The Best Rucksack For Hiking UK (2021 UPDATED)

The Best Rucksack for Hiking UK (2020)

best-rucksack-for-hiking-uk

Whether you’re into hiking, camping or you’re just a general explorer in need of wanderlust, having a good hiking rucksack will pay dividends in the long run, especially for your back!

The best hiking rucksack will have plenty of space for all of your hiking gear, especially your camping tent, sleeping bag and our favourite bit of gear, the Jetboil.

Below is a guide to hiking Rucksacks, and the best ones that you can buy in the UK at the moment, from some top brands such as Osprey and Berghaus.

Best Rucksack for Hiking – Buyers Guide

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Buying a hiking rucksack is harder than it sounds! To find the appropriate type for your intended use, it takes a good deal of due diligence.

Certain features need to be kept in mind during shopping to ensure you walk home with the ideal choice of a product. So, you want to consider the following when searching for a hiking backpack:

What is the Right Size of Rucksack for a Hike?

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Typically, the appropriate size for a backpack will depend on the kind of adventure in question.

For instance, if you’re simply going on a day hike, you don’t need to carry too much stuff for an activity that’s going to last just a few hours.

In the same way, you can’t limit your supplies when you have to stay outside for a couple of days. Ideally, the right capacity would be around 15-30 liters, 35-50 liters, and 50+ liters for day hikes, weekend adventures, and multi-day trips respectively.

How Do You Know the Right Fit for a Backpack?

A rightly fitted backpack ensures that most of the weight you are carrying is optimally distributed through the lumbar support, as well as the hip belt.

This enables your chest to stay open and prevents back and neck pains that are mostly associated with distant hikes.

Furthermore, it encourages you to maintain a more upright and efficient posture as you walk. The key to figuring this out is to consider the length of your torso.

To make for the best fit for users, many rucksacks feature varying back sizes and offer a provision for adjustment of the bag’s length.

This means you should be aware of your torso length to choose the right backpack size for you.

You can either do this with a friend using a tape measure or find a specialist store with special measuring tools. Another thing to remember is that the bag’s hip belt should be fastened and secured over your hips while your shoulder straps are wrapped securely around the shoulders for optimal weight distribution.

What Key Features Should You Look for in a Rucksack?

For a day hiking backpack, some of the features that should interest you include a rain cover for any light showers that might ambush you on the trail, a sleeve where you can store your water bottle, and external stretch pockets to offer quick and easy access to any small items that you’ll need during your walk.

When it comes to backpacking, the important features will be things like latch points to attach accessories such as a roll mat, a sleeping bag compartment somewhere at the bottom of the bag, a breathable back system for increased carrying comfort.

How Much Should You Spend on a Hiking Rucksack?

The price of a rucksack will typically vary depending on what the bag is designed for. Some day hike bags will go for as little as 50 pounds but still offer the kind of performance you are after.

You may also find bags in the range of 70-90 pounds with a comprehensive set of features capable of coping with more demanding hiking adventures.

Larger backpack models can cost you anything in the range of £100, although specialist brands may cost between £130 and £150 pounds.

However, if you are going for the best models in the market, prepare to part with as much as £200 and above. The advantage of paying more is that you get extra features that you wouldn’t ordinarily find on a “normal rucksack”.

For instance, you get additional pockets, as well as sophisticated access options. The most important thing of all is that the backpack will have a better and more comfortable carry system.

The same is true for the quality of components and fabrics used to make the bag. Overall, the level of comfort will be on the next level, and the versatility to handle rigorous and regular use maximized!

Best Rucksacks for Hiking UK- Reviews

reviews

Osprey Men’s Atmos AG 65 Backpack

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Osprey is world-famous for its high-quality outdoor gear, and the Atmos is among its best offerings in the market. It offers convenient adjustability with 4 compression straps that not only help to stabilise the load but also spread its weight throughout your back. If you’re looking of plenty of space for your trail camera or other electronics, this is the rucksack for you!

A top-loading main compartment integrates 3D-suspension contouring that enhances ventilation for your hiking comfort and helps to keep your upper body mobile.

Although this is not the latest bag from the manufacturer, it comes with Osprey’s Anti-gravity system to make it as lightweight as possible. The bag feels like it’s almost floating on your back, meaning no hot spots are forming to make you uncomfortable or lumbar pain even after miles on the trail.

This design also comes in handy in hot and humid conditions by facilitating breathability while the incorporated FlapJacket keeps your belongings safe from bad weather when not in use.

You also get a removable floating lid with two zippered pockets where you can store small items while a front stretch mesh pocket and two ice tool loops complete the design of the exterior.

A stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment is conveniently included for hikers and the sternum strap comes with a safety whistle, as well as a hydration sleeve that can carry up to 3 litres.

