From day hikes to extended treks and high-mountain adventures, a backpack is relied on to keep your gear safe and organized while offering high levels of comfort. Below are our in-depth pack reviews, including high-capacity designs for backpacking, lightweight bags for hiking and travel, and streamlined models for climbing and the alpine. To provide the best information possible, our team has done extensive research, tested the products in areas ranging from Patagonia and New Zealand to the Pacific Northwest, and included key comparisons to relevant competitors.

Best Backpacking Packs of 2020

Gone are the days when backpacking consisted of strapping on a huge external frame and lumbering through the forest with an aching body. Trends in backpacks these days err towards minimalism...

Gregory Paragon 58 (2020) Backpack Review

Best known for their heavy-hauling Baltoro, the Paragon backpack from Gregory cuts weight to appeal to the core overnight and weekend crowd. We really liked the original, and they’ve updated the design for 2020...

Osprey Atmos AG 65 Review

One of the few downsides in the industry-wide transition to internal-frame packs is ventilation. Enter the Atmos line from Osprey, and more recently, the Atmos AG pack. This bag has been designed from the ground up to keep your back dry....

REI Co-op Flash 55 Review

REI Co-op entered the world of ultralight backpacking in a big way with the release of their Flash 55 pack last year. For a reasonable $199, the Flash pulls out all the stops: ample storage, removable features including a top lid and compression straps...

Granite Gear Blaze 60 Review

Effectively balancing weight, carrying comfort, and features is a tall order, but Granite Gear’s Blaze 60 pack manages to do so with very few compromises. We took the women’s Blaze on a 35-mile backpacking trip along the Grand Canyon’s challenging...

Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 Backpack Review

As backpacks trend toward lighter and less durable designs, Arc’teryx’s Bora AR 63 stands out as a burly and capable heavy hauler. Notable features include a moveable hipbelt that tuned to slide while...

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Southwest Review

Dyneema is a hot item in ultralight gear, and for good reason: it’s one of the strongest materials in the world, resists moisture well, and is incredibly lightweight. Maine-based Hyperlite Mountain Gear...

Osprey Exos 58 Backpack Review

For a time, Osprey’s Exos 58 was the ultimate ultralight pack and a favorite among thru-hikers. The competition has grown significantly in recent years, but the latest model still is a compelling and...

Gregory Baltoro 75 Review

Gregory’s flagship men’s Baltoro and women’s Deva packs are long-time favorites for those carrying serious weight. We took the 75-liter version on the demanding Huemul Circuit in Patagonia and were pleased with its stable feel and premium construction...

Osprey Aura AG 65 Review

Osprey’s proven lineup of backpacking packs runs the gamut from simple entry-level haulers and ultralight builds to premium, feature-rich models. The Aura AG—and its men’s counterpart, the Atmos AG—falls right in the middle...

Osprey Eja 48 Review

The minimalist Exos has been a mainstay among ultralight packs, but in 2018, Osprey introduced its women’s-specific counterpart: the Eja. Going beyond the “shrink and pink” strategy, the Eja is a well-fitting, adjustable pack that comes in 38, 48, and...

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 Review

I typically purchase gear with an eye toward fastpacking, and previously thought of high-capacity packs as being useful only for slower thru-hikes or long trips into the backcountry. The Gossamer Gear...

Osprey Rook 65 Review

Last year, Osprey released an intriguing addition to their impressive lineup of backpacking packs: the Rook. At $165 for the 65-liter version, it’s their most affordable multi-day offering to date, coming in around $100 cheaper than much of the...

REI Co-op Traverse 70 Review

REI Co-op continues to improve its in-house line. The versatile Traverse is the company’s leading backpacking pack and features high levels of comfort, thoughtful organization, and a quality build that can compete with any brand on the market. We...

Osprey Levity 60 Review

Released last year, the highly anticipated, sub-2-pound Osprey Levity is a formidable contender in the ultralight backpacking pack market. Coming in 11 ounces lighter than their popular Exos, the design targets thru-hikers and minimalists. We took the...

Granite Gear Crown2 60 Review

Granite Gear is a market leader in ultralight packs, with a strong following among thru-hikers and other minimalist backpackers. Arguably, their best design is the Crown2...

Osprey Aether AG 70 Review

Osprey has a strong reputation for building comfortable packs, and the Aether line is one of their best. To see how it performed, we loaded down the 70-liter model for a multi-day trip in Southern Utah. All in all, we were impressed by its performance...

Best Daypacks for Hiking of 2020

A key piece of any gear closet is a go-to daypack. It’s what you grab for nearly any type of outdoor adventure, whether it’s a hike, bike ride, or day on the slopes. Generally, what most people look for…

REI Co-op Flash 18 Daypack Review

REI Co-op’s popular Flash 18 was my very first daypack, as I’m sure it is for many. This versatile hauler has served me well, from its role as travel bag during a study-abroad semester in Europe to...

Osprey Talon 22 Review

Osprey’s Talon is the daypack we see on the trails more than any other. And there’s good reason for its popularity: it’s light, has a nice fit, is made in a wide range of sizes and bright colorways, and hits a desirable price point. We’ve used the...

Osprey Stratos 24 Review

Osprey is a leader in the pack market, and their Stratos line is an all-around favorite for day hiking. We’ve owned multiple variations over the years, and all have delivered nearly flawless performance through extended, rough use. We’ve been testing...

REI Co-op Flash 22 Daypack Review

When it comes to outdoor gear, we often find ourselves forced to make decisions between weight-savings and functionality. Uber-lightweight gear is great for moving quickly, but it usually comes with significant tradeoffs in terms of comfort, function...

Thule Stir 20 Review

Thule, the Swedish company known mostly for their car rack systems, recently ventured into the world of backpacking with the successful introduction of their first technical packs. In 2016, they have expanded their line of packs...

Best Climbing Backpacks of 2020

Gone are the days when climbing consisted of swami belts, hobnailed boots, and weeks spent nailing pitons into swaths of granite. Current trends in climbing gear have moved toward functionality, performance...

Osprey Mutant 52 Review

Osprey might be best known for their impressive lineup of backpacking packs, but they took that expertise and tailored it to the alpine with the climbing-focused Mutant. We took the 52-liter version on an expedition in the Alaska Range, using it both...