Our Picks for the Best High-Capacity Lightweight Backpacks
One of the questions that many hikers have is which backpack they should be taking on those long-distance trips. Multi-day backpacking journeys require suitably-sized backpacks for all the food, water and gear you’ll be needing to carry around with you. At the same time, you don’t want to be wasting energy by carrying something that is too big or unwieldy.
There are lots of different packs available on the market these days, so to help you narrow down the selection and make some smart purchasing decisions, we’re going to highlight five of the best ones in this article today. All of these backpacks are high-capacity, easy to carry, and resistant to various conditions, but each one has its own unique charms that we’ll highlight below.
Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Backpack
The Mariposa 60 is an ideal backpack for people who need a lot of storage. This bag comes with dozens of packs, both inside and out, providing easy access for all of your various tools and equipment. Plenty of the compartments of this bag are fully-covered to protect your gear from the rain and the elements, and it also comes with a handy side pocket, ideal for transporting a tent or tarp.
This also happens to be an exceedingly light backpack, perfect for people who want to go on long hikes but don’t want to tire themselves out by carrying too much weight. If there’s a single criticism to level at this backpack, it’s that it doesn’t have as much ventilation as some of the others. The Mariposa 60 costs around $245, which is a good price for this sort of hiking pack.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest Pack
It’s slightly ironic that Hyperlite’s Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest Pack isn’t actually as light as some of the others on our list today. In spite of its name, this company actually tends to use slightly heavier materials than its rivals to provide more durability and resistance.
Still, this backpack remains exceptionally light at just 33 ounces. It’s also very resistant and can be well-suited for hikes, climbs, or other activities in difficult conditions. If you’re planning on getting outdoors in times of wind, snow and rain, this might be the pack for you. It’s a little pricey than some of the others at $320, but it’s a very durable pack and comes in lots of different sizes to suit every user.
Ultralight Adventure Equipment Circuit Backpack
This backpack comes in the shape of a tear, which actually turns out to be a very intuitive design and makes the pack very easy to carry. The Circuit is the heaviest item on our list today at 41 ounces, but it’s incredibly resistant and fun to use. It comes with some great external storage options to help you carry wet gear or items you need to grab in-a-hurry.
It’s also been cleverly designed to suit both men and women comfortably, with various adjustable straps for the shoulders. What really stands out about this pack is how nicely it fits, so if you want to feel as comfy as possible while carrying your pack, this could be the right choice. The Circuit retails for approximately $235.
Zpacks.com Arc Blast Backpack
ZPacks.com’s Arc Blast Backpack is remarkably light, weighing in at only 21 ounces. You can actually adjust the length of this pack to suit your needs, so it can be perfect for a very wide range of activities. It also features mesh panels for extra ventilation in the warmer months. These features are great, but they can also count as drawbacks, since the mesh panel and adjustable frame of this pack mean that it doesn’t quite have the strength or resistance as some of the others.
It’s probably not the best option for tough conditions, but it’ll certainly get the job done for hikers looking for a warm-weather pack. It comes with lots of functional pockets and compartments, including some handy water bottle pockets. This pack costs $325.
Granite Gear Crown VC 60
The Granite Gear Crown VC 60 is the cheapest item on our list today and can be in your hands for only $200. It weighs in at a respectable 34 ounces and has a capacity of 60 liters. There are two different versions of this pack, with one being adapted for men and the other for women. Like many other top quality backpacks, it comes with dozens of pockets and straps to store all your equipment.
What sets this pack apart is its ability to be compressed down into a much smaller size, if necessary. This makes the Crown VC 60 a very versatile pack that can accompany you on all sorts of trips and activities. From a simple 3-hour hike to a multi-day backpacking trip, the VC 60 is the perfect companion. It doesn’t quite have the durability of some of the others mentioned above, but it can be relied upon in most weather conditions.