Hiking Equipment

Best Durable & Rugged Hiking Backpacks 2021

Review of the top backpacks and rucksacks for hiking in 2021
best-hiking-backpacks

Sustainable & Environmentally Friendly

In 2021 we are more conscious than ever about the environment and how we can make our activities more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

By buying a backpack that is sustainably sourced and more durable you are minimising your carbon footprint and impact on our planets resources. It’s very common for inexperienced hikers to opt for the cheapest backpack that looks great but is imported from the far east and will only last a year.

Hiking Equipment Built To Last

Consumerism encourages brands to create hiking equipment with a short lifespan and cheap price tag, then encourage them to buy the latest model next year. The only way to reverse the negative impact we have on the planet is to reduce rapid consumption. Buying hiking equipment, whether it be backpacks, clothing or other products that are rugged & tough, designed to last a lifetime. Negating the requirement to buy another one anytime soon. It’ll also save you money in the long run with durable and rugged bag that you won’t need to replace.

Rugged & Tough

We reviewed a whole range of backpacks to see if they stood up to their claims of being able to survive some of the toughest use and if they were rugged enough to stand up the drops and bashes that exploring and modern day life can bring. The finalists are designed to stand the extremes wherever you go on the hiking trails and protect you and your equipment stored within.

Durable & Rugged Backpacks

2021 Winners

We tested some of the best backpacks out there to find the most rugged and heavy duty bags that that will last a lifetime. Whether it be drops, bumps or bruises these backpacks will survive the extreme conditions expected out on the hiking trails.

Best Every Day Backpack

The best heavy duty backpack for everyday use at work or recreation

Klettersack 25L

£71.60

Topo Designs

Durable and with a super tough exterior this backpack has a clean design with a utility pack feature. Perfect for students, city creatives and trail hikers alike it will serve in the town and country.

  • Capacity 25L
  • Colours Midnight | Grey | Navy

Clean and attractive utility pack design for Town & Country

The Klettersack by Topo isn’t just popular with seasoned travellers and hikers, but also with students, bike couriers and city professionals. Its design is influenced from the mountaineering and climbing world and delivers an outdoor-inspired backpack that brings together and clean, uncluttered look and most importantly a utility level of functionality for hikers and city dwellers alike. Built to survive all the extremes the Klettersack asserts a super tough durable exterior and a coated interior cloth liner, a heavy-duty design and a YKK zip. The main compartment has a massive 25 litre capacity which is more than enough for everything for an outdoor adventure or a day at the office. With additional features such as leather lash tabs that can be used for extra equipment or bike lights the Klettersack delivers in every department at a great price.

  • Large main compartment
  • Flap top with side-release buckle closures
  • Drawstring cinch closure to main compartment Internal sleeve fits most 15″ laptops
  • Internal zippered security pocket
  • Zippered top flap pocket
  • Side water bottle pockets
  • Dual side compression straps
  • Padded shoulder straps reinforced with seatbelt webbing
  • Top Carry Handle
  • Ice axe loop
  • Heavy-duty plastic hardware
  • Made in USA
  • Made in USA
  • Dimensions: 27.9 x 50.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Volume: 25 L
  • 1000D Cordura®
  • 420D nylon pack cloth liner
  • 1050D ballistic Cordura®
  • Sustainability Through Longevity – The Topo Designs repairs program is focused on creating a rehab center for those well-loved pieces so they can stay in the family—ultimately reducing the number of pieces that are unnecessarily discarded for something new
  • Environmental Initiatives – The Topo Designs MAP Pact initiative is designed to ensure the simple concept to maintain, act, and protect our communities

Best Hand Luggage Backpack

The best backpack hand luggage travellers who pack light and want to grab & go

Urban Assault 21L

£109.95

Mystery Ranch

Designed for travellers and hand luggage explorers with a lightweight and durable design. The innovative 3 zip feature means you can easily access all your belongings quickly and easily.

  • Capacity 21L
  • Weight 1.3kg
  • Colours Black | Coyote | Galaxy | Wood Waxed | Mystery Pop | Lemon | Forest | Deep Sea | Shadow

Compact & robust for every adventure

The Urban Assault 21L provides easily accessible interior storage with its ground-breaking three zip design so you can fully open the rucksack in seconds and get to all your contents easily. It also has a normal access top zip for when you need access in space restricted environments. Great for lightweight travellers this bag will fit neatly in an overhead locker aswell as providing robust protection for your contents with its design inspired by Mystery Ranch’s military assault rucksacks. Built for travel, everyday carry, and hikers this rucksack allows you to be prepared for whatever life throws at you. Internally, you’ll find a laptop sleeve and mesh pockets perfect for storing anything and everything. It’s clean and functional design with all of it’s features make this the perfect unfussy yet highly functional backpack.

