From Development to Dirt: Big Agnes Backpacks

From Development to Dirt: Big Agnes Backpacks

We’ve spent the last 20 years dreaming up ideas of how to sleep more comfortably in the dirt. We won some awards, introduced industry-leading tent designs and manufacturing, and evolved our original sleep system to an entire sleeping bag and pad line. Now for 2022, we decided it was time to carry all that gear in our own Big Agnes backpacks.

Gear up for the long haul with a Big Agnes backpack
Gear up for the long haul with a Big Agnes backpack. Photo: Noah Wetzel

The Copper Spur of Backpacks

Big Agnes backpacks include an entire collection from day hikes to multiday excursions with ultralight sustainable materials and comfort in mind. Our design team had one goal: create the “Copper Spur of backpacks”. Our award-winning tent integrates tough and ultralight materials with packable yet spacious design to make you feel like you’re living the high life. This evolved into ultralight and minimalist ideas rooted in carrying the weight in your pack, not the pack weight. Our design team spent over two years engineering and testing a priority design and suspension system to get the job done.

The Copper Spur of backpacks. Photo: Noah Wetzel

Designing with Intention

How could we create highly technical and sustainably sourced packs that were both lightweight and comfortable? Our designers and developers worked diligently to combine recycled and durable materials with lightweight attributes in creating the pack line. They took a minimalist approach by eliminating gear-specific pocket designs and instead opting for versatile stash-mesh and enclosed zip options. The result is a more modern shape with interior and exterior storage features that can be adapted to a packer’s needs.

Early pack testing in the Uintas. Photo: Noah Wetzel

In our larger overnight and multiday packs, stability and effective load transfer were top priorities. Using a fully integrated suspension system, the entire suspension of the pack from the hip belt to shoulder straps integrate directly into the frame.

Why does the suspension system matter? What’s efficient load transfer?

It means you can carry more weight comfortably, and the weight you think you’re carrying will feel lighter. Our Load Wrangler PLUS has eight internal connection points to ensure a balanced pack weight, plus a cord aluminum frame reduces the overall weight of the pack itself.

Gearing up for the long haul with our Parkview 63L pack.
Gearing up for the long haul with our Parkview 63L pack. Photo: Noah Wetzel

Designed by Women for Women

The Mother of Comfort takes our name seriously. Unique to Big Agnes backpacks is the women’s specific series, the Sun Dog 45L and Garnet 60L. Our designers took careful consideration to get the fit just right for a women’s body, including custom fit adjustments on the contoured shoulder straps and hip belt to keep the pack flush against the torso. The women’s packs have a different back panel shape, width and height of the pack, and a women’s specific hip belt for more support.

Women's specific backpack design
Kristin wearing our Garnet 60L women’s pack. Photo: Dalton Johnson

Ultralight and Functional

From day trips to multiday excursions, we made a pack with thoughtful functions and features for you on the trail. Every pack includes our Open Range Hip Belt, providing a secure and cushioned fit that articulates around your hip bones. An internal hydration bladder pocket with discreet tube routing port runs to the exterior of the pack and the hose clip on the sternum strap keeps you from getting hose-slapped. Plus, all the mesh and zip pockets to stuff your gear in.

During rigorous testing by our staff in the downtime of 2020, iterations of the pack features came to fruition. You’ll find a discreet ice axe loop on our Ditch Rider 32L, Sun Dog 45L, and Prospector 50L packs, which was inspired from testing on spring missions. Our largest packs, the Garnet 60L and Parkview 63L have a removable lid for day essentials. And with trail litter stuffed in jacket pockets, the Trash Can was born. With all that, our largest pack weighs in at 4lb while still featuring GRS certified, recycled fabric with a solution-dyed grid. These are tough, lightweight packs that aren’t hard on the environment.

Backpack storage options and Trash Can
Plenty of storage options and added accessory Trash Can. Photo: Noah Wetzel

We integrated our years of experience, ultralight sustainable materials, and technical features to deliver a series of fast and light packs with plenty of storage capacity and custom fit adjustments for every adventure. Check out the entire collection of Big Agnes backpacks available now at