Best Daypacks For Hiking – The Ultimate Buying Guide

Deciding just what are the best daypacks for hiking may not be as easy as it might sound unless you have an idea of what makes a great daypack or what features you require for the perfect fit for you.

There’s a great deal of convenience that you can get with a good daypack and an equal measure of frustration that could come with a cheap knockoff.

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty and see what some of the best daypacks for hiking are and what it takes to find that perfect one.

Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack

 Pros.

  • Has compression straps for easy, comfortable portability
  • Great quality yet lightweight
  • Lots of pockets for organizing your stuff

Cons.

  • The interior material was not as strong as some.

Osprey has won itself enough reputation in the world of outdoor lovers thanks to its great collection of outdoor gear, and this daypack’s large main compartment makes it just as awesome. 

It offers additional storage thanks to its side pockets with a dual stretch mesh design for aesthetics and performance. Not forgetting, you can’t go wrong with a shove-it front panel pocket that you can use for keeping your small items handy.

For ultimate comfort and ideal airflow, this daypack comes with a comfortable back panel that feels great on your back, all thanks to its mesh-covered die-cut foam design that most hikers have come to love.

Carrying convenience is also very important when it comes to daypacks, which is why Osprey has built this one with spacer mesh shoulder straps as well as an integrated handle that offers great flexibility.

The interior is also as impressive, as Osprey has designed this daypack with a multi-function sleeve that you can use as a hydration reservoir, and a sleeve for keeping your laptop, tablet, or other items.

Speaking of laptops, it’s worth mentioning that this pack is built to accommodate laptops up to 14 inches, plus this design allows easy accessibility to the contents and easy packing too.

Other features that you’ll come to love include a key clip for securing small items, waist and chest strap, and an awesome design to attach to different Osprey’s travel bags or larger packs, offering you great versatility.

We Scored This Product 4.8 from 5 Stars

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Diamond Candy 40L Waterproof Backpack

Pros.

  • It has a solid build and high-quality materials
  • Lightweight design for easy portability
  • It’s very roomy with several compartments and extra gear attachment options.

Cons.

  • It may be too short for extra taller people.

Keeping your items safe and dry in the outdoors could sound like a long shot, but all it takes is having a well-built daypack as this Diamond Candy waterproof pack.

Made using water-resistant material, and with a rain cover included in the package, you can bet that with this pack, you’ve got your supplies covered.

Size and comfort are important when it comes to daypacks, so you need to make sure you find one that can accommodate your stuff in comfort, and this one has a padded back with soft mesh material for comfort.

This pack not only boasts a 40L capacity, but it also has up to 4 zippered compartments; one for a 16-inch laptop, two hip pockets, and two side pockets.

To make your trip fun, this pack is designed to be super easy to carry, as it is very lightweight. But that doesn’t mean compromising the quality, as the material it’s made of is both lightweight and offers extra strength as well as durable performance.

Besides being the ideal choice for those who love to hike light, this daypack also has comfortable compression straps, a hydration system (with an easy-to-access drinking hole) as well as a whistle, which really comes in handy when you are out there. 

Additionally, this pack also comes with a risk-free purchase guarantee. Better yet, it is a versatile option that you can use for just about any outdoor activity, from fishing to cycling, mountain climbing, traveling, camping, hiking and many more.

We Scored This Product 4.6 from 5 Stars

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OlarHike Lightweight Hiking Camping Backpack

Pros.

  • Made of a durable ripstop nylon
  • Water-resistant design keeps your stuff dry
  • Lightweight and easily packable.

Cons.

  • The netting on the shoulder straps could feel a little uncomfortable for some.

Durability is by far the one thing you need to be keen on when choosing any backpack, and for obvious reasons.

OlarHike understands the need for quality and value for your money, which is why they have equipped this backpack with a high-quality polyester fabric that is both tear and water-resistant.

Quality doesn’t have to come at the expense of comfort, thankfully, this pack has breathable mesh straps for the shoulders with sufficient sponge padding to relieve stress on the shoulder area.

What’s more, the straps are easily adjustable, so you can adjust them to distribute the weight evenly.

Other essential factors when it comes to backpacks are the capacity and number of compartments. These include 2 zippered front pockets, 2 side pockets, and a single zippered main compartment. 

With 35L capacity and up to eight multi-purpose compartments, you will have plenty of room for your stuff and an easy way of organizing them in there.

A double-layer bottom not only adds to the strength and durability of this bag, but it also offers very essential protection for your laptop and other stuff in case of an accidental fall.

Other features that are worth mentioning include a lightweight design, as this pack weighs a meager 0.65 lbs, an easily packable construction thanks to a foldable design to save space, and reflective stripes that ensure you are visible at night.

