The 4 Best Affordable Hiking Backpacks

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You don't need to shell out hundreds of dollars to find a high-quality hiking backpack, especially if you are new to hiking or are on a budget. The best affordable hiking backpacks offer durability, water resistance, and loads of space to pack all of your stuff, all for around $50 or less.

When shopping for a backpack, you'll want to pay close attention to the capacity, weight, and padding of the pack. The name of the game is maximizing capacity while minimizing the overall weight, so that no matter how long you're out on a hike you won't strain your back.

When it comes to capacity, anything over 40 liters will be a great choice for a multi-day hike, a camping excursion, or an all-day hike if you tend to pack a lot. If you're just going out for a few hours, or you prefer minimal hiking gear, a smaller pack of around 20 liters will be a great choice. If you're not sure what size is right for you, there's plenty of great information on the internet that helps define which size backpack is right for your hiking style. And, as you shop, think about whether you want any additional features like a waterproof design or a built-in hydration bladder.

For a detailed look at some of the best affordable hiking backpacks you can buy, keep scrolling.

1Best Affordable Hiking Backpack All Things Considered

For the most space, this 50-liter hiking backpack offers a tremendous value for the price and boasts a 4.2-star rating on Amazon. The extra-large capacity gives you plenty of packing space, and there is even a separate bottom compartment that is the perfect size for a sleeping bag or an extra pair of shoes. Among this nylon backpack's many other features is a rain cover, a hydration sleeve inside the compartment that allows you to insert a water bladder, plus eight compression straps (including a bottom loop that can be used to attach trekking poles). At 4.3 pounds, this pack isn't the most lightweight choice, but the straps and the foam padding on the back help make it as comfortable as possible. So, whether you're preparing for a short overnight hike or are planning to conquer the Appalachian Trail, this backpack will have you covered.

2Most Lightweight Backpack

At only 12 ounces in weight, this lightweight hiking daypack offers 40 liters of packing space. While its lightweight construction does mean it has less padding and structural support on the straps and back, this pack can compress into a small pouch that easily fits inside a suitcase or even a pocket when not in use. And, even when fully packed, the backpack can fit under the seat of a plane, making it a great buy for any overseas hiking or backpacking excursions you have planned. Plus, its light nylon fabric is both water- and tear-resistant, and, for the size volume it offers, the $19 price can't be beat.

3Best Waterproof Backpack

Although its 22-liter capacity is on the smaller side, this waterproof backpack is lightweight (approximately 1 pound with only padding in the straps) and will float if accidentally dropped in water, thanks to its flexible tarpaulin cloth material. While this backpack was designed for rainy hikes, fans on Amazon have given it a 4.4-star rating and raved about its versatility, noting that it's also great for kayaking and other water-related activities. Best of all, the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty, ensuring that this product will last you for a long time.

4Best With Hydration Bladder

This 1.4-pound RUPUMPACK hiking backpack has 18 liters of packing room including a 2.5-liter water bladder that allows you to drink through an attached straw while hiking. The BPA-free water compartment is insulated to keep the liquid cold for up to four hours, a major plus while hiking in hot weather. Plus, the design of this water-resistant nylon pack features 11 storage compartments including two extra pockets on the waist straps that make it easy to access essential items without having to it take off entirely. With a 4.4-star rating on Amazon and a 100 percent money-back guarantee, what more could you ask for from a backpack-hydration-pack combo?

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