The Best Five Hiking Backpacks + 55l


Osprey Exos 58

Osprey Exos 58

A backpack is one of the most basic, yet important pieces of hiking equipment and therefore some caution is required when buying it – especially as good backpacks are relatively expensive. The longer the hike, the more important it is to have a good backpack on your shoulders as you are likely to carry a heavy load when hitting the trails for more than a few days. Backpacks with a volume of 55 liters or more are suitable for hiking trips lasting more than 3 days, but the necessary volume of course depends greatly on the equipment that you want/need to carry with you. Technically challenging trails will for example require additional safety equipment such as climbing harness, helmet etc. and thus also a bigger backpack. Be aware, however, that the backpacks listed in this review might be too big/spacious for shorter hiking trips as any backpack needs to be sufficiently packed to be stable. Read more about how to pack a backpack here. The backpacks in this review are, however, perfect for multi-day hiking trips, expeditions, backpacking and travelling where you need enough space to carry not only food supplies and clothing but also sleeping equipment, cooking equipment and similar gear for spending days in the wilderness.

Here we selected and reviewed the best five hiking backpacks with a volume of more than 55 liters in order to make your buying decision easier. If you are looking for backpacks with a smaller volume, check out our selection of the best five backpacks with a capacity of around 40 liters or our selection of the best five daypacks.

This selection was updated on the 15th of January 2017.

1. Buying a hiking backpack – What is important?

Frame:

Backpacks with frames (internal/external) efficiently transfer the weight of the pack from your shoulders to the hips (via the hip belt). As the hips are supported by larger muscle groups than the shoulders, carrying a heavy load will be easier with such a backpack. All backpacks listed in this review are internal-frame backpacks.

Fit:

The length of the backpack’s backpanel has to match your torso length. To get your torso length you need to measure the length from the bony bump at the base of your neck where the slope of the shoulder meets the neck, and down to the point of your spine which is placed in between the tops of your hipbones. Check out the fit section in our Hiking Backpacks Guide to get a better understanding of how to take this measurement. For each hiking backpack included in this review you can find the respective torso length(s) they fit in the table below.

Backpanel:

The backpanel is one of the most important parts of a hiking backpack as it drastically influences your comfort when carrying a load. Modern hiking backpacks typically feature ergonomically shaped backpanels that provide good ventilation. These backpanels often use a suspended mesh fabric which creates a distance between your back and the backpack, thus allowing the air to flow in-between.

Weight:

Hiking is often a strenuous activity and thus backpacks for hiking should be as light as possible. Light equipment allows you to move faster and reach your goals easier. All backpacks in this review are lighter than 2500 grams.

Pockets and attachment points:

In addition to the main compartment, a hiking backpack should have well-placed and easy accessible pockets. This allows you to better organize your gear and reduces the time required to find important items. A hiking backpack should also offer attachment points for different pieces of gear such as hiking poles, ice axes, helmet etc.

Hydration System Compatibility:

A hiking backpack with a volume of more than 55 liters should be equipped with a sleeve/pocket for a water reservoir. The sleeve should fit water reservoirs with a volume of 3 liters. Hydration systems allow you to hydrate without taking your backpack off first in order to get the water bottles For more information about hydration systems read our article Hydration Systems VS. Water Bottles. If you don’t already have a hydration bladder check out our review of the Best Hydration Bladders.

2.The Best Five Hiking Backpacks + 55l Review

Best Hiking Backpacks 55l + for 2016

Best Hiking Backpacks 55l + for 2016

  1. Osprey Exos 58
  2. Montane Grand Tour 55
  3. Gregory Savant 58
  4. Deuter ACT Lite 50 + 10
  5. Kelty Catalyst 65

Comparison:

Feature/Product Osprey Exos 58Montane Grand Tour 55Gregory Savant 58Deuter ACT Lite 50 + 10Kelty Catalyst 65
Weight1090 g 1350 g 1650 g 1730 g 2200 g
Frame Yes (internal - aluminum)Yes (internal – plastic framesheet + removable stay)Yes (internal - aluminum)Yes (internal - aluminum)Yes (internal - aluminum)
Fits Torso 40 cm – 46 cm (S), 46 cm – 53 cm (M), 53 cm – 58 cm (L) n/a 40 cm – 46 cm (S), 46 cm – 51 cm (M), 51 cm – 56 cm (L)38 cm – 51 cm 39 cm – 53 cm
MaterialNylon Raptor UTL, Raptor ZeroNylon Macro Lite 210 420d Polyester
Volume58 liters55 liters58 liters (M)50 + 10 liters65 +10 liters
BackpanelVentilated, AirSpeedPadded with air channelsPadded with air channelsVentilated, Aircontact LitePadded with air channels
Hip BeltYesYesYesYesYes
Sternum Strap YesYesYesYesYes
Hydration System CompatibleYes (external sleeve)Yes (internal sleeve)Yes (external sleeve)Yes (internal sleeve)Yes (internal sleeve)
Osprey Exos 58 Hiking Backpack