We Scored This Product 4.5 from 5 Stars

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Sunhiker Cycling Hiking Travel Backpack

Pros.

  • It’s lightweight at only a few ounces
  • Secure and easy-to-use straps
  • Convenient water bottle outer pockets

Cons.

  • It doesn’t have a separate pouch for small items such as phones

The Construction Material used is by far the most important aspect of a backpack, and Sunhiker doesn’t take chances with the construction of this one, as they have equipped it with a tough tear and water-resistant nylon.

Besides this material is also resistant to scratch and water splashing, which not only makes it very durable but also ensures it can keep your stuff dry during those nasty mid-trail drizzles.

To give you ultimate comfort this backpack also has a breathable mesh on the shoulder straps, which enables you to relieve stress on your shoulders and to feel comfortable.

Not forgetting, these straps are also adjustable so you can always find that perfect fit. Weight is the other important bit that you definitely don’t want to miss when deciding which backpack to choose.

That’s why this backpack is designed to be super lightweight (at only 12.3oz) to ensure it won’t add any unnecessary weight on your shoulders beside the contents.

The best part by far is that you get sufficient space for your gear, as this pack offers up to 20-25L capacity.

With bottle holders on both sides, you can always have your drink within reach when you need it, but that’s not all; this pack also has several compartments that allow you to organize your gear for convenience and easy access. 

We Scored This Product 4.1 from 5 Stars

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Mountaintop 40L Hiking Backpack

Pros.

  • It has sufficient capacity to cover your needs.
  • Has a solid construction
  • Very comfortable to carry with lots of options to secure it and distribute the weight.

Cons.

  • The buckles and waist straps would be great if they were wider and sturdier.

Finding a backpack that can keep your stuff safe and dry isn’t always as easy as it might come across, but MOUNTAINTOP goes that extra mile to ensure you get both of these with this backpack’s ideal design.

Not only does it feature a robust YKK zipper as well as a YKK buckle, but it also comes with a water-resistant polyester fabric. You’ll also love the easily adjustable straps in this backpack, and there’s a good number of them.

It has a sternum strap, as well as S-shaped shoulder straps that allow you to distribute the weight of your pack evenly. Also, it has an adjustable hip belt that works for people with waist sizes between 29 and 53 inches.

Moreover, this pack has a foam back panel that is very breathable for the much-needed comfort and airflow even when trekking on a sunny day.

Capacity is the other thing that makes this backpack outstanding. With the ability to hold a whopping 40 to 65 liters, it offers sufficient space for enough supplies for the trip.

If you like to keep well hydrated along the way, you won’t afford to miss the separate bladder sleeve that this pack comes with, which can hold up to 3 liters or a 17-inch size laptop.

Some of the other features that you’ll get with this backpack include a waterproof cover that is stuffed away at the bottom of this pack in a zippered compartment and is large enough to cover your entire backpack.

We Scored This Product 4.6 from 5 Stars

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Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Backpack Daypack

Pros.

  • It has many pockets for keeping stuff organized
  • Easy and fast to fold and unfold
  • Heavy-duty, durable 2-way SBS metal zippers

Cons.

  • The zipper on the pack’s upper outer pocket gets caught easily on its cover.

My initial thoughts if durability is the most important thing you want in a daypack, then this one’s for you, thanks to its high-quality tear and water-resistant material.

Besides, the material is not only super strong and durable, but it also proves to be one of the most lightweight options out there.

Two side pockets that you can use for keeping your umbrella or water bottle and two front pockets for convenience.

Versatility is the other thing that makes this pack outstanding, as it has several compartments that allow you to organize your gear conveniently.

These include a single main compartment (with enough room for 35 L) that is zippered and has two separators for further organizing your stuff.

Comfort is another aspect when deciding the ideal backpack for you comfort plays a major role. And thankfully enough, this one has many features such as breathable mesh padded shoulders straps to make your trip as comfortable as possible.

Even better, the straps are adjustable to fit your desired size. Then there’s a chest strap that also has a whistle buckle.

The Lightweight and Compact lightweight design of this pack (at only 0.7lb) is what makes it a darling to many outdoor lovers, and that’s not all.

This is also very packable, as it easily folds into a nice and compact package that fits in its own pocket, making storage effortless.

We Scored This Product 4.6 from 5 Stars

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 HIKPRO 20L  Durable Lightweight  Backpack

Pros.

  • Popular and affordable
  • Lots of compartments and pockets
  • High-quality construction with tear-resistant material
  • It’s a versatile pack for day trips, hikes, vacation, camping and more.

Cons.

