Hiking Video Camera Backpack Reviews
1. High Sierra Appalachian 75
Super high quality zippers. High quality material as well. Cheap materials and zippers will give you a headache. This backpack will last forever.
It has a separate storage compartment for your water bladder. You can’t be bothered with taking your backpack off every single time you get thirsty.
There is also a compartment for your sleeping bag. No matter how big your sleeping bag is, it will fit into the super spacey compartment.
It also has a water resistant cover.
2. Teton Sports Outfitter 4600 Ultralight
This one is really great for camping, hiking, backpacking or mountaineering. It has a ton of storage pockets all over. You can cram anything you want in here.
This pack is unlikely to break. However, if something tears off, the Teton company is known for its incredible customer support.
It’s made of a very lightweight material, which is highly durable at the same time. It does not strain your back at all, and evenly distributes the weight.
3. Teton Sports Fox 5200
This backpack can easily be used for trips up to 21 days and even more. You can pack a lot of stuff in here and the weight will be evenly distributed no matter how much you stuff it.
It is a very spacious backpack and you get a lot of storage space for the money. There are a lot of straps on here. It might seem overwhelming at first, but you can never have too many straps.
Keep in mind that, while spacious, this is not a big pack. It’s actually more of a small pack. Suitable for women and young people. Guys above 6″ might have some trouble getting this to fit.
4. High Sierra Tech Series Hawk 40
Great backpack at a competitive price. There are other backpacks out there that cost twice what you pay for this one, but they won’t have nearly twice the features.
For the price, there is a pretty decent amount of pockets on here. It is easy to hold onto as well. It makes it easy to take on, take off and easy to carry.
This backpack stands out in the airflow department. Most other bags out there do not have the great airflow that this pack has. If you’re gonna be sweating on your trip, it won’t be because of this pack.
5. Teton Sports Explorer 4000
This is a really great pack for the money. The exception is that the sleeping bag compartment is too small. Know this if you decide to purchase it.
This makes the pack suitable for people who are not too tall, and therefore do not have really large sleeping bags. If you’re a big guy, pass on this backpack. But if you are not planning on bringing a big sleeping bag, then this might be a really great backpack for you.
You can still store your sleeping bag in the main storage space. But, ofcourse, this will mean it takes up a part of the main storage space. There are plenty of pockets on here. You just have to be creative with how you use them.
6. Modovo Waterproof Ultralight
For the money, this backpack gives you great quality. There is a lot of capacity in the bag, and it is waterproof as well. Very suitable to pack a video camera for your next hike.
It looks really good, and is easily sturdy enough that you can take it with you on a camping trip. It is a very practical bag and at this price, it is hard to go wrong.
With the brightly colored design, you are sure to stand out in the crowd. I admit… this will not be a great choice for either military guys or hunting aficionados. But if you’re going on a hike and want to look as good as you feel, then this is the bag for you.
7. Modovo Creeper
This bag looks really nice and can fit a lot of stuff for the money. Not everybody will like the design, since you can’t strap a tent or anything else to it. It also does not have a decent area to store a sleeping bag.
This is a really great day pack. Especially for those of you who want a lot of storage space. That video camera you want to bring with you is going to fit in there fairly easily.
It is a very comfortable pack, which does a great job at displacing the weight from your torso to your hips. You may get sore hips from carrying a lot of stuff, but that is only confirming the fact that the backpack is doing a really great job at redistributing the weight.
8. Altosy Waterproof Daypack
We’re getting to the budget backpacks now. I would not recommend buying a backpack at this price. And if you do, make sure your expectations are not too high.
For the price you pay, this is a very lightweight backpack. But it still has plenty of room to store all your essential stuff. But I wouldn’t use this backpack for any trip that lasts more than a day. It’s a real day pack.
It’s bright colors make it easy to track down. On the inside, it is more spacious than you’d think when looking at it from the outside.
9. HBAG Discovery 80L 5400ci
HBAG might not be the best known backpack manufacturer out there, but for what little money they ask for this bag, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
It’s probably one of the biggest bags that you can buy at this price. It is suitable for multi day hikes, just so long as we’re not talking about more than, say, 3 days.
You may get a lot of value for your money. But at this price, I’m sure you understand that this is a budget backpack. Its straps could use a bit more padding, so it certainly isn’t the most comfortable pack out there.