Osprey Exos 58 Hiking Backpack

1. Osprey Exos 58

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Expeditions
  • Backpacking
  • Travelling

 

The Osprey Exos 58 is an extremely light backpack which is perfect for tough multi-day hiking trips and expeditions. The body of the backpack is made of lightweight nylon while the shoulder straps and hip belt are made of foam covered with robust mesh fabric. Because of that the shoulder straps and hip belt offer great breathability. The backpack is equipped with the sophisticated AirSpeed backpanel which is known for providing superb ventilation. The AirSpeed backpanel is made of mesh fabric and slightly suspended from the backpack, thus allowing the air to flow between the user’s back and the backpack itself. In addition to the spacious main compartment, the Osprey Exos 58 features an external lid pocket, internal lid pocket, two side pockets, two hip belt pockets and front stash pocket. The top lid can be removed from the backpack and replaced with the FlapJacket – a top cover without pockets to reduce the weight of the backpack. The hip belt pockets are perfect for storing the gear that you want to have close by, as they are easily accessible when wearing the backpack. The side pockets are made of stretchy mesh and perfectly fit water bottles. The front stash pocket is designed for gear that you don’t want to put in the main compartment such as a wet rain jacket for example. The hydration sleeve is placed inside the main compartment and fits hydration systems with the volume of up to 3 liters. In addition to all, that the backpack is equipped with sleeping pad straps at the bottom and a single ice axe loop. The Osprey Exos 58 is an amazing backpack that is best for hikers and mountaineers who need high-quality gear for their long adventures. Backpackers and travelers might miss more options to access the main compartment – the main compartment can be accessed only from the top while many other backpacks of this size offer also access from the bottom. However, as the backpack is super light, durable and functional we highly recommend it.

 

Pros:

  • Weight
  • Backpanel
  • Removable lid

Cons:

  • Main compartment access

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Video

Montane Grand Tour 55

Montane Grand Tour 55

2. Montane Grand Tour 55

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Expeditions
  • Backpacking
  • Travelling

 

The Montane Grand Tour 55 is another very light backpack that is best for multi-day hiking/mountaineering trips and expeditions. The backpack is made of Raptor Zero fabric (100-denier nylon) and reinforced at the bottom with the Raptor UTL fabric (500-denier nylon). The fabric is also treated with DWR (Durable Water Repellant) and thus provides some basic rain protection. The backpanel, shoulder straps and hip belt are made of foam that adjusts to the shape of the user and thus offer great comfort and performance. Additionally, the backpanel is equipped with air channels in order to provide sufficient ventilation. The stability of the backpack is ensured by the aluminum frame that runs behind the backpanel and which can be removed. Without the aluminum frame the backpack weighs merely 300 grams – but naturally the comfort and stability are drastically reduced along with its weight. The Montane Grand Tour 55 is equipped with a spacious main compartment, external lid pocket, internal lid pocket, two zippered front stash pockets for storing wet gear and two hip belt pockets. The external lid pocket opens from the front side so that your companions have easy access to it in order to hand you over your gear. The backpack is also equipped with attachment points for two ice axes and a set of hiking poles. The Montane Grand Tour 55 is an incredible backpack for hikers and mountaineers. However, just like the Osprey Exos 58, it lacks a more convenient access point to the main compartment (as it can be accessed only from the top) which backpackers and travelers might miss.

