Best Small Hiking Backpacks of 2020

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A hiking backpack is regarded as a survival piece of equipment. All the materials you need can be stored away in the backpack while embarking on your hiking adventure—without any obstruction to movement.

Can you go hiking without a hiking backpack? Most probably not! Whether you want to use a trail known for hikers or prefer a more serious hike for miles, having a good hiking backpack is a must. There are several options to choose from especially with myriads of brands in the market, but with a bit of research in line with what you’re looking for, you would be able to reach a decision when you read our guide.

Bear in mind that hiking backpacks are not created equal; their designs are specific for different uses. Give careful thought to how and where it will be used. The truth is, you’ll carry it up and down the hills, scrambling over rocks, jumping streams with plenty of energy to enjoy your hiking activity.

NameFeatures 
CamelBak Pursuit 24 LRWell-suited for ScramblingPRICING
Deuter Airlite 20 SLLightweightPRICING
Gregory Mountain Products Miwok 12 LEasy Access to Extra ItemsPRICING
Thule UptakeGood Internal OrganizationPRICING
Maxpedition TyphoonEasy Access to All CompartmentsPRICING
Osprey Packs Sirrus 24Adjustable Torso LengthPRICING
Lowepro HighLine BP 300 AWProperly Padded for ElectronicsPRICING
Gregory Mountain Products Citro 20 LMagnetic Hose AttachmentPRICING
Dakine Women's Drafter 14LMany PocketsPRICING

Hydration 

Plenty of backpacks come with integrated plastic hydration. Some have adjacent room for a water bag, including a hole for the attached drinking tube.

Waterproof Covers

Backpacks don’t come 100% waterproof. Some backpacks feature a waterproof cover which can be used for wrapping the entire backpack—it put it in a waterproof bag. That is what makes your backpack fully waterproof.

Here are some hiking backpacks readily accessible when you go shopping. Read on!

1. CamelBak 2016 Pursuit 24 LR Hydration Pack

It is a sleek, high-performance backpack ideal for day hiking. The CamelBak Pursuit 24 LR hydration pack features a 1280 cubic inch storage capacity, integrated 100-ounce hydration system, and a well-ventilated suspensions system.

With the pursuit, you get superior stability and excellent breathability in a technical alpine back.

Antidote Lumbar reservoir features Quick Link system, light weighted fill port, easy open/close cap, lightweight fill port, low-profile design and center baffling.

It was designed for extra layers where you can keep your trail maps, first aid kit, compass, sunglasses, and the list goes on.

Key pack features: load-bearing waist belt alongside a cargo pocket, tool attachments, SV back panel, and an overflow pocket

Pros

  • Pursuit is well-suited for scrambling. Loads in the range of 22 pounds feel like breeze on your back
  • Even with gloves you can easily grab the tubular metal zipper pull
  • It comes with a suspended mesh across the mid back

Cons

  • Putting things inside is difficult
  • The hard plastic back obstructs movements

2. Deuter Airlite 20 SL Hiking Backpack

The new Airlite series of daypacks are created using a proven Aircomfort back system for maximum ventilation. It is ideal for the day hiker or if you’re a multisport adventurer. Deuter Airlite 20 SL Hiking Backpack comes with a front panel load, excellent comfy fit, deep stretch pockets where you can keep your essentials. It has perforated foam shoulder straps—anatomically formed. Also, there is a large-celled 3D AirMesh lining for ventilation.

The Twin-frame construction allows for the Aircomfort Flexlite System that guarantees great flexibility and ergonomic fit. This is possible because of the perfect blend between the complimentary round and flat spring steel profiles. It goes in the direction of body movement where the load is moved to the hip fins. The back mesh is entrusted with a stable tensioned platform for three-sided ventilation.

Pros

  • It offer comfort between the pack and the back of the body
  • It reduces heat buildup through its air comfort system
  • Its lightweight nature makes it perfect for so many high-intensity activities

 Cons

  • The backpack seem to be extremely stripped down
  • It comes with fewer pockets when compared to other day packs
  • The hip belt pockets are less stiff

3. Gregory Mountain Products Miwok 12 Liter

The amazing thing about this backpack is that your movement was considered in its design. Gregory’s Miwok 12L backpack features a BioSync Suspension technology that goes with you to the summit and back. Its streamlined design comes with an expandable front pocket so you can stow your helmet. It also has stash pockets which are on the waistband—perfect for keeping smaller items close to you. The padding and breathable mesh back panel keep overheating away as it allows maximum air flow. It also features a low profile and safety light lash point, hydration sleeve that comes with external access.

Ideal uses: Day hiking, cycling, running, and commuting

Weight: 1.3lbs

Dimensions: 18.5″ x 10.0″ x 5.5″

Pros

  • It features stretch external pockets with easy-to-pull grab tab
  • Easy access to extra items due to its low-profile front stash

Cons

  • The side compression straps are few for extra lashing options
  • It comes with front mesh pockets

4. Thule Uptake Hydration Pack

Thule UpaTake is all-inclusive, multipurpose hydration pack for every situation. It features the integrated ReTrakt magnetic hose system. With this, your attention is fixated on the path you’re going or the mission you want to achieve. Its unique valve system prevents any form of leakage from the 2.5L Hydrapak reservoir.

The combination of sleek design and plenty of storage spaces make it perfect for hiking, cycling or hikes up in the mountains. The outside of the pack has some pockets that allow for quick access. Others are large inner pockets if you need adequate storage space.

The UpTake 4L represents the most compact model in the collection yet with so many storage options. Get extra comfort in any temperature with the lightweight material and mesh back panel.

