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Best Day Hiking Backpacks

If you're an avid backpacker, chances are you're also an enthusiastic hiker. Whether it's for training purposes or simply to immerse yourself in nature, day hikes are a wonderful experience. One significant difference when transitioning from backpacking to day hiking is the backpack's size requirement. Since you won't need a tent, sleeping bag, or overnight clothing, your daypack can be considerably smaller. When you're on the hunt for the finest day hiking backpacks, it's essential to take into account several factors, including capacity, organization, and ventilation. Furthermore, think about features like adjustable straps, padded back panels, and hip belts for added comfort. While you can certainly use your backpacking pack, investing in a versatile daypack can enhance your trail experience by allowing you to carry less and enjoy the journey to the fullest. For those seeking the best day hiking backpacks, these considerations will lead you in the right direction.

  1. Best overall day pack: Osprey Daylite Plus

  2. Best Premium Day hiking pack: Arc’teryx Aerios 30 Pack

  3. Best hybrid running and day hiking backpack: Salomon XT 15 Hydration Pack

  4. Best Versatility: Osprey Talon 22

  5. Best Overall value for a day hiking pack: Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 Daypack

The Best Day Hiking packs

 
Osprey Daylite Plus day hiking pack review

What we like:

  1. Comfortable to wear, with a padded back panel, shoulder straps, and hip belt.

  2. Minimalist and sleek design

  3. Versatile: The backpack is good for a wide range of activities, including hiking, travel, commuting, and everyday use.

  4. Good price point for the value

What we don’t:

  1. No hydration bladder sleeve

  2. Limited organization: The backpack has limited pockets and organizational features

  3. Thin hip belt, not good for heavy loads

The Osprey Daylite Plus is a versatile and affordable backpack that is perfect for everyday use. It has a simple design and features a large main compartment, a front pocket, and a hydration bladder sleeve. The pack is also lightweight and comfortable to wear, thanks to its padded shoulder straps and back panel. It is our top pick for a day hiking backpack.



 

Arc'teryx Aerios 30 Pack day hiking pack review

What we like:

  1. Lightweight and comfortable

  2. Durable

  3. Versatile: This backpack is suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities, from day hikes to commuting.

  4. Good organization: The Aerios 30 has the right amount of pockets

What we don’t:

  1. Expensive: This is among the most expensive day packs on the list

The Arc’teryx Aerios 30 Pack is a durable and stylish backpack perfect for urban and day hiking adventures. It has a sleek design and features a range of useful compartments and pockets, including a front zippered pocket and a hydration bladder sleeve. The pack is well constructed with eyes on being both lightweight and durable.



 

Salomon XT 15 L Hydration Pack backpack review

What we like:

  1. Very lightweight and can even work for trail running and mountain biking

  2. Easy to pack and organize gear

  3. Comfortable carrying design with padding in al the right spots and a comfortable and minimalist belt

What we don’t:

  1. Expensive considering the volume

  2. Not much external storage

The Salomon XT 15 Hydration Pack is a versatile, high-quality backpack perfect for day hiking, trail running, and mountain biking. Lightweight and versatile is how this day hiking backpack can be described. It is equipped with a hydration bladder, a range of pockets and compartments for easy organization, and a lightweight design that is comfortable to wear, even on long days on the trails if you pack light.



 

The Osprey Talon day hiking pack review

What we like:

  1. Lightweight and ventilated design

  2. Available in a range of capacities

  3. High-quality materials and construction ensure durability and longevity.

  4. Multiple pockets and compartments for organization and storage of gear and belongings

  5. Features like the hydration sleeve and flap jacket make it ideal for outdoor use

What we don’t:

  1. Higher price point than competitors

  2. The mesh back panel may not be as durable as other materials and may tear over time

  3. Heavier than other options

The Osprey Talon prioritizes comfort, convenience, and functionality. The backpack is constructed like a backpacking pack with multiple adjustable straps. A breathable mesh back panel provides ventilation, further adding to the comfortable design. The Talon features multiple pockets and compartments for easy organization, including a hydration sleeve. The pack is durable, having a lifetime warranty from Osprey.



 

Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 day hiking pack review

What we like:

  1. Lightweight: At just 13.6 ounces, the Gossamer Gear Minimalist is among the lightest day hiking backpacks on the list

  2. Durable: Despite its lightweight design, the backpack is made with durable Robic Nylon and holds up well.

  3. Comfortable: The reinforced shoulder straps and a removable foam back pad make this pack comfortable to carry up to 20 pounds

  4. Affordable: The Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 is relatively affordable compared to other lightweight backpacks on the list.

What we don’t:

  1. Limited capacity: The backpack has a 19-liter capacity, which may not be enough for some day hiking adventures.

  2. The pack is not fully waterproof and weatherproof.

The Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 is an ultralight backpack that is among the lightest on this day hiking backpack roundup. It is still durable despite being lightweight. The ripstop nylon body and reinforced shoulder straps are quality and can hold up throughout many miles and adventures. Despite the minimalist design (and name), the backpack still provides ample storage space with a main compartment, front pocket, and side pockets. It features a hydration port and a removable foam back pad. This can double as a sit pad. This day hiking pack is great value and one of the best options on this list.

