Daypacks are amazing hiking backpacks that are designed for 1-day of hiking, commuting or just walking around town. They have plenty of room for water, food, extra clothes, survival gear, work items and more. Daypacks are incredibly versatile and can serve numerous purposes. In fact, many people use daypacks for much more than hiking as they’re made tough, lightweight and can hold everything you need for the day.
Another great feature daypacks have is they provide optimum stability and help you manage the weight on your back. Daypacks for hiking are designed to distribute the weight across your body so you’re not bogged down with weight. This makes it much easier to walk around with the gear you need.
I personally use daypacks for hiking, long drives, work and walking around with my children. Everyone knows kids get thirsty and need snacks often and hiking daypacks are the perfect solution. Plus, it’s always a good idea to have extra items such as a lighter, first-aid kid, protein bars and a few bottles of water no matter where you go.
Hydration packs also make great daypacks to keep you hydrated while you hike. Here are the best hydration packs you can find.
Daypacks for Hiking
Daypacks for hiking are specially designed for the trail. They’re made from lightweight material that’s tough and long-lasting. You can pack enough hiking gear for an entire day and even more if you know how to pack. I’ve used daypacks for hiking for decades because I rarely need a large hiking backpack. Most trips I take are 1-day hikes and a daypack can carry everything I need plus a few extra items for the children.
Backpack for Day Hiking
You don’t need a huge backpack for day hiking. In fact, a large backpack could end up being overkill on a short hike. You don’t need a ton of gear for a short hike, but you do need to bring some supplies such as bug spray, food, water, clothing items, first aid and a flashlight. Daypacks are the perfect mix of size and functionality for short hikes that don’t require much gear. You can even attach trekking poles to your daypack.
Osprey Talon 22 Hiking Daypack
The Osprey Talon 22 is a great hiking backpack that’s also one of the best daypacks on the market. It holds plenty of gear and comes in 20L or 22L depending on your needs. You can fit enough supplies in this daypack to last for an entire day of hiking, walking, commuting or just around town while shopping or seeing the sights. It has a comfortable shoulder harness that you can adjust to fit and it features an external hydration sleeve that can hold a 3L water reservoir which is sold separately.
Daypacks by Osprey are extremely dependable and well-designed. They have plenty of pockets, pouches, compartments and even stretch mesh pockets on each side for items you want quick access to. You also get two hip belt pockets with zippers, a helmet attachment and a super cool trekking pole attachment that allows you to easily carry your trekking poles everywhere you go.
Overall, the Osprey Talon 22 backpack makes an outstanding daypack for hiking or other outdoor activities and it wil last a long time due to its construction and design.
Venture Pal 40L Daypack
The Venture Pal is a 40L daypack that’s lightweight, durable and has plenty of space for a day trip. Many people use this same bag for trips to Disneyland, cruises, day trips out of town or a short hike. It comes in multiple bright colors that are easy to see and the design is perfect for a short trip. It can hold plenty of essential items that you need throughout the day and has a waterproof wet pocket in the main compartment area for items that you want to keep dry. You can also use the wet pocket to separate wet clothes that you want to keep from your other gear.
The Venture Pal is also a great daypack for hiking because of the lightweight materials and bright designs that help you stay with your group. It weighs 0.7 lbs and you can fold it into its own pocket to store it. This daypack also has extremely breathable mesh shoulder straps that are made with sponge padding to make it more comfortable while carrying. A lot of people use this bag for cruises because you can get hot on the excursions and need a breathable bag.
Osprey Daylite Daypack
The Osprey Daylite is a great daypack that is the perfect mixture between functionality and comfort. It’s easy to carry due to its lightweight materials and has plenty of space for your items. You can add a hydration bladder to stay hydrated and it has an external hydration access so you don’t have to stop to take a drink.
Sometimes a small hiking bag is exactly what you need and Osprey knows how to make a great bag that makes perfect use of available space. These are great to take to farmer’s markets so you can load up or to carry water for your children while walking around town. We like the Osprey Daylite daypack because it’s made with high-quality materials and is the perfect size for most oudoor activities.
Waterfly Crossbody Sling Daypack
The Waterfly daypack features a crossbody sling design that’s easy to carry on your daily routine. It has tens of thousands of positive ratings and has been used extensively in the field. It comes in multiple colors depending on your style and is perfect for your daily grind. The Waterfly also makes a great daypack for hiking as it has plenty of space for essential items as well as electronics that you want to keep safe.
You can wear this crossbody daypack on the left or right side thanks to the reversible shoulder strap. I know I like to switch positions while carrying a sling bag but most aren’t reversible like this one. This daypack has enough storage space for everything you need for a day and has exterior mesh pockets for drinks or protein bars. This is also a great daypack to bring to sports events so you can bring snacks and drinks.
The North Face Borealis Daypack
The North Face is well-known for making great outdoor products that last. Their daypacks are amazing and built with high-quality designs and materials. The Borealis daypack comes in more colors than you can pick from and is one of the best small bags to carry. It has a 28L capacity which is plenty for most users and it features a 15” laptop compartment that can secure your laptop while you travel. The interior compartments are large enough to hold books, drawing pads and other supplies.
The front compartment is great for administrative items and it has a tablet sleeve that can really come in handy for electronics that you want to protect. We like the North Face 28L Borealis daypack because it’s perfect for day use.
Teton Sports Oasis 18L Daypack with Water Bladder
The Teton Sports Oasis is a great little daypack that comes with a 2L water bladder. Most daypacks require you to add a water bladder, but the Oasis comes with one. You can get this daypack in multiple colors but I’m partial to the burnt orange. It’s tough and rugged and made for the trails or for commuting back and forth through town. The hydration ports are ambidextrous which means you can drink from either side and this bag has plenty of front pockets for quick access to items you use often.
One thing I like about Teton Sports hiking daypacks is that they’re the perfect size for just about anything. You can attach more items to the back such as a helmet, first aid kit or extra clothes to increase the capacity of this bag. Plus, the 2L water bladder provides you with plenty of fluids for a day of hiking. We highly recommend this daypack for hiking and other outdoor activities.
Osprey Hikelite 18L Daypack
The Osprey Hikelite can hold 18L and makes a great small daypack that can handle the outdoors. It’s one of the best daypacks for hiking due to its size, weight and design. The rain cover is integrated into the bag and keeps your supplies and gear safe from rain. You can even put a 3L water reservoir in this bag for those hot days when you need plenty of liquids.
This is the type of daypack that you can literally use anywhere, not just for hiking. It excels as an out-of-town bag and is great for festivals and DisneyWorld. Many users take them on cruises to keep all of their important items close by while participating in excursions. This daypack weighs 1.49 lbs and can hold 18L. We highly recommend this Osprey backpack for anyone that needs enough gear to last all day.
Neekfox Hiking Daypack 35L
The Neekfox daypack is perfect for hiking, camping, festivals and walking around town. It’s 35L and ultralight which makes it a great daypack for women and men that want a no-nonsense bag. Neekfox used rip-stop materials that are tough and comfortable at the same time. You can load this bag pretty heavy to carry everything you need. It only weighs 0.91 lbs so you won’t have any trouble carrying it.
This waterproof daypack is perfect for traveling because you can fold it into itself for storage and open it up when you reach your destination. In fact, it makes air travel even easier. We like this bag because it’s super lightweight, has plenty of space (35L) and is comfortable to wear.