Hopefully now you see that daypacks are not all the same. They come in all shapes and sizes and it’s important you choose the right daypack. There’s nothing worse than having to carry loose items on a long hike because you didn’t bring an appropriate daypack.
So how do you choose the right daypack? It’s actually somewhat easy. Just remember to:
- Match a daypack based on your activity
- Take into account the number of people going
- Determine whether you need a specialized daypack or not
If you’re not sure which daypacks are best for traveling or hiking, then use our guide to find the best daypacks to accommodate yourself on all your travels.
Best Overall Daypack
Looking for a daypack that you can take anywhere? Look no further. These all-terrain daypacks provide you with the versatility and durability you need to travel anywhere from the busy streets of Paris to the middle of nowhere in the Swiss Alps.
The North Face Borealis Daypack
- Classic 28-liter backpack.
- Easy-to-access pockets.
- Reflective bike-light loop.
Functionality meets durability with the North Face Borealis Daypack. This sleek, versatile daypack is perfect for any hiking or traveling trip. Several specialized pockets can fit to accommodate your most prized possessions like a laptop, tablet, or sunglasses.
The padded mesh back panel ensures proper ventilation so you don’t overheat or sweat profusely during your travels and the padded top handle ensures maximum comfort while wearing this daypack for potentially hours.
Osprey Daylight Daypack
- Front pocket with mesh organizer and key clip.
- Attaches to all AddOn™ compatible packs.
- Tuck-away spacer mesh shoulder straps with integrated handle.
- Multifunction interior sleeve for hydration or tablet.
- Large panel loading main compartment.
As the name implies, the Osprey Daylight Daypack is a lightweight, smaller pack to accommodate your storage needs while traveling or hiking in the wilderness.
The pack is not nearly as big as most other packs, which limits what you can bring with you. However, there’s still ample space to accommodate your most pressing needs, and it’s actually nice to be able to only pack the essentials.
The weight of the pack doesn’t seem to want to break your back. Made of high quality nylon, the Osprey Daylight pack is a durable little pack to carry around during smaller day trips.
Best Hiking Daypacks
All around daypacks are great for general traveling or light hiking, but when you’re really getting down and nasty in the wilderness, you need a durable, heavy-duty daypack to carry your gear.
We’ve searched high and low and found some of the best hiking daypacks for when you really need a reliable pack to carry your most important gear:
Mindshift Rotation 180 Trail Backpack
- Breathable padded airflow harness.
- Adjustable sternum strap.
- Small tripod carries easily on the side panel.
- Front stretch pocket provides flexible carrying options for quick access.
- Mesh stretch pocket fits a water bottle.
The Mindshift Rotation 180 Trail Backpack is a fully functional, durable pack geared specifically towards hikers and travelers.
Mindshift has loaded the features onto this pack side straps, a mesh water bottle pocket, a top pocket for small items, compression straps, and a airflow harness. Basically, it’s got everything you could possibly want.
However, the added bonus to the Rotation 180 Trial is the rotating camera compartments, which few other daypacks have and while you may think the rotation compartments may cause issues, they’ve actually been brilliantly designed to keep the Mindshift Rotation 180 one of the more functional daypacks we’ve evaluated.
Deuter Airlite 26SL
- Aircomfort back system.
- Compression straps, Stretch side pockets.
- Hipbelt with dual mesh pockets.
- Hydration system compatible.
- Weight: 2lb 4oz.
Designed specifically for women, the Deuter Airlite 26SL is one of the best all-around hiking daypacks we could fine. Weighing at just over two pounds, this lightweight backpack has enough storage capacity at 26 liters to store all your gear without breaking your back.
The Airlite 26SL is one of the better ventilated hiking packs we’ve found and even the shoulder straps are ventilated.
In addition, as you may find out, the Airlite has all sorts of little features you may otherwise never think about, but once you realize the Airlite has them, you’ll realize how useful many of the smallest features really are.
Best Vacation Daypacks
Let’s say your idea of the outdoors or traveling has nothing to do with busy cities or the extreme outdoors. What if you’re more of a beach bum looking to spend some time soaking up some rays while enjoying a cold beer as the ocean waves crash at your feet? There are still plenty of daypacks for you too:
Camelback Arete 18 Daypack
- Shoulder strap length: 34.25″.
- Handle has a drop of 2″ and length of 6″.
- Exterior zipper pocket.
- Two exterior multi-function pockets.
Out of all the daypacks that could’ve possibly fit in this category, the Camelback Arete 18 Daypack was clearly the best.
The Arete 18 is ultra-lightweight, which is perfect for carrying on your back on the beach in the blistering hot sun.
The main compartment is top loading, perfect for carrying essential beach gear, and there are three small pockets for storing electronics, jewelry or other valuables you don’t want to lose.
The Arete also comes with a hydration reservoir, which essentially gives you an 2-liters of extra storage space to store water, which is something that you’ll need more of after spending a day sweating in the hot sun.
Daypacks are an important part of traveling, especially if you’re someone who loves to go exploring outside your hotel/resort.
Having the right daypack can guarantee you have all the gear you need for your adventures. Any one of the daypacks we mentioned above will keep you prepared and your gear safely secured while you hike, camp, vacation, or otherwise explore a new location.