Trying to find the best hiking backpacks under 100 dollars is no easy task. You of course want to find one that is of great quality but still stick to your tight budget. While on initial research it may seem next to impossible to find the best cheap hiking backpack – they are out there, you just need to know where to look.
Of course if you’re going for the best backpack under 100 dollars, you are going to have to forego some of the features you’d expect to see from some of the best hiking backpack brands. However you’ll still be able to get something that is reasonably comfortable, a decent quality and has just the right amount of pockets and compartments to store all your things.
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Best Hiking Backpacks under 100 dollars
Regardless of whether you’re looking for top of the range hiking bags or cheap hiking bags there is still a range of factors you need to consider to ensure it’s the right option for you. When it comes to choosing a hiking backpack, there is no best cheap hiking backpack that is suitable for everyone. The best budget hiking backpack for one person, may not be suitable for another because we all need different things from packs.
Whatever your requirements, if you’re looking for cheap hiking packs, you are certainly in the right place. In this hiking backpack guide, I’m going to take you through everything you need to consider so you find the best hiking backpack under $100 that’s just perfect for you.
Whether you’re after a cheap womens hiking backpack or cheap hiking backpacks for men, the best day hiking backpack or a multi day hiking backpack or something entirely different, you’ll find just what you’re looking for in these good cheap hiking backpack reviews.
So let’s get started and help you find the best travel hiking backpack for under $100.
The Best Hiking Backpack Under 100 Dollars: Teton Sports Explorer
Don’t have time to read the entire guide on cheap hiking backpacks and just want to hear our recommendation for a good hiking backpack under $100?
When it comes to a cheap bag for hiking backpack, we just love the Teton Sports Explorer. At 65l this is a spacious bag and comes with a range of compartments and pockets perfect for storing all your gear for a multi day hike. It also has various features to make it adjustable to your individual body shape and to ensure your comfort while carrying the pack.
Click here to buy the Teton Sports Explorer now or keep reading below for the full review.
Best Cheap Hiking Bags 2020 Comparison Chart
Below is a handy table where you can see all the different options for a travel backpack under 100 dollars which are reviewed in this article. The table lists the various features side by side to help you decide which is the best value hiking backpack for you.
Keep reading the top 10 hiking backpack cheap reviews below for more information.
Best Cheap Hiking Backpack Reviews 2020
In the below best hiking backpack reviews we take a closer look at some of the best hiking packs under $100 currently available.
Teton Sports Scout 3400 Backpack Review
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 is one of the most popular and top rated cheap hiking packs currently on the market. These packs are perfect for anyone after a lightweight multi day hiking pack.
This Teton hiking backpack has a 55l capacity and weighs 4.5 lbs which is fairly good for an internal frame hiking backpack. This pack features a range of great compartments, perfect to keep everything you need for a multi day hike.
As well as the main compartment, it includes a sleeping bag compartment, side exterior pockets, bungee storage, and various loops for hanging gear with the use of carabiners. To secure your load the pack also comes with side and front compressions straps.
To ensure you are comfortable while carrying this pack, there is a range of great features. The pack has a padded back panel with airflow channels for increased ventilation. It also has loads of adjustable features including padded adjustable shoulder straps and hip belt as well as a multi position torso so you can get the perfect fit.
The pack is made from sturdy 600D ripstop material and other features of this backpack include a built in rainfly and the pack is compatible with a 3l hydration system – the system is not included though.
If you’re after the best multi day hiking backpack or even the best weekend hiking backpack the Teton Sports Scout is a good one to consider.
Teton Sports Explorer 4000 Backpack Review
If you like the look of the Teton Sports Scout but are looking for something a little bigger, then the Teton Sports Explorer 4000 internal frame backpack is a good option. This is a 65l hiking pack and weighs in at 5 lbs – just 0.5 lbs more than the previous backpack and is another bestseller.
With the extra capacity, this backpack has plenty of compartments to store everything you’ll need for a hiking trip of around 3-5 days, making it a great camping hiking backpack. As well as the main compartment, this pack has a sleeping bag compartment, pass through side pockets for tent poles or other longer items, daisy chain to hang gear from, side pockets and more. Compression straps help secure the load once packed.
