While there are plenty of daypacks on the market that offer basic features like water bottle holders and chest straps, some packs stand out for being lightweight or having a lot of attachments for externally mounted gear. If you plan to use the pack while hiking, camping, or urban exploration in all kinds of weather, be sure to choose a pack that’s not only waterproof (which is a dime a dozen), but completely waterproof, which is less common. Read on for a look at the seven best daypacks we’d be happy to incorporate into any of our special adventures.
Best Daypack overall
This 22 liter daypack has sealed seams and a waterproof rolltop surface
As a lightweight, water-resistant, flexible and adaptable daypack, it’s no wonder the Matador Freerain22 earns our rating for the best overall. Not only is this pack completely waterproof and lightweight at only 10.6 ounces, but it zips down into a small travel bag (included with the package) so you can toss it in your suitcase or suitcase and take it out for a day. . This, despite the fact that it holds a respectable 22 liters (hence the name). If you need a larger option, see the Freerain28, which, as you might guess, has a capacity of 28 liters.
If you mostly take your backpack on sunny hikes, picnics, or trips around town, you may not need a waterproof backpack. But if you’re an all-weather explorer and like to keep your gear dry, “water resistance” just won’t cut it. This pack’s sealed seams and cylinder closure mean the main compartment is completely waterproof – while gear loops, speed hooks, and compression straps with buckles give you great flexibility for attaching and pulling hiking and climbing gear.
Best Weather Resistant Daypack
The Ortlieb 25 Liter bottle opens like a traditional suitcase
If you’re into water-based adventures and need a bag that goes beyond simple rain and water capabilities, the Ortlieb Attack 25 has you covered. Not only can it handle heavy rain, but the bag can also be completely submerged in water while keeping your belongings dry. The adjustable back panel accommodates users of different heights, while the adjustable hip and shoulder straps allow you to find the perfect fit that best distributes the weight of the pack.
At 50.4 ounces, the pack is much heavier than many other day packs. This is the bad news. But if you want your gear to stay dry and accessible, it’s probably worth the extra weight. Unlike most waterproof bags that retain water through a roller closure, this is the first fully waterproof bag I’ve ever encountered and opens like a traditional travel bag. Meanwhile, front daisy chains allow you to attach an additional gear while the airtight seal of the outlet of the drinking tube allows you to add your own hydration system.
Best lightweight day pack
The Matador Freefly16 is particularly resistant to wear and tear
Weighing in at just 6.7 ounces, the Freefly16 for Matador isn’t just one of the lightest daypacks on the market—it’s all but lightweight. Despite its lightweight construction, the pack’s UHMWPE reinforced panels (an “ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene”, for the outdoorsy nerd – used in a wide range of products from bulletproof vests to fishing line, resistance gloves and sports equipment) makes it highly durable Resistant to abrasion and tearing.
While the package isn’t completely waterproof, the UTS waterproof coating, sealed seams, and sealed zippers mean it’ll stay dry in light rain, but won’t provide much protection for extended exposure in heavy rain. However, you’ll find that the oversized mesh side pockets and gear rings increase what you can fit into a 16-liter package. Need more space? Check out Freerain22 earlier in this article, which we considered the best all-in-one daily pack on our list.
Best Heavy Duty Daypack
Lots of accessories mean you can carry this bag for almost any outdoor activity
This art bundle may be lightweight and fashionable enough for travel and commuting, but DNA is all about adventure. The Osprey Talon is adjustable and well ventilated; It also has a lot of features that accommodate challenging activities that require specific equipment. From helmet attachments and lanyards for trekking poles to the ice ax loop and flasher clip patch, the package allows you to comfortably carry gear out of the bag, freeing up space inside without interfering with flexibility or functionality.
A lumbar-to-hip strap provides stability and comfort while an adjustable AirScape back panel provides maximum ventilation (who wants a sweaty back when snow makes its way up the mountain?). Given how powerful and versatile it is, its price is quite affordable. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find a flexible and configurable daypack for a variety of outdoor activities.
Best Budget Daypack
Cheap yet surprisingly flexible
Just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it will meet all of your needs. Likewise, just because a backpack is affordable doesn’t mean it’s not a killer steal. The Black Diamond’s Trail Blitz 12 Pack is aptly named because of the “blitz-style” main hatch, allowing quick and easy access to the gear in the main compartment. It also comes with built-in Z-Pole sleeves so you can easily attach hiking poles when not in use.
The so-called BDFlash pocket in the bag is specifically designed to accommodate headlight storage, and also includes an interior security pocket where you can store personal items such as phone, keys, wallet and other valuables. Perhaps best of all, the entire package turns inside out and stows in its own pocket, making it great to bring as extra storage when traveling. Do you want more flexibility? It can also be attached to a larger backpack via four connecting loops, meaning you can bring a larger backpack on a multi-day hiking or camping trip and then separate the daypack for an intense or summit trip. The bag weighs only 6.52 ounces but offers an internal capacity of 12 liters, providing a bang for the buck.
Best daily hydration pack
Sweat-resistant design keeps water cool for hours
Unlike other daily hydration bags that are basically backpacks that just happen to have a sleeve to insert your water bladder, the 14L Angled Hydration Pack is first and foremost a hydration pack — which also happens to be a handy backpack. The unique in-pack cold flow system uses an insulated tank that keeps the water cool by making it sweat-proof (meaning your warm sweat won’t heat the water), and an insulated tank pocket with a reflective lining to keep the heat out and cool. The outer airflow design of the pack puts some space between you and your bag, allowing air to flow freely to avoid body heat transfer. All design factors considered, Hydro Flask says your water should stay cold for at least four hours.
In addition, it is a comfortable ride. The pack’s lower center of gravity, which hides the hydration pack at the bottom of the pack (versus the more common vertical design), prevents the pack from riding up on your shoulders. The functional waist and chest straps also allow for a snug fit that distributes weight better.
Best Mini Daypack
A no-nonsense package that is sustainably manufactured
Sure, sometimes you might need a daypack with all the bells and whistles like the Ortlieb Atrack 25L Daypack or the Matador Freerain22. But sometimes you don’t. So why pay for a million attachments, pockets, and booths if you’ll never use them? While the Jansport Ski ‘n Hike name might lead you to believe it’s a superior tactical backpack built for rugged adventures, it’s actually a very simple everyday bag that harkens back to the early backpack designs many of us grew up with.
The beautiful and simple package includes a large main compartment and a large front pocket for storing your gear, as well as adjustable straps and a pull handle. Perhaps its best feature, though, is that it’s kind of recyclable: the eco-friendly bag is made of excess fabric that would otherwise go in the trash.