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Best Day Packs

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Best DayPack

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This is a gear review about the best daypacks for day hiking. To go hiking, you need the proper equipment. This ensures you are safe, prepared, and ready for anything you may encounter along the trail.

Part of your equipment list needs to include a sturdy daypack to keep all your necessities in and fit comfortably on your back so that you can reach it easily wherever you might find yourself. A solid, durable daypack should be a staple item on your list before setting off, but finding the perfect one can be tricky.

With so many daypacks out there, each one with different features and designs, it can be hard to narrow down the choice. Not only do you have to consider these factors but you also need to take into account the weight of the daypack, its durability, how easy it is to use, and how versatile it is. 

I’ve reviewed some of the best models according to purpose, reliability, budget, and much more and we know on this list, you’ll find your perfect match.

I’ve also included a handy buyer’s guide in case you had any questions after reading through, as well as a frequently asked questions section. Let’s take a look at the best daypacks for day hiking.

Best Day Packs 2022

The Best Day Packs in 2022 are:


Best Day Packs 2022 – Overall

Osprey Talon 22

Weight: 30oz / 850grams
Pros:
> Hydration Compartment
> Adjustable sternum strap and attached safety whistle.
> Very Comfortable
> Flexible Frame
Cons:
> Fabric isn’t waterproof and you will need to buy a rain cover separately.

We’re kicking off the list with this Osprey Talon 22 day pack.

This day pack includes many different features to help you along the path, including a suspension style harness which is usually only found on larger packs, it also has a flexible frame that provides complete freedom to move around on more active hiking trails and the padded hip belt keeps your load as secure as possible, whilst also fitting comfortably on your body.

It also has a separate hydration compartment which will easily hold a 3L hydration pack. 

The daypack is not waterproof but you can pop a rain cover on the day pack in wet weather.

The Osprey Talon Series of packs come in many sizes varying in size between 11L to 44L. The 22L is the best compromise between size, weight, comfort and cost. The Osprey Talon 22 is the best compromise between size and weight.

Overall, the Osprey Talon 22 is one of the best day packs for hiking in 2022. It is comfortable, easy to use, fully adjustable, completely dependable, and will not let you down.

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Best DayPack for travel 2022

Deuter Speed Lite 20

Weight: 17oz / 482grams
Pros:
> A great weight-to-volume ratio of 0.94 ounces/L.
> Comfortable cushioned back panel and shoulder straps.
> Great for all-sized torsos.
Cons:
> Hip Belt is Thin and not comfortable when carrying a lot of weight

The Deuter Speed Lite 20 is a great daypack that is a simple and light. It’s big enough for long day hikes and can withstand a range of different activities on the trail such as mountain biking or climbing.

It has a cushioned back panel and shoulder straps which means you won’t be in any pain carrying your load and will promise stability whatever your torso size due to its flexible fit. It has a weight-to-volume ratio of 0.94 ounces/L and can be compressed to fit in other luggage or backpack.

Its small size allows you to replace your hydration-specific pack with it and you can always add extras such as an ice axe, trekking poles.

With handy bells and whistles too, it’s easy to use, reliable, durable, and safe to take along most trails in the US.

Overall, this will be one of the best daypacks for travelers as it will compress into other luggage quite well and is lightweight.

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Most Comfortable Daypack 2022

Osprey Stratos 24

Weight: 44oz / 1247grams
Pros:
> Great for panel-loading organization and convenience.
> Comfortable and Adjustable
> Airspeed Suspension
> Ventilated mesh back panel with added adjustability to suit different torso lengths.
> Rain cover included.
Cons:
> Heavy

The Osprey Stratos 24 is great if you want something completely adjustable and offers optimal comfort throughout your hike or whilst running errands.

Let me be clear that this is the most comfortable daypack for for day hikes. But all that comfort comes at the cost of weight. This is a heavy daypack.

It’s great for panel loading and with adjustable torso lengths a ventilated back panel and an adjustable shoulder harness which you can dial in perfect fit, you should look no further. 

It comes with an integrated and removable rain cover and so is perfect for wetter conditions, as well as hot environments where you want to stay cool as it is also equipped with a hydration sleeve that can carry up to a 3L reservoir.

The trekking pole attachments feature allows you to carry your poles with you wherever you go and help you navigate through tough terrain and the zippered hip belt pockets keep all your essentials close by and accessible.

It even has mesh pockets to keep bottles and even smaller personal items handy.

Overall, this is the most comfortable daypack for hiking and the best pick for accessibility and convenience along the trail.

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Best Lightweight Daypack 2022

REI Co-op Flash 22

Weight: 13oz / 369grams
Pros:
> Ultralight – Weighs only 13 ounces.
> Versatile – Back panel can be removed and you can remove the waist belt and sternum strap.
> Drawcord closure and lid with zippered pocket.
Cons:
> You will need to buy a separate hydration reservoir.

> Not Weather Resistant

The REI Co-op Flash 22 is one of the best lightweight day pack at an affordable price point.

