Consider buying a backpack but you cannot decide which model to choose? In this post you will find the best daypacks for hiking review and some buying advice which helps you to make the right decision.
Best Daypacks for Hiking 2019 - Comparison Table
|Deuter Speed Lite 20||$75||1 lb. 1 oz.||12, 16, 20, 24L||Webbing||U-frame||4|
|Osprey Stratos 24||$130||2 lb. 12 oz.||24, 34, 36, 50L||Cushioned||Alloy frame||5|
|Osprey Talon 22||$110||1 lb. 11 oz.||11, 18, 22, 33L||Cushioned||Back panel||4|
|Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30||$130||1 lb. 63 oz.||30L||Webbing||Framesheet||3|
|CamelBak Fourteener 24||$150||2 lb. 9 oz.||20, 24L||Cushioned||Framesheet||6|
|Granite Gear Crown2 38||$185||2 lb. 4 oz.||30, 60L||Cushioned||Framesheet||6|
|Gossamer Gear Kumo 36||$165||1 lb. 8 oz.||36L||Cushioned||None||8|
|Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak||$230||1 lb. 3 oz.||17L||Cushioned||Back panel||3|
|Arc’teryx Brize 25||$159||2 lb. 0 oz.||25, 32L||Webbing||Back panel||3|
|Patagonia Nine Trails 28||$159||2 lb. 3 oz.||14, 20, 28, 36L||Cushioned||Framesheet||6|
Deuter Speed Lite 20
The ergonomic design of the pack with its unique V-shape and innovative compression shoulder straps make it perfect for hikers who like to move quickly.
However, being only 20l and having a slightly lackluster hip belt, it’s probably best not to carry too much weight on long hikes.
Where this pack stands out for us, however, is its affordable price for its brilliant functionality and versatility
The Speed Lite has a well-cushioned back panel and shoulder straps. When filled with a few necessities like heavy rain jacket, group med kit, water, snacks, the Speed Lite proved to be quite comfortable.
The Speed Lite is a one of the lightest daypack among the competition. However it is has more amenities, including a minimal frame structure with padded back paneling and shoulder straps which makes it more comfortable in daily use.
Osprey Stratos 24
Osprey is a one of the leader in the pack market, and their Stratos line is an all-around favorite for day hiking.
Osprey Strator is a smaller version of the Deluxe model. Comfort of use is at the average daypack market. The mesh backpanel is well suited to the back, the padding is made of soft-touch plush material. Unfortunately, the frame used is metal, which weighs much more than aluminum counterparts. On the other hand, it provides a solid construction thanks to which the backpack does not fall under the influence of weight. In addition, it transfers the weight mainly to the hips and not to the back like most of the backpacks in this class.
Stratos weighs 2 pounds and 12 ounces which makes it one of the heaviest backpacks on the market in its group. The reason for such a large weight is the metal frame. However, the metal frame makes the comfort of using the backpack high, especially when it is heavily loaded.
Stratos uses a mesh backpanel to keep your back as dry as possible. This is pretty unique in the daypack market—very few designs have the open space behind the mesh to create that kind of airflow. The disadvantage of this solution is the limited capacity of the backpack and the impact on the price.
Osprey Talon 22
It is one of the most popular daypack. And there’s good reason for its popularity: it’s light, has a nice fit, is made in a wide range of sizes and bright colorways, and hits a desirable price point.
The Talon to be an ideal match for typical day hikes and bike commutes. The pack is a big step up in terms of padding and support from an ultralight design which makes it so popular. However, the thin frame and minimalist cushioning on the shoulder straps and hip belt cause that when the load is heavily loaded, the backpack falls, which negatively affects the comfort.
Osprey weights 1 pound 12.6 ounces which makes it one of the lightest daypack among the competiton. It is nearly a pound less than Osprey Stratos. However, low weight is the result of missing ventilated back panel and metal frame which makes it less comfortable under heavy load.
Talon’s entire back and hip belt are made with mesh and have just enough spacing to generate some airflow. Even the shoulder straps have cutouts in the foam to help keep you as cool as possible.
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 30 is a classic daypack with some additional features, like waterproof which makes it better in wet applications than any other pack we tested.
