Best Backpack For Climbing Kilimanjaro

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Hiking Kilimanjaro?

Then you must in the market for a good pack! Since Kili is a long hike, you can’t make the trip without one or two.

Make the most of your adventure by getting a top-of-the-line bag with all the features you need.

Not sure where to start?

You are in the right place! Read on to learn about the best duffel bags and backpacks on the market for Kilimanjaro trekkers.

How many and what size bags needed for hiking Kili? Watch Video Below for a Quick Breakdown

#1. North Face
Our Best Pick

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LaminateVarious4.4 lbsVariousBackpack and sideTwo
#2. Helly Hansen

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Nylon TarpaulingOrange or black3.9 lbs90 LitersBackpack and sideThree
#3. REI
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Cordura PolyesterRed, tan, black1 lb 8 oz46 Liters for the medium sizeShoulder strap and TopOne

Best Duffel bags for Kilimanjaro

If you choose to take a duffel bag with you for your trip to Kilimanjaro, be sure to select one that is sturdy enough to make the long trip and comfortable enough to carry for a long way.

Before you buy a duffel bag, make sure to check the bag’s material, zipper, and durability. The material of your duffel bag needs to be able to withstand the outdoor elements, and it needs to be dependably constructed.

It should also be comfortable enough for your porter to carry on his head. In addition, the zipper should be able to lock so it doesn’t accidentally slip.

Here are some of the best duffel bags on the market for Kilimanjaro trekkers:

  • North Face Base Camp Duffel

This roomy duffel bag is ideal for long treks. It is waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about the weather ruining the contents of your pack. Even the zipper is covered with a weather resistant flap!

Another great feature of this duffel bag is the zipper compartment on the end. This is designed to separate your dirty clothes from your clean ones. Your hiking buddies will thank you for keeping stinky sock odors off the rest of your clothes!

North Face’s duffel bag also has a mesh sleeve on the outside of the bag, so you won’t have to go hunting around inside your bag every time you need a granola bar or your hat.

  • Helly Hansen Duffel

The Helly Hansen duffel bag is a better price than the North Face bag, but it is still a good-quality pack. The nylon tarpaulin material of the bag is waterproof, and it also features separate compartments within the bag. However, this duffel has three compartments, which gives you more ability to organize your stuff.

  • REI Roadtripper Duffel

Rei roadtripper duffel

The REI Roadtripper Duffel is made from Cordura polyester that is both water resistant and abrasion resistant.

The handles of the duffel bag are the real selling point. The handles wrap around the entire duffel, which makes load support much easier. As a plus, this duffel is also very lightweight.

One drawback to this bag is that it doesn’t provide a way to keep dirty and clean clothes apart. There is a main compartment that takes up most of the duffel bag, plus one small side compartment for storing small items.

Final Verdict:

The backpack that I would choose for a Kilimajaro trek is the North Face duffel bag. Two compartments are perfect for separating items while still having plenty of space in each compartment. I also like the backpack straps, which the REI Roadtripper duffel is missing.

Best Daypacks for Kilimanjaro

Of course, you’ll also need a backpack for your trip up the mountain. While your porter will carry your duffel bag, you’ll need to carry the day’s necessities in your own backpack.

Your backpack will be your best friend during your hike up Kilimanjaro, so make sure you pick a good one! Here are a few things to think about when choosing a backpack:

  • The daypack should have compression straps to reduce the weight stress on the back.
  • Your daypack should have mesh pockets on the sides to hold water bottles and snacks.
  • Your backpack should come with a rain cover to keep everything from getting soaked.

There are two backpacks in particular that meet all these criteria. Read on to take a look at the Osprey 35 and the Gregory Palisade.

Gregory Palisade
Our Best Pick
Material:Ripstop NylonMesh and Nylon
Color:GrayBlack, red, blue
Weight:2.5 lbs1.7
Size:14.5 x 29 x 5 inches11 x 12 x 19 inches
Straps:Backstraps, curved harness, waist beltBack Straps, plus detachable harness and hip belt
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
  • Osprey 35 Daypack

Do you like pockets? You’ll love this! The Osprey 35 has thirteen different pockets. Two of them are inside, and eleven of them are on the outside.

The straps on the Osprey 35 are also ideal for long trips. The daypack has internal compression straps on the inside to keep everything in one place during the hike, so you won’t have to worry about things shifting around.

The exterior straps are created for durability and comfort. The shoulder straps are padded, and there is an adjustable sternum strap.

Between the pack and your back, the Airscape back panel allows airflow. One of the nicest features of this daypack is that a hydration pack fits nicely inside the Airscape panel.

  • Gregory Palisade daypack

This pack uses cutting-edge technology to keep you from straining your back as you hike. It has a custom fit suspension system that adjusts to your body! The HDPE framesheet, as well as the stays and cross stays, will prevent you from being overburdened by a heavy pack.

On the back of the pack, a ventilated back panel will prevent moisture from building up on your back.

This daypack also has a space for a hydration pack, which makes it easier to stay hydrated on longer hikes. Using a hydration pack is much better than lugging around water bottles.

This daypack is designed so that you can access things from the top, the bottom or the front. A unique feature on this daypack is that the top lid pocket is removable and can be worn as a lumbar pack.

Final Verdict:

I’m a sucker for pockets, but the Osprey backpack would not be my first choice for a Kilimanjaro trek. I would definitely go with the Gregory Palisade daypack, since it is bigger and had built-in lumbar support.

Three More Must-Have Kilimajaro Trekking Items

  • Raincover

You could probably survive a Kilimanjaro trek without a raincover, but it would be pretty miserable. Invest in a good raincover to keep the contents of your pack clean and dry. The Osprey Daypack Raincover is reliable option that fits the Osprey daypack perfectly.

  • Clean-up bags

Contractor clean-up bags are a versatile necessity when hiking Kilimanjaro. These can be used to hold garbage as well as wet and muddy shoes and clothes.

If your pack doesn’t have separate compartments for wet and dry items, you can use a trash bag to protect your dry clothes. Trash bags are also useful for keeping muddy shoes away from everything else.

Contractor clean-up bags are quite sturdy and will not tear easily. They are also thick enough that water and mud will not seep through them

  • Nalgene bottles

If you opt for a water bottle rather than a hydration pack, Nalgene bottles are a great option. In fact, it is a good idea to fill and carry these in addition to a hydration bladder. You will likely need to refill you hydration bladders during the day, and this can be done quickly with Nalgene bottles.

Nalgene also makes flexible canteens that collapse when empty. When they are not in use, they don’t take up much space and they hardly weigh anything at all.


Hiking Kilimanjaro is a formidable undertaking, so it’s important to have the right supplies when you go! The real challenge isn’t the hike itself—it’s surviving for days out of a backpack. Do yourself a favor and get equipped with the right gear for the climb.

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