10 Best Daypacks Reviewed and Fully Compared

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To brave the great outdoors, you need to ensure you have everything you need—because you never know what mother nature is going to throw your way! Daypacks are specifically designed to help you comfortably carry everything you will need.

They have internal frames that shift the weight from your shoulders to your hips—which is incredibly important for longer treks. They are also compatible with hydration bladders, so you can easily carry the necessary amount of water and ensure you don’t get dehydrated.

Like almost everything, daypacks come in all shapes, sizes, and with many different features—so just because one daypack works for one person does not mean it will be the best daypack for you. When searching for your next daypack, make sure to consider the features, durability, comfort, and fit that is suitable for you and your needs.

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!

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By Sarah Coryell:

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Granite Gear Crown2 38
  • Granite Gear Crown2 38
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 60L capacity
  • Price: See Here
Kelty riot 22
  • Kelty riot 22
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Breathable
  • Price: See Here
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil
  • Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Daypacks

Granite Gear Crown2 38

Granite Gear Crown2 38
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.
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Design

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.

Features

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.

Breathability

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.

Portability

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.
Pros

• Lightweight

• 60L capacity

• Holds up to 35 pounds

• Great for backpacking trips and long treks

• Durable

• Comfortable

• Cushioned

• Removable sternum strap and adjustable hip belt

• Hydration port and internal hydration sleeve

• Can be compressed

• Storage pockets

• DWR treated zippers

Cons

• Not meant for short hikes

• Not as breathable as other options

• Pricey


Kelty Riot 22

Kelty Riot 22
This daypack is an excellent intermediate pick for hikers everywhere. It's super lightweight, breathable, and durable--so it is a great long-term pick.
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Design

This one is made of 75 x 150D Irregular Ripstop and weighs 1.3 pounds.


Features

This pack comes with a side zippered pocket for additional storage and a modified vest suspension system. The main compartment is zippered and large;and it also comes with a stabilizing hip belt. As far as storage space it has a zipper side pocket, 2 stretch side pockets. a front stash pocket, external zippered pocket, two internal pockets, and a hydration pocket bladder.

Portability

This one is super lightweight and easy to take with you wherever you go.

Breathability

This pack has a ventilated back panel for maximum breathability and comfort.
Pros

• Lots of storage pockets

• Lightweight

• Great for everyday use and day hikes

• Durable

• Breathable

• Modified vest suspension system

• Hip belt

• Pocket for your hydration bladder

Cons

• Not for backpacking or long hikes


Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil
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.
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Design

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).

Features

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.

Breathability

This one is super breathable and lightweight. It will keep you cool and dry during your runs.


Portability

This pack is super lightweight and folds up small enough to fit in your pocket.
Pros

• Ultra-lightweight

• Packs down small enough to fit in your pocket

• Great for short hikes

• Minimalistic design

• Durable

• Bar tack reinforced stitching on its stress points

Cons

• 2-way zipper closure

• Very affordable


Osprey Packs Talon 22

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 prevent water leaks. It has other buzz worthy features like bungee attachments, and ice axe loop, and and attachments for a helmet and trekking poles.
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Design

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.

Features

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.

Breathability

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.

Portability

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.
Pros
  • Customizable fit
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Lots of features for storing gear
  • Separate hydration sleeve
  • Versatile for outdoor adventures and general traveling
Cons
  • Side pockets are small

Deuter Speed Lite 20

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.
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Design

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.

Features

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.

Breathability

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.

Portability

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.
Pros
  • 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
  • Durable
Cons
  • Doesn’t perform as well in breathability department, but enough air for most activities

Osprey Stratos 24

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.
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Design

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.

Features

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.

Breathability

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.

Portability

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.
Pros
  • Great ventilation for hot and sweat day hikes
  • Fit well, with torso adjustment
  • Seamless hip belt for added comfort
Cons
  • Not as lightweight as other options
  • Not has comfortable when carrying heavier loads

Marmot Kompressor Plus

Marmot Kompressor Plus
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.
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Design

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.

Features

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.

Breathability

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.

Portability

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.
Pros
  • 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
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Material is a bit thin
  • No water-resistant feature or rain cover

Gregory Salvo 28

Gregory Salvo 28
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.
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Design

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.

Features

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.

Breathability

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.

Portability

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.
Pros
  • Extremely breathable and comfortable
  • Versatile for outdoor activities and every day
  • Lots of volume
  • Mid-range price
Cons
  • Doesn’t feature a rain cover
  • Might be too heavy for lighter trips adventurers

CamelBak M.U.L.E.

CamelBak M.U.L.E.
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 a stretch storage to keep wet gear separate. There is helmet hooks and a compartment for small tools.
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Design

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.

Features

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.

Breathability

This CambelBak offers impressive ventilation that keeps the athlete dry and comfortable.

Portability

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.
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Some experience reservoir leaks
  • Magnetic tube tends to break

Arc’teryx Brize 25

Arc’teryx Brize 25
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.
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Design

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.

Features

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.

Breathability

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.

Portability

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.
Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Nice fit
  • Organized and lots of storage for all gear
  • Great back air flow
  • Large side pockets
Cons
  • Material is no stretchy
  • Hip belt has no padding

The Criteria Used For Our Evaluation

The best daypack is lightweight and breathable while also providing enough room to store all of your gear and supplies. However, there are smaller options that are even lighter–and are perfect for short hikes that will last only a few short hours. Since different needs require different packs, we took the time to look at several factors when compiling our list of the top ten best daypacks. Below you will find the factors we considered along with an explanation on what to look for when considering each factor.

Portability

 For optimal comfort, a daypack needs to be lightweight and compact to take with you on a hike or climb. Weight plays a significant part in in the daypack’s overall portability because as you add your gear it will only weigh more–and a pack that is too heavy will definitely hold you back and impede your performance. Another important factor to consider when looking at portability is how much room the pack provides for you to store your gear and supplies. So, when looking at portability, make sure to consider the pack’s volume to weight ratio and whether or not it can be compressed when not in use.

Comfort

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 how the weight is distributed. We also took into account whether or not the pack has a chest strap or hipbelt along with how much cushioning these add-ons provide and how well they distribute the weight.

Breathability

Breathability is highly important since you will be outside working up a sweat while wearing the pack. If a pack isn’t breathable it will stick to your back and make you uncomfortable. We made sure to add packs that circulate air and keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.

Storage

Before making your purchase, make sure the pack provides you with enough space to hold all of your gear. While shorter hikes work fine with longer packs, longer hikes require more gear and, thus, more storage room. Look to see how many pockets the pack has, what other storage the pack has, and how easily accessible these all are.

Other Important Things 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. Below is a list of additional thing to consider to help you find a pack that fits your specific needs.

Activity

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.

Sizing

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 hipbelts 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.

Capacity

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.

FAQ

Q: Which daypack size is the best option?

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.

Q: How should a daypack fit?

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.

Q: Can I use my daypack for running as well as for work or school?

There are many versatile daypacks out there and can be used for several activities. For example, you can take out the bladder and store your laptop in the bladder pocket and many can store your textbooks as well.

Q: What size waist will most daypacks fit?

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.

Q: Is a hydration bladder included with the daypack?

For most options, the hydration bladder is sold separate, although some do come with one.

Q: Where can I buy a good quality daypack?

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.

Sources

  1. Gregory, Suspension Freespan, Company Website,
  2. Rei, How to Choose Daypacks, Outdoor Gear Website,
  3. Big Skiy Fishing , A Guide to Daypacks for Serious Hiking, Fishing and Exploring Website,
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