10 Best Daypacks Reviewed and Fully Compared
Below we have compiled a list of the top 10 best daypacks out there to choose from. We made sure to take the different needs and budgets into consideration, so there is an option out there for everyone!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Holds up to 35 pounds
Removable sternum strap and adjustable hip belt
Hydration port and internal hydration sleeve
- Granite Gear Crown2 38
- CamelBak Fourteener 24
- Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil
- Osprey Packs Talon 22
- Deuter Speed Lite 20
- Marmot Kompressor Plus
- Osprey Stratos 24
- Gregory Salvo 28
- CamelBak M.U.L.E.
- Arc’teryx Brize 25
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Granite Gear Crown2 38
Holds up to 35 pounds
Removable sternum strap and adjustable hip belt
Hydration port and internal hydration sleeve
- Not meant for short hikes
- Not as breathable as other options
This is a great pack for hikers and minimalistic backpackers who like to have the essentials on them. It is lightweight and can hold up to 35 pounds, so if you need to haul a lot of stuff then this is the pack for you.Read more
This pack has a Vapor Current Mark 2 frame and is able to hold up to 35 pounds. At about 2.4 pounds it's lightweight and is made of highly durable material.
This lightweight and comfortable packs has lots of features we are sure you will love. It has a dual-density shoulder harness, a removable sternum strap, and a patent-pending fully adjustable Re-fit hip belt. It also has zippered hip belt pockets and an easily accessible main compartment. It is easily compressed and has DWR treated zippers. The pack also has a hydration port as well as internal hydration sleeve so you can store your water and prevent dehydration. It also has supportive cushioning on the shoulder straps, hip belt, and back panel for additional comfort.
While this pack is made of sturdy and durable material, it is still breathable. It is not the most breathable on our list but it does allow for air flow during your hikes.
This pack is meant for longer treks and for backpackers, so it is safe to say it will be heavier when it's all packed up. It is lightweight enough for those long hikes but definitely not ideal for short hikes or treks.
2. CamelBak Fourteener 24
Well-made and durable
Comes with a hydration bladder
Handy hip belt pockets
There is an outside water bottle holder but some users found it hard to access without taking off the pack
This is a great option for people who definitely want to be able to carry a hydration bladder with them. It's well made, comfortable, and has some nice features such as hip belt pockets, an overflow pocket that stretches to fit a raincoat, and mesh panels in the back for breathability.Read more
The back panel has mesh features for airflow and breathability. The shoulder straps and hip belt are well padded, and users found it to still feel pretty good to wear even after a long day on the trail.
It's made out of tough rip-stop nylon and is well constructed. Users noted the quality of it's build and like all CamelBak products it comes with a lifetime guarantee.
This option can carry a 100 oz. hydration bladder that's included. There are zippered cargo pockets in the hip belt for easy access to nutrition, and there is a very handy stretchable pocket towards the top that comes in handy for holding a rain jacket or anything else you might need quick and easy access to. There is also a place for you to carry your trekking poles while they're not in use.
Ease of Use
The zippers and strapping system operate smoothly and the outer pocket and hip belt pockets definitely come in handy.
It has a stated size of 24 liters and the stretchable outside pocket adds just a bit more room to the equation.
3. Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil
- Packs down small enough to fit in your pocket
- Great for short hikes
- Minimalistic design
- Bar tack reinforced stitching on its stress points
- 2-way zipper closure
- Very affordable
The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil pack is a budget-friendly option that comes in several different color options and offers many of the features other packs have.Read more
This pack is really lightweight and compact in size and composed of Siliconized Cordura for added strength and durability. It is comparable to the REI Co-Op Flash 18 but has a larger capacity (20L).
At just 2.5 ounces this is one of the lightest options available out there. It packs down small enough to fit in your pocket and can hold up to 20L This one does not have any additional features such as storage pockets or padded shoulder straps. However, it's a great option for short hikes and for minimalistic people.
This one is super breathable and lightweight. It will keep you cool and dry during your runs.
This pack is super lightweight and folds up small enough to fit in your pocket.
