Today we’re looking for your reliable multi-day hiking backpack under 200$. I really wanted to review the 300 to 400$ range cuz that is where you get everything! But what if you had half that and still wanted a good reliable hiking backpack? Can we do it? Well, you’re about to find out. In this list, we will be looking over comfort, fit adjustment, breathability and build quality based on numerous reports, not just one sample! Don’t expect them to be feature rich at this price range, just functional. I’ll tell you a secret tho, shhht, come closer … (looks around to make sure there’s no one else around)
There are a few feature-rich bargains in here!
If you want to get a better understanding of what makes a good backpack and how to properly fit it – check out my backpack guide here.
I won’t beat around the bush any longer, let’s see what I’ve got for you!
Weight :2.25 lbs.
Torso sizes: Short = 15-18’’ ; Regular = 18-21’’ ; Long = 21-24’’
Weight capacity: 35 lbs.
Purpose: Multi-day hikes, thru-hikes
The Granite Gear Crown 2 60 is a perfect example of quality hiking backpacks under 200$. It is lightweight and comfortable! The pack is covered with compression straps to tighten down your gear. There are big mesh side pockets that allow the compression straps to pass through them without limiting the pocket stuffing capacity. While we’re on the subject of mesh pockets there’s a big stretchy one on the front. The top lid is removable which can save additional weight if you don’t need it.
The entire backpack is treated to resist light rain which is a nice touch. Still, you will need to protect it with a rain cover in a downpour. One interesting and useful feature is the velcro adjustable hip belt. It’s very easy and quick to make the desired adjustment. Sadly there is no torso adjustment, but the backpack comes in 3 different sizes to compensate. There are big pockets on the hip belt’s capable of storing your phone and snacks.
The suspension system is a foam molded back with breathable mesh channels.
The padding on the belt and shoulder straps is adequate. Of course, the backpack is water bladder compatible. And you might want to put a water bladder in there because the side water bottle pockets are not easy to reach. That would be my only gripe with this backpack but certainly not a deal breaker.
The lightweight, durable materials and useful features make this a good value for money multi-day backpack. (just don’t overload it passed 35 lbs)
Oh, almost forgot – it comes with a limited lifetime warranty! Check it out!
Weight :2.7 lbs.
Torso sizes: 19-23’’
Weight capacity: 55 lbs.
Purpose: Multi-day hikes
The Klymit Motion 60 liter backpack is an odd one. Its unique feature is an air bladder surrounding the thin aluminum frame to provide rigidity. It even has a small hand pump to pump it or deflated up to your comfort level. When pumped up to full it pulls the backpack away from your back allowing for more ventilation. If the air bladder should puncture it would be as easy to repair as an air sleeping pad, but it is still something to be aware of.
There is a 5-liter zipper pouch on the front instead of a mesh pocket. The 2 big pockets on the adjustable padded hip belt can fit phones and small items. The pack is pretty well thought out with a good amount of useful pockets where you expect them(2 big mesh water bottle side pockets). Water bladder compatible. The top also has a “brain” pocket for easy access to things you don’t want to open the pack to find. The entire pack is treated to be water resistant. Even the YKK AquaGuard zippers are water resistant.
One drawback would be if your torso size isn’t between 19 – 23 inches, because that is the only size it comes in. But if you are lucky enough to fit in that criteria this backpack is worth considering for a multi-day hike.
Now I left the interesting bit for last. At Amazon, the backpack is advertised to have a “limited lifetime warranty”. BUT, on the official Klymit site the warranty is 2 years. Naturally, I contacted them and asked which statement is correct?
They responded that the materials of the backpack have a 2-year warranty and only the air bladder system has a “limited lifetime warranty”. They also sayed that the Amazon listing will be corrected. Fast forward 1 month and it is still not corrected, but you guys know the truth now!
It’s odd having 2 different warranties for different parts of your backpack, but since the air bladder is unique to it, the lifetime warranty on it should give an additional piece of mind. Sometimes the backpack goes on sale making it an even crazier good value!
