What Is The Best Daypack for Hikes?

When it comes to choosing the perfect backpack for your hiking trip or upcoming travel plans, the overwhelming amount of options can make selecting the best one for you quite the challenge.

Which bag is best? What size should you get? Does the brand name matter?

In this guide, we’ll be covering some of the best travel and hiking backpacks on the market today, but if you want to know our pick for the best all-around daypack and travel back, be sure to check out the Outdoor Master Sling Bag – Crossbody Backpack.

Best Overall Daypack for Hikes: Outdoor Master Sling Bag – Crossbody Backpack

OutdoorMaster Sling Bag - Crossbody Backpack for Women & Men
  • Compact Yet Spacious Sling Bag.
  • Lightweight Crossbody Design.
  • Hidden Anti-Theft Pocket & Water Bottle Holder.
  • Reversible Shoulder Strap Direction.

One of the best all-around outdoor daypacks, the Outdoor Master Sling is the perfect backpack for men and women who are living an active lifestyle and need a bag that is both light and easy to wear. This bag includes a reversal shoulder strap and is designed to be used by both lefties and righties.

Additionally, the bag comes with a hidden anti-theft pocket which is perfect for storing important items such as your credit card or passport while traveling.

An incredibly lightweight bag, the Outdoor Master Sling can comfortably carry a water bottle, tablet, and even a computer if needed. It’s designed with a variety of smart storage compartments making it the best hiking daypack.

This bag weighs in at about 1lb and is available in black, gray, dark blue, and green.

Why Travel With a Packable Backpack?

Having a backpack that is both easy to pack and unpack is incredibly valuable for people who plan on traveling frequently. Whether you’re catching a flight or hopping on a train, being able to exchange items from your bag easily can save a lot of time and frustration.

When going through security at the airport, for example, a packable backpack can mean the difference between a five-minute security check and a 30-minute check.

Not to mention, when you’re forced to remove every item in your bag to find one thing you’re looking for, you’re more likely to leave something behind. One of the most common places to leave your wallet or passport is at the security because people take everything out of their bag.

Backpacks with intelligently designed compartments go a long way in keeping your stuff organized. Having a bag with spacious external pockets is also great to always keep your reusable water bottle handy.

If you travel light, having specific pockets and areas of your bag dedicated to certain items can help you keep track of your stuff and retrieve items quickly if necessary. One pocket for your laptop. Another for your important travel documents, and so on.

A packable backpack makes it easy to add an item of clothing such as a light jacket or add a souvenir to your bag while traveling.

There are plenty of great packable backpack options out there on the market today but choosing a flexible and versatile backpack for your travels is a must.

How Do You Choose a Hiking Pack?

When choosing a hiking pack, there are a few key items you want to consider.


A good hiking pack is made from quality material. It goes without saying, having your bag break or tear while out on a long day hike is far from ideal.

While you don’t necessarily have to invest in the best quality material around, you want a bag that can hold up with some minor scrapes when you’re out and about during your hike.

Can you set your bag down on some rocks and pick it up without worrying as to whether it will tear?


Depending on the type of hiker you are, and where you’ll be hiking, you want a hiking pack that is comfortable to wear. While sometimes you may need to sacrifice comfort for more features, you want to find a perfect balance between the two.

If you’re setting out for a three-day trek, for example, you may need a larger hiking bag that might not be as comfortable as a smaller and robust option.

At the same time, spending three days on trek means you’ll need to carry more supplies and resources which makes the larger hiking bag a better option.

A comfortable hiking pack will usually include padded shoulder straps, breathable mesh, and a hip belt regardless of the size of the bag you choose.


While similar to getting a comfortable bag, it’s crucial that you choose a hiking bag that fits your body snuggly. Having an overly loose hiking bag can lead to issues over a longer hike.

You want a bag that fits you comfortably but also gives you plenty of flexibility to maneuver wherever it is you are hiking.


Finally, the last thing you’ll want to look for when choosing a hiking bag is the volume the bag provides. Again, if you’re going for a longer hike, a bigger volume bag is a must.

Maybe you need to fit a sleeping bag or other larger items, such as a big jacket. Bigger bags almost always will include a hydration sleeve which is a clutch for keeping you hydrated throughout your trip.

For shorter hikes, you can get away with a smaller volume bag, but it’s important you take into consideration the types of hikes you’ll primarily be using your bag for before making your purchase.

What Size Hiking Backpack Do You Need?

As any hiking enthusiast will tell you, different hikes call for different sized hiking backpacks. While the size of the backpack depends on your comfort level, hiking and the supplies you need to bring, there are a few general pointers for choosing the right sized hiking backpack.