The only grievance on the Osprey Atmos is that its hip belt pockets can be a little bit tricky to open or close with one hand. Also, the bag is stacked with features that put it on the heavier side of rucksacks in its range.

Pros
  • Good durability
  • Numerous storage options
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Great lumbar support
Cons
  • Slightly heavy
  • Not waterproof

Osprey Europe Men’s Levity

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If you’re looking for a lightweight that will make it easy for you on the trail, the Osprey Levity is a great choice that will maximise your mobility during a hike.

It borrows the best features from the Osprey Eja and Exos backpacks, including construction out of ultra-lightweight materials that keep its weight at a minimum. It also carries Osprey’s trend on a commitment to comfort by integrating a stretch mesh back panel. This offers exceptional ventilation at ease even while hiking under hot conditions.

For a 60-liter bag, the Levity is incredibly light but it doesn’t feel like it compromised much to achieve this. The rucksack still features a real metallic frame with a sturdy structure and more than decent ventilation around the mesh back panel.

A 200-denier nylon fabric covers the better part of the pack offers durable protection. While it may feel a little bit stiff at first, the bag typically loosens after a few days of use so that the mesh area acts as a shock absorber.

The outers shell feels reliably solid while the inner fabric is designed to be relatively thin. As such, you want to treat it with care and avoid storing sharp items for longevity.

One of the tradeoffs for the lightweight design of the Levity is the exclusion of side pockets, which makes carrying water bottles a challenge. Other than that, this will be a nice choice when you have a lot to bring on the trail.

Pros
  • Solid frame structure
  • Very lightweight and comfortable
  • Sturdy outer fabric
  • Breathable mesh on the back panel
Cons
  • No side pockets

Berghaus TwentyFourSeven Plus 30

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The first thing you should know about the Berghaus TwentyFourSeven is that it’s not a big carrier, so it is better suited for weekend hikes where you don’t have much to carry. However, it comes with various impressive features that should interest you.

For instance, the bag is pretty lightweight for those who like to remain light on their feet during an excursion. You can even strip off a further 100g if you want to further reduce the weight, although it shouldn’t make much of a difference.

Essentially, Berghaus designed a bag with the top-end alpine attributes of an extreme sports backpack, but at a decent price range and excluding the use of graphene or Kevlar to save a few grams.

This makes it a more worthwhile choice than more expensive models in the market. The major selling point of this bag is the perfect balance between weight and capacity.

With its 30-liter capacity, the rucksack is ideal for summer escapades, serious single-day hikes, as well as more demanding adventures in the mountains.

Overall, it is pretty versatile and will come in handy for the different hiking adventures you decide to set out on.

Other important features on the bag include a hip belt to help secure your load, side bottle pockets, a hydration sleeve, as well as a flask harness pocket at the front. Lastly, it has a unisex design that can be used by whoever and whenever!

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Side pockets
  • Versatile design
  • Practical on various outdoor adventures
Cons
  • Limited storage

Osprey Exos 58

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The Osprey Exos 58 is an extremely lightweight rucksack, but its no-nonsense construction makes it a versatile choice for a range of adventures including hiking, backpacking, and other multi-day excursions in the wild.

It is arguably the best rucksack for hiking uk trails when it comes to practicality on the trail. Technically, the Exos is a minimalist backpack, considering that it only weighs 2.7lbs.

It may not have the capacity of a fully-fledged rucksack but it can carry a decent load for those planning a weekend getaway in the outdoors. A light wire aluminium frame in the bag delivers great lumbar support by distributing the weight evenly across your back.

Thanks to the AirSpeed 3-D mesh back panel, you will enjoy excellent breathability to remain comfortable when temperatures on the trail rise.

You also get 5 inches of air space between the bag and your back, so no need to worry about back and neck pain after the adventure.

On the sides, dual-access stretch mesh pockets have been integrated to provide convenient storage for water bottles and any other hiking gear you might be carrying.

Compression straps help to secure the load in place while the bottom of the bag features attachment areas for tents or sleeping pads using extra compression straps.

However, you can remove the straps if you want to shed off some weight. For the icing on the cake, the manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee when you buy the Osprey Exos 58, which is why many outdoor adventurers trust in its quality.

Pros
  • Very lightweight
  • Not too bulky
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Sturdy aluminum frame
  • Versatile functionality
Cons
  • Not suitable for long trips

The North Face Surge Backpack

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The North Face Surge rucksack was designed to keep you light on your feet. It is just what you need to maintain your mobility on the trail and comes with the build to support that.

In essence, the rucksack offers more room than the majority of trail-running packs in the market yet maintains a closer fit than most standard commuter packs, making it the ideal choice for short-distance and relatively friendlier hikes.

It is sleek enough to attend meetings and features dedicated fleece-lined pockets where you can safely stow away your laptop, phone, or tablet.