4. Osprey Packs Talon 22
- Customizable fit
- Comfortable and breathable
- Lots of features for storing gear
- Separate hydration sleeve
- Versatile for outdoor adventures and general traveling
- Side pockets are small
This is one of the best daypacks because it is ultra-light, with a weight of just 750 g. It is comfortable and adjustable for a well-tailored fit. Breathability is at the forefront with plenty of ventilation thanks to its AirScape Backpanel. It is roomy, with easily accessible pockets, but one of its best features is its separate external hydration sleeve that prevents water leaks. It has other buzz-worthy features like bungee attachments, and ice ax loop, and attachments for a helmet and trekking poles.Read more
The Talon 22 put simply is just designed really well. It is a functional pack that is lightweight and just fits really nicely. While that's because of its adjustable shoulder straps and hipbelt that makes it customizable, it also provides enough support and stability—even when carrying larger loads— thanks to its aluminum peripheral frame that effetely transfers the load from harness to hipbelt. Plus it is super comfortable on.
It has 22 L of volume to pack everything needed and has dual-zippered panel access to the main compartment. It also is packed with other storage places include its “InsideOut” compression/carry straps on the sides. There is a mesh front panel pocket that stretches and is large, perfect for when shedding a layer of clothing.
It’s made with nylon mini shadow brick and nylon packcloth and comes in black, green, blue and red color option.
Not only is this daypack perfect for when hiking, climbing, running or biking without slowing the consumer down, but it also has all the features and more needed to survive the elements. It has a Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole system that keeps the poles on the sides for easy access. It has a Lidlock helmet attachment that is used by just sliding the plastic end through the ventilation hole. There are two zippered pockets on the hip belt so that fuel is only a reach away. There is an external hydration sleeve to keep the water reservoir separate, and an ice tool loop with bungee tie-offs. This all makes it a daypack that has plenty of features for being able to easily pack away gear while staying organized.
It has an adjustable sternum strap with slots, making it one of the easiest shoulder straps to adjust. There is also a safety whistle on the straps in case of emergency. The hip belt is mesh covered for breathability, and has foam for extra comfort, with an ErgoPull closure for a secure fit.
This daypack’s AirScape design features mesh-covered foam ridges that provide lots of ventilation. Compared to other models, this daypack performs well when it comes to keeping the consumer dry and cool, exceeding the amount of breathability when it comes to other daypacks like the Marmot Kompressor 18. The hip belt is also mesh covered to allow for air flow, and design wise connects fright to the back panel mesh.
Versatile and lightweight, this daypack won’t slow the consumer down no matter what activity they embark on. This side compression straps are great for securing loads, which has lots of room for gear and important things like trekking poles being within reach. It weighs just 1.7 lbs, making it a great weight for taking on long journeys. It’s the amount of comfort, support, stability, and adjustability also makes it a great option.
5. Deuter Speed Lite 20
- Impressive compression straps to hold all kinds of gear
- Great fit that is comfortable, even when packed
- Small in size, but still has lots of room to store items
- Doesn’t perform as well in breathability department, but enough air for most activities
Its name says it all. This pack is made for the consumer to be able to move fast with it on. It offers freedom of movement with its V-shape, and overall is a lightweight pack that can shed even more weight by removing the hip belt, sternum strap and support rod. This pack is comfortable to wear with its ergonomically S-shaped shoulder straps, and adjustable chest strap. It is compatible with a hydration system, as a stretch compartment, side pockets and a place for valuables.Read more
With a sleek design, this daypack has a V-shaped body that allows for a better fit to be in-between the shoulder, with more freedom to move. This design helps to make the consumer able to race through the trails without the load slowing them down. It’s shell is made of Hexlite 210 ripstop nylon, tough enough to withstand abrasion, and the bottom has a second layer of material to prevent rips. It has a zippered main compartment with lots of space, along with a mesh front pocket, mesh side pockets for water bottles.
This pack has adjustable chest and sternum straps that can be removed to make it even more lightweight. There is compression straps that can reserve around the entire pack. This allows the consumer to be able to pack more, while serving as a way to store skis, trekking poles, a rain jacket, or other gear. These straps can reverse around the bag, allowing it There is enough room to fit a 3 liter reservoir in its separate pocket, and as a exit port for drinking while going.
