We recommend packs that are between 30 L to 40 L, and are full featured. Load bearing hip straps. Cinch straps hold your trekking poles when not in use. The outside pockets are great for storing water bottles, snacks and accessories.
1. KELTY FURY: $179
Get off the grid with the Kelty Fury 35 Backpack. This overnight backpack features an Agile Suspension System to elevate the back panel for increased air flow. AirMesh shoulder straps, waist belt, and lumbar support work in conjunction with the raised back panel to siphon cool air when you’re marching down trail in search of a perfect place to set up camp.
Easily storing minimal overnight gear, this pack features a top-loading main compartment; there’s a separate zippered sleeping bag compartment at the pack’s bottom for easy loading and removal. A front zippered accessory pocket is great for organizing accessories and stashing a small jacket for quick retrieval; a small zippered map pocket stores navigation extras such as a map and compass, as well as additional small items. Stretch-mesh water bottle pockets keep your H20 conveniently on hand, and zippered waist-belt pockets hold energy bars and small electronics within easy reach. In addition, an integrated rain cover protects the pack’s contents when you’re caught in an afternoon squall.
2. THE NORTH FACE TERRA 35, $139
The North Face Terra 35 Backpack is a lightweight pack that’s ideal for Kilimanjaro. Small enough to trek over rough and rugged terrain, this pack won’t inhibit you from covering serious ground on your daily hikes. No stranger to being maxed out either, the anatomically correct shoulder harness and load-spreading hip belt support hefty loads when seeking solitude for an evening in the wilderness.
Seven total pockets hold a wide variety of camping and hiking essentials, and six lash points conveniently clip on-trail accessories and tools. An improved sleeping bag compartment allows for easy access without disturbing the pack’s contents. Additionally, a vertical back channel promotes air circulation when trudging through oppressive heat and stifling humidity.
3. GREGORY Z35, $129
The lightweight Z 35 Backpack features Gregory’s rugged CrossFlo ventilating suspension system, and with at least 2,135 cubic inches of storage, this backpack is great for a Kilimanjaro. Tough construction and low weight mean the Z 35 won’t drag you down and won’t give you any nasty surprises.
With a maximum load recommendation of 35 pounds, the Z 35 is perfect as your Kilimanjaro daypack. Gregory’s CrossFlo suspension system is strong, simple, and lightweight. It also provides cooling airflow across your back to pull moisture and heat away. Access to the Z 35’s main compartment is made easy with a large, u-shaped zippered opening. The pack also provides easy access to small items with dual waist belt pockets and a large dump pocket on the front of the pack, as well as a highly water-resistant top pocket with a waterproof zipper and sealed seams. And, speaking of waterproof, the Z 35 comes with an integrated, color-matched rain cover to keep your gear safe and dry when an unexpected storm pops up.
4. OSPREY TALON 33, $129
The Osprey Talon 33 Backpack has your back whether you’re a light-and-fast backpacker heading out for an overnight or you’re climbing Kilimanjaro over a week’s time. The designers at Osprey molded the Airscape back panel somewhat like a chimney to ventilate any excess heat so your back isn’t a sweaty mess when you reach your campsite or lunch spot. Biostretch covers the shoulder straps and waist-belt for maximum comfort and breathability while you hike, and the ErgoPull tabs cinch across your waist for an ideal fit. If you’ve reached camp and want to take a quick acclimatization hike up to the ridge, just remove the top lid and pack your camera and a snack inside.
The Talon 33’s external hydration sleeve makes your reservoir easy to refill, side stretch pockets can fit extra water or snacks, two zippered pockets at the waist-belt carry a point-and-shoot, lip balm, or sunscreen, and one front panel pocket holds your map, a book, or a last-minute item you might want before you head out. The shoulder straps have Stow-On-The-Go attachments for your trekking poles when the trail is nice and flat, and lower InsideOut straps compress the pack down quickly and simply. This pack even has two ice tool attachment loops with bungee tie-offs so you can continue using it throughout the year.
5. DEUTER ACT TRAIL 32, $129
Your Kilimanjaro pack is one of your gear lifelines, so make sure to pick the right one. The Deuter ACT Trail 32 Backpack is up to the challenges you’ll throw its way. Deuter equipped this daypack with its proprietary Aircontact back system that features a Delrin U-frame Rod. This U-shaped rod creates an ergonomic fit that encourages circulation and optimal load distribution.
ACT Trail suspension system features two breathable foam pads that ‘pump’ with an air channel between them to push air up and out while you hike.
AirMesh lining on the back panel and mesh wings on the hip-belt offer maximum breathability where the pack makes the most contact with your back. Front-panel access allows you to find things easily without unloading the pack. Internal wet laundry compartment separates soaked clothes from fresh layers. Rain cover deploys from bottom pocket to protect your load from torrential rains. Compression straps cinch down pack and help attach your gear to the outside of the pack.