  • The front pocket zipper might fail after some use.

As far as capacity goes, this might not be the largest daypack on this list, but it still packs some impressive capacity at 20L, which should be enough for your gear.

And while still at it, it’s worth mentioning that this pack also sports several well-organized compartments, it has three zippered compartments, with a single main compartment and two smaller outer pockets.

It also has an inner zippered pocket that you can use as a storage pouch for your personal items as credit cards or passports, these are convenient spots where you can keep those effects that you want to access easily.

Then it has two large mesh pockets on the side that you can use for keeping your water bottle or umbrella.

With this one’s water-resistant high-quality nylon material, you can bet that it will keep your stuff dry for 40 minutes to 1 hour during rain.

Moreover, it is built with a double fabric at the bottom and reinforcement on over 14 places for additional strength and durability (so much so, that this pack comes with a five-year warranty).

Carrying comfort shouldn’t be a problem at all thanks to the wide, breathable, and adjustable mesh shoulder straps. Besides, it is super lightweight at 7.5 ounces, so the only weight that will be on your shoulders is the stuff inside.

We Scored This Product 4.8 from 5 Stars

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ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack

Pros.

  • Solid construction and durable fabric
  • Very lightweight and packs pretty small
  • Robust and durable zippers

Cons.

  • It is not strong enough for heavy rain.

This ZOMAKE’s 20L capacity makes it a go-to option for the ordinary day hiker as it can hold enough gear for your trip.

This makes the backpack ideal for a wide range of outdoor adventure, from camping to hiking, vacation, day trips, school, and many others.

Don’t let the high capacity of this pack fool you; it is still very lightweight and easy to carry, as it weighs only 8.8 ounces. Even more exciting is the easy and convenient foldable design of this pack, as it folds down to a nice little package and fits into a compact pouch for easy portability.

The quality of this backpack is difficult to ignore, as it is built with a high-quality tear-resistant nylon material, which is also water-resistant by the way (but make sure not to expose it to heavy rain for long).

Not forgetting, it also sports abrasion resistant SBS metal zippers that are as durable as the backpack itself. And, most importantly, it has over 31 reinforced places using the Bartack process for extra strength.

For the much-needed comfort and convenience, this backpack is equipped with mesh-padded shoulder straps, which have locks that allow you to get an ideal fit for all-day comfort.

We Scored This Product 4.7 from 5 Stars

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Osprey Packs Daypack

Pros.

  • Easily accessible main compartment
  • Comfortable to carry enough options for flexibility
  • Lots of pockets for proper organization of your items

Cons.

  • Its water bottle pockets are too shallow, the bottle could fall out easily when you bend down.

Excellent for base camp trips and other outdoor adventures, this daypack has a large main compartment designed to accommodate a fair amount of stuff that you will need to bring along.

It also features a designated slot for your laptop up to 14 inches, a front shove-it pocket for small items, as well as an external hydration reservoir that can come in very handy on hot days.

And while still on pockets, it’s also worth mentioning that osprey has also incorporated dual stretch mesh side pockets on this pack for extra storage options in case you have more items to carry with you.

The back panel is built to give you ultimate comfort on the trail thanks to a mesh-covered and die-cut foam design that ensures ideal comfort and ventilation.

Still, on the carrying comfort, you won’t help but love the spacer mesh shoulder strap design of this pack, which, along with an integrated handle, offers you the comfort and flexibility you need on the road.

Other awesome features include the zippered design of the main compartment for super easy access, a mesh organizer and a key clip for securing small items. What’s more, this pack is designed to be easily attachable to most other daypacks so you can use it as an add-on pack.

We Scored This Product 4.7 from 5 Stars

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Songwin Lightweight Travel Hiking Daypack

Pros.

  • It’s one of the most lightweight daypacks around.
  • Sufficient storage space for your items and personal effects
  • Sturdy and durable construction gives you the ultimate value for your money.

Cons.

  • The zippers are not very reliable after some use.

Built for travel and hiking, this Songwin daypack is the option any serious outdoor lover would go for in the hunt for a durable pack, thanks to its high-quality tear-resistant nylon fabric and heavy-duty metal zippers.

Even better, it has a reinforced double-layer bottom piece that makes it ideal for the safety of your laptop plus it offers sufficient space, thanks to its roomy 40L capacity and multiple compartments.

These include a main zippered compartment, a zippered front pocket as well as two side pockets. All these, along with a small zippered pocket inside the main compartment and a single separator, allow you to organize your items.

The fabric of this daypack is also waterproof, which makes it a great choice if you expect some drizzle along the way, it will help keep your stuff dry. Not forgetting, the zippers are waterproof too, thus it offers all-around protection.

