backrest is adjusted to suit the physiognomy of any person.
Swap your suitcase for this great backpack this vacation! Choose the color that suits you, complete black or combined with army green, and enjoy the feeling of carrying the house on your back and hands free to look at a map or take a beautiful photograph.
Quality / price: Mountaintop 50-55-60-65l
The Mountaintop backpack is the best option for travelers who are looking for a quality model, made with good materials, resistant and at a good price.
The brand has specialized in the manufacture of these items, gaining the trust of experts and becoming one of the favorites for traveling, trekking or hiking.
With four capacities to choose from, 50, 55, 60, 65 liters, you can select the model that suits you best. For example, the 50-liter backpack is the perfect companion for those plane trips that do not require checking luggage.
They are made of waterproof rip-stop nylon fabric, a material that is characterized by being resistant to abrasion and any weather.
The finishes and seams are magnificent, which ensures that our belongings are always safe and incorporates a waterproof cover that guarantees greater protection.
Its pockets, zippers and nets are functional so that our luggage travels in an organized way. In fact, one of its strengths, according to specialists, is that the main compartment can be accessed from both the lid and the bottom.
Both users and experts point out that it is a safe backpack because all the closures of its pockets are zippered, a feature that makes it easy to place a lock.
One of the parts that they value the best about the Mountaintop are its straps that, together with the padded backrest and breathable mesh fabric, make it really comfortable on long trips of weeks or months, without feeling pain in the back.
The 50 and 55 liter models cannot be adjusted to the height of the traveler, but the 60 and 65 ones do have that option.
If, for example, you travel two people with the idea of taking turns in the bag, the specialists recommend choosing one of greater capacity that includes this option of adaptability to the person.
The best price: Lixada 50-60 l
The last place in this comparison is occupied by the 50 and 60 liter backpack from Lixada, a company specialized in articles for outdoor activities that help us enjoy nature in a comfortable and stylish way.
For just over 30 euros you will have a hiking backpack to go camping or travel the world.
Both sizes share a spacious main compartment and numerous interior and exterior pockets.
It’s made of tough, waterproof nylon fabric and ergonomically designed for long-lasting wear.
Like other models in this comparison, it incorporates a practical rain cover for humid climates.
Travelers who have used this backpack highlight its good suspension system that reduces pressure on the shoulders.
In addition, the backrest and tie-down straps have thick padded 3D mesh and they adjust so that anyone can wear it.
The chest strap and belt also adapt to each face to balance it and distribute the weight.
The Lixada comes in various colors, so the last step before clicking on the purchase is to select the one you like best. With the guarantee that you will have a quality backpack at a low price.