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 22nd of March 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 having to take off your backpack in order to get to 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 55+

Best Hiking Backpacks 55+

  1. Osprey Exos 58
  2. Montane Grand Tour 55
  3. Gregory Savant 58
  4. Kelty Revol 65
  5. Gregory Baltoro 65 

Comparison:

Feature/Product Osprey Exos 58Montane Grand Tour 55Deuter ACT Lite 50 + 10Kelty Revol 65Gregory Baltoro 65
Weight2 lbs. 6 oz.2 lbs. 16 oz.3 lbs. 13 oz.4 lbs. 3 oz.5 lbs. 1 oz.
Weight (Metric)1090 g 1350 g 1730 g 1900 g 2300 g
Frame Yes (internal - aluminum)Yes (internal – plastic framesheet + removable stay)Yes (internal - aluminum)Yes (internal - aluminum)Yes (internal - aluminum)
Fits Torso 15.7 – 18.1 in. (S), 18.1 – 20.9 in. (M), 20.9 – 22.8 in. (L) 15.7 – 17.7 in. (S/M), 17.7 – 20.9 in. (M/L15 – 20 in.15.4 – 20.9 in.16 – 18 in. (S), 18 – 20 in. (M), 20 – 22 in. (L)
Fits Torso (Metric) 40 cm – 46 cm (S), 46 cm – 53 cm (M), 53 cm – 58 cm (L) 40 cm – 45 cm (S/M), 45 cm – 53 cm (M/L38 cm – 51 cm 39 cm – 53 cm41 cm – 46 cm (S), 46 cm – 51 cm (M), 53 cm – 56 cm (L)
MaterialNylon Nylon (Raptor UTL, Raptor Zero)Nylon (Macro Lite 210) Nylon Nylon
Volume58 liters55 liters50 + 10 liters65 liters 65 liters (M)
BackpanelVentilated, AirSpeedPadded with air channelsVentilated, Aircontact LiteVentilated Ventilated
Hip BeltYesYesYesYesYes
Sternum Strap YesYesYesYesYes
Hydration System CompatibleYes (external sleeve)Yes (internal sleeve)Yes (internal sleeve)Yes (external 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. The backpack comes in three different sizes (S, M and L) which differ by capacity (55, 58 and 61 liters) as well as the torso length they respectively fit.

 

Pros:

  • Weight
  • Backpanel
  • Removable lid

Cons:

  • Main compartment access

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Best Buy!

Also available at:

REI | Backcountry

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. The backpack comes in two different sizes (S/M and M/L) which differ by the torso length they perform best for.

 

Pros:

  • Weight
  • Attachment points
  • Durability

Cons:

  • Main compartment access

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Deuter ACT Lite 50 + 10

Deuter ACT Lite 50 + 10

3. 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 trips 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 which 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 a 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 is placed inside the main compartment. The Deuter ACT  Lite 50 + 10 is furthermore 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 backpacks reviewed above.

 

Pros:

  • Access to the main compartment
  • Comfort
  • Durability

Cons:

  • Stability when extended

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Kelty Revol 65

Kelty Revol 65

4. Kelty Revol 65

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Expeditions
  • Backpacking
  • Travelling

 

The Kelty Revol 65 is with the volume of 65 liters one of the biggest backpacks in this review and thus best for those who need a durable and reliable backpack for their multi-day adventures. The backpack is made of sturdy 210-denier nylon and is additionally reinforced in abrasion-prone areas with 420-denier nylon. The stability of the backpack is assured by the aluminum frame behind the backpanel. The backpanel itself is well-padded and has a suspended mesh fabric in the middle for better ventilation. The padding is made of soft foam in order to provide good comfort and absorption of the moisture (sweat) from your back. The hip belt and shoulder straps are also made of foam which is covered with a durable mesh fabric. The Kelty Revol 65 uses an innovative Kinesis hip belt which moves and adjusts with your body (pivoting hip belt) thus ensuring good comfort and an efficient transfer of weight from the shoulders to the hips. In addition to a spacious main compartment, the Kelty Revol 65 has two zippered hip belt pockets, two stretchy side pockets, zippered top lid pocket, stash pocket and a large zippered front pocket with a sleeve for map. The stash pocket is placed between the main compartment and the front pocket. It is perfect for storing gear that you don’t want to put directly in the main compartment, like for example wet clothes. The sleeve for a hydration bladder is placed between the backpanel and the main compartment (external sleeve) and thus allows you to easily get the hydration bladder in and out even when the backpack is packed full. The main compartment can be accessed from the top as well as from the bottom through a zipper. Additionally, the Kelty Revol 65 features two side handles and attachment points for ice axes and trekking poles. It is a great backpack for backpackers, travelers and hikers who need a spacious backpack for their super long adventures. The only downside is the design of the compression straps – they don’t allow you to stabilize the load as good as the compression straps on the other backpacks in this review.

 

Pros:

  • Access to the main compartment
  • Comfort (hip belt)
  • Durability
  • External Hydration Sleeve

Cons:

  • Compression straps

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Video

Gregory Baltoro 65

Gregory Baltoro 65

5. Gregory Baltoro 65

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Expeditions
  • Backpacking
  • Travelling

 

The Gregory Baltoro 65 offers the same capacity (65 liters) as the Kelty Revol 65, but is with the weight of 2300 grams the heaviest backpack in this review. Nevertheless, the backpack is a great option for backpackers, travelers and hikers. It is made of a very durable nylon with the denier of up to 630 (hence the added weight). The backpanel is sufficiently padded and has a suspended mesh fabric in the middle so that the air can flow between your back and the backpack (ventilation). The Gregory Baltoro 65 features very innovatively designed shoulder straps and hip belt as each shoulder strap and fin of the hip belt rotates individually which enhances the weight transfer from the shoulders to the hips and comfort. The aluminum frame is placed behind the backpanel and provides great stability when carrying heavy loads. The backpack features a single main compartment which can be accessed from the top as well as through the zipper at the bottom and a third zipper that goes all around the front side of the backpack. In addition to the main compartment, the backpack has an external zippered vertical pocket (stash pocket), external zippered lid pocket, internal zippered lid pocket, one side pocket, one side water bottle holder and two hip belt pockets. The sleeve for a hydration bladder is placed in the main compartment. The Gregory Baltoro 65 is also equipped with two ice axe attachment points, bottom straps for a sleeping pad and comes with an integrated rain cover. The Gregory Baltoro 65 is a great option for those who do not only want a backpack for hiking and mountaineering but also for backpacking and travelling. It comes in three different sizes (S, M and L) which differ by capacity (61, 65 and 69 liters) and the torso length they fit.

 

Pros:

  • Durability
  • Access to the main compartment
  • Comfort (hip belt and shoulder straps)

Cons:

  • Weight

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