The Sports Explorer features an internal frame that helps you carry a heavy load and distributes the weight evenly. It features an adjustable torso, so you can get the perfect fit, as well as adjustable and padded shoulder, chest and hip straps. It also comes with a padded foam lumbar back support that has molded channels for maximum airflow.
Like the previous Teton pack, this durable hiking backpack is made from sturdy 600D Ripstop material. The pack also comes with a rain cover and is hydration compatible with a 3l reservoir – although this needs to be purchased separately.
With all these great features you can see why this pack is rated highly for those after the best hiking backpack for long trips or even just the best overnight hiking backpack when you’re carrying loads of gear. For experienced hikers looking for a spacious, yet cheap backpack, the Teton Sports Explorer is an excellent option.
Other Teton Bestseller: Teton Sports Oasis 1100 2 Liter Hydration Backpack
Mountaintop Hiking Backpack 70l – 75l Review
If you’re after a super spacious hiking pack, then look no further then the Mountaintop 70l to 75l pack. This top loading pack is the perfect size for carrying everything you need for a hiking camping trip. With this pack, you can carry your winter gear, tent, sleeping bag, food, and even your cooking gear.
This is a standard 70l hiking backpack with the option to expand it by an additional 5l, so you’ve got room for everything with this pack. As well as the spacious main compartment this pack has a large side pocket, interior pocket, top zippered pocket, straps for your sleeping bag and a separate compartment at the bottom of the main section.
There is also a side and bottom access point which provides easy access to the main compartment, while the compression straps help to tighten the load.
To ensure this mountain hiking backpack is comfortable while you carry it, the pack includes a fully adjustable back panel to ensure you get the perfect size for your back and the back panel is cushioned and is designed for maximum air circulation. Plus it comes with breathable, cushioned and adjustable S shaped shoulder, hip and chest straps. The hip straps also come with a small zippered pocket.
This pack is also hydration compatible with the separate sleeve large enough to accommodate a 3 l reservoir.
Mountaintop Hiking Backpack 65l Review
If you like the look of the previous backpack but prefer something a little smaller than the Mountaintop 65l hiking backpack may well be what you’re after. This 65l capacity pack is a great size and also lightweight at just 3.3 lbs – perfect for those after the best 2 day hiking backpack or even the best 3 day hiking backpack while on a tight budget.
Despite being a cheap hiking backpack, this Mountaintop pack provides some good built in features to ensure maximum comfort. The S shaped shoulder, chest and hip straps are all adjustable as well as being padded and breathable with the mesh fabric. Plus the torso length is fully adjustable making it a great value ergonomic hiking backpack.
In terms of pockets and compartments, there is plenty of space for all your items. As well as the main compartment, this pack has a big zippered pocket on the back, top zippered pocket, 2 side mesh pockets, trekking pole attachment, daisy chains, sleeping bag compartment, as well as zippered pockets on the hip belt. The pack also features compression side straps.
The pack is also water resistant and hydration compatible with the dedicated sleeve suitable for 3l reservoir.
Amazon Basics Hiking Backpack Review
If you’re wanting an even cheaper hiking pack then the ones already mentioned, this hiking pack from Amazon is a great option. This Amazon hiking backpack comes in the option of a 55l, 65l or even a 75l – so no matter your preference there is the perfect size for you.
This is an internal frame hiking pack with a range of great storage pockets and compartments to store all your camping gear. As well as the main compartment there are several storage pockets including side pockets, mesh side pockets, loops for use with carabiners, as well as a sleeping bag compartment and multi directional compression straps to keep your gear well secured.
Like all good hiking packs, the Amazon pack has adjustable straps including padded shoulder straps and adjustable torso length. In addition, there is a foam lumbar pad that has molded channels for great support and increased airflow.
This pack is water resistant and also includes a rain cover. It is not hydration compatible.
Kelty Redwing Backpack Review
For those after a smaller, lightweight, top quality backpack under $100, you can’t go wrong with this Kelty hiking backpack. Kelty always appears in the top hiking backpack brands list, so to be able to grab one in your $100 budget is absolutely brilliant!
This pack has a capacity of 32l so a good size if you’re after the best hiking day backpack. There are several pockets and compartments in this pack to keep all your items well organized. There are several front pockets, side water bottle pockets, zippered side pockets, a padded sleeve (which doubles as a hydration sleeve), trekking pole loops and even interior pockets. Plus there are dual compression straps to ensure a secure load.