The mesh shoulder straps are breathable and have padding that softens the impact on your neck and shoulders and the back panel can also be removed entirely and used as a seat pad when you might want to stop for a drink and to rest up.

Though this day pack is light anyway, to lessen the load, even more, you can remove the waistbelt and sternum strap. It can be a great option for a travel daypack.

It is secured with an easy-to-use drawcord closure and a lid with a zippered pocket. It also has an integral sleeve to hold a hydration reservoir, however, this is not included.

You can keep your essentials nearby with stash side pockets and the side exterior loops allow you to add compression or any extra gear you need.

Not only is this day pack great for those wanting a completely versatile piece of equipment but made with bluesign materials, it also promises to protect the environment, workers, and hikers alike.

Overall, this is one of the best lightweight and packable daypacks for hiking and travel.

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REI

Best Ultralight Daypack 2022

Black Diamond Equipment – Distance 15

Weight: 13.9oz / 394grams
Pros:
> Ultralight but Sturdy
> The harness system is adjustable and the shoulder has padding.
> Reflective tick and secure ice tool holder.
Cons:
> Water bladder is sold separately.

The Black Diamond Distance 15 Day Pack is designed to take on anything from rocky mountain terrain to alpine adventures to day hikes down canyons.

The pack is known as a hybrid pack as it blends running vest technology with company knowledge of alpine pack systems to carry heavy loads, whilst remaining lightweight and comfortable. 

It is built with UHMWP 10x Rip stop Yarns which means it is completely tear-resistant and is ten times stronger than steel, meaning it won’t rip or break when you’re out in the wild, however is still built light enough to float on water.

It offers great comfort for the user with taping technology for comfort on the shoulders as well as the flexibility to move around a lot.

The main opening has a slash pocket to tuck in excess cording and the dual side compression even has a reflective tick to ensure you’re always spotted in darker conditions.

Overall, this is one of the best ultralight daypacks for hiking. If you want something safe, durable yet ultra lightweight, this could be the pack for you.

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Best Waterproof Daypack 2022

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak

Weight: 20oz / 570grams
Pros:
> Large External Front Pocket
> Fully Adjustable
> Hip belts can be removed
> Buckles to compress the pack
> Waterproof material.
> Waterproof YKK Zip
Cons:
> Hip belt not padded enough.

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak is perfect for day hikes and will provide enough room for adequate hydration sources, snacks, and lunch, as well as clothing changes, trekking poles, a headlamp, and more.

It has a very big external front pocket as well as a shock cord system, making it easy to store essential items and allowing quick access to these items.

It also has two angle side water bottle pockets, which are easy to reach whilst wearing the pack along the trail.

The pack material is weather proof and it features water-resistant YKK zipper allows easy access no matter the conditions.

The HMG Daybreak has a lightly padded hip belt, you can store this away when not in use and the sternum strap is adjustable. You also have an integrated back panel for comfort, as well as hardline Dyneema shoulder straps.

Overall, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak is the best waterproof daypack for hiking and a great choice for when the weather turns bad.

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Best Daypack with Hydration Reservoir 2022

CamelBak Rim Runner 22

Weight: 25oz / 708grams
Pros:
> Ventilated- Breathable air mesh.
> Comfortable and Adjustable- Removable sternum strap and adjustable features.
> Included Hydration Pack.
Cons:
> Heavy

The CamelBak Rim Runner 22 is a great pack for keeping comfortable and organized throughout your adventure and with breathable air mesh, it also promises adequate ventilation.

A promising feature of this day pack is the tube trap management which allows you to keep your hydration tube secure and it comes with a hydration reservoir and plenty of pockets for storage.

It also comes with a load-bearing hip belt that transfers the weight to your hips for comfort and stability and the range of adjustments such as the sternum strap you can remove makes it perfect for those wanting to personalize their hiking experience.

Finally, it comes with cargo compression to keep your gear close by and increase your stability further. Stable, durable, and with an included hydration reservoir, this pack is an excellent choice for those wanting a comfortable pack built to provide you with everything you might need along that tough trail.

Overall, this is one of the best daypacks with a hydration reservoir included with the pack.

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Best Packable daypack 2022

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil

Weight: 2.5oz / 71grams
Pros:
> Packs down to the size of a tennis ball.
> Durable- Made with siliconized Cordura Nylon.
> Two-way zipper closure with webbing loops so you can attach a bike light.
> Ultralight
Cons:
> Material not Waterproof.

The Sea to Summit Day pack is great for both hikes or even carrying groceries.

Its ultra-small compressed size allows it to fit onto your keyring or in your jacket pocket when not in use but as the shoulder straps are not padded, the maximum weight of a load should not be larger than 15lb / 7kg.

However, this is still 250 times more than the weight of the pack and the innovative design and performance of such a small pack are outstanding. 

