When it comes to adventuring in the wild, the right backpack should be able to hold all the tools and equipment you need to survive any situation.
Along with survival knowledge, it helps to bring the right equipment. You’ll be much more comfortable if you’re prepared for all possible scenarios. If you’re exploring a tundra, you better be able to fit a flint and a sleeping bag in your backpack. If you’re hiking in the wilderness, you’ll want a knife, canteen, first aid kit, water purifier and tent. Adventure often requires multiple pieces of bulky gear, and the necessary equipment needs to be brought along somehow.
Here are the best survival backpacks.
Arcteryx Altra 65 – $449
Ranked number one on Outdoor Gear Lab’s list of backpacking backpacks, the Altra 65 is a high-volume and lightweight pack fit for any multi-day adventure. At 4 lbs. 13 oz. the pack is lighter than most in the same class. With 65 liters of space, you’ll be tempted to pack far more equipment than you’ll ever need. With room to spare, however, you’ll be able to fit a stove, propane tank, laptop and anything else you’ll need on your journey. The Altra 65 will still fit comfortably upon your back, no matter the cargo. This backpack is one of the most comfortable on the market.
Geigerrig RIG 1600 – $175
You won’t find any bells and whistles on the RIG 1600. Like Geigerrig’s other hydration packs, you will find a water bladder and spray nozzle sewn into the soft frame of the RIG 1600. This bag features a 3-liter fluid capacity (plus 26.2 liters of dry stuff space) that can spray water in a powerful stream. That’s because all Geigerrig’s come with an engine – a pump-action nozzle that turns your bag into a multi-functional super soaking hydration machine.
Goruck GR2 – $395
Goruck’s founder and former member of the Special Forces, Jason McCarthy, has been through intense survival situations. His experiences are exactly where the prototyping for a new type of bag took its designs. Several mockups later, the GR2 is Goruck’s flagship overnight ruck. At 40 liters of 1000D Cordura, the GR2 is a big and rugged pack that’s advertised to survive storms in all environments and last a lifetime. It’s ideal for demolishing adversity on the trail.
Osprey Aether 60 – $249
This is one of the best tested adventure backpack models made by one of the most trusted backpack brands. Like the Altra 65, the Osprey Aether is a full-bore outdoor super-pack, fit for both the highest peaks in the Andes or a year-long, around-the-world hitchhiking escapade. The only difference is that the Aether 60 is nearly half the price of the Altra. Unlike the Altra, this pack has a sleeping bag compartment to boot. At 60-liters, this pack should be big enough to pack most of your necessary bulk. If not, the pack comes in 70 and 80 liter versions as well.
Salomon Skin Pro 10+3 – $150
The Skin Pro 10+3 is a lightweight daypack that stretches to your specifications and contours to your body. Packed with pockets, the 10+3 provides ample room for energy bars, smartphones, avalanche beacons and the like – the 10+3 seems ideal for adventures in deep snow. It’s the 1.5 liter polyurethane bladder, however, that gives this sleek pack its ultimate utility. Camels and coyotes will have nothing on your ability to stay hydrated when you wear a Skin Pro 10+3.