You’ll be in total comfort with this pack. The lumbar pad back panel is well padded and breathable ensuring great ventilation. There is also a sternum strap, padded and adjustable shoulder straps and hip belt. Plus the hip belt can be tucked away when not required.
If you’re after the best day trip hiking backpack from one of the good hiking backpack brands and all under $100 then do yourself a favor and check out this Kelty Redwing backpack.
G4Free Hiking Backpack Review
If you’re after the cheapest quality hiking pack you can get your hands-on, then you’re going to want to consider the G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack. This 40 liter hiking backpack is the cheapest pack listed in these reviews.
This medium hiking backpack is perfect for the day hiker or even for a light overnight hike during Summer. It’s an ultralight hiking backpack, the lightest in these reviews at just 0.8 lbs, yet with 40l there is plenty of space for all your gear. The main compartment is spacious and other pockets include an interior top pouch, exterior top pouch, a front pocket and side water bottle holders. The pack also comes with bungee ropes and straps perfect for trekking poles, sleeping bags or other items as well as daisy chains.
To ensure you are comfortable while carrying this pack, the shoulder straps are padded, adjustable, and made from breathable material. An adjustable chest strap is also standard. This pack does not come with a hip belt so not ideal for heavy loads.
While great as a hiking pack, this backpack is also great as additional storage on a trip. The pack folds up so nice and compact that you can easily pop it in the bottom of a larger pack or suitcase.
So for those on a super tight budget and after the best 40l hiking backpack, the G4Free foldable hiking backpack may well be the one for you.
Mardingtop Molle Backpack Review
The Mardingtop Molle backpack is another great pack under $100 and a good size with a capacity of 50l. It’s fairly lightweight at just under 4lbs and is great for multi day hikes in warmer weather conditions.
This pack is made from 600D water resistant polyester and features quality YKK zippers and buckles. There is a range of pockets and compartments for all your hiking gear. As well as the main spacious compartment, the pack includes a top zippered pocket, internal pocket, side straps for storing gear, loops for hanging gear with carabiners and much more. The pack also features compressions straps to ensure a secure load.
To ensure a comfortable fit, the backpack has a range of adjustable features. The pack has fully adjustable chest strap, padded shoulder straps and hip belt Plus the back panel is well padded and promotes great air circulation for better ventilation.
The Mardingtop Molle backpack also features a rain cover and comes with an internal sleeve suitable for a hydration reservoir.
These bags also come in the option of a 60l hiking backpack or 70l capacity too.
Loowoko Hiking Backpack Review
Another affordable option for those after the best 50l hiking backpack is the Loowoko hiking backpack. This pack is perfect for a multi day hike in warm conditions and has plenty of storage space for all your gear.
In addition to the main spacious compartment, this pack comes with mesh side pockets, trekking pole attachments and side adjustable straps for large and long items such as a sleeping bag or mat. Plus there is a range of loops that you can easily use carabiners to hold other camping accessories. The pack also features side compression straps to ensure your load is held together securely.
Even though it’s a budget pack, this medium sized hiking backpack still comes with a range of features to ensure it is compatible for a range of body shapes and sizes. The S shaped padded shoulder straps are wide and thick and covered with breathable mesh as is the lumbar padded back panel. The chest and hip belts are adjustable and the hip belt even comes with pockets which is great on such a cheap pack.
The Loowoko also comes with a rain cover and the pack itself is water resistant which buys you a little time to get the cover out.
Wasing Backpack Review
Last but not least, the Wasing 55l backpack is another great mid sized pack. At just under 3 lbs, this is not only a great budget pack but a light one too.
Like all of the great packs in these reviews, the Washing comes with plenty of space to store your hiking gear. Inside the pack, in the main spacious compartment, you’ll find an internal zipped divider which is great for keeping your gear separate. Other compartments include hip belt pockets, a front pocket, side pockets, a rain cover compartment and plenty of space to attach carabiners for hanging additional gear.
To ensure you are comfortable while carrying the pack, the Wasing features a mold foam back panel which helps prevent backpack rub. The back panel also has built in airflow channels to ensure great circulation which keeps you dry and cool. Plus the back panel is fully adjustable which is not something you’d expect to see on such a low priced backpack. Like all good packs the shoulder, hip and chest straps are all fully adjustable as well.
