Best Hiking Backpack

Finding the Best Hiking Backpack Under 100 Dollars

The kind of backpack that you take for a hike makes a big difference. That explains why there are backpacks that have been specifically made for hiking. They have been made using the right material, are ergonomic, and the right size. But you still need to choose the right one for your unique needs. 

Best Hiking Backpack Under 100 Dollars

Backpacks can be very pricey, but that does not mean you cannot get good ones for a low price. In this buying guide, we review two backpacks to help you choose the best hiking backpack under 100 dollars. This will help you get more value for the money at a fraction of the cost. 

Here are our top picks!

MOUNTAINTOP 28L/40L Hiking Backpack

MOUNTAINTOP

The Mountaintop is a great backpack that is meant for hiking and outdoor camping. It has been made using polyester material with YKK zipper and buckle.

The main compartment is spacious, allowing you to carry a lot of items, including a laptop. The compartment is not as fully-featured as a laptop bag, but is good enough for a 17” laptop. Plus, this backpack is the perfect size to use as a carry-on when traveling – you will not be required to pay extra for check-in.

Just like many other hiking backpacks, the Mountaintop has an adjustable hip belt for a waist size of 25 to 55 inches. But you will be stuck with the belly strap, as it is not removable. For added comfort, the bag has an adjustable sternum strap and S-shaped shoulder straps. The back is made from a molded foam material that is breathable so that your back is comfortable.

Ultimately, this backpack is meant for shorter treks, and for those hikers who have a shorter torso. It comes in a variety of colors to suit different styles.

Specifications

  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Specifications: 21.7 x 13.8 x 6.3 inches
  • Capacity: 40 liters 

Pros

  • It is lightweight
  • It is convenient for short treks
  • Has been made with high-quality breathable material
  • It is waterproof with an included rain cover

Cons

  • It is too small for long treks
  • Some users had issues with the inside of the bag staining their clothes
  • Some users had issues with the zippers
The-North-Face-Borealis-Backpack

Northface as a brand is well known for making high-quality outdoor items.  The Borealis backpack is a 15" shoulder drop with a 28L capacity. The pockets are easy to access with an elastic bungee system. The main compartment has a laptop sleeve that can accommodate a 15" laptop.

The bag has been made with a FexVent suspension system, which makes sure that the shoulder straps are comfortable. It also gives the back a padded mesh, and the lumbar panel has been made with breathable material for greater comfort and ventilation.

The Borealis bag will make it easy for you to stay organized, as it has two water bottle pockets that are meshed, and can still act as multi-use pockets. The front compartment has a tablet sleeve. There is also an external pocket that is fleece-lined, which can help you store small items or electronics.

The backpack is multi-use, and you can comfortably carry it for whatever you want. The waist belt is removable so that you achieve a custom fit. The bag has a sternum strap that has a whistle buckle for more safety and support.

Lastly, the bag has reflective details to help you stand out even when you’re on the road.

Specifications

  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19.75" x 13.25" x 9.75" (50.2 cm x 33.7 cm x 24.8 cm)
  • Capacity: 28L 

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty if you buy from an authorized Northface dealer
  • Has many pockets for convenience
  • Has been made with high-quality material that is breathable and comfortable
  • Has a dedicated laptop sleeve to keep your laptop safe
  • The exterior material is water-resistant

Cons

  • It is heavy
  • Some users complained of the bag having a curved back
  • Some users complained of the bag not protecting a laptop well

Buyer’s Guide

Since we did a review of each of the two best backpacks under 100 dollars, it may still be a challenge to pin down a particular one. In this section, we make it easy for you by analyzing in detail why you would go with one backpack over the other. 

Here is a quick guide to help you choose!

Best Capacity 

When it comes to capacity, the Mountaintop is a better choice, as you can find a capacity of both 28 and 40L, which is better than the Borealis’s limited capacity of 28L. A small-capacity pack may be inconvenient if you are planning to go for long treks.

Most Lightweight 

When you compare the two, Borealis is more lightweight at only 2 pounds, while the Mountaintop weighs slightly more at 2.1 pounds. Of course, when you also compare the capacity, Borealis is heavier in relation to its smaller capacity.

Most Budget-friendly

When you compare the prices, the Mountaintop hiking backpack is cheaper than the Borealis. Mountaintop retails at $39.99, while the Borealis starts at $53 and goes up to nearly $175.

Overall Recommendation 

When we compare the two, we recommend the Mountaintop hiking backpack. This is because it is cheaper, has a bigger capacity, and is lightweight. It will give you fantastic value for the money.

Apart from the recommendations that we have given, it is also good to know what to look at when you are looking for a hiking backpack. Some of the factors to consider include the following.

Weight 

Since you are going to use the backpack while you are hiking, it should be a weight that you are comfortable with. It is good to consider the weight of the backpack while empty so that you may know your limits when you stock it.

Capacity 

Backpacks come in different capacities, from as little as 28L to as high as 80L. It all depends on the nature of your hikes and how long you plan to do the hike. If you are planning to do a long hike, then you should definitely look into getting a high-capacity backpack.

Material 

The kind of material used will determine how comfortable the bag will be. It should be made with a breathable material that is still waterproof. The shoulder straps and the back should be meshed and ergonomic. The waistband should be adjustable too.

Cost

The cost of the bag is mostly influenced by the kind of features it has, such as the material used and the capacity. A high-quality bag with a big capacity will cost you more, but may give you the features you’re really looking for.

Reviews

The kind of reviews that you get about a bag will show you what to expect from the bag. More positive reviews mean that you are likely to have a good experience with the bag. When shopping for a backpack, don’t forget to compare different backpacks and do your own homework before you make a choice.

Conclusion

There are many hiking backpacks on the market and you can easily get the best one for your needs if you do your due diligence. The first and most important step is defining your needs. You have to decide what kind of backpack you are looking for and what its purpose is. 

It is also good to set a budget early on, as backpacks can come in a wide range of prices. With that in mind, it's easier to know what to look for to best meet your needs. Hopefully, you can find the right hiking backpack for you!