In this article, we will showcase the best expedition backpacks with a capacity of 70 liters or more. The backpacks of this size offer ample storage space for expeditions lasting longer than five days. A backpack’s required capacity greatly depends on the equipment and supplies you need/want to carry with you. For example, winter trips require additional equipment such as crampons, gaiters, insulated clothing, etc.
A backpack should be sufficiently packed so that it is stable when being carried. For shorter trips, the backpacks in this review might be too big. However, this review’s backpacks are perfect for extended trips of five days or more (backpacking, trekking, expeditions, etc.), which require food supplies, sleeping equipment, cooking equipment, and such. Due to their storage capacity and pockets, they are also perfect for traveling overseas.
Key Features On A Expedition Backpack
Fit: The backpack needs to match your torso length so that it rests comfortably on your back. Torso length is the distance from the base of your neck and the tops of your hipbones.
Backpanel: The back panel is an essential part of the backpack as it provides ventilation so that back sweat can evaporate, rather than seeping through your clothes and the backpack. The backpacks in this review mostly feature ergonomically shaped ventilated back panels. Some additionally incorporate a suspended mesh fabric, which creates a hap between your back and the backpack; the gap allows air to flow in between. Backpack made this way offer excellent ventilation.
Weight: Lightweight equipment decreases the aerobic demand (heart rate, calorie consumption, etc.), allowing you to hike faster and easier than with heavier gear. Relatively speaking, backpacks are not the lightest pieces of hiking gear. A lightweight backpack makes a big difference on a thru-hike or long trip away. In this review, we only included lightweight expedition backpacks (relative to the capacity of the backpack),
Pockets and attachment points: The main compartment is where bigger gear will go and gear you might only need when in camp. However, the expedition backpack should also have well-placed and easily accessible pockets/compartments for items you need throughout the day. This review’s backpacks are also equipped with attachment points (for trekking poles, ice axes, helmet, etc.).
Hydration System Compatibility: A hydration system allows you to hydrate without taking off your backpack to get to the water bottles.