Top 10 Best hiking backpacks under $100 in 2018

A good backpack becomes your best friend during a trekking trip, which is why it is so critical to choose the right backpack. In this article, we will enlist our choice of the top ten cheap and affordable hiking backpacks under 100 dollars. We will also provide you with a quick guide on what to look for while choosing a backpack for trekking or camping.

So let’s jump right in!

Quick Comparison: Top Hiking Backpacks

**Below, you'll find our expert's reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

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What to look for in a hiking backpack under 100 dollars?

Before choosing a backpack from the list given above, you must make sure that it suits your requirements. We have thus given a brief idea regarding the type of backpacks and what features to look for in it based on your needs.

100$ backpacks for hiking

Based on Capacity of Backpacks

Based on the number of days you will be traveling, you can choose from 25 liters backpacks to 60+ liters backpacks. These fall into three main types

Daypacks

Daypacks are designed for short one day or two-day trips. Its capacity ranges between 25-35 liters. These are lightweight and can only carry the very minimal load. These can also serve as a campus backpack when not in use.

Mid-sized Backpack

These range between 35 and 60 liters. Most suited for an individual with a small frame.

Expedition/Extended Trip Backpacks

These have 60+ liters of capacity and are primarily designed for long, excruciating hours of trekking.

Ultralight backpacks

Ultralight backpacks come with least number of gears thus generally weighing less than 2 pounds and never over 3 pounds. This might not be for everyone as you sacrifice a lot of gears in the process and must make up for this with personal judgment and discretion of what to carry and what not to, based on your camping destination. This is not the best choice for new, inexperienced backpackers.

best backpacks for hiking under 100

What about Internal v/s External Frame Backpacks?

Internal Frame Backpack

Internal frame backpacks are more popular than ever! The simple reason being, these look better on us than other types. These provide excellent mobility as the backpack sees to hug your body. But these usually come with one big compartment. It is difficult to fit external gear into these.

Always make sure your backpack fits you properly, the hip belt should properly envelop your hip area and not the waist.

External Frame Backpacks

 This is most preferred while carrying heavy loads. These have external frames made of lightweight materials. There is sufficient space between your back and the bag’s body, facilitating airflow during hot weather. Also, the weight is positioned high on the back thus providing an upright walking posture. These have lots of smaller compartments.

The disadvantage is that they do not offer much stability which can be a problem during climbing.

Since these are bulky, they are not suited for dense forest trekking and such.

cheap backpacks for hiking

Front loading v/s Top Loading Backpacks – which one is best?

Top Loading Backpacks

Any backpack larger than 25 liters, with front loading design, will not be user-friendly as it will be harder to find the things you are looking for. If you are traveling with smaller, hand things, this might suit you.

Front Loading Backpacks

These work like suitcases wherein you can see all the things at once. These are the more preferred option for heavier loads.

Choosing a Backpack That Fits You

There are two things you must measure and see before buying a backpack. Make sure these sizes match yours.

  • Torso size
  • Waist size

Additional Accessories


Review of Some of The Best Hiking Backpacks

Our #1 Rated

TETON Sports 161 Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack...

Our #1 Rated

Rated 4.5 out of 5


Features

  • Perfect for beginners and for short travels
  • High-quality material
  • Multi-position torso adjustment
  • Multi-directional compartment straps
  • Multiple compartments and pockets
  • Durable open-cell foam lumbar pad
  • Molded channels for maximum airflow
  • 3400 cubic inches (55 L) capacity
  •  Weighs 4.5 pounds (2 kg)

Pros

  • Low priced
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Separate sleeping bag compartment
  • Check
    Durable

Cons

  • Comparatively heavier

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Our #2 Rated

Sale TETON Sports 163 Explorer 4000 Internal Frame Backpack – Not Your Basic...

Our #2 Rated

Rated 4.3 out of 5


Features

  • Top selling product at Amazon
  • Superior comfort
  • Comes with side pockets
  • High-quality material
  • Available in silver and navy blue
  • Adjustable torso between 19”-23”
  • Weighs 5 pounds
  • 4000 Cubic Inches / 65 Liters

Pros

  • Comfortable fit for tall people
  • Great purchase for the price
  • Completely functional, integrated rain cover
  • Check
    Great customer assistance
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    Fully adjustable backpack
  • Check
    High-quality material
  • Check
    Does not cause sore/burns from rubbing
  • Check
    Several external pockets
  • Check
    Affordable price

Cons

  • Strap occasionally comes undone
  • Issues with the quality and durability of the straps
  • On the heavier side

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Our #3 Rated

Sale TETON Sports 122 Fox 5200 Internal Frame Backpack – Not Your Basic Backpack;...

Our #3 Rated

Rated 4.2 out of 5


Features

  • Expedition sized backpack
  • High-quality design
  • Trusted quality
  •  Durable open cell foam
  • Molded channels
  • Hydration ready
  • Compression straps
  • Adjustable torso: 15.5”-23”
  • 5200 cubic inches/75+10 liters

Pros

  • Great fit
  • Spacious
  • Long lasting
  • Check
    Several pockets and straps 
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    Good back support system

Cons

  • Not completely water resistant
  • Small top opening
  • Thin hip support

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Our #4 Rated

NEEKFOX Packable Lightweight Hiking Daypack 35L Travel Hiking Backpack for Women...