The padded back on the Deuter Speed Lite features a breathable 3D wide-Air Mesh that provides lots of air flow and has a quick-drying time. It is enough to not stick to the back, but not the best for warmer weather.
This pack is lightweight, weighting just over 1 lb. It’s weight, or lack or, makes it perfect for taking when competing in a race, climbing, or when wanting better range of motion when hiking or skiing. It is super compressible, which makes it extremely packable.
6. Marmot Kompressor Plus
- Lightweight, compressible and packable to store when not in use
- Organized design, with a feature for gear like hydration and poles
- Durable option that will last
- Material is a bit thin
- No water-resistant feature or rain cover
Weighing in at 13.05 oz, this is a lightweight pack that won’t slow any climber down. It has all the frills needed for adventurers like a trekking pole attachment, hydration port and clip for hanging reservoir, and daisy chains. The best part is that it is fully compressible, being able to be folded into its own pocket.Read more
This daypack is essential a large sag, with its main compartment accessed by opening the top flap that has a buckle closure. There is a zippered front pocket, and two large side pockets for storing water bottles. The sis a durable option that will take a little wear and tear them climbing or hiking. It’s made with nylon double ripstop material, and has a polyester lining on the insider. What makes it stand out is it’s ability to fold up and be stored into its own pocket. Being this compressible makes it ideal for packing when traveling or camping.
The Kompressor Plus takes trekking seriously when it comes to its features. While being so compressible is impressive in itself, it also includes a single tool, trekking pole attachment, duration port and clip for having the reservoir, daisy chains, a removable webbing waist belt, YKK zippers that are easy to open, with a front organization pocket for storing maps. It also has adjustable hip belt and chest strap.
Working up a sweat isn’t a problem here because of the amount of comfort and breathability this daypack provides. It has Airmesh on the back and shoulder straps, for plenty of air flow.
At 13.05 oz., this is a lightweight options that includes all the features, space and comfort needed for both short and longer adventures. It has a pack volume of 20 L, just a little smaller than some of the larger bags with less weight.
7. Osprey Stratos 24
- Great ventilation for hot and sweat day hikes
- Fit well, with torso adjustment
- Seamless hip belt for added comfort
- Not as lightweight as other options
- Not has comfortable when carrying heavier loads
A great combination of comfort and all the features needed, the Osprey Stratos 24 is one of the best options for a long days hike. It is durable with its twill nylon and ripstop fabric, and has a ventilated tensioned mesh back panel that can be adjusted in torso length for a more customizable fit. There is an integrated hydration sleeve that makes it easy to take a drink, a trekking pole attachment system to be hands free and an integrated rain cover case the consumer’s runs into a storm.Read more
This daypack has the typical backpack appearance, complete with three different front zippered pockets. This includes a large top panel for stashing gels or small snacks, a pocket for storing gear like a rain jacket, and a vertical panel for storing maps or passports. The main compartment has a dual-zippered design so that it can be easily opened. It also is longer in length and bigger than other options, with 24 L of volume. It’s made of nylon crosshatch fabric, and has an integrated rain cover that stores into its own pocket.
This daypack has many upgrades in comparison to its processor including a longer and adjustable torso length for a better fit. This is an extremely comfortable pack to wear (consider its weight), thanks to its ventilation and seamless hip belt that is seam-free. It has side stretch pockets for storing water with compression straps to keep items in place, zippered hip belt pocks, an ice tool loop with bungee tie-off, and a hydration reservoir sleeve. It has an unique trekking pole attachment feature that allows the hiker to stash the poles without having to take off the pack.
Out of all the daypacks on the list, the Osprey Stratos 24 performs the best when it comes to its breathability. This is the pack to take along for hot hikes. It features the company’s Airspeed suspension technology that consists of a tensioned mesh back panel. It will surely keep the back cool and sweat from building up.
