Rucksacks are some of the most important gear you will ever need, especially if you’re going on an outdoor adventure. Backpacking has become so popular these days that it’s now common to see people lugging huge rucksacks as they go from place to place.
If you want to see the world and do some backpacking, it’s wise to find the best rucksack that fits your needs.
Choosing the Right Rucksack
There are four main categories or factors in choosing a rucksack, First, you should see if you’re comfortable wearing it. Make sure you test it out when it’s filled to capacity so you get a feel of what it would be like when you can go on long hikes with that particular rucksack on your back.
Another point to ponder is organization. Rucksacks not only have to have a large enough main compartment for majority of your gear, there should also be pockets, loops and other features that would help you keep things organized and easy to access.
Rucksacks should be durable. The one you should choose is the one that can withstand wear and tear. Rucksacks often get the rugged treatment when backpackers go up and down a rocky mountain. They should be made of sturdy material so you can use them for a long time.
Finally, you should consider its weight. You’ll be carrying your gear and supplies on your back so it’s a good idea to use rucksacks that don’t contribute too much to the weight.
Some minor considerations in choosing rucksacks include the price and the design. Some backpackers prefer the minimalist look on their rucksacks. Others prefer not to spend too much.
Top Rucksacks of 2018 to Choose From
High Sierra Titan ($73)
If you like rugged rucksacks, the High Sierra Titan 55 should catch your attention. The 55 liter pack comes with a number of compartments starting with a front-load compartment for your sleeping bag. It also has lashing for your hiking poles or ice ax, and a bottom pocket for your rain cover.
The Titan 55 also boasts of an S-shaped Ergo-Fit shoulder strap harness that can readily be adjusted to fit your size. Plus, it has a high-density foam padded backpanel that keeps you comfortable during long treks. Your back stays as cool and dry as possible thanks to the Airflow channels and unique frame structure.
Deuter Speed Lite 20 ($73)
The Speed Lite 20 is the most simple-looking of all Deuter rucksacks. This makes it a favorite among minimalists. As its name implies, the Speed Lite 20 is also extremly lightweight at 1 pound and 3 ounces. It was designed specifically for people who want to travel light and fast.
The Deuter Speed Lite 20 is made of nylon and sports a Delrin U-shaped frame to keep things stable. Deuter’s unique V-cut shape allows for better movement. It also comes with other impressive features such as the zippered pocket on top, a loop for sunglasses located on the shoulder strap, and the stretch side pockets for water bottles.
Fjällräven Kaipak 28 ($153)
Fjällräven is known for its high quality plush bags, including rucksacks for outdoor and everyday use. The Kaipak 28 is one of those rucksacks you can use as a daypack or for a multi-day adventure. The 28 liter pack weighs only 2 pounds and 5 ounces. It also has ergonomical shoulder straps and a padded back that conforms to your body for ultimate comfort. The hipbelt also comes with a couple of pockets.
The Fjällräven Kaipak 28 is also eco-friendly. Its G-1999 HeavyDuty Eco material is made out of recycled polyester and organic cotton. It is also water resistant.
Perhaps the only issue with the Kaipak is the lack of adjustability. It comes with a fixed torso design, which makes the rucksack more stable.
Osprey Exos 58 ($193)
The Exos 58 is the first ever ultralight pack from Osprey, a popular name in the field of rucksacks. It weighs a paltry 2 pounds and 11.5 ounces and has a 58 liter capacity. There are 38 and 48 liter versions, as well.
The first thing you’ll notice with the Osprey Exos is its gorgeous minimalist look. It comes with enough mesh pocket and lash points to make it functional. Plus, it’s comfortable to carry.
The main issue with the Exos is its durability. It’s made of 100D and 210D Nylon, which pales in comparison to the other top rucksacks of 2018. Also, there are no hipbelt pockets included in this one.
Granite Gear Crown2 60 ($200)
The Granite Crown2 follows in the footsteps of the impressive and popular Crown. Like most little brothers, the Crown2 copies a lot from its older brother. Its main draw is its weight as it comes in at only 2 pounds and 6 ounces. You can even make it lighter by removing the backpanel and the top lid.
