Are Canvas Backpacks Good For Hiking?

Canvas is a sturdy and durable fabric created with hemp. It is a versatile plain-woven fabric used to make yachts and small boat sails. Canvas backpacks have had a heightened increase in popularity and acceptance in recent years because of the retro/rugged look or feel and thus are a great choice.

If you desire to stand out from the rest of your mates during your hiking expedition, try using a canvas backpack. These withstand any era, and dotting a leather flap with a strap and notch closure makes a canvas backpack functional and fun. Some canvas backpacks have flaps for carrying your tools; others boast many different compartments for keeping your electronics safe and protected from any damage. It comes in handy so that when you need an item stored at the bottom of your backpack, there isn’t a need to empty the whole load to get it, as you will open the base zippers.

A canvas backpack suits all occasions, and with good maintenance, these bags are usually indestructible.

Are Canvas Backpacks Suitable For Hiking?

Canvas Hiking Backpacks

These backpacks are famous for their rugged rucksack-like style but are they suitable for hiking? Let us delve surgically into that, shall we?

1. Durability

These bags, if well maintained, are heavy-duty and indestructible. It is a bag that you may never outgrow should you buy one when used in the right weather conditions. 

However, they have a limitation that when kept in humid places, they begin to develop mold spores which will ruin the fabric. 

2. Comfort

Comfort is the most crucial aspect when choosing a good hiking backpack for the trails. Are canvas backpacks comfortable? The answer is yes. They are padded to minimize abrasion when scaling heights outdoors. 

The build of a canvas backpack considers the backside and shoulder straps thus comfort. Its many compartments prevent items you are carrying during the hike from shoving around the bag, which would be unsettling.

3. Padded Canvas Backpacks

Canvas backpacks are cushioned on the backside with closed-cell foam that is lightweight and helps prevent abrasions that occur from items rubbing excessively against your skin. Well-padded bags have thick shoulder and back straps that help distribute the backpack’s weight. 

Padding the chest and waist straps in these canvas backpacks help distribute the weight evenly and keeps the weight nearer to the back.

4. Size

These retro rugged rucksacks are big enough to handle your desired hiking accessories. They are big enough to enable a backpacker to carry their laptops, water bottles, iPad, and other accessories they might need during the hiking expedition. 

When selecting the right canvas backpack for your hiking expedition, it should not be a tad too small or also too big. A small canvas backpack may limit the number of items one would wish to carry during the expedition. A huge one will also be dangerous and strenuous to the backpacker. 

A hiker must take care to select a canvas backpack that is proportionate to the backpacker’s body size.

5. They Are Cheaper

Canvas backpacks are cheaper and budget-friendly than trendier bags. A backpacker can afford these easily and can be used for almost all occasions instead of buying multiple gears. If you require a backpack to work with and later use it for hiking over the weekend, buy the canvas backpack.

Waterproofing Of The Canvas Bag

If it rained, your precious electronic accessories would be soaked with water as most canvas backpacks are not waterproof. If you are unsure about whether it might rain, carry a foldable plastic rain cover bag that is big enough to cover the canvas backpack well enough. 

You could plan to buy a waxed and waterproofed canvas backpack that is sturdier and guarantees you long years of service or instead apply the durable water repellant to deal with the splattering raindrops and prevent the water from soaking the bag. 

Mold spores can also ruin the perfect fabric of the non-waxed or waterproofed backpack if kept in a humid environment.

Maintenance Of Canvas Hiking Backpacks

Canvas Hiking Backpacks

Regular dabbing the interior and exterior of the backpack with water would make it glow in appearance just like you do too. Washing your canvas backpack isn’t a tedious task at all. Dab it with a piece of clothing and use plain cold water and hang it out in the air to dry. Letting it breathe after opening its strap and notch closing will help eliminate the nasty smell.

Canvas backpacks are fast gaining popularity, especially in the backpacking community for their rucksack appearance. They accentuate a backpacker’s ruggedness and machismo which outwardly projects how hardy and comfortable they are in their natural environment. However, they have limitations that poke glaring questions about their efficiency. 

1. They Are Heavier Than Most Backpacks

Canvas backpacks are incredibly heavier than ordinary synthetic backpacks. Considering the backpacker will be hiking for some distance, a lighter backpack is better and recommended to avoid strain on the back. Unlike other synthetic bags, they are heavier when soaked with water and take longer to dry.

2. They Are Not Suitable For Long Hiking Distances

Due to their weight and complexities from their many compartments, they are not suitable for extended periods of hiking outdoors.

3. They Are Prone To Rotting

Unlike synthetic bags, which are less likely to rot, canvas backpacks can deteriorate if kept in humid or unkempt places. It badly affects them hence damaging their quality.

4. They Retain Odor

They can retain odors from the wearer’s sweat, and because it does not get to breathe well enough, it may have unpleasant smells.

5. They Can Be Injurious

Due to their increased weight when wet, they can be dangerous to the wearer. They also draw heat from the body when wet and can cause abrasions due to the friction and rubbing with the body skin.


Canvas hiking backpacks are increasingly becoming popular among Millennial and Generation Zees. They enhance the machismo and rustic retro/rugged feel of backpackers in their natural element and are multi-functional but dwarfed by synthetics primarily for their efficiency, strength, comfort, and ingenious lightweight nature.

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