For ease of carrying your pack and the much-needed comfort, this one comes with great air permeability and a well-designed heat dissipation constriction on the shoulder straps. The straps also feature a wide curve and padded sponge for reduced pressure on your shoulders.

With a lightweight design, you can bet that this pack is one of the easiest to carry with you to just about any adventure. At only 0.6 pounds, it’s one of the most lightweight daypacks on the market.

And that’s not all; it also comes with a storage pouch that is ultra-compact and folds easily into a small pocket and easy to retrieve when need be.

We Scored This Product 4.6 from 5 Stars

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Mardingtop Tactical Molle Hiking daypack

Pros.

  • Durable design with high-quality material
  • Molle webbing design for additional gear attachment
  • It’s a versatile daypack for just about any trip

Cons.

  • The shoulder straps are a bit too wide and close together near the neck area.

From hiking to camping, this daypack is built for virtually any outdoor trip on your list, and it has the right features to make your trip a success.

One of its most impressive features is the robust 600D polyester material that this backpack features, which can outlast most of the options out there.

The YKK zippers are also as tough, and even better, easy and convenient to use. But what makes it really awesome is the molle webbing design, which allows you to attach external gear such as sleeping bag, tent, bedroll or other pouches when necessary.

Its capacity isn’t the largest on this list, but at 28 Liters, it still has enough space to take on most of your gear, enough for a day trip, with plenty of room to spare.

And speaking of space, it has several compartments, including the main compartment with an inbuilt hydration compartment with enough space to hold a 2.5-liter bladder. There’s also a front pocket, 2 side pockets, and a zipped pocket.

You have several straps that allow you to secure the back on your body to keep it in place. It comes with several straps that allow you to distribute the weight evenly. These include sponge-padded shoulder straps, a hip belt, and chest straps for that snuggle fit.

We Scored This Product 4.6 from 5 Stars

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best daypacks for hiking - hikers on a path

Questions and Answers

Question: What are the best daypacks for hiking?

Answer: The answer to this question is relative, as different people have different tastes. But it all boils down to the materials, construction and the different features it comes with. 

To get the ideal value for your money, make sure the daypack you choose has strong zippers and has a tear-resistant material. Also, will you fit all your stuff inside? 

Also, the number of compartments count, and of course, the size is essential too. So all of these come together to make the ideal daypack, it’s all a matter of choosing wisely.

Question: Does it have to be waterproof?

Answer: Well, not really! However, it’s essential that you keep your items safe from moisture, and there’s no telling when the weather might change.

A light drizzle along the way could spoil your day. So yes, having a water-resistant daypack could save the day when you least expect it. 

However, keep in mind that most of these packs are not designed to withstand heavy rain, so don’t count on it if you are caught up in a serious downpour.

Question: What about comfort?

Answer: Hiking is tiring enough on its own, not to mention having to deal with an uncomfortable bag on your back. That’s why it’s important to be sure your daypack of choice makes the cut when it comes to comfort. 

Such features as padded mesh back panels and padded, wide shoulder straps come in handy here. But other features such as chest straps and hip belt also go a long way as well.

Question: What size is best for me?

Answer: Best daypacks for hiking come in different types, colors, designs, and sizes. But what makes the size so important is that it could determine whether you will be able to carry with you enough items for the trip. 

Granted, a large pack will allow you to carry more stuff. Now, this doesn’t mean it’s a rule of thumbs to get a large daypack. 

If you don’t have much stuff, or you just prefer hiking light, then a pack with smaller capacity might be your best bet. Get the one that best suits your needs.

Girl overlooking a beach wearing a backpack

My Top Picks: 

Simply The Best Daypack:                    Osprey Daylite Plus Pack

Best Popular Affordable Daypack:   HIKPRO 20L  Durable Lightweight  Backpack

Best Molle Attachment Daypack:     Mardingtop Tactical Backpacks

Best Capacity Daypack:                         MOUNTAINTOP Hiking Backpack

Final Words

Shopping for a daypack might sound like a complicated undertaking. But in essence, it’s very simple as long as you know what you want and what your ideal daypack should have.

The good news is, the market is full of a wide array of options (you’ll be spoilt for choice), and it’s as simple as picking the pack that best fits your needs.

With all the options we’ve listed here, finding that perfect daypack for your next trip just got easier, so go ahead and grab the one that has what it takes to make your trip fun and convenient.

If you have any more questions about the best daypacks for hiking, I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section below.

For an amazing range of backpacks for traveling and hiking read my post what is the best backpack.

Remember! Leave it cleaner than you found it, only footprints not rubbish.

Shane.

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