Best Small Backpack For Hiking (2024 Updated)

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As an avid hiker, I know how important it is to find the right backpack for my adventures. And if you're looking for the best small backpack for hiking, there are some key points you should keep in mind to ensure you find the perfect fit for your needs.

First, consider the size and capacity of the backpack. You want a backpack that's small enough to be lightweight and comfortable, but big enough to carry all your essentials. Look for a backpack with a capacity of around 20-30 liters.

Second, think about the comfort and support of the backpack. Look for features like padded straps, a breathable back panel, and a waist belt to help distribute the weight evenly and reduce strain on your back.

Third, consider the durability and weather resistance of the backpack. Look for backpacks made from high-quality materials that are water-resistant, tear-resistant, and can withstand the wear and tear of the trail.

Fourth, look for backpacks with plenty of pockets and compartments to help you stay organized and easily access your gear.

Finally, consider your budget. You don't have to break the bank to find a great small backpack for hiking, but investing in a high-quality backpack can make a big difference in your hiking experience.

In summary, when looking for the best small backpack for hiking, keep in mind the size and capacity, comfort and support, durability and weather resistance, pockets and compartments, and your budget. With these key points in mind, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect backpack for your next hiking adventure.

10 Best Small Backpack For Hiking

1. Osprey Talon Pro 30 Men's Hiking Backpack, Carbon, Large/x-Large

The Osprey Talon Pro 30 Men's Hiking Backpack is an exceptional piece of gear designed for serious hikers and backpackers. The backpack features a wide mouth, bucket-style main compartment opening, which makes it easy to access all your gear. Inside, there is a zippered mesh pocket and key clip to keep your smaller items organized and within reach.

One of the standout features of this backpack is its external hydration sleeve, which accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold separately). This means you can easily stay hydrated on long hikes without having to stop and take off your backpack to access your water bottle.

The Osprey Talon Pro 30 also features an adjustable shoulder harness, which allows you to dial in the perfect fit for your body. This ensures that the backpack stays comfortable and secure, even on long hikes. Additionally, there are stretch mesh pockets on both sides of the pack, which provide convenient storage for bottles and smaller items.

For those who like to keep their essentials close at hand, the backpack has two zippered hipbelt pockets and a LidLock helmet attachment. This makes it easy to store your phone, keys, and other small items without having to rummage through your pack.

The backpack is constructed with Osprey's Nanofly fabric, which integrates ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) ripstop and 100D nylon. This creates an incredibly light fabric with remarkable abrasion resistance. The result is a backpack that is both lightweight and durable, making it perfect for long hikes and backpacking trips.

The Osprey Talon Pro 30 Men's Hiking Backpack is available in a size Large/X-Large, with a recommended load range of 15-25 lbs. The pack weighs in at 2.6 lbs and measures 24.41 x 11.42 x 10.24 inches. With a volume of 30 liters, there is plenty of space to store all your gear for a day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip.

Overall, the Osprey Talon Pro 30 Men's Hiking Backpack is an excellent choice for anyone who is serious about hiking and backpacking. With its comfortable and adjustable fit, external hydration sleeve, and durable construction, this backpack is sure to be a reliable companion on all your outdoor adventures.

2. Osprey Kyte 36 Women's Hiking Backpack, Ice Lake Green, Small/medium

The Osprey Kyte 36 Women's Hiking Backpack, Ice Lake Green, Small/Medium is a versatile and durable backpack designed specifically for female hikers. It offers a perfect blend of comfort, functionality, and style that makes it a reliable companion for any hiking adventure.

One of the standout features of this backpack is the breathable AirScape ridged foam backpanel with adjustable torso length. This feature allows the backpack to fit snugly and comfortably on the user's back, regardless of their height or body type. The adjustable torso length feature ensures that the backpack can be customized to fit the user perfectly, providing maximum comfort and stability.

The Osprey Kyte 36 Women's Hiking Backpack also comes with an integrated removable raincover that helps protect the backpack and its contents from the elements. This feature is particularly useful for hikers who are planning to hike in areas with unpredictable weather conditions.

Another notable feature of this backpack is the zippered sleeping bag compartment with floating divider and integrated removable raincover. This compartment provides ample space for storing a sleeping bag, while the floating divider ensures that the sleeping bag stays in place during transit. The integrated removable raincover provides additional protection against the elements.

