So what’s the best daypack for hiking you can get today in 2020? There is no easy and obvious answer when you see the sheer number of small backpacks that are available on the market! Here are some backpacks designed to be used for shorter hikes that last a few hours to a whole day.
I always do tons of day hikes when I am traveling, and I have been frustrated more than once with low quality and poorly designed packs. We all like dirt cheap stuff but for something as essential as a backpack, it is better to spend a little bit more and seek a good value for money, instead of going for the lowest price.
Some day hikes have been highlights in my trips and I know that a good, reliable and durable backpack can only make it more pleasant, comfortable and hassle-free. Luckily, it is possible to find great daypacks at a very affordable price.
Everyone has different needs and personal preferences, but I believe that you can find on this page 5 daypacks that are really good and suit the needs of most day hikers.
The 5 Best Daypacks for Hiking of 2020
Teton Sports Oasis 1200 Hydratation PackOur Top Pick
Teton sports is a well known brand for backpacking and hiking backpacks, and their products have proven to be high quality and durable.
The Teton Sports Oasis 1200 is suitable for both men and women and is easy to adjust to most body sizes. It comes with a 3-liter hydratation bladder that makes it really convenient to drink anytime during the hike without needing take off your bag to grab a bottle of water every time you get thirsty.
The integrated rain cover makes sure everything stays dry inside, and the clever compression straps prevent your gear from bouncing in your bag as you are walking. It was designed to offer maximal comfort, and the waist belt is a real bonus.
In my opinion, this daypack has the perfect size and comes with all the necessary features, for a great price. It is my top pick.
- Weight: 1.1 kg / 2.45 lbs
- Capacity: 20L / 1200 cubic in
- Dimensions: 49.5 x 30.5 x 24 cm / 19.5 x 12 x 9.5 in
- Great overall quality
- Included 3-liter drinking bladder
- Water resistant + rain cover
- Compression straps
- Lifetime warranty
- The bladder could have been of a better quality
- Not as lightweight as some other daypacks
Another best-selling daypack, the Venture Pal Hiking Daypack is available in various colors. It is great for those who need more room inside the bag, but still want it to be lightweight and reasonably small. When you are not using it, you can fold it inside the small provided pocket – which is pretty cool!
It was designed wih hikers in mind, and made of water-resistant materials (but I honestly doubt this is as effective as a rain cover). It also has the right size to be used as a carry-on bag on the plane. Overall a good option, coming with a lifetime warranty.
- Weight: 320 g / 0.7 lb
- Capacity: 35 L / 2135 cubic in
- Dimensions: 51 x 33 x 19 cm / 20 x 13 x 7.5 in
- Folded dimensions: 23 x 22 x 5.6 cm / 9 x 8.5 x 2.2 in
- Strong build
- Water-resistant material
- May not be as durable in very rough conditions
- Water resistant only to a certain extent
This Diamond Candy backpack is ideal if you need to carry a lot of geard uring your hikes, offering a capacity of with tons of pockets, including a laptop compatment. It seems that the advertized 40 liters are in reality a little closer to 30+ liters, but I still decided to list it here because other than that it’s a great daypack for hiking.
I know too well how it can be a struggle sometimes to fit all your electronic equipment in the daypack. A larger pack like this one can really be a good option.
The backpack is made of water-resistant materials, and includes a rain cover to make sure everything stays dry inside. You can easily drinking bladder to it, but is sold separately.
This daypack offers a good value for money and comes in many colors.
- Weight: 880 g / 1.94 lbs
- Capacity: 40L / 2440 cubic in
- Dimensions: 50 x 32 x 20 cm / 19.7 x 12.6 x 7.9 in
- Very roomy
- Features a laptop compartment
- Good quality material
- Water resistant + rain cover
- Great value for money
- May actually be closer to 30 L than 40 L
This 18-liter daypack by Rupumpack has enough capacity for most uses (but may be a little small if you are the type who transports a lot of gear) and boasts interesting features for the hiker. First of all, it is pretty well designed with various compartments and pockets. In addition, it is also very lightweight which is always a good point, and made of water-resistant fabric.
The main feature of this daypack is the 2.5-liter bladder that is included, along with an insulation sheet able to keep your water cool for as much as 4 hours. The full bladder does take up some space in the bag, obviously, but if you don’t go crazy about all the gear you take with you it can be a really good option to consider.
- Weight: 650 g / 1.4 lbs
- Capacity: 18 L / 1100 cubic in
- Dimensions: 45 x 25 x 15 cm / 17.7 x 9.8 x 5.9 in
- Good quality
- Included 2.5L bladder with insulation
- Many pockets and compartments
- Can be a little small, specially with a full bladder
- No rain cover is included
The Reinos Hydratation Backpack is yet another good option for a small-medium sized good quality hiking daypack. It is not known what is the exact capacity of this backpack, but it looks like 15-18 liters in my opinion.
