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Looking for the perfect daypack for your next hike? Check out our list of the 10 best daypacks for hiking! These packs are perfect for short hikes, long hikes, and everything in between. They are made from high-quality materials and feature many different pockets and compartments to help you stay organized on the trail. Plus, they come in various colors and styles to suit your taste.

We will provide you with a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right one for your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there is a daypack out there that is perfect for you. Keep reading to learn more.

Hiking Daypack Buying Guide

When looking for the best daypack for hiking, it’s essential to consider a few factors. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:

Design

The daypack design is one of the most important factors to consider. After all, you will be carrying it on your back for long periods. Look for a daypack with a comfortable and breathable back panel as well as padded shoulder straps.

Additionally, consider the features that are important to you, such as trekking pole attachment. Make sure that the daypack has all the features you need before making your purchase.

Most importantly, consider the backpack frame as it plays a significant role in how comfortable the daypack is to carry.

Ergonomics

The ergonomics of the daypack are also important to consider. Make sure that the shoulder straps and hip belts are adjustable so you can find the perfect fit for your body. The hip belt should help distribute the pack’s weight evenly across your hips, making carrying it a lot more comfortable.

Additionally, look for a daypack with excellent lumbar padding, as this will provide additional support and comfort on those long hikes.

Lastly, ensure that all zippers and seams on the backpack are adequately sealed to prevent water from seeping in.

Material

The material of the daypack is also vital to consider as it needs to be durable and water-resistant. Nylon is a popular choice for hiking backpacks as it is lightweight and robust. However, make sure that the backpack is also available in different colors so you can find one that best suits your style.

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Compartments

How many compartments does the daypack have? Does it have enough space to store all your belongings? If you plan on going on longer hikes, make sure that the daypack has enough space to store all the necessary items.

Additionally, consider how well-organized the backpack is. Does it have several small pockets and compartments for easy access to your belongings? Make sure that the daypack is organized in a way that makes sense for you so you can easily find what you’re looking for when you need it.

Lastly, ensure that the zippers are of good quality as they will be used often and need to be durable.

You also want to make sure that there is some compression system in place so you can cinch down the backpack when it’s not full. This will help keep the daypack’s weight more evenly distributed and make it easier to carry.

Water Reservoir and Bladder Storage

Consider a few things if you are looking for a daypack that includes a water reservoir or bladder storage. First, make sure that the size of the reservoir is adequate for your needs. If you plan on hiking for long periods, you will want to choose a daypack with a larger reservoir.

Additionally, make sure that the opening of the reservoir is large enough so you can easily fill it up with water. Some reservoirs also include drinking tubes which help keep your hands free while hiking.

Lastly, check to see if the daypack has any insulation in place to help keep your water cooler for longer. This can be especially helpful on hot days when you need all the cold hydration you can get.

Other Useful Features

When choosing a daypack, there are a few other useful features to consider. First, does the daypack come with a built-in rain cover? This can be extremely helpful in inclement weather.

Additionally, some daypacks also come with an integrated whistle for emergencies. This can be a lifesaver if you ever find yourself lost or injured while hiking. Moreover, aspects like trekking poles/ice axe straps are great for securing your tools while you’re on the go.

Lastly, consider the warranty that is offered with the daypack. Some companies offer lifetime warranties which is always a good sign.

Best Daypacks for Hiking

Below is the list of the best daypacks for hiking based on our findings:

1. Mountain Hardwear JMT 25L Backpack Unisex and Women’s

Weight: ~ 2.3lbs, Volume: 25L

View on Mountain Hardwear (unisex/women’s) or Backcountry (unisex/women’s)

If you’re looking for a versatile daypack that can be used for both hiking and travel, the Mountain Hardwear JMT 25L Backpack is a great option. It is made from durable materials and features a variety of compartments and pockets to help you stay organized. The pack also comes with a rain cover to keep your belongings safe and dry in bad weather.

The Mountain Hardwear JMT 25L Backpack is perfect for hikers of all levels and can be used for short day hikes or long multi-day trips. It has a comfortable fit that makes it easy to carry, and the hip belt helps distribute the weight evenly. Plus, it has a spring steel frame that allows for flex mobility, making it an excellent option for technical hikes.

Pros

  • Fully padded shoulder straps and hip belt
  • Ideal for Rock Climbing, Backpacking / Hiking, Camping
  • Lightweight yet super durable

Cons

  • Only available in a single color

2. Gregory Nano 22 H2O Hydration Pack

Includes water bladder

Weight: ~ 1.1lbs, Volume: 22L

View on REI

This frameless daypack is perfect for hikers who want a lightweight and compact option. The Gregory Nano 22 H20 Hydration Pack has an easy-pull top drawcord opening mechanism that gives you quick and easy access to your belongings. The pack also has a built-in rain cover and an external hydration sleeve.

It also includes a 3L, quick-drying hydration bladder sleeve and comes with a hose that makes it easy to drink water on the go. Above all, there are plenty of pockets to help you stay organized, including a front pocket for small items and an internal zippered pocket for valuables.

Pros

  • Custom comfort-grip molded zipper pulls
  • Plenty of storage space
  • A removable webbing hip-belt helps balance your load

Cons

  • Only available in a single size

3. TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack

Includes water bladder

Weight: ~ 2.0lbs, Volume: 18L

View on Amazon

If you are looking for rugged durability, the TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack is a superb option. It’s made from high-quality materials using ripstop construction and can withstand all kinds of wear and tear. 

The best thing is its ease of use. You can access the main compartment quickly and easily with a two-way zipper, and there is plenty of space to store your belongings.

It has ample capacity with a 2L bladder, perfect for long hikes. Plus, the TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can be sure it will last for years to come.