For the Thule UpTake 8L, it is quite similar to the 4L version. However, it comes with an adjustable shoulder strap and a perforated foam back panel to provide extra comfort and cooling for your adventure activity. Get extra stability with the integrated waist belt. The 12L Thule UpTake features extra storage option like in box which enlarges to store your coat or gloves.

Pros

  • Well-tamed hose
  • It is sleek and designed to have low center of gravity
  • It has a good internal organization

Cons

  • No external storage
  • Outer pockets will spill contents
  • Average bladder performance

5. Maxpedition Typhoon Backpack

Is carrying around a large backpack for your daily task too much of a problem for you? Relax, we got you covered. The Typhon Backpack is right here to serve you. This is an EDC backpack that has an estimate of 840 cubic inches (13L) of carrying capacity, including several pockets and pouches available for your essential gear.

It is ideal for a day hike and will never hold you back from achieving your hiking goals. The Typhoon has an excellent internal and external organization with zippered side pouch that is perfect for your smartphone, a sheath pocket that has a Hook-and-Loop enclosure that is great for small tools or flashlight. When you experience little or problem during hiking, you’ll enjoy every bit of your hiking adventure. So start it right with a Maxpedition Typhoon Backpack.

It was created from high-quality nylon stitching YKK zippers bringing on a water-resistant exterior. The Maxpedition Backpacks come with several compartments and offer so many spaces for laptops, camping gear, hydration reservoirs, text book, and CCW. This is what you need for that upcoming hiking activity.

Pros

  • It has the capacity to withstand unfavorable weather conditions
  • it’s compact and offers more organizational space
  • It offers easy access to all compartments

Cons

  • Limited use with the single strap
  • It is not very spacious

6. Osprey Packs Sirrus 24 Hiking Backpack

Osprey Sirrus 24 is an excellent daypack. It comes as comfortable as you can think of with plenty of padding and also an open mesh back—and great extras too. Even though it has one size, the back can adjust up to four inches—only a few packs have that feature.

The Osprey Sirrus 24 is made using 210D nylon with the bottom of 420D nylon. The features are in their numbers—like the rain cover as well as the open mesh back design. The comfortability is on the high side. It has sufficient padding on the shoulder straps but less than on the hip belt. The air will always be circulating by the suspended mesh back design.

Pros

  • It is comfortable and adequately ventilated
  • It features an adjustable torso length and also a rain cover

Cons

  • It comes with a heavy, ill-fitting hipbelt

7. Lowepro HighLine BP 300 AW

If you’re a modern traveler and needs a sleek, attractive and protective backpack, then this is for you. It stores a 10” tablet, 13” laptop, accessories and clothing.

The pack has a dedicated CradleFit compartment which can protect up to 13″ laptop. Also fitted with the BP300 is a removable Jumpkit bag to keep your smartphone, tablet, pens, earbuds, and several other small items.

The gear is kept safe from the elements with the help of durable and weatherproof materials. Get extra protection from the built-in All Weather AW Cover. Its construction using heat-sealed seams is perfect for protecting it from rain, dust, and sand.

It eases all your packing worries with its many components and makes traveling enjoyable. Be confident when you travel or trek with the help of this durable and lightweight travel pack that can withstand the elements.

Pros

  • It is water resistant
  • Properly padded for electronics
  • It has plenty of pocket storage options–both inside and outside
  • The rain cover almost makes it waterproof
  • Well made

Cons

  • Slightly heavy due to the material
  • It is Expensive

8. Gregory Citro 20 Hydration Pack

Your post-work hikes are not complete without a Gregory Citro 20 Hydration Pack; it is perfect for your essentials. It provides enough space for a snack, water, packable rain jacket, and small gear. No to worry, you’ll never be slowed down by the weight of the backpack.

The VaporSpan back panel provides you with free-flowing ventilation; your body will be cool during sweltering low-elevation approaches—it will not ruin your summit views as it  cools when you make it to the top—which is very windy.

VaporSpan employs a leaf-spring lumber system which is well-suited with your lower back for a comfortable and supportive fit. The reservoir—three-liter in capacity—keeps water close by while the SpeedClip mounting system prevents sloshing around of water as you trek.

Pros

  • It has a bonus hydration bladder
  • It features Magnetic hose attachment
  • An attachment system for glasses
  • Perfect suspension and ventilation
  • It is a versatile pack

Cons

  • It comes with no rain cover
  • The torso length cannot be adjusted

9. DAKINE Drafter 14L Hydration Pack

All your mountain bike backpack requirements are met with the Drafter 14L—from protection to hydration in a breathable design. The 3-liter Hydrapak reservoir will keep you hydrated while on the move. It lies on the lumbar to have a lower center of gravity and comes with a high-flow bite valve. The air suspension back panel will keep you comfortable and cool—even the breathable ergonomic shoulder strap too.

The main pocket comes with extra layers; you’ll get a great organization with the front pocket for all your tools and every other necessity. Additional features are external helmet carry, spine protection compatibility, as well as deployable armor, carry straps.

Pros

  • It has so many pockets and may be regarded as versatile
  • Front pocket is well-suited for medical and tools

Cons

  • Impossible to open the compartment up into one larger size
  • Not ideal as a book bag

Conclusion

All of the above reviewed are certainly by far some of the best hiking backpacks you will find out there. The truth is it’s quite tricky to point out specifically which is best of them all. If your choice comes down to getting the most comfortable, you might find yourself picking Deuter Airlite 20 SL Hiking Backpack as a good option. However, if you are more particular about having added storage spaces, the Gregory Mountain is going to be the best pick for that.

All in all, the ultimate suitability of these hiking backpacks depends more on their individual strength and how they meet the peak of your satisfaction.

The time to shop for that hiking backpack is now. Shop right and get what you want.

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