10 Best Daypacks Reviewed and Fully Compared
When heading out for a days long adventure, it’s necessary that we have all the essentials with us. But none of this matters without having the right bag to store it all in. What’s hiking, climbing or backpacking without wearing a daypack?
Some might assume that they can just pick up any backpack to do the job. But daypacks are made differently for a reason. This includes internal frames the help to shift the weight from the shoulders to the hips, which is important for longer treks. It’s also important that the pack be compatible with a hydration bladder to prevent dehydration.
Consumers might assume that all daypacks are the same, but there are lots of different models sold by lots of different companies that vary when it comes to features, durability, comfort and fit. Finding the best one is unique to each kind of a athlete, with versatile options to take from the trail to vacation the best bet for many.
- Osprey Packs Talon 22
- Comfortable & Breathable
- Deuter Speed Lite 20
- Great Fit
- Osprey Stratos 24
- Great Ventilation
10 Best Daypacks
Osprey Packs Talon 22
The Talon 22 put simply is just designed really well. It is a functional pack that is lightweight and just fits really nicely. While hat’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 though 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 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 a mesh covered foam ridges that provides lots of ventilation. Compared to other models, this daypack performs well when it comes to keep 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, with has lots of room for gear and important things like trekking poles being within reach. It weight just 1.7 lbs, making it a great weight for taking on longer journeys. It’s amount of comfort, support, stability and adjustability also makes it a great option.
- 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
Deuter Speed Lite 20
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.
- 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
Osprey Stratos 24
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.
- 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
Marmot Kompressor Plus
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.
- 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
Gregory Salvo 24
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.
- 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 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 separate 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 a 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 CambelBak 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.
- 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
Arc’teryx Brize 25
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.
- 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
Back Diamond Creek 50
This daypack has a minimalistic design, consisting of of top-loading design that includes a drawcord skirt closure that can be used to hold climbing rope, as well as a zippered front flap with pockets that keep items organized. There is a side zipper that runs the length of the pack, which makes it easy to get items. This daypack will stand upright when taking a break thanks to its haul bag bottom.
This is one of the best daypack for climbers because of its specific features like a tuck-away top strap and helmet rope holder via its storable rain hood. It has plenty of space for “gear-intensive dragging sessions,” with 50 L of volume to start quickdraw, climbing sneakers, as well as food and water. It has a removable hipbelt, and there is padding on the shoulder straps.
The fabric on this bag is waterproof (plus it has a rain cover) so rain won’t be a problem. However, it is lacking in the breathability department. There is no mesh or other features to allow air to circulate.
In relation to other daypacks, this is a much heavier and bulkier bag to carry around. It weighs a heft 4 lb. 7 oz., which will take a toll on the shoulders and back when stuffed with gear for those who occasionally backpack in the backcountry. With that said, it is the perfect size for moderate climbs. Those who are going for a multi-day ascent might find this option too small.
- Voluminous, great for cragging
- Side zipper allows for grabbing gear without going through entire bag
- Haul-bag design stands upright
- Waterproof fabric
- Large and bulky for shorter trips
- Shoulder straps not that comfortable
Thule Capstone 22L
This daypack from Thule is made with 210D robin and 40D nylon that is durable enough to withstand abrasion. It has a simplistic and minimalist design and is made for both men and women, the latter including a specific shoulder harness, as well as better fit torso and hip belt profiles geared towards their builds. It has a main compartment with a zippered pocket at the top to store items like sunglasses or a phone to be at easy reach. This daypack has a hip belt and sternum straps, as well as a removable rain cover to keep gear dry when it starts to drizzle. It is available in multiple color options like Crown Jewel/Potion purple, Atlantic blue and Deep Teal.
Although it has simple and sleek look, it is packed with features. This includes a a customizable hipbelt that stores trekking poles, and that is compatible with VersaClick accessories that are sold separately. The cool part about this hip belt is that there is room to store small items like a snack in the pocket. It has a button hole webbing in the front for storing gear. It has a reservoir sleeve with a drink tube exit port to connect with a hydration pack, as well as side pockets big enough to store water bottles.
This bag as a volume of 22 L, having enough room to fit all the necessary gear. Even though it’s roomy it is still lightweight, weighing in just under a pound.
This bag as a tensioned back panel that makes it perform extremely well when it comes to breathability.
- Shove it pocket for quick access to grabbing and storing gear
- Lots of volume to store gear and supplies
- Great fit for women
- Hip belt pocket
- A bit larger in size for shorter hikes or adventures
Made with durable nylon fabric that has moisture-wicking properties. It has a MatReflective stripe for visibility when its rainy and gloomy and when night falls. It is available in black, blue, pink, purple, green and grey color options. This makes it a great option for both sexes.
