If you are planning to go on a hike or camp outdoors, it is essential to have the right hiking gear with you. The best way to carry every item your trip requires is to invest in a hiking backpack. Most backpacks can be too restrictive in terms of space, comfort, or weight to allow for an enjoyable hiking experience, which is why specialized hiking backpacks are so popular.
The best hiking backpacks are convenient, lightweight, and loaded with features to supplement your journey. Most people assume that such purpose-built bags will cost a fortune, but we have rounded out some of the best, low-priced backpack options for those looking to hike under a budget. A compromise on price does not mean you have to sacrifice your hiking experience, and our top picks prove that. Our experts have pushed each of the market’s top hiking backpacks through rigorous performance and endurance tests, assessing their true strengths and evaluating the most worthwhile bags for the price. So, without further ado, here are our top 3 picks for the best hiking backpacks under $200 that you need to spice up your hikes!
Best Hiking Backpacks Under $200 (Comparison)
|The North Face Terra - ( Editor's Choice)||65L capacity, Optifit System||Check Price|
|Deuter Fox 30||Kid-friendly, VariQuick frame||Check Price|
|Kelty Coyote 60||PerfectFit suspension, 60L space||Check Price|
The North Face Terra is a versatile all-rounder backpack that performs equally well on overnight and weekend excursions. The North Face is a renowned brand hailed for its high-quality hiking equipment, and the Terra is their top-of-the-line hiking backpack that will accompany you on any journey.
Not adorned with complicated frills and attributes, this backpack exhibits a unique, simple design with a few useful pockets. It features a total of 65L space for filling nearly everything without becoming weighty. The main compartment, possessing a J-shape closure, contains enough space to bear extravagant hiking tools that you throw in for the trip. Its vertical side pockets, dual front zippers, and integrated bottle holders keep your stuff organized and mess-free on rocky tracks. We loved how the bag’s interior structure wrapped around odd or bulky items, like a sleeping bag, camera stand or trekking pole, etc. If you need to carry a range of different hiking accessories with you, The North Face Terra will not disappoint you.
This hiking backpack is assembled from 210D Nylon core material and layered with non-PFC coating. This is one of the most reliable compounds for waterproofing a backpack, making Terra one of the best waterproof backpack options for unpredictable locations. This sturdy construction lets you grind through many seasons without noticing any tear.
When it comforts to comfort and adjustability, this North Face backpack dishes a ground-breaking performance on the road. Its thin, padded shoulder straps and smart, body-contour cushioning ensure a comfy and snug fit. Additionally, the back panel of this hiking bag actively prevents chafing in the underarms and shoulders, and that’s what you need on a strenuous hiking jaunt.
What’s more, the backpack is powered by an advanced Dyno Lift suspension system. Coupled with intricate load-lifting modules, it provides the high-end balance you only expect from expensive hiking packs. Its body has been designed upon an Optifit System, which adds to the backpack’s inherent adjustability and allows you to haul and get going in seconds without wrestling with complex straps. While the backpack does possess a heavy, 3.5-pound body, it is undoubtedly the most remarkably balanced, comfortable, and spacious hiking backpack you will find under $200.
|Built on advanced Optifit System||Heavier than most competing backpacks for men|
|Waterproof coating||The sleeping bag compartment is smaller than most|
|Massive, 65L interior|
|The cushioned body-specific back panel|
|High-end balance through Dyno Lift suspension|
Founded on a mighty groundwork of features, The North Face Terra beats the best hiking backpacks in the market. The elegant, minimalistic texture, the graceful row of add-ons, and durable construction are merged with two outstanding technologies – Optifit and Dyno Lift – to set up a balanced, comfortable backpack that no other hiking backpack under $200 can provide you.
If you enjoy hiking with your kids, you will love the Deuter Fox 30. Deuter is well-known for inventing the most superlative hiking backpacks for walking trails and family-focused hikes, and their Fox 30 backpack, owing to its kid-friendly design, has gained much popularity among young hiking enthusiasts.
With the compact and ideal dimensions of 24 x 9 x 9 inches, this hiking backpack is the best solution to all your family’s hiking or trekking related problems. It has 210 Deuter ripstop fabrication, which in simple terms is the Nylon Polyester. This is what speaks for its waterproof and abrasion-resistant capability. Moreover, this imported, high-quality material is safe for kids and can even withstand aggressive weather.
Furthermore, it has a sorted design with no loose ends. This hiking backpack is a one-time investment that goes a long way, thanks to the VariQuick system installed in its prodigious frame. The adjustable shoulder straps are fully cushioned to provide a child’s muscles the comfort they need during an aggressive hike. Ranging from 10 to 18 inches, you can even set it according to your child’s body frame. The two body-hugging padded shoulder straps have a 3D mesh lining. This means it has room for ventilation after you have tightly fixed them around the chest. Furthermore, it comes equipped with an emergency whistle like a kids’ travel backpack, which only adds to the security it offers.