Its main characteristic is the included 2-liter drinking bladder, kept cool by a clever insulation system. If you don’t like carrying tons of gear and just want to take with you a good sandwitch, your sunglasses and your camera on top of the bladder, this backpack is probably one of the best options you have for 2019.
Exact weight, capacity and dimensions information is unavailable.
- Good quality materials
- Included 2-liter bladder with insulation
- Waist belt
- Lots of pockets
- Great value for money
- Maybe a little small
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hiking Daypack?
Experienced hikers know that a good daypack is essential and saves a lot of hassle on the road. But what do you need to pay attention to when choosing your next hiking daypack? Let’s take a closer look at the most important factors to consider:
Weight: This is of course an important factor to consider, since this weight directly ends up on your shoulders! Obviously, the most lightweight the better, but you need to pay attention to the backpack’s quality. Some daypack models are incredibly lightweight, but this is sometimes achieved by employing extremely thin materials to make the pack. I wouldn’t trust the durability of a very thin fabric in very rough conditions or if you need to carry heavy gear.
Waterproofing: A hiking daypack absolutely needs to be reasonably waterproof. I know that 100% waterproof is hard to achieve unless you take a dry bag with you, but it is still important to have ways to keep your stuff dry inside your daypack as well.
Nowadays, most daypacks designed for hiking are made of water-resistant fabric – they can take some rain and prevent the water from going in your bag. But it usually works to some extent only and if you are under a heavy downpour, I really doubt a so-called water resistant fabric alone is going to keep your gear dry. For this reason, I think it is better to rely on a good rain cover.
If your daypack is made of water-resistant fabric AND has a rain cover, it’s even better!
Hydratation bladder: Hydratation packs are more and more popular these days and make great hiking daypacks. Some of the daypacks presented on this page (including our top pick!) are hydratation packs. Personally, I would consider a bladder as a nice-to-have feature, and the priority would remain on the quality and potential durability of the backpack.
However, this is entirely a personal choice. I know some people wouldn’t leave on a hike without their bladder. If you choose to have one, make sure it is FDA-approved, and that its quality is excellent to avoid leaking (obviously). A large opening is an important element, both for easy access to clean the inside of the bladder, and for the possibility to put some ice cubes in your water.
Some hydratation packs even include an insulation layer to keep your water cool for up to 4 or 5 hours which is pretty smart and very interesting for us hikers.
Compression straps: Compression straps are nice little feature that is often underrated but can significantly improve the level of comfort during the hike. The goal of these straps is make sure the stuff in your pack doesn’t move around as you are walking. Not only it is never cool when the gear in your pack becomes a mess, but moving gear can be really uncomfortable and doesn’t help you balance.
Waist Belt: A waist belt is always good to have on a backpack, whether it is a large backpacking pack or a smaller day hiking backpack. Even if you don’t load your daypack with lots of heavy things, at the end of the day you do feel the weight accumulating on your shoulders.
A waist belt help take a part of the weight off your shoulders, distributing it evenly between your shoulders and your hips. In addition, it helps avoiding your pack to move too much while you are walking, complementing the compression straps.
Back panel: It is a good idea to choose a daypack that has good quality back panel with foam for comfort and an aeration system to evacuate the sweat on your back. Nothing worse than having your back drenched in sweat when your skin can’t breathe because of a badly designed backpack!
Cost: Of course, price is an important factor to consider as well. Daypacks come at various prices, and you always get what you pay for… but I think it is definitely possible to finda very good hiking daypack for less than $50. Unless you go for the super cheap ones that will break apart or have a faulty zip after a couple hikes, most decent backpacks nowadays offer a good value for money.
What is The Perfect Size for a Hiking Backpack?
That’s a tricky question because the answer is… it depends! The daypacks featured on this page are between 18 and 40 liters.
For a “normal” smaller backpack for someone who don’t have that much to carry, I would say 15-25 liters is fine. If you need to carry a more stuffs that typically take a lot of volume such as a rolled jacket, plus a big DSLR camera, plus a big bottle of water, etc… I would look at 25-35 liter daypacks.
But generally, I would say around 20 liters is a good size for a daypack.
How Did You Choose The Top Pick?
Each of these 5 daypacks are great for hiking. Some a smaller, some are bigger, some have a drinking bladder, some don’t… At the end of the day,it is up to you to see which one of these packs would suit your needs best.
My top pick is the backpack that I feel would be suitable for a majority of hikers, offering a good build quaity, valuable features and a great value for money. So if you are not too sure of what to get, I suggest this one!
But again this is just my opinion, that’s why I am presenting 5 different daypacks so you can make an educated choice.
This is the end of this guide to choosing the best daypack for hiking of 2019. There are many great daypacks on the market these days and it’sreally not easy to be sure we are making the best choice possible. This guide is here to help you and I hope it was valuable to you.
Whichever daypack you end up choosing, I believe you can’t go wrong with the 5 presented on this page, and you’ll be ready for some awesome hikes.
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