A daypack is a must-have for a day out in the nature or exploring a new city. Daypacks are also handy as a carry-on luggage on flights and roadtrips. Some people even take it to the office. With hundreds of bags from different brands flooding the market, it can be challenging to choose the best daypack. We’ve reviewed some of the most popular daypacks. Below you’ll find our personal favorites.
How to Choose a Daypack?
Before I introduce you to my personal selection of daypacks, I’d like to highlight some factors that are important to consider when choosing a daypack. There are five main factors that differenciate a good daypack from a conventional bag or backpack.
The first and most important difference is the comfort. Daypacks often have a soft yet stable backpanel and straps which make them comfortable to wear without moving around on your back as you move.
Secondly, good daypacks focus on practicality. Multiple compartments on the inside are an absolute must-have, an additional pocket on the straps (e.g. for your smartphone) and extra straps are a nice addition.
Next, look at the size of the daypack, which depends on your personal preference. The ideal daypack is large enough to fit all your personal items that you’ll need during the day, including some food and water. Generally said, a volume between 16-22 liters is the best choice for a daytrip. If you have a lot to carry, opt for a volume of 22 or 24 liters.
Another factor to consider is the material: many daypacks are made of nylon fabric, which is more weather resistant compared to convential leather/cotton fabric bags.
5. Tare Weight
Lastly, a good daypack should also have a low tare weight (the weight of your empty backpack itself).
Best Daypacks (Review 2021)
Deuter Speed Lite 22
My personal favorite are the lightweight bags from Deuter. They are super comfortable, practical and – as the name implies – lightweight, which has made my daytrips so much more comfortable. If you’re a hiker looking for a bag that’s made to maximize your performance, the Deuter Speed Lite 22 is your best bet. It is constructed with lightweight, high-tenacity materials in a tight webbing structure making it tearproof. Plus, it has an excellent harness system that makes the bag really close to the body yet still comfortable. In addition, the V-shaped back panel helps a lot in balancing the bag to the center when you’re wearing it.
- Volume: 22 liters
- Weight: 1.28 lbs (580 g)
- Dimensions: 15.1 x 11.5 x 4 inches (38 x 29 x 10 cm)
- Very lightweight making it great for day trails
- Multiple compartments with 3 exterior pockets
- Compatible with 3.0 litre drinking system/bag
Osprey Talon 22
The Osprey Talon 22 is an incredibly versatile backpack that could be used for a bunch of different activities such as hiking, biking, trekking. If you live in a cold climate or you’re into winter sports activities, you’ll love the AirScape™ suspension feature. The latest ensures a breathable close to body fit of the backpack. The daypack comes with a pole and helment attachment and a flexible harness and hip belt that allow more dynamic movement. The overall fit and comfort of the bag are amazing; it feels like the bag is a part of your body. There’s also a special female version of this daypack called the Tempest 20, which has a slightly different fit built specifically designed for women.
- Volume: 22 litres
- Weight: 1.34 lbs
- Dimensions 18 x 11 x 11 inches
- AirScape™ suspension system makes the bag feel like a part of your body
- External hydration reservoir sleeve
- Multiple compartments and handy extras (hipbelt pockets, lidlock helmet attachment, attachment for blinker lights…)
The North Face Diad Pro 22 Pack
The North Face Diad Pro 22 pack is a great choice for those who focus on functionality. This daypack is lightweight and stowable and comes with some handy features. It has padded back panel folds, a hydration pack sleeve and sternum straps. In terms of design however, it’s not as fancy as the Deuter or Osprey daypacks mentioned above. While it doesn’t have a fancy suspension system or padded hip belts, the North Face Diad Pro 22 is great if you’re looking for a functional daypack which can handle your essentials for hiking and be quickly stowed away.
- Volume: 22 liters
- Weight: 0.87 lbs
- Dimensions: 21 x 11 x 9 inches (53 x 28 x 23 cm)
- Functional daypack with minimalistic design
- Large mesh pockets and hydration pack sleeve
- Sternum straps
Osprey Stratos 24
For those who prefer the panel-loading type of organization and at the same time want the agility of a backpack, the Osprey Stratos 24 is the perfect choice. Although this model is a bit heavier than the previously mentioned daypacks, it does have more features. The Osprey Stratos 24 has an integrated rain cover that will keep your valuables dry when the weather goes bad. Further additional features include a stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment, zippered hip pockets, an internal hydration system and bungee tie-off to hold various tools in place.