This pack has adjustable sternum straps that make a comfortable fit possible for each consumer. The shoulder straps also can be adjusted to fall better on the torso. There is wraparound compression straps above eat of its side pockets to keep things like a water bottle in place. There is also a separate zippered main compartment to store things like a wallet, smartphone and camera away from other gear.
This bag has a mesh back panel to let in air flow. It is also padded on the back for optimal comfort. The shoulder straps are also breathable so sweat doesn’t build up here either.
This daypack is compact and lightweight at 12.3 oz, making it a great option for camping, climbing, and general traveling. Many even use it for school. It is small in size, best for short day trips to store just a few essentials.
- Breathable shoulder straps
- Water-resistant material
- Waist strap isn’t that long
- Might be too small for some
The Criteria Used For Our Evaluation
The best daypack should be lightweight and breathable, but with enough volume to include all gear and supplies. However, the smaller (and lighter) the better is the mentality for those heading out for just a few, short hours. The consumer’s needs vary with different activities that call for different size, capacity to store items and how gear is organized.
So how do we determine which daypack is the best? We used the set criteria that is explained below.
Portability: A daypack needs to be lightweight and compact enough to be comfortable for a long day’s hike or climb. The weight plays a major role here. However, there needs to be enough room to actually store gear and supplies. Consider the volume to weight ratio. Is the bag compressible to be stored when not in use?
Comfort: Not only does weight again come into play here, but also how comfortable is the daypack on the shoulders, chest and hips? Does it have a chest strap or hipbelt? Is there cushioning in these features? Does these features held to manage the load and distribute weight well?
Breathability: Since the pack will be worn while working up a sweat, breathability is key. Sweating and sticking to the back will cause discomfort. How well does air circulate in the back? How is this made possible?
Storage: Is there enough space to hold all needed items? How many pockets does it have. What are the other features for holding gear? How organized and easily accessible are the pockets?
Other Important Things To Consider
A daypack might look great in person or online and seem to have all the features the consumer is looking for, but it is really put to the test when used outdoors.
Each consumer has their own specific needs that determines which daypack is best suited for them. For example, a runner should look for an ultra-light option that has a separate space for a hydration bladder. Climbers will want an option that has the room to store the gear they need, with quick access to it when they are hands free. Longer adventures call for more gear, which means there needs to be enough space, without becoming too bulky. Having a padded back is great for this activity, as well as longer backpacking trips.
Some daypacks come in one size, while others come in small/medium and medium large options. Check the sizing guide provided by the company to choose the right size. Size is extremely important because it should be comfortable on the torso and be able to distribute weight well so that the back doesn’t feel the brunt of it. That’s why adjustable hipbelts and shoulder, and sternum straps are important here. The hip belt should fit snug, with the top edge one finger width above the top of the hips. There also shouldn’t be a gap from the top of shoulder to the back. This means the daypack is too long for the consumer’s frame.
The amount of volume needed might be hard to figure out depends on the length of the adventure. Many options on this list are at the 20-25 L capacity. This is enough room for hiking, biking, traveling, and even running. There is more than enough room for snacks, water, extra layers and more. Those going on a multi-day camping, hiking, or climbing trip should look for a larger pack to be able to sit all the necessary supplies.
Q: What daypack size is best?
A: This depends on the activity or adventure. Climbers will want a lightweight option to move without being weighed down, whereas longer hikes call for more supplies that need to be held.
Q: How should the daypack fit?
Q: It should feel comfortable on the shoulders and feel comfortable for the consumer’s torso length. The hip belt should fit around the waist, where it is not too snug and not too loose. Sternum straps should be used to increase stability, and most can be adjusted for a nice fit.
Q: Is this daypack also good to run to work or school with?
A: Many options are versatile enough to be used outside of outdoor activities. Consumers often use the water bladder pocket for holding their laptop, so make sure the pack is long and deep enough to do so. Some might find these bags to be too small for college books.
Q: What size waist will it fit?
A: Review the company’s sizing chart to see the waist measurements. Daypacks are often available in small/medium and medium/large options. Contact the company for an extension is the length is not enough.
Q: Is a hydration bladder included with this daypack?
A: For most options, the hydration bladder is sold separate. However, there are exceptions like the pack from CamelBak.
Q: Where can I buy a good quality daypack?
A: All of these day packs are available online via the company’s website, Amazon, and other sporting good sites. Retail sporting goods stores may also carry these specific options.