The Best Daypacks of 2017   Recently updated !


Osprey Talon 22

Osprey Talon 22

A backpack allows you to easily organize and carry food, water, accessories, equipment and additional clothing. Therefore, it is required for all but the shortest hikes. However, not every backpack is suitable for every hike. For example, it doesn’t make sense to carry a very big backpack on short hikes as big backpacks are typically heavier than small backpacks. Furthermore, if a backpack is too big, it’s hard to stabilize items in it – they will move around and interfere with your balance on uneven terrain. Here we selected the best daypacks with a capacity of 20 to 35 liters. Such daypacks are perfect for day hikes and often they can be also used for overnight hikes – depending on your gear (high-quality gear packs small) and conditions on the trail (weather, technical complexity etc.). We only listed high-quality, lightweight daypacks which offer great functionality.

However, for spending more days (and nights) outdoors, you will need a bigger backpack; you can have a look at our selections of the best medium-sized hiking backpacks and best large hiking backpacks respectively. As it is very important that you pack your backpack properly for stability and balance, you might also want to check out the tips in our article How to pack a backpack. If your hikes typically only last a couple of hours, check out our selection of the best waist packs instead.

This selection was updated on the 18th of October 2017.

1. Buying a Daypack – What is important?

Frame:

Most daypacks don’t have frames because they are not designed for carrying heavy loads. Frameless backpacks have a flexible construction and are much lighter than internal-frame or external-frame backpacks. A backpack with a frame is, however, preferred for carrying heavy loads as it efficiently transfers the weight of the pack from your shoulders to your hips (via the hip belt). For more information about the different types of backpacks check out our Hiking Backpacks Guide.

Volume/Size:

Daypacks are designed for day trips and typically have a capacity (volume) of less than 40 liters. For multiday trips they might be too small as sleeping equipment (sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad etc.) takes up quite some space.

Weight:

Lightweight equipment decreases the aerobic demand (heart rate and calorie consumption) and thus allows you to hike faster and easier than with heavier gear. In this selection of the best daypacks we only included lightweight products – the heaviest daypack weighs 1200 grams.

Pockets and attachment points:

You can only keep your things organized if your pack has enough pockets and attachment points. Attachment points allow you to easily attach bulky gear such as trekking poles, ice axes etc.

Backpanel:

The backpanel should provide decent ventilation, so that you won’t sweat additionally by having a synthetic daypack glued to your back. Therefore, high-quality daypacks have ventilated backpanels which typically use a suspended mesh fabric to create some distance between your back and the backpack. This review of the best daypacks only includes daypacks with ventilated backpanels.

Durability:

High-quality daypacks differ from cheaper versions by not only being lighter, but also more durable. The durability of a hiking daypack depends on the quality of fabric, zippers, buckles etc. Daypacks are normally made of nylon of varying denier – the higher the denier, the more durable the fabric. However, keep in mind that a higher denier number results in a heavier fabric (and thus backpack). Therefore, hiking daypacks typically don’t use nylon of a denier higher than 210.

Hydration system compatibility:

A hydration system provides easy access to water – it eliminates the need to stop and mess around with water bottles. Hydration system compatible daypacks have an opening for the tube and a pocket or a sleeve for water reservoir. All products in our review of the best daypacks are hydration system compatible. To learn more about hydration bladders read our article Hydration Systems VS. Water Bottles. As daypacks usually don’t come with hydration systems, also check out our selection of the Best Hydration Bladders.

2. The Best Daypacks Review

Best Daypacks

Best Daypacks

  1. Osprey Talon 22
  2. Montane Featherlite 35
  3. Kelty Riot 22
  4. Gregory Zulu 30
  5. Arcteryx Brize 32

Comparison:

Feature/Product Osprey Talon 22Montane Featherlite 35Kelty Riot 22Gregory Zulu 30Arcteryx Brize 32
Weight1 lb. 10 oz.1 lb. 10 oz.1 lb. 3 oz.2 lbs. 6 oz.2 lbs. 10 oz.
Weight (Metric) 750 g 748 g 540 g 1100 g 1200 g
TypeFrameless Frameless Frameless Internal-frame Internal-frame (stiff backpanel)
MaterialRipstop Nylon Raptor Featherlite (Nylon) Ripstop NylonRipstop Nylon Ripstop Nylon
Volume22 Liters (M/L),
20 Liters (S/M)
35 Liters22 Liters30 liters 32 Liters
BackpanelVentilatedVentilatedVentilatedVentilatedVentilated
Sternum Strap YesYesYesYesYes
Hip BeltYesYesYesYesYes
Hydration System Compatibility Yes (external sleeve)Yes (internal sleeve)Yes (external pocket)Yes (internal sleeve)Yes (internal sleeve)
Osprey Talon 22

Osprey Talon 22

1. Osprey Talon 22

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Via ferrata
  • Everyday use

 

The Osprey Talon 22 is a very lightweight daypack (it weighs merely 750 g) and thus great for those who prefer lightweight hiking. The daypack is equipped with the AirScape backpanel which is made of molded foam and covered with a suspended mesh fabric. Therefore, the backpanel provides superb ventilation. The main compartment is spacious and easily accessible (front–loading design).  In addition to the main compartment, the daypack has an inner zippered pocket, top zippered pocket, two zippered hip belt pockets, two mesh side pockets, shoulder strap pocket, front stash pocket and an external hydration sleeve. The hip belt pockets can be accessed without taking the daypack off first and therefore they come in handy for accessories like a GPS device, camera or a Smartphone. The side pockets are made of mesh fabric. They can be used for storing water bottles with a volume of up to 1 liter. The front stash pocket is designed for storing gear which you don’t want to put directly in the main compartment such as wet/sweaty clothes. As the hydration sleeve is placed between the main compartment and the backpanel it allows you to insert the water reservoir even if the daypack is fully loaded. This indeed comes in handy if you have to refill the water reservoir during the hike. Additional features of the Osprey Talon 22 are a LED light attachment clip, helmet holder, internal key attachment clip and trekking pole attachment system.