 

Pros:

  • Weight
  • Attachment points
  • Durability

Cons:

  • Main compartment access

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Video

Gregory Savant 58

Gregory Savant 58

3. Gregory Savant 58

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Expeditions
  • Backpacking
  • Travelling

 

The Gregory Savant 58 is a very functional backpack that is perfect for backpacking, travelling as well as for mountaineering and hiking. It’s a little heavier than the above reviewed Montane Grand Tour 55 and Osprey Exos 58 but with the weight of 1650 g it still fits in the lightweight category for the volume it offers. The backpack is made of durable nylon and is equipped with shoulder straps, hip belt and a backpanel made of breathable molded foam. The backpack features a single main compartment that can be accessed from the top as well as through the zipper that goes all around the front side of the backpack. In addition to the main compartment, the backpack is equipped with a water-resistant external lid pocket, internal lid pocket, two mesh side pockets, two hip belt pockets, big front stash pocket and sleeve for water reservoir. The water reservoir sleeve is placed between the backpanel and main compartment which is a huge benefit as it allows you to easily refill the reservoir without emptying the main compartment first.  The side mesh pockets can be accessed from the top as well as from the back side – there is a zippered entry so that you can access the side pockets even when carrying the backpack on your shoulders. Additionally the Gregory Savant 58 is equipped with two ice axe attachment points, bottom straps for a sleeping pad and comes with an integrated rain cover. The Gregory Savant 58 is best for those who do not only want a backpack for hiking and mountaineering but also for backpacking and travelling.

 

Pros:

  • Water reservoir sleeve placement
  • Durable fabric
  • Access to the main compartment

Cons:

  • Tight side pockets

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

 

Deuter ACT Lite 50 + 10

Deuter ACT Lite 50 + 10

4. Deuter ACT Lite 50 + 10

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Expeditions
  • Backpacking
  • Travelling

 

The Deuter ACT  Lite 50 + 10 is best for those who want a backpack for long tours as well as for shorter overnight trips. It offers a main compartment with the volume of 50 liters which can be extended for 10 liters by rolling the top collar up and extending the lid straps. The backpack is made of high-quality 210-denier nylon that offers great durability and abrasion resistance. The backpanel is anatomically shaped and made of breathable foam. The foam comes on the sides while in the middle there is an air channel which provides great ventilation. The shoulder straps and hip belt are fully adjustable and made of durable mesh fabric. The Deuter ACT  Lite 50 + 10 features a spacious main compartment, external lid pocket, internal lid pocket, one zippered hip belt pocket, two side mesh pockets and front stash pocket. The main compartment can be accessed from the top as well as through the zipper at the bottom of the backpack. The water reservoir comes into the main compartment. In addition to that the Deuter ACT  Lite 50 + 10 is equipped with ice axe attachment points, hiking poles attachment point and gear loops on the lid. It’s a great backpack despite being a little heavier than the above reviewed backpacks.

 

Pros:

  • Access to the main compartment
  • Comfort
  • Durability

Cons:

  • Stability when extended

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

 

Kelty Catalyst 65

Kelty Catalyst 65

5. Kelty Catalyst 65

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Expeditions
  • Backpacking
  • Travelling

 

The Kelty Catalyst 65 is the biggest backpack in this review and thus suitable for those who need a durable and reliable pack for their multi-day adventures. It is made of very durable 420-denier polyester and additionally reinforced in crucial areas with a 450-denier polyester. The backpanel is padded on the sides while it has an air channel in the middle which efficiently provides ventilation. The padding is made of foam and covered with mesh fabric so that it provides some basic breathability. The hip belt and shoulder straps are also made of foam covered with mesh fabric. The stability is assured by two aluminum stays that run behind the backpanel. In addition to a spacious main compartment equipped with a lid pocket, the Kelty Catalyst 65 has two zippered hip belt pockets, two side mesh pockets and 10-liter detachable daypack (attached on the front side). The detachable daypack comes in handy on overnight trips as it can be easily detached from the backpack and taken into the tent – if the weather conditions of course allow you to leave the backpack outside. The main compartment can be accessed from the top as well as from the sides through a long side zipper. Additionally, the Kelty Catalyst 65 features a spindrift collar and an attachment point for an ice axe or hiking poles. It is a great backpack for backpackers, travelers and also hikers who need a spacious pack for their super long adventures.

 

Pros:

  • Detachable daypack
  • Access to the main compartment
  • Rugged fabric

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Backpanel breathability

Share your opinion and help others!

Do you have this product? Tell us what you think about it and help others decide what to buy!

Video

3. The most attractive product in the review

Which product is the most attractive?
Cast your vote to see the results of this poll!

You may also like…

 


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “The Best Five Hiking Backpacks + 55l