This pack is water resistant, comes with a rain cover and is also hydration compatible.
How to Choose the Best Hiking Backpack under $100
When it comes to purchasing the best hiking backpack for the money, there are a few things to consider and not just the price tag. If you don’t consider all of the below factors, then in the long run it might work out to be an expensive purchase as you’ll just need to go and buy something more suitable in the long run.
To ensure you purchase the best discount hiking daypack for you, consider the following factors.
If you’re after cheap hiking backpacks for sale under $100, then obviously price is going to be an important factor. But as mentioned above, don’t let this be the only deciding factor in your purchase. There are still a lot of differences when it comes to cheap hiking rucksacks, so make sure you consider all factors so you purchase one that meets all your needs.
Type of Hiking
When it comes to choosing a budget outdoor hiking backpack you need to start with considering what type of hiking you want to use it for.
Are you looking for the best large hiking backpack in your budget because you plan on using it for multi day hiking trips – even a week long hiking backpack? For multi day hikes, you’ll need a pack capable of storing a tent, sleeping bag as well as plenty of food.
While if you’re just after the best small hiking backpack in your budget because you just do short day hikes, then a simple pack with minimum features may suffice.
Also where will you be hiking and what are the weather conditions likely to be? Will you be needing somewhere to store trekking poles or an ice tool. Will you need somewhere to store a large hydration reservoir or will somewhere for a water bottle suffice?
Determining upfront the purpose of the backpack will help you narrow in on the most important features you require. If you’re after a hiking pack for short hikes then a basic lightweight simple hiking backpack with limited features will do the trick. However those after a hiking backpack for longer hikes or where trekking poles and ice tools are necessary, then you’re going to want to ensure your pack has a few additional features.
Hiking Backpack Capacity and Weight
Hiking backpacks come in all shapes and sizes. At the end of the day though you just need a backpack that is big enough to carry all your things. So the question is – what items do you need to carry while hiking?
Don’t go for the largest hiking backpack you can find – as you will regret it. Carrying around a backpack that is heavier and bigger than you need will just lead to frustration. But you also don’t want to purchase a cheap small day hiking backpack which is too small and need to buy another one down the track.
The size of a backpack is measured in liters and can range from just a few liters to a massive 80+ liters. There is quite a vast difference in size with an 80l being absolutely huge and in most cases just far too big, while on the other hand, a 10l pack is quite small and only capable of carrying a few essential items.
The other thing you need to consider is that the larger the pack the heavier it is likely to be. But this isn’t always the case. Some of the top hiking backpack brands use some great materials and hardware which are incredibly light – but are usually more expensive than their heavier counterparts and probably out of your $100 price range.
On the other hand, if you want a backpack with all the bells and whistles as well as a range of great comfort features then it will naturally be larger and heavier than a pack with the bare minimum features.
As you can see, getting the capacity and weight of a backpack is a bit of a balancing act taking into consideration what you need to carry, what features you want it to have and your $100 budget.
If you’re still not sure what is the best size hiking backpack – below are some brief guidelines:
- 20-30 liters: Long day hikes
- 30-50 liters: Multi day hikes during warm weather
- 50 – 80 liters: Multi day hikes during warm to cooler weather
- 80+ liters: Multi day hikes during cold weather or also for parents hiking with young children and carrying their gear as well.
The length of the backpack is particularly important if you’re looking to get a big capacity backpack, or even if you’re a little on the short side.
For a comfortable hiking backpack, you do really need to get the length of the backpack to match with your torso length. Many backpacks fit people of all different heights as they come with adjustable torso heights or some come in different sizes.
Frameless or Internal Frame
Not sure what we mean when we say frameless and internal frame? Let us explain.
A frameless backpack basically has no structure – which is great for those after the best light hiking backpack. These packs can smoosh flat but tend to be less comfortable than those with frames. A frameless backpack is great for the minimalist hiker or traveler not needing to carry too much with them.
An internal frame backpack, on the other hand, has a metal or plastic frame built in. This helps the bag keep it’s shape and makes it fairly rigid, which is great when carrying quite a bit of stuff – particularly if it’s heavy. These daypacks distribute the weight better and prevent your belongings from digging into your back, but they are of course heavier than their frameless counterparts.