The front panel hybrid shove-it pocket is another useful feature of this backpack. It allows users to quickly and easily store items that they may need to access frequently, such as a map or a water bottle.

The stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment is a handy feature for hikers who need to carry trekking poles with them. It allows users to quickly and easily attach and detach their trekking poles to the backpack, without the need for additional straps or accessories.

The zippered hipbelt pockets and dual stretch mesh side pockets provide additional storage options for users, allowing them to store small items such as snacks or a phone within easy reach.

The Osprey Kyte 36 Women's Hiking Backpack, Ice Lake Green, Small/Medium is designed to carry loads ranging from 20-35 lbs, making it suitable for day hikes, overnight trips, and even multi-day hikes. It has a pack weight of 3.23 lbs and dimensions of 27.6 x 13.0 x 11.8 in. The backpack has a volume of 36 liters, providing ample space for users to carry all the gear they need for their hiking adventure.

Overall, the Osprey Kyte 36 Women's Hiking Backpack, Ice Lake Green, Small/Medium is an excellent choice for female hikers who are looking for a comfortable, functional, and stylish backpack that can handle a variety of hiking scenarios. With its numerous features and customizable fit, it is sure to become a go-to backpack for any hiking enthusiast.

3. Cycling Hiking Backpack Sunhiker Water Resistant Travel Backpack Lightweight Small Daypack M0714

The Cycling Hiking Backpack Sunhiker Water Resistant Travel Backpack Lightweight SMALL Daypack M0714 is an ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want a lightweight and compact backpack. It has dimensions of 15.8H x 9.4L x 5.9W inches/ 40 x 24 x 15 cm and a weight of only 12.3oz, making it perfect for those who don't need a large backpack but still want to carry their essentials.

Made of highly tear-resistant nylon, this backpack is water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and durable. The material ensures that the backpack can withstand the wear and tear of frequent outdoor use. The Sunhiker backpack also features a comfortable design with breathable mesh shoulder straps that help to relieve the stress on the shoulders.

The backpack has multiple compartments that offer enough space to store your belongings in a more detailed classification. There is also a bottle holder on both sides of the backpack, allowing you to carry water or other drinks with you on your outdoor adventures. The high-quality smooth zipper and durable front buckle ensure that your belongings stay secure and safe.

The Sunhiker backpack is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, climbing, traveling, cycling, and other outdoor sports. It is suitable for both kids and adults and can hold up to 20-25L of belongings. The backpack is a perfect choice for those who want a lightweight and comfortable backpack that is still durable and can withstand the rigors of outdoor use.

In conclusion, the Cycling Hiking Backpack Sunhiker Water Resistant Travel Backpack Lightweight SMALL Daypack M0714 is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a compact, lightweight backpack that is durable and comfortable. The backpack is perfect for outdoor activities and can hold all your essentials while keeping them safe and secure.

4. The North Face Terra Backpacking Backpack, Tnf Black/tnf Black, S-M 65l

The NORTH FACE Terra Backpacking Backpack is an essential item for those who love backcountry excursions. With a 65-liter capacity, this backpack is designed for comfort and easy adjustments on multi-day adventures. It comes in TNF Black/TNF Black color and is available in S-M size.

The patent-pending Dyno Lift System is a standout feature of this backpack. It is self-equalizing with on-the-fly, adjustable load lifters. This means that you can carry what you need without adding extra weight. The backpack is designed to help you carry a heavy load with ease.

The Terra 65 backpack is designed with organized storage in mind. It has a full J-zip opening that allows for quick access to the pack's contents. It also has separated compartments that help you organize your essentials when you're on the go. The backpack is hydration compatible so you can stay fueled on your trip.

Quality construction is a top priority for The NORTH FACE, and it shows in the Terra 65 backpack. It features the proprietary OPTFIT suspension system, cushioned back panel, and breathable mesh for a comfortable and secure fit. The supportive molded hipbelt offers extra support, making it easier to carry a heavy load for extended periods.

The backpack comes in two sizes: S/M and L/XL. The S/M dimensions are 23.6" x 13.4" x 10.6", while the L/XL dimensions are 24.8" x 13.4" x 10.6". The average weight for the S/M size is 4lbs 1oz, while the L/XL size is 4lbs 5oz. The body of the backpack is made of 210D nylon with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish, while the boot is made of 600D polyester.

