Best Hiking Backpack



I started hiking in 2014 and since then me and two friends have been hiking ever since around the Gallatin National Forest in Montana.

best backpacks with lots of pockets


We’ve come across many people from hikers to photographers on our journeys.

It’s always still gives me a good laugh when I’m seeing people emptying there entire bag to find that one item they packed at the bottom.

Having the best backpack for hiking is extremely helpful.


Well you’ll be able to keep everything separate.  Plus you’ll have the most organized backpack ever.

But on a recent hiking trip a friend of mine used the new Peak Design Everyday Backpack and it left me pretty speechless.

First off I’d never even seen a backpack which featured full length zips down either side of the backpack.

And it just made sense

Who thought the best way to access your backpack was from the top?

No matter how many pockets you have you’re still having to fight to get the item which you packed at the bottom of your backpack.

But now he didn’t have to.

Whilst I was emptying my bag to get my lunch out, that was conveniently tucked half way down my bag.

He opened the zip from the side and pulled it out of its section without moving a single other item.

It made sense.


And as soon as I got home I ordered one. It came the next day and I was sat there peeling the Velcro dividers and altering the heights of each pocket to the right height to keep items super tight so they wouldn’t be rattling about as I’m walking. It also has a separate compartment at the top of the bag as well as a separate rear pocket suitable for a laptop.  Although I used it for my maps. So just to clarify what the backpack offered:

  • 20L or 30L worth of storage
  • Wrap-Around Zipper to access the top and both sides
  • Customizable internal dividers (custom to your needs)
  • Protected laptop sleeve (But I use it to carry my hiking maps)
  • 2 hidden straps to carry items on the bags exterior


Reasons to buy one of the best backpacks with lots of pockets

Why do you need one of the best backpacks with lots of pockets?


One of the best reasons for getting one of the best backpacks with lots of pockets is for organization.

  • Layout your items exactly how you want them
  • Separate items depending on their importance.
  • 100s of ways to structure your backpack

Having good organization of your backpack avoids the situation where you’ve got to empty your entire bag to find that one item that has conveniently found its way to the bottom.

Prevent Accidental Damage

Storing all the items in one section without any pockets is bound to lead to items getting damaged and broken. Pockets are normally protected with padded walls to avoid things like this happening. You can also prevent accidental damage even further by using soft towels to wrap any fragile items when placing them in the pockets. Top Tip: Try not to place to hard items next to each other.  For example try to avoid placing two camera lenses next to each other.  The force of them hitting each other as your walking can easily damage them.

Protecting Valuable Items

Having multiple pockets allows you to separate the valuable items and place them in the pockets that will take fewer knocks. And those pockets that are designed with more padding to protect valuable items. If you opt for a more expensive best backpacks with lots of pockets then some pockets will come with anti-theft security measures or hidden pockets. These are purposely designed to store valuable items.  Such as your wallet. If you’re going to be using the backpack for a specific use case then you’ll be best looking for a backpack designed for that use. They’ll be adapted for that use. This is because someone who hikes will have different thoughts on the important features compared to a traveller.

Helps to easily find items

We’ve all been there.  I have.  You more than likely have. You’ve gone to get that item out of your bag to find that it’s all the way at the bottom and your there in the middle of the public emptying your entire bag for that one small item.



Having a backpack with lots of pockets helps you to assign pockets to specific items so you know exactly where each item is. You’ll save yourself a lot of:

  • Time
  • Hassle
  • Embarrassment

Ideal Uses

Some of the best backpacks with lots of pockets have a lot of different ideal uses. From:

  • Students
  • Hikers
  • Photographers
  • Hunters
  • And the list goes on…


From a student’s point of view.  If you’ve got a backpack where your notebooks are in one section.  Their laptops in another section.  And their stationary is in another section.  It’s pretty much going to be a really organized backpack. From a hikers point of view.  You can store your first aid in one section, food in another section, navigation maps in another… You get where I’m coming from. Having a lot of pockets in your backpack makes everyone’s life so much easier no matter whether you’re a student going to college or a photographer looking to take his next shot. Basically I’m saying that anyone who gets benefits from organization will benefit from getting a bag with lots of pockets.