Weight :3 lbs. 14 oz.
Torso sizes: M – 18-20’’ ; L – 20-22’’
Purpose: Multi-day hikes, thru-hikes
I can end the list right here. Get the Gregory Zulu 55 -It’s all you need!
Its jam packed with useful packing features. Floating, removable lid, air suspension(sort of like the Osprey), easy front zipper access to the main compartment, separate sleeping bag pocket at the bottom. It even comes with a small daypack that holds the water bladder.
How cool is that?!
You set up camp, after that, you want to wander around for the day but don’t want to take out all the things from your big backpack to make it lighter – take out the daypack and be on your merry way!
Do you want to know what else? It comes with a provided rain cover– yes, really!
Osprey should take a page out of Gregory’s book!
The only knock I can give this backpack is there is no torso adjustment. But it comes in different sizes so you should be able to find the one that fits you.
The hip belt is nice and wide well padded with lumbar support and pockets on the side as well as length adjustability. Keep in mind that the large model has a very big hip belt and if your waist is smaller than 32 inches it won’t be able to tighten snugly and hold the weight of the backpack.
Gregory stands firmly with a limited lifetime warranty behind its products. This one is no exception. If you are looking for your perfect backpack – this can be it, if not – it would come pretty close! Check it out!
Weight :2.5 lbs.
Torso sizes- S: 16-19”; M: 18-21” ; L: 20-23”
Weight capacity: 40 lbs.
Purpose: Multi-day hikes,thru-hiking with essential lightweight gear
Most lightweight backpacks are not that comfortable compared to their heavier counterparts. Not the Osprey Exos tho. It is crazy comfortable. If you want to go lightweight and still be as comfy as possible – this is the backpack for you. It also comes in a women’s version – The Eja which has its shoulder straps and hip belt tweaked to fit the ladies perfectly!
To save weight the main compartment doesn’t have a separate pocket for your sleeping bag. That is hardly worth scoffing at given how lightweight the backpack is.
You can use this as a 2-day backpack or if you are more experienced and have got your essential gear down to minimum weight so you can join the thru-hikers.
Did I mention this is one of the thru-hikers favorite backpacks? No – well it is!
If you think you need the extra space you can go up to the more spacious but still lightweight 58-liter model.
The Оsprey suspension system is present here creating a tensioned mesh to mold around your back providing comfort and unrivaled breathability. There are NO pockets on the hip belt but that is a minor gripe of mine not being able to immediately reach my snacks when I get the munchies. The backpack lacks torso adjustment, but it comes in 3 sizes so you should be covered.
The top lid is removable to make the backpack even lighter, it still will be protected by a flap jacket cover. There are still plenty of attachment points for your gear. The quick trecking pole attachment stow on the go system is something I like seeing in a lightweight backpack. On the bottom, there are straps for your sleeping pad. The side pockets are stretchy and reinforced to keep your water bottles and other items secure. It is, of course, water bladder compatible so no worries there.
The backpack is covered by Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee! You can’t go wrong with this backpack, no matter if it’s a 2-day trip or a long thru-hike it will get you through it!
Weight: 4 lbs. 13 oz.
Torso sizes: adjustable 15.5 – 21’’
Purpose: Multi-day hikes, Extended backpacking trips
If you don’t mind a bit of weight and you want all the extra features in a backpack – look no further than the Kelty Coyote 65. If 65 liters are not enough for you, the 80-liter size might be the one for you. Its tough as nails(might really be some in there, it’s heavy).
Seriously tho, this backpack is built for reliability and durability in mind, that is why it’s a bit heavier. The Coyote is a tried and tested design that Kelty has perfected to give the traditional hikers a solid multi-day backpack.
The entire back is covered with a hex mesh material to help wick moisture away. The back is also well padded to provide the expected comfort but it still might surprise you how well it fits. There is torso adjustment on the shoulder straps for that perfect fit.
Pass through side pockets can store tent poles or trekking poles. The removable top lid transforms into a sling pack for day hiking. Oh, I love that feature.
