The Best Budget Hiking Backpacks in the UK 2023

Hitting the trails with inadequate gear can ruin a hike. But quality backpacks built for the rigors of the outdoors don’t come cheap. Is it possible to get a comfortable, durable backpack that has all the right features without spending a fortune? Absolutely! We review the best budget hiking backpacks available in the UK that provide excellent value. Learn what to look for in an affordable pack, from torso adjustability to lightweight yet robust fabrics.

Discover brands like Regatta and Decathlon that offer low-cost backpacks ready to withstand even the most rugged UK terrain without breaking your budget. Let’s explore how you can equip your adventures without breaking the bank!

Understanding the Importance of a Good Hiking Backpack

Before we delve into the world of budget hiking backpacks, it is essential to understand why having a good quality backpack is crucial for your hiking adventures. A hiking backpack serves as your companion, carrying all your essentials comfortably while distributing the weight evenly on your body. It provides stability and reduces strain on your back and shoulders, allowing you to enjoy your hike without discomfort or fatigue.

Imagine embarking on a challenging hike without a proper backpack. You would have to carry your belongings in your hands or stuff them into a regular bag, which would quickly become uncomfortable and impractical. A good hiking backpack, on the other hand, is designed specifically for outdoor adventures, with features that cater to the needs of hikers.

One of the key benefits of a hiking backpack is its durability. When you’re out in nature, you need a backpack that can withstand the elements and rough terrain. High-quality backpacks are made from materials such as nylon or polyester, which are known for their strength and resistance to wear and tear. With a durable backpack, you can confidently navigate through rocky trails and dense forests, knowing that your belongings are safe and secure.

Key Features to Look for in a budget Hiking Backpack

When searching for a budget hiking backpack, keep an eye out for these important features:

  1. Durability: Look for backpacks made from high-quality materials that can withstand wear and tear. A backpack with reinforced stitching and sturdy zippers will ensure that it lasts for many hiking trips to come.
  2. Capacity: Consider the size and volume of the backpack so that it can accommodate all your hiking essentials. Look for multiple compartments and pockets to help you stay organized on the trail.
  3. Comfort: Look for padded shoulder straps and back panels for enhanced comfort during long hikes. A backpack with adjustable straps will allow you to find the perfect fit for your body, reducing strain and preventing discomfort.
  4. Adjustability: Opt for backpacks with adjustable straps and hip belts to ensure a customized and secure fit. This will help distribute the weight evenly across your body, preventing any one area from bearing too much pressure.
  5. Water-resistance: Consider backpacks with water-resistant materials to protect your belongings from unexpected showers. Look for backpacks with a rain cover or a waterproof lining to keep your gear dry in wet conditions.

By paying attention to these key features, you can find a hiking backpack that meets your needs without breaking the bank. Don’t let the word “budget” fool you into thinking that you have to compromise on quality or functionality. Many reputable outdoor brands offer affordable backpack options that deliver excellent performance and durability.

Why Budget Doesn’t Mean Compromising on Quality

Many people believe that budget hiking backpacks lack the necessary quality and features. However, thanks to advancements in technology and manufacturing processes, you can now find budget hiking backpacks that offer exceptional quality and functionality. Outdoor gear companies have recognized the demand for affordable options and have responded by creating backpacks that cater to budget-conscious hikers.

These budget backpacks may not have all the bells and whistles of their high-end counterparts, but they still provide reliable performance and durability. By focusing on the important features mentioned above, you can find a backpack that meets your needs without breaking the bank. Remember, it’s not always about the brand name or the price tag; it’s about finding a backpack that suits your hiking style and requirements.

So, the next time you’re in the market for the best budget hiking backpacks, don’t dismiss the budget options. Take the time to research and read reviews, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the quality and value you can find within your budget. With a well-chosen backpack on your shoulders, you’ll be ready to tackle any trail and create unforgettable hiking memories.

Top 5 Best Budget Hiking Backpacks Available in the UK

Now that we understand the significance of a good hiking backpack and why budget-friendly options can still provide quality, let’s take a closer look at some of the best backpacks available:

1. Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack 20 Litre

Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack 20 Litre current price £52, buy here.

Osprey Daylite 20L budget hiking backpack


The Osprey Daylite Plus daypack provides a lightweight and comfortable 20L option ready for trails, travel, and everyday use. The ventilated mesh back panel and padded shoulder straps provide a breathable, sweat-free carry. Dual stretch mesh pockets and an organizer panel keep your phone, jacket, and other essentials close at hand. The durable ripstop fabric withstands snags and abrasions while the removable webbing hip belt adds stability when moving fast. At just 0.49kg, it’s an easy grab-and-go pack for active lifestyles


2. The North Face Borealis Backpack 28 Litre

The North Face Borealis Backpack 28 Litre current price £80. Buy here.

The North Face Borealis backpack 28L


An excellent mid-size backpack suited to commuting and day hiking, the 28L North Face Borealis features the FlexVent suspension system which uses padded mesh for comfort and ventilation. The foam back panel and shoulder straps cushion loads while a removable waist belt prevents bounce. With a 15″ laptop sleeve, water bottle pockets, and front organizer section, your tech and hiking gear stay organized. While reasonably priced around £80, the Borealis remains durable and practical thanks to the 600D polyester canvas fabric


3. Mountain Top 40 Litre Backpack

The Mountain Top 40L backpack current price £48. Buy here.