10. Monkey Paks Tactical Assault Military Backpack
For all you military guys and preppers out there, I’ve included this awesome military pack in the list. I’ll bet you never thought you’d be able to get such an awesome backpack for so little money, did ya?
Keep in mind that this one is meant to be a bug out bag. This means that it would only be able to hold the necessary items for surviving the next 72 hours.
If you intend to go on a day hike, then there’s going to be some storage space left for your camera. You can easily use this pack as a camera backpack… just don’t go on a long distance hike, because you’ll run out of space if you do.
11. Eyourlife Tactical Molle Military Rucksack
Okay, so this was supposed to be a top 10 list. But I’m including an 11th backpack on here, just because I can. This pack is currently going at an insanely low price.
This military pack used to be priced at the high end of the budget range. Looks like Amazon is holding a sweep sale on this one, because this bag is currently going for next to nothing.
For a high end budget backpack, this is a really great rucksack. Especially if you’re savvy enough to pick it up for its current price. It’s got a darn good build quality to it and can store many items.
Buying Guide For Camera Backpacks For Hiking, Snowboarding, Mountaineering And Traveling
If you are a true hiking aficionado like me, then you will know how good it feels to be carrying a multi purpose and lightweight backsack, which is able to withstand the elements. A good hiking rucksack must have multiple functionalities, it must be highly durable and you have to be able to depend on it. Your backpack is going to be your home while you are traveling the roads, the forests, the meadows, the mountains or whichever hiking trail that you’ve decided to go on. The longer you travel, the more important it becomes to have a really great backpack.
This is especially true if you want to bring a video camera with you. Because it would certainly be a shame if you could not record all the beautiful scenery that you are going to encounter when you embark on your next epic hiking journey. Naturally, you’ll want to be bringing all sorts of stuff with you, but a camera is easily going to be the most sensitive piece of equipment in your pack. So for that reason, you’ve got to be sure to bring a really excellent hiking camera backpack with you, that you can rely on.
Long distance hiking can be a true test of your mind and your spirit. A dependable rucksack can help you get through the whole ordeal. You should never rush into buying the first backpack that you lay your eyes on. There are things you must consider, such as the functionality, its material and its durability. Every trip has different requirements. The very first time that I set out to buy a really good backpack, I spent many hours walking around REI to check out all the goods. These guys know rucksacks.
Since a good hiking video camera backpack is going to cost a pretty penny, it pays off to do your research. There are literally hundreds of backpacks available, from all sorts of manufacturers and in all sorts of styles and designs. It is definitely worth to invest in a higher priced backpack. You don’t want to go all cheapskate on this. If you go cheap on a hiking backpack, then you will likely have to buy a new one after about a few months. Cheap ones wear out fast.
You need to view a good hiking rucksack as an investment in yourself. While you won’t have to spend $400 on a backpack for hiking, you should also want to avoid the $50 ones, as these will not give you the functionality and the durability that you so require and deserve. It definitely pays off to spend at least double that amount to get a high quality backpack from a trusted brand. Your backpack is going to be your new best friend for a long time to come.
A long time ago, I bought an Osprey backpack, which has lasted for many years and I was always very content with it. I have taken this Osprey on many long distance hikes throughout the years. I still have it. It’s not in use anymore, but I know it has a few more years of lifespan left.
Hiking Backpack Or Traveling Backpack
There is an essential difference between traveling backpacks and hiking backpacks. It helps to learn the difference before you set out to spend your money on either. A travel backpack is sort of like a hybrid of a backpack and a suitcase. It has zippered side panels, which makes it look like a suitcase. Hiking backpacks are the actual backpack as most people imagine backpacks: top loading packs with a top lid, clips and straps for easy carrying.
Some people like to get all purist and say that hiking backpacks can only be used for backcountry hiking and that they aren’t suitable for backpackers. But I’m not such a purist and I respectfully disagree with these people. Not only is every trip different, but every person is different as well. So whichever backpack is suitable for you and your trip is wholly subjective and comes down to your personal preference.
Everybody has a different travel style. If you are moving from one motel to the next, then a travel backpack might be the right choice for you. A travel backpack gives you the ability to organize your gear really well. You can also use a travel backpack for a day hike or any other short distance walk you might want to undertake.
However, the longer your hikes become, the more important it becomes that you start looking at hiking backpacks instead. Hiking backpacks are especially designed to make you comfortable on long hikes. The weight in them has a really good distribution, allowing you to carry it for longer. They are also tough, so they last long and they can take a punch. Hiking backpacks have other enhancements that you don’t see on travel backpacks. Think of load bearing straps, back and shoulder suspension, full sized hip belts, etc.
