“where cheap is chic” — wisebread

Inexpensive hiking backpacks come in a variety of sizes and styles; some meant for day hikes, some for short multi-day outings, and others for extended overnight trips. Daypacks are the smallest and usually top out at 35 liters; overnight packs run to 90 liters. The best hiking backpacks come with a padded waist (or hip) belt and a sternum strap to disperse weight to your hips and keep the pack from bouncing around. Larger packs also feature an internal frame that helps stabilize and distribute the load. Heavier loads get a boost from an adjustable shoulder suspension system that lifts the weight off your shoulders. An internal sleeve for a water hydration system is more convenient than carrying a water bottle. Finally, durable, lightweight fabric can withstand the wear and tear of nature without further weighing down your load.

Adjustable shoulder suspension Capacity Sternum Straps Internal (or external) frame Water bladder compatible Material
REI Flash 18 Pack estimated price $30
No 18 liters Yes No Yes Ripstop nylon
Teton Sports Scout 3400 estimated price $50
Yes 55 liters Yes Yes Yes 600-denier diamond ripstop material
High Sierra Explorer 55 estimated price $80
Yes 55 liters Yes Yes Yes Duralite and Duraweave
Osprey Packs Stratos 24 estimated price $80
No 22, 24, 26 liters Yes Yes Yes Ripstop nylon
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Also see our full Hiking Backpacks review:
  1. Best Cheap Hiking Backpacks
  2. Daypacks and Backpacks Size, Straps
  3. Internal Frame Backpacks, Backpack Fit
  4. Hiking Backpack Reviews
  5. Discount Hiking Backpacks Features Comparison Table
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