A pack is arguably the most important piece of gear you will take on your backpacking trip. Choosing one, especially when you don’t know what you’re looking for, can be difficult. The Amazon Basics 65L pack is a great pack for both beginners and more avid backpackers. I have owned mine since May 2018 and it is still in great shape after much usage. Here’s a breakdown of Pros and Cons + everything you need to know about this pack.
This pack comes in not only the 65L capacity, but also 75L, there is also a 55L but it’s availability comes and goes. In this post, we’ll focus on the 65L.
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It’s important to note that the 65L pack is really a 60L pack with 5 liter extension collar.
This pack is pretty durable. It survived my abuse when I went on my Colorado adventures filled with bush-whacking and my stint on the North Country Trail in Michigan. I have definitely not been overly careful with this pack and it has held up amazingly well. I have heard that the zippers have busted on a some who packed it very full, but I have had zero issues so far.
Specs For Amazon Basics 65L Pack
Weight: 5.3 pounds
Capacity: 60L with 5L extension collar
65 liter is 30” long
Amazon Basics Backpack 65L
This pack has some neat features that I found handy. In the main compartment there is a zippered bottom. This zipper allows you to open up the bottom of the main compartment and access the sleeping bag compartment underneath. I found this useful on my first backpacking trip because I packed too much. That zipper allowed me to have the extra room I needed to fit the stuff I didn’t really need but thought I did. It also added the few extra inches I needed for my tent to be packed inside, instead of outside my tent, since I packed it in the original, and long, storage bag it came in.
It’s fully adjustable. This was huge for me. I’m smaller framed and I was worried that this pack wouldn’t fit both me and my male companion, but thanks to all the adjustable areas, it did! The pack features adjustable shoulder straps, chest strap, waist strap, and torso length.
The padded mesh straps, back flank, and waist belt all help make this pack comfortable.
The expansion collar was a nice feature, especially as a newer backpacker. Like many newbies, I overpacked (still do sometimes) and the extension collar allowed me the extra room to fit everything. When not stuffed full, I found the collar to act as secondary weather protection since it has a drawstring closure.
This pack has 2 nice sized side pockets which make it easy to store frequently needed items. My tri-fold-brochure-sized maps even fit without needing to fold them in half. I usually keep my map, compass, and rain jacket in one pocket and phone, keys, ID, and snacks in the other.
I did find that this pack was lacking in the water bottle pockets department. The mesh side pockets are a little small and they won’t fit every water bottle. Smart water bottles fit perfectly fine, but any narrower bottle should be just fine. I used my Sawyer Mini to show you how wide and tall the pockets are.
This wasn’t a deal breaker for me as I usually use a water bladder, but I would have loved this pack even more with bigger side pockets for the times I do want to take a bottle along. The interior of the pack does have an area for a bladder, along with a Velcro loop to hold it up and in place.
Many exterior load and compression straps
There’s more than enough places to attach your out-of-pack gear, and compression straps to keep your in-pack gear from bouncing around.
Price. Budget friendly this is a great inexpensive pack to get your feet wet with backpacking
Mesh Lumbar Area. Adds padding for a comfortable hiking experience and keeps the air flowing to help keep you cooler.
Weather Protection including
- Integrated Water resistant rainfly
- Water repellent exterior coating can handle light rains
- The included weather cover
Adjustable. This pack has an adjustable waist belt and shoulder straps and is also fully adjustable in the torso. It’s easy to get the perfect fit for many heights and body types.
Backed by Amazon Basics limited one year warranty. This covers workmanship and material defects for up to one year.
Loosening Straps, Heavy loads can cause shoulder straps to loosen. Looking through hundreds and hundreds of reviews, it looks like 50 pounds and up is when issues start to arise. My pack was around 40 and I had no issues whatsoever.
The mesh side pockets are on the smaller side, narrow water bottles will be best if you intend to use the pockets. Smart water bottles fit great.
Some reviews I found say that the sleeping bag compartment is on the small side. I personally did not have trouble fitting in my Nemo 20 bag. A bulkier bag, like most made for car camping, will most likely not fit in this compartment unless you open the zipper that separates the sleeping bag compartment from the main compartment.
All in all, I believe the Amazon Basics 65L is a great pack, especially for beginner backpackers and those going on shorter backpacking trips. I do REALLY wish it had bigger side pockets to fit a wider variety of water bottles though.