The Best Backpack for The Appalachian Trail Reviewed

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Gorgeous hiking on the The Appalachian Trail

Congratulations, you’ve done it! You’ve stepped out of your door and found your feet in the heartland of eastern America and on one of the most iconic footpaths in the world, The Appalachian Trail.

Check out my top pick for the best Backpack for The Appalachian Trail at Amazon.

Whether you’re thru-hiking all 2,179 miles of the Appalachian Trail, or spending four days trekking through the Smokies, as any backpacker knows, your pack basically becomes a new vital organ. As it is, I’ve found no pack to be as pivotal to experiencing America’s heartland with comfort and reliability as the Osprey Exos 58!

Tried and True

Look, when it comes down to it, you wouldn’t trust a roller coaster not a single soul has ever ridden before, and likewise you shouldn’t put your faith in just any weekend warrior brand that has never seen the light of day.

The Osprey Exos 58 comes from the famed and passionate Osprey Company bent on releasing only the best ‘for hikers, by hikers’ products. I’m sure this is part of the reason the Osprey Exos 58 was the most trusted pack on the Appalachian Trail in 2016. The Osprey Exos 58 boasts a track record of satisfied, hardcore hikers that speaks for itself.

The Osprey Exos 58 is light, breathable and uber comfortable.

Carried with Comfort

Nights on end with Mother Nature, as much as you love them, come equipped with their own prerequisites of discomforts, your pack does not need to be one of them! The Osprey Exos was meticulously manufactured to keep one comfy until you reach camp.

The trampoline pad keeps your back cool, while the breathability of the hip belt and shoulder straps minimize chafing and weight slipping, two crucial, nonnegotiable features necessary in a good long distance backpack.

Check out the Osprey Exos 58 Backpack at Amazon.

Smart on the Scale

The tipping point for any long distance backpack is how it measures up in terms of pounds, and few packs measure up to the Osprey Exos in terms of durability while staying friendly towards the ultralight trend in today’s outdoors culture.

The proof is in the Exos’ internal 6065 aluminum frame which not only keeps the pack durable and stable, but also weighs it in at just over 2 lbs and far outdoes its heavier counterparts.

Every ounce counts on an adventure like the Appalachian Trail. Save those ounces for more important things, like trail mix or pop tarts, and go with the Osprey Exos 58!

Best Backpack for The Appalachian Trail

  • The layered mesh material featured on the Osprey Exos’ shoulder and hip weight bearing elements provide any hiker with quality comfort.
  • The aluminum frame and 58L volume allows substantial space to store all your trip essentials while minimizing pack weight.
  • The Osprey Exos’ famed mesh back panel keeps the pack snug on your back while still keeping your body cool and ventilated.
  • A floating top lid allows for extra organization, or is removable at the hiker’s convenience for a lighter weight.
  •  Mesh pockets on the side and front of the pack opts for convenient storage and easy access to on the go items.
  • Conveniently placed hip belt and shoulder strap pockets also allow easy access to trail snacks, trekking poles, GPS, phone, and more.

What Customers are Saying

The Appalachian Trail Backpacks

The top feature for lovers of the Osprey Exos 58 is it’s comfort and light weight

The Osprey Exos 58 is the ultralight pack best suited for the Appalachian Trail. The comfortable mesh and back pad, along with the ease of access pockets and sheer volume are more than enough to have us hikers raving, but what really has stolen the hearts of its users is its perfect balance of ultralight build without sacrificing comfort or durability.

Granted, some users have found the mesh build of the Osprey Exos to, at times, cause the pack to feel more flimsy or less sturdy. This could obviously be a slight complication to those used to very rigid packs with minimal give and bend.

However, a majority of users tend to see this issue in a positive light, especially in terms of comfort. While the Osprey Exos could appear more flimsy than other models to some, it’s this very feature that distinguishes it as comfortable and able to be carried with ease by experienced hikers.

Given the vast amount of features that really set the Osprey Exos 58 apart, I can’t help but recommend this pack to any other fellow hikers dreaming of stepping out on to the Appalachian Trail.

Check out the Osprey Exos 58 Backpack at Amazon.

Who Should Buy this Product?

The Osprey Exos 58 is the go to pack for anyone serious about experiencing and savoring America’s most iconic trail. For the hiker who wants to scale mountains, explore forests, and connect with the outdoors while wearing a pack that maximizes comfort, convenience, and reliability one can’t go wrong with the Osprey Exos 58.

This pack is for the adventurer who wants to go light. And why not go light? Every ounce of energy saved while hauling your back provides even more capacity for enjoying breathtaking vistas and the journey of a lifetime.

Who Shouldn’t Buy this Product?

The hiker who has limited interest in carrying the bare essentials of their livelihood into the wilderness on their back could probably do well to steer clear of this pack.

While the Osprey Exos is up to standards for even the most hardy wilderness trekkers, the one-nighters who value their propane camp stoves, shorter, less primitive excursions, and an extensive list of necessities would likely find this pack a little too simple to fit their needs.


The Osprey Exos 58 was manufactured on a foundation of passion unique to America’s outdoor hikers, and as such is ideal to anyone wanting to plunge into wild America.

Just as the Appalachian Trail is a vital piece of America’s identity as a place of pristine wilderness and beauty, so the Osprey Exos 58 is a vital component to any outdoors enthusiast yearning to experience it.

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Meet the Author

'Mountain Man' John

'Mountain Man' John is a Survival and Preparedness enthusiast who loves everything outdoors. He has a passion for learning anything and everything to help sustain his and his families way of life post SHTF. He frequently shares his knowledge on a variety of topics from his hands on DIY projects, learning new skills such as hunting and trapping along with reviews on his Survival related purchases - Prepping has been in his family for generations, it's in his blood.