Mountain Top 40L budget hiking backpack


The Mountain Top 40L backpack is a great value choice for Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, scout trips, and budget multi-day hiking where durable storage trumps weight. The 600D ripstop polyester can withstand heavy loads and abrasive wear. Load-lifter straps and a padded mesh back panel aim for comfortable carrying. Side and front daisy chains allow custom lashing of gear. Priced at around £48, the Mountain Top backpack provides ample and rugged 40L capacity perfect for youth groups and stretched family budgets


4. Berghaus Twenty-Four Seven Plus 30 Litre

Berghaus Twenty-Four Seven Plus 30 Litre current price £50. Buy here.

Berghaus 30l twentyfourseven plus backpack


Striking an optimal balance between weight, features and value, the Berghaus Twenty-Four Seven Plus 25L backpack suits adventure racers and ultralight hikers. Despite weighing just 530g, the ripstop fabric withstands abrasions while the ventilated back system enables sweat-free comfort even at race pace. Front and lower zip access enables easy packing and access on the go. Attachment points and bungee cords allow customization for your gear. For around £50, the 30L provides technical performance without the high price tag. 


5. Deuter Speed Lite 20 Litre Hiking Backpack

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Litre Hiking Backpack current price £75. Buy here.

Deuter Speed Lite 20l hiking backpack


Weighing just 700g, the ultra-lightweight 20L Deuter Speed Lite backpack focuses on delivering highly breathable comfort during fast and light pursuits like adventure racing, multipitch climbing, and minimalist hiking. The airy mesh back panel, low profile athletic cut, and easy-access pockets make it ideal for moving fast over varied terrain. While priced higher at around £75, the pack is oriented towards competitive athletes prioritizing keeping cool over heavy load hauling. For ounce counting speed-focused hikers, the deuter speed lite hits the sweet spot


The winner is…

After reviewing this great selection of lightweight backpacks, we’ve chosen the Berghaus Twenty-Four Seven Plus 30L as our top recommendation and taking the title of ‘Best budget hiking backpacks’. Offering versatile 30 litre capacity and a dialled-in comfortable carry system, it’s a superb choice for day hiking and weekend trips.

The BioFit back panel and shoulder harness provide exceptional comfort and breathability thanks to the ventilated mesh and foam construction. The 600D polyester withstands abrasions while staying light. Front organizer and side pockets keep essentials handy.

While not excessive capacity, the 30 litre volume enables you to pack clothing, gear, and supplies for overnight excursions and camping weekends. The pack also works well for commuting and school use thanks to the laptop sleeve and organizer.

For these reasons, we think the Berghaus Twenty-Four Seven Plus 30L backpack hits the optimal balance of features, storage space, durability and weight for technical day hiking and overnighting in comfort. It gets our vote for the best all-around pack and is one of the best hiking backpacks out there.

Berghaus 30l twentyfourseven plus backpack

How to Properly Pack Your Hiking Backpack

Now that you have chosen the perfect budget hiking backpack, let’s explore how to pack it efficiently to maximize comfort and convenience.

When embarking on a hiking adventure, the way you pack your backpack can make all the difference. Not only does it affect your overall comfort, but it also impacts your ability to access essential items quickly. By following a few simple guidelines, you can ensure that your backpack is packed in a way that optimizes weight distribution and organization.

Distributing Weight Effectively

When packing your backpack, distribute the weight evenly by placing heavier items closer to your back. This positioning helps maintain balance and prevents strain on your shoulders. Imagine the weight of your backpack as a pendulum, with your spine as the central axis. By keeping the heaviest items close to your body, you create a stable and comfortable centre of gravity.

Additionally, it’s essential to adjust the backpack’s straps to ensure a snug fit. The shoulder straps should be tightened enough to keep the weight close to your body, reducing unnecessary movement. The hip belt should sit comfortably on your hips, transferring the weight from your shoulders to your lower body. By properly adjusting the straps, you can minimize the strain on your back and shoulders, allowing you to hike for longer periods without discomfort.

Essential Items to Pack for a Hike

While the specific gear you pack may vary based on the length and intensity of your hike, there are some essentials that should always be considered:

