Are you getting overwhelmed trying to search through all of the best hiking daypacks for your next adventure? Having a good quality, and durable daypack is essential when you are hiking as it can keep all your necessities in a safe, secure, and comfortable place. The versatility of daypacks means you can also use them when out biking, or even for work.

It might seem like you can just buy any old backpack and call it a day, but when you are looking for a daypack especially for hiking, there are certain features and factors you should consider. After all, when you are out hiking you are likely to be exposed to all sorts of weather conditions, as well as different surroundings and terrain. Your favorite fashionable backpack just won’t cut it!

best daypacks for hiking

EDITOR’S CHOICE (WOMEN)

Osprey Sirrus 36

best hiking daypack women osprey sirrus 36
  • Waterproof rain cover that can be detached

  • Comfortable to wear

  • Vibrant color options

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EDITOR’S CHOICE (MEN)

Osprey Stratos 36

best hiking daypack men stratos
  • Very spacious

  • Super comfortable

  • Detachable trekking pole attachment

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BEST OVERALL (WOMEN)

Osprey Tempest 20

best hiking daypack women tempest
  • Made from durable material

  • Weight can be easily distributed

  • Spacious

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BEST OVERALL (MEN)

Osprey Talon 22

best hiking daypack men talon
  • Great range of vibrant colors

  • Waterproof cover to shelter the pack from rain

  • Lots of pockets inside and outside for extra storage

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Best Hiking Daypacks

Steve and I are hiking enthusiasts, and so, over the years we have researched and purchased our fair share of hiking daypacks. We’ve learned a lot about what is needed from a daypack. We are going to share our five favorite hiking daypacks and tell you all about the key features of each of them.

As well as this, we have poured all of our daypack knowledge into an informative Buyers’ Guide in order to give you all the information you need to buy your own hiking daypack. We go over all of the desirable features of a daypack, and any factors you may need to consider before buying one. So, if you are looking for an upgrade on your current hiking daypack, or looking for advice on buying your first one ever, then hopefully you find this useful!

EDITOR’S CHOICE (WOMEN)

1. Osprey Sirrus 36

best hiking daypack women osprey sirrus 36
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This stylish bag has fashion and functionality at its core. The ventilated back panel has an adjustable shoulder harness for a comfortable fit.

There are also hip belt pockets on there and mesh pockets on the sides of the bag for even more storage, it comes with a trekking pole attachment to make your life easier whilst hiking. There is also an integrated rain cover to keep the contents of your pack dry that can be removed when not in use.

Pros

  • Great color options

  • Comfortable fit

  • Large size

  • Great waterproof features

Cons

  • We could find no negative points about this daypack. It is a great choice that we go back to again and again!

EDITOR’S CHOICE (MEN)

2. Osprey Stratos 36

best hiking daypack men stratos
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This is very much like the women’s daypack that we reviewed above and has the same features such as the detachable waterproof cover, attachment for trekking poles, and mesh pockets. It is available in a different range of colors, though it is bigger in capacity than the women’s version.

This is the daypack Steve uses to carry all of his camera gear on our trips. It is plenty big enough with a side slot for his tripod. Steve’s favorite feature is the tensioned mesh back panel which allows air to flow through between his back and the pack.

Pros

  • It can hold an impressive 50 liters

  • Comfortable straps and harness

  • Detachable trekking poles attachment

  • Durable material

Cons

  • Like the women’s version, this daypack is an excellent choice and we have no negative points to report.

BEST OVERALL (WOMEN)

3. Osprey Tempest 20

best hiking daypack women tempest
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This is the daypack Michelle wears and she loves it! Osprey is certainly a brilliant choice when it comes to purchasing your own daypack. We are only a short way into the article and already they have cropped up for the third time! This Osprey model, the Tempest, is a fantastic durable and lightweight daypack for all your hiking needs.

It is available in a wide range of colors, and like the two Osprey packs we have just reviewed, also features an attachment for your trekking poles, excellent amounts of space, and a waterproof rain cover.

Pros

  • A waterproof cover that can be detached when not in use

  • Spacious pack

  • Room to hold a 3 liter water bottle in the mesh pocket

  • Durable material

Cons

  • Yet another excellent choice, and with the revered 5 Star rating on AMAZON, finding a list of cons seems impossible. We love this daypack!

BEST OVERALL (MEN)

4. Osprey Talon 22

best hiking daypack men talon
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Yet another 5 Star rated product from Osprey, so of course it had to feature as one of our ‘Best Overall’ choices. This daypack is the men’s version of the Tempest we reviewed above. Like the Tempest, it is spacious and made from a durable material.

The waterproof covering that Osprey is known for also features on this Talon daypack, as does the attachment for trekking poles. There are also four vibrant colors to choose from.

Pros

  • Great choice of colors

  • Comfortable fit when in use

  • Lightweight

  • Hip belt for extra support and to evenly distribute the weight of the pack

Cons

  • Yet another Osprey product where finding even one ‘Con’ proves difficult.

BEST VALUE (UNISEX)

5. Osprey Daylite Plus

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Just because you are on a budget, does not mean you cannot get a good quality hiking daypack. This Osprey Daylite Plus pack is a great choice for someone looking for a reliable and durable hiking companion. It has a total volume of 20 liters, making it plenty roomy for everything you need to take with you. The pack has foam paneling for comfort, as well as interior and exterior pockets for extra storage space.