Many packs are made with waterproof coated fabric. However, seams of these other packs are vulnerable, and the coatings often wear off with use. Mountain Hardwear’s use of “OutDry” technology means that all the fabric and seams are waterproof, and durably so.
Comfort of use is at the average daypack market. The simple stiffened frame sheet, padded shoulder straps, and basic webbing waist belt bear all the load most will carry on day hikes or in day-to-day use.
The mesh-over-textured-foam solution of the Scrambler is simple and clean but doesn’t vent all that well, in the grand scheme of things.
One of the major comfort variable for a day pack is the back panel ventilation which significantly improves comfort during longer trips
Camelbak Fourteener 24
Camelbak Fourteener 24 is one of the most robust models in the ranking. It has the thick padding, contoured air spaces, sturdy fabrics, robust waist belt system, and plentiful pockets add up to a hefty package. All of this means that even with heavy load the backpack does not fall, and the weight is transferred to the hips, relieving our spine
As I mentioned before, this is one of the most robust models in the ranking. Unfortunately it makes it also one of the heaviest daypack (it weights almost 3 pounds).
Granite Gear Crown2 38
Crown20 is equipped with the Granite Gear’s Re-Fit system that allows for a high degree of tweaking to optimize fit. Thanks to him, not only can you dial in fit , but you also can position the padding along your hips where you need it most. Granite Gear doesn’t allow the same degree of customization on the shoulder straps, however it should not negatively impact our ability to get a snug, customized fit.
Crown20 is one of the lightest backpacks in the ranking. To save weight, it eschews a metal frame and instead uses a plastic frame sheet and molded backpanel for suspension. What is more Depending on your needs for a specific trip, Granite Gear has made it possible to remove features to trim weight even further. Ditching the lid, hipbelt, and frame sheet brings the total weight down to 1 pound 7 ounces.
Despite the low weight Crown20 maintains all the conveniences I look for in a backpack of this size. The pack has one cavernous internal compartment and three external stretch pockets. Additionally, there are two pouches on the hipbelt and a one large 5-liter zippered pocket on the top lid.
The majority of the Crown20 pack uses a lightweight 100-denier high tenacity nylon, but the 210-denier ripstop nylon bottom panel is suitably tough, resisting wear on the most commonly exposed parts of the pack. The new triangular webbed framework (from which the compression straps extend) places the stress of the load on the frame of the bag rather than single seams.
Gossamer Gear Kumo 36
Weighing just under 1.5 pounds, the pack has generous storage with a large 28-liter main compartment and thoughtfully-distributed pockets along the sides, hipbelt, and front. The flexible foam back panel doesn’t offer much structure and the padding undoubtedly is thin, but the Kumo is well made and surprisingly durable with its high-quality Robic nylon construction.
Kumo 30 does not have a frame. However, despite being frameless, the Kumo still has plenty of “structure” and won’t flop over like a soft rucksack. This is provided in part by the foam pad on the back of the pack, which slides into a mesh covered pocket that is found on all of Gossamer Gear’s overnight packs. The pad is easy to pull out of the pack during rest breaks to sit on.
Additionally, it is worth noting that If you carry 15 pounds or less of water, food, and gear, having an internal frame doesn’t really buy you anything in terms of comfort and just adds more weight to a backpack.
Kumo 30 is equipped with wide canvas hip belt. It comes in two interchangeable sizes, a medium which fits up to a 36″ waist size and a large that fits up to 50″, that can easily be cut down to the size you need with a pair of scissors. Both sizes are bundled with the pack, making it possible to share the Kumo between two people with different waistlines, even.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak
Daybreak is the top daypack offer by Hyperlite Mountain Gear. It is made with two layers of black Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF), a waterproof laminate that makes the Daybreak lightweight, durable, and highly water resistant.
The 17-liter capacity in the main compartment seems small, but the large front pocket and 2 side pockets add a significant amount of functional storage which makes it ideally for serious day hikes.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak with price of $230 is the most expensive bag on our list despite having a relatively small capacity. However, it gets you a premium item that’s handmade in the U.S.
Another advantage is usability. The clamshell, waterproof top zipper gives faster access to the main pack-bag vs. packs with lids, or roll-top closures. The Daybreak has the perfect combination of external storage (a large bellows back pocket, two side pockets for water bottles). Another nice feature is rear bungie system that you can attach a helmet, crampons or rainwear.