It weighs less than 3 ounces but from durable and water-resistant materials such as Cordura Nylon. It also has a two-way zipper closure and webbing loops to attach a bike light and promises to equip you with all you need whether you’re running errands, riding your bike or hiking down canyons.

I used this daypack for several years as an ultralight daypack for short dayhikes, grocery shopping and more. While it is light and packable it has no padding on the back and requires careful packing to prevent sharp objects sticking into your back.

Overall, this is one of the best packable daypack for travel, hiking, grocery shopping and more.

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Best Hiking day packs – More Options

Osprey Daylite 13L

Weight: 17oz / 481grams
Pros:
> Multi-functional sleeve to hold a hydration reservoir or tablet.
> Comfortable and Ventilated
> Can attach other Osprey bags.
> Built with sustainable materials.
Cons:
> Can be too long for smaller people.

The Osprey Daylite is simple, comfortable, durable, and lightweight, making it not only great for a quick day hike but also for running everyday errands.

It is made with sustainable, recycled materials means you’ll be doing your bit for the planet and as well as being made from bluesign materials, GRS-certified nylon, and a PFC-free DWR coating. It is totally versatile, allowing you to attach a range of different bags, and is built to last.

The stretch mesh pockets on the side allow for additional storage and the front zippered pocket has a mesh organizer and key clip. The large panel provides excellent accessibility to your items and if you want to stay organized whilst protecting the planet, this pack is for you.

Overall, this is a good daypack for someone who wants to use a pack for day to day use at home or at work and take it hiking on the weekend.

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REI Co-op Traverse 32

Weight: 41oz / 1162grams
Pros:
> Versatile- Can be used for longer or shorter hikes.
> Adequate Storage- Main compartment, trekking pole keepers, hip belt pocket, water bottle pockets.
> Trustworthy Design- Made with bluesign materials.
Cons:
> Hydration Reservoir Not Included- You will need to buy a separate hydration reservoir.
> Torso Length is Fixed- You cannot adjust the torso length.

From long epic adventures to day hikes, the REI Co-op Traverse Pack is perfect for all occasions. Made of bluesign recycled materials and nylon, it’s built to last and is good for the environment.

It comes with a padded harness and hip belt for comfort all day and night long and the compression straps which are included can run from loop to loop to sculpt the shape of your load. 

With hip belt pockets, water bottle pockets, and trekking pole keepers, you are prepared for everything and it even includes a rain cover that is easily accessible should you find yourself in a sudden storm. The design is hydration compatible and we promise this pack won’t let you down.

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REI

Buyers Guide

With so many factors, it can be hard to find the perfect day pack on your own. This buyer’s guide will guide you on what you should be keeping an eye out for whilst researching.

Weight

When you come to buying a day pack, you don’t want something that is going to weigh you down on the trail. Look at the weight of it and consider that weight on top of the load you will already be carrying.

If it’s too heavy for you, consider opting for a lighter backpack that might hold slightly less, your back and shoulders will thank you.

Some designs even have technology that transfers the weight to your hips so if you struggle to carry heavy loads, this might be something to keep an eye out for too.

Activity

Each pack will be designed for a different activity and a different length hike.

For shorter hikes, you want something lightweight and minimalist yet if you’re climbing to the summit or you like going on overnight hikes, something with more support and something slightly more durable built to last in harsher weather conditions could be the best option.

How long your hike is will also determine the size of your day pack. If you’re staying overnight, you’re going to need to pack a lot more than if you were going hiking for a few hours.

Moreover, an easy-to-access main compartment is useful along the trail for whichever activity you end up doing and so have a look at how you access this before buying any day pack.

Does it have two zippers? Does it have mesh storage pockets on the side? These are all things to find out before making that all-important purchase.

Fit

Just like clothes, day packs are designed for different-sized people. You may get an option to pick a size and this will be according to the buyer’s measurements, so check these first.

The measurements are usually referring to a buyer’s torso and the ranges vary from manufacturer and by gender. Hip belts also accommodate a range of waist sizes and so ensure you measure this too.

They usually range from mid-20 inches to around the mid-40s Finally, the load lifter straps and sternum strap should fit correctly on a day pack and form a 45-degree angle between the shoulder straps and the pack.

The sternum strap boosts stability and ensures you don’t fall over on rough terrain. Often it is removable and adjustable.

Conclusion

Overall, there are a lot of great day packs for hiking and short trips. It is safe to say that you should be happy with any of the day backpacks from the list below.

Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Day Pack?

A daypack is a smaller version of a large backpack that is usually lightweight, but big enough for essential items to take on day hikes or sometimes overnight trips.

What Should I Pack In My Day Pack?

This will depend on what you are using the day pack for, but if it is for hiking, we recommend a spare change of clothes, water, snacks, lunch, sun protection, and a first aid kit as the bare essentials.

Do You Need A Day Pack For Hiking?

For everyday hiking a day pack is vital.  You want to find something that is small and lightweight, durable and sturdy, and designed to take on many different weather conditions. 

Best Day Packs

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Sydney, Australia.

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