There is less in the way of extra support than the other Osprey packs on our list, but that makes it the perfect choice for shorter hikes and walks away from basecamp and back. It comes in three color choices too, meaning you don’t have to compromise on style from your budget buy! As with all Osprey models, this is an impressive pack for the price.

Pros

  • Durable materials used

  • Comfortable on the back thanks to foam paneling

  • Spacious enough for all your daily needs

  • Can be attached to other Osprey packs if needed

Cons

  • A little bit less supportive than some packs since it does not have a hip or chest harness to distribute weight

Best of the Rest

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This unisex pack from Deuter comes ina range of colors to suit all preferences. It is very lightweight whilst still being roomy enough for 20 liters in total. It features a wet pocket that is waterproof, meaning you can put your damp clothes in there without worrying about getting everything else soaked!

There is also a valuable pocket to keep your wallet, devices, and keys. The panel is comfortable and breathable, ensuring it will be comfortable to wear. It also features a removable waist buckle to distribute weight evenly.

Pros

  • Lots of room thanks to the 20 liter capacity

  • Waterproof inside pocket for soggy clothes

  • The weight of the pack can be evenly distributed to ensure a more comfortable fit.

Cons

  • It is quite a narrow pack, and so if you have a wide pack it may not be suitable for you

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We liked this daypack because of its wrap around design. This means that the weight of the pack is evenly distributed around the front and back of your body, easing the pressure on your shoulders.

This is the men’s version and so it is tailored towards broader backs and shoulders. It is made from durable materials and features a soft touch pocket for accessories and valuables.

Pros

  • Durable material

  • The weight of the pack can be evenly distributed

  • Very spacious

  • Made with broad backs and shoulders in mind

Cons

  • It is less budget-friendly than some others on the list

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This durable daypack is the women’s version of the Gregory Miwok pack we reviewed above. Like the Miwok, the Maya is comfortable, with the option of distributing the overall weight of the pack across your body.

It is made from a breathable material and also features lots of pockets inside and out for extra storage of things like sunglasses and valuables. There are only three color options but all of them are vibrant and stylish.

Pros

  • Comfortable to wear

  • Spacious with lots of pockets to fit in everything you need

  • Designed for women specifically

  • It also has a hip belt so that the pack can wrap around and be distributed around your body more easily

Cons

  • A little slimmer in design than some others on the list

Hiking Daypacks Buyers’ Guide

Comfort

One of the best ways you can ensure you have ultimate comfort is to invest in a daypack that can also be fastened around your chest. This spreads out the weight of the daypack more easily and puts less strain on your back and shoulders. As well as this, it is also important to look for straps that will be comfortable for you. You can get padded shoulders straps which can be far comfier than thin ones that dig in. you may also want to consider the number of buckles and fastening areas on the straps, looking at where on the straps they are placed.

Another thing to consider is the thickness of the material used for the main part of the daypack. It is well worth investing in a hiking daypack made from thick, durable material that will protect your back from the lumps and bumps of the contents inside it.

The activity you are planning

Of course, we know that you want a hiking daypack for hiking. However, it would be wise to consider what sort of hikes you will be doing, and whether you may also want to use your daypack during other activities too, for example, trail running, and biking.

This can help determine things such as bag size, the weight of the bag, what you need to put in the bag, and whether you want to choose a waterproof daypack.

What you need to carry in the bag

The contents of your daypack will vary from person to person because what you deem as essential may not be the same as someone else. For this reason, you may well want to check how much weight it can bear.

If you feel that the items you want to put in there are too heavy then it is worth investing in a bigger daypack that can hold more weight.

Weight of the bag

This links to the previous section, because not only do you need to consider how much weight the daypack can hold, but you should also take into account the weight of the daypack itself. Ideally, you will not want anything that is going to add excessive amounts of weight. After all, the items that you will be filling the hiking daypack with will be heavy enough anyway.

That being said, it is also very important that the daypack you choose is sturdy enough to hold all of your items, as well as being able to withstand harsh weather conditions, rocks, and trees. Choose a daypack that has lightweight but durable material and you will not go far wrong!

Color and style

In our opinion, there is no reason why any of your hiking gear cannot be fashionable. At the very least, it should be something that you like the look of even if nobody else does. Consider what style and color you want from your hiking daypack.

Perhaps you want to color coordinate with your hiking shoes or boots. Or maybe you want something dark colored so that it is less likely to look grubby when it undoubtedly gets mud splattered all over it in rainy weather. The main thing is that you like it. Don’t let anyone tell you that style is a frivolity. Functionality can be fashionable, you know!

Conclusion

Just like that our article is over, and you have (hopefully) found your new hiking daypack. Just to recap, we thought that the Best Overall Hiking Daypacks just had to be the Osprey Talon for men, and the Osprey Tempest for women. Of course, if these are not suitable, you will love the Editors’ Choice that we have also featured on the list which may be better suited to some people depending on their needs. If either of these doesn’t seem right for you, take your pick from the others on our list and you are sure to be pleased with your choice!

However, if none of the hiking daypacks on our list appeal to you then there is no need to worry. Our handy Buyers’ Guide was designed for just that reason, as it can give you all of the information you will possibly need to try and buy the best daypack for your needs. After all, it is a very personal choice and one that you must feel comfortable with. We’d love to hear what your Best Ever Daypacks are!

Don’t forget to read our Best Ever Guide to Day Hiking!

go hiking guide to day hiking