Best Backpacks for Mountaineering

Edited by:

Issabella Emily

Updated by:

Issabella Emily

Similar to rock climbing and mountain biking, mountains are the key elements of
mountaineering. Although it may seem that mountaineering and rock climbing are the
same, but in general rock climbing is one of the skills used in mountaineering.
Mountaineering entails a wide variety of skills ranging from scrambling to climbing to
skiing. Climbing a mountain reminds us of the diversity of nature. As a benchmark of
achievement and success, reaching mountain summits is considered one of the
toughest and fulfilling achievements.

If you are ready for multi-day alpine expeditions, then don’t hurry, because
mountaineering is a lot more physically and mentally demanding than rock climbing.
With a variety of terrains (rocks, ice, and snow), mountaineers face bigger challenges.
But don’t worry, because if you hone your skills, condition yourself physically and
mentally, and most importantly, equip yourself with appropriate mountaineering gear,
you can be eligible for mountaineering!

The most important of all mountaneering gear, is the gear that carries it!

A solid backpack can be your best partner when you have no one around you. While climbing high mountain peaks, a backpack ensures that you have all the necessary supplies. It is your only friend that carries your load, without any complaints.

Selecting the best suitable partner for your mountaineering trip multiplies the thrill, excitement, and helps you get the most out of your experience. However, in the vast market of mountaineering backpacks, you can wreck your nerves in confusion.

To prevent something like that from happening, we have created this guide just for you!

In depth Reviews of top 7 Mountaineering Backpacks

1. Best Value: Osprey Mutant 52
2. Best Capacity: Gregory Denali 100
3. Best Weight to Volume: Arc'teryx Alpha FL 45
4. Best Budget: TETON Sports Explorer 4000
5. Best Durability: Mountain Hardwear Scrambler
6. Best for Women: Gregory Deva
7. Best Versatility: Deuter ACT Lite

Table of content

1. Criteria Used for Evaluation
2. Frequently Asked Questions

top 7 Mountaineering Backpacks

What to expect?

  • Climbing, Mountaineering, Snow Sports
  • Top Loading
  • Maximum weight – 52 lbs.

Having everything attached to your shoulders without feeling the actual weight seems like a dream come true!

Well, the Osprey Mutant 52, an enormous rucksack for snow climbing or mountaineering, providing 3000 cubic creeps of capacity, demands no extra weight! If you dive deep into this spacious backpack, you will find magical compartments for gear, clothing, dual ice tool attachments, and reinforced A-frame ski carry. Osprey’s ultimate fit allows you to focus on mountaineering, rather than worrying about your gear and supplies. Extra cushioned backpanels, hipbelt, and shoulder ties put too much effort in providing ultimate comfort to you. But with everything, the best part about this divine backpack is its customizable and strippable components. You can balance between lightweight and comfort whenever you want!

  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Additional Features
  • Rope attachment and internal compression
  • Removable top lid
  • Removable and interchangeable hipbelt
  • EVA laminated harnesses
  • Quick release upper side compression straps
  • Lower side compression straps
  • Snowshed fabric backpanel
  • Dual ToolLocks with bungee tie-offs
  • Front panel daisy chain for additional gear attachment
  • Three-point haul system
  • Internal hydration sleeve

Capacity

Weight

Hydration

Type

EST. Price

52l

3.4lbs.

Yes

Multi-day

200$

What to expect?

  • Massive capacity
  • Ultimate comfort
  • For expedition style

Are you ready to change your course from Alpine style mountaineering to Expedition style mountaineering?

Well, then don’t forget to take along Gregory Denali 100; your best partner for big expeditions!
Having a massive capacity of around 6000 cubic inches, this jumbo almost eats everything but never surfeits!
But capacity isn’t its only specialty. In terms of comfort, the Denali 100 is an ultimate provider. The suspension, framesheet, backpanel, and hipbelt are designed uniquely, in a way that your partner firmly clings on to you without you noticing it.

Your shoulders take a breath of relief whenever they see the Denali 100!

