Nearly all of the gear we rent and sell - including backpacks - at our retail store in Tempe and to our customers around the country has been tested on actual hiking or backpacking trips by the LowerGear owner and/or staff. For anything we haven't taken out ourselves, we consider user reviews and evaluations in outdoors magazines and relevant credible web sites before adding it to our offerings.

To help you make the best camping and backpacking gear choices for your next trip, feel free to give us a call for our recommendations. If you prefer to do your own research, read the product descriptions on each item, check out our selection of videos and informational pages, and read other user's reviews and descriptions of the backpacking and camping gear we carry.

Below are user reviews on some of the backpacks we offer for sale or rent.  If we didn't find a review on the exact item we carry, we include one on a similar product that will give you a close feel on what to expect. We scavenged these reviews from other sites out on the big world web, so we don't really know the folks that did the write-ups.  But, it never hurts to hear a second or third point of view.  If it just gets confusing, you can always give us a call for clarification.

Gregory Triconi Backpack

This thing is awesome. super tight but comfortable suspension, multiple point of adjustment. makes 70-80 lbs easily managed while on a 3 or 4 day trip. The Bladder pocket is big enough to hold a 6 liter bladder. The 10 liter bladders are too wide. More than I bargained for. I have a Kelty as well and will probably use it as a loaner to friends now. I LOVE THIS THING!


This Back pack is everything travelers and hikers need, a light, sturdy and durable pack with multiple compartments (not to mention nice-looking). Probably the best aspect of this backpack is the attention to ergonomics, the shoulder straps are well padded, even thou you're not carrying the entire load from your shoulders due to the contours of the internal frame. I'm 6ft. tall and it was pretty much ready to go from the start, but it's adjustable to various heights and torso proportions.

Deuter Air Contact 65+10

I bought this pack after doing a good bit of research for my Grand Canyon rim to rim hike in May of 2012, and I just got back. The shoulder strap quick adjustments were very fast and easy to make - just undo the hook and loop fastener, move the harness up or down, and refasten (4 loops fit inside the adjustment tab). I am tall, standing 6'3", and I was concerned that this pack might not fit me. I was surprised that I actually had to move the harness down one notch from the top to fit my torso properly. The hip belt pivots, my first experience with this feature, and it did very well, allowing for a more natural walking motion. The weight rode nicely on my hips and the load lifters worked well.

When I first got it from Amazon, I loaded down my new Deuter Aircontact 65 + 10 with 45 pounds - a large bag of charcoal and a couple of 6 lb fire logs - and began training around my neighborhood as much as possible. Aside from some strange looks and questions from the neighbors ("What in the world are you doing?"), the training went well. When it came time to pack for the trip (Grand Canyon south to north) I actually carried less weight. There was plenty of room for everything I needed, and plenty of extra I didn't need with the nice expandable top, the "+10" in the name. My back stayed remarkably cool in the 103 degree temperatures in the bottom of the canyon due to the featured "Aircontact" harness system. I liked the separate sleeping bag compartment as well as the map pocket on the side, where I carried my trail snacks and electrolyte powder. The hip belt has a pocket for small things like lib balm, sunscreen, and a small camera. The top cover has two easy access pockets that are surprisingly large for emergency things you might need on the trail. I also used the extra loops on the back of the pack with carabiners to attach a larger camera bag externally for easy access. One more nice feature of this pack that I didn't get a chance to use is that it has a built in pack cover in the very bottom. One reason I bought this pack was that you can access the main compartment from both the top and the back, allowing easier access to everything there.

The only problem I had with this pack was that the water bottle pockets on the side were hard to get to when wearing the pack, but I was hiking with a friend and we took turns getting each other's water bottles out when needed, so this really wasn't a problem. Another minor problem I had was that when I put the pack on, the load lifter straps sometimes came through their buckles. I got around this slight difficulty by attaching a small carabiner to the end of each one so they couldn't go back through, and this solution worked very well. In addition, the carabiners let me feel which straps to pull when I couldn't see them.

Overall I am very happy with this pack. It got me across the Grand Canyon in good shape, and I am looking forward to more adventures with it!

Deuter Quantum 70+10

This thing has some nice features going for it. A sleek look and quality materials, along with an absolutely massive storage capacity (with extra room in the daypack), be prepared to lose stuff in it fast if you're not organized. A downfall of the Quantum is the padding and suspension. While it's comfortable enough when packed to capacity, and the veri-quick system does make it fully-adjustable, it's still stiff, bulky and never really settles on your body. If you just can't pare it down to the basics, the Quantum 70+10 will make the contents of your entire life portable, in exchange for $239.00 and an achy back.

Want to learn more about other types of backpacking and camping gear?  We have broken out our gear reviews by major equipment category.  In addition to the backpack reviews above, see our other gear review pages:

For more information, see our full line of backpacks for sale or rent.