Finding the best backpack for hiking the Camino de Santiago to Santiago de Compostela can be quite tricky. The available options, both in stores and online, are pretty much endless. And there are many reasons why you’d want to get yourself a brand new backpack.
For example, maybe you’re someone who has already walked thousands of miles around the world and you simply want to replace your old, worn-out rucksack with a new one. Perhaps you’re not really satisfied with the one you have right now. Or, you’re just a Camino newbie looking for advice on what kind of a bag is the best choice for this journey.
Whatever it is, you’re in the right place. In this article, I’ll be taking a look at a couple of factors that you need to keep in mind while shopping for a new Camino backpack and also provide reviews of the market’s most popular products of this type.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Buy the Best Backpack for the Camino de Santiago
- 2 Reviews of the Best Backpacks for the Camino de Santiago
- 2.1 The Best Daypacks for the Camino de Santiago
- 2.2 The Best Small Backpacks (35 Liters) for the Camino de Santiago
- 2.3 The Best Medium-Sized Backpacks (40 Liters) for the Camino de Santiago
- 2.4 The Best Large Backpacks (45 Liters) for the Camino de Santiago
- 3 The Takeaway
How to Buy the Best Backpack for the Camino de Santiago
Before you make the final decision and choose a Camino backpack, check out the following factors – you will need to keep these in mind if you want your bag to meet your personal needs:
Out of all the factors you’ll need to consider, this is the most important one.
It is of crucial importance to ensure that the rucksack is comfortable enough to be carried all day long. Before heading out with the bag on your back, always test it out with some weight in it.
Due to the fact that the majority of the weight lies on the person’s hips and shoulders, it is vital to get a backpack that’s equipped with wide shoulder straps and a padded hip strap.
Working out the right backpack size for you is certainly not a process you want to rush. The two factors that will play a big role here are your gender and your hip build.
In order to be adequately stable during the hike, a backpack needs to be equipped with a sturdy back frame. This can make a massive difference when you’re walking more than 20 kilometers per day with a rucksack that’s filled to the brim. Fortunately, most backpacks available on today’s market come with sturdy frames that effortlessly maintain the bag’s shape all day long.
Having a good ventilation system is just as essential. After all, the Camino can get very hot.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for a backpack for the Camino de Santiago or some other pilgrimage or hike, you want your bag to last for many years to come. The quality of this product should be especially important to those who consider backcountry trekking their favorite activity.
Some backpack brands provide lifelong repairs to those who decide to go with their products. Furthermore, having a genuinely well-made bag is much more sustainable for both the environment and the bag’s owner.
In this article, I’ll be recommending only those backpacks that have an excellent record of comfort and quality. On your way to Santiago de Compostela, you’re bound to encounter lots of folks using these very same brands.
If you don’t manage to find any of the backpacks reviewed below, keep in mind that there are many other reputable brands that you can consider. If you’re still unsure, I would recommend heading to the nearest outdoor store and asking people who work there if they have something that meets your individual needs.
When your backpack is full of essentials and you’re hiking for miles on end, the last thing you want is your bag adding extra weight. If you’re planning to walk the Camino, I would definitely recommend taking the backpack’s weight into consideration while shopping for one of these handy products.
If you decide to buy a backpack in a store, make sure to test it out first – put some weight into it and ensure that it fits you correctly. Most places selling outdoor gear allow customers to put heavy stuff into bags and, in that way, get the feel of them.
When it comes to shopping for the best backpack for the Camino de Santiago, it is crucial to consider how long your journey is going to be and which distances you’re planning to hike.
On big hikes such as Camino, it is possible to have the bulk of your stuff transferred between hotels/hostels for you. If you decide to go with this option, you’ll be able to carry only a daypack for most of your pilgrimage. You can use a larger bag – or a suitcase – for the rest of your stuff.
The volume of backpacks is typically measured in liters. This measurement can be of great help when you’re planning your Camino de Santiago journey:
- Daypacks – As mentioned above, these are perfect for folks intending to use tour companies. You will use only your daypack while hiking – the rest of your belongings will be transferred from one accommodation to another.
- Small Backpack (35 liters) – These backpacks are best-suited for ultra-light trekkers. If you’re planning to carry only a small sleeping bag or just a sleeping bag liner, get one of these backpacks.
- Medium-Sized Backpack (40 liters) – Most people hiking the Camino use medium-sized bags. With good planning, you should have no trouble fitting everything you’ll need for the journey into one of these backpacks.
- Large Backpack (45 liters) – It goes without saying that a bag of this size can easily accommodate more belongings and a bigger sleeping bag. These are perfect for when you need more cold-weather gear, i.e. in the early spring or late autumn.
In case you’re planning to travel with a buddy and have most of your stuff transferred between accommodations, consider carrying a very small bag (smaller than the aforementioned daypacks). This is because you’ll be able to share some things, like the phone battery pack or the first aid kit.
Reviews of the Best Backpacks for the Camino de Santiago
In this part of the article, I’ll provide short but comprehensive and informative reviews of the market’s best backpacks for this journey. The bags will be separated into four categories mentioned above, based on their size.
The Best Daypacks for the Camino de Santiago
Osprey Talon 22 Daypack
A tried and true product, the Talon 22 is among the most popular daypacks currently available on the market. Besides the versatile, sleek design, this Osprey daypack also sports a suspension system that is typically found on much larger backpacks.
While certainly not suitable for more demanding excursions, the model can easily handle one’s essentials in most seasons. It is fully adjustable, it sports a flexible frame, and it’s highly comfortable in a wide variety of activities.
The only major disadvantage of this daypack is that it wasn’t made from the most wet-resistant fabrics. It also comes without a rain cover. For more Osprey Backpacks, see our Osprey pack reviews.