For one- to two-day trips such as camping in the mountains during the weekend, a 25- to 50-liter bag is generally enough to carry everything you need.

If you plan on hiking a little bit longer (say three to five days), you’ll want to upgrade the volume of your bag slightly. 50- to 80-liter bags are generally recommended for hiking or camping trips that last beyond a few days.

Finally, if you intend on making a week or longer hiking trip, you’re going to need a large volume bag to fit all your gear and supplies. For a trip lasting in the week range, a 70- to 80-liter bag is recommended.

If hiking with small children having a 70- to 80-liter bag can also be useful even for the shorter day trips so that you can hold all the gear you need for your outdoor activities.

Are Hiking Backpacks Allowed As a Carry-on?

If you plan on going hiking but need to board a plane or two first, it’s natural to wonder whether your hiking backpack is allowed as a carry-on.

While it’s important you double check the size requirements for your specific airline to avoid incurring any surprise baggage fees, some hiking backpacks do generally fall under the carry-on guidelines.

If you’re attempting to carry on a smaller backpack that you’ll be using for a short hiking trip, you often won’t have a problem carrying your bag on.

That said larger backpacks such as a 70-liter bag might have some issues depending on how heavily packed the bag is.

It never hurts to give your airline a call before boarding to double check their size requirements for carry-ons.

Best Daypack for Travel: ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack

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One of the most versatile bags you’ll find, this 20-liter ultralight packable backpack is perfect for both traveling or to take with you when going to Disneyland or the Zoo.

Affordable, but not at the cost of quality, this bag can be used to shop, camp, or even as a makeshift gym bag.

Available in a dozen plus stylish colors, the bag can be folded when empty, taking up the room of a small sandwich. If you’re ever concerned about being charged for excess baggage, pop this bad boy in your main suitcase and pull it out if needed.

The bag also has several handy storage areas in addition to a spacious main compartment so you can fit your tablet or a favorite book in the bag with no issue at all. This gets our stamp of approval for the best daypack for travel.

Best Large Travel Daypack: Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack

Outlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack
  • Water-Resistant and Durable.
  • Compact.
  • Lightweight.
  • Multiple Compartments.
  • No Flaps with the Zipper.

The Outlander Packable Travel Hiking Backpack is yet another fantastic bag for travel. Water-resistant and surprisingly durable, this 35-liter backpack can fit virtually everything you need.

It can easily hold everything you would expect your standard carry-on to hold while taking up significantly less space.

A little larger than the ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack, it offers slightly more room in case you’re looking to read several paperback books during your trip.

Weighing in at under .7 lbs, you can stash this bag in any other suitcase and barely notice it’s there. Both rip and water resistant, the bag can be taken anywhere without you worrying about getting the contents of the bag wet.

Functional but with a minimalist design, the Outlander Packable Travel Hiking Backpack gets our vote for the best large travel daypack.

Best Anti-Theft Daypack: Pacsafe Venturesafe GII Anti-Theft Travel Daypack

Pacsafe Venturesafe GII Anti-Theft Travel Daypack
  • Anti-theft Design.
  • Comfortable Travel Backpack.
  • Securable Zipper Exterior Pockets.
  • RFID Safe Pocket (To Prevent Unauthorized Scans).
  • Accepted as a Carry-on by Most Airlines.

Available in both 15- and 25-liter sizes, the Pacsafe Venturesafe is an excellent all-around daypack and backpack that is designed with both functionality and comfort in mind.

The Pacsafe includes two securable zipper exterior pockets, one padded notebook sleeve, and two side pockets for your water bottle and other items.

With its anti-theft design, you can feel comfortable taking your bag and important items with you no matter where your travels take you.

The bag also includes padded shoulder straps, as well as an adjustable and removable hip belt which can be used according to your comfort needs.

This incredibly high-quality bag also comes with a five-year limited warranty, which is generous for the backpack industry.

So, What Is The Best Daypack For Hikes?

OutdoorMaster Sling Bag - Crossbody Backpack for Women & Men
  • Compact Yet Spacious Sling Bag.
  • Lightweight Crossbody Design.
  • Hidden Anti-Theft Pocket & Water Bottle Holder.
  • Reversible Shoulder Strap Direction.

For overall use, we’d recommend the Outdoor Master Sling bag, with the ZOMAKE bag as a close second. If you need a bit more space, opt for the Outlander, and if theft is a concern, look to Pacsafe.

We hope this brief guide was helpful in your quest to choose the right bag for your upcoming travel and hiking adventures!

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