10 Awesome Adventure Backpacks

Tom Malone/Adventure Tribune
Whether you’re planning to embark on a long-range backpacking trek, or a day hike through the woods, a quality backpack is a necessity. Here are ten backpacks that we recommend.

A good backpack can be your most useful piece of adventure gear. They last for years, they’re versatile, and they carry every piece of adventure gear you’ll need.

Depending on your usual type of adventure, you might need a smaller or larger capacity backpack. Typically, you’ll want a large-capacity pack (50 to 70 liters) for extended backpacking trips, a medium-sized pack (25 to 50 liters) for weekend travel, or a small-capacity daypack (5 to 20 liters) for standard day hikes. Or, you can just acquire a medium-sized backpack that provides the storage ability of a backpacking pack and the compactability of a daypack.

Here are ten backpacks that we recommend for all-purpose adventure: day hikes, international adventures, weekend road trips, or multi-day backpacking treks.

1. Kelty Redwing
The Kelty Redwing is the ideal adventure pack. It comes in multiple sizes (32, 44, and 50 liters) to fit any adventure type. Its pocket placements are functional and easily accessible. Its straps are comfortable, and it can compact enough to fit underneath an airplane seat (the 32-liter version). We’ve tested the pack’s durability and waterproof capabilities (both 32- and 50-liter packs) and they hold up well.

2. Patagonia Black Hole
Patagonia created their Black Hole series to allow adventurers to pack anything without fear of weather infringing upon their adventure. This pack is extremely water-repellent. It’s a simple pack with no frills or excess pockets, but it does have a bit of interior organization, like a laptop sleeve.

3. Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Dry DayPack
This 22-liter backpack weighs in at 3.2 ounces and can compress into a stuff sack smaller than your fist. It’s completely waterproof (I’ve tested it through a few Irish rainstorms) and it’s single-compartment rolltop keeps clothes and electronics dry. It’s the perfect daypack to bring on a longer adventure. Stash it in your luggage and you won’t even know it’s there until you need to use it.

4. Mountain Hardwear Rainshadow
Mountain Hardwear’s Rainshadow pack is equipped with OutDry technology, making it completely waterproof and breathable at the same time. It features easy-access pockets, yet it’s equipped with a rainfly to give it the same protected interior as a large-capacity pack. It comes in smaller daypack sizes, but the 36-liter Rainshadow is a solid all-purpose pack.

5. Marmot Kompressor Plus
This quality daypack from Marmot contains 20 liters of packing capacity and provides adventurers with a solid one-day or short-trip pack. The “plus” features water bottle holders, ripstop fabric, and a top flap that keeps your adventure contents dry. Though it looks like it only has one main compartment, it’s segmented to make your packing organized.

6. REI Traverse
Made for day hikes, road trips, and air travel adventures, this 28-liter pack gives adventurers a multipurpose carrier. Its hip-strap pockets give it some extra space for frequently-accessed items, and its front pouch allows you to stash your layers mid-hike.

7. Osprey Skimmer
Made specifically for women, this 30-liter pack provides everything an adventurer needs: plenty of space, compactability, hydration sleeve/water bottle holders, easy-access pockets, and carrying comfort. Though it does come in smaller capacities, the 30-liter option gives you more uses.

8. P.KU.KDSL Canvas Pack
This inexpensive canvas daypack brings an Indiana Jones swagger to your adventure pack. Retro straps with magnetic fasteners make its main compartment easy to access, while its outer pockets give you organization. It even features a pocket on the back for a laptop or tablet. Plus, it looks really, really cool.

9. Coopache 40-Liter Adventure Travel Pack
Made for travel and outdoor adventure, this multi-purpose pack from Coopache has all the necessary features of an adventure pack: water bottle holders, waterproof exterior, comfortable straps, and easy-access front pockets. It also comes in bright colors for safety purposes.

10. Quechua Arpenaz Rucksack
This water-repellent rucksack from Quechua was made for outdoor adventure. Its main compartment is covered by a buckle-down flap, though it features zippered exterior pockets. It has exterior water bottle holders and a ridiculously comfortable carrying system. The Arpenaz series comes in liter increments of 10, 20, 30, and 40, though the two larger capacities provide the most options.


Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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