Top Daypacks Reviewed

Whether you’re hitting the outdoors for a day hike, trail running, or just out of the house working or running around town, a daypack can be a great asset for keeping your stuff together and easily accessible.

On the trail, a daypack is a great place to store things like water, snacks, phone, and any other knick-knack you need to carry.

As opposed to a bigger, more robust camping backpack, a daypack can be more convenient for shorter trips.

There are plenty of great daypacks to choose from, many of which we rank and review below.

You are sure to find a nice variety of sizes and styles to choose from.

Even if you’re not on the trail and just traveling around a good daypack can work well as an on-flight carry on, or just toting around the city running errands.

For more information on daypacks along with tips on finding the best daypack for your next adventure check out “Best Ultralight Packable Daypack For Hiking and Living in 2019“.

 

 

Top Daypacks Rankings

  1. Gregory Mountain Products Zulu 30 Liter Men’s Day Hiking Backpack

  2. Editors Rating:
    (4.9 / 5)

    Best Ultralight Option

    Weight 2.7
    Capacity 30L
    Cubic Inches 1830"
    Torso Length 21.5"
    Current Price from $131.81

    The Gregory Mountain Products Zulu 30 Liter Men’s Day Hiking Backpack is a dependable lightweight backpack perfect for the hiker who does a lot of day and overnight minimalist hikes. The bag itself is lightweight and will comfortably hold up to 25 pounds.

    Read our full review of the Gregory Mountain Products Zulu 30 Liter Men’s Day Hiking Backpack


  3. The North Face Router Daypack

  4. Editors Rating:
    (4.9 / 5)

    Best Overall Option

    Weight 3.5 lbs
    Capacity 41L
    Cubic Inches 2501"
    Torso Length 21"
    Hydration Pack No
    Current Price from $132.99

    The North Face Router Daypack is a great backpack to use as a flight carry-on or for the student who needs space and durability. The outer material is made from 500D Cordura® nylon matte ripstop fabric. This will add some toughness to the bag’s frame to help better secure all your stuff inside.

    Read our full review of the The North Face Router Daypack


  5. Badlands Superday Camouflage Hunting Backpack / Daypack

  6. Editors Rating:
    (4.8 / 5)

    Weight 4 lbs
    Capacity 21L
    Cubic Inches 1950"
    Torso Length 21"
    Hydration Pack Yes
    Current Price $199.85

    The Badlands Superday Camouflage Hunting Backpack Daypack is a great pack for the lightweight hunter who wants comfort in a backpack along with a place to carry a bow or rifle. There are built-in holsters for a pistol on both sides.

    Read our full review of the Badlands Superday Camouflage Hunting Backpack / Daypack


  7. Osprey Escapist 18 Daypacks

  8. Editors Rating:
    (4.7 / 5)

    Best Value

    Weight 1.75
    Capacity 18L
    Cubic Inches 1098"
    Torso Length 15"
    Hydration Pack Yes
    Current Price from $99.95

    The Osprey Escapist 18 Daypacks is a daypack built with the outdoorsman in mind but also integrates city-folk’s needs just the same. The bag isn’t large, however, if you only need it for a short hike or an airplane carry-on it will work perfectly.

    Read our full review of the Osprey Escapist 18 Daypacks


  9. Pacsafe Venturesafe 15L GII Anti-Theft Daypack

  10. Editors Rating:
    (4.7 / 5)

    Weight 1.85 lbs
    Capacity 15L
    Cubic Inches 915"
    Torso Length 17"
    Hydration Pack No
    Current Price from $99.95

    The Pacsafe Venturesafe 15L GII Anti-Theft Daypack is a great pack for traveling and working outside the office. Especially if security is your number one concern then this bag has your back. There’s a front pocket with RFID technology that will fit your wallet, passport, etc, along with the eXomesh Slashguard to protect the frame of the pack.

    Read our full review of the Pacsafe Venturesafe 15L GII Anti-Theft Daypack


  11. The North Face Jester Backpack

  12. Editors Rating:
    (4.3 / 5)

    Best Budget Option

    Weight 1.7 lbs
    Capacity 26L
    Cubic Inches 1586"
    Torso Length 19"
    Hydration Pack Yes
    Current Price from $46.95

    The The North Face Jester Backpack is a nice daypack that will work for both the dayhiker and college student. The 26L bag includes a spacious main compartment along with several spacious interior pockets to fit smaller items. Students love the space for notebooks, textbooks, and a laptop although there are no pockets specifically for a laptop.

    Read our full review of the The North Face Jester Backpack


  13. Osprey Escapist 32 Daypacks

  14. Editors Rating:
    (4.1 / 5)

    Weight 1.7
    Capacity 32L
    Cubic Inches 1952"
    Torso Length 21"
    Current Price from $226.76

    The Osprey Escapist 32 Daypacks is a great daypack for any short distance hikers, cyclists, and travelers who need a bigger, robust bag to fit everything while keeping all your stuff organized and in a specific place. Inside the pack, there are also specialized storage compartments to help keep things organized.

    Read our full review of the Osprey Escapist 32 Daypacks


  15. Osprey Packs Pixel Daypack

  16. Editors Rating:
    (4.1 / 5)

    Weight 1.9 lbs
    Capacity 22L
    Cubic Inches 1342"
    Torso Length 19"
    Hydration Pack No
    Current Price from $90.97

    The Osprey Packs Pixel Daypack is a stylish backpack for the 21st-century long-haul commuter, photographers, or anyone carrying a laptop and cords around. The pack is built with storing your tech in mind. There’s a specific compartment that fits a laptop, another for a tablet and even a tiny compartment that can fit a smartphone.

    Read our full review of the Osprey Packs Pixel Daypack


  17. Thule Subterra Daypack 25L

  18. Editors Rating:
    (3.9 / 5)

    Weight 2.35 lbs
    Capacity 25L
    Cubic Inches 1525"
    Torso Length 18.5
    Hydration Pack No
    Current Price from $102.92

    The Thule Subterra Daypack 25L is a great daypack for city slickers who have a lot to lug and are sticklers for organization. At 25L this bag is perfect for photographers, architects, and anyone who needs a sizable amount of space. This bag will provide comfort for your shoulders.

    Read our full review of the Thule Subterra Daypack 25L


Last update on 2019-07-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Daypacks Buying Guide 2019

How to Pick

Here are a few features that you may find useful in a daypack:

  • Hip Belt – Make the bag work for you while not exhausting yourself. Let the belt ride just above your hips for better weight distribution while your legs do most of the hauling. Extra padding is preferred.
  • Shoulder Straps – I recommend padded shoulder straps, especially if you’re planning on adding some weight to your pack.
  • Water Resistance/Rain Cover– Rain can be a bummer, even more so if it soaks the goodies inside your pack.
  • Front Loading– Being able to open your pack from the front is almost like having x-ray vision. While a lot of old school backpackers stick with their old top loaders, I’m not a huge fan of blindly feeling around my bag for something I need at that moment. At that point, it’s almost easier to just dump everything out and repack.
  • Stretch Mesh Side Pockets– Perfect for holding water bottles. Unless you get daypack with a hydration bladder, easy access to water bottles is essential.
  • Front Stash Pocket– It’s almost like having a second backpack

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Nick P

Nick spent his mostly unsupervised youth raising hell in the woods and ponds of 16 Acres in Springfield, MA (AKA Hell's Acres). He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and loves hitting the northeast trails when his schedule allows and camping on his roof deck when it doesn't.

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