The Best Daypacks for Hiking

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.


Ultralight/Stuffable Packs

1. Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

$34.99 on Amazon

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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

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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

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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

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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.


2. Osprey Day Lite

$50.00 on Amazon

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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.


Full Feature/Multiuse

1. Marmot Kompressor Plus

$65.00 on Amazon

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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

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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

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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

ProductCapacityWeightMaterialHydration Bladder Compatable?Water Resistant?Ice Axe attachment?Price
Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack
The Best Daypacks for Hiking - Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack
18 Liter4 oz40D Nylon RipstopNoNoNo$34.99 on Amazon
Trek Light Gear Bindle Daypack
The Best Daypacks for Hiking Trek Light Gear Stuff Pack
14 Liter3.5 ozParachute NylonNoNoNo$34.95 on Amazon
Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack
The Best Daypacks for Hiking Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack
20 Liter2.4 ozSiliconized Cordura NylonNoNoNo$32.95 on Amazon
Patagonia Black Hole
The Best Daypacks for Hiking Patagonia Black Hole
26 Liter1 lb, 2 oz210-Denier Nylon Ripstop with a TPU film laminate and a DWR Finish YesYesNo$131.00 on Amazon
Osprey Daylite Daypack
The Best Daypacks for Hiking Osprey Daylite Daypack
13 Liter1 lb210D Nylon Double Diamond RipstopYesNoNo$50.00 on Amazon
Marmot Kompressor Plus
The Best Daypacks for Hiking Marmot Kompressor Plus
20 Liter13 oz210D Nylon Double Ripstop, Stretch Mesh PolyesterYesNoYes$65.00 on Amazon
Deuter Speed Lite 20The Best Daypacks for Hiking Deuter Speed Lite 2020 Liter1 lb, 3 oz210D Nylon Ripstop with PU coatingYesYesYes$71.00 on Campsaver
Osprey Sirrus 24
The Best Daypacks for Hiking Osprey Sirrus 24
24 Liter2 lbs, 9 oz210D Nylon CrosshatchYesNoYes$130.00 on Amazon


Which backpacks do you think are the best daypacks for hiking?  Leave a comment below!  


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4 thoughts on “The Best Daypacks for Hiking”

  • Nice site you got here, I have been on the search for a good daypack at a good price, that is waterproof and with a decent capacity, and it was really helpful to see a table with all the details to compare. The Patagonia Black Hole seems to fit all my needs in that regard. Thanks!

    • Thanks, John.  Glad you found one that fits the bill!  I would love to hear what you think of the Black Hole if you go forward with your purchase.

  • Back again. What an amazing site for those of loving the outdoors.

    Checked out the Best Day Packs for Hiking and was amazed at the selection available. BUT…. when I saw the Patagonia Black Hole that was it.

    Like the brand and retired a bag from them just last year after beating it up for years.

    Keep up the good work. On my way for a short Day Hike.

    Your site is awesome.

    • The Patagonia Black Hole is a great choice!  I have it and use it for my weekend conditioning hikes.  Its super lightweight and feels comfortable on my back.  The fact that its waterproof is what sold me on this pack.  I live in the PNW and was so tired of coming home and having to dry out all the stuff in my pack and put my pack in front of the fireplace.  I have the 26 L and also use it as an overnight bag or gym bag.  Thanks for visiting and happy hiking!

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