Hiking Backpack Reviews
Hiking is a favorite past time for millions of people. Hiking for a few hours along a paved or gravel trail is very different than hiking on long hikes, overnight hiking adventures, and back country hikes. These hiking adventures provide a great deal of fun and adventure, but also require more planning and appropriate equipment for safe hiking. Things like first aid kits, food, water, and other emergency supplies are not generally brought on short hikes. For long hikes, these are a necessity in the event of an accident or unplanned event. Hiking backpacks are built for lightweight carrying of the necessary survival supplies for a safe and exciting hiking/camping adventure. These backpacks will fit compact sleeping bags, small tents and all other supplies needed for long hikes or back country hiking. Explore Mother Nature, at her heart, rather than along the roadside, with these high quality backpacks.
Hiking Backpack Buying Guide
Nowadays, many people like to go for a long hiking trip that usually lasts for a day or sometimes even weeks. Overnight hikers are adventurous individuals who require a special kind of hiking backpack that allows them to carry their food supplies, water, tent and first aid kits.
Hiking backpacks were made to be lightweight for an easy way of carrying survival kits and other equipments. It is much safer and more exciting to use these backpacks for a mountain hiking. These packs can accommodate small tents, compact sleeping bags and all the supplies required for the journey.
Types of Hiking Backpack
The Osprey Xenith 75
- Four secondary compartments
- BioForm Hip Belt
- Removable lid
- Side pockets
- Hydration Sleeve
- Breathable shoulder strap and back panel
The Osprey Xenith 75 offers four secondary compartments from every side of the backpack and any of these four compartments allows you to access its main compartment. The four secondary compartments enable you to quickly pack and unpack things and it serves as an additional storage. We tested the Xenith 75 and found that the two secondary compartments from each side are useful in storing extra clothes and small tents. There are two zippered pockets located on the backpack’s hip-belt that offers an excellent way to store electronic devices such as mobile phones and digital cameras. The removable lid which also serves as a small bag is equipped with two zippered pockets for storing smaller size items. There are two pockets located on each side that can hold a 1 liter bottle but it can also be used to store other items as well. The hydration sleeve located near the back panel is designed specifically to store a hydration bladder and it counteracts the condensation that develops inside.
The Xenith 75 features the latest innovation of hip belt from Osprey called BioForm; it offers comfortable thick padding that can be easily adjusted. The pack also uses a soft breathable shoulder strap and backpanel; it is made using a reversed type of spacer mesh. The shoulder strap and backpanel has a curved frame design which allows the air to flow and it reduces the body heat during intense activities. We filled the backpack with 65 lbs. and started hiking on Ozark Mountain. During the test, we hardly notice any difference in our performance and after a few weeks of heavy use, it only managed to acquire minor scratches and faded logo design. Overall, the Xenith 75 is able to provide us comfort and durability.
The Arc’teryx Altra 75
- Easy to access main compartment
- AC2 dynamic suspension Hip Belt
- Seamed-taped and water resistant pockets
- Hydration pocket is situated to the side
The Arc’teryx Altra 75 offers a single opening at the top to access the main compartment. The reversed U shaped zipper allows you to quickly pack and unpack the supplies. There are three pockets that are available on the lid for storing some items. A unique feature about the Altra 75 is the two pockets at the top lid that are seamed-taped and water resistant. Moreover, the pack is designed to be much like a suitcase because the zippers are located on top so it’s easier to access things. Additionally, the hydration pocket is placed to the side and this allows more room for the main compartment unlike other backpack’s hydration system which is located in the middle. There are two pockets on both sides of the Altra 75 that can be stretched to hold a 1 liter bottle and the hip belt is also equipped with two pockets that can be stretched to hold electronic devices such as mobile phones and digital cameras.
This backpack features the latest innovation of hip belt from Arc’teryx called AC2 dynamic suspension; it enables the hip belt to move in conjunction with your hips for added comfort. The shoulder strap and backpanel has a nice air movement to help cool the body during intense activities. We filled the pack with 50 lbs. and started hiking on Southern Missouri. During the test, we felt secure and the stability is good. The Arc’teryx Altra 75 is also equipped with adjustable load lifters, hip straps and shoulder straps to suit your needs.
The Arc’teryx Altra 62
- Designed for women
- Offers many adjustable options
- Unique protective cover
The Arc’teryx Altra 62 is specially designed for women and it features many customizable options such as shoulder straps, shoulder width, waist belt and torso length. Furthermore, it’s made with high quality materials that are both durable and lightweight. It has two openings at the top and front to access the main compartment. The reversed U shaped zipper allows you to quickly pack and unpack the supplies. There are two pockets available on the lid for storing some items and there are also two enclosed pockets on both sides of the Altra 62 that can hold a 1 liter bottle. Additionally, the pack offers two pockets at the top lid that are seamed-taped and water resistant. The Arc’teryx Altra 62 features a unique protective cover for the tent and sleeping pad situated below the backpack to prevent scratches when placed on the ground.
The Altra 62 uses several enhancements to provide comfort such as the separated back design which segregates the distribution of weight from the hips and shoulders by using a hip belt that’s connected to the backpack by a disc that pivots simultaneously as you walk. We tested it and found out that it actually works well by transferring the backpack’s weight into the hips. At first, the plastic mechanism might screech a little but it will eventually stop after a few days when the joint starts to wear in.
Moreover, you can also change the position of the shoulder straps by using a grid that allows you to adjust the starting point either vertically or horizontally. The Altra 62 is truly an excellent choice when it comes to weight distribution although it’s really hard to tell what particular element is making it work. It is important to note that when you buy this hiking backpack you have to check out the different settings day after day to discover the most comfortable settings for you.