If you’re backpacking, road-tripping, hiking, or climbing enthusiast, with or without experience in the field, you must know that good quality, reliable, and comfy backpack can make the difference between an enjoyable, limit-pushing trip and a sweaty, uncomfortable, and even painful one.
How? Well, imagine doing a 4-hour mountain hike. It’s no easy task, to begin with, but if you add a non-ergonomic backpack to the equation you’ll end up with backaches, shoulder aches, a sweatier body than normal, and not to mention the obvious increase in the difficulty of your route.
These things that make your life harder are totally unnecessary. If you do some research and invest in one great pack, you will use it with only pleasure and no pain.
To do that, you need to consider which kind of outdoorsy adventure you’ll embark on and how long it will take as there are different types of backpacks for different things like cycling, hiking, climbing, or simply a walk through the woods.
1. 3V Gear Paratus 3-Day Operator’s Tactical Backpack – Best for versatility
This item is designed for your comfort. It features padded shoulder and waist straps, rigid back to promote airflow as well as lots of big and small compartments that make it easy to pack with your gear, supplies, food, and water for when you’re gone for days in a row.
We recommend this item because it’s made to last, from the highest quality materials, and its versatility is unmatchable.
Pros and Cons
2. Tactical Military MOLLE Backpack Bundle – Best Over-All
The best feature of this product is the large pouch especially made to carry water. Simply fill the 2.5 liters compartment, add the long drinking straw, and attach it to the side of the bag so you can keep hydrated during the whole length of the trip.
More so, you don’t need to buy it separately, like with other backpacks, as this one is included in the price of the main item.
Pros and Cons
3. 65L Tactical Military Backpack Water Resistant – Best for fabric
The 1000D polyester makes it such a durable item, especially for nature explorations. In addition, it’s rain and water-resistant and it features an extra cover for days or environments that are especially wet. This bag is especially designed to reduce the heaviness of what you decide to carry with you on your trip.
We don’t recommend this product if you plan to go on days-on-end long hiking trips as it’s quite large and could be uncomfortable or too heavy for the less strong or the less tall users.
Pros and Cons
4. OneTigris 50L 3 Day MOLLE Tactical Military Assault – Best for pocket diversity
It’s perfect for people that need back support as it has a soft but durable panel on the back that hugs the shape of your body easily, making it very comfortable to have on.
The wide shoulder straps give it a boost of comfort, especially because they have the right amount of padding to make you forget you even have it on your back, no matter how heavy it is.
Pros and Cons
5. GINGOOD Canvas Backpacks Vintage – Best for multi-purpose
What makes it so suitable for pretty much everything is its fabrics and design. It’s composed of high-quality canvas, leather straps, and metal for zippers and buckles.
The large variety of pockets and compartments makes it the perfect item to carry your accessories, keys, cards, laptop, notepads, wallets, and even your umbrella everywhere you need to go.
Pros and Cons
6. Rothco G.I. Type Heavyweight Mini Alice – Best for light day trips
It is extremely easy to use and your items will always be within reach due to the front flap and the large main compartment with no hidden pockets or pouches.
If you need additional storage or organization, this backpack has 3 exterior pouches you can easily use for your small items.
Pros and Cons
7. Fox Outdoor Products NATO Style – Best for durability of fabric
It features a large main compartment where you can add your sleeping bag, umbrella, and even folding chairs for comfort, as well as 2 large side pouches for extra storage where you can place food or accessories that you need to get to quickly.
Make sure you handle the straps and zippers with care as our testing team found them to be easily breakable.
Pros and Cons
8. Gootium 21101 Specially High-Density Thick Canvas – The best quality for the price
Being sturdy yet stylish, it will provide the best balance between practicality and style, and you can take this item with you anywhere from a day trip in nature, to a museum visit, and even on a hike in the mountains.
The lightweight cotton fabric is great for summer days as it promotes airflow for less sweaty back or shoulders. More so, its straps are adjustable and well-padded for your comfort and for avoiding any carrying pain.
Pros and Cons
Best Bushcraft Backpack of 2020
Backpacks are definitely items that anybody should have around in the house. They make great carrying bags for any situation, and if chosen correctly for the type of activity you’re going to do, they could make your life so much easier and your trip more enjoyable as well as painless.
Make certain to pick a backpack that fits the environment you’ll be using it in, as well as the length and nature of the trip. This will ensure you’ll have enough space to take every item you need with you and still be comfortable no matter the amount of weight.
What to look for in a bushcraft backpack?
The activity you’re going to use your pack for plays a crucial role in choosing the best one. As there are a lot of choices on the market and the quality differences are quite subtle most of the time, especially for somebody that is new to buying this kind of product, we put together this list of features to help you decide.
