Best Backpacks for Backpacking under 5 Pounds

With many backpacks on the market, choosing the best backpacks for backpacking to purchase can be an overwhelming task. It’s an important decision to make.

Besides the initial cost, the purchase of a backpack is an investment in comfort and enjoyment of hiking experiences that should last you many years.

Summary of the Best Backpacks for Backpacking under 5 pounds tabled below

# Description Price Weight (lbs) Volume (L)
1 Osprey Atmos 65 AG $269 5 50,60
2 Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 $549 5 63
3 Osprey Volt 60 $199 4 3.88
4 Osprey Xenith 105 $269 4.9 5.67
5 Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 $220 4.38 65


To help you with the decision we have reviewed and researched hundreds of testimonials and reviews.

When then shortlisted the hiking backpacks trialing them over different terrains. We hope our review aids your decision in choosing a hiking backpack.

Critical Considerations

Want to know what to look for when choosing a backpack? What does suspension mean? What is the ventilation? How important is the price? Is comfort the most important factor?

Scroll to the bottom of the post to our Critical Consideration section we have these items listed for you.

The Best Backpacks for Backpacking 2020

Osprey Atmos 65 AG

The Osprey Atmos 65 AG is an excellent all-round backpack with fantastic ventilation


best hiking backpack for hiking

Price $269

Weight; 4 lbs. 9 oz.

Volume; 50, 65L


Our Verdict

The Osprey Atmos AG is an excellent all-round backpack for hiking. The reason being its comfort, fantastic ventilation that covers the entire back to the hip, and innovative features.

For example, we like the “Stow-on-the-Go” trekking pole attachment allows you to stow your poles in steep terrain or whenever you need your hands free.

The Osprey Atmos AG design allows for internal hydration reservoir sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir

What differentiates the Osprey Atmos from the others is the AntiGravity (AG) suspension makes it feel like you’re carrying less weight, spreading the load evenly and seamlessly wraps around your body.

The well-built design with many features and affordable price its hard to go past the Osprey Atmos AG. For these reasons, it receives our award for the best backpack for backpacking.

Arc’teryx Bora AR 63

A highly comfortable backpack, one of the best on the market


best hiking backpack for hiking Arc'teryx Bora AR 63

Price $549

Weight; 5 lbs

Volume; 63L

Our Verdict

Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 design is a great all-round backpack.

The foam shoulder straps and adjustable belt that moves up and down with your body as you walk and transfers pack weight accordingly, making for unprecedented comfort.

Made with special material it makes it incredibly waterproof.

Thanks to its high comfort level and excellent suspension system the Arc’teryx Bora AR 63 is one of the best backpacks for backpacking on the market.

The downside is the price tag of $549

Osprey Volt 60

Great value, highly comfortable backpack that won’t let you down


best hiking backpack for hiking osprey

Price $199

Weight; 3.88 lbs

Volume; 60L


Our Verdict

The Osprey Volt 60 is another awesome pack from Osprey. Osprey Volt is a workhorse.

It might not have the fancy features but will comfortably get you through days of hiking with the adjustable fit-on-the-fly hip belt for a comfortable one-size-fits-all package.

The Osprey Volt 60 is one of our favorite backpacks and reasonably priced at $199

Osprey Xenith 105

Lightweight, comfortable pack, perfect for an overnighter or for a multi-day hike.


best hiking backpack for hiking osprey xenith

Price $399

Weight; 5.67 lbs

Volume; 105 L

Our Verdict

The Xenith backpack is another outstanding product from Osprey. The Osprey Xenith 105 comes with the perfect balance of comfort and support.

Xenith’s legendary load-carrying ability keeps you comfortable throughout the journey.

The Osprey Xeniths is perfect for backpacking with heavy loads for up to a week or more.

With outstanding features, the Xenith includes trail-focused features like hydration compatibility and Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment ease your journey, every step of the way.

The Osprey Xenith series comes in three volumes: 75L, 85L, and 105L options. A perfect pack for an overnighter or a multi-day hike.

Affordable cost of $399, makes this backpack a worthy consideration.

Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10

A simple backpack, made from quality materials that can handle heavy loads

best hiking backpack for hiking osprey atmos deuter

Price $220

Weight; 4.38 lbs

Volume; 65, 10 L


Our Verdict

The Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 is a durable well-padded backpack that can comfortably be used on an overnighter or a multi-day hike.

Whilst the Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 does not come with as many pockets as other packs it is a versatile pack that can carry heavy loads.

The Deuter Aircontact is popular with many hikers and for good reason.

A comfortable pack that works well for many users with robust suspension and padding.

Affordable price point, Deuter Aircontact Lite 65+10 is worth the considering at $220

Critical Considerations

Before you race out and buy a backpack there are several factors you need to consider. With the most important factor being comfort.


The most important factor is comfort. You can have a pack with all the bells and whistles at the highest cost but if uncomfortable then the backpack is not for you.

Duration of Hike = Volume

The size pack or capacity you’ll need is tied to the length of your trip and how much weight and bulk you want to carry.

As a standard rule of thumb and how efficient you are packing your backpack the standard rule is;

Weekend (1-3 nights; 30-50 liters)

Carrying less weight, weekend backpacks are generally frameless. This means they are more flexible very light (since they are not carrying additional weight with metal/aluminum rods)

Multi-day (3-5 nights; 50-80 liters)

Nowadays, most backpacks that can carry weight greater than 40 lbs have an internal frame. The frame helps transfer/distribute the weight from the shoulders to the hips. This increases your performance as the hips are supported by larger muscle groups than the shoulders.

Extended-trip (5+ nights; 70 liters or larger)

For a trip of this duration will generally call for a 70 liter or larger depending on if your taking kids or hiking in winter



Pockets are great for keeping snacks, cameras, and all those other little things you carry in easily accessible places. They should be easily accessible when wearing the pack.

Built-in hydration

Built-in hydration is pretty much standard these days. I am a fan but if not that’s okay. Also, some packs allow you to remove the built-in hydration pack.

Hip Belt

The majority of backpacks will come with a hip belt. With your hips taking most of the load and not your shoulders, having a comfortable fitting hip belt is essential


Traditionally backpacks use foam padding that sits comfortably on your back. The foam padding style packs are good with both light and heavy loads but tend to make your back sweat more, particularly in hot weather.

Rain Covers

Rain covers can either be a separate item or built-in. Most of my packs don’t have built-in rain covers, which we don’t mind.

We do suggest having a rain cover to keep the rain out and sometimes animals/bugs at night. Rain covers are relatively inexpensive, I am currently using Osprey Ultralight pack rain cover that cost $20 from Amazon.



Final Thoughts

It is worthwhile taking the time to review hiking backpacks. The most important consideration is choosing a comfortable, well-fitted hiking backpack that will cater to your hiking needs for many years to come.

More Information

If you have enjoyed this review, you will enjoy our other reviews. Below are some of our other gear reviews and popular resources;

Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads

How to choose Backpacking Sleeping Bag

How to Choose Trekking Poles (with tutorials)


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