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Cheap Hiking Backpacks: Five Best Packs under $100

Updated on October 11, 2015

Buy Hiking Backpacks Online

Finding five cheap hiking backpacks under $100 is easy. Go to your favorite online retail store, search for backpacks for hiking, order this list for price, and there you go: an instant list with all the cheap backpacks that that online seller has to offer.

Finding five backpacks under $100 that merit a second look, that’s another story. In this hub, I will pick the best hiking backpacks under $100 that I am aware of at the moment of writing these reviews.

So, which ones are the best hiking backpacks under $100? That’s a really difficult question, because the answer will depend of your personal preferences and a variety of factors: such as your hiking style, your torso length, the number of days of the trip, bargains, etc. To simplify, I will only consider packs suitable for trips longer than a couple of days. So, all the packs will have a capacity of 55 lts. or larger. Also, I like internal frame backpacks, I consider internal frames to be superior for hiking than external frame ones. As a result, all my picks are internal frame packs. Lastly, these backpacks are under $100 at the moment of writing this hub, I took full advantage of all the bargains available to make this list. So, don’t expect these prices to last.


Surprisingly good for the price
Surprisingly good for the price

High Sierra Explorer 55 lts.

As far as I concerned, the best hiking backpack under $100 is the High Sierra Explorer 55 lts. Especially, for trips of 2 or 3 days. It can work too for larger trips, if you pack light and carry some of the bulk, like your tent, in the outside. The backpack is relatively comfortable to wear, it is lightweight, the suspension system adjusts well to your body, and it is rugged enough considering the price. Of course we are speaking of a cheap backpack here, don’t expect the quality or the comfort of a Gregory or an Osprey backpack. But for only $84.69 at Amazon last time I checked, this backpack will do the job much better than the price suggests at first sight. If you want to pack more and need a roomier backpack, then the High Sierra Sentinel with a capacity of 65 lts. is worth considering.

A cheap hiking backpack: Teton Sports Explorer 4000
A cheap hiking backpack: Teton Sports Explorer 4000

Teton Sports Explorer 4000

The Teton Sports Explorer 4000 is a reasonably well-made backpack for hiking. The backpack is strong, the materials seem to be durable and the pack has a good construction in general. It has enough padding on the hip belt and the shoulder straps for a comfortable fit. And, it is perhaps roomy enough to carry all your gear for a week trip. On the downside, the Teton Explorer weights 5.6 ounces, so it is a slightly heavy backpack. The other problem that many reviews complaint about is the small sleeping bag compartment. That’s true, but for me is only a minor disadvantage of the pack. After all, we are searching for affordable here, and for $53 at the moment of writing this review, the backpack is a really good deal even whether we take into account these minor drawbacks or not.

New 60+10 lts.
New 60+10 lts.

New 60+10L Internal Frame Backpack AVS by Cuscus

CusCus seems to be specialized in the manufacture of affordable backpacks and the New 60+10L AVS is one of the best that they have for hiking. Its principal feature is the design. The pack sits well on your back and it is convincingly comfortable to wear. The backpack is well built with exactly the perfect capacity for trips from three days up to a week. Overall, it's a good pack, but predictably, it does not match the features and quality of a similar-sized, high-end pack, which can easily cost three times as much. Worth the money.

Jansport Big Bear 63
Jansport Big Bear 63

JanSport Big Bear 63

For those of you looking for an affordable lightweight pack without anything fancy, the JanSport Big Bear 63 could be a really good choice to consider. The pack weights only 3lbs. 3oz, so it is almost in the ultralight category. The design is basic with only enough padding to not be uncomfortable while wearing it. Overall, it seems to be a rugged backpack considering the weight. The only concern is that it fits torsos between 16 and 20in, so if your torso measure more than 20in, look elsewhere. Apart from that, a great choice for the price.

High Peak Kathmandu 70
High Peak Kathmandu 70

High Peak Kathmandu 70+10L

The High Peak Kathmandu is definitely a good product for the money. It is roomy enough for all your gear, but without being excessively heavy. The pack fits well on your body and it is moderately comfortable considering the capacity and the load that it is supposed to carry. A little more padding in the shoulders straps could have been nice. If I were searching for a low-priced hiking backpack that were able to carry a large load, then the Kathmandu could be my choice.

Conclusion

My advice regarding backpacks for hiking is that you should invest in buying a good quality one. The minimal level to spend in a good comfortable backpack is maybe $150 and I will not hesitate in spending $250 for a really good one. However, if your budget can not afford a quality backpack or if you only travel occasionally and don’t want to spend so much, then any of the backpacks listed in this hub could be an excellent choice. Hell! My first backpack was much worse than the above ones (an iron tubing external frame) and I walked more than 100km on my first trip.


Some of the Best Backpacks today

Gregory Baltoro 70  Backpacking Pack
Gregory Baltoro 70 Backpacking Pack

Very comfortable backpack, a little heavy though

 

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  • Hiking-Equipment profile image

    Hiking-Equipment 7 years ago from Birmingham, West Midlands, England

    Hi,

    Good Hub on 55lt plus backpacks. I agree with your conclusions, buy quality if you want something to last but if you only hike or backpack occasionally then a cheap backpack should suffice.

    Regards,

    Richard

    http://www.hikingequipmentsite.com

  • sugarloaf10 profile image

    sugarloaf10 6 years ago from Kentucky USA

    Thanks for this list! I have several friends interested in backpacking, but I know they just want something basic and don't have a lot of money to spend.

  • chucksbaby profile image

    chucksbaby 6 years ago

    I love the Big Bear 63. I've got a review of it here: https://hubpages.com/sports/Two-Jansport-Pack-Revi

    By the way, it weighs 3 lbs not 3 ounces. That'd be one crazy lightweight backpack if it did!

  • David Ventura profile image
    Author

    David Ventura 6 years ago

    Thanks to point the mistake with the Jansport. I have corrected it.

  • profile image

    IndoVillas 5 years ago

    The Jansport backpack is a great deal for a sturdy bag.

  • jimmar profile image

    jimmar 4 years ago from Michigan

    Thanks for this review. I've been wanting to purchase a new budget backpack.

  • Angelina Pitt profile image

    Angelina Pitt 22 months ago

    Thanks for sharing this review, I love hiking and I'm always looking for a great bag to put all my stuff at a bargain price. Whats also trending is a foldable backpack and Uber Pakk is offering an amazing giveaway that anyone can WIN http://bit.ly/coolbag72

  • profile image

    Nicholas Dizes 21 months ago

    Very good article. I currently have a osprey aether 60 and it is great!

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