 

Pros:

  • Superb backpanel
  • Weight
  • Hiking poles attachment system
  • Pockets
  • External hydration system sleeve

Cons:

  • /

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Video

Montane Featherlite 35

Montane Featherlite 35

2. Montane Featherlite 35

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Trekking
  • Mountaineering
  • Via ferrata
  • Secondary pack on multi-day trips
  • Everyday use

 

The Montane Featherlite 35 daypack is slightly bigger (it has a volume of 35 liters) than the Osprey Talon 22 daypack above. Nevertheless, it is even a couple of grams lighter – it weighs merely 748 grams. The daypack is made of 100-denier ripstop Raptor Featherlite fabric which uses Robic filaments for increased strength. The fabric is also coated with polyurethane for better abrasion resistance and weather protection. The backpanel is padded and has air channels to ensure that the air can flow between the daypack and your back. Additionally, the Montane Featherlite 35 daypack has a spacious main compartment, external top lid pocket and an internal security pocket. The external lid pocket has a zipper on the front side so that other hikers can easily open it and hand you over your gear. The Montane Featherlite 30 daypack allows you to easily and securely attach trekking poles as it is equipped with compression straps and handy attachment points. The water reservoir is placed inside the main compartment. The daypack packs into its own lid so that you can use it as a secondary pack on multi-day hiking trips. The Montane Featherlite 35 ranks high in this selection of the best daypacks because it’s super lightweight and thus perfect for mountaineering and lightweight hiking.

 

Pros:

  • Weight
  • Space
  • Can be used as a secondary pack
  • Durability

Cons:

  • Pockets

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Kelty Riot 22

Kelty Riot 22

3. Kelty Riot 22

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Via ferrata
  • Everyday use

 

The Kelty Riot daypack is super lightweight and thus perfect for fast ascents. The daypack features a ventilated backpanel which provides good comfort. The main compartment uses a zipper and is very spacious. The daypack is also equipped with two stretchy side pockets, large front stash pocket, one external zippered pocket, two internal pockets, hydration bladder pocket and two pockets on the shoulder straps. The pockets on the shoulder straps are very useful for storing items which you often need as they are easy accessible. The hydration bladder pocket is placed between the main compartment and the backpanel (external pocket) and thus it allows you to easily remove, refill and re-insert the water reservoir even if the daypack is fully loaded. The Kelty Riot daypack also has compression straps, chest strap and a hip belt, which can be stowed away. The shoulder straps and hip belt are made of mesh fabric for good breathability.

 

Pros:

  • Weight
  • External pocket for hydration bladder
  • Pockets

Cons:

  • /

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Best Buy!

Also available at:

Campsaver

Video

Gregory Zulu 30

Gregory Zulu 30

4. Gregory Zulu 30

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Via ferrata
  • Everyday use

 

The Gregory Zulu 30 is a very spacious daypack which differs from the daypacks listed above by having a rigid construction (frame). Therefore, it is slightly heavier but on the other hand it also provides better support and can be efficiently used for carrying even heavy loads. The daypack uses 210-denier nylon fabric and thus provides good abrasion resistance and durability. It features a ventilated backpanel (suspended mesh fabric), shoulder straps and hip belt. It also has a spacious main compartment, external top lid pocket, two hip belt pockets, two side pockets and a large front stash pocket. The Gregory Zulu 30 daypack uses the so-called hybrid design (top-loading and zippered opening) and thus it provides very easy access to the main compartment. It has also compression straps and an internal hydration reservoir sleeve.

 

Pros:

  • Space
  • Internal frame
  • Backpanel
  • Weight distribution

Cons:

  • Weight

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Best Buy!

Also available at:

REI | Backcountry

Video

Arcteryx Brize 32

Arcteryx Brize 32

5. Arcteryx Brize 32

Suitable for:

  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Trekking
  • Via Ferrata
  • Everyday use

 

The Arcteryx Brize 32 daypack is the largest daypack in this review and therefore a great option for those who need a spacious daypack for hiking, trekking and other outdoor activities. The daypack is made of sturdy nylon for abrasion-resistance and durability. The backpanel provides good ventilation while the shoulder straps and hip belt are padded for maximum comfort. The daypack is equipped with a spacious main compartment, internal zippered pocket, top lid pocket, two side pockets for water bottles and a large zippered pocket on the front side. The hydration reservoir sleeve is located in the main compartment and the daypack has a tube opening at the top. It also has four compression straps and an attachment system for an ice axe. The Arcteryx Brize 32 daypack has a semi-rigid construction for better weight distribution (heavy loads).

 

Pros:

  • Space
  • Pockets
  • Semi-rigid construction

Cons:

  • Weight

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3. The most attractive product in the review

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