Top 10 Backpacking Packs of 2018
Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest
For $340 dollars, you can purchase the 2lb 3oz, Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest backpacking pack. Crafted from Dyneema fabric, this pack is not only water resistant but it is also extremely lightweight. The pack itself can hold up to 55 liters due the unique fabric it is manufactured from. Dyneema is one of the strongest fabrics in the whole entire world! Its strength to weight ratio is impeccable and can last through extended backpacking trips. Plus, it can also work as a pack during packrafting as it is able to withstand all of the harsh elements. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 is that it built to haul massive amounts of weight, comfortably. Its aluminum structure will hold its shape while the foam padding provides support and comfort. Keep in mind that the packs design is basic. There is only one main compartment and three extra organizational exterior pockets. However, if you are need of a light backpack that truly 'packs' the punch then look no further as the Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 has been made for you.
REI Co-op Traverse 70
For $249 dollars, you can own the 4lb 14 oz, REI Co-op Traverse 70 backpacking pack. Crafted from Nylon fabric, this pack offers both form and function. The pack itself can hold up to 70 liters and is designed with thoughtful features such as a rain cover, a plethora of exterior pockets and an oversized J zipper for easy access to the packs main compartment. Not to mention, the packs noteworthy UpLift compression strap system which allows the pack to remain close and tight to your back at all times. This feature alleviates strain that can take place on your lower back and hips when a pack sags too low from weight. Keep in mind that this pack is teetering on weighing 5lbs itself. However at $249, this pack is truly a steal considering its quality build, features, and comfortability.
Gregory Baltoro 75
For $330 dollars, the 4lb 15.4oz, Gregory Baltoro 75 backpacking pack can be yours. Crafted from Nylon fabric, this pack offers a great set of features and major comfort when heavy hauling. The pack itself can hold up to 75 liters and is widely recognized for its comfortability. Intended to haul the heaviest of loads, its suspensions are extremely strong with supportive padding, and impeccable organization. The Gregory Baltoro 75's design for 2018 has been greatly modified from last years model. The pack is now a few ounces lighter, has better ventilation due to an additional mesh back panel, and an oversized shove-it stretch pocket that was added to the front. The Gregory Baltoro also features zippered access to the packs main compartment, a plethora of easy access exterior pockets, and an integrated rainfly. However, even with all of the updates, modifications, and features (which we truly appreciate) this high quality backpacking pack is still almost 5lbs which is far to heavy for a simple backpacking trip. Although, if you prefer comfort and extra features that will make life easier, the Baltoro could be your top pick.
Osprey Atmos AG 65
For $270 dollars, you can purchase the 4lbs 9oz, Osprey Atmos AG backpacking pack. Crafted from Nylon fabric, this pack offers premium back ventilation and a 'close to back' fit. The pack itself can hold up to 65 liters and is thought to be one of the best backpacking packs of 2018. The Osprey Atmos AG 65 features everything a backpacker would ever need - quality, durability, weight, organization, and comfort. The packs 'anti gravity' back panel that supplies you with an advanced ventilation system will draw you in at first but the pack is so much more than that. It has been found to be a universally good fit, hosts an extremely thoughtful pocket layout, and is durable enough to withstand even the harshest of elements - all while remaining under 5lbs. Additionally, the Osprey Atmos AG 65 backpacking pack did received Best-In-Class for its advanced ventilation system that provides flexible mesh comfort! The mesh backing will conform to your back and hip area properly allowing for maximum comfort even when loaded with 45lbs. The only drawback to the Atmos pack is that its main compartment does not feature an easy access zipper which is normally prefered. Overall, the Osprey Atmos AG 65 is a thoughtfully designed, well rounded pack that will offer you premium mobility during quick overnight backpacking trips or multi-day escapades.
Osprey Exos 58
For $220 dollars, you can own the 2lb 11.5oz, Osprey Exos 58 backpacking pack. Crafted from Nylon fabric, this pack offers an ultralight design in both mens and womens designs. The pack itself can hold up to 58 liters and features a high quality build, comfort, and noteworthy organization. The ultralight weight design of the Osprey Exos 58 offers extreme comfort and is equipped with a plethora of exterior mesh pockets as well as a great suspension and hipbelt. Keep in mind that due to this packs lightweight quality, it is lacking durability in its fabric. In order to achieve such an ultralight weight it has to be manufactured with a thinner fabric that is known to tear easily when brushed up against granite and other elements. As long as you are willing to take a little extra care and caution when handling the thin fabric pack, the Exos 58 is a great option for minimalists.