All of this to make you more comfortable on your long distance hike, ofcourse. With a hiking backpack, you will be packing top down. So what goes in first, comes out last. That may not always be very convenient, but it is necessary to properly distribute the weight. And let’s face it… you’ll spend more time carrying the backpack, than you will accessing its contents. If you want easy access to certain types of gear in your backpack, then you would do good to buy a hiking backpack with a side load access.
However, things aren’t as black and white as I have made them out to be. Some travel backpacks come with suspension systems that you normally only see on hiking backpacks. Some travel backpacks also have some pretty high range load capacity. But in my view, if you are looking at a 70L backpack, you may as well go for a hiking backpack over a travel backpack. You never know when you are going to have to go on your next 25 mile hike to the next base camp, town, or whichever your goal is.
Your Personal Backpacking Style
Ask yourself what travel style has your personal preference. Having to buy a different video camera backpack for hiking trips is going to be expensive. Figure out your own personally preferred style of traveling, and you’re going to save yourself a lot of time in the long run.
Try to get one backpack to rule them all, and you won’t have to spend money on another one for at least the next 10 years. Let’s say that you enjoy going on trips that take on average 10 days. In that case, you don’t really need one of the most high capacity backpacks. You can easily do with a 50L hiking backpack. However, if you are fond of long distance hikes, then you will definitely want to buy a 70L backpack at the very least.
While size is one of the most important factors for buying a rucksack, it most certainly isn’t the only one you ought to look at. Different people have different packing styles. Some like to really load up. Other keep it bare bones. Keep the following in mind.
The Length Of Your Trip
Depending on how long your trip will be, you are going to need a backpack with either a low, medium or high capacity. The shorter your trip is going to be, the lower the capacity you are going to need. The longer your trip is going to be, the higher the capacity you are going to need. It goes without saying that the more you load in there, the heavier your backpack is going to become. You may think that a mere 60lbs is a joke to your average adult person. But wear this for months in a row, and it’s going to become pretty heavy on you.
Expected Physical Activities On Your Trip
I always like to go with one backpack that I can use for every single purpose that will come to mind. After all, you never know what you’re going to encounter when you travel a lot. You may disagree here, and that’s perfectly alright. My personal advice to you would be to still try and predict what sort of activities you will undertake, as this will help you make a good backpack pick. If you don’t want to be carrying it around all the time, then you may want to go with a travel pack that runs on wheels. However, if you expect to be doing long distance hikes on strenuous trails, then you will want to go with a hiking backpack for sure.
Being the natural born hiker that I am, it won’t surprise you to learn that I am heavily biased towards hiking backpacks. I want to be ready for any activity that comes in my way. Hiking backpacks have the advantage of being much tougher and much more highly durable than any other backpack out there. Hikers take on some pretty challenging physical activities, such as jumping from one rock to the next across a stream, or sliding down hills and taking lots of tumbles and whatnot. This will place stress on the backpack, so durability is important for hikers.
Will You Pack Light Or Heavy?
While the capacity of a backpack is not everything, it is still a very important factor to consider. So be sure to think about what you are planning on bringing with you on your next hike. If you want to be packing as light as you possibly can, then you will want to avoid a high capacity backpack. If you are carrying a high capacity backpack when you intend to pack light, you will accidentally bring along too much stuff. Or if you end up packing light anyway, your high capacity hiking backpack will not be able to distribute the weight evenly.
On the other hand, if you want to pack heavy and all you’ve got is a small capacity hiking backpack, then you are never going to be able to fit in all your stuff. For this reason, it is very important that you really think about the capacity of the rucksack that you are taking with you. If you are buying a backpack offline (yeah, it’s ridiculous… I know), then you have the option of bringing your stuff to the store to see how much of your gear you can fit into your backpack. Most serious retailers will not have a problem with you trying out the merchandise before you buy it.
What Features Does A Hiking Backpack Need To Have?
There are plenty different kinds of backpacks, varying in all sorts of appearances as well as functionalities and features. The higher the price you are willing to pay, the more features you can expect your backpack to have. You have really got to think about what sort of traveling you intend to do, before you go out and buy one.
No backpack is ever going to be completely waterproof, in the sense that no drop of water will get inside of it ever. Every backpack is going to let water in when it becomes submerged in water. Or you may have bad luck and get one of those torrential downpours that will manage to creep into your backpack from exactly the right angle. Most backpacks for hiking that I have seen, are fitted with a so called rain cover.
