The Best Daypack for Hiking in 2016

Rangermade’s reviews of the best hiking daypacks this year

Best daypack for hiking

The Best daypack for hiking

The idea behind this page is to present a line-up of hiking backpacks which, although not exactly belonging to the tactical class, are some of the sturdiest and best backpacks for hiking out there from all points of view.

Depending on the purpose of your buying of a daypack, you’ll want to know details about it. If you’re looking for a daypack for hiking, that already implies a couple of assumptions: first, it’s a daypack. A daypack is a backpack that’s not too large, say up to 30-40 liters in volume, able to fit your gear for a day or two. Second, it’s a daypack for hiking, which already implies a certain build sturdiness and specialized functionality.

You may also be looking for a hiking-grade daypack, but for everyday use or for traveling. You have also come to the right place, since most of the daypacks we’re presenting have the proper organization, with laptop and tablet pockets, and plenty of storage for books, documents, equipment, and everything else you may want to carry.

As a side note, any of the hiking daypacks listed below can last you for years to come.

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Comparison Table of the Best Hiking Daypacks

ImageNameDescriptionRatingLink

Osprey Porter Travel Backpack Bag, 46-Liter

Lightweight 40L capacity.
Top and side carry handles.
Light wire suspension system.
Removable sleeping pad straps.

See also the 30-Liter version.

4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)Click for Pricing

Osprey Packs Stratos 24 Backpack, Medium/Large

Size selection.
Hydration compartment.
Loops for trekking pole and ice axe.
Adjustable sternum strap with rescue whistle. Read the full review-->

See also the 34-Liter version.

4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)Click for Pricing

Osprey Packs Talon 22 Backpack, Medium/Large

Size selection.
Hydration compartment.
Gender specific harness.
Adjustable sternum strap with rescue whistle.

4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)Click for Pricing

Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack

44 Liter capacity.
Fixed suspension.
Ventilating backpanel.
Single aluminum stay and frame sheet.
Hydration compatible.

See also the 32-Liter and the 50-Liter version.

4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)Click for Pricing

Kelty Redtail 27 Backpack

27L capacity.
Hydration compatible.
Two water bottle pockets.
Fixed suspension.

See also the 32-Liter version.

4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)Click for Pricing

CamelBak M.U.L.E. Rucksack with drinking system

Lightweight ventilated back panel.
Biking helmet hooks.
Hydration system w/ 3L bladder included.

See also the newer NV model.

4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)Click for Pricing

The North Face Jester Backpack TNF One Size

30-liter.
Removable hip belt.
Padded laptop sleeve.

4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)Click for Pricing

The North Face Recon Daypack

29 Liters.
Laptop sleeve.
Tablet sleeve.
Read the full review-->

4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)Click for Pricing

TETON Sports Oasis 1200 Hydration Backpack

20L capacity.
3L hydration bladder included.
Pocket for bike helmet.
Integrated rainfly.

See also the popular 1100 cu.in. model.

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)Click for Pricing

TETON Sports Summit 1500 Ultralight Internal Frame Backpack

25L capacity (more sizes available).
Hydration-ready.
Body-hugging fit.
Shape-forming backer board for internal frame.
Integrated rainfly.

4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)Click for Pricing

Mountainsmith Red Rock 25 Backpack

25L capacity.
Removable waistbelt.
Perspiration control system.
Hydration compatible with single exit port.

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)Click for Pricing

High Sierra Cirque 30 Internal Frame Pack

30L capacity.
Lightweight.
Hydration-ready design.
Lashing for ice axes and hiking poles.

4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)Click for Pricing

Geigerrig Rig 1600 Gunmetal Hydration Backpack

1600 cu. in. loading capacity
Pressurized Hydration pack, 3L bladder
Spray water out of the tube

Insulated tube.

4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)Click for Pricing

Sea to Summit Flow 35L DryPack

35 liters
Waterproof 420D nylon
7075 Aircraft alloy buckles
Top loading roll top main chamber
Fully seam sealed construction

5.0 Stars (5.0 / 5)Click for Pricing

The Best Hiking Daypacks for Women

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Deuter ACT Trail 28 SL Backpack - Turquoise/Midnight

28L capacity.
Wet laundry compartment.
Helmet front flap.
Ventilated backpanel.
Integrated, Detachable Rain Cover.
Ice axe and hiking pole loops.
SOS label.
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)Click for Info

Osprey Packs Women's Sirrus 24 Backpack

Size selection.
Women's specific harness.
Adjustable sternum strap.
Trekking pole attachment.
Hydration compartment.
4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)Click for Info

Osprey Packs Women's Tempest 20 Backpack

Size selection.
Harness, hip belt and torso sizes specific for women.
Hydration compartment.
Adjustable sternum strap with rescue whistle.
4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)Click for Info

Osprey Packs Women's Tempest 9 Backpack

Size selection.
Harness, hip belt and torso sizes specific for women.
Hydration compartment.
Adjustable sternum strap with rescue whistle.
5.0 Stars (5.0 / 5)Click for Info