Osprey Aether AG 70
For $310 dollars, the 5lb 3oz, Osprey Aether AG 70 backpacking pack can be yours. Crafted from Nylon fabric, this pack offers several extra features and an extremely durable construction. The pack itself can hold up to 70 liters and offers an 'anti gravity' back panel much like the Atmos AG listed above. Despite its similarity to the Atmos AG, the Aether AG is different as it is built for heavy hauling. The heat moldable, foam hip belt gives ideal back support that is key when you are loaded to the brim with gear. As stated above, the Osprey Aether AG 70 is rich in features, like its innovative top lip that allows conversion into a daypack as well as its easy access J zipper on the main compartment. Unfortunately, the backs own weight is its downfall. It is 5lbs when empty which causes backpackers to ver toward the Atmos model instead of the Aether pack. Although, if you frequently haul a heavy load then you will find the feature rich Osprey Aether AG 70 to be the pack for you.
Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60
For $260 dollars, you can purchase the 2lbs 0.7oz, Gossamer Gear Mariposa backpacking pack. Crafted from Robic Nylon, this pack offers impeccable capacity, durability, and comfort for its weight range. The pack itself holds up to 60 liters and is ultralight weight. Minimalists will thoroughly enough this pack. Perhaps the best part about the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 backpacking pack is that although it may be lightweight, its durability is not sacrificed. You can bushwhack all you want without having to worry about a puncture or tear. Obviously do not set out to tear it, but it has been found to be the least compromisable lightweight pack. Plus, the packs organization is excellent as it hosts an oversized main compartment and seven external pockets of varying sizes. It is also sufficiently padded supplying a good amount of support. The only drawback to the Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 is that its back panel (that is removable) has the tendency to bunch up. However, once removed the Mariposa is one of the most completed lightweight backpacking packs available on today's market.
Granite Gear Crown2 60
For only $200 dollars, you can own the 2lbs 2oz, Granite Gear Crown2 60 backpacking pack. Crafted from Nylon, this pack offers impressive functionality for its light weight class. The pack itself holds up to 60 liters and provides versatility to the ultralight weight backpacking market. It is feature rich providing backpackers with a plethora of mesh pockets, compression straps, and a secure roll top closure. The hip belt is noteworthy as it has the ability to adjust to your exact weight measurement with its velcro system. However, try to stay under its 35lbs weight limit. Pushing the weight limit on this pack can cause it to become uncomfortable as the thin polypropylene frame sheet straps and hip belt are not built to carry a heavy haul and will cut into your shoulders and torso. Despite its weight restriction, for a lighter pack, the Crown2 features an undeniably great design at an amazing low rate of $200 dollars.
Gregory Paragon 58
For $230 dollars, the 3lb 9oz, Gregory Paragon 58 backpacking pack can be yours. Crafted from Nylon, this pack offers a complete combination of price, features, and weight. The pack itself holds up to 58 liters, is equipped with an integrated rainfly, and is a great option for overnight weekender trips. Featuring an oversized main compartment complete with a easy access U zipper, the Paragon is optimal when it comes to both weight and comfort. Lumbar support is no question with this pack as its sports a sculpted back panel and large hip belt (with additional pockets, score!). However, the foam padding featured within the pack's hip belt and shoulder straps ultimately feels cheap. Thus, the more you store within the pack the more uncomfortable it gets. But, its integrated daypack which has the ability to act as a hydration reservoir more than makes up for its weight limitations. The Paragon is a nice middle ground backpacking pack considering its price, features, and abilities.
Zpacks Arc Blast 55
For $325 dollars, you can purchase the Zpacks Arc Blast 55 backpacking pack. Crafted from Cuben Hybrid, this pack offers high quality water resistance and an ultralight weight load. The pack itself holds up to 55 liters and is the lightest pack on this list. It features two hip belt pockets, a water resistant Cuben Hybrid construction, a carbon fiber frame, and a streamlined form. The result is a super lightweight pack! However, you will need to keep in mind that this pack is not made for rough treatment whatsoever. Its durability is minimal. Its 'Arc' name was derived from its one of a kind tension system that causes the mid area of the pack to pull away from your back allowing airflow. This feature eliminates the requirement for a foam back panel. This tension system combined with the packs carbon fiber frame creates an extremely solid structure that is able to support around 30lbs. Do not go over the packs weight restrictions as its padding is minimal and again the pack is not built for durability. With that being said, the Zpacks Arc Blast 55 is ideal for the minimalist trekker and thru-hiker.