That certainly helps. But next to a rain cover, you want your backpack to be rip proof. It has to be made of a tough material, such as lightweight silicone coated nylon. There is also a material called Cordura, which is known to resist water drops, letting them slide right offer, rather than letting them soak right through.
A removable (or detachable) daypack, is an extra backpack that you can strap to your regular backpack. It’s like Xzibit came along and pimped your hiking gear: “Yo dawg, I hear you like wearing a backpack while you’re wearing a backpack, so we put a backpack on your backpack.”. It’s like an additional pack for short trips. I really like to have this option on a backpack myself. If you are a light traveler, then two bags might be overkill for you.
So in that case, you may not want to go for this option. I really like having a detachable daypack myself, because I often go on long distance hikes and often find myself in need of having to pack moderately to heavy. The old Osprey I used to have, there is a top lid which can also be used as a daypack. It’s a tad bit cumbersome to have your pack lid also function as a daypack. But it has definitely had some good use though.
Heavy Lockable Zippers
Having a tough backpack is nice, but if it’s got a weak spot… then arguable, the whole backpack is weak. It does not matter how tough, rip proof and highly durable the backpack’s material is. If zippers and other attachments are weak, then the whole bag will end up disappointing you in the short term. It certainly helps to have lockable zippers, which are well made and not easily broken.
Compartments And Pockets
The way I see it, the more compartments you’ve got, the better off you are. You will want as many places you can get to store all of your gear. You do not want to constantly be sifting through one layer of stuff after another, just to find your video camera. It helps to have all sorts of compartments and pockets all over the bag. Imagine how easy it would be to be able to store your smartphone and camera in a few side compartments, while storing your maps into yet a separate flap.
If you want to have quick access to your stuff, then side pockets are something you can not afford to miss out on. If you are going for optimal comfort, then you will want a backpack that you do not have to take off when you want to access your stuff. The higher priced backpacks have very well placed pockets, such as around your hip area. These can be accessed without having to take off the pack. Talk about convenience.
Lightweight Internal Frame
Lots of video camera backpacks for hiking these days, come with a frame. This can be either an internal frame or an external one. Some don’t have a frame at all. I personally highly prefer a lightweight internal frame. It will have to be lightweight for obvious reasons. But if it is not strong, then it is just dead weight. Good lightweight internal frames are made of carbon fiber. These give you great load support and they also look pretty darn good.
External frames are an eye sore and very tedious to work with. They make use of old fashioned materials, which aren’t nearly as lightweight or strong. Frameless backpacks are no better, since they are unable to support a load at high weights. Weight distribution is incredibly important, or your shoulders are going to have to do all the work. And there’s nothing worse than having one part of your body bear all the weight.
Side Load Access
I see new backpacks entering the market all the time, and most don’t have any side load access anymore. I wonder what causes this trend, because having access from the side is so incredibly handy. With side load access, you can access the main storage space of your bag without having to go in from the top. I’m sure you understand this can save much time and energy. You’re hiking life gets one heck of a lot better with side load access.
Load Bearing Straps, Padded Shoulders, Suspension Systems
Any backpack worthy of its name, must have a suspension system, whether it be fixed or adjustable. There must also be a few good load bearing straps on there. The padded shoulders connect on the part of your back where the pack rests while you are wearing it. This part is also the suspension system. A fixed suspension system is fit to a single person’s torso. But one size does not fit all. So I always advocate an adjustable suspension system, which can be configured to your personal torso size. A suspension system’s purpose is to stabilize your gait by stabilizing your load.
Much of the weight is transferred to your hips, which are closer to the ground than your torso. Your center of gravity becomes lower, making your more stable than when it were placed higher. What you often see on good backpacks worth their salt, are sternum straps. These are a type of load bearing straps that will make carrying the pack much more comfortable. They move the weight around and minimize and pain that you might suffer from carrying it for a long time.
Nothing is more annoying then carrying around a sweaty backpack. So make sure that yours comes with proper ventilation. There needs to be a permanently breathable layer between the backpack and your back. Internal frame packs are usually outfitted with a design that encourages a good airflow. It will not make it easier on you to carry the load. But not having a sweaty hiking rucksack can certainly make your hike a whole lot more comfortable.