A FlexVent suspension system on the Surge boasts mould injected shoulder straps to ensure comfort when carrying the bag while a padded mesh back panel offers plenty of ventilation.

There is also a wicking lumbar panel for maximum support. Underneath the business-like outer shell of the pack is a well-constructed suspension system that offers great support for the load, with easily adjustable straps to prevent shifting around when walking.

You still get a reflective bike-light loop, water bottle tables, and a shoulder strap to deliver 360 degrees of reflectivity.

At 31L of capacity, the Surge is relatively larger than most distance running packs, which only enhances the number of items you can carry.

It is also made out of water-repellent fabric to shield your belongings against wetness. Overall, it is a nice choice for those searching for the best rucksack for hiking UK.

Pros
  • Perfect for office and short weekend trips
  • More capacity than average backpacks
  • FlexVent suspension system
  • Fleece-lined pockets
Cons
  • Straps not durable

Berghaus Freeflow 30

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You’d be hard-pressed finding a rucksack that is more practical than the Berghaus Freeflow 30 in the market at this price position.

Its most noteworthy features included a curved back, as well as a suspension system to enhance free airflow and prevent your back from getting sweaty when hiking in a hot environment.

The curved design proves handy when it comes to distributing the weight of the rucksack along your back, which prevents back pains after a whole day of hiking. However, it also prevents you from folding the pack away when you want to store it.

A hydration sleeve is also included to provide storage for water bottles that you’ll need in the middle of the hike. Its 30L capacity is great for medium hiking escapades, although you can find it in versions of 20L, 25L, 35L, and 40L.

You’ll also find great use in the included loops, which can serve as attachments for your trekking poles.

An integrated rain cover on the Freeflow 30 helps to protect your belonging from bad weather in case you get caught up by a torrential downpour.

Another major selling point of this backpack is the lifetime warranty offered when you buy it. This goes a long way to assure that you’re investing in a high-quality and durable product.

Pros
  • Highly breathable back
  • Curved design for weight distribution
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Rain cover
Cons
  • Not a great fit for multi-day adventures

Teton Sports Scout 3400

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The Teton Sports Scouts 3400 is among the most affordable rucksacks out there but comes with a range of high-performance features you’ll easily find on much pricier options in the market.

It has the durability to cope with a day of hiking under demanding conditions while guaranteeing your comfort thanks to a mesh lumbar support to go with lushly padded straps.

The rucksack is a nice fit for beginners who are still finding their footing in the world of hiking.

At 55L, this pack offers enough capacity to carry supplies that will sustain you for days on the trail. It is equipped with a rain cover that comes in handy in case of unexpected showers.

If you’re hiking in the winter season, you’ll appreciate the gear loops incorporated into the pack, where you can hang your ski poles or even ice axes. But given the cheap price of the Teton Sports Scout, you expect a couple of compromises as far as comfort is concerned.

For instance, your options are limited when it comes to adjustability, although the multi-position torso adjustment allows the bag to fit a variety of body sizes. Meanwhile, the open-cell foam lumbar padding, as well as molded channels, enhance breathability and comfort.

Thick padded shoulder straps also help to keep you at ease when carrying a heavy load and multiple compartments offer unlimited storage options and strategic packing.

You also get a spacious sleeping bag compartment with gear loops where you can hang trekking poles and a rainfly to protect you from the rain.

Pros
  • Reliable durability
  • Good storage capacity
  • Ample padding for comfort
  • Support
Cons
  • Not waterproof
  • Slightly heavy

Mountaintop Hiking Backpack

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When going for a multi-day hiking adventure, getting a rucksack to carry all your essential becomes a priority. This giant rucksack from Mountaintop ensures that you’ll never run out of supplies for the duration of your outdoor stay. It boasts an 80-liter capacity that can carry all that you need and more.

It is so big that it allows you to hang your tent and sleeping bag on the exterior straps. What you’ll like most about this bag is that its price was reduced by half.

A water-resistant fabric forms its outer shell to offer protection from the rain and this is reinforced with a waterproof cover located in the lower pocket of the bag.

Eight compression straps of the Mountaintop hiking rucksack prove crucial when you want to hold the load in place and balance its weight on your back. You can also use them to suspend other hiking gear such as a tent or sleeping bag.

Thanks to zipped front access to the main compartment, arranging your belongings inside the bag becomes an easy affair. There are also multiple mesh pockets for enhanced organisation and easy access to items while on the trail.

This bag is also hydration system compatible and features a water bladder on the side to make sure that you don’t die of thirst when the temperatures get hot.

The unisex design of the bag ensures that both men and women will feel right at home with it. It also offers torso length adjustment to let you achieve the perfect fit before setting out for your hike.

Eight stage height adjusters on the rear end of the bag are secured in place by a thick hardened area, as well as lushly padded Velcro shoulder straps and hip belt to enhance the circulation of air in the back region.