  • Classic three zip design so the bag can be almost entirely opened up
  • Zip lid pocket with key clip
  • Laptop sleeve which fits a laptop up to 15”
  • Two interior mesh zipper pockets
  • Fixed harnessing
  • Weight: 1.3 kg
  • Volume: 21 L
  • Dimensions: 51 x 25 x 22 cm
  • 500D CORDURA® fabric
  • YKK® zippers
  • Sustainability Through Longevity – Mystery Ranch bags are designed and built to last a lifetime and are backed by a lifetime manufacturers warranty.
  • Global Initiatives – Since 2010, Mystery Ranch has supported Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) with in-kind product. WSF’s mission to manage and restore wild sheep populations across North America.
best-hiking-backpack-2021

Best Light Weight Backpack

Best backpack for compact storage and extra capacity when needed

In and Out 19L Backpack

£68.85

Mystery Ranch

The In and Out packs down into a small carry bag so you can quickly expand your storage availability when summiting or travelling. Its featherweight design yet solid straps means you can take additional cargo while still having a comfortable hike.

  • Capacity 19L
  • Weight 400g
  • Colours Black | Dark Khaki | Forest | Mystery Pop | Lemon

The toughest bag in a bag

A featherweight solution for when you need additional storage for a summit or long days hike the In and Out does what it says. It can be neatly packed away into itself for optimal storage when travelling then popped out to instantly give you another 19L of space for equipment and supplies. It’s fully engineered sturdy design means it’s not like other summit bags which are usually flimsy. The In and Out is the tough summit bag made from 100D mini-ripstop Cordura for tear resistance, and has contoured shoulder straps and a sternum strap which hug the body giving you a comfortable rucksack that you can carry all day. Being able to pack down into the size of a water bottle this bag will quite literally get you in and out!

  • Highly breathable, low-profile yoke contours to the body
  • Stuffs into its own front pocket for supreme packability
  • Contoured shoulder straps with adjustable sternum strap
  • Two external zip access pockets
  • One side stretch-woven water bottle pocket
  • Two tool carry loops with secure straps
  • 2l hydration reservoir pocket with ports to drinking tube above the shoulders
  • Weight: 400 g
  • Volume: 19 L
  • Dimensions: 51 x 33 x 23 cm
  • 100D CORDURA® Mini Rip for durable, lightweight, packability
  • YKK® zippers
  • Sustainability Through Longevity – Mystery Ranch bags are designed and built to last a lifetime and are backed by a lifetime manufacturers warranty.
  • Global Initiatives – Since 2010, Mystery Ranch has supported Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) with in-kind product. WSF’s mission to manage and restore wild sheep populations across North America.

Best Long Distance Backpack

Best backpack for all day hiking with maximum storage, support and space for water and tools

Coulee 25L Backpack

£134.95

Mystery Ranch

When you need to travel long distance on the hiking trail or to summit this backpack has everything you need. Tons of internal storage with easy access plus additional water bottle slots and tool hooks along with a detachable waist support for endurance hikes.

  • Capacity 25L
  • Weight 1.3kg
  • Colours Black | Adobe

Packed with features, lightweight and comfortable

The Coulee 25 was engineered with a solution for every storage need for all day mountaineering or hiking and doesn’t compromise on comfort or weight. It features two front stash pockets for quick access for extra layers and a lid pocket for anything else you’ll need quick access too. The two side pockets are perfect for water bottles and it also has tool loops for hiking poles and mountaineering gear. Weighing in at only 1.3kg and providing a whopping 25L of storage the Coulee has a solid design with a removable waist belt to mount neatly and comfortably on your back. It features Mystery Ranch’s innovative three zip design which allows quick access to its internal storage area meaning you don’t have to rummage through the top pocket. The Coulee 25 has a whole host of useful features which make going fast and light easy work. Built from 330D Robic nylon and with an internal frame sheet for rigidity it’s tough and robust while being comfortable with it’s micro adjuster allowing correct stand-off between the back and frame.

  • Internal HDPE frame sheet for rigidity and support
  • Mystery Ranch’s patented Futura Yoke easily micro adjusts to your torso length, allowing the proper amount of stand-off between the back and the frame
  • Zip lid pocket to organise essentials for quick and easy access
  • Zip pockets on the waist belt, which is removable for times when a waist belt is a hindrance rather than a help
  • Easy to reach water bottle pockets on either side of the pack
  • Hydration reservoir compatible
  • Double-layered bottom for long haul durability
  • Three zip design so you can almost entirely open out your pack and find the things you need
  • Tool loops for stowing hiking poles or ice tools
  • Front and side compression straps for a neat carry
  • Two vertical internal storage pockets to organise your kit
  • Weight: 1.3 kg
  • Volume: 25 L
  • Dimensions: 56 x 27 x 30 cm
  • 330D Robic nylon fabric
  • YKK® zippers
  • Sustainability Through Longevity – Mystery Ranch bags are designed and built to last a lifetime and are backed by a lifetime manufacturers warranty.
  • Global Initiatives – Since 2010, Mystery Ranch has supported Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) with in-kind product. WSF’s mission to manage and restore wild sheep populations across North America.
best-hiking-backpack-2021

Best High Capacity Backpack

Best backpack for maximum storage at the lowest possible weight for long hikes, wild camping or travelling

Scree 32L Backpack

£133.00

Mystery Ranch

If you require alot of equipment for your hikes or camp but also want quick and easy access then the Scree 32 Backpack has it all. Easy 3 zip main compartment opening along with a tough yet lightweight exterior built to last for long hikes along with space for a hydration reservoir.