Full Size Hip Belt With Padding
Your hips are going to be carrying around 75% of the total weight of your backpack. So this is arguable the most important thing to keep in mind when buying a good pack. Your hip belt must always have padding. It it doesn’t, the pack’s ability to distribute loads is going to suffer. It will also lead to great discomfort and premature exhaustion. The hip belt should not just be a thin strap with a clip attached to it. It has to be a full size strap, with padding all around it. It’s the only way to get the best comfort for yourself.
Tool Attachments, Multiple Straps
These will not make you more comfortable, nor will they help you distribute your load. These may not be the most important features on a backpack, but I still like them a lot. It’s great to have a whole bunch of excess clips, tool attachments and straps. It’s always better to have too many than too few. In true MacGyver spirit, your backpack is not just a simple bag… it’s going to be a tool belt. You never know what situations you are going to encounter.
You never know what’s going to need fixing. You will be able to fix all sorts of things without the need for carrying more gear than you already are. A new trend in hiking backpacks are so called “daisy chains”. You will find these more often on mountaineering and climbing backpacks than you do on backpacks for hiking. They are basically just a series of attachment loops for tools. It’s a simple concept, but oh, so handy.
Internal Hydration Reservoir
This is a compartment that can hold your Platypus, Camelpak, or any other hydration bladder that you prefer. It can definitely come in handy to have hands free access to your drinking water supply. You don’t want to dehydrate yourself on your journey.
This is a really great feature for long distance hikes, since you will be able to easily access the sip tube through the openings in your backpack. The average person will want to be sipping water constantly when they are hiking, because it’s a very physically demanding activity, which can dehydrate you if you are not careful.
What Questions Do I Need To Ask Myself When Finding The Best Backpack?
What’s My Recommended Size?
This is a very subjective issue. It depends on so many factors, such as the weather you are expecting, the length of your trip and the style in which you like to travel. For instance, if you are expecting cold weather, then you will need a rucksack with high capacity. The higher its capacity, the more heavy it will weigh. I strongly prefer packing light myself.
I make sure to only put stuff in there that actually fits. I don’t like to over stuff. Think long and hard about what sort of capacity you need in a backpack. Lay out your stuff on the bed or on the floor and have a good look at it. Put it in a plastic sack to see how much volume it will take up. Check out my recommendations below.
Trip length / Liter Capacity (L)
- 1 Day : 25L – 35L
- 2 – 3 Days : 35L – 50L
- 4 – 5 Days : 50L – 75L
- >5 Days : >65L
How Do I Find The Right Fit?
A video camera hiking backpack needs to have a really great fit in order for it to be able to distribute the load properly. If you can, try out the backpack before you buy it. But even when shopping in a regular brick & mortar store, this is not always allowed. Finding a well fitting backpack, requires you to know your torso length.
This is not the same as your height. Your torso length is the distance between your iliac crest and your 7th cervical vertebra. In layman’s terms, this is the distance from the top of your hip bones to the base of your neck. With these measurements in hand, follow the following guidelines.
Backpack Size / Torso Size (Inches)
- Extra small : 15.5″
- Small : 16″ – 17.5″
- Medium : 18″ to 19.5″
- Large : >20″
Your torso length is the most important bit of information here. You don’t really need to know your hip size, because most hip belts are completely adjustable anyway. You do need to make sure that the hip belt sits comfortable between your hips and your belly button, with about an inch of space in between.
What Should I Spend At Most On The Best Video Camera Hiking Backpack?
There are backpacks available from low prices such as $50. But these are not durable and severely lacking in features. The real backpacks start at $100 and go as high as $500. It all depends on how much you are willing to invest. What’s more important to you, your money or your lifestyle? If you are well off, or are simply very willing to invest in the best rucksack you can get your hands on, then it really isn’t necessary to spend more than, say, $275.
I would also stay away from anything that is significantly below the $100 mark. Anything below this price point is very unlikely to have all the necessary features for serious hikers such as you and me. Think of padded hip belts and suspension systems. You really do need to see buying a backpack as an investment. A $50 backpack is usually a waste of money, since you will almost always have a seam ripping or a strap tearing off after only a few weeks of use. A good backpack for trekking should definitely have good padding and good suspension. It just needs to fit comfortable and distribute the weight evenly.
What Are Some Of The Best Hiking Backpack Brands?
