The Best Daypacks for Hiking
A daypack is a key piece of gear for any hiker. For day hikes, you really only need a bag to carry some water, a small first aid kit, an extra layer or rain jacket, a headlamp, and snacks or lunch. Day packs vary from very minimalist to highly featured so you need to decide what type of hiking you will primarily use it for. Do you want an ultralight stuffable pack you can use to go on day hikes from basecamp? Do you want something really comfortable and big enough it can also be used for travel or possibly a quick overnight? Or do you want a pack somewhere in the middle that can also be used in your daily life? If you live in a wet climate like I do, you might also want to consider a waterproof pack, especially if you like to bring a phone, camera, or down jacket. For this article, the best daypacks for hiking will be divided into three categories: Ultralight/Stuffable, Lightweight, and Full Feature/Multi Use.
1. Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack
$34.99 on Amazon
This 18 liter stuffable pack from Osprey has a breathable air mesh back panel to keep you feeling comfortable. It also has a mesh side pocket for stowing water and a small top zipper pocket for stashing small items. This nylon pack is pretty minimalist but I enjoy the sleek look of it and it is perfect for a lightweight or ultralight backpacker looking to do some dayhikes from base camp. It packs into itself and can easily fit into a pocket or purse and weights 3.17 ounces.
2. Trek Light Gear Bindle Daypack
$34.95 on Amazon
Trek Light Gear is mostly known for making lightweight hammocks out of parachute material. The 14.2 liter Bindle pack is made from that same durable parachute nylon material and is tough enough not only for trail use, but for everyday use as well. This pack weighs only 3.5 ounces, and it stuffs into its own pouch which is compact enough to fit in your pocket. The pocket that it stuffs into becomes a small internal pocket for storing important small items. This pack does not have a hydration sleeve or pocket on the sides.
3. Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack
$32.50 on Amazon
The 20 liter Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack is a minimalist type daypack with no exterior pockets. It weighs in at only 2.4 ounces. Like the Osprey Stuff Pack and the Trek Light Bindle this pack can pack into itself making it perfect for day hikes from a basecamp. This pack is made from siloconized Cordura nylon with nylon straps.
Lightweight Day Packs
1. Patagonia Black Hole
$131.00 on Amazon
This pack is made of a nylon ripstop material and has a TPU film laminate and DWR (durable water repellent) finish making it water resistant. It is hydration bladder compatable with an inside sleeve and also has mesh water bottle packets on both sides. There is a small interior pocket and a large zippered stash pocket on the outside. This 26 liter pack weighs only 1 lb. 2 oz and I really like the fit of it. It is comfortable with breathable mesh on the back panel and shoulder straps and it also has a sternum strap. This bag come in some really unique and interesting colors.
$50.00 on Amazon
Opsrey has a great reputation in the backpacking world and you really can’t go wrong with any of their packs. The Day lite is a 13 liter, 1 pound bag. Like the Patagonia Black Hole, it has a breathable mesh back panel. It also features a sternum strap and thin waist belt strap. It is hydration bladder compatible, has side mesh pockets, and has a front zip pocket with a mesh organizer. This is a really affordable, quality pack that I highly recommend.
1. Marmot Kompressor Plus
$65.00 on Amazon
The 20 liter, 13 oz Kompressor Plus is made of nylon ripstop with a polyester lining. It has a hydration port and clip for hanging a hydration bladder along with side pockets for water bottles. The waist belt is lightweight and upadded and if you don’t need or want it, it is easily removable. The compression straps are useful for keeping your load comfortable and they don’t add too much unnecessary weight to the pack. The shoulder straps and back panel are a breathable air mesh material. This pack features an ice axe attachment loop for safely storing an ice axe or trekking poles.
2. Deuter Speed Lite 20
$65.53 on Amazon
The Deuter Speed Lite 20 liter weighs just 1 lb, 2 oz and is made of tough Hexlite 210 ripstop nylon and has a PU coating to make it water resisitant. It has a breathable air-mesh back panel and shoulder straps. The hip belt is removable if you want to shave even more weight off of this already lightweight pack. Another removable feature is the Delrin thermoplastic U-frame rod which cuts weight while boosting flexibilty. Compression straps on the sides double as attachment points for skis, ice axes, or trekking poles. The Speed Lite is hydration bladder compatable and also features side mesh pockets for water bottles. All of the features of this pack make it a lightweight option for basic mountaineering climbs as well as day hiking.
3. Osprey Sirrus 24
$130.00 on Amazon
This pack is a borderline overnight pack because it is 24 liters and has all the bells and whistles. With multiple zip storage compartments, a comfortably padded hip belt, and a hydration sleeve this pack is best for a long full day hike. It would be great for an active family in need of extra storage space for the children’s stuff. The Sirrus weighs in at 2 lbs., 9 oz so if you are looking for something lightweight definitely choose one of the lighter packs above. This pack could also work as an ultralight backpacker’s overnight pack. The Sirrus has more of a women’s fit, and the comparable men’s pack to this would be the Osprey Stratos 24. This is a great basic mountaineering pack since it has both a trekking pole attachment and an ice tool loop.
The Best Daypacks for Hiking
|Product||Capacity||Weight||Material||Hydration Bladder Compatable?||Water Resistant?||Ice Axe attachment?||Price|
|Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack||18 Liter||4 oz||40D Nylon Ripstop||No||No||No||$34.99 on Amazon|
|Trek Light Gear Bindle Daypack||14 Liter||3.5 oz||Parachute Nylon||No||No||No||$34.95 on Amazon|
|Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack||20 Liter||2.4 oz||Siliconized Cordura Nylon||No||No||No||$32.95 on Amazon|
|Patagonia Black Hole||26 Liter||1 lb, 2 oz||210-Denier Nylon Ripstop with a TPU film laminate and a DWR Finish||Yes||Yes||No||$131.00 on Amazon|
|Osprey Daylite Daypack||13 Liter||1 lb||210D Nylon Double Diamond Ripstop||Yes||No||No||$50.00 on Amazon|
|Marmot Kompressor Plus||20 Liter||13 oz||210D Nylon Double Ripstop, Stretch Mesh Polyester||Yes||No||Yes||$65.00 on Amazon|
|Deuter Speed Lite 20||20 Liter||1 lb, 3 oz||210D Nylon Ripstop with PU coating||Yes||Yes||Yes||$71.00 on Campsaver|
|Osprey Sirrus 24||24 Liter||2 lbs, 9 oz||210D Nylon Crosshatch||Yes||No||Yes||$130.00 on Amazon|
Which backpacks do you think are the best daypacks for hiking? Leave a comment below!
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