In summary, The NORTH FACE Terra Backpacking Backpack is an excellent choice for those who love backcountry excursions. With its 65-liter capacity, organized storage, and quality construction, it is designed to help you carry a heavy load with ease. The backpack is also hydration compatible and comes in two sizes to accommodate different body types.

5. Osprey Aether 65 Men's Backpacking Backpack , Garlic Mustard Green, Small/medium

The Osprey Aether 65 Men's Backpacking Backpack in Garlic Mustard Green, size Small/Medium, is a versatile and durable backpack designed for extended outdoor adventures. This backpack offers ample storage space, convenient features, and comfortable carrying options to help make your journey more enjoyable.

One of the standout features of the Osprey Aether 65 is the removable top lid that can be converted into a DayLid daypack. This convenient feature allows you to leave your main pack at camp while taking a smaller pack with you on day hikes or other excursions. The DayLid daypack is also great for carrying essentials during travel days or layovers.

Another feature of the Osprey Aether 65 is the included raincover, which is made with PFC-free DWR (durable water repellent) and bluesign-approved materials. This raincover is designed to keep your gear dry in wet weather conditions, and it can be easily stored in a dedicated pocket when not in use.

The Osprey Aether 65 also features dual front panel zippered pockets for easy-access storage. These pockets are great for storing items that you need to access quickly, such as snacks, maps, or a headlamp. The backpack also has a large front J-zip access panel that allows you to easily access the main compartment of the pack without having to dig through your gear from the top.

The Osprey Aether 65 is designed for comfortable carrying over long distances. The backpack features a LightWire frame suspension system that helps distribute the weight of the pack evenly across your back. The harness and hipbelt are also adjustable to ensure a comfortable and personalized fit. The backpack also has a removable sleeping pad straps and dual ice ax loops that allow you to carry additional gear as needed.

Overall, the Osprey Aether 65 Men's Backpacking Backpack is a great choice for those looking for a durable and versatile backpack for extended outdoor adventures. With convenient features like the removable DayLid daypack and dual front panel zippered pockets, as well as comfortable carrying options, this backpack is sure to make your next adventure more enjoyable.

6. G4free 10l Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack.

The G4Free 10L Hiking Backpack is a versatile and lightweight daypack that is perfect for hiking, camping, day trips, and shopping. It is designed to be foldable and packable, making it easy to store and carry in a coat pocket, luggage, or handbag.

The backpack is made of high-quality tear and water-resistant material, which provides extra strength and long-lasting performance. It features heavy-duty two-way SBS metal zippers that ensure easy access to the main compartment and the front and side pockets.

The backpack has a large capacity of 10L, with one main zipped compartment, one zipped front pocket, and two side mesh pockets. The travel backpack can carry daily essentials and keep things organized, making it an ideal choice for international travel at the airport.

The G4Free backpack is equipped with breathable mesh shoulder straps and foam padding, which help reduce pressure on the shoulders and keep the user comfortable. It is a unisex backpack that is perfect for both men and women.

The backpack is lightweight and multipurpose, weighing only 0.56lb and occupying a small area. It provides enough space for outdoor travel, camping, hiking, day trips, and shopping. It is a perfect all-purpose backpack that can be used for a variety of activities.

The G4Free 10L Hiking Backpack comes with a 1-year warranty and lifetime customer service, providing the best shopping experience and top-quality goods to each customer. If you have any questions or dissatisfaction with the foldable backpack, you can contact the customer service team by email, and they will provide you with the best solution.

7. 35l Ultralight Hiking Backpack – Water Resistant, Foldable, For Outdoor Sports And Travel (Purple, Women/men)

The WEREWOLVES 35L Ultralight Hiking Backpack is the ultimate choice for outdoor enthusiasts, travelers, and adventurers. Made of high-quality tear-resistant and waterproof nylon material, this backpack is designed to withstand the rigors of the great outdoors. The SBS two-way metal zippers and multiple reinforcements at the seams ensure that the backpack provides extra strength and long-lasting performance.

The backpack features a well-organized design with one main zipper pocket, three front zipper pockets, and two side mesh pockets. The main pocket and the outermost pocket each have two additional compartments to help you organize your items. With a capacity of 35 liters, the main pocket offers ample space for day trips or longer trips.