  • Capacity 32L
  • Weight 1.3kg
  • Colours Black | Galaxy

The ultimate bag for travel and adventure

With a gigantic 32L of storage and weighing only 1.3kg the Scree 32 is the ultimate outdoor, travel or urban backpack for those who need space without the weight. Perfect for seasoned travellers this pack features Mystery Ranch’s super clever three-zip system that allows you to open the bag out for easy access to all your equipment and gear. Its double layered bottom along with lightweight 210 denier fabric provides ultimate protection for long haul journeys and hikes. Engineered to provide a toughened durable layer of protection from bashes and drops the Scree 32 is the ultimate travel companion wherever an adventure might take you. Featuring an easy setup for a hydration system, tool loops for trekking poles, compression straps, two vertical internal storage pockets, and a removable waist belt it really has it all.

  • Internal HDPE frame sheet for rigidity and support
  • Mystery Ranch’s patented Futura Yoke easily micro adjusts to your torso length, allowing the proper amount of stand-off between the back and the frame
  • Zip lid pocket to organise essentials for quick and easy access
  • Zip pockets on the waist belt, which is removable for times when a waist belt is a hindrance rather than a help
  • Easy to reach water bottle pockets on either side of the pack
  • Hydration reservoir compatible
  • Double-layered bottom for long haul durability
  • Three zip design so you can almost entirely open out your pack and find the things you need
  • Tool loops for stowing hiking poles or ice tools
  • Front and side compression straps for a neat carry
  • Two vertical internal storage pockets to organise your kit
  • Weight: 1.3 kg
  • Volume: 32 L
  • Dimensions: 64 x 29 x 23 cm
  • 210D Robic nylon fabric
  • YKK® zippers
  • Sustainability Through Longevity – Mystery Ranch bags are designed and built to last a lifetime and are backed by a lifetime manufacturers warranty.
  • Global Initiatives – Since 2010, Mystery Ranch has supported Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) with in-kind product. WSF’s mission to manage and restore wild sheep populations across North America.

Best British Backpack

Handmade in Yorkshire the Hilltop provides everything needed for daily commute to biking and long walks

Hilltop 28L Backpack

£114.95

Restrap

Waterproof and made to last Restrap have designed a true bag for life whatever the occasion. Handmade in Yorkshire, comfort and durability come together with high quality workmanship and everything you need including 28L of internal storage along with water bottle pockets and an additional top pocket.

  • Capacity 28L
  • Weight 700g
  • Colours Black | Olive | Navy | Grey

The ultimate protection from water, wind and rain for commuting, day trips and the outdoors

Engineered from a traditional British design the Hilltop Backpack provides a versatile bag for whatever challenge your day or adventure might hold. Handmade in Yorkshire from locally sourced materials the tough waterproof exterior will hold up to even the worst bumps or bruises. At the core of the Hilltops design is comfort and weighing in at only 700g with 28 litres of capacity it truly gives a lot for a little while being uncompromising in robustness and durability. Featuring multiple easy access pockets and compressions straps you can get everything you need in for a day or weekend of hiking or cycling. This locally sourced and British made cycling backpack will quickly become your go to bag for all your adventures.

  • Exceptional waterproof cycling backpack
  • Designed for everyday use, from commuting to hitting to the gym
  • Handmade in Yorkshire
  • Built from heavy-duty, waterproof nylon to protect against wind and rain
  • Mesh side pockets for water bottles
  • Easy-access pocket on the top
  • 28 litre main compartment
  • Includes an integrated rail to attach Restrap’s clip-in laptop and tablet sleeves safely and securely
  • Material: Heavyweight nylon
  • Weight: 700 g
  • 28 litre capacity
  • Material: Heavyweight nylon
  • Local manufacturing – Handmade in Yorkshire
  • Sustainability through longevity – Designed to last a lifetime of adventure
  • Locally sourced materials – 70% of materials come from UK suppliers
best-hiking-backpack-2021

Prefer something else?

There are of course a whole variety of backpacks, bags and rucksacks to choose from including other well known brands such as Osprey, Kelty and Mountain Hardwear. A backpack is a very personal choice and it has to suit your needs. If you can’t find something you like on this page why not pop over to WildBounds and browse their full backpack and rucksack collection which has other useful options such as bike bags, dry bags and carry on bags.