Women's The North Face Recon Backpack

29-liter.
Padded 15" laptop sleeve.
Hydration compatible.
Back panel nonabrasive against exposed skin.
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)Click for Info

Kelty Women's Redwing 40 Internal Frame Pack

40 Liter capacity.
Fixed specific suspension.
Ventilating backpanel.
Single aluminum stay and frame sheet.
Hydration compatible.
4.9 Stars (4.9 / 5)Click for Info

CamelBak Women's Helena 22 Hydration Pack

22-liter.
Women\'s specific model.
Hydration system w/ 3L bladder included.
4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)Click for Info

North Face Women's Jester

27-liter.
Padded 15\" laptop sleeve.
Comfortable foam panel.
4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)Click for Info

Gregory Maya 16 Daypack

16-liter.
Expanding front pocket fits a helmet.
Hydration pocket.
Perfect for quick tours.
4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)Click for Info

Osprey Women's Mira 26 Hydration Pack, Serene Green

32-34L capacity.
Hydration bladder+tube and raincover included.
Two interior slip pockets. Four exterior pockets.
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)Click for Info

Doleesune 42l Internal Frame Pack for Women

42L capacity.
Internal frame.
Breathable airscape backpanel.
Body-hugging fit.
Integrated rainfly.
4.3 Stars (4.3 / 5)Click for Info

The Top 3 Best Daypacks for Hiking Reviewed



The North Face Recon Daypack Review

This is a 29 liter or 1770 cubic inch daypack that’s lightweight at 2.6 pounds. It’s built from several flavors of nylon for increased toughness. The build and the stitching, the materials and zippers are top quality with a durable feel to them (Tip: here’s how to test a zipper). The Recon features one large main compartment with a laptop sleeve that fits most 15” notebooks (won’t fit a 15.6” one), a tablet sleeve, and hydration port. There is also a secondary compartment with organization for holding the various items for easy reach.

The mesh side pockets can hold a Nalgene bottle each, or a hat and gloves, or sneakers, or whatever you throw at them. The pocket on top is fleece-lined to hold things like glasses, cell phone, GPS. The shoulder straps and hip belt have good padding for comfort, and mesh on the inside for better air circulation. The hip belt is removable to make the backpack fitter for carrying around town or campus.

The Recon allows for easy organization of your stuff. With two compartments and two pockets, you’re sure to not forget which item is where. Stick a jacket in the front pocket, your breakables in the top pocket, your large electronics and a change of clothes in the main compartment, your smaller items or gear and snacks in the organizational compartment, and you’re good to go, whether in the city or the outdoors.

The The North Face Recon is available in men’s and women’s versions. If you prefer a unisex backpack, try the North Face Jester at the same size as the Recon. Or if you require larger, you can’t go wrong with the Heckler.




Osprey Stratos 24 Daypack Review

This is truly an Everest-grade backpack, and perfect for day hikes. You’re more likely to get this pack for mountain tours rather than for travel or city carrying. If you travel to a foreign country, you may find the stylish look of the Stratos to be more of an inconvenience, as this is not an inconspicuous backpack. But it’s the great outdoors where it really shines.

The main feature of all the models in the Stratos series is the suspended mesh back panel for the best ventilation possible. This does not mean simply that the back panel is covered in mesh for better breathing, but that the backpack is actually suspended from your back, with only the mesh touching the back. Feeling the wind on your back already?

The shoulder straps and hip belt are also covered in mesh and are made of breathable foam. A neat addition are the side pockets on the hip belt, perfect for storing items that you need on hand. A fairly large smartphone can fit in there well. The hip belt is not removable. The chest strap comes with an emergency whistle attached to it.

The Stratos offers a lot of adjustability: top and bottom load compression straps on the front, and adjustable straps on the shoulders, chest and hip belt, to allow you to achieve the perfect point of comfort.

The Stratos packs a slew of other features:

  • sleeve for a hydration bladder (use Osprey bladders for max compatibility)
  • built-in rain cover
  • trekking pole attachments that allow to store your poles without removing the backpack
  • ice axe loop
  • internal key attachment hook
  • removable sleeping pad straps

While some people may view the lack of many pockets as a con, those who like simple organization will appreciate it.

The Stratos series comes in different sizes. The Stratos 24, or the 24 liter version that we’re reviewing weighs 1.1 kg, which makes it lightweight. The sizes in the series however can go up to 50 liters. The 24L and 34L models are panel loaded, but they have a 26L and a 36L brother respectively, with top loading access.

The Osprey Stratos is intended for men’s use, although women use it too. However for a women’s-only version, have a look at the Osprey Sirrus.

As for price, it certainly won’t break the bank. For the features it offers and for being one top daypack for hiking, the Stratos 24 carries one of the best price-quality ratios out there.




Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Waterproof Backpack Dry Bag

If you need a backpack to sustain water and mud, then this is one you can trust. It works well in the rainy outdoors, from Florida to the rainforest, if you go out in extreme conditions, and also as a motorcycle backpack. It is 100% waterproof: you can leave