best backpack by brand
- Lowe Alpine
- Gregory Baltoro
- Eagle Creek
To help you know your third-rate backpack from your lifelong adventure companion, we thought we would talk you through some of our best backpack by brands and show you why we think they’re the best in the game.
All of the following backpack brands design their products to last for a lifetime, and in case they don’t, they make sure they try to repair them instead of allowing you to replace them, fueling the capitalist machine and leaving those materials to waste. Read more >
Once you know what type of backpack you need for your gap year adventure you now have to pick the best backpack by brand, after all if you want it to last you will have to pick a backpack brand that has a stellar reputation. Your first instinct is to Google every single option, and this can be overwhelming. You might find yourself lost in a maze of different manufacturers and prices.
Conversely, if this is your first big trip, you might be inclined to think of it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and not really think about what backpack brand you’re getting or want to spend too much time and money on it. But why limit yourself? We know that once you get started, wanderlust will take over, and you will wish you had invested in that strong, reliable product to travel with you for years and years.
They are invariably passionate about the preservation of the environment, and contribute to projects or charities that relate to and inspire their vision. These are not the only brands that we work with, but their quality and their values constitute the benchmark for what we look for in outdoor gear brands. In other words, these are our safe bets you know you can’t go wrong with.
You don’t need to be a full-blown gear geek like us to recognise the added value in these backpack brands. As you will see, commitment to durable, high-performing materials and to the environment very often go hand-in-hand, and our best backpack brands all share this ethos.
This is one of the reasons that we trust them with our gear needs. Of course, it helps to know that the bag you are carrying isn’t just a bag at all, it is a combination of power and comfort that, barring any disaster, you can rely on not to abandon you halfway through your trip, and to accompany you for many many years.
The Osprey backpack brand is very popular among travellers and hikers alike, and for good reasons. Osprey was founded in California in 1974 by Mike Pfotenhauer, who is still the chief designer. He says that making objects allows him to ‘connect better with my environment’ and you can really see how that influences his vision for the company.
Entirely devoted to backpacks and accessories, the Osprey brand provides traveller-approved customer care to ensure that all backpacks can be fixed, rather than replaced, whenever possible. This is part of their commitment to the environment, which also includes using recycled or recyclable material for packaging, and supporting projects such as the Bird Conservation Georgia to stop the hunting of birds like the osprey itself.
Osprey products offer what they call the All Mighty Guarantee, this mean that they will repair or replace any faulty backpack without any charge, within its reasonable lifetime. Osprey products channel their spirit animal’s strength, adaptability and high-flying ambition.
The Lowe Alpine backpack brand springs from a group of pioneers, in more ways than one. Founded in Colorado by legendary climber Jeff Lowe and his brothers 50 years ago, their first backpack, the Expedition, is considered the originator of the entire industry today, as it was the first to feature an internal frame.
The brand also used to design clothes, but is now entirely focused on backpacks. Today, their packs, with a focus on hikers and mountaineers but also catering to the every-day commuter, are some of the best in the industry. According to various sources they are leaders in the global waterproof textiles market, and are again committed to sourcing materials responsibly, recycling and repairing wherever possible. Their AirZone line won the Outdoor Industry award in 2015.
All Lowe Alpine products come with a guarantee that covers the original owner, with proof of purchase, for the usable lifetime of the product. Their ‘impossible is nothing’ spirit, other than being a fantastic premise for a movie adaptation, makes us trust in their vision too.
Founded in 1977 by Wayne Gregory, a passionate designer whose vision originated during a Boy Scout project, the company is now in its 40th anniversary year, and throughout its history has consistently delivered cutting-edge technology. Gregory started building backpacks at the back of his shop in San Diego, and went on to be the first to develop an adjustable harness and frame.
The company is environmentally conscious and operates a Social Compliance Program, and has won many awards including Backpacker Magazine Reader’s Choice and Editor’s choice awards in 2005 and Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year award in 2009/2010.
Their Paragon and Maven line has also recently won the 2016 OutDoor Industry award. This award haul speaks volumes about the company’s cutting-edge vision, and their packs will make you feel like a hiking superhero. Gregory stand behind their products offering a lifetime warranty, for as long as you own it.
Founded in 1975 by Steve and Nona Barker in California, now based in the San Diego county, the company has been focusing on packing solutions for all types of travellers. Having won the Gear of the Year award from National Geographic Adventure in 2014. Eagle Creek combines kick-ass production with going out of its way to help the local community.
They partner with, among many others, Outdoor Outreach, North County Community Services, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Alaska Wilderness League. Most of these associations work in the San Diego area supporting vulnerable youth and working families living with low income – while the Pacific Crest Trail and the Alaska Wilderness League are committed to preserving the natural environment of those areas.
On top of all this, their commitment to reducing waste by using fabrics that don’t impact the environment negatively, all build the reputation of Eagle Creek as a sustainable and reliable company. Which is all the more reason to geek out about their products.
Eagle creek take the manufacturing of their products really serious and have taken the extra step of offering a Not Matter What warranty that covers for product failure during the product lifetime, regardless of the cause.