The WEREWOLVES backpack is lightweight and easy to store, weighing only 0.8 lbs when folded and measuring 9.8 x 8.6 x1 inches when folded. It can be expanded to store more luggage at critical moments, avoiding excess baggage fees and reducing travel pressure.

The backpack has many advantages, such as double-stitched zippers, survival whistle, and reflective tape, providing additional practicality in the outdoors. The backpack is equipped with chest straps and shoulder straps that wrap the body tightly to avoid more fatigue. The shoulders have sponge padding, which is both breathable and pressure-relieving, making it more comfortable to carry.

The WEREWOLVES backpack is widely applicable and can be used for hiking, day trips, vacations, camping, traveling, overnight trips, daily use, excursions, school, carry-on, Disney trips, and more. It is a great gift for men and women who enjoy outdoor sports or leisure activities in and around the city.

In summary, the WEREWOLVES 35L Ultralight Hiking Backpack is a sturdy, durable, and well-designed backpack that is perfect for outdoor activities and travel. It offers ample space, practical features, and is comfortable to carry. Get the WEREWOLVES backpack today and take your outdoor adventures to the next level.

8. King'sguard 70l Frameless Hiking Backpack – Waterproof, Lightweight, With Rain Cover And Daypack For Outdoor Travel (Army Green)

The King'sGuard 70L Hiking Backpack is a durable and reliable option for outdoor enthusiasts who need a reliable travel backpack that can withstand harsh weather conditions. This backpack is designed with high-quality nylon fabric that is tear-resistant, wear-resistant, and water-resistant, ensuring that you can use it for hours on end without worrying about it wearing out.

One of the standout features of this backpack is its comfort. The mesh back pad design maximizes ventilation and back comfort, while the widened and thickened S-type shoulder straps and assistive belt and chest straps offer stability and balance, making it easier to carry heavier loads. The backpack weighs only 2.6 pounds, making it an ideal choice for outdoor travel.

In addition to being comfortable, the King'sGuard 70L Hiking Backpack is also waterproof. It is made of waterproof material and comes with an extra rain cover on the bottom pouch, providing double protection against water and dust. This ensures that your valuables stay dry even in heavy rain, making it an ideal backpack for hiking, camping, backpacking, trekking, climbing, and travel.

The backpack has a large capacity of 70 liters, with a size of 23.6 * 11.8 * 7.9 inches. This makes it an ideal hiking backpack for 3-5 day adventures, and it meets the size requirements of most airlines, making it easy to travel with.

The King'sGuard 70L Hiking Backpack comes with an after-sales guarantee. The backpack is of high quality, sturdy, and thick, ensuring that it will last for a long time. If you have any pre-sales or after-sales questions, you can contact the manufacturer, and they will reply within 24 hours. The manufacturer also provides service for quality problems within 1 year.

Overall, the King'sGuard 70L Hiking Backpack is a reliable and durable option for outdoor enthusiasts who need a comfortable, waterproof, and spacious backpack for their adventures.

9. 70l Esup Hiking Backpack With 65l+5l Rain Cover For Camping, Backpacking, And Mountaineering (Black)

The Esup 70L Hiking Backpack is a versatile and durable backpack designed for outdoor enthusiasts. With adjustable straps, it can be customized to fit any body type and can be used to hang sleeping bags, mats, hammocks, and other camping gear.

This backpack has a high-capacity of 70L, which includes a main compartment, two zipped front pockets, a sleeping bag compartment, and mesh side pockets. It is perfect for 2-4 day adventures and can hold all your necessary gear, such as tents, blankets, or cooking equipment.

The backpack is made with high-quality tear-resistant polyester and nylon fabric. This material is anti-scratch, wear-resistant, and ensures the backpack will last for many trips to come. Additionally, it comes with a rain cover to prevent water from seeping into the bag and keeping your belongings dry.

The shoulder straps feature breathable mesh and plenty of sponge padding to help alleviate stress and pressure on the shoulders. The S-type shoulder straps are widened and thickened, while the high elastic breathable back support provides the best ventilation and easing of the burden.

In addition, the Esup 70L Hiking Backpack comes with a waterproof rain cover to protect your belongings from rain, snow, and other weather conditions. This feature ensures that your gear stays dry and safe during your outdoor adventures.

Overall, the Esup 70L Hiking Backpack is a versatile and reliable choice for any outdoor enthusiast looking for a high-capacity backpack that can withstand the elements. With its durable construction, adjustable straps, and ample storage space, it is the perfect companion for any camping, hiking, or mountaineering excursion.

Best Small Backpack For Hiking FAQs

Can a small backpack still offer enough storage space for a day hike or overnight camping trip?

Yes, a small backpack can still offer enough storage space for a day hike or overnight camping trip. The key is to pack efficiently and prioritize essential items. For a day hike, a small backpack can easily fit a water bottle, snacks, a first aid kit, sunscreen, and a light jacket. For an overnight camping trip, a small backpack can still accommodate a sleeping bag, tent, cooking supplies, and clothing. It's important to consider the weight and size of each item and choose multi-functional gear to maximize space. Additionally, packing smartly can also allow for easier transportation and maneuverability on the trail. Overall, a small backpack can be a great option for those who prefer a lighter load or want to challenge themselves to pack more efficiently.

How do you properly fit and adjust a small backpack for maximum comfort and support during a hike?

To properly fit and adjust a small backpack for maximum comfort and support during a hike, follow these steps:

1. Measure your torso length and choose a backpack that fits your measurements.

2. Adjust the shoulder straps so they sit comfortably on your shoulders without digging in or slipping off.

3. Adjust the hip belt so it sits comfortably on your hips and takes the weight off your shoulders.

4. Adjust the load lifters and sternum strap to ensure a snug fit without restricting your breathing or movement.

5. Make sure the backpack is balanced and not pulling to one side.

6. Pack the backpack properly with heavier items closer to your back and lighter items towards the top.

7. Test the fit and adjust as necessary before starting your hike.

Properly fitting and adjusting your backpack will reduce discomfort and fatigue, distribute weight evenly, and improve your overall hiking experience.

What are some popular brands that offer the best small backpacks for hiking?

When it comes to finding the best small backpacks for hiking, several popular brands offer high-quality options. One of the most well-known names in hiking gear is Osprey, and their Daylite series of backpacks is a popular choice for day hikes. The Deuter Speed Lite is another top brand for small hiking backpacks, with its lightweight design and durable materials. Other popular brands include Patagonia, Gregory, and North Face, which offer a range of sizes, styles, and features to suit different hiking needs. Ultimately, the best small backpack for hiking will depend on factors such as personal preference, the length of the hike, and the gear that needs to be carried. It's important to consider features such as ventilation, padding, and storage compartments when choosing a hiking backpack to ensure it meets your specific needs.

What are the benefits of using a small backpack for hiking and how does it differ from larger backpacks?

Using a small backpack for hiking has several benefits. Firstly, it forces hikers to pack only the essentials, reducing the weight and bulk of the load. This can make the hike less strenuous and more enjoyable. Secondly, a smaller backpack allows for greater freedom of movement, making it easier to navigate tricky terrain. Additionally, smaller backpacks are often more comfortable and better suited for shorter hikes.

In contrast, larger backpacks are necessary for longer hikes or multi-day trips where more gear and supplies are needed. They also offer more support and stability, making them ideal for carrying heavier loads. However, larger backpacks can be cumbersome and restrict movement, making them less suitable for shorter or more technical hikes. Ultimately, the choice of backpack size will depend on the length and difficulty of the hike, as well as personal preferences and needs.

What are the key features to look for when choosing the best small backpack for hiking?

When choosing the best small backpack for hiking, there are several key features to look for. Firstly, it should be lightweight and compact, allowing you to move freely and comfortably. Secondly, it should have a sturdy and durable construction, with high-quality materials that can withstand rugged terrain and adverse weather conditions. Thirdly, it should have ample storage space, with multiple compartments and pockets to organize your gear and essentials. Fourthly, it should have a comfortable and adjustable harness system, with padded shoulder straps, a breathable back panel, and a waist belt that distributes the weight evenly. Fifthly, it should have functional and practical features, such as hydration compatibility, compression straps, attachment points for gear, and reflective elements for visibility. Overall, the best small backpack for hiking should combine functionality, comfort, and durability, to enhance your outdoor experience and keep you prepared for any adventure.

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