Your backpack is what makes or breaks your mountaineering tour.
It should be comfortable to carry and protective of your belongings at the same time. Plus, it should withstand harsh climates. With such backpack your journey will be smooth and trouble-free.
So, you should pick a quality backpack while mountaineering, hiking, or ski mountaineering.
There are countless brands out there in the market claiming to be the best backpack manufacturers. But even the best-labeled backpacks fail when you take them on mountains. Some backpacks lack comfort, some backpacks miss key features while some backpacks do not suit your purpose.
But, how do you pick the right backpack of the right brand?
You may find it hard to pick the right one for your next hiking or mountaineering. You may need to spend hours reviewing and comparing different backpacks. And this is where we have come to rescue. After hours of research, I have shed light on top 10 best mountaineering backpacks of 2019.
Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG backpack has built a great reputation among the backpackers and travelers. Being one of the most popular backpacks in the market these days, this backpack has so many exciting features. It is the best-fitting, well-ventilated, and comfortable pack.
The bag has an innovative design. It uses AntiGravity suspension which makes the backpack completely contour with your body. It stabilizes the load and provide optimal comfort. Moreover, it has upper and lower side compression straps to stabilize the load. It uses Anti-Gravity™ mesh wrap hipbelt for better optimal load transfer. Likewise, the integrated FlapJacket™ makes sure your belongings are safe from the harsh climate even if you use the backpack without the lid.
When it comes to space, the backpack has 65 Liter capacity. It has a top-loading compartment, two stretchable mesh side pockets, a huge front stash pocket, zippered sleeping bag compartment, two front panel zip pockets, and zippered hipbelt pockets. So, you can categorize your gears and place them on different compartments for a comfortable access.
Notable Features of Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpack
- Removable floating top lid
- Fully-padded 3D suspension
- LightWire™ peripheral frame
- Anti-Gravity ventilated mesh back panel
- Anti-Gravity™ mesh wrap hipbelt
- Zippered sleeping bag compartment on the bottom
The Osprey Women’s Aura 65 AG Backpack is a popular backpack among women backpackers. Women mountaineers, hikers, and travelers prefer this 65 Liter backpack. It has some nice features like the Anti-gravity suspension system, lightweight mesh panel, FlapJacket top, and more.
The suspension system has special designs which lets air circulate on your back. And for better mobility, the lightweight mesh panel has a smooth design. The streamlined waist belt also helps to distribute the load of your backpack.
The backpack has the right number of pockets for your multi-day backpacking trip. It has two stretch mesh side pockets, dual zippered pockets in the heap belt, a huge stretchable mesh pocket on the front, dual zippered top lid pockets, a sleeping bag compartment at the bottom, and internal hydration sleeve. So, you have plenty of options to put your gears in the right place. If you have additional gears that you need frequent access to, you can attach them to the outside of the backpack.
Notable Features of Osprey Women’s Aura 65 AG Backpacks
- Anti-gravity suspension system
- Removable FlapJacket top
- Anti-gravity suspension
- Well-ventilated and cushioned
- Removable FlapJacket
- 3-liter hydration sleeve
- Removable sleeping pad straps
If you are a traveler or someone who likes to travel a lot, then you have probably met or knew someone who has Granite Gear Crown VC 60. So, what makes this ultralight backpack so popular? Well, it has tons of features that are traveler-friendly and buyers just can’t skip this item once they know about it.
Granite Gear Crown VC 60 is ultralight with just at 2.2 lbs. It is the successor of the famous Vapor Trail backpack. Instead of multiple compartments, the backpack has a single large compartment with a roll top closure. The top unfolds to provide a lot of space when you have additional gears to carry. There are two tightly woven mesh pockets on the side and a large mesh pocket on the front. Furthermore, its hip belt has chain pockets and the shoulder strap contains plastic loops. So, it’s easy to organize your gears in this backpack.
Its 360-degree compression system helps to concentrate the weight of your backpack at the right area of your back. The backpack uses Vapour Current Suspension technology, so this ultralight backpack has the capacity to carry midweight loads. Besides, there are so many exciting features which make this backpack an ideal choice for days of hiking and mountaineering.
Notable Features of Granite Gear Crown VC 60 Backpack
- A huge main compartment
- Top loader
- Internal hydration sleeve and ports
- 360-degree compression strap
- Mesh pockets on the side and front
- Vapor Current frame
Speed Lite 20 is Deuter’s most minimalistic and ultralight backpack great for minor hiking and traveling. You can use it to store lighter and smaller items. Its padded back contains ventilated 3D Airmesh for a comfortable experience while carrying it. Its compactness and lightness make it a perfect fit for taking it while hiking, ski racing, running, and other such activities.