  • Water bottle: Hydration is crucial, so always carry a sturdy water bottle. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and even heatstroke, so it’s essential to have a reliable source of water with you at all times. Consider investing in a water bottle with a built-in filter for easy refills from natural water sources.
  • Weather-appropriate clothing: Mother Nature can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to pack extra layers, rain gear, and sun protection. Even on a seemingly sunny day, the weather can change rapidly, leaving you exposed to unexpected rain or chilly winds. Layering allows you to adjust your clothing as needed, ensuring that you stay comfortable and protected throughout your hike.
  • Navigation tools: Getting lost in the wilderness can be a daunting experience, so it’s essential to bring a map, compass, or GPS device to help you navigate unfamiliar trails. While relying on technology can be convenient, it’s always wise to have a backup plan in case of battery failure or signal loss. Familiarize yourself with the map and route before setting off, and consider bringing a guidebook or trail description for additional information.
  • First aid kit: Accidents happen, even to the most experienced hikers. Be prepared with a well-stocked first aid kit that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may need. Additionally, consider taking a basic first aid course to learn essential skills such as wound care, CPR, and how to handle common hiking-related injuries.
  • Snacks and meals: Hiking requires energy, so it’s crucial to pack nutritious, lightweight snacks and meals to keep your energy levels up during your adventure. Opt for high-protein snacks like nuts, energy bars, and jerky, and pack meals that are easy to prepare on the trail, such as dehydrated backpacking meals. Don’t forget to pack enough food to sustain you for the duration of your hike, taking into account any potential delays or unexpected circumstances.

By packing your hiking backpack thoughtfully and including these essential items, you can embark on your hiking journey with confidence and peace of mind. Remember to always check the weather forecast, inform someone of your hiking plans, and practice Leave No Trace principles to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in the great outdoors.

Red and black hiking backpack

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Hiking Backpack

To keep your hiking backpack in top condition, proper maintenance and regular cleaning are essential.

Regular Maintenance Tips

Regularly inspect your backpack for any signs of wear and tear, such as loose stitching or damaged buckles. Repair or replace these components promptly to prevent further damage. Additionally, store your backpack in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Deep Cleaning Your Backpack

After a particularly muddy or sweaty hike, it’s crucial to give your backpack a deep clean. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a mild soap or detergent to clean the backpack’s exterior and interior. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly and allow it to air dry before storing it.

Making Your Hiking Backpack Last

By following a few simple practices, you can extend the lifespan of your budget hiking backpack:

Proper Storage Techniques

Always store your backpack in a clean and dry environment. This will help prevent the growth of mould or mildew, which can deteriorate the materials and cause unpleasant odours. If you’ve been hiking in wet conditions, make sure to thoroughly dry your backpack before storing it. Hang it up in a well-ventilated area or use a fan to expedite the drying process.

Avoid leaving your backpack compressed for long periods, as this can damage the materials and affect its overall integrity. When not in use, loosen all the straps and allow the backpack to regain its natural shape. This will help prevent unnecessary stress on the fabric and ensure that the backpack maintains its original structure.

Additionally, periodically check and tighten any loose straps or buckles to maintain their functionality. Over time, these components may become loose due to regular use or exposure to the elements. By tightening them, you can ensure that your backpack remains secure and comfortable during your hikes.

Repairing Common Backpack Issues

If you notice any minor damages, such as a small tear or a loose strap, take the time to repair them promptly. Ignoring these issues can lead to further damage and compromise the overall performance of your backpack.

Many backpacks come with repair kits or patches, making it easier to fix minor ailments and prevent them from worsening. These kits often include adhesive patches that can be used to mend small tears in the fabric. Simply clean the damaged area, apply the patch, and press firmly to ensure proper adhesion. For loose straps or buckles, you may need to use a sewing kit or replace the component entirely.

Regularly inspect your backpack for any signs of wear and tear. Check the seams, zippers, and straps for any fraying or weakening. By catching these issues early on, you can address them before they become more significant problems.

Remember, taking care of your hiking backpack not only prolongs its lifespan but also ensures that it remains reliable and functional throughout your outdoor adventures. With proper storage techniques and timely repairs, you can continue to enjoy your budget backpack for many hiking trips to come.

Best budget hiking backpacks, blue and orange backpack on a rock

Picking the Best Budget Hiking Backpacks for You

In conclusion, finding the best budget hiking backpacks in the UK is not a daunting task. By prioritizing essential features, considering customer reviews, and exploring reliable brands, you can discover a backpack that suits your needs without breaking your budget. Remember to pack smart, maintain your backpack regularly, and store it properly to ensure years of enjoyable hiking adventures.

Make sure to fill your budget hiking backpack with everything you need before your next trip! Its always recommended to have a GPS on long hikes, you check out our review on the 10 best navigation devices here. For Bushcraft adventures as long as you are on private land and following the laws why not add a new Camping Knife or Camp Axe to your hiking backpack.

Common Budget backpack FAQ’s

  1. What is the best daypack budget backpack?

    Striking an optimal balance between weight, features and value, the Berghaus Twenty-Four Seven Plus 25L backpack suits adventure racers and ultralight hikers. Despite weighing just 530g, the ripstop fabric withstands abrasions while the ventilated back system enables sweat-free comfort even at race pace.

  2. What is the best multi day budget hiking backpack?

    The Mountain Top 40L backpack is a great value choice for Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, scout trips, and budget multi-day hiking where durable storage trumps weight. Priced at around £48, the Mountain Top backpack provides ample and rugged 40L capacity.

  3. What is the best all round hiking backpack?

    Either the Berghaus Twenty-Four Seven Plus 25L backpack or the Osprey Daylite Plus daypack. Both coming in between 20 and 25L they are ideal for day hikes and trips. Both being well made and popular brands but with affordable price tags.