10 of the best backpacks for your Scandinavian adventure
The Scandinavian landscape is the perfect place for an unforgettable hike. Hiking isn’t just a great way to exercise and get the blood pumping. It’s also an opportunity to see the amazing world around you from a new point of view.
The chances are that Scandinavia has been on your must-visit list for some time now.
Whether you’re visiting the volcanic landscapes of Iceland, impressed by the sprawling treks of Sweden, or determined to best the dramatic fjords of Norway, there’s something for everyone.
Planning the perfect hiking experience in the Scandi space means thinking carefully about everything from which season is best for you, to what kind of difficulty level you can manage.
Today, we’re going to be exploring some of the best hiking backpacks you can buy for your next trip.
Let’s get packing.
1. Kelty Journey PerfectFIT (best for parents)
Want to take your little one with you in your next hiking trip? No problem. The Kelty PerfectFIT trekking backpack delivers everything you need in a convenient package.
With a pioneering suspension system, this top hiking backpack adjusts to fit both mom and dad so that you can share the weight evenly on your trip.
There’s a five-point safety harness included, an aluminium roll cage, and an integrated sunshade, just in case it gets a little warmer on your summer hike. There’s a wide-seat base for your child, as well as adjustable foot stirrups.
Plus, you still get plenty of space to store all of your must-have items. Internal stretch pockets and hip belt pockets keep all your devices and water bottles easily accessible.
For a price of around $260, the Kelty Journey is one of the best hiking bags we’ve seen for active parents. It’s the perfect way to take your child with you to the great outdoors.
Kelty PerfectFIT suspension system
5-point safety harness
Multiple grab handles
Large zippered pocket
Internal stretch pockets
Reliable zippered hip pockets
We love the Kelty trekking backpack for a comfortable solution for parents on the move. However, we did note that it might be a little heavy for smaller people.
The best hiking backpacks don’t have to be huge to be effective. Sometimes, if you’re taking a gentle walk around the natural parts of Sweden or Denmark, you need something durable, robust, but also lightweight.
That’s where the Oakley Men’s Kitchen Sink backpack comes in.
Ideal for life on the move, this backpack comes with a strong zipper closure and polyurethane lining. There’s a hard protection compartment for your phone or iPod.
Every part of the backpack also comes covered in abrasion-resistant fabric to keep your items safe. The bottom of the backpack has a dedicated shoe compartment for switching between normal and hiking shoes too.
With a padded side-access panel, you can take your laptop with you on camping trips. Plus, the front pocket has various organization pockets to help you find the things you need fast. For attaching extra accessories, the Oakley even comes with three reinforced clip enclosures.
Oakley has thought of everything with this all-in-one backpack. It comes with everything you need for a comfortable, and lightweight travel companion. What’s more, there’s enough capacity for all the tools you might need — including hiking shoes!
One downside is that the top carry handle isn’t quite as thick and durable as it could be.
Outfitted with serious hardware and versatile storage options, the Kitchen Sink Backpack is a complete package with a heavy-duty appeal. Specialized pockets both inside and out help to organize all items from your laptop to the kitchen sink.
3. The North Face Terra backpack (best for camping)
The North Face Terra backpack is one of the most durable and versatile trekking backpacks around. If you’re looking for a good hiking backpack that can withstand any outdoor excursion, the North Face Terra has you covered.
The lightweight material throughout makes it easier to carry all of your essential equipment without any excess weight.
The comfortable back panel doesn’t rub or knock against your spine when you’re walking, Plus, there’s a floating lid, so you can store more items in your bag if necessary.
There’s even a large front stash pocket, where you can store things like water bottles, and other items you need easy access to.
Not only is the North Face backpack versatile, but it’s also reliable too. This product comes with a full warranty from North Face, so you know you’re getting quality.
Berghaus is one of the most popular brands in the athletic world for a reason. If you’re looking for the best backpacks for hiking, it makes sense to start with a company that knows all about the great outdoors.
The Trailhead backpack is one of the most spacious and reliable rucksacks on the market. It comes with up to 65 liters of storage space for your trekking must-haves.
The inside and outside of the Trailhead backpack comes with pockets and zippers to keep wet and dry gear apart. The water-proof sections means that you don’t have to worry about a damp coat ruining your clothing.
There are also various attachment points for water bottles and trekking poles on the outside of the bag too.
The most impressive feature of the Berghaus Trailhead is how well it fits. Designed to give you the perfect customized carrying experience, the Berghaus doesn’t rub against your shoulders and cause discomfort.