You can easily access the main compartment from the side zippers without having to dig from the top. There’s a dedicated bottom pocket for your sleeping bag. Loads of attachments points and hydration bladder compatibility. Pockets upon pockets that are smart and easy to reach solutions.
Kelty puts limited lifetime warranty on all its products. This one is no different. You will not need it tho, it’s a well made sturdy backpack!
If you are unsure of what multi-day backpack to get – get this one! It is very well priced and packed full of useful features that you won’t find on backpacks in this price range.
Weight: 4 lbs. 6 oz.
Torso sizes – adjustable: 15 to 20 inches
Purpose: Multi-day hikes, Extended backpacking trips
If I had to describe this backpack in one sentence it would go something like this :
“It’s a well designed practical German backpack”.
Here’s what I mean by that. The backpack is built with durable materials and stronger straps than it probably needs. The bottom is double layered where it’s going to see the most wear. It’s tough and I like it!
Ok, why the “+10”? The top spindrift collar of the main compartment can be extended to add 10 more liters if you need the extra space. Otherwise, it retains its 65-liter shape.
The smart suspension system has been reported to be very comfortable by many accounts. The 3D air mesh helps push out the warm air while providing great comfort. The whole system is designed to fit anatomically to your body. There is extra padding on the hip belt that does not go unnoticed.
Deuter’s approach to torso adjustment is unique and very simple to operate. You will be able to make it fit perfectly if your torso length is between 15 and 20 inches.
There is a separate bottom pocket for your sleeping bag which can be linked to the main compartment if you so wish. There are latching points, loops, stretchable mesh pockets for water bottles, big mesh pocket at the front for extra layers, top and bottom compression straps (nice and sturdy).
I admit it is a little over budget but it’s well worth the price. Give it a chance and you will be pleasantly surprised by its build quality and practical design features!
Weight: 2.59 lbs.
Torso sizes: S/M – 16″ – 19″ ; M</L – 18″ – 21″
Purpose: Multi-day hikes, thru-hikes
I’ve saved the most unique backpack for last.
It has innovative design solutions and for the price – simply unbeatable lightweight multi-day backpack.
Alright, so what is so special about the Sierra Designs Flex Capacitor? Well unlike the “+10” drift collar extension on the Deuter backpack, this one is +20. And it’s not just the additional volume it can have, its the way it does it. The backpack simply expands and contracts to make it smaller or larger thanks to the lateral compression straps right in the middle of the front of it. A simple and very elegant solution. I like that a lot.
Another elegant solution is the Y shaped internal metal frame which provides plenty of rigidity and support(It also flexes). The back has 3 well-padded areas which provide plenty of airflow without sacrificing comfort.
One of the quirky features that you’ll learn to love is the top lid. It opens by a rain/snow protected zipper. That thing provides fast access to the main compartment. The only downside is that it leaves little room for an extra pocket. It does have it but you can keep very small items in there(post stamps and a few snacks at best).
Did I mention it’s lightweight? Oh yes, it is, and the load capacity does not suffer from it. Because of the smart frame design, you can stuff it to your heart’s content.
There is a hydration bladder sleeve. Check this tho, there is a water bottle pocket on one of the shoulder straps, an added bonus to the existing side water bottle pockets.
There is no torso adjustment but the backpack comes in 2 sizes so you should be able to find the one that fits you best. (16-21 inches)
It may not be as comfortable as the Osprey suspension system but it’s plenty comfortable for long treks. The shoulder straps could use a bit more padding, but you can remedy that by packing smartly and lowering the packed weight.
For the price and load capacity, you can’t beat this lightweight backpack! Once you’ve strapped everything down this backpack will feel like an extension of your body. It molds and moves with you so well. Check it out!
So there you have it! These are some of the best reliable multi-day hiking backpacks under 200$. You can’t go wrong with any of these choices. I’ve stuck mostly with the big brand names for good reason. Their customer support sometimes goes above and beyond to please their customers.
Should any defect occur you will be in good hands.
Let me know in the comments below what is your favorite backpack? What features do you like and use the most!
Until next time,