A hiking backpack is by far the most important piece of gear for any serious hiker. So choose your companion wisely. In fact, choosing the best backpack is like choosing the right car: it should be comfortable, able to carry all your essentials, and aesthetically pleasing. And, just like cars, the choices are seemingly endless. Our picks for this year's best hiking backpacks will guide you in making the right choice for your next trip in the wild. There are several important criteria to consider when buying a hiking backpack. Some of these include volume, weight, comfort, durability, and features.