 


REI Co-op Flash 22 Pack day hiking backpack review

What we like:

  1. Lightweight: The Flash 22 Pack weighs only 14 oz

  2. Versatile: The backpack has a simple design and can be used for various activities such as hiking, cycling, and traveling.

  3. Affordable: At a price of $59.95, the Flash 22 Pack is relatively affordable compared to other daypacks.

What we don’t:

  1. Limited capacity: 22 liters can feel small on long day hikes

  2. Basic features: The Flash 22 Pack has a simple design and lacks some of the features found in more expensive backpacks.

The REI Co-op Flash 22 Pack is a lightweight, versatile backpack perfect for day hikes and short trips. It has a simple design and features multiple pockets and compartments for easy organization. The pack is made from durable materials that can withstand wear and tear and includes an adjustable sternum strap for added stability.

 


 Osprey Skarab 30 day hiking pack review

What we like:

  1. Comfortable: The Skarab 30 is designed with a mesh back panel and shoulder straps that provide excellent ventilation and comfort during long hikes.

  2. Durable: The backpack is made with high-quality materials that are designed to withstand wear and tear.

  3. Lots of features: The Skarab 30 has numerous features, such as a hydration sleeve, trekking pole attachments, and a front shove-it pocket.

What we don’t:

  1. Expensive: At a price of $150, the Skarab 30 is more expensive than many other daypacks.

  2. May be too large for some day hikes: With a capacity of 30 liters, the backpack may be too large for shorter day hikes.

The Osprey Skarab 30 is a high-quality backpack that is designed for hiking and camping. It is equipped with a hydration system, a ventilated back panel, and a range of useful features such as trekking pole attachments and an integrated rain cover. The Skarab 30 is also comfortable to wear, thanks to its padded shoulder straps and hip belt.



 

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak hiking pack review

What we like:

  1. Ultralightweight: The Daybreak is very lightweight, weighing only 17 ounces.

  2. Durable: The backpack is made of durable Dyneema fabric that is incredibly strong for its weight

  3. Comfortable: The Daybreak has a padded back panel and shoulder straps

  4. Versatile: The Daybreak can be used for day hikes and ultralight backpacking

  5. Water-resistant: The Dyneema fabric used in the Daybreak is water-resistant, and holds up better to the elements than competitors on this list

What we don’t:

  1. Limited storage: The Daybreak has a capacity of only 17 liters, which may not be enough for longer trips or hikes

  2. Expensive: The Daybreak is very expensive compared to other minimalist backpacks on the market.

  3. Zippers are not waterproof

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak is a high-end backpack that is designed for hiking and mountaineering. It is made from ultra-lightweight materials that are both waterproof and durable, and it features a range of useful features such as ice axe loops and a roll-top closure. The Daybreak is also comfortable to wear, thanks to its padded shoulder straps and hip belt.



 


Deuter Speed Lite 25 review for the best day hiking backpacks

What we like:

  1. Carries well for the weight

  2. Comfortable shoulder straps and hip belt

  3. Sleek design and versatile for commuting, day hiking, and traveling

What we don’t:

  1. No hip belt pockets

  2. Not great external storage

  3. Too many buckles, many feel useless

The Deuter Speed Lite 25 is a lightweight and versatile backpack that is perfect for day hikes and short trips. It has a minimalist design and features a range of useful compartments and pockets, including a front pocket and a hydration bladder sleeve. The pack is also comfortable to wear, thanks to its padded shoulder straps and back panel.



 


Gregory Zulu 30 day hiking pack review

What we like:

  1. Carries well with ventilation and comfortable padding i the right places

  2. All the features you need

  3. Fairly weatherproof compared to other packs on this list

  4. Can be used for an ultralight overnight

  5. Durable

What we don’t:

  1. Expensive

  2. Too many features

  3. Much heavier than other comparable packs

The Gregory Zulu 30 Pack is a high-quality backpack that is designed for hiking and camping. It is equipped with a range of useful features, including a ventilated back panel, a hydration bladder sleeve, and a range of pockets and compartments for easy organization. The Zulu 30 is also comfortable to wear, thanks to its padded shoulder straps and hip belt.



 


Cotopaxi Batac 16L day hiking pack review

What we like:

  1. Great look with lots of color

  2. Sustainable company and construction

  3. Works well enough for tame day hikes

What we don’t:

  1. Not many features

  2. Not very comfortable

  3. The design prioritizes aesthetics over functionality

The Cotopaxi Batac 16L is a stylish and sustainable backpack that is perfect for everyday use. It is made from recycled materials and features a range of useful compartments and pockets, including a front pocket and a hydration bladder sleeve. The Batac 16L is not the most comfortable, and it is really more of a commuter and everyday pack than for going on long day hikes. Overall this backpack looks nice, but it doesn’t quite have the function of other options.



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