Backpacker is a nebulous term. It can describe hostel-hopping budget travelers or multi-day hikers who sleep deep in the wilderness. Both carry their belongings on their backs, but the stuff they bring, the places they go, and the plans they make wildly differ. So should their packs. Whether you’re planning a Eurotrip or prepping for the Pacific Crest Trail, these are the best backpacker backpacks for every type of traveler.

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The best backcountry pack: Osprey Atmos AG 65L and Aura AG 65L

Backpacker backpacks Osprey Aura 65 Pack

Photo: REI

Osprey makes several of the best-selling wilderness packs on the market. Our recommendations for the average backpacker are the men’s Atmos AG 65L or women’s Aura AG 65L, which share an anti-gravity suspension system that makes hauls of up to 40 pounds feel surprisingly weightless. While you may prefer Osprey’s Aether and Ariel models for heavy loads, the Atmos and Aura are ideal for weeklong backpacking trips.

Price: $270.00

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The best travel backpack: Tortuga Setout 45L Backpack

Backpacker backpacks Tortuga

Photo: Tortuga

Tortuga’s easy-to-organize Setout zips open like a suitcase but comes with padded shoulder straps and a hefty hip belt like a hiking pack. Best for urban backpackers, the sleek yet understated Setout comes in two sizes: 35L, the carry-on limit for most international flights, and 45L, the maximum size for most domestic flights. According to reviewers, even the 35L is plenty spacious for trips as long as two months.

Price: $199.00

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The best thru-hiking pack: ULA Circuit

Backpacker backpacks ULA

Photo: ULA

ULA’s ultra lightweight Circuit has been the pack of choice for Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers three years in a row. Weighing just over two pounds, it can handle 68 liters and up to 30 pounds of gear, although optimal comfort maxes out around 15 to 25 pounds. The Circuit is also hyper durable, making it fit for any conditions and all four seasons.

Price: $279.99

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The best weekender backpack: Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

Backpackers Backpack Cotopaxi

Photo: REI

The Allpa is another great travel backpack with a suitcase-style zipper. It’s sportier than the Setout, which unlike the Allpa is not fully waterproof, although the Setout has a sturdier hip belt and shoulder straps for longer hauls. Depending on your packing style, the 35L may be generous for the average two-day trip, but the Cotopaxi also makes a 42L and 28L. Tough enough for rugged terrain yet stylish enough to parade down the street, the Allpa is the perfect go anything weekender, no matter where the weekend takes you.

Price: $200.00

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The best budget pack: Kelty Redwing

Kelty Backpack

Photo: Kelty

Quality adventure packs are expensive, averaging anywhere from $150 to $350. Kelty sells versatile, reliable backpacks for half or even a third of the cost of competing brands. The Redwing is among the most popular models, with a unisex design and space for all sorts of gear. It comes in various sizes, ranging from 22L to 50L.

Price: $149.95

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The best backpack for business travelers: Nomatic 40L Travel Bag

Backpack Nomatic

Photo: Nomatic

The Nomatic 40L Travel Bag was designed with laptop-carrying travelers in mind. It comes with a TSA-ready laptop sleeve, RFID safe pocket, and dedicated compartments for keeping your tech organized. There’s even a built-in laundry bag to help keep business travelers looking their best. The Nomatic 40L is also great for digital nomads who pack on the lighter side.

Price: $279.99

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The best duffel backpack: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag

Backpackers Backpack Duffel Patagonia

Photo: REI

Duffels are divisive. Sure, they’re roomy, they’re durable, they keep your stuff accessible, and they’re forgiving of bulky gear or equipment. But add on some shoulder straps, and the appeal of the duffel becomes one of the infinitely greater backpacker backpacks. Patagonia makes one of our favorites: the Black Hole. As the name suggests, it’s particularly great for chronic overpackers, especially the 55L.

Price: $139.00

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