If you’re looking to have a great experience in nature, it’s important to make sure you have the proper gear. One item that a lot of different activities require is a backpack. Here are a few great options when it comes to outdoor recreation backpacks.

1. Deuter Freerider Lite 25

Deuter Freerider Lite 25
The Deuter Freerider Lite 25.

I’ve tried out a lot of ski backpacks over the years, and I have yet to try one that feels as slim as the Freerider Lite 25. With a fit that’s tight against the back and has very little movement while you’re heading down the slopes, it’s almost possible to forget its there – in the best way possible. Be aware that this is a single-compartment backpack that’s on the smaller side by design. That means that while you might not bring this one a long backcountry trip, this is the perfect pack for resort skiing.

If you’re looking for a backpack that’s functional on the slopes, but won’t get in the way, the Deuter Freerider Lite 25 is it.

2. The Gregory Anode 30

Gregory Anode 30 Backpack
Gregory Anode 30 Backpack.

Working with OutThere Colorado, I tend to keep my laptop nearby wherever I’m at. That’s why I’m including two great laptop backpacks on this list, including the Gregory Anode 30.

With plenty of compartments to keep you organized and a fit that’s more like a comfortable day-pack than the standard backpack, this is my go-to when I know I’ll be wearing a loaded down backpack for a long time. For instance, I just traveled around India with this thing and despite hours spent walking around airports on connection flights, my shoulders were left feeling totally fine. Nearly any other laptop bag I’ve had in the past would have had them burning.

I also loved the fact that this backpack has the waist and chest strap to add additional support. If you need a day bag to take your professional life into the field with you, this pack fits the specs you’re likely looking for and it has the Gregory quality you can trust.

3. The Cannae Sarcina

Cannae Sarcina backpack
The Cannae Sarcina backpack.

When it comes to rugged packs, Cannae’s Sarcina takes the cake. It’s made out of 500D Cordura, which means its practically invincible and sure to protect what’s inside – which is great because this is the second laptop pack on this list.

While I like the aforementioned Gregory option for travel purposes, I like the Sarcina for when I know I’ll be getting a little dirty, whether that’s a long hike in rugged terrain or a quick overnight trip where I’ll be sleeping on the ground. If you’re someone that likes to be able to take your laptop anywhere, this is a great way to do it while keeping the computer protected.

Another cool feature is that this pack opens into the main compartment from various spots on the bag. This makes it easy to access what’s inside without doing much digging.

4. The Deuter Speed Lite 32

Deuter Speedlite 32
Deuter Speed Lite 32 backpack.

I’ve written about how much I love the Deuter Speed Lite 32 before, but I’m including it on this list because it’s still my favorite high-altitude hiking pack.

Not only does it feel great on your back while it’s loaded down and you’re walking for hours, it’s also surprisingly spacious. In the photo above, I’m carrying three jackets, pants, and my water supply with ease (I don’t normally pack that heavily, but I had to give it a fair test).

When I need to bring layers and plenty of sustenance with me into the great outdoors while also being mindful of the long distance I’ll be covering, the Deuter Speed Lite 32 backpack is hard to beat.

*** With regards to gear-related pieces, OutThere Colorado staff may receive product for testing purposes at no cost. Per our editorial ethics policy, receiving product in no way guarantees coverage, positive or negative. All selections made on gear lists are made by the author solely based on their experience with the gear. If you’re interested in purchasing one of these packs, you’ll find links in the articles. OutThere Colorado does not receive any sort of commission on sales made coming from this page.

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