- Volume: 24 litres
- Weight: 2.46 lbs
- Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 12 inches
- Integrated rain cover
- Hip pockets for easy access of phone and wallet
- An AirSpeed suspension system for a customized fit for every hiker
The North Face Borealis
If you’re looking for a backpack that is able to carry your stuff for a weekend and at the same time allows you to stroll around the city with comfort, The North Face Borealis backpack is perfect for you. Thanks to its improved FlexVent technology suspension system, this backpack has improved all-day comfort. This model has a volume of 28 liters (a decent size for a weekend trip without looking bulky). It has multiple pockets for easy organization of your stuff. The North Face Borealis has a water repellent finish (depending on the model!) so you don’t have to worry about light to medium rain.
- Volume: 28 litres
- Weight: 0.9 lbs
- Dimensions: 19.75 x 13.25 x 9.75 inches
- FlexVent suspension system offers all-day comfort
- Water repellent finish (depending on color variant)
- Dedicated and protective laptop compartment
Herschel Little America Backpack
Not looking for a typical hiking backpack? If you’re just looking for a practical daypack to carry your important stuff wherever you go, the Herschel Little America is right for you. This daypack has a padded, extra-soft laptop compartment that allows you to carry a (small) laptop safely. It’s a great choice when going to the office or if carry your laptop to work in a café or external workspace. Additionally, you can of course use it for your next citytrip, walk in the park or in daily life if you like backpacks more than conventional handbags.
- Volume: 17 litres
- Weight: 1.74 lbs
- Dimensions 16 x 10.75 x 5 inches
- Seamless and minimalistic design
- Extra-soft and cushioned laptop compartment
- Breathable air mesh padding for comfort
Matador DL16 Packable Backpack
Ever tried traveling to another country/city with too much luggage? If you want to bring another daypack without having to physically bring another piece of luggage that you have to check in the airport, the Matador packable backpack is the solution you’re looking for! This backpack can be folded into a pouch as small as your palm. This unique feature allows you to pack an extra daypack on flights, for city walks, short hikes, and camping trips. Thanks to its adjustable and breathable shoulder straps, you won’t have to sacrifice on comfort. The Matador is made of waterproof 30D Cordura fabric with water-resistant zippers, making it a very versatile daypack for any outdoor adventure.
- Volume: 16 litres
- Weight: 4.4 ounce
- Dimensions: 18.11″ (H) x 12.01″ (W) x 7.87″ (D)
- Very lightweight and foldable
- Waterproof fabric and water-resistant zippers
- 2 mesh side-pockets
TIMBUK2 Hero Backpack
The Timbuk2 Hero backpack is certainly standing out in terms of design compared to the other daypacks on this list. It features a stylish colorway with a modern roll-top design. Its front zip pocket allows easy organization of your important stuff. Furthermore, the daypack comes with a 15″ laptop compartment and a wide mouth main compartment. Its modern design combined with functionality make it a great choice for freelancers and influencers traveling around the city.
- Volume: 21 litres
- Weight: 1.88 lbs
- 15″ laptop compartment
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Modern and unique design
|Daypacks||Features||See on Amazon|
|Deuter Speed Lite 22||Super comfortable and light. constructed with lightweight, high-tenacity materials in a tight webbing structure making it tearproof. Has an excellent harness system.||Buy on Amazon|
|Osprey Talon 22||Very versatile backpack. Has the AirScape™suspension system that makes it breathable and close to the body.||Buy on Amazon|
|The North Face Diad Pro 22||Lightweight and stowable. Has padded back panel folds, a hydration pack sleeve, and sternum straps. Although it doesn’t have a fancy suspension system or padded hip belts||Buy on Amazon|
|Osprey Stratos 24||Has a panel-loading type of organization with the versatility of a backpack. Features an integrated rain cover although it is a little heavier than the previous backpacks.||Buy on Amazon|
|The North Face Borealis||Has an improved FlexVent technology suspension system for all-day comfort. Has multiple pockets for easy organization of your stuff. Water repellent finish depending on the model.||Buy on Amazon|
|Herschel Little America Backpack||Has great looks for city trips. Features a padded laptop compartment to keep your laptop safe.||Buy on Amazon|
|Matador DL16 Packable Backpack||Stowable, waterproof and ultralight. Perfect for bringing an extra backpack on your travels.||Buy on Amazon|
|TIMBUK2 Hero Backpack||Has a stylish colorway and modern roll-top design. Has a 15” laptop compartment.||Buy on Amazon|
The Final Verdict
If you’re looking for a classical hiking daypack to go on adventures in style and comfort, then the best choice would be the Deuter Speed Lite 22. It’s extremely lightweight, has a very comfortable build and is very stylish.
More sophisticated (and also slightly higher priced than Deuter) are the Osprey daypacks: Osprey Talon 22, Osprey Stratos 24 and Tempest 20.
If you’re just looking for a daybag to take your essentials while wandering around the city or don’t like the look of a classical hiking daypack, the Herschel Little America and the Timbuk2 Hero are stylish and practical choices.