Best American Made Backpacks

Four people with backpacks standing on a hilltop, overlooking mountains.

Why Trust Us

With over ten years of experience on trails across five continents in various seasons, my expertise in outdoor gear is both extensive and practical. My background in environmental science is complemented by hands-on experience in rigorous outdoor settings, allowing me to critically assess and recommend reliable equipment.

As a seasoned thru-hiker, my insights are grounded in thousands of miles covered on renowned trails like the Pacific Crest. My gear evaluations are informed by practical usage, focusing on essential aspects such as weight balance, durability, and environmental sustainability.

These reviews are more than just opinions; they are informed by real-world experiences, guiding you in selecting dependable gear for your outdoor adventures. The goal is to empower you to pack smartly and explore responsibly. Read on for my recommendations on the best backpacks proudly made in the USA.

Overview of Top Backpacks made in the USA

  1. Best Ultralight Backpack: ULA Ohm  
  2. Best Climbing & Mountaineering Pack: Cilogear 45L WorkSack 
  3. Best Laptop Backpack: Nomatic Backpack 
  4. Best Hunting Backpack: Akek Alpha 3200 Backpack 
  5. Best Daypack: Patagonia Refugio Daypack 26L
  6. Best Waterproof Backpack: Yeti 28L Waterproof Backpack 
  7. Best Waterproof Backpack: Yeti 28L Waterproof Backpack 

When searching for the best American-made backpack, there are a few standout brands that rise to the top for their commitment to quality, innovation, and customer service. We’ve highlighted seven of our favorite backpacks manufactured in the United States across a range of categories and price points.

Best Ultralight Backpack: ULA Ohm

The ULA Ohm backpack is a full-featured, ultralight pack designed for exceptional load control and functionality on the trail. It incorporates a 1.2 oz carbon fiber/Delrin active suspension hoop and near-full-body compression for optimal load control, weight transfer, pack compression, and rigidity, all in an ultralight package. 

Ideal for fast, light travel with a prudent amount of gear, the Ohm uses a belt and shoulder strap system for maximum comfort and weight transfer. Weighing just 33.8 ounces, the Ohm minimalist pack has a streamlined roll-top design and carries loads up to 30 lbs while remaining remarkably comfortable thanks to the stiff foam frame sheet and ventilated back panel. 

It also offers adjustable torso length and comes with a roll-top closure. The pack is durable and built to last, despite its minimal weight. ULA also offers multiple different colors and sizes which may better suit you if you find this a little too small.

  • Weight of the Bag: 958gm
  • Size: up to 30lbs
  • Price: Starting at $259.99
  • Reviews: Highly rated for its comfort, durability, and weight-to-volume ratio, the ULA Ohm is a favorite among ultralight backpacking enthusiasts.

Best Climbing & Mountaineering Pack: Cilogear 45L WorkSack

The 45L Worksack is often celebrated as a top choice for alpine adventures due to its optimal balance of capacity, durability, and functionality. Weighing 2.9 pounds and offering 45 liters of volume, the Cilogear 45L WorkSack is a versatile and rugged choice for climbers and mountaineers.  

With a 45-liter volume, it offers ample space for essential gear, food, and clothing needed for day or overnight trips in the mountains, without being excessively bulky or heavy. The size is perfect for those who need to carry ropes, ice tools, crampons, and other alpine equipment, making it a versatile choice for various types of climbing and mountaineering excursions.

With a price tag of about $299, it receives acclaim for its durability and customizable features. Whether you’re scaling peaks or tackling alpine routes, this backpack is up to the challenge. 

  • Weight: 790gm 
  • Size: 45L, Expanded 75L
  • Price: Starting at $289
  • Reviews: The Cilogear 45L WorkSack is praised for its versatility, durability, and customizable features, making it an ideal choice for climbers and mountaineers.

Best Laptop Backpack: Nomatic Backpack

The Nomatic Backpack is designed for everyday use and comes in two sizes: 20L and 14L. It features durable, water-resistant materials and YKK zippers, ensuring longevity and protection from the elements. 

The backpack offers 20% expandability for extra packing capacity. Unique to this backpack is a patent-pending strap system that allows a seamless transition from backpack to briefcase carry style, adding to its versatility. 

Other than that it features over 20 functional features, including a full perimeter zipper, magnetic water bottle pockets, RFID-safe storage, hidden pockets, and a sleek, minimalist design, making it an ideal choice for those constantly on the move. 

