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Our top pick? The 40L Hiking Backpack by SPEEDPARK

Truth be told, for the more daring climbs, we would highly recommend minimizing your load, carrying just the bare essentials in pockets or hanging from your harness. That said, sometimes it is entirely unavoidable, and also sometimes it really just isn't that big of a deal to carry a few extra pounds. Regardless, it is extremely important to pick a backpack *made* for climbing or hiking, as ones more geared towards casual, daily use often don't take into account the necessary center of mass and form-factor requirements that are essential for vertical traversal.

Things to look out for when buying a backpack for your next mountaineering or climbing expedition include: comfort, durability, versatility, climbing utility, and weight/form-factor. Obviously, each factor conflicts with the next, so it is crucial to find the perfect balance and blend that cater to your individual needs.

Allow us to guide you through the best of the best with our curated list of the best climbing backpacks for every situation and budget. Enjoy!

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40L Hiking Backpack by SPEEDPARK, Best value backpack for mountaineering.

#1 — 40L Hiking Backpack by SPEEDPARK

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best value backpack for mountaineering.

What makes it special? For the longer expeditions (verging more on mountaineering than climbing), the two main things you need are: (1) lots of storage space for all of your supplies, and (2) extra durability for the peace of mind that your supplies will survive the journey. Now, backpacks that meet those criteria are easy enough to find, sure, but usually at the expense of comfortability, and ergonomics. The SPEEDPARK 40L Hiking Backpack, however, ticks those first 2 boxes (with a 40L storage space and a high quality tear-proof & water-proof material), and then goes above and beyond to also deliver an extremely comfortable, multifunctional experience with a design that is ideal for hiking, mountaineering, and outdoor sports. The branding is a little inconsistent, but honestly, who cares when it is available at such a steal of a price.

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Hydration Pack with 2L Hydration Bladder by KUYOU, Best hydration pack backpack for climbing.

#2 — Hydration Pack with 2L Hydration Bladder by KUYOU

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best hydration pack backpack for climbing.

What makes it special? More often than not, the reason we hear from climbers as to why they need a backpack is that they want to be able to carry a water bottle with them (understandable!). Well, here's the ultimate solution for that quandary: a backpack that *is* a water bottle, AKA, a hydration pack. KUYOU offers one of the most versatile hydration packs on the market with an insulated 'bladder' compartment that keeps your water cool (or hot for that matter) for up to 4 hours. It has been designed to be compact and low-profile to feel stable on your back, with a lowered center of gravity so that it doesn't wreak havoc on your shoulders after long periods of wear.

We should note, though, that the zipper isn't very forgiving of large payloads, and if you over-stuff the backpack you can expect the zipper to break. However, if you're using it as intended, you will absolutely love this one.

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Internal Frame Hiking Backpack by NEVO RHINO, Best overall backpack for mountaineering.

#3 — Internal Frame Hiking Backpack by NEVO RHINO

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best overall backpack for mountaineering.

What makes it special? At a slightly higher price point than SPEEDPARK's, NEVO RHINO offers a serious step up in overall quality for the more serious mountaineers. It features a 50L capacity (+10L vs SPEEDPARK's), a high-load waist buckle (to relieve some of the weight from your shoulders), an ergonomic semi-circle hollow to provide head comfort, and more pockets than you'll be able to think of uses for (including a mesh pocket for wet clothes, and a hydration pack pocket). We genuinely think it could be a contender for being the best backpack for climbing Kilimanjaro.

It also boasts some serious rave reviews, the most complimentary of which detailing how NEVO RHINO went above and beyond to resolve a minute issue, showcasing their excellent customer service. This one is an all-around massive thumbs up from us!

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Oasis 18L Hydration Pack by TETON Sports, One of the best backpacks for climbing.

#4 — Oasis 18L Hydration Pack by TETON Sports

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

One of the best backpacks for climbing.