Moreover, the Variflex belt offers a snug fit around the hips. The bag sits right above the hips just where you want it, which helps in evenly transferring the weight. This flexible waist-belt allows you to adjust the straps from 22 to 40 inches per the child’s waist. Also, this camping backpack has a pull-forward adjustment option to not overweigh the buttocks. Furthermore, there are load adjustment straps on the hips and shoulders to provide you or your child a comfortable carrying option and stability around the chest. Such advanced comfort will make even the best travel backpack envious.
Yes, the Deuter Fox 30 is hydration compatible -probably the most asked question among consumers. It has a Velcro strap for mounting the bladder that helps you stay hydrated. However, the reservoir is sold separately. It comes equipped with multiple pockets to store your essentials for hiking trails. There are five external pockets with lids excluding the main compartment; which gives you quick access to the sleeping bag. The side pockets keep your urgent accessories close at hand. And this outdoor backpack also has top and bottom access to easily pack and unpack your stuff during the adventure. Additionally, the compression straps on both sides tightly cinch the bag itself that keeps all the internal stuff safe and organized.
|Suitable for growing kids||No sleeping bag divider|
|Gear capacity of up to 30 liters|
|Built-in compression straps|
|Multiple pockets for storing hiking essentials|
|Durable Nylon polyester body|
This hiking backpack is truly the best gift for children beginning their outdoor journey. It’s a kid’s backpack carrying all the features of an adult’s gear. The Deuter Fox 30 is neither oversized nor heavy, and perfectly fits the torso of toddlers and teenagers who are ready to hit the trail.
Kelty Camping Gear has been a noticeable brand ever since its first debut in Broomfield, CO. The range of daypack products by Kelty is unmatched in quality and usability, and the Coyote 60 hiking backpack lies among their best models. It is impressively well-balanced and able to withstand cold and harsh environments, having been modified to adapt to any scenario.
The Kelty Coyote Hiking Backpack is a work of art with its 60L interior. The backpack has a trendy look that will earn you compliments everywhere (except on secluded trails, of course). In humid weather, it acts as an active ventilator cycling the flow of air through the soft foamed back panel, refreshing those sweaty backs. On the other hand, in cold weather, it acts as a warm cover to reduce the back from straining due to the cold and even insulating heat for a more prolonged effect. It has a water-repellent coating from the inside, optimally designed to protect your belongings in the rain. Also, it is easily adjustable to any user owing to the Fit Pro technology utilized in its frame.
Furthermore, Coyote 60 is an incredibly lightweight backpack that outstripped the competition in terms of stability. Kelty has installed the breakthrough PerfectFit suspension system throughout its straps to make sure you never suffer the direct weight of your baggage. There are additional sternum straps and an intricate lumbar support panel that grips your torso with confidence. We found this hiking backpack to be outstandingly composed even during action-packed hikes, limiting the pressure exerted on the back. Like a fancy leather backpack, it is equipped with multiple handles for a comfortable grip.
|60L interior||No retainers to tuck away excess straps|
|PerfectFit suspension system for a balanced ride||Waist straps may be too tight for taller folks (5'10"+)|
|Equipped with lumbar support panel|
|Numerous pockets for trekking support|
Feel and hike like a pro with this fantastically balanced backpack. Plentiful in terms of space and stitched for perfection, Kelty Coyote 60 is the best choice for any voracious hiker. Not only is it an easy fit, but its combination of stabilization technologies also makes it perfect for all sorts of eccentric trekking and exploration trips.
FINAL VERDICT – EDITOR’S CHOICE
Buying a hiking backpack is a surprisingly tough process. Most brands label their bags with intimidating features and add-ons that make it agonizing to figure out what you really need. Our top 3 picks, however, are some of the most versatile and well-rounded backpacks in the industry that will take care of all your needs on a hike, all under the $200 limit. The best backpack for hiking among them is undoubtedly the North Face Terra.
Terra rides ahead of the competition with its massive, 65L interior drilled into a lightweight body. It is founded upon a detailed OptiFit system that maximizes the bag’s suspension efficiency unlike any other hiking backpack in the industry. It actively adjusts to your back and keeps you free from sweat, muscular tension, and nasty shoulder strains. Our testers found it to be the most comfortable and relaxing partner on the roughest of hiking trails. Served with a lifetime warranty from a globally admired brand, The North Face Terra is our top, unparalleled choice among the best hiking backpacks under $200.