- Storage capacity
A backpack’s storage capacity is measured in liters and it’s the first on the list of things to look for. Taking a hiking trip as an example. If you’re going to take a 2 days trip and spend the night in a lodge or a hotel, then there’s no point in buying a large backpack of more than 25 liters. It will only make it heavier to carry even if you won’t be completely filling it up.
Instead, if you plan to camp overnight in nature, and maybe add another day to your trip, then you most definitely need one that can carry more gear. Because we’re talking about a heavy-duty bag, you must get one with at least 60 liters capacity because you’ll most likely have to carry your sleeping bag, warm, bulky clothes, water, and food in order to enjoy a worriless, eventless trip.
Maybe one of the crucial things to take into account is your body shape and size. A good pack shouldn’t bother you in any way, and while most straps are easy to adjust, you can’t do anything about an uncomfortable backside. Therefore, try to choose an item with an appropriate length and width.
In general, you can find different styles depending on your gender. If you’re a man, you can choose a wider backpack because it will fit better and will hug the shape of your back, while for women a narrower bag would be much more practical and comfortable.
The product material is highly important, and it should be picked according to the kind of activity you’ll use it for. As a rule of thumb, an impermeable composition is a must, as well as a high thread volume so that it’s resistant when it comes to tearing, scratching, and even UV rays. One good choice is nylon, but you should be careful with the quality as nylon is not very resistant to tearing and ripping.
With today’s technology, it’s easy to find good quality material but it could also be expensive. If your budget is modest, or you simply don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on this, you can simply purchase a waterproof protection cover that will keep the rain away.
- Zippers and straps
Although they are seemingly small things, these accessories are of great importance. An invincible zipper is made of plastic, not of metal as one would probably think is better. The metal ones are the first to get rusty when underwater or humidity and they lose their teeth quickly. Ensure that the end side has the right size to secure a good grip, or that it has a piece of canvas attached.
You need these features because otherwise, it’s quite difficult to open your bag with wet hands, numb from the cold, or with gloves. Also, ensure that all the buckles and straps are functional to secure easy adjustment for maximum comfort.
- Back design
A crucial factor in terms of your health and comfort, the back design must be really taken care of by the manufacturer. If it’s made right, a normal rucksack folds almost completely on the shape of your back. A professional hiking one, however, has a few points of contact with your back as possible to minimize the pressure and lighten its weight.
It’s equally important to have a breathable material and a system for adjusting the straps’ height, in order to have it fit the shape of your body.
Keep in mind that a poor-quality bag could put your health on the line as it could be damaging to the spine and shoulders, especially that we usually fill them up completely.
The product you pick must have at least two sets of straps: on the top for adjusting the distance, and on the bottom for adjusting the length. If you want to use the pack while biking, ensure it has a chest belt that connects the two straps for more security. This will also give you stability and balance.
For your comfort, the wider the straps, the better. They must be composed of breathable materials that will discourage sweating as much as possible because when you sweat, the friction burn risk and pain are much higher. Keep an eye on paddings, too. They will make a difference.
What accessories should you have?
There are a few things that we consider mandatory when going on your adventure with your reliable backpack. It’s a must to have with you the following:
- Rain cover. No matter the quality of fabric, bring it with you. It will come in handy!
- Sleeping bag compartment. This should be placed somewhere on the outside so that it saves you a lot of space.
- Outside pockets. They are great to have because they offer quick access to your gear.
- Water pouch. If you can get a rucksack that has it incorporated, buy it! No matter your activity, it’s of absolute importance to stay hydrated at all times. This item could get you out of trouble and could make drinking water while walking an easy habit.
Q: Is an expensive backpack worth it?
A: If you’re a real enthusiast of outdoor activities, then yes because you will use it a lot and the ones that are a bit more expensive tend to be of higher quality over-all and last longer. If you don’t want to spend hundreds, don’t despair. Cheaper versions are a good choice too, especially with today’s technologies.
Q: Is a canvas backpack suited for overnight camping?
A: Yes. Just don’t forget to buy a rain cover to protect your belongings from getting soaked.
Q: I don’t have back issues. Should I still buy a bag that has back support?
A: Absolutely. Even without back problems, after you walk for hours in the mountains, your whole body will feel sore and tired, including your back. So why not give it a little more support than normal so that you can enjoy a painless adventure!
There are a lot of items on the market and choosing the right one could turn out to be confusing. Keep in mind that comfort is a must no matter the activity, so pick one that is ergonomic, durable, and with back support and padded shoulders to make your trips easier and more enjoyable.
Don’t be afraid to spend a few more bucks on a good backpack because it will last for a long time and you can be worry-free throughout your journey. Even if your budget doesn’t allow it, just pay attention to the few things mentioned above and choose one that fits your particular needs. There are a lot of choices out there, and even cheaper ones are great with today’s new designs and technologies.