The right rucksack will make or break your first backpacking trip and indeed, all the trips to follow. It has to fit well because you need to be mobile! However, spending £100 on a rucksack is not an option for everyone and for a one off trip hardly worth considering. So with that in mind, here you will find a list of the highest rated, best but cheapest rucksacks currently available (September 2018!) on the market for you to peruse at your leisure!
Extreme Budget! Under £50
EUROHIKE Trek 85 Litre Backpack – This bag is about as basic as it gets, no fancy frills! However, it is light, has adjustable shoulder and hip straps and a base compartment which if you have read my Unique and Practical Advice For First Time Backpackers post you will know is a must in my books. It also has the largest capacity of all the packs I have included in this list which makes it great for long trips. I’d recommend this one for someone who is planning a one off medium length trip.
now £30 millets.co.uk
Hi Gear Nepal 65 Rucksack – Again, no fancy frills with this rucksack. However it does have side pockets which I find really handy. Having an organised pack makes all the difference while travelling. It also has the opening at the bottom of the sack and a walking pole attachment system. The bag is light and has an adjustable back piece which makes it great if you’re short or tall.
£50 now £25 GoOutdoors.co.uk
Pathfinder II 65L Daysack – For such an inexpensive rucksack this sure does have a long list of useful features. Front, side, lid and bottom zip pockets, a rain cover, extremely well padded (breathable foam) straps and hip belt making it comfy/manageable with a heavy load. It has an adjustable back system and is hydration compatible. Not bad, right? This would definitley be my recommendation for those after a decent, super-budget rucksack.
£70 now £40 millets.co.uk
Helvellyn 55+10 Litre Short Rucksack – This rucksack is specially designed for people with shorter backs. All I can say is do not underestimate the fit of your pack! It is really important, especially for longer trips. If the pack isn’t comfortable you won’t want to wear it, which will be an issue. So definitley consider this one if you’re on the shorter side. It also has all the essential features, like a base compartment, that you’ll need.
£90 now £50 millets.co.uk
Higher Quality, Decent Price!
Helvellyn 65+10L Rucksack – This rucksack is almost 50% off now so definitley worth considering. It is made of a really great quality heavy duty nylon, perfect for rugged environments. It also has lots of pockets, top, bottom and sleeping back compartments, and is completely fit adjustable. I have my eye on this one!
£100 now £55 blacks.co.uk
Vango Contour 50+10s Litre Rucksack – This is a great multi use rucksack option, for those of you backpacking and day tripping it is really versatile. It also features on the Duke of Edinburgh recommended kit list. The Quick Adjust back system makes the fit extremely customisable and there are lots of pockets to keep your pack organised.
£70 now £67.50 millets.co.uk
Berghaus Arete 45 Rucksack – 45 litres is small for a backpacker. However I used one this size for my trip around South East Asia and around North America so wouldn’t write it off. Infact if you can pack this light then why not. It saves you lugging around anything heavier. Just be careful not to over pack this one as the straps and waist belt aren’t as substantial as others so could be uncomfortable.
£75 now £54 GoOutdoors.co.uk
Vango Sherpa 60:70 – This rucksack has a seriously long list of features making optimum fit and comfort easily achievable. It is made of a high quality, robust polyester coated in PU and comes with a detachable rain cover. There are lots of pockets meaning organisation is easy and top and bottom compartment access. If you want to invest a little more in a pack then consider this one!
£90 now £74.99 GoOutdoors.co.uk
Berghaus Women’s Trailhead 60 Rucksack – This rucksack is specifically designed for women and as I have already mentioned, the fit of your pack is by far the most important feature! But also, doesn’t it just look really good? The only downside is there is no bottom compartment access! I almost didn’t include it for that reason but in the end decided to as the discount is good and Berghaus is a great brand.
£99.99 now £75 GoOutdoors.co.uk
And that is it for my rucksack recommendations. However, you may have realised above I have only mentioned 9 packs when I promised 10! Do not worry, I have saved my best tip for last. If you’re a traveller on a budget, perhaps on your gap year, and you want a really good quality rucksack for a fraction of the retail price, I urge you to consider getting one on eBay. I have found some amazing, branded rucksacks on there which have been used once or twice, or even never at all. It is definitely worth a look!