By Diana Gerstacker
A backpack is more than just a container to store and tote your gear -- a backpack is a symbol of adventure. These packs allow us the opportunity to explore without weighing us down.
Backpacks go where other bags can’t -- up mountains, through deep woods and out on the water. These amazing packs are the first choice for many travelers, athletes and school kids for their style and functionality. Everyone needs to take along their gear, whether it be crampons or crayons, backpacks are the ultimate adventure bag.
With the beginning of the school year just around the corner, we sought out the best backpacks that will handle everything from books to trekking gear. The packs on our list are versatile, top-of-the-line bags that will hold up through any adventure but won't break the bank. If you're looking to take on that next big peak or simply organize your technology for travel, take a look at the backpacks on our list.
The Mist Hydration Pack comes with a 2-liter bladder—and that’s only the first feature. The pack is big enough to hold whatever you might need on your long run or hike, but small enough not to feel like a burden. Two front zipper pockets, an expandable front pocket and reflective accents put this pack on every runner's wish list.
This little pack is the ultimate mountain companion. The perfect size for a day in the snow, the 11-liter pack is discreet and attractive with all of the features you could want. The pack is able to carry either a set of skis or a snowboard along with a shovel in an outside pocket. The Heli pack also features an insulated hydro sleeve, a fleece lined goggle pocket and a rescue whistle built into the sternum strap.
This pack was a designed by Shawn White himself, so style and functionality are a given. The deceptively small pack will hold your skateboard, laptop, oversized headphones and sunglasses, in addition to 30-liters of whatever else you need to bring along. The skate carry straps hide away for a clean look and a side pocket allows easy access to sunglasses or an iPod. Made of durable polyester, this bag is so sure to hold up for the long haul that it's backed by a lifetime guarantee.
This 29-liter pack is set for any adventure, be it urban or remote. The pack has sleeves for both your laptop and tablet and also has a hydration port and room for a bladder for your more active trips. Other important features include a removable sternum strap, a stowable hip belt and reflective detailing for safety at night. The pack that specializes in versatility has earned a 4.7 out of 5 star rating.
This waterproof pack is perfect for any adventure, from a rafting trip on the river to a relaxing day at the beach. The Amphibian is made of 420 Denier fabric with TPU coating that can stand up to just about anything. The bag is outfitted with a top carry handle, a trekking pole holder and reflective accents.
Named to National Geographic's Adventure Gear of the Year list, this double-duty pack is ready for anything. With a few zippers and strap adjustments, change this backpack into a duffel bag with 15 percent more capacity. The ultra-light bag is washable and folds to a fraction of its size, making it a great choice for any trip.
Described as a “comfortable hauler for peak bagging and other 1-day excursions,” the Stratos 34 Pack is designed to fit a man’s frame perfectly and according to reviewers, it does. The pack includes an integrated raincover, a sleeping bag compartment and sleeping pad straps for overnight trips. Ladies looking for a comparable bag should check out the Sirrus 36.
More From The Active Times:
-- 11 Practical Backpacks Under $100
-- Commute Comfortably: 11 Messenger Bags for the Urban
-- 8 Unexpected Things You Can Put in Checked Bags
-- The Best Sleeping Bags for Backyard and Backcountry Camping