  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Additional Features
  • Strippable components for a customizable experience.
  • 3D precurved hipbelts and harness designed with multi-density LifeSpan EVA foam construction to eliminate hot spots and relieve pressure in sensitive areas.
  • FusionFlex Pro suspension with independently rotating harnesses for a custom fit.
  • Molded foam backpanel with Gription Lumbar pad to control large loads.
  • Front abrasion panel with twin reinforced daisy chains and Ice tool sleeve.
  • Top hook-and-loop and reflective ice tool attachment with adjustable bottom loop and aluminum toggle to fit any tool.
  • Floating top pocket with interior zippered compartment and an underside zippered pocket and key clip.
  • Reinforced top tubular webbing haul handle and large cording zipper pullers for easy use with gloves.
  • Quick access, side zippered pocket for maps and regularly used items.

Capacity

Weight

Hydration

Type

EST. Price

100l

6lbs.

Yes

Extended-trip

399$

What to expect?

  • Ultra-Lightweight
  • Highly water resistant
  • Ultimate Durability

Weighing less than 2 pounds, the FL 45 offers an ultra-lightweight experience. The bomber ripstop fabrics protect your gear and supplies from the rigors of ice and granite. The AC2 suspension system offers load support with minimal weight to relieve your back and shoulders from any tension, while the compression straps aids you in handling your load in tricky spots.
Waterproof fabric protects your gear and supplies from rough weather.

  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Additional Features
  • Adjustable, removable sternum strap
  • Cushioned backpanel and shoulder straps
  • Rigid, formed backpanel provides support and structure
  • Arc'teryx AC² (Advanced Composite Construction) technology system is seam taped and highly water resistant
  • Two ice axe loops
  • Internal security pocket
  • Six integrated front lash points

Capacity

Weight

Hydration

Type

EST. Price

45l

2lbs.

No

Weekend

290$

Distinctive Features

  • Low Price
  • Perfect fit
  • Hydration up to 3 liters

Low on Budget? Don’t worry we have got the best low budget backpack for you! With a massive space of 65l/3400 cubic inches, ultimate durability, and maximum comfort, this backpack surpasses your expectations and provides you a great value. The sturdy 600D ripstop and Canvas shell with compression straps stabilizes your load and fits perfectly on you. Multiple compartments help you organize your gear and supplies easily and efficiently.

  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Additional Features
  • Padded waist straps with wide locking hip straps
  • Contoured, adjustable, padded shoulder straps
  • Multi-position torso adjustments fit a wide range of body sizes
  • Aluminum stays are easy to access for adjustment
  • Front compression straps to secure sleeping bag, pad or tent
  • Side and lower gear loops for long item storage
  • Large side zippered pockets with weather-guard zippers
  • Separate sleeping bag compartment for easy sleeping bag access

Capacity

Weight

Hydration

Type

EST. Price

65l

5lbs.

Yes

Multi-day

87$

Distinctive Features

  • Extremely Durable
  • Waterproof compartment
  • Hydration sleeve

A mountaineering trip often includes wear and tear. Most backpacks lose their cool and get covered with holes. That’s why we have brought before you the god of durability; Mountain Hardwear Scrambler Outdry. As the name suggests this backpack can almost withstand anything you throw at it. It’s the type of backpack that isn’t easy to get rid of!

  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Additional Features
  • HardWave suspension conforms comfortably to the curve of your back and distributes weight evenly
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Side compression straps keep any size load stable
  • Padded shoulder straps provide excellent fit and comfort
  • Stowable webbing belt adds stability when needed
  • Adjustable sternum strap adds stability while on the move
  • Carry loops for ice axes or trekking poles
  • Reinforced gear loops on lower sides of pack offer clip points for climbing gear or carrying skis A-frame
  • Guaranteed watertight OutDry™ construction main compartment, rain room tested
  • Rope strap under top pocket
  • Two deep side pockets for water bottles or other gear

Capacity

Weight

Hydration

Type

EST. Price

25l

1lbs.

Yes

Weekend

140$

Distinctive Features

  • Pre-curved harness
  • Versatile shoulder straps
  • Heavily padded for maximum comfort

The Deva 60 is an ideal fit for women. With a female friendly pre-curved harness and hip belt, the backpack carries remarkably well. Even though the shoulder straps are broad, women with narrower shoulders don’t seem to have an issue with them. The Gregory Deva 60 is heavily padded to provide maximum comfort and mountaineering relief to women.