When we look at its appearance, the design is great. The color schemes look amazing. The construction and materials are excellent.
The backpack has a sunglass loop and also accessory loops to attach your gears. There is a zippered pocket on the top to keep your items that you may need immediate access to. Likewise, the tight front pocket allows easy access to items instantly without a need to unzip.
The internal frame of the bag is removable. So you can just remove the inner, roll up, and put that into another bag. Likewise, people also admire this little daypack for its reversible compression straps. You can also carry things like a selfie stick and tripod easily with the help of those straps.
Notable Features of Deuter Speed Lite 20 Athletic Daypack
- Streamlined shape for better movement of the body
- Reversible compression straps
- Ergonomic and easily adjustable
- Loops for sunglasses and accessories
- Mesh side pockets
- Zippered pocket on the top
Gregory Deva 60 Backpack is one of the best women’s backpacks in the market. The backpack has a slim profile and high functioning set of features. Its top opening with U-zip gives you easy and quick access to the inside contents of the bag. The backpack has used Response A3 suspension technology which allows you for easy movement.
The harness, back panel, and hip-belt used in this backpack are all women-centric design. Besides, its multi-straps are adjustable which you can position on various lash points. Another great feature of this backpack is the internal divider that divides the sleeping compartment with the main content sack.
Moreover, the backpack has the stretch mesh water bottle pocket which you can use for storing other items too. Also, its waist and top pockets are so handy.
Notable Features of Gregory Deva 60 Backpack
- Raincover with external zip pocket
- Removable sidewinder bottle holster
- Top-loading with U-zip
- Sleeping bag compartment with removal compartment divider
- Dual-sided lid compartments
- Adjustable multi straps
Gregory Mountain Denali 100 backpack is different from other ordinary backpack. The extensive research and the real expedition testing resulted this amazing backpack. And this is probably the best mountaineering backpack that the world has ever seen.
This backpack fits while mountaineering, alpine climbing, ice climbing, and ski touring. Because it has the capability to carry heavy loads even in harsh climates. The storage is huge with its 100 L capacity. You can organize and slot in all the items that you need for your expedition.
The backpack has tons of amazing features. It has an adjustable ice axe loops. Besides, the backpack has expedition hip belt that has ice clipper slot, zippered pocket, and a loop to attach your gears. The backpack has a safety pocket as well where you can keep your vital accessories. Also, its quick-access side pocket lets you access to items like maps and headlamps easily.
You can also turn this backpack into a daypack. The top lid is detachable, so you can remove the top lid if you are heading for a short hike or travel.
Notable Features of Gregory Mountain Denali 100 Backpack
- Removable top lids
- Internally laminated
- Side slash zip
- The strippable aluminum frame stays
- Security pockets
- Dual-access front panel pocket
- Expedition hip belt padding with zip pockets and loops
Arc’teryx Alpha FL 45 is an ultralight and durable backpack that you can use for alpine climbing, skiing mountaineering, and hiking. The backpack is weather resistant and the external zippers are watertight. It has a reflective white interior. Likewise, the strong back panel supports the load without discomforting your back.
The backpack is well-optimized for the stability of load and is equally emphasized on the durability. Besides, there are two ice axe loops, six front lash points with four side lash points. So, you can hang extra gears or accommodate straps easily. Likewise, the backpack has extendable color with drawcord that lets you put additional items in your backpack.
When it comes to pock configuration, the backpack has a main compartment pocket with external zipped pockets.
To make the backpack lightweight, Arc’teryx has not included any extraneous feature. So, this backpack can be great for fast and light travel on alpines.
Notable Features of Arc’teryx Alpha FL 45 Backpack
- Advanced composite construction
- Double ice ax loops
- Laminated and waterproof
- Rolltop closure
- Reflective white interior
- Six front lash points
Osprey Mutant 38-Lite Backpack is great for those who are planning to spend a long time in the mountain region without setting up camps. Or if you are planning for lightweight summiting, you can strip it down. With the excellence in comfort, durability, versatility, and features, Osprey Mutant 38-Lite has become a renowned name among mountaineers.
The backpack is only 38 liters. But, if you need more space, you can accommodate lightweight items like jackets on the top. This is an admirable feature of this backpack.
The lightweight and removable HDPE framesheet stabilizes the backpack. Likewise, the ventilated back panel does not let snow accumulate on top of it and there are buckles that let you attach your gears. Furthermore, its hipbelt comes with loops and stashes.
The backpack is well-designed and does not have any unnecessary features. However, many users commented on one problem- the straps are too long. Other than that, the backpack has nice features and climbers have loved this backpack.
