I personally get achy back and sore shoulders if I’m wearing the wrong bag for hours. My belief if your already going to be struggling up a mounting and tiring yourself on a long hike. Why add an annoying bag on your back to the already tough day you have planned. So invest wisely into a comfortable backpack. Based on the backpack I have and others my friends have, I have listed 3 backpacks for what I would consider great backpacks for hiking.
Osprey Women’s Tempest 30 Hiking Pack
As I own this backpack, its got to be one of a favourites on the list 😊. This backpack is specifically designed for women. From my own observations. The differences between Tempest and the Talon (Men’s version) is 2 things. One the positioning of the chest strap, where sits on the chest. Secondly the positioning of the padding on the waist/hips.
The Tempest 30 has many useful pockets, hoops and straps to hold your items. This hiking backpack has an external hydration bladder compartment. This gives easy access to your hydration bladder i.e. if you need to refill it part way on your hike. I also found it stops your items getting so wet inside your bag if the water you put in is cold.
There is great padding around the waist where most of the weight sits which is very comfortable. It doesn’t dig into you which some bags I’ve had in the past do.
This bag also has an “Airscape” back system. This provides a bit of airflow to your back to reduce the “sweaty” back a little.
Currently, this bag comes in the colours shown below. I know Osprey changes the colours every few years so the colour I own is no longer available. The Tempest range comes in many sizes from 9 to 40 Litres. So if the 30 size isn’t quite right, there will be one that fits your requirements.
I will do a full review on this bag at a later stage.
Osprey Men’s Talon 33 Hiking Backpack
This bag is the Men’s version of the Tempest 30. Has all the same features, but the only difference is its slightly larger. Being a “33” instead of “30” means it holds 3 litres more.
My husband owns this one and agree’s its a very comfortable bag. He mentioned that he found it lighter in weight that the Lowe Alpine bags he’s tried.
Like the Osprey Tempest 30, the Talon 33 comes in a variety of colours (shown below) and sizes. The Talon backpack range starts from 11 to 44 Litres.
Osprey Hikelite 26 Hiking Back Pack
Our very good hiking friend owns this backpack. Unlike the Tempest and Talon, this is a Unisex bag. The Hikelite 26 is a complete different style to the ones above. The main differences are the size and the back system. This holds 26 litres so is smaller than the Tempest 30 and the Talon 33.
The back system which they call “Air Speed” has a mesh system which lifts the backpack completely off your back. Therefore it’s great if you get a very sweaty back. The two backpacks above do have a “Airscape” system which is better than your standard backpack. However this system just goes one step further. This “Air Speed” system does add a little bit more weight. So if weight is important to you, then the “Airscape” system might be a better choice for you.
The main factor for our friend choosing this bag is due to the size and back system. He does get quite (very) sweaty and doesn’t like the feeling of a wet back. So for him the main factory was the back system.
The second thing is he likes to travel as light as possible so only carries the bare minimum. Whilst I on the other hand like to prepare a little extra for those “just in case” moments.
The other reason for the different choices is that when storing things like jackets etc. I like to pack them inside my bag so nothing is dangling on the outside. Whilst my friend doesn’t mind items hanging off the bag.
Like the bags above, this Osprey Hikelite 26 comes in a number of colours shown below. Like the bags above, if this size isn’t quite right, then the Hikelite comes in 18 and 32 litres too.
The above three bags that I have listed so far, has been owned by myself or friends and family. We’ve owned these bags for years and that is why I can confidently say they are great bags.
The fact they are all Osprey is just because Osprey make great bags. I would 100% buy Osprey again when my bag breaks. However even though I’ve put my bag though a lot, it doesn’t show any sign its going to break any time soon.