Back Panel and Ventilation System
The ventilation system is built into the part of your pack that sits directly on your back. A good hiking backpack has a good ventilation system that keeps you dry and comfortable while carrying your pack. Usually, they also feature some padding for additional comfort.
There is a range of different ventilation systems. Some backpacks with internal frames are designed to sit away from your back while others have a suspended mesh back panel designed to improve airflow.
A ventilation system becomes particularly important if you’ll be carrying your backpack during warm weather, or if you’re just one of those people that tend to suffer from a sweaty back when carrying your pack.
Super of the lightest hiking backpack options may have no ventilation system and little to no padding. Of course this helps the packs be ultralight but perhaps not so great if you’re carrying a heavy load as you’ll find your belongings start digging into your back.
Top Loading or Panel (Front) Load Backpacks
Next up, let’s talk about top loading vs panel loading (also referred to as front loading) backpacks – this basically means do you want to access your things from the top of your pack or the front.
A top loading backpack is like a big sack and it can be a real hassle reaching your belongings at the very bottom. Some top loading packs also have an additional front or bottom access panel, which does make it a little easier to reach various items.
A panel load daypack has a large U shaped zipper across the top. The panel then folds forward when unzipped and gives you easy access to your belongings.
Top loading packs tend to be lighter than a panel load pack, as with a panel load pack you have the addition of zippers.
Water Bottles Holsters and Hydration Packs
Next you’ll need to give consideration to whether or not you want a backpack which is hydration compatible. If you plan on doing long day hikes or multi day hikes, a backpack compatible with a hydration pack is really the way to go. Some backpacks come with a hydration system included, while others are simply compatible and so you’ll have to purchase the system separately.
However if you’re just looking for a backpack to carry water bottles, look for packs with deep side pockets, which you can quickly grab. Packs with shallow side pockets, so your water bottle regularly falls out are so frustrating.
Pockets and Compartments
When it comes to pockets and compartments on a hiking backpack – the thing you need to consider is what you’re going to be carrying with you. Do you just need a pack for water, lunch, trekking poles and a few personal items? Or are you looking for a pack to accompany you on multi day hikes and so need the ability to carry a tent, sleeping bag, food and water?
While some backpacks come with multiple pockets and compartments, some are quite simple. At the very least, look for backpacks with some of the following features:
- Good size main compartment for large items
- Stretch side pockets for water bottles
- Front pocket to easily stash items
- Small interior pocket for personal valuable items
- Attachment points for trekking poles, ice tools or climbing gear
- Loops or daisy chains that you can hang items from with carabiners
- Hip belt pockets to store small items that can be accessed quickly
- Sleeping bag straps or compartment
Shoulder, Hip and Sternum Straps
To ensure your comfort while carrying your hiking backpack, you should look for bags with padded and adjustable shoulder, hip and sternum (across your chest) straps.
Adjustable straps will of course ensure you can make the straps suitable for your body shape, while the padding will help keep you comfortable. Even just having hip and sternum straps at all helps distribute the weight across your body as well as avoids the bag jiggling and moving around. This is great for preventing back, shoulder and neck pain.
Padding, on the other hand, helps avoid straps digging into you, which is essential when carrying a pack for a long period of time. Also the more substantial the load, the more important it is to have good padded cushioned straps. This does of course adds additional weight and cost to the pack.
Some hip belts even have little pockets, which are great for keeping small items like snacks, phone, sunscreen etc. Some packs even have removable hip belts which are great as you can remove them when they are not required.
However if you’re looking for the best lightweight hiking backpack for short day hikes then hip and sternum straps may not be important. In most cases, you’ll find that lightweight, frameless packs don’t feature them in any case.
Waterproof or Water Resistant
While you won’t find too many backpacks that claim to be waterproof (especially cheap ones), all the good ones are water resistant. Having a water resistant hiking backpack is really important as it buys you a bit of time to pull out your rain cover without your belongings being completely destroyed.
Some backpacks come with a rain cover, but if they don’t, do yourself a favor and get yourself one – particularly if you’re hiking where wet weather is a regular occurrence.
Whatever you do, don’t rely on a pack to keep your belongings completely dry for long periods of drizzle or during a downpour.
That’s a wrap! We hope you found this post useful in purchasing the best hiking backpack under 100 dollars! Happy Trails!
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