  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Additional Features
  • Women's Specific 3D Air hipbelts and harness designed with Gregory's precurved technology and multi-density LifeSpan EVA foam construction to eliminate hot spots and relieve pressure in sensitive areas.
  • Full body U-Zip main opening on front of the bag for easy unloading when you get to camp.
  • Custom comfort-grip molded zipper pulls.
  • Response A3 system and deliver weight to the ComfortGrip lumbar pad with removable LumbarTune pad to customize fit.
  • Matrix breathable backpanel with layered, multi-density foam for the right balance of support, airflow and cushioning.
  • H20 resistant WeatherShield hipbelt pocket with YKK AquaGuard® zipper for quick access to you phone or camera.
  • Stretch mesh side stash pocket large enough for a second water bottle, trekking poles, sandals, snacks, etc.
  • Double barrel top lid design with dual zippered pockets and a flexible center divider for larger items.
  • Dual adjustable attachment loops and upper shock locks for trekking poles or ice axes.
  • Four top pocket attachment points for solar or accessory attachment, plus dual lower attachment points.

Capacity

Weight

Hydration

Type

EST. Price

60l

4.6lbs.

Yes

Multi-day

300$

Distinctive Features

  • Versatile
  • Adequate Ventilation
  • For high-altitude Alpinism

Looking for a simple, affordable, and comfortable backpack? Well, then the Deuter ACT Lite is your best option!

The handy Aircontact Lite mountaineering backpack notches with its clever design and the seamless balance between carrying comfort, weight and ventilation. Adding on, the ground-breaking Aircontact Lite back system guarantees ideal moisture transfer, thus fashioning the optimum conditions for long trekking and high-altitude alpinism.

  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Additional Features
  • Aircontact System
  • Vari Quick System
  • Lightweight
  • X-frame
  • Padded hip belt
  • Adjustable sternum belt
  • Inner compartment for valuables
  • Elasticated inner compartment
  • Contact System
  • SOS label
  • Drinking system compartment
  • Walking pole holder
  • Ice Axe Attachment
  • Removable backpack lid
  • Fixing loops for the helmet holder
  • Adjustable straps
  • SL Women’s Fit
  • Expandable Volumes
  • Height adjustable lid
  • Bottom compartment

Capacity

Weight

Hydration

Type

EST. Price

70l

4.3lbs.

Yes

Extended-trip

230$

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

As a full-time partner while climbing, mountaineering, skiing, travelling, and other activities, backpack comfortability is mandatory. The enjoyment and excitement of mountaineering lasts longer only when you get full support from your backpack. Modern backpacks incorporate certain components that instill comfort to a backpack. Padded harnesses, straps, and backpanels are the major factors that contribute to a backpack’s comfort.

Stability

Stability and comfort are two inter-related factors. If a backpack is comfortable, then apparently it is stable too. Backpack components such as harnesses, framesheets, backpanels, and straps are accountable for stability along with comfort. The reason we have separated comfort and stability is to highlight unique backpack features. However, sometimes stability costs added weight, which can affect the comfort factor for some. Customizable backpacks with strippable straps and backpanels allow users to balance between comfort and stability according to their preferences.

Durability

The most vital feature of a backpack is its durability. Aforementioned all backpacks carry adequate durability and toughness for enhanced mountaineering experiences. Backpack material and fabrics play a key role in a backpack’s durability. Therefore, it is essential for a mountaineer to prioritize durability over comfort in every situation.

Weight to Volume Ratio

As the name suggests, weight to volume ration is the ratio of a backpack’s carrying capacity to its weight. Different backpack types have different carrying capacities. For example, a weekend backpack will have a carrying capacity between 30 to 50 liters, while an extended trip backpack (used for expedition style mountaineering) will have a carrying capacity of 70+ liters.

Additional Features

Additional features highlight backpacks for customers. Hydration, strippable components, waterproof covering, and security pockets are some examples of additional features.s

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I choose a backpack that best fits me?
A:First you have to decide why are you purchasing a backpack. If you want a backpack for your school going kid then you are at the wrong place! However, if you are a true mountaineer, and you are preparing for your first trip, then buy a lightweight backpack with a decent capacity. Alpine style trips require fast movement and have to be completed in one-go. Similarly, if you are planning an expedition trip then you have to go for the maximum volume.
Q: Why should I spend so much on a backpack?
A:A solid backpack can be your best partner when you have no one around you. While climbing high mountain peaks, a backpack ensures that you have all the necessary supplies. It is your only friend that carries your load, without any complaints. Selecting the best suitable partner for your mountaineering trip multiplies the thrill, excitement, and helps you get the most out of your experience.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

    Scroll to Top