See some Cheaper Alternatives of the best backpacks with lots of pockets

Amazon Basics The amazon basic range is actually quite surprising when it comes to quality.  And we’re not just talking about backpacks.  Most of amazon’s basic range are extremely good value for money and shouldn’t be looked over. The backpack offers a lot of pockets and compartments to keep your goods organized. Holding up to a 17” laptop.  Suitable if you’re a student or using the backpack for work. A lot of the compartments are thin so it’s probably not suitable if you’ll be carrying around large items. The backpack is designed specifically for a student or worker.


Targus Legend IQ Like the amazon basics backpack the Targus Legend offers similar features. It is primarily designed for someone’s work or student backpack. With a dedicated laptop and tablet sleeve. The other pockets are designed to keep your books and stationary organized.

Direct Action Dragon Egg Moving away from the basic work and student backpacks.  We’re looking at tactical backpacks that can be used for hiking, hunting, and this specific backpack is designed to be a 2 day backpack. The design doesn’t attract a lot of attention with the slick black look. But it’s perfect for those hiking trips. The built in ventilation system will keep you cool on those hot summer days where you’re hiking for longer distances. With multiple compartments to keep on top of your organisation and fit all your gear in securely. The padded straps don’t rub on your shoulder and make the bag comfortable for carrying. Although it can be said you’ll have to watch how much you pack because it can start getting heavy with a 25 liter capacity.

Our Pick


Peak Design The new peak design backpack range is the one we recommend.  Although slightly more expensive than your standard backpack. It can be used for multiple different uses.  From being used for hiking and exploring to being used as the perfect carry-on bag. The modular design allows you to customise the internal structure.  And you’ll be able to access the backpack from the top and dual side zippers for instant access to all your gear.

The expandable storage design means the backpack can go from a standard 30L daypack to a 45L backpack for carrying a lot of items. For versatility and comfort this backpack will provide that in abundance. One small concern is it sometimes cannot fit under some airline seats if you expand to the maximum 45L.  Although it’s still classed as a carry on. But for hiking, this backpack is pretty much spot on for what you need.  Whether you’ll be using the small capacity for a short hike or expanding the capacity to store more items on the longer distance hikes.


Why Trust Us

As I noted at the start of this post me and two friends started hiking in 2014.  So although we may not be backpack experts. We’ve had our fair share of using multiple backpacks between us.  We understand how more pockets has the huge benefit of keeping your backpack organized. And the benefits that come with better organization is next to none to reduce the stress when you’re in need of that one item you cannot find. We’ve used backpacks with very few pockets and some with a lot of pockets. 

And from those tests we can quite rightly come to the conclusion that having a backpack with lots of pockets provides far more benefits and is worth the extra cash. But like I’ve mentioned the new style of backpack Peak Design have made with the side zips to access your entire backpack quickly and way more efficiently. And the customizable internal structure helps keep valuable items secure.

All the backpacks we’ve mentioned in this post also have hundreds, with some reaching thousands of positive reviews on large retailer’s websites. So we believe that you can trust us when choosing your next backpack, by the combination of our first-hand experience and the hundreds of people who’ve purchased and left positive reviews.

Looking for a specific use for your next backpack?

If you’re looking for you next student backpack for your textbooks and laptop.  Checkout our student backpacks recommendations here. Or if you’re looking for the next ultimate hiking backpack why not take a look at our recommendations here. If you’re looking for a hunting backpack for a specific use checkout one of the following articles if it matches your use below.

  • Backpack for storing meat
  • Backpack for hunting elk
  • Overnight hunting backpack

And finally, see our best waterproof daypack here.


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