Notable Features of Osprey Mutant 38-Liter Backpack
- Snowshed fabric in the back panel
- Removable top lid
- Dual Tool Locks including bungee tie-offs
- Teo hipbelt gear loops
- Rope attachment
- Helmet carrier
- Three-point haul system
- Internal hydration sleeve
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 OutDry Backpack AW17 is a renowned name among hikers, climbers, and skiers. Versatile and efficient, this backpack makes sure the weight of the load falls on the right space for comfortable carrying. It uses Outdry technology to make the compartment waterproof.
The backpack has Hardwave suspension that keeps the load comfortably stable. Moreover, its side compression strap adds stability of the backpack. There is also Stowable webbing belt for more stability. And its soft padded shoulder strap makes sure the weight is comfortably distributed on the shoulder. It has an adjustable sternum strap that lets you keep your backpack stable while moving.
The backpack has an easily accessible hydration sleeve, so you can remain hydrated. It also has two side pockets to store your essentials which need easy and frequent access. Likewise, its top zippered pocket lets you keep your essentials handy.
Notable Features of Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 OutDry Backpack
- Watertight compartment
- Hardwave suspension
- Easily accessible hydration sleeve
- Deep side pockets
- Stowable webbing waist belt
- Top zippered pockets
Teton Sports Scout 3400 also made it to our list of best mountaineering backpacks for 2019. And it has got every single reason to be on this list. The backpack comes with all the essential features that mountaineers want in their backpacks. The backpack is affordable, versatile, durable, and very comfortable. You can use the backpack for multi-day hike to a week-long adventure.
People also call it Scout3400. The backpack has bendable aluminum stays that lets it rest comfortably on your back. Its padded waist and shoulder straps helps in comfortable carrying. Also, you can adjust the torso to accommodate your height. The backpack has many small loops and mesh pockets. So, you will have an easy time organizing the essentials in your backpack.
One thing that I felt worth mentioning is the affordability. Looking at its quality, features, and the size, the backpack is too affordable. Other backpacks with same standard costs nearly double or more.
Notable Features of TETON Sports Scout 3400
- Thick padding on all straps
- Aluminum frame
- Hydration sleeve
- Sleeping bag compartment
- Removable rainfly
- Versatile waist and torso
- Height adjustable shoulder-straps
10 Best Mountaineering Backpacks in 2019 Comparison Table
|Osprey Men's Atmos 65 AG Backpack||3 lbs 9 oz||Nylon (100 D 630 D)||50, 65L||Top||8 exterior|
|Osprey Women's Aura 65 AG Backpacks||4.5 lb||Nylon, Ripstop||65 L||Top||11 exterior|
|Granite Gear Crown VC 60 Backpack||2 lbs 2 oz||Nylon (100 D 210 D )||38, 60L||Top||6 exterior|
|Deuter Speed Lite 20 Athletic Daypack||1 lb 1 oz||Nylon (420 D210 D)||20 L||4 exterior|
|Gregory Deva 60 Backpack||4 lb 8 oz||Nylon (210 D 300 D)||60 L||Top||5 exterior|
|Gregory Mountain Denali 100 Backpack||6.7 lbs||Nylon(210 D 420 D)||100 L||Top||3 exterior|
|Arc'teryx Alpha FL 45 Backpack||1 lb 7.7 oz||Nylon, Ripstop||45 L||Top||1 external zippered|
|Osprey Mutant 38-Liter Backpack||2 lbs 13 oz||Nylon/polyester||38 L||Top||5 exterior|
|Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 OutDry Backpack AW17||1 lb 11 oz||400D HD Nylon||30 L||Top||3|
|TETON Sports Scout 3400||4.5 lbs|| Diamond ripstop/ Oxford canvas shell|
|55 L||Top||4 zippered 3 enclosed|
Mountaineering Backpack Buying Guide
While buying a mountaineering backpack, some major factors influence the buying decision more than other minors. It depends upon the type of climbing you are planning to do and the duration of the journey. Also, your personal preferences is another major factor. These factors determine the size, fabric, and other essential features of the backpack.
Backpacks made up of heavy fabrics increase the load you carry. As you have to carry your backpack for hours every day during the expedition, it’s better if you buy a lightweight backpack.
Comfort and Right Size
Climbing mountain is different from walking on a hiking trail. You need to move much more than a hiker on the trail. You may have to climb through steep ice, move your legs and hands high, thrust forward, rotate your body, and so forth. So, the backpack should be of right size for easy movement of your body.
Measure your torso length before buying a backpack. Many people make mistakes by choosing a too long or too short backpack. You can avoid this mistake easily by picking a backpack that is right for your torso length. Also, make sure the harnesses and hip belts are fine-tuned and are easy on your body.
Also, the backpack should have all the essential features that you need while climbing. If you are onto a technical climbing, the bag should have the crampon attachment points, rope hanging loops, and other such features.