Packed full of features, the Berghaus Trailhead Rucksack is a great value multiday backpack. Simplicity and comfort are key so the Trailhead pack makes good use of the BIOFIT backsystem for easy adjustment on the move for the most comfortable fit.
Carrying a heavy pack can easily wear you down, and make it harder to enjoy the beauty of the location you’re hiking in. That’s why the best hiking backpacks focus on delivering the right combination of style, comfort, and performance.
The Osprey Stratos hiking pack features adjustable torso lengths, for better fit and comfort as you move.
When the weather turns, you’ll have a completely waterproof backpack to protect your gear from rain. What’s more, there’s an integrated rain cover included in the backpack for extra support.
When the sun is shining, the airspeed ventilated and tensioned mesh in the back of the pack stops you from feeling overwhelmed or sweaty.
On top of dozens of features for comfort, Osprey stands out as one of the best backpack brands for sheer versatility. There are tons of stow-on-the-go attachment and loop systems on the outside of the bag, pockets inside for all your equipment, and a waist strap with its own pocket.
The Osprey Stratos delivers everything the adventurous hiker might need to explore the Scandinavian trails. This is a backpack that can withstand all kinds of weather, while still providing excellent comfort.
The biggest downside is that the hydration pocket isn’t big enough for some hikers.
Mammut is another of the best backpack brands on the market today, catering for people who need bags that are both durable and efficient. The Neon Gear is one of the best hiking bags we’ve seen for a range of reasons.
You can store all the gear you need in the 45-liter pocket, and the lightweight material doesn’t weigh you down.
There’s a padded hip belt included for extra comfort to ensure that you can distribute weight evenly across your body as you hike. The internal mesh pocket in the bag makes it easy to organize your equipment too.
There’s even a selection of key clips included for holding the items you don’t want to lose.
Featuring everything from rope-fixing straps, to extra compartments for all your must-have equipment, the Mammut hiking bag gives you the confidence you need to get out on trail.
All that, and you know you’re giving something back to the world, by supporting a company that’s environmentally friendly.
It’s a shame that this backpack doesn’t come with any rain cover or protection features — as that would have made it even more impressive. There’s also no hard section where you can store phones and other devices without fear of breaking them.
Still, the Mammut Neon gear climbing backpack still has a lot to offer.
If you’ve got a lot of equipment to take with you on your next Nordic hike, you need a bag that’s capable of holding everything. The TETON Sports Ultralight Plus could be just the backpack you need.
One of the best backpacks for hiking available today, this all-in-one bag gives you everything you need. There’s an extra padded waist belt for additional support, lumbar adjustment features, and custom straps.
The durable, extra-strong shell ensures that even if your backpack is knocked or scraped, it won’t cause any damage to the equipment inside. There are multiple compression straps and buckles to help with your packing too.
You even get a rainfly included for protection against the weather.
TETON build this trekking backpack with a focus on comfort, using some of the best material around. The padded lumbar region sits comfortably on your back, while the storm proof zippers give you peace of mind.
The TETON is fantastic for anyone in search of the top hiking backpacks for their next strip. There’s a shelter/ poncho included for weather protection, multiple gear attachment points, and a rip-protection material throughout.
One slight downside is that it takes a long time to adjust the backpack to suit your needs because of all the straps and components.
The TETON Mountain Adventurer4000 can hold all the gear you'll need for 2 to 5 days whether you're climbing mountains or hitting the trails. No matter where you go, this backpack can fit everything you need.
For short trips, the best trekking backpack won’t always be the biggest. Sometimes, you just need something reliable and durable to get you through an adventurous afternoon. The North Face Borealis backpack is perfect for that.
One of the best-known backpack designs from the brand, the Borealis comes with easy-to-access pockets, an overhauled suspension system, and an elastic bungee system on front.
There’s a padded fleece-lined laptop sleeve inside to protect your computer, and flexible venting technology to protect you from overheating when you’re on the trail.
Two extendable mesh water bottle pockets help to keep you hydrated, and there’s a separate external pocket for your small electronics too.
For a hike, a commute, or anything else, this is one of the top hiking backpacks around. The removable waist belt even helps to ensure that you get a more comfortable experience when you’re carrying a lot of weight.
Ideal for those who don’t need too much extra space for all of their trekking gear, The North Face Borealis back is a versatile way to get ready for any trip. There are tons of great storage features built-in, plus extra pockets for organization.