Our #4 Rated

Rated 4.6 out of 5


Features

  • Durable and comfortable
  • Multiple compartments
  • Lightweight and spacious
  •  Compact
  • Water resistant
  • Puncture resistant
  • Weighs 0.91 pounds and accommodates 35L

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Can be reused as a day pack
  • Comfortable straps
  • Check
    Spacious for its size
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    Waterproof 
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    Easy to clean
  • Check
    Multiple pockets

Cons

  • Not many internal pockets
  • No additional padding 
  • Materials may not be of great quality

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Our #5 Rated

Sale Gonex 30L Lightweight Packable Backpack Handy Travel Daypack

Our #5 Rated

Rated 4.6 out of 5


Features

  • Extremely lightweight (320g)
  • 30L Capacity
  •  Several compartments
  •  One year warranty
  • Durable Front
  • Waist strap
  • Compact size: 17x17cm

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great quality
  • Comfortable straps 
  • Check
    Can also be used as an everyday bag

Cons

  • Not great for extended usage 
  • Not very durable 
  • Fragile for heavier loads

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Our #6 Rated

Sale Aqua Quest Mariner Backpack - 100% Waterproof Lightweight Dry Bag - 20 Liter -...

Our #6 Rated

Rated 4.5 out of 5


Features

  • 100% Waterproof
  • Durable
  •  Comfortable
  • Can be carried using shoulder straps or side handle
  • USA service and warranty

Pros

  • Great for camping in rainy terrain
  • Good durability
  • Solid stitching

Cons

  • Straps prone to tears
  • Not recommended for extended trips

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Our #7 Rated

Venture Pal 35L Travel Backpack - Packable Durable Lightweight Hiking Backpack...

Our #7 Rated

Rated 4.7 out of 5


Features

  • Durable
  • Multi Compartments
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Compact
  • Size: 20”x13”x 7.5”
  • Weight: 0.7 LB

Pros

  • Lightweight: folds down into a little pouch 
  • Several pockets
  • Ideal for short trips
  • Check
    Comfortable and stable

Cons

  • Not fit for extended trips
  • No back padding
  • Times
    No structure, sags at bottom

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Our #8 Rated

Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack-Dark Blue-L

Our #8 Rated

Rated 4.5 out of 5


Features

  • Water resistant
  •  Durable
  • Compact
  • Lightweight at 0.5 pounds
  • Multiple compartments
  • 20L: Unfold: 16.92x10.63x7.08 inches
    Fold: 6.29x5.90x1.97 inches
    33L: Unfold: 19x13x8.2 inches
    Fold: 6.29x5.90x2 inches.

Pros

  • Big enough to fit basic essentials
  • Perfect for 1-2 day trips
  • Several pockets 
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    Waterproof
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    Lightweight

Cons

  • Thin fabric
  • Durability is questionable
  • Times
    Not for long trips
  • Times
    Not heavy duty
  • Times
    Straps are not padded

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Our #9 Rated

Sale AmazonBasics Internal Frame Hiking Backpack with Rainfly, 65 L, Green

Our #9 Rated

Rated 4.2 out of 5


Features

  • 75L Capacity
  • Adjustable straps and padded shoulder straps
  • Water repellent external coating
  • One year warranty
  • Large pockets and compartments

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Several pockets
  • Waterproof tarp
  • Check
    Expected quality for the price
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    Lightweight

Cons

  • Straps tend to slip
  • Does not hold much
  • Times
    Not for heavy load
  • Times
    Not for long distance and extended travel

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Our #10 Rated

Sale Sunhiker Cycling Hiking Backpack Water Resistant Travel Backpack Lightweight...

Our #10 Rated

Rated 3.9 out of 5


Features

  • Tear resistant material
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Suited for cycling, hiking, and other outdoor activities
  • Mesh shoulder straps
  • Suitable for youngsters
  • Water repellent

Pros

  • Lightweight backpack for daytime hiking
  • Has inner pocket 
  • Best suited for beginners and amateurs 
  • Check
    Separate pockets for water bottle
  • Check
    Suited for week-long journeys
  • Check
    Comfortable for long walks

Cons

  • Very short bottom strap
  • Very small front zipper
  • Times
    No separate pouch to hold electronic items/other small utilities
  • Times
    Straps are not very durable
  • Times
    Not for intensive hiking

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How to Maintain/Clean Your Backpack?

No matter the price of your backpack or the quality, you can have your companion for the long run if you properly care for it. Hiking bags are designed to sustain a certain amount of wear and tear, but this doesn’t mean that rough using it for extended time periods will not cause damage. After every trip, make sure the backpack is cleaned, dried and stored properly. If these three steps are followed religiously, your backpack will last much longer.

  • Make sure the backpack is always stored dry.
  • Never use harsh detergents on your backpack.
  • Don’t store your backpack in a wet, mushy environment unless while traveling.
  • Make sure any wear and tears incurred during the trip are cared for immediately after it.
  • Do not rub the fabric while washing
  • Use a gentle bristled brush to get off any dirt stuck inside it.

Though we might think that splurging lavishly is the solution to getting any good product, you might just be wrong. Especially in the era of online shopping, the market is flooded with affordable yet great quality goods; luckily affordable backpacks fall right into this category.

So unless you are a pro hiker gearing up for the trek of your life, the backpacks we have enlisted will prove to be sufficient for your trip. The list given ranges from heavy duty bags designed for tough weather to simple day packs ideal for single day trips. So choose wisely after going through their features and specifications.

Have great trip folks!

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