But with such a large capacity for a rucksack, the problem comes when you have to manage the weight during s hike. It can get -pretty heavy, especially when you fill it to the brim. So, you want to watch out for this when packing your luggage.

Pros
  • Unlimited capacity
  • Eight compression straps
  • Thickly padded shoulder straps for comfort
  • Nice ventilation
Cons
  • May be overkill for most hikers

Conclusion

The right type of rucksack will be e great asset on the hiking trail. It allows you to carry all the supplies needed for adventure and enables you to stay comfortable without becoming a burden on the trail.

So, if you are in the market for the best rucksack for hiking in the uk, the models reviewed above have the profile to match most of the hiking adventures you can set out on.

FAQ

What is the Difference Between a Backpack and a Rucksack?

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Despite the fact they are often used synonymously, just as the name suggests, a backpack is simply a pack that you can carry on your back. It comes with two shoulder straps and is made out of crafted canvas or leather to fit adventures such as hiking, traveling, and day-to-day adventures.

However, the shoulder straps used on a backpack are not designed to cope with a lot of weight; this responsibility is left for the hip belt. The right type of backpack features a hip belt that helps to spread the weight of the load from the shoulders to the hips.

This way, you can save yourself the back pain associated with carrying heavy loads.

On the other hand, a rucksack is a type of backpack designed for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.

It is equipped with a fair share of pockets to enhance the storage capacity and straps to attach the load snugly to your body.

Normally, you’ll find extras like chest belts and hip belts on a rucksack that may not necessarily be on a backpack. This helps with weight distribution and proves crucial during those long hiking adventures.

The major differentiating feature is the inclusion of a cinched top on most rucksacks. This allows for convenience when it comes to opening and accessing the contents. Other than that, they both serve the same purpose of helping you to carry your load.

Do I Need a Gender-Specific Rucksack?

Some rucksacks come with a gender-specific design. Overall, the design or the shape, size, as well as the intended position make them suitable for either men or women.

Typically, women’s rucksacks tend to have rounded “S” shaped straps and the hip straps sit a little higher while men’s rucksacks are more parallel. Generally, rucksacks meant for women are shorter.

When it comes to choosing a hiking rucksack, you shouldn’t be limited by your gender. If you find a model that fits you correctly, then your comfort is what matters the most.

Nevertheless, you must find the right fit for a rucksack as this puts your comfort on the line. It also ensures that you avoid injuring your back after a long day of hiking.

How Do I Pack My Hiking Backpack for Air Travel?

If you’re going on a hiking trip in a foreign land, chances are you will fly to your destination. This means you may have to carry your rucksack into the plane, so the packing has to be done practically and comfortably. You want to keep your rucksack as lightweight as possible when you board the plane.

This is something you can achieve by packing lightly and leaving out any unnecessary items that you’ll be able to buy when you get to your destination. You can as well wear your hiking clothes since these will usually occupy the bulk of the space in your rucksack.

Another aspect to focus on is the order of packing. Ideally, non-essential items should go in first, as well as lightweight ones. This way, there will be optimal weight distribution and your pack will have a more stable foundation.

Consider packing the sleeping bag, headlamp, any extra pair of shoes, as the first items then electronic gadgets should be in the middle to get cushioned from either side.

While this is a nice way of packing electronics, it will be better if you put them in a protective sleeve to prevent dents, scratches, and other kinds of damage.

Lastly, you can store the in-flight essential at the top pockets of your rucksack for easy access whenever you need them during the flight. These can range from anything like a phone charger and snacks to a toiletry bag and personal documents. Also, remember to abide by any TSA guidelines provided when it comes to flying with a hiking rucksack.

Are Hiking Backpacks Waterproof?

Although most hiking rucksacks are designed with a water-resistant membrane, not all of them are truly waterproof. In most cases, manufacturers use either nylon or polyester fabrics to prevent your pack from getting lodged with water.

They also go a long way in keeping the weight of your bag at a minimum by preventing wetness inside, which may alter the weight of some items. If you are not sure of your rucksack’s weather resistance abilities, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure this.

For instance, you can put a rain cover over the pack, which is normally stuffed inside the tiny pocket at the bottom of the backpack. However, a rain cover offers limited protection given its thin construction. This also means that it may easily get ripped or get snagged on foliage.

Alternatively, you can line the interior of your rucksack with a plastic bag to make it more water-resistant. Just make sure that you choose a plastic bag that is larger than your pack as this will give you the flexibility to tuck in all the corners without running out of the plastic bag.

Lastly, you can find dry sacks and zip lock bags to protect essential items from getting wet. However, this can be cumbersome if you have so many items that need protection from wetness.

The best thing to do if you want to avoid all the trouble is to invest in a high quality waterproof hiking rucksack when you go shopping!

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backpack