The duration and level of your mountaineering determine how big your backpack should be. There are endless options usually ranging from 30 L to 105 L. If you are planning for a ski mountaineering or small peak climbing with no technical climbing, then smaller backpacks are suitable. If you are onto a big and technical climbing that require axe, crampons, and ropes, then you need a backpack with great capacity.
Fabric and Durability
So, have you decided on the backpack capacity that you need? If so, then the next factor to consider is the built-material and durability of the material. Simply put, lighter fabrics may not be as durable and sturdy as the heavier ones. But, there are exceptions.
In some mountain climbing, you may have to climb through rocky corners and through rough walls. There are chances that you have to haul up at difficult sections or slide at some points. So, there are chances that your backpack may come into contact with rock surfaces.
Not just that, the backpack should be strong enough to bring back your belongings safely. If the backpack fails to withstand the cold, you will risk wetting your sleeping bags and other essentials of your bag. So, make sure the fabrics are strong and the backpack is well-built before buying the backpack.
Different Parts of a Mountaineering Backpack
It’s important to get familiar with different parts of backpack and their uses. This helps you pick the right one and you will not have to regret later for not having needed features in your backpack. Here, you can find the must-have and most common elements of backpacks with their uses.
These small straps sit right above the shoulder straps. These small adjustment straps attach the shoulder straps with the pack frame. Load lifters let you control the distance between the upper part of your back and your body. While adjusting your backpack through load lifters, the angle of the backpack in relation to your body also changes which changes the center of mass of the backpack.
Backpack manufacturers contour and pad the back panel of backpacks. Since back panel of backpacks rest on the carrier’s body, the back panels are usually well-cushioned and ventilated for comfort.
Shoulder straps should be well-padded and flexible. Since you rest the heavy load of your backpack on the shoulder, the shoulder strap should be of right size and well-built strong pads. Pick a well-ventilated straps with mesh straps for air circulation.
The sternum straps connect both shoulder straps with each other. The straps are adjustable. When connected, these straps help maintain the stability of the backpack.
You can find compression straps on both sides of backpacks. With the compression straps, you can compress the backpack and decrease the volume of your backpack.
Hip belt are on the bottom-side of backpacks. The bigger backpacks have thicker pads for better support. Hip belt helps to distribute the weight evenly. The bottom of hip belts have thick pads that go round over the hip bones.
Most backpacks have top lids with a zippered pocket. In the zippered pocket of the top lid, travelers usually put items that they want immediate access to. Many backpacks have removable top lid for reducing the weight of the backpack or to use the backpack as a day pak.
Sleeping Bag Compartment
Backpacks usually have sleeping bag compartment at the bottom. Usually a thin and removal internal divider separates the main compartment from the sleeping bag compartment.
Generally, backpacks have accessory straps at the bottom area. You can use these lash points to attach roll mats, rope, or other accessories.
Front Stash Pocket
You can use the front stash pocket to keep items like jacket, camera, and other accessories that you may need at times.
Hip Belt Pocket
Hip belt pockets let you quickly access to some essentials without having to rest the backpack and unzip pockets. Items like snacks, phone, and wallet are some great items to keep in hep belt pocket.
Stretch Side Pockets
Water bottles are the most common items that we see on stretch side pockets. Besides, you can also use stretch side pockets to keep other materials that need immediate access.
Crampon Attachment Loops
Since, you need access to crampons, or ice axe time and again while mountaineering, use this loop to store these items. You can find crampon attachment loops near the bottom of your backpack. You can also attach your walking poles at this loops.
While buying a travel backpack, you need to have a clear objective of the purpose of your backpack. This helps you find the right one for your mountaineering journey.
Did you find the one that suits your needs? If not, you can comment down below with the features you want. We will help you get the right backpack.
Table of Content
- 1. Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpack: Best for the Men
- 2. Osprey Women’s Aura 65 AG Backpacks: Best for Women
- 3. Granite Gear Crown VC 60 Backpack: Best ultralight Backpack
- 4. Deuter Speed Lite 20 Athletic Daypack: Best Small Hiking Backpack
- 5. Gregory Deva 60 Backpack
- 6. Gregory Mountain Denali 100 Backpack: Best for the Expeditions
- 7. Arc’teryx Alpha FL 45 Backpack: Best Ultralight and Fast
- 8. Osprey Mutant 38-Liter Backpack: Best for Overall Mountaineering and Alpine Model
- 9. Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 OutDry Backpack AW17
- 10. TETON Sports Scout 3400: Best Budget Backpack
- 10 Best Mountaineering Backpacks in 2019 Comparison Table
- Mountaineering Backpack Buying Guide
- Different Parts of a Mountaineering Backpack
- Final Words