There is plenty of great features that comes with the Stratos 24, but this all comes at a price—weight. It isn’t overly heavy, but not lightweight at all at 2 lbs 8 oz. It isn’t made for those looking for a fast climb, but more catered for day hikes when not a lot of gear is required.
8. Gregory Salvo 28
- Extremely breathable and comfortable
- Versatile for outdoor activities and every day
- Lots of volume
- Mid-range price
- Doesn’t feature a rain cover
- Might be too heavy for lighter trips adventurers
This is a great daypack for those going on longer treks. It has more room for storing goods like extra trail mix or an outer layer jacket. Along with the extra space, it is comfortable with bottom compression straps with quick release buckles, and lots of ventilation in the back, whippet and shoulders. There is an internal hydration sleeve with hose management, as well as lots of pockets. The coolest feature is its sunglass stash on the shoulder harness.Read more
This is a versatile option in terms of its uses as well as its appearance. Made for the trails, as well as for school or when traveling, it has a look that can best be described as having that traditional backpack feel. Consumers get access to the man compartment via a top zipper, and there is a mesh pocket inside to keep things neat and tidy. It’s made from nylon, which made it slightly water-resistant, which is important since there is no rain cover.
This is a daypack packed with cool features that make carrying gear so much for efficient. This includes practical things like an internal hydration sleeve that fits a 3 liter reservoir and a hose clip on the shoulder strap. Other features include hip belt pockets for storing a small snack or gel, a sunglass stash on the shoulder harness to keep sunnies from breaking or getting lost, and a safety light last.
Air circulation isn’t a problem here thanks to its ventilated lumber pad. This is made possible because of the FreeSpan ventilated suspension system that allows for complete air flow. This tech also maximized the interior bag volume, and provides cushioning. The lower back as support and stability needed and overall this is a comfortable back. The daypack also features this ventilation system for the shoulder harness and hip belt.
This daypack is considered a mdiweight option at 2.4 lbs. It’s not overly heavy to be too much weight to carry around when full, but isn’t the lightest option available. It does have 25 L of volume, menacing that there is enough space to fit all necessarily items.
9. CamelBak M.U.L.E.
- Lots of room for a hydration reservoir
- Improvement to the reservoir for more water per sip
- Magnetic tube trap
- Lightweight and compact
- 4 pockets on the inside with lots of organization
- Some experience reservoir leaks
- Magnetic tube tends to break
This CamelBak is made for those hot and humid, long hikes when trekking uphill or when biking on the pavement with the sun beaming down. It has a 100 oz hydration bladder that is insulated to keep water cool, and the reservoir provides 20 percent more water per sip compared to its predecessors. This pack is light, has a breathable back panel, and storage to keep wet gear separate. There is helmet hooks and a compartment for small tools.Read more
This daypack has a great look, stylish and sporty with a narrow design. And while it’s easy on the eyes, it also feels great with a nice fit. It includes separately zippered compatibles to keep gear and supplies separate. It also has a stretch overflow ability for fitting in that extra layer.
At its core, this daypack is all about the hydration. It is hydration pack includes a new reservoir that has the ability to carry 3 liters of water. It has an ergonomic handle that makes it easy to refill. There is also an on/off lever so that leaks won’t happen on accident. The pack itself has compression loops on the shoulder straps for holding the hose, as well as a magnetic trap to keep the tube in place. This makes it great for ultra races, multi-day hikes, and biking in the heat long distance. Other features in a helmet hook, tool organizer storage, and a removable, cushioned hip belt.
This CamelBak offers impressive ventilation that keeps the athlete dry and comfortable.
This is an ultra-lightweight option, weighing 1 lb., 5 oz. It’s a great option for taking while running or climbing because how light it is. It fits the torso nicely, and overall is compact and small.