There are literally dozens of brands out there. There are so many designs, models and styles out there, it’s not even funny anymore. I do have my preferences, ofcourse. But one guy can only try out so many backpacks in his life, you know what I mean? I have tried out more than a few in my lifetime and I’ve also had a look at friends’ backpacks. Naturally, my old Osprey is a really good one that I would recommend. But I also really like the ones from Teton Sports, High Sierra and Modovo. These are high quality brands and they will withstand quite some abuse.
It does not matter how roughly an airline attendant treats your backpack, or how hard you slide downhill with it. You’ll never see a clip, strap, zipper or any other attachment tear off these bags. They hardly ever need replacement. Some manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on their bags. It only goes to show how confident these people are in their own products. I seriously doubt that I will use any one bag for more than a decade. But it is still nice to know you’re buying quality goods for your hard earned money.
These guys have been around since the mid nineties at the very least. Maybe they were in existence sooner than that, but I wouldn’t know about that, because I wasn’t hiking back then, nor did I have an Internet connection at the time. But I do know this… High Sierra makes some of the best darn backpacks I’ve never seen in my life. I currently own their Appalachian backpack and I could not be happier. They sell outdoor gear all across the world!
In comparison to the other manufacturers, Teton is very new to the outdoor gear game indeed. On their website, it is listed that they started out in 2005, meaning they are precisely 10 years old at the moment of writing. This is very young in terms of outdoor gear manufacturers. But you’d never know it from the quality of their stuff, which is extremely high. They are a company with few clients and low overhead. Simplicity seems to be the key with Teton.
Very little is known about these guys. I have investigated them on Google Trends, and they look like they are really new to the game. Their products have quickly become quite popular, due to their very decent quality. Maybe they are a daughter company of some other company on this list? I have Googled these guys for 15 minutes and I can’t find anything about them. If anybody knows more, be sure to shoot me an email.
These guys have well over 4 decades of experience in the manufacturing of rucksacks. They offer a lifetime warranty on their products. These guys have a very large offer of designs and sizes for all sorts of outdoor adventures. They always make sure to use the latest technology for the manufacturing of their backpacks. This is a trustworthy brand that will not disappoint you.
Another great manufacturer that has specialized in backpacks and nothing else. I have a friend with a Gregory backpack, and I’ve never heard him complain about it once. He’s been using it for as long as I can remember and he recently mentioned that he never needed to have it replaced, or even repaired. These guys also offer a lifetime of warranty for their products.
The North Face
The North Face is perhaps one of the best known outdoor gear brands out there. They’ve been in the business for well over 4 decades now. Another great brand that is trustworthy. I can’t really think of any criticism on these guys and their excellent, highly durable products. So that includes their backpacks.
These guys are perhaps one of the coolest brands out there. They produce some seriously nifty outdoor gear. They are fairly pricey, but the truth of the matter is… you do get what you pay for. You are certain to get high quality gear when you shell out for Arc’teryx stuff.
This is where the quality is starting to go downhill a bit. These guys are a typical mid range brand. You get decent functionality for a decent price. For some reason, this brand has become very popular in Europe. They have been manufacturing backpack equipment since the late sixties.
Rain Cover (Integrated Or Separate)
There is a different between being water resistant and water proof. Most backpacks are water resistant, in the sense that water drops bead off the material. But water proof is a whole ‘nother story. If a backpack is not water proof, then constant exposure to the rain will eventually get your stuff wet. So if your backpack is not water proof, then you may want to get a rain cover to protect your stuff from getting soaked with the first surprise downpouring you encounter on your hike.
When it comes to rain covers… you really don’t need to be taking out a second mortgage on the house for this one. All you need is a rain cover that matches the size of your pack. Take REI’s Ducks Back Rain Cover, for example. That one works perfectly well for me.
If you are worried about your backpack getting damaged when you haven’t even set one foot on the trail, get an airporter bag. Even the sturdiest of bags can become damaged when they are being handled roughly by nonchalant airport personnel. Exposed straps, hip belts and zippers can be torn off when they get caught behind something. An airporter bag is a bag to place your bag in. It will keep your bag safe from harm while it is being transported.
If the airporter bag gets damaged, it is not so bad. Keeping your hiking backpack in good shape is much more important. Good airporter bags will also offer the option of putting a lock on the zippers. This can deter would-be thieves from getting into your personal stuff and stealing it. Take the Osprey Airporter LZ, for example. It adds a bit of extra weight to your existing load. But to me, it’s totally worth it. I want to be sure that my backpack is safe and that it will not be rummaged through or damaged on my way to my next hiking destination.