The Best Expedition Backpacks (70+ L)
In this category, we looked at backpacks with volumes larger than 70 liters. Expedition backpacks represent a diverse range of applications, such as the ultralight backpacking focus of the Gregory Stout 75 or the mountaineering expedition usefulness of the Black Diamond Mission 75.
This category does not include drybags with straps, or any other bag that looks closer to a duffel than a true backpacking pack. This variety of application means that the category is diverse, but they share many common design features and inspirations. The packs were judged on five criteria: comfort/fit, storage, stability, durability, and extras. These seven backpacks were chosen as a representative sample covering a range of diverse use and applications.
These backpacks were tested throughout the winter and spring of 2017, during day hikes and overnight backpacking trips from 1-4 nights, with mileage hovering around a dozen miles a day. Tests were conducted on Maryland’s Western Shore, in the Olympic Range of Washington State, the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest, and in the central Sierra Nevada.