Top-rated backpacks for a weekend outside

No matter the outdoor adventure you're dreaming of, there’s a perfect pack out there to help make it happen.

hiking backpacks mountain
Packs that lead the pack.Fabrizio Verrecchia via Unsplash

Choosing a backpack for your next outdoor adventure is no easy task. With dozens of options available, narrowing down the best pack for you can take some serious research. What it really comes down to are the features that will be most important to you, based on the type of outdoor weekend you’re planning. If you’ll be doing a fast-paced section hike, you’ll want a lightweight pack that allows you to carry all the backpacking essentials (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, food, tent, etc.), but will also hold up in bad weather. For camping weekends, you’ll probably be more concerned with a large carrying capacity so that you can fit all your overnight supplies. And if you’re looking for a basic travel pack to get you from point A to point B, pockets will be your best friend.

Below, we’ve rounded up three of the best weekend backpacks for any outdoor adventure, with main draws ranging from carrying capacity to weight to weather durability.

Osprey Farpoint 55

Osprey Farpoint 55
This pack can carry up to 50 pounds, making it ideal for a long weekend on the trail.Amazon

Perfect for a long weekend, the Osprey Farpoint 55 (available to fit the physiques of men and women) can accommodate up to 50 pounds of gear, so go ahead and pack that extra set of camp clothes. The pack features super comfortable carry thanks to Lightwire frame technology, and plenty of mesh paneling allows for increased ventilation. A detachable Farpoint daypack allows for extra storage convenience in event of a day-trip while on the trail.

Gregory Optic 48 Large Hiking Backpack

Gregory Optic 48 Large Hiking Backpack
The ultralight internal aluminum frame yields terrific support while remaining comfortable to carry.Amazon

The Gregory Optic 48 checks a lot of boxes: not only is it lightweight (2.39 pounds) and spacious, but the brand’s AeroSpan Suspension provides the perfect balance of tensioned frame load management and weight reduction. This is an ideal pack for short-term section hiking, but can also be used as an ultralight through-hike pack as well.

Gonex 35L Hiking Backpack

Gonex 35L Hiking Backpack
This is a do-it-all technical pack ideal for 1-to-3-night trips.Amazon

With a 35-liter capacity, this Gonex model is lauded as a great overnight pack. Padded shoulder straps and adjustable hip belt yields a comfortable carry, and EVA mesh allows for increased ventilation. The rain cover can be stored easily in the bottom of the pack, allowing for quick access.