Pros

  • Available in a range of fresh colors
  • Offers fast and easy access to the main compartment
  • New reflective print provides an extra layer of safety

Cons

  • Its design may not excite everyone

4. Osprey Talon 22 Men’s and Tempest 20 Women’s

Weight: ~ 2.0lbs, Volume: 22/20L

View on Osprey (men’s/women’s) or Backcountry (men’s/women’s)

Hikers looking for comfort over looks will find the perfect daypack in the Osprey Talon 22 or Tempest 20. The daypack incorporates an injection-molded, die-cut foam AirScape back panel that forms a breathable, snuggly fit. That is, it is designed to contour to your body shape and distribute weight evenly, making it comfortable to carry on long hikes. 

Moreover, it is made using high-tenacity nylon, PVC-free, making it environmentally friendly.

Choose from a variety of colors and sizes.

Pros

  • Lightweight pack offers optimal stability
  • Constructed using high-quality, sustainable materials
  • Innovative design creates a breathable, close-to-body fit

Cons

  • There is a blinker light attachment, but you have to buy the light separately

5. REI Co-op Trail 25 Daypack Men’s and Women’s

Weight: ~ 2.0lbs, Volume: 25L

View on REI (men’s/women’s)

If you are looking for an all-in-one carry bag that will cater to your daily hike, commuting, and travel needs, the REI Co-op Trail 25 Pack is a terrific option.

The daypack has ample room for your belongings, with several organizational pockets and compartments to help you stay organized. It also comes with a built-in rain cover that stows in its own zip pocket!

The HDPE frame sheet adds sturdiness and structure to the daypack that helps distribute the weight evenly, making it comfortable to carry on long hikes.

Pros

  • Made using recycled nylon material
  • Comes with an inner sleeve for a hydration reservoir
  • Straps are padded and mesh-covered, making them cool and comfortable

Cons

  • Expensive for a daypack

6. Deuter Speed Lite 26L

Weight: ~ 1.8lbs, Volume: 26L

View on Backcountry

If you are one of those people who doesn’t plan hikes but love to go on quick-and-light pursuits, the Deuter Speed Lite 26L Backpack is perfect for you. It’s a lightweight backpack that comes with all the features you need to make your hike enjoyable without weighing you down.

The pack boasts a unique design. For starters, there are load adjusters and pull-forward hip fins to give you a close-to-body fit. Moreover, it has a flexible, tensioned frame that ensures good ventilation and a stable load.

Pros

  • Ultra-lightweight design
  • Offers a comfortable close-to-body fit
  • Has a massive capacity of 26L

Cons

  • Insanely expensive

7. Gregory Miwok 18 Men’s and Maya 16 Women’s

Weight: ~ 1.7lbs, Volume: 18/16L

View on REI (men’s/women’s)

The Gregory Miwok and Maya are perfect for hikers looking for a minimalist daypack with an innovative design. The pack has a sleek, modern look and feel without compromising functionality. It comes with all the features you need on your hike, including trekking pole attachments, ice axe loops, and side compression straps.

The daypack is made with durable nylon and has a breathable mesh back panel, making it comfortable to wear on long hikes. Plus, it is compatible with Gregory 3D Hydro reservoir so that you can stay hydrated on the go.

Pros

  • Lightweight and minimalist design
  • Breathable mesh back panel for comfort
  • Padded liner helps protect your sunglasses and electronics

Cons

  • Gregory 3D Hydro reservoir is sold separately

8. Osprey Manta 24 Men’s and Mira 22 Women’s

Weight: ~ 2.8lbs, Volume: 24/22L

View on Osprey (men’s/women’s)

The next on our hiking daypacks list is the Osprey Manta 24 and Mira 22, perfect for hikers looking for a versatile and durable pack. It comes with all the features you need on your hike, including four zippered pockets, three internal mesh pockets, and a spacious primary compartment.

The integrated rain cover and a heat-embossed, scratch-free zippered slash pocket add to the pack’s functionality. Plus, the mesh harness and back panel keep you cool and comfortable on those long hikes.

Pros

  • Highly ventilated and lightweight
  • Tensioned back panel keeps the weight in the pack off
  • Includes an Osprey Hydraulics® LT 2.5L reservoir

Cons

  • Expensive

9. Outlander Lightweight Hiking Daypack

Weight: ~ 0.5lbs, Volume: 20L

View on Amazon

This is the most affordable option on this list. The Outlander Lightweight Hiking Daypack comes in two size variants: 22L and 33L, so you can choose one based on your hiking needs. Moreover, the daypack is available in many colors — there is something for everyone.

The backpack is made of water-resistant and tear-resistant nylon material, making it perfect for those hikes where you are likely to encounter all kinds of weather. Plus, the breathable mesh back panel keeps you cool on those long days out in the sun.

Pros

  • Boasts several pockets for storage and organization
  • Water-resistant and durable
  • Available in multiple colors and two size variants

Cons

  • The zipper quality is poor

10. WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack

View on Amazon

The last on our list of the best daypacks for hiking is the WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack that, as the name suggests, can be used as a crossbody sling backpack or a handbag. It is perfect for those quick hikes and comes with features you need, including one main zippered pocket, two front pockets, and an adjustable shoulder strap.

This daypack is ideal for small hikes or picnics as there isn’t much space to store larger items. Plus, the shoulder strap can be a little uncomfortable if you’re carrying a heavier load.

Pros

  • Can be used as a crossbody sling backpack or handbag
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Available in multi-color designs

Cons

  • Shoulder strap is uncomfortable when carrying

Conclusion

That’s it for our list of the best daypacks for hiking! We hope that you found this guide helpful and can now choose the perfect backpack for your needs. If you’re planning an overnight hiking trip in the backcountry, then check our review of the best backpacking backpacks.

Happy hiking!