What makes it special? With so many similar options out there, it should come as no surprise that some manufacturers combine popular features in attempts to satisfy the needs of more customers (and we're all for it!). TETON Sports have done exactly this, combining a 2L hydration pack with a lightweight-yet-spacious 20L backpack. It offers the perfect hybrid that climbers need between utility, comfortability and ergonomics, and we think it makes for one of the best backpacks for
day trips (and over 1000 reviewers seem to agree with us!).

A slightly off-topic addendum, but there seems to be a common theme emerging of backpack companies with fantastic customer support, since TETON Sports also boasts a very pleasant customer service experience. They've certainly earned our loyalty from it at least!

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Waterproof Outdoor Internal Frame Backpack, Best overall backpack for climbing.

#5 — Waterproof Outdoor Internal Frame Backpack

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best overall backpack for climbing.

What makes it special? If you're just looking for the middle-of-the-road, average backpack that would be suitable for an outdoor excursion, from a weekend getaway to a 3-4 day mountain adventure, look no further. It boasts an internal frame, padding around stress points, and is made from water and tear resistant nylon fabric for great durability. Nothing special, but it just does all the fundamentals *really* well, and honestly that can be quite refreshing. We do want to just highlight the fact that even though it is advertised as a 40L backpack, it feels an awful lot more like a 30-35L, so bear that in mind if storage space really matters to you.

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Rope Bag by KAVU, Best sling backpack for climbing.

#6 — Rope Bag by KAVU

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best sling backpack for climbing.

What makes it special? Okay, bit of a different one here, but hear us out. Oddly enough, the form factor of an over-the-shoulder sling backpack makes for an ideal lightweight utility pouch for even the most daring climbs. You're obviously sacrificing storage space for the privilege of extra dexterity, but honestly you can fit more inside than you'd expect, and certainly more than you will need for a day long climbing excursion. The rope straps are sturdy, but not bulky - soft, but not flimsy, offering the perfect combo of durability and comfort. They also come in a range of different designs, but we're not exactly experts when it comes to style, so we'll leave that bit up to you!

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Climbing Backpack by Free Knight, Best budget climbing backpack.

#7 — Climbing Backpack by Free Knight

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best budget climbing backpack.

What makes it special? If you're looking for a solid climbing backpack that ticks all the boxes that won't hurt your wallet, this one is a good bet. Although its customer reviews are a little bit all over the place, we think this is a really solid entry that you can't go far wrong with. It is reasonably comfortable, it has large capacity (50L), plenty of compartments, adjustable straps for tying up climbing gear, and is made from a resistant polyester material that offers an adequate level of durability. Would we recommend an Everest expedition with this one? No. But for the average hike or bouldering trip, it will definitely serve you well.

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50L Mountaineering Backpack by Esup, Best large capacity climbing backpack.

#8 — 50L Mountaineering Backpack by Esup

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best large capacity climbing backpack.

What makes it special? If you're willing to spend just that little bit extra than you would for the previous entry, you will be rewarded handsomely with a much higher level of quality. Now, don't go expecting premium-grade quality like that of a North Face backpack, but certainly don't be surprised by its outperforming nature. For the 2-4 day adventures, this 50L mountaineering backpack is perfect, and furthermore it is one that works nicely as a carry-on for most airlines without any issue (for the backpacker that likes to go further afield).

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Peak Seeker Chalk Bag by KAVU, Best chalk bag for rock climbing.

#9 — Peak Seeker Chalk Bag by KAVU

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Best chalk bag for rock climbing.

What makes it special? We have a full comparison list on the way, but we thought it would be a disservice not to at least honourably mention chalk bags here. If all you're looking for is a bag that purely functions as a container for your chalk that you can keep on your person as you're venturing on a steep climb, look no further. KAVU's Peak Seeker Chalk Bag is a cylinder chalk bag this is built for climbers gymnasts, and fitness fashionistas alike. It's durable, attaches to your waist like a belt (or can be worn over the shoulder), and most importantly is super lightweight so as not to throw off your balance.

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