Buying great quality hiking gear is usually an expensive investment but, especially when it comes to backpacks, it doesn’t have to be.
It’s often the case that we tie a high price tag and quality together, and when shopping for hiking gear, turn our nose up at something that seems too inexpensive to last and get the job done.
Well, it’s time to break that habit and we’re here to help. You might be surprised to find out that a 99 dollar backpack is just as durable, comfortable, and long-lasting as a 300 dollar one, but that is certainly the case.
Today we’re going to take a look at the best hiking backpacks for under 100 dollars. That’s right, under 100 dollars, so next time you need a hiking backpack, you can save some cash and buy the best hiking backpack for under 100 dollars.
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Best Of The Best
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First up from our pick of the best hiking backpacks under 100 is the Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack.
This backpack is made from durable polyester that’ll last years on the trail and it comes with all the features you need from a great day pack.
The outer shell is water-resistant to protect your gear from light downpours when hiking and the large opening into the main compartment makes adding or taking things out of the backpack a breeze.
The main compartment is large and open to hold anything you need for a hike and there is also a laptop/hydration bladder sleeve, so you can use it for work/weekends away as well as hiking.
There is a small zippered compartment for valuables too, dual stretch mesh sides pocket for water bottles, plus a stash pocket for your rain jacket.
The backpack also features a padded, breathable back panel and shoulder straps, along with a sternum and waist strap to spread the load equally.
It’s as comfy as can be to carry but don’t overload it as it’s a day pay not a backpack for week-long hiking trips.
The TETON Sports Scout 3400 is probably the best hiking backpack under 100 that comes with an internal frame.
Internal frames make carrying a heavy load the hiking a lot easier, as they spread the weight evenly to the padded shoulder, waist, and sternum straps featured on this backpack.
So no matter how much gear you have inside it, your body won’t suffer on the trail because of it.
You can also adjust the backpack to match your torso length for even more carrying comfort, but it is a bit large for shorter people overall.
Made from durable 600D oxford fabric, this backpack will last for years on the trail. It also features multiple pockets and compartments for pretty much everything, including a sleeping bag compartment, 4 side pockets, and a large main compartment.
There is also a built-in rain cover for the weather gets bad and it’s water-resistant, so will stop your gear from getting wet to a point even without the rain cover.
The back panel and straps are also vented and breathable so you don’t overheat on the trail. For under 100, this hiking backpack is hard to beat.
One of the best hiking backpacks under 100 you’re likely to find is the N NEVO RHINO Internal Frame Hiking Backpack, especially if you’re looking for a large volume backpack of 60 it 80 liters.
This backpacks made from durable nylon so it can handle wear and tear, and it’s made with an internal frame like the backpack above.
The frame combined with the adjustable torso and breathable, padded back panel and straps makes this backpack extremely comfortable to carry.
The frame and straps spread the load while keeping you cool, so you’re always comfy and not overheating on the trail.
There are numerous pockets, compartments, and external attachment points so you can easily carry a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and more, and always be prepared for all your hiking adventures.
To top it all off, it’s also water-resistant and comes with a rain cover, so no matter the weather, you’re gear will be dry.
The OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack is one of the best hiking backpacks under 100 when it comes to affordability, costing less than $30.
For such an affordable price, you’re getting almost everything you need from a hiking backpack bar an internal frame, and it’s not quite as durable as more expensive ones.
It does come with extra thick and padded straps for comfort, a great 45L capacity, a waterproof rain cover, plus enough pockets and external attachment points to pack everything you might for a hiking trip inside.
There is a large main compartment with a laptop sleeve plus 5 or more pockets for organization, and you can strap things to both sides, plus the top and bottom.
This makes it easy to add a tent, sleeping bag, and mat to the backpack with room inside for everything else.
Overall, this backpack is pretty hard to beat for the money but it doesn’t have an internal frame, and it’s not durable as more expensive ones.
The Mardingtop Molle Hiking Backpack is a great tactical backpack for spending an extended about of time hiking in the backcountry.
It’s made from durable and water-resistant polyester, so it will handle life on the trail for years and the odd shower isn’t going soak through to your gear.
If you do experience some bad weather though, you can whip out the included rain cover for an added layer of protection.
It comes with a large main compartment that is accessible from the front and the top, so you can find things quickly and easily.
There is also a bottom compartment for a sleeping bag, but you can remove the divider to make one super big compartment if you like. There’s also a hydration/laptop sleeve too.
Externally, there’s two sides and one top pocket for anything you need quick access to, plus it’s covered in molle webbing so you can attach anything you need to the outside too.
To top it all off, the breathable, ventilated and padded straps plus the internal frame make it super comfy to carry and without doubt, it’s one of the best hiking backpacks around for under 100.
The Loowoko Hiking Backpack is a great size at 50 liters and can be compressed down into a day pack or used for longer trips too.
The backpack is made from durable ripstop polyester that’s also water-resistant to protect your gear from any light showers. There is also a waterproof rain cover built-in, which you can whip out in heavy rain to stop your gear from getting wet.
There are over 8 pockets on this backpack, so you can keep everything organized and accessible while you’re hiking. The large main compartment is accessible via the front and top and there is a dedicated bottom compartment for a sleeping bag/shoes.