- Separate hydration compartment
- Comfortable & well-ventilated
- Fully adjustable
- Not for wet weather
Gregory Miwok 24 Liter Daypack
Comfortable and versatile, this Gregory daypack is an ideal option if you’re planning to have most of your belongings transferred from one accommodation to another during your Camino adventure.
Besides the fact that this daypack is very durable – thanks to its thick materials and tight weaves – it is also very light, mostly due to its foam suspension system. In this bag, you will find a reflector tab, a sunglasses holder, hip belt pockets, an ice ax strap, as well as compression straps.
A jack of all trades, Gregory Miwok is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a durable and feature-packed daypack.
- Lightweight mesh & foam design
- Durable construction
- Tons of features
- One size only
The Best Small Backpacks (35 Liters) for the Camino de Santiago
Mountaintop 35L Backpack
If you want your small backpack to be both durable and water-resistant, this Mountaintop model is a great choice. It sports a genuinely comfortable fit while also being very rugged and tear-resistant thanks to its 400D polyester fabric.
Besides the large main compartment, this backpack also has one front pocket, one belt pocket, and two side pockets. Its hip, sternum, and shoulder straps, on the other hand, feel both comfortable and supportive.
The only not-so-great thing about Mountaintop 35L is the quality of its snap buckles – they’re quite flimsy and need to be handled very carefully.
- Water-resistant & durable
- Comfortable fit
- Lots of pockets
- Snap buckles are made out of cheap, thin plastic
Kelty Asher Travel Pack
Here we have a small bag made by one of the world’s most renowned backpack brands – Kelty. Available in three additional sizes, the 35-liter version of the company’s Asher Travel Pack is an excellent choice for any hiker.
Sporting the brand’s proprietary Fit Pro technology, this bag provides outdoor enthusiasts with a quick and customized torso fit. What is more, this is one of the most well-ventilated backpacks on the list – its Amp Flow back panel keeps trekkers dry and cool during long backcountry escapades.
However, it is not as comfortable as the Mountaintop bag described above, as it features no hip padding.
- Quality fabrics & sturdy external frame
- Well-ventilated back panel
- Tailored fit
- No hip padding
The Best Medium-Sized Backpacks (40 Liters) for the Camino de Santiago
Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack
As far as I’m concerned, this is the best backpack you can get for your Camino pilgrimage. It is one of the world’s most popular 40-liter backpacks for a good reason – it’s an extremely well-made and feature-rich bag that you can get at a reasonable price.
Made out of 210D ripstop nylon, the Farpoint 40 is extremely durable but also very light at the same time. Its hip belt, straps, and harness are all exceptionally well-made and can be zipped away at the back of the bag.
In addition, all of these are well-padded and genuinely comfortable. Once we combine this with a myriad of compartments and pockets, we get a truly versatile medium-sized hiking backpack.
- Hipbelt, harness, and straps can be zipped away
- High-quality Osprey construction
- Comfortable to carry
- Slanted bottom
Deuter Futura Pro 40 Backpack
A roomy 40-liter backpack designed for extended multi-day hikes, the Deuter Futura Pro 40 has everything you’ll need for your Camino de Santiago walk.
It’s a feature-rich model: here, you’ll find a bottom and a top compartment, trekking pole attachments, a stow-away rain cover, a “floating” hip belt, ample back ventilation, and many other useful features.
The 600D polyester material combined with Deuter’s Super Polytex fabric ensures resistance to daily wear and tear while the lifetime warranty inspires confidence in the longevity of this phenomenal hiking backpack.
- Genuinely durable construction
- Highly ventilated mesh panel
- Plenty of pockets
- No straps on the bag’s bottom
The Best Large Backpacks (45 Liters) for the Camino de Santiago
Teton Sports 45L Backpack
Teton Sports advertises this high-quality bag as a “ready for abuse” backpack. And that’s precisely what it is – this is a seriously well-made product that easily withstands the inevitable wear and tear that come with multi-day hikes.
Here, you will find a durable, water-repellent exterior, a rain cover, a convenient water bladder compartment, well-made compression straps, angled water bottle containers, and plenty of exterior pockets for easy organization and strategic packing.
The only disadvantage of this 45-liter backpack is that it has no pockets on its waist belt.
- Tough, abuse-resistant construction
- Very comfortable & adjustable
- Water-repellent exterior
- No pockets on the waist belt
G4Free 45L Backpack
Significantly less expensive than the Teton Sports model described above, this 45-liter backpack is a great choice if you’re looking to save some money. It is just as durable and feature-packed as many pricier products of this type.
There are a lot of pockets and compartments here – the main zipped compartment, bottom pocket with a rain cover, two side pockets, one unzipped middle pocket, and two zipped front pockets. The nine adjustable straps, on the other hand, make it easy to tie up a hammock, tripod, sleeping bag, and other pieces of gear.
Although very roomy, this 45-liter backpack is quite light – it weighs only 2 pounds. It is also durable, long-lasting, and highly water-resistant.
- Inexpensive but feature-packed
- Lots of organization options
- Highly water-resistant
- Somewhat flimsy zippers
Hopefully, this article has helped you find the perfect backpack for your Camino de Santiago adventure.
As far as I’m concerned, Osprey’s immensely popular Farpoint 40 backpack is the best choice for this journey. However, in case you need something smaller or bigger, make sure to check out my reviews of the other backpacks featured in this roundup.
I love hiking, backpacking, and camping. From the Camino de Santiago to the West Highland Way in Scotland or simply a great day hike on the weekend. Hiking refreshes me, my mind, and keeps my body reasonably fit. So far I have walked three Camino routes and many other long distance hikes in the UK, Canada, and around the rest of Europe. One of the best was my hike up Ben Nevis.