The Crown2 comes in 38 and 60 liter capacities and is incredibly functional despite its lack of weight. Among its notable features are the external mesh pockets, a roll-top closure, and the Velcro fit system on the hipbelt. The Crown2 also comes with compressions straps, one of Granite Gear’s unique offerings.
The Granite Gear Crown2 is comfortable as long as your gear weighs around 35 pounds. More than that and the shoulder straps and hipbelt will get a beating.
The North Face Banchee 50 ($210)
Among the rucksacks in this list, the North Face Banchee 50 is in the middle of the pack in terms of being lightweight. The 50 liter pack weighs 3 pounds and 10 ounces, which is not too light yet not too heavy. Plus, its lean frame makes it easy to hike through tight spaces and it’s less annoying when you’re in a crowded place.
The Banchee 50 boasts of The North face’s unique OPTIFIT technology. This harness system provides you with optimal fit while the aluminum frame also helps in providing you with utmost comfort even if youre hauling up to 45 pounds of gear.
The top loading North Face Banchee 50 also features more than 8 pockets, a floating lid, beaver tail, tool keepers and waistbelt adjustment.
Osprey Atmos AG 65 ($240)
The Atmos is one of the best rucksacks so far this year as it performs well in every category. It’s extremely comfortable to wear because of its close fit and impressive back ventilation. The Atmos is made of nylon so it’s durable. This backpack is light enough at 4 pounds and 9 ounces so extended trips are welcome. It’s easy to organize your stuff as the Atmos comes with 65 liters of space and has strategically placed pockets and other organizers. The only drawback perhaps is the lack of a zipper to access the main compartment.
The Osprey Atmos’ best feature could be its “Anti-Gravity” mesh backpanel. The large ventilated panel stretches from the hipbelt to the entire back. The flexible mesh allows the rucksack to take the shape of your back and hips. It’s easy to think that the mesh panel may easily break but it’s durable enough to carry more than 45 pounds of gear and supplies.
Deuter Aircontact 65+10 ($280)
The Deuter Aircontact 65+10 is a bit on the luxurious side. It’s exceptionally comfortable and packs a lot of features, which you’d expect for something that costs $280. The main draws of the Aircontact 65+10 is its burly yet comfortable suspension along with comfy shoulder straps. The bulky padding also provides comfort for hikers with bony hips.
Despite being one of the heavier rucksacks in the market at 6 pounds and 6 ounces, the Aircontact still wins with its many features and ease of use. It has a detachable rainfly, a “wet” pocket for dirty clothes at the back, a top lid pocket, side zipper, hipbelt pocket, lash points, and long built-in straps.
Osprey Aether AG 70 ($310)
Osprey hit the rucksacks jackpot with the original Aether. The Aether AG takes everything good about its predecessor and adds the “Anti-Gravity” backpanel.
Just by looking at it, you know that the Aether AG is as sturdy as it gets. As a matter of fact, it was designed with heavy lifting in mind. It’s made of 210D and 500D Nylon and features a heat moldable foam hipbelt for additional support, especially when it’s full of gear.
The Osprey Aether AG is a bit on the heavy side, however. It weighs 5 pounds and 3.4 ounces, which is quite heavy compared to other rucksacks in this list.
Gregory Baltoro 75 ($330)
When it comes to comfort, Gregory is one name that stands out. The Baltoro 75 is another of Gregory’s premiere rucksacks and is one of the most comfortable in its stable. It utilizes enough padding, suspension and support to help you with some heavy lugging. The problem here is that the backpack itself contributes to the heavy load. The Baltoro comes in at 4 pounds and 15.4 ounces. It helps that the Baltoro is made of durable 210D Nylon.
Another plus for the Gregory Baltoro is its organization. The design is simply stunning though it does little for minimalists. Still, the Baltoro is one of the best rucksacks in the market right now thanks in part to its bonus features such as a zipper to the main compartment, a built-in rainfly, and lots of external pockets.
This list includes just ten of the many rucksacks in the market right now. Many of them deserve a place in any top ten lists. If you feel one particular rucksack wasn’t give justice, feel free to share your review on the comment section. We’ll be glad to have more rucksacks to choose from to pack all our essential backpacking gear.
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