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.