10. Arc’teryx Brize 25
- Nice fit
- Organized and lots of storage for all gear
- Great back air flow
- Large side pockets
- Material is no stretchy
- Hip belt has no padding
While this daypack is a bit bigger and heavier (but just 2 lbs.) than other options. it is still a worthy buy for multiple reasons. First off is its amount of air flow provides by its Aeroflorm thermoformed, hydrophobic padding. The shoulders straps are padded for optimal comfort, and there are sternum straps for more stability. It includes a main zippered top panel compartments, side pockets and an internal pocket that keeps things organized. It’s also versatile to worn for every day use.Read more
This daypack is designed with organization in mind. On the outside it has a zippered top panel pocket, side pockets and a top pocket with a key clip to stash away an extra snack or smartphone. On the inside there is a zippered pocket to keep items separate from other gear. It also has space to hold a hydration bladder. There is an internal clip to keep the drink tube in place. It also has sternum and hip belt straps that are adjustable for a more secure and custom fit.
Although it looks simple, the Brize 25 has so much room for storing gear as neatly as possible. The side pockets alone can hold both water bottles and trekking pikes. There are bungee straps to secure items in place, and has a pack attachment configuration for taking along an ice or mountaineering tool.
This daypack has the company’s Aeroflorm thermoformed, hydrophobic back that makes it extremely breathable. Consumer’s don’t have to worry about sweaty backs with this option, having just the right amount of ventilation needed for those steep hikes in the sun.
The Brize 25 is lightweight, making it versatile to take biking, camping, hiking, traveling and more. The design allows for the consumer to open the main comparable with one hand (swing the pack around to the chest), so that they don’t need to unload when needing something.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One of the most important aspects of findign a pack for your hiking and running needs is to keep comfort first and foremost in your mind!
While weight plays an integral part in the overall comfort the pack provides, there are other factors that need to be considered here as well. We also looked at how comfortable the daypack sits on the shoulders, chest, and hips as well as how the weight is distributed. We also took into account whether or not the pack has a chest strap or hip belt along with how much cushioning these add-ons provide and how well they distribute the weight. Besides looking at these factors we considered over 1100 reviews from real-world users to see what their experience was like. We're just a handful of people at RunnerClick so we might love, or hate, a product while the rest of the world has the opposite opinion and experience. By considering reviews we're able to get a better idea of what a wide variety of people from all different walks of life think about a certain product. It takes a lot of time to consider all of those reviews but in the end it helps us give you a better idea of what you can expect from a product.
You never know what you'll run into while hiking, even if it's just a day trip, so it's important your pack is tough and long-lasting.
Since the outdoors, and outdoorsy people, can be tough on gear we only chose products for this list that are made of long-lasting materials and have been proven to stand the test of time. Not only do you want to make sure a product lasts so you can get a lot of use and therefore value out of it, but you also want to make sure that you aren't in the middle of nowhere when suddenly your pack breaks. Not only would this be a major hassle, but it could be dangerous as well. For example, what if your pack breaks and your water bottle tumbles off a cliff? Then you're in the backcountry with no water which could lead to dehydration. The materials that a pack is made from is the first thing to consider along with the reputation of the brand and how well they are known for making durable products. While it can be tempting to go with a lower priced option from a company you've never heard from, day packs are definitely one product that it's worth spending a few extra dollars on to make sure that you get a high-quality, long-lasting backpack. You'll notice that there is more than one product on the list from Osprey and CamelBak. This is because these are two companies that have proven over time that they know how to make great packs that are highly effective as well as long-lasting.
Even just a few thoughtful design elements can make a big difference.
Some of the extras that the packs on our list have include such niceties as daisy chains for attaching gear to the outside of your pack, hydration bladder compatibility, multiple pockets for organizing gear, external water bottle holders, mesh back and shoulder strap panels for increased breathability, key clips, and more. We think it's nice to have a good blend of simplicity and design. You don't want something with a bunch of features that you don't need and won't use, this is just a waste of money and added weight. But most of us also want to be able to easily use the pack, have easy access to our water and snacks, be able to secure additional gear to the pack if we want, and so on. While making this list we looked for backpacks that had a nice selection of useful features that the average person will find useful and actually use. We gave higher scores in this category for packs with plenty of additional features that added to the overall usefulness and utility of the pack.
Ease of Use
Having a pack that's simple to use gives you less to think about so you can enjoy your hike even more.
