The time I realized I needed to look for a good backpack was after I went on my first backpacking trip. It was only for six days, so I thought what I had would be fine. After that trip, I couldn't help but want more adventure, whether traveling somewhere far or near.
I began to search for a decent backpack for future trips, particularly for weekend trips. After a long search, I found the Mountaintop 40-Liter Hiking Backpack by Mountaintop Packs, Inc, which fits right in budget.
If you are looking for a backpack for hiking or short trips, you should consider Mountaintop’s 40-Liter Hiking Backpack. They also have other backpacks in different sizes to suit your needs. Read on if you want to know how to choose the right backpack and for Mountaintop backpack review.
What To Consider When Buying a Hiking/Backpacking Backpack
The capacity of a bag is probably one of the first things you need to consider. It’s usually measured in liters and is determined by two huge factors.The first one is the length of the trip. How many days are you packing for or do you want to pack for?
The second determiner is the gear you need to carry. Are you bringing camping gear, winter gear, or other gear for a specific trip? If you are, then you might need more room in your pack. It's easier to select a backpack capacity when you've determined these two factors.
However, not all trips are the same; some are longer than others. In this case, look for something that is versatile.
For general use or trips in various lengths, we suggest either getting two different packs or a pack that's large enough for long trips. Using a large pack for short trips isn’t as bad as not having enough capacity for long trips. You can also look into large backpacks that have a detachable smaller one for day use.
We all have different ideas of needs and wants, so what we say is the right size, may not be right for you. Only you can determine the perfect capacity for you. If you consider yourself a light packer, here are some of our suggestions for backpack capacity:
- 20-30 liters for a single day or overnight trip
- 30-50 liters for weekends or 2-3 nights
- 44-55 liters for multi-day trips or 2-5 nights
- 55+ liters for anything over five nights.
There’s another minor factor to consider when choosing your pack capacity, which is whether you can use it as a carry-on bag. This factor depends on the airline, bus line, or other transportation.
Sizing and Fitting
Many people make the mistake of using the terms size and capacity like they are the same, but they are not. For backpacks, sizing and fitting are determined by your torso length. Finding the right size and fit is important for your comfort.
If you use one that is too large or too small, the weight of the contents will not be evenly distributed. This can cause pressure on certain parts of your body that will eventually make it difficult or painful to carry.
The size is determined by the length of your torso. Each backpack manufacturer has their method of measuring and fitting. However, in general, they provide a size range that indicates what torso length it covers. You can always ask for assistance from a sales associate.
That said, we highly recommend that you try out the backpacks before you buy. If you plan on buying online, you can still go to a store just to fit a backpack. If that is not possible, you can still try to measure yourself and check the manufacturer’s recommendations online. But don’t say we didn’t warn you! We still highly recommend that you fit the backpack in a store.
Style and Features
Backpacks come in many different styles, each style designed for certain purposes. For instance, there are ski packs for skiing and a climbing pack for climbing. You can also find backpacks with features that affect how the bag works for you.
This includes the backpack frame style, pack access, ventilation, pockets and compartments, paddings and attachment points. There are also features like rain covers, hydration reservoir, and removable daypacks or top lids.
The Mountaintop 40-Liter Hiking Backpack for Outdoor Camping
The Mountaintop 40-liter hiking backpack is pretty impressive, especially for a low-cost backpack. The company Mountaintop Packs focuses mainly on producing quality backpacks fit for the outdoors.
Features of the Mountaintop 40-Liter Hiking Backpack
Storage Capacity, Size, Compartments, And Pockets
The Mountaintop 40-Liter Hiking Backpack measures about 20 inches in height, almost 14 inches in length, and a little over 6 inches in width. It has a maximum capacity of the backpack (including pockets) is 40 liters and an empty weight of about 2 pounds.
This backpack is great for anything between day trips to weekend trips. If you’re packing for warm weather, you can pack for enough for a long weekend. The size is also okay to have as a carry-on bag on the plane.
The main compartment has a division for laptop, but you can use it to separate items for a more organized pack. There are two front pockets, great for items like your wallet, sunglasses, and other things you want to access easily. Underneath the lower front pocket is a hidden pouch that can fit small items like a cellphone, wallet, or an mp3 player.
If you want to get items from the bottom of the pack, you don’t have to dig from the top opening. Below the front pocket is a zipper that opens up to the bottom part of the main compartment. Then, on each side of the bag are mesh pockets fit for a water bottle.
Attachment Points / Compression Straps
On the front of the pack are adjustable straps that can hold a tripod or trekking pole, but you can use it for other items as well. There are also straps above the mesh pockets.
You can use it to secure a tall water bottle that’s in the mesh pocket or items like a towel or sleeping mat. On the shoulder straps, there are D-shaped hooks, where you can hook on small items.
The backpack is made of water-repellent polyester, but you can use the rain cover for extra protection.
Airstripes Back System
This refers to the brand’s design that promotes ventilation. It features mesh back panels, as well as the shoulder straps and waist belt. It promotes proper ventilation for a cool and dry hike.
The waist belt is padded and adjustable for comfort and proper support. The bag also has a sternum strap that you can adjust from side to side and vertically. I also appreciate how the shoulder straps and back panels have just the right amount of padding for comfort.
This backpack comes in 10 different colors so you can choose one to suit your taste.
Advantages of the Mountaintop 40-liter Hiking Backpack
Overall, I think this backpack is a great choice, especially if you are on a budget. Usually, you get what you pay for. However, with this backpack, you get more than what you pay for, and I mean that in a good way.
- It’s a great backpack size for day use, overnight trips, and weekend trips in warm weather.
- The compartments allow you to have a more organized pack.
- It secures to your body very well, while preventing pressure related aches with the padding.
- This pack is also a great hand carry bag for flights. It fits in the overhead bin or under the seat just right.
Disadvantages of the Mountaintop 40-liter Hiking Backpack:
- It seems small for a 40-liter backpack, but I think they counted all the small compartments along in that calculation. I would say that the main compartment is only about 30 liters.
- For cold weather use, you might need something bigger because clothing is thicker and bulkier.
Recently, this backpack has gotten many positive reviews. Buyers love the quality of the backpack especially considering how low cost it is. Many of the negative reviews state that they expected the bag to be bigger, but other than that, they are pleased with it.
I definitely agree that is a great backpack for the price. I also agree that it is smaller than I expected, but it's something I easily adjusted to.
Other Mountaintop Options
Mountaintop Packs, Inc. has other backpacks you can choose from, small or big and depending on your purpose. They have backpacks fit for the school, backpacking, hiking, biking, and camping.
Another 40-liter backpack is this Mountaintop 40-Liter Unisex Hiking/Camping Backpack. The back panels and straps are similar, but the pockets and design are different. This pack is more suitable for biking and hiking, especially because it has hydration access. However, the bladder sleeve is a separate purchase.
If you want a larger pack, consider the Mountaintop 65L Internal Frame Backpack. This pack is a little more expensive, but also because it is 15 liters larger. It’s ideal for longer and rougher excursions.
What's great about it is that you can adjust the weight distribution according to your torso length. As I mentioned earlier, the sizing and fitting of a backpack are essential for comfort and proper weight distribution.
Overall, I am happy that I got the Mountaintop 40-Liter Hiking Backpack. I use it for my weekend getaways and as my hand carry and daypack whenever I travel. The compartments are convenient and allow me to have a more organized bag.
I don’t use the straps so much when I use it as a daypack, but I’m glad they are there because I know they’ll come in handy. Though, I do use them on short camping trips.
With the price, I think it’s a bargain! The bag is durable, stylish, functional and just right for my needs.