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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips. 

Finally getting around to planning that week-long hike in the jungle or maybe you’re traveling for a gap year? Well, one thing you’re going to need is a trusty backpack, a.k.a., your new best friend.

A backpack is something that can last a lifetime of travel and adventure, but it’s important to research which one might be the best fit for you. Things to consider…  Will you be bringing trekking poles and a lot of heavy gear for camping? Do you plan an acquiring a massive amount of souvenirs along the way? Will you be exposed to the elements?

When considering your pack, the most important things to take into account are weight, organization, and comfort above all else. There are hundreds of rucksacks on the market boasting a high number of compartments, adjustable straps, and other valued assets, but we found these five were among the best in terms of having your back (literally) for many voyages to come.

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Osprey Archeon Women’s 65 & Men’s 70

The Archeon 65L and 70L have men and women’s specific fits, so you already know you’re getting a thoughtful design. And while this may not be first on your list of wants and needs in a pack, this new collection is sustainable and made out of recycled canvas. A win for the environment.

The company mentions that the pack is “built with comfortable carry and versatility top of mind.” And with features like an adjustable harness and straps, dual zippered hip belt pockets, and a sleeping bag compartment with floating divider, that rings true. It also has some features you may not have even thought you needed, like a removable raincover and internal reservoir sleeve.

Price: $340

Fjallraven Bergtagen 38

When you think of Fjallraven, multi-colored mini backpacks that are popular among teenagers may come to mind. But the company actually launched in 1960 and quickly became known as a cold weather mountain trekking brand in Sweden.

So if you’re planning a climb or trek. the Bergtagen 38L carry-on pack is for you. It has the ability to transform to accommodate different uses, which means that you can have a light pack for shorter excursions and more support for long treks. The material is sturdy and tear resistant, plus it’s made from partially sourced recycled materials. And the waterproof material means you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you’re in the mountains.

Price: $265

GORUCK GR3

Any bag that comes with a lifetime guarantee has got to be good. That’s the case with the GORUCK GR3 45L carry on backpack, which is extremely durable and tear-resistant. It’s also TSA carry-on compliant, meaning you can take it for a month long Euro-trip and won’t have to worry about spending more to check your bag.

The pack has everything you’ll need for an extended trip: opens flat, extra padded straps and handles, multiple pockets, removable hip belt, and a hydration port to name a few. So while the price may be high, the lifetime Scars guarantee and all of the perks make it worth it.

Price: $395

OGIO Alpha Convoy 525R Backpack

If you’re day tripping, then the OGIO 25-28 liter backpack may be your new travel buddy. It’s on the smaller size, so it would be good for minimalist overnights, but has two large pockets for water bottles, a zippered side entrance to the main compartment and a multi-configuration roll-top closure so you can fit more of your gear. The adjustable shoulder and sternum straps ensure a good fit and the sturdy construction means that this bag is built to last.

Price: $130

Highlander Ben Nevis 85L Rucksack

The Highlander is a practical backpack made for durability, with plenty of storage room, which makes it ideal for multi-day trips and traveling. The company states that it has “loads of features” and they did not disappoint. The pack has 85L capacity and comes with a dividable main compartment with inner slip pocket, snow collar, and detachable and adjustable floating lid. What doesn’t it have?

Outside, there is a huge stretchy front pocket, zippered side pockets, and generous side compartments. It also comes with an integrated rain cover hidden inside a dedicated pocket at the bottom of the backpack. Needless to say, this rucksack will have you covered for any and every trek.

Price: $226.95

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Jeanette Zinno

Jeanette Zinno

Jeanette Zinno

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