Hiking Backpacks Guide


Hiking Backpacks For Every Type Of Hiker

Hiking is open to almost anyone, and can range from local and leisurely day hikes to the most challenging multi-day mountain trails. If you’ve got the hiking bug, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the best backpack to meet your comfort and performance needs.

To help you choose your ideal pack, follow our advice for any type of hiker, whether you’re a leisurely wanderer or hardcore adventurer!

The ‘Just For Fun’ Day Hiker

A day hike could be a simple walk through a forest, a short trek across a local coast path, or a trip to the nearest must-do walking route. This type of hike is perfect for beginners looking to build up to more adventurous trails, or those who just want to get the whole family outside to spend time in the great outdoors.

If you’re looking for a lightweight backpack for a leisurely hike with a lunch stop, opt for a pack with a capacity between 0-35L (the general rule of thumb is that the longer your journey will take, the more capacity you’ll need in your pack for extra items such as food).

Our wide selection of hiking daypacks offer a variety of features to ease your journey, from our Stow-on-the-Go walking pole attachments that keep poles out of the way when not in use, to stretch side water bottle pockets to ensure you keep refreshed on the move.

Our Sportlite series is the ideal combination of high-performance, comfort and durable, sustainable fabrics. In warmer weather, our Hikelite series offers superior ventilation with its suspended AirSpeed® mesh backpanel.

The Extreme Day Hiker

An extreme day hike will involve a trip that consumes most of the day, and takes you across challenging terrain. You might be bagging peaks through rugged paths and steep slopes, or setting out early to complete a section of lengthy trail before the sun sets.

For seasoned hikers looking to travel light and fast and return home or to base camp by night, you probably won’t want to carry anything bigger than a 36L pack on your back.

With a time-tested proven design, and available in both a men’s and women’s fit, our Talon and Tempest series is a popular choice with hikers across the globe. With a lengthy list of technical features and functionality, these packs offer unrivalled performance, comfort and versatility on adventurous trails.


The Overnight Hiker

If you want to enjoy the outdoors without the restrictions of time you might be planning a night under the stars. For a single night trip you’ll inevitably need more gear – camping equipment, food and extra clothing for when the temperature drops – so opt for a pack with a capacity of 30-50L.

For overnighters where you need slightly more camping equipment or clothes due to changeable weather, we’d recommend a pack from our Stratos and Sirrus series. These packs feature an integrated raincover and a zippered sleeping bag compartment at the base of the pack for direct, easy access when you’re ready to set up camp.

However, if you still want to keep it lightweight, our Talon and Tempest series includes packs with enough capacity for everything you need for a light and fast overnight hike, with handy top-lid access, compression straps to secure your gear and functional organisation pockets.

For tough adventures where workhorse durability is key, opt for a pack from our Kestrel and Kyte series. These packs are rugged companions suitable for any kind of hike where you need to carry a heavier load.

The Multi-Day Thru-Hiker

If you’re a serious hiker taking on a challenging, lengthy trail over a number of days, weeks or even months, and sleeping along the route each night, you can consider yourself a thru-hiker.

For multi-day adventures, you should choose a pack with a capacity of 36-65L, depending on how much gear you need to carry with you.

Where weight of the gear is crucial, you won’t be disappointed with our long-distance hikers’ favourite, Exos and Eja. These high-performance ultralight packs provide category-leading carry comfort and ventilation.

For larger loads, the Atmos and Aura AGwith its award-winning AntiGravity backsystem – provides exceptional weight distribution and will allow you to move freely as if you aren’t wearing a pack.


The Sustainable Hiker

The more sustainable hikers in the world, the better! If you strive to tread lightly on the planet you’ll be pleased to know that Osprey only designs high-quality, durable backpacks that are built to last. This ensures that we minimise the quantity of material that goes to landfill and protect the very environments that our packs are designed for.

The limited-edition Talon Earth 22 is designed with sustainability at the forefront, with an impressive bluesign® PRODUCT designation and technical features that place it at home on the trail, on the bike or across town alike. It’s one of our most versatile day packs, in our most sustainable silhouette to date.

Our Archeon series, part of our White Label range, embodies the principles of environmentalism with its design. With recycled and extremely tough fabrics, durable metal componentry and a heavy duty backsystem, this pack series is made with the environment at heart and built for life in the outdoors. Available in various sizes suitable for any hike duration.

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