The last thing that you want when you're out for a nice hike is to spend a lot of time fussing with your backpack. A good day pack should be simple and easy to operate. One of the things to think about with this factor is having zippers that open and close easily and smoothly and are durable as well. This is an often overlooked thing, so we took the trouble to consider over 1100 reviews to see if there were consistent problems with the zipper on a day pack. Another thing to think about is the design of the product along with your personal preferences. For example, if having easy access to nutrition is really important to you we recommend looking for a pack with small pockets on the hip belts. Typically these will be made of mesh and allow you to stash some energy gels or bars where you can get to them without stopping and taking off your pack. The strapping system is another area of a day pack you'll want to look at. Having an easy time of putting on and taking off your pack can definitely make your hike more enjoyable, so we only selected options that had a strap system that was simple and intuitive to operate.
For a day pack, 20-25 liters is a good size that will let you carry everything you need without slowing you down.
Capacity refers to the volume your pack can hold and the amount of capacity you need depends on the length of your trek. Many of the options featured on our list have a 20-25 L capacity which is enough room for hiking, biking, traveling, and even running. This capacity also leaves plenty of room for additional snacks, water, extra layers, and more. However, if you are planning on going on a multi-day camping, hiking, or climbing trip you should look into a larger pack that can carry the additional supplies you will need. Having daisy chains or another way to attach additional gear to the outside of your pack is a great feature to look for that can basically expand the size of your pack without adding much additional weight or size and only comes into play when you need it. This is a good feature to look for if you want to make sure you get a pack that will give you plenty of versatility. As mentioned above, 20-25 liters is a perfectly sized day pack for most people, but ultralight hikers and campers will often use a pack of similar size to the ones on this list because they like to go super light and fast on their adventures. This type of hiker prioritizes small, lightweight gear as well as being super efficient so that they can go as fast and light as possible.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you are really tall or really short, then you know how important it is to have something that is adjustable. While most daypacks are designed to fit most users, if you lie on either side of the height spectrum then make sure to go with a daypack that can be adjusted.
If you are an outdoor enthusiasts then you know how exhilarating it can be to be in the great outdoors. That being said, you need to plan accordingly and make sure you take the possibility of unplanned occurrences into account because you never know what may come your way. When choosing your daypack make sure to plan for everything.
Other Factors to Consider
While a daypack may look great and seem like it has all of the features you are looking for, you won’t really know until you put it to the test outdoors. This is why we recommend you take into consideration your own specific needs as well as the types of hikes you will partake in.
Each consumer has their own specific needs that determine which daypack is best suited for them. For example, a runner will need an ultra-lightweight pack that offers space for a hydration bladder. Climbers need a pack that has enough storage space that can hold all of their hear while also being easily accessible to them. Longer treks or backpacking trips will require packs that have enough space, don’t become bulky once they are loaded up, and have a padded back for additional comfort.
Many daypacks are available in a standard size, while others come in small, medium, and large options. Make sure to take a look at the sizing guide provided by the company so you can ensure you choose the right size for you. Size is an important factor to consider because it also affects your overall comfort. Your pack should comfortably fit your torso as well as distribute weight so your back doesn’t carry all of the weight on your back–which is where adjustable hip belts along with shoulder, and sternum straps come into play. The hip belt should fit snugly, with the top edge sitting one finger width above the top of the hips. and there shouldn’t be a gap from the top of your shoulder all the way down to the back–if there is a gap it means the daypack is too long for the consumer’s frame.
Frequently Asked Questions
This depends on the activity or adventure you will be partaking in. For example, climbers will want a lightweight pack that can hold their supplies. On the other hand, longer hikes or climbing trips will require much larger packs that can hold all of the supplies you need.
The right daypack should feel comfortable on your shoulders and fit the length of your torso. The hip belt should snuggly fit you around the waist while the sternum straps should provide more stability and be adjustable.
There are many versatile daypacks out there and can be used for several activities. For example, you can take out the hydration bladder and store your laptop in the bladder pocket and many can store your textbooks as well.
Daypacks are typically available in small/medium and medium/large options. Make sure to review the company’s sizing chart and contact the company if you require an extension if it doesn’t fit.