You then have two side pockets, a top pocket, and two zippered pockets on your waistbelt, plus 8 straps for hooking up your tent and sleeping mat with ease.
The straps and back are all padded for comfort and they’re ventilated too so you don’t overheat when hiking and end up with a sweaty back.
The only thing holding this back from being the best hiking backpack under 100 is the lack of internal frame but otherwise, it’s pretty awesome for the price.
The Venture Pal Hiking Backpack is the most affordable one of the best hiking backpacks under 100 featured in the article and costs just $20.
It’s super lightweight and folds into itself, so it’s great for hiking or just keeping handy for traveling and going to the shops.
Once unfolded, it has a 35-liter capacity, which is ideal for day and overnight hiking trips, plus it comes with loads of pockets for keeping your gear safe and organized.
The shoulder straps and the back panel are padded and well ventilated for carrying comfort but there is no frame or hip belt so it’s best not to load this backpack up.
It’s made from polyester and is water-resistant but quite thin overall. After a month of heavy use, you’ll likely have some rips and the water-resistant coating will fade quite fast too.
The zippers also tend to start malfunctioning after a while.
Overall, it’s a great backpack for the money but don’t expect it to last for years.
If you’re looking for the best hiking backpack under 100 with a huge 80-liter capacity, then the MOUNTAINTOP Hiking Backpack might be the one you have been waiting for.
Durably made from water-resistant nylon and with a rain cover, this backpack is going to last, whatever the trail throws at it, whether it’s were and tear or torrential rain.
It comes with a huge main compartment that is accessible from the top or through a large front panel, making everything accessible.
The bottom compartment is ideal for a sleeping bag or smell shoes, and then you have a further 4 pockets and 4 attachment points for more gear.
The large capacity is made easy to carry thanks to the internal frame and 8 steps adjustable torso, so you can find the perfect fit. The straps are also well padded and breathable so you’re always comfy on the trail.
Its large capacity might make this not the right backpack for you, but if you spend weeks at a time hiking in the wilderness, this is a great one to go for.
Whenever you’re buying a backpack for hiking, you need to make sure you’re getting one that isn’t too big or too small. Think about whether it’s for day hiking, overnight hiking trips, or week-long adventures into the backcountry.
The backpacks featured range in volume from 20 liters to 80 liters. If you’re day hiking, a 20-liter backpack is more than enough, for overnights or a few days camping 50 liters is about right, and when it comes to week-long adventures, 80 liters is what you’re going to need.
You should also think about you much stuff you take hiking. If you like to have a lot of gear, then you might need a backpack with an extra 5-10 liters than say a minimalist hiker, so bear that in mind. It’s always better to have more space than too little.
Even though we’re looking at the best hiking backpacks under 100, there is still quite a large range in price and thus durability in the products featured.
The least expensive backpack is around $20, it’s super lightweight, convenient, and affordable but the other material is a little thin and wears out quite fast. Whereas, backpacks in the $70 plus range use much thicker materials that are going to last a lot longer on the trail.
This is the payoff between affordability and durability, and it’s much better value to pay a bit more for a backpack that will last you years rather than having to pay for a new, cheap backpack every year.
Make sure that the backpack you buy has enough pockets to keep your gear organized, and that they are easily accessible too. If you opt for a large 60+ liter backpack, having a main compartment you can access from the top and the front is going to make finding your gear inside a lot quicker and easier.
You should also ensure there are a few easy access external pockets on the sides, top, and the hip belt. These are great for stashing things like snacks, energy bars, cameras, and your phone. Or anything else you want to use without having to open up your backpack.
If you’re heading into the wilderness for a week, you’re going to want some external straps to attach your tent and sleeping matt to, so you don’t use up all the internal space. Look for backpacks with top, bottom, and side straps that you can fasten any extra or bulky gear you need to bring along on your adventure.
Having a water-resistant backpack with a rain cover makes life a lot easier. It means you can keep on going no matter the weather knowing that your gear is going to stay dry enough to use when you get to camp.
The last thing you want is to have to deal with wet clothes, tents, and sleeping bags when you finally get to camp, just because the heavens decided to open while you were on your hike.
Almost all the backpacks featured are water-resistant and most of them have a rain cover, so be sure to pick ones with at least one or both of these features.
If you’re looking for a day pack, then the best hiking backpack under 100 for you is the Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack. It’s light, durable, water-resistant, and has enough space and pockets for anything you need on a day hike or a weekend away. There’s also a hydration sleeve/laptop sleeve, and you can attach it to a larger backpack.
The all-around best hiking backpack under 100 is the TETON Sports Scout 3400. This backpack has 55L capacity and comes with an internal frame, adjustable torso, plus padded and breathable straps to make carrying it fully loaded as easy as possible. To top it off, it has over 8 pockets and compartments, it is super durable, water-resistant, and comes with a rain cover. Hard to beat for under 100 dollars.
The best hiking backpack for under 100 is the N NEVO RHINO Internal Frame Hiking Backpack. It comes with a large volume of 60 or 80 liters, is water-resistant, and has a rain cover, but the thing that makes it stand out is how comfy it is to carry. The internal frame spreads the load to the padded, vented, breathable straps, so you’re never overcompensating or overheating on the trail.