Unfortunately, this hiking backpack won’t be much good for storing camping equipment.
Good lightweight design
Lots of pockets and segments
Comfortable to carry
Brilliant sternum strap
Not for long hikes that require a lot of equipment
Another excellent example of a trekking backpack from Osprey is the Atmos AG. This anti-gravity backpack comes with specialist suspension built-in.
That means that you feel like you’re not carrying as much weight — even when your bag is filled to bursting. There’s an adjustable harness and hip-belt section to give you more support on the move too.
The front stretch mesh pocket makes it easy to store extra layers and must-have items. Plus, there’s a removable floating top lid to give you a little extra space when you need it.
Like some of the other top hiking backpacks we’ve seen, the Osprey Atmos comes with an internal hydration reservoir sleeve to store up to 3 liters of water.
There’s a stow-on-the-go system with lots of attachment segments for poles and other must-have items. Osprey also includes removable sleeping pad straps, a sleeping bag compartment, dual ice tool loops, and a safety whistle!
The Osprey Atmos is easily one of the leaders in our list of good hiking backpacks, thanks to its versatility and comfortable fit. This is one of the most well-ventilated and lightweight backpacks on the market.
The suspension system really does make it feel like you’re carrying less.
One slight downside for this bag is that the zippers on the hip pockets are difficult to open.
Finally, if you’re on the hunt for the top hiking backpack brands for comfort and durability, check out Kelty. The company is well known around the world for its commitment to gear that lasts.
The Kelty Coyote hiking backpack is a great example of this rugged approach to design. The 60-liter backpack comes with everything you need to store essential gear.
As the flagship trekking backpack from the Kelty team, the Coyote features an advanced frame for better stability when you’re on the move. There are plenty of pockets all over the bag, so you can separate everything from your sleeping bag to your water bottles.
What’s more, the Coyote comes with an easy-to-customize fit so that you can find the right style for your needs.
If you’re concerned about a sweaty back, the Kelty Coyote has you covered here. The ventilated back panel helps to keep you dry and cool no matter where your adventure takes you.
Great for anyone in search of a comfortable hike, the Kelty Coyote backpack is convenient, lightweight, and easy to use. Although we do wish the material was a little tougher, as it doesn’t seem as though it would hold up well to sharp rocks and surfaces.
Although the Kelty Coyote may not be the most highly rated overall, the capacity and a comfort level that's second to none means you can go on extended trips with ease. It's a great piece of kit for backpackers, travelers, and trekkers who are on a tight budget.
If you’re still not sure what the best trekking backpack might look like for you after reading our reviews, maybe it’s time to think a little more about what you need. There are a lot of different features to consider when you’re assessing the top hiking backpacks on the market.
Here are just some of the points we recommend thinking about:
Size: The size of your backpack, or the volume it can hold in equipment, will vary according to the kind of trail you’re heading out on. For a weekend trip or just a day, you can probably get away with less than 50 liters. The more equipment you need to carry, the more critical it is to expand on volume.
Customization: Your trekking backpack needs to adjust to suit you. Different people have different requirements when it comes to things like waist and shoulder straps. The best backpacks for hiking will have various options for how you can fasten your bag around your torso.
Weight: The top hiking backpacks for any customer will always be the ones that are lightweight and easy to carry. Look for backpacks that include suspension features that help to minimize the weight on your shoulders. Extra straps that help to move the weight around your body will be useful too.
Durability: Your backpack should be able to withstand anything — from scrapes and knocks, to rain and storms. Look for a bag that can withstand some of the toughest conditions, and still deliver excellent peace of mind when you’re on the trail.
Extra features: Some of the best hiking bags today come with a variety of extra features. For instance, some might have a hydration station where you can store water. Others come with extra hard storage areas, so you have somewhere to place your phone.
Choosing the best hiking backpacks
The best hiking backpack come in a range of different shapes and sizes, to suit different kinds of adventurer. Choosing the right solution for your needs means thinking carefully about where your Scandinavian adventure is going to take you.
If you’re looking for something durable, comfortable, and lightweight, we’d recommend the Osprey Atmos. Its pioneering system makes it feel as though you’re carrying a lot less than you actually are.
If you want protection for your devices, then the Oakley Men’s Kitchen Sink is an excellent choice — as it seems to consider every possibly need for the modern explorer.
Good luck finding the perfect hiking bag for your needs. Don’t forget to check out some of our other content here at Scandification, to help you make the most of your trip!