Not all backpacks are created equal. As an avid hiker myself, there a lot of factors in the design that can make your backpack feel less like a vital accessory and more like a monkey on your back, whether there’s not enough space or the ergonomics are a disaster and cause pain and discomfort. So, when it comes to hiking, what are the best backpacks for men?
We scoured the web, analyzed reviews and picked out our favorite backpacks, based on durability, functionality, comfort and all-around quality.
Here’s a closer look:
If you’re a regular hiker and hit the trails often, you need a backpack that’s going to last. One that can withstand wear and tear. The Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Backpack comes in at our top bag for durability. This award-winning backpack is not only lightweight at only 2 pounds but it’s made with custom 100 and 200 Denier Robic nylon fabric so it can withstand the toughest of abuse. And, just because it’s durable doesn’t mean it lacks comfort. Pack up to 35 pounds of gear and you’ll barely notice, thanks to its sufficient padding and support. This pack is perfect for anyone looking to cut weight without sacrificing durability.
The Scrambler 30 Outdry by Mountain Hardware is fully loaded with functional elements, including a waterproof membrane that is guaranteed to keep the inter-compartment dry (each bag has been tested through a 24-hour simulated rainstorm to ensure it’s effectiveness). Additionally, the bag includes plenty of reinforced carrying straps and loops to make it simple to load up on your climbing gear or hang anything from hiking shoes to extra layers or avalanche tools. Of course, the small but dense carrying straps are easy on the shoulders and could easily prop this bag up as our top backpack for comfortability, but we were just so blown away by its practicality that we couldn’t resist making it our top pick for functionality.
The Hyperlite 3400 Southwest backpack is stripped down to the essentials, leaving you with plenty of weight to pack the essentials. Don’t be fooled by the ultra light weight. It’s reinforced with Dyneena Composite Fabrics that not only protect it from the elements but stand up to plenty of wear and tear. The only downside is the lack of compartments for organization. But, the tradeoff is well worth it.
Comfort is essential when you’re battle-testing the elements, especially on longer hikes. The last thing you need are blisters and rashes. Our top pick for comfort is the the Gregory Baltoro 75, which can handle the heaviest of loads while offering long-lasting comfort. Gregory is known for producing some of the most comfortable backpacks on the market, and the Baltoro 75 doesn’t disappoint. With firm, supportive padding and a number of features that’ll keep your gear organized, we love this backpack. If it has one downside, we’d give it a knock for its weight, which comes in at about 5 pounds. But, overall, it’s a great choice, especially for comfort.
Finally, our favorite all-around backpack is the Osprey Aether AG 70 Internal Frame Backpack. Why? Where do we start. It pack a durable pouch with its 210D Nylon Dobby and accents made out of 210 High Tenacity Nylon Shadow Box, with a bottom that’s reinforced 500D Nylon Packcloth. Layman’s terms? It’s a battle-tested nylon machine. Nothing rips through this baby, and it offers a custom fit for maximum comfort. But that’s not even the best part. Top reviews rate the internal frame pack’s ventilation as best in class for airflow and the suspended mesh back panel and hip-belt encourage quite a bit of airflow, too. Not to mention, the pack’s design is thought-fully created to keep all your gear organized, dry and easy to access. It’s clear the Osprey Aether AG 70 is our top pick for an all-around backpack for any hike.
Don’t see your favorite among our best backpacks for men? Comment below and let us know which ones we’ve left out. In the meantime, happy hiking, dads!