There are six attachment points on the back of the pack that have an elastic cord strung through them, so you can lash gear like a emergency foam pad to the outside of the pack.
Arc'teryx Brize 25
Arc’teryx Brize 25 is dedicated to everyday hiker and urban explorer. The main compartment has a wide opening for easy access, and there are enough interior and exterior pockets and lash points for water bottles or a reservoir, small items.
Nice feature is Aeroform backpanel which is hydrophobic (water resistant) thermoformed panel which is designed to increase airflow and breathability, increase comfort and allow s the weight to sit close to your back.
Patagonia Nine Trails 28
The storage capacity of the tested model is 28L. However, there also 14L, 20L and 36L versions. Larger sized packs typically have a little extra room.
Patagonia Nine Trails 28 has a main compartment that is designed to store most of your gear. The additional pockets is where the 28L capacity pack and help you out. There are two hip belt pockets that are great for stashing energy bars and a cell phone or small point and shoot camera. The two side mesh pockets are plenty big enough to store standard size water bottle
Patagonia Nine Trails 28 offers plenty of adjustments:
- Shoulder straps
- Hip belt
- Load lifters(near your shoulders)
- Sternum strap.
- There are also a two side compression straps on both sides of the pack to better secure your load.
For those who want to make this pack a little less rigid or cut out some of the weight, you can also remove the frame sheet which is pretty easy to do.
This backpack offers an inside sleeve that allows you to store your reservoir (up to 3 liters) but keep in mind this will also take away from inside storage space. The drinking tube has a small hole near the top of the back to feed it through.
How to Choose the Best Daypack for Hiking
Wondering how to choose the best daypack for hiking? What capacity do you need? What kind of material is best for hiking activities? There are so many backpacks out there that it can be very confusing knowing how to pick the right one. I hope that the following tips will help you in the right choice.
What to consider when choosing best daypack for hiking?
The capacity of a daypack is measured by the amount of liters it will carry. In most cases you can meet daypacks range from around 10L-35L, but the most popular daypacks usually have a 20-30L capacity. If you only need to fit a compressible rain jacket and a lunch, you can get away with one of those small packs. But most of us need a bit more space to throw in a few more essentials. That’s why I recommend daypacks with a 20-30L capacity as well, because they offer enough room for a variety of outdoor adventures and give us plenty of space. Additionally, you need to remember that your backpack should be proportional to your body. If your backpack is too big or too small, the weight won’t be balanced properly and will cause back pain.
There is a wide range of f pack weight from 10 ounces to nearly 3 pounds. When evaluating pack weight, keep comfort and storage in mind. Some daypacks have a fast and light attitude and are simple. Others come loaded with a full range of bells and whistles which makes your life more comfortable. However you trade convenience for added weight, so choosing best daypack you need to figure out your specific needs and balancing the features you need with how much weight you want to carry.
- PADDED SHOULDER STRAPS
They improve the comfort of carrying the load, because the weight of the package will also fall on the shoulders. Shoulder straps are included on almost all daypacks these days, however make sure the padding is very thick and made up of a single piece of material as it will be less likely to split and thin out.
- PADDED HIP BELT
The main purpose of hip belt is to distribute the weight of your pack to your hips, which helps alleviate strain on your shoulders. The hip belt should also be adjustable so you can tighten it for extra support. Choosing your daypack for hiking pay attention to the material it is made of. Most minimalist daypacks provide simple nylon straps which do not add enough stability and weight transfer. So if you are going to spend a lot of time on the trial makes sure that your daypack has more substantial hip belts.
- WATER RESISTANT MATERIAL
The good news is that most daypacks are relatively water resistant, so you do not need to be afraid about your items like phone, camera etc. However you should make sure that the material will not stay wet long and thereby get musty. Look for material that is thick but lightweight. Good example is nylon fiber.
Some ultralight daypacks with lower capacities are frameless, meaning they have little to no structure for carrying weight on your back. However if you are going a full day trial it would be a good choice. Instead you should choose a light and comfortable frame that will allow you to carry a full day’s worth of equipment comfortably along the trail. Additionally make sure that frame is made of a carbon fiber or tough plastic.
- MULTIPLE COMPARTMENTS
A good daypack need to have a multiple compartments which help to easier to access and find the items you need. It saves having to dig around your bag.