Trekking in high mountains can be a really exciting experience. It is challenging and sometimes can be very difficult. So, it requires good physical conditions, good preparation in advance and proper gear. This gear can be heavy, but very helpful, sometimes even life-saving. And an important part of it is your backpack, which can provide comfortable bringing of your luggage. Let’s make a review on some of the best backpacks for high mountain trekking of 2019.
Features of a good backpack for long trekking in high altitude
Long trekking in the Himalaya, Tibet, Tianshan, Pamir, or the other high mountains in the world requires a good backpack, among all other important accessories. You would need to bring many things with you, as at the same time you try to make your luggage as light as possible. This means that your backpack’s volume must be at least 70 L. Other important features include lightweight, functionality, back warming, solidity and of course- price.
Take a look at this comparison table of 8 of the best backpacks of 2019, for high mountain trekking:
There is no perfect backpack, but in one or another feature, these backpacks are some of the best ones for long trekking. Let’s see each one in detail.
Osprey Aether AG70/85 and Ariel AG65/75
It is one of the best backpacks, probably the closest to perfection in all features. It comes in two versions- Aether for men, and Ariel for women. The difference is only in the style design, but the functionality and the quality features are the same. Also, Aether is slightly larger than Ariel.
This backpack is really great for long trekking, and it has an excellently organized system of pockets and straps, so you can comfortably arrange your gear.
Pros: Durability, excellent pockets-straps organization, lightweight, comfort for the body.
Osprey Xenith 88
Osprey is recognized as the best backpack brand. So I would present another backpack from them. Yes, their products are in the high-value range, but it is worth it since the quality is the best of all other backpack brands.
Among the most prominent features of the backpack is the adjustable system, allowing maximum comfort while bringing heavy gear. Xenith 88 has a “Stow-on-the-Go” feature, which allows you to attach your trekking poles to the backpack. Along with this, it is relatively lightweight, durable, with excellent breathability.
Pros: All the important features of a good backpack are well presented, plus the “Stow-on-the-Go” system for attaching the trekking poles.
Cons: Expensive. No rain cover included.
Gregory Baltoro 75
It is another great backpack for long trekking. The backpack also has an 85 L version, which would be good too, if you want to bring more things with you. It is excellent in all features, but maybe its best is the compactness, design for trekking and climbing in very difficult route sections with many obstacles like a thick forest, rocky and steep places, etc. One of the best choices for mountaineering on the highest mountains on Earth.
Gregory Baltoro model is designed for men, but in the world of backpacks, there is no big difference between “men’s” and “women’s”, so the ladies can use it too.
Pros: Compactness, great for trekking and mountaineering in extremely difficult areas.
Mystery Ranch Glacier
This is another great backpack for long trekking. It belongs to the high price category backpacks, so again, it is supposed to be close to perfect. And indeed, it is excellent in many of its features. Its strongest side is the comfortably arranged system for fitting your body so that it can avoid pains in your shoulders and back.
It is 70 L in volume and comes in versions for men and women. And it is also great for long trekking, having an excellent organized pocket system for your gear.
Pros: Excellent in all features, but especially in the comfortably arranged system for your shoulders and back.
Cons: Expensive. And also- a bit heavier than most of the other backpacks.
Now let’s look to backpacks in the lower price range.
Mountaintop 70 + 10
This is something like a cheap version of Osprey Aether AG70. Most of the Osprey’s features are presented in this backpack, but not in such high quality (that’s normal for its price). It comes in a few volume versions- between 55 and 80 L, and these two, 70 + 10, along with 80 L are really good for long trekking.
The backpack has side zipped pocket, 10 compression straps and hydration system compatible. In general, it is great for budget travelers.
Pros: Cheap, with all the features of Osprey Aether AG70.
Cons: Not very strong, due to using cheaper materials.
Among the cheap backpacks, Gonex 70+10 is one of the best. It presents the most important features of a proper backpack. The manufacturer recommends it for 5 to 12 days trekking. It has an adjustable bearing plate, and a pocket suitable for a water bladder (but without a hole for the straw). Gonex 70+10 has also good durability and breathability. It comes with a rain cover too.
In general, this backpack gets good reviews from the customers. This brand produces more backpacks of this model, in a smaller volume, and this one is just the right option for long trekking.
Pros: Good quality for its price, relatively lightweight, roomy.
Cons: There is a pocket for a water bladder, but no hole for the straw.
High Sierra Pathway 70
It is another good backpack in the low price range. The backpack again comes in few different volume versions, and this 70 L version is great for long trekking. It has a pocket for a water bladder, with a hole for the straw. Actually, many people buy it together with a water bladder. All other features like pockets, strap systems, adjustability, are good for its price.
There is, however, one design detail that is not convenient for many clients- the zipper for the internal divider is reversed.
Pros: Good quality for its price. Convenient, with good water bladder pocket system.
Cons: Zipper for the internal divider is reversed.
Quechua Forclaz 70
This is an excellent backpack for its price. It is strong, with reinforced seams. It has 5 pockets, including a place for a water bladder. The backpack is compact and great for long trekking, with a front opening. And it provides comfort during the trek.
Quechua Forclaz 70 comes in three versions with different prices, and the difference comes from the presence or lack of some details. Two of the versions are water repellent.
Pros: Good durability and strength, excellent organization of the pockets and straps.
Cons: Lack of good protection against zipper opening, no rain cover.
A good backpack is an important part of your trekking gear. And the good thing is that you don’t buy a backpack only for specific trekking in a specific destination. But you buy it for every kind of travel, in every place on Earth.
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