  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Laptop Compartment: 15.5″ x 10″ x 1.5″
  • Size: 14 L
  • Price: Starting at $209 – $299
  • Reviews: The Nomatic Backpack combines sleek design with practical features like a tech compartment and anti-theft locking zippers. It’s a stylish and functional choice for carrying your laptop and essentials.

Best Hunting Backpack: Akek Alpha 3200 Backpack

The Alpha 3200 Hunting Backpack is a top-tier choice for hunters. It’s loaded with all the features one could want from a hunting pack. Some of its key features include a lightweight and flexible carbon fiber frame for heavy load support, 500D Cordura material for strength and water resistance, and a generous 3200 cubic inch capacity. 

This backpack also offers hydration bladder storage, separate shelves for gear or game, a removable small pack, and YKK water and dust-resistant zippers. Adjustable shoulder straps and a quick-release strap for easy access to weapons add to its practicality. It is very comfortable while on and offers huge load capacity. The Akek Alpha 3200 Backpack offers a generous volume of 3,200 cubic inches (approximately 52.5 liters). 

Priced at around $467, it’s favored by hunters for its rugged build, ample storage, and comfortable carrying capacity, making it the perfect companion for extended hunting trips into the wilderness.

  • Weight: 5lb
  • Volume: 3,200 cubic inches (approximately 52.5 liters)
  • Price: Around $467
  • Reviews: The Akek Alpha 3200 is favored by hunters for its rugged build, ample storage, and comfortable carrying capacity for extended hunting trips.

Best Daypack: Patagonia Refugio Daypack 26L

Patagonia’s Refugio Daypack is a versatile and eco-friendly option with a volume of 26 liters and a price tag of approximately $109. It has two variants, one for men and the other for women, the difference lies in the size of the harness.

It’s made out of 50% recycled  630D nylon.  It’s known for its comfort and organizational pockets, making it ideal for day hikes, city exploration, and daily commuting. It has a front pocket with a vertical zipper for quick access items, though packing around the zipper is advised to prevent items from falling out. 

The backpack has two main compartments. The first compartment includes a zippered pocket and a see-through mesh pocket, but space is limited if the main compartment is full. The main compartment features a thick laptop sleeve for up to a 15” laptop and a smaller pocket for a tablet or notebook.

The only drawback this backpack has is that pockets are not litter independent which means they take up each other’s space when packing. 

  • Weight: 1.32 lb (0.6 kg)
  • Volume: 26 litres
  • Price: Approximately $109
  • Reviews: Patagonia’s Refugio Daypack is a versatile and eco-friendly option, known for its comfort and organizational pockets. It’s perfect for day hikes and daily commuting.

Best Waterproof Backpack: Yeti 28L Waterproof Backpack

The Yeti 28L Waterproof Backpack, priced at about $300, is a submersible bag tested to the global industry rating of IPX7. Its ThickSkin™ shell is both puncture and abrasion-resistant, offering excellent protection. 

The backpack is comfortable to wear, thanks to its wide straps, chest strap, and waist belt. It’s 100% waterproof, making it ideal for wet conditions. While it’s on the pricier side, the Panga’s quality and features justify the investment, especially for activities like fishing, hiking, and adventure travel.

  • Weight: 3.9 LBS
  • Volume: 28 liters
  • Price: About $300
  • Reviews: Yeti’s waterproof backpack is designed to withstand the elements. It’s highly praised for its durability, waterproof zippers, and comfortable fit.

Best Everyday Carry Backpack: Tombihn Synik 30

The Tom Bihn Synik 30 Backpack is an outstanding everyday carry choice, celebrated for its superior organization and ergonomic design. It offers extensive customization options, including a wide range of colors and additional accessories. 

It comes with a dedicated laptop compartment, a spacious main compartment, and several smaller pockets for items like chargers, notebooks, and pens. This makes it ideal for those who need to carry multiple items daily.

While its rounded shape may limit space optimization for carry-on travel, the bag’s design and comfort make up for it. The Synik 30 is durable, featuring quality materials like ballistic nylon, and offers excellent protection for its contents.

  • Weight: 3.01 lb (1.4 kg) 
  • Size: 30 liters
  • Price: Starting at $330
  • Reviews: Tombihn’s Synik 30 is a well-crafted, everyday carry backpack with a focus on organization, comfort, and aesthetics. It’s one of the favorites among urban commuters and professionals.

Top Quality American Backpack Brands

In addition to the great backpack models we’ve mentioned above, these Made in USA brands design and produce excellent packs worth checking out:


Founded by an Army Green Beret, GORUCK specializes in rugged tactical and outdoor backpacks of the highest caliber, handmade at their workshop in Jacksonville, Florida. 


Tom Bihn

All Tom Bihn bags have been crafted by hand just outside Seattle ever since 1983, featuring innovative designs focused on functional minimalism.  



This a premier name in hunting packs, designing their tactical and outdoor backpacks & gear for 28 years in their Boise, Idaho HQ.


Hill People Gear

They have been producing purpose-driven PALS-compatible packs from their workshop in rural Colorado since 2008.



Stone Glacier

Specialists in ultralight, hyper-durable titanium & Kevlar hunting packs handcrafted in Bozeman, Montana.


Seek Outside

Backpacks and shelters for backcountry hunting & hiking are handmade at their small shop in Southwest Colorado.


Red Clouds Collective

Veteran-founded and based in Portland, Oregon company sustainably making versatile outdoor packs and pouches since 2015. 




100% owned and operated in the USA, CiloGear is a well-renowned manufacturer of versatile and lightweight alpine backpacks.


Colfax Design Works 

Colfax Design Works specializes in creating modular, military-inspired travel products tailored for commuters. Their innovative design approach results in versatile travel goods, all of which are manufactured in the USA.


Duluth Pack

Since 1882, Duluth Pack has set the standard for American-made canvas leather products. The company specializes in Duluth pack-style backpacks and extends its craftsmanship to a variety of other bags and backpack accessories, all reflecting the distinct style of their classic packs.


Defy Bags

Established in 2008 in the city of Chicago, DEFY specializes in crafting bags and accessories meticulously handmade in the United States, ensuring their enduring quality and durability.


Green Guru Gears

Green Guru Gear is a U.S.-based company specializing in the design of outdoor and lifestyle bags and accessories crafted from sustainable and environmentally friendly materials.


Hyperlight Mountain Gear

Hyperlite is an American company that specializes in crafting ultralight backpacks, shelters, tarps, and accessories designed for all types of adventures. These products are constructed using waterproof and resilient Dyneema® Composite Fabrics.


Exo Mtn Gear

Specializing in mountain gear Exo Mtn Gear is a USA-based company with 20+ years of backcountry hunting experience, 10+ years of pack design experience, and 3+ years of focused design experience.


Frost River

Frost Rivers specializes in premium waxed canvas luggage, canoe packs, and business bags, all handcrafted in the heart of Duluth, Minnesota, USA, and backed by a lifetime guarantee.

Mystery Ranch

Mystery Ranch stands as the premier choice for robust hunting bags and packs. Offering unmatched durability, organization, and a personalized fit, great choice for enhancing your hunting adventures.


Mission Workshop

Mission Workshop, an American brand headquartered in San Francisco, boasts more than two decades of expertise in making high-quality clothing and bags.



Pack Rabbits

Based in Dallas, USA, Pack Rabbit specializes in crafting outdoor backpacks that incorporate our groundbreaking Exo-Frame technology, complete with an integrated flip-down seat.


North St Bags

North St. Bags crafts premium panniers, backpacks, top-quality waterproof bicycle gear, and hip packs meticulously handcrafted in the heart of Portland, Oregon.



Toppo Designs

Topo Designs, founded in 2008 by Jedd Rose in Denver, Colorado, started as a basement concept. They specialize in sustainable, durable outdoor products including bags, packs, apparel, and accessories. Primarily catering to young Millennials and Gen Z, Topo Designs ships all orders from Denver.



Spec-Ops Brand innovates and manufactures high-performance tactical nylon products designed to enhance weapon and gear organization, optimizing field performance for military, law enforcement, homeland security, and other demanding professionals.



when it comes to choosing the best American-made backpacks for your outdoor adventures, you can trust these recommendations. With years of hands-on experience and a passion for quality gear, I’ve created this comprehensive list of top-notch backpacks that cover various needs and preferences.

My assessment focuses on some of the most critical factors such as durability, comfort, weight distribution, and value. These top-quality backpacks offer the perfect blend of craftsmanship, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

Whether you’re an ultralight backpacker, a climber, a laptop user, a hunter, a day-tripper, or simply in search of an everyday carry backpack, I’ve got your back covered.

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