7 Best Budget Backpacking Packs in 2023

If you want to start exploring the great outdoors by hiking or backpacking, you may be put off by the high price of gear. We get it, backpacking is not a cheap hobby!

High-end backpacking packs can go for $300 or more, putting them out of reach of many outdoor enthusiasts on a tight budget.

However, you do not have to give up on your dreams of roaming around in nature because there are affordable alternatives out there! Check out our list of the best budget backpacking packs on the market this year.

Don’t have time to read this whole post? Here’s a high-level look at our list of the best budget backpacking packs this year:

  1. REI Co-op Flash 55TWE Recommendation #1
  2. Mountaintop – Adventure 55 Liter
  3. Teton Sports Scout 3400
  4. REI Co-Op Trailbreak 60
  5. Kelty Coyote 65TWE Recommendation #2
  6. Mountain Warehouse Carrion 65 Liter
  7. Amazon Basics 75 Liter

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1. REI Co-op Flash 55

TWE Recommended

REI Co-op Flash 55
Courtesy of REI

The REI Flash 55 is an excellent budget lightweight backpacking pack. Although it is super-light, it will handle a medium load pretty well.

There are a few standout features that make this budget backpacking pack at the top of our list. First, we love the integrated suspension system, allowing you to hike cool and comfortably.

Second, its Packmod system lets you customize the position of straps and pockets, of which there are plenty! Don’t need all the extra pockets for your trip? You can take them off altogether to reduce weight.

REI Co-op Flash 55 - Best Budget Backpacking Packs

However, because it is a very lightweight pack, it is not meant to carry loads heavier than 30 to 35 pounds, which may or may not be sufficient for your backpacking needs.

The fabric is also not the most durable compared to higher-end models, so you should do your best to keep it away from abrasive rock walls or branches that could cause the fabric to snag.

Need the perfect fit for your body? There are different Flash 55 sizes for both men and women.

REI Co-op Flash 55

REI Co-op Flash 55

Best for lightweight backpacking

Weight: 2.6 pounds

Volume: 55 liters

Price: Approximately $200

2. Mountaintop – Adventure 55 L

The Mountaintop Adventure 55L is a pretty decent entry-level, budget-friendly backpack for new backpackers.

It’s somewhat heavier than a few of the other packs on this list but offers a durable aluminum frame and tough fabric that will last you for many years, even when carrying heavy loads. 

It features a sleeve for a hydration bladder and a bottom-access compartment for your sleeping bag. However, you should note that the rain shield the pack comes with is not entirely waterproof and may fail to keep your belongings dry in truly heavy downpours.

Is a 55-liter too small for your needs? It also comes in an 80L size for those requiring extra capacity.

Mountaintop Adventure 55L

Weight: 3.3 pounds

Volume: 55 liters

Price: Approximately $60-70

3. Teton Sports Scout 3400

The Teton Sports Scout 3400 is an excellent option for a basic budget-friendly backpacking pack, offering plenty of room to stow your gear.

A few things we like about it? It has good durability and the ability to carry a heavy load. You can even use the external bungee storage for your jacket or other items you need to access quickly.

And if you’d like to share this one pack among your other hiking buddies? The multi-position torso adjustment fits a wide range of body sizes.

Having said that, it is also a bit bulkier and heavier than the other options on this list, weighing in at 4.5 pounds. While this is okay for most beginners, if you’re trying to keep your pack weight down, you will want to look for something else.

It is also not the most comfortable pack, with the straps being bulkier than others with the potential to cause sore shoulders during longer backpacking trips.

Ultimately, if you don’t want to spend $250 and up on a pack you’re going to use just occasionally, the Teton Sports Scout 3400 would make a good budget beginner pack — to be traded in for an upgrade as you get into the sport of backpacking more.

Teton Sports Scout 3400

Best for the occasional trip

Weight: 4.5 pounds

Volume: 55 liters

Price: Approximately $80-85

4. REI Co-Op Trailbreak 6

REI Co-Op Trailbreak 60 - Best Budget Backpacking Packs

The REI Trailbreak 60 pack is an excellent medium capacity option, allowing you to carry 25 to 35 pounds in comfort, with the assurance that you are buying from an outdoor company that puts thought and rigorous testing into their gear.

Not only is this backpack functional, but it’s also super comfortable. The backpack features a padded back, shoulder straps, and hip belt to help you comfortably carry your overnight load.

Plus, the adjustable torso makes it easy for people of different sizes to share the pack, or for you to pass it down once you’re ready to upgrade!

REI Co-Op Trailbreak 60 - Best Budget Backpacking Packs

The ripstop nylon construction will hold up well to rough surfaces and wayward branches that might snag your pack.

However, it does not come with a rain fly, meaning you will need to buy one separately to keep your belongings dry when backpacking in wet conditions. If you plan to mainly backpack in dry conditions, then there’s no issue at all!

This pack comes in men’s and women’s versions so that you can buy the perfect fit suited to your body type. Find it on REI in men’s and women’s versions for about $150. 

REI Co-Op Trailbreak 60 - Best Budget Backpacking Packs

REI Co-op Trailbreak 60 Pack

Best for summer backpacking

Weight: 3.8 pounds

Volume: 60 liters

Price: Approximately $150

5. Kelty Coyote 65

TWE Recommended

The Coyote is the flagship trekking pack from the bright minds over at Kelty.

The Kelty Coyote 65 is a super performer for its price and holds its own against packs that cost twice as much. Although it is a heavier pack, its capacity and durability allow you to comfortably carry loads of 45 to 50 pounds. Wow, that’s hefty.

The shoulder and hip belt have dense foam padding and a Velcro panel allows you to adjust torso height. These features add to its comfort, and you can hike all day without it wearing on you.

The upper-side wing pockets add to your ability to keep your pack organized, which we’re all about. In fact, this pack shines for its ample pocket space. Aside from the Kelty Signature wing pockets, there are also two front zippered pockets and a large J-zip top-loading access to the main compartment.

If we were to call out the backpack’s faults, we’d choose the positioning of some of the pockets. The positioning of the side zipper pockets makes the water bottle holders a bit challenging to access.

Despite that, this backpack is still a superstar of an option.

Kelty Coyote 65

Best for heavier loads

Weight: 4.3 pounds

Volume: 65 liters

Price: Approximately $130 to $150

6. Mountain Warehouse Carrion 65 L

Carrion 65L Backpack
Courtesy of Mountain Warehouse

The Carrion 65 L pack is marketed as lightweight, although at 4.7 pounds, it is pretty heavy. However, it is constructed from quality materials and is very durable. You can carry around 50 to 55 pounds without straining it and adjust the pack’s fit to various body sizes and types.

It comes with a padded air mesh back for ventilation, a compartment for a hydration bladder, load balance adjusters, and a rain fly. For its price, it competes well with more expensive packs in terms of features.

On the downside, it is not the most comfortable pack, and you may get sore after miles on the trail.

Find it at Mountain Warehouse or Amazon for approximately $95. 

Carrion 65L Backpack

Mountain Warehouse Carrion 65 L

Weight: 4.7 pounds

Volume: 65 liters

Price: Approximately $95

7. Amazon Basics 75 L

The Amazon Basics 75 L pack is an excellent option for those looking for a larger budget-friendly pack for longer trips. It can carry loads of 50 pounds or more (although you really should not take a pack weight of more than 20% of your body weight).

This no-frills backpack is made of durable polyester and offers plenty of zippered compartments and attachment points to carry gear on the outside. It features a water-repellent coating and a built-in rainfly to protect your belongings against the elements. Moreover, there is a separate sleeping bag compartment.

You can hardly get a better pack this size for a comparable price. The only downside is that the adjustable shoulder straps tend to slip open during prolonged walking, so you may need to do a quick adjustment to re-position them while hiking.

Amazon Basics 75 L

Best for longer trips

Weight: 5.1 pounds

Volume: 75 liters

Price: Approximately $60 to $75

And there you have it! Hopefully, you were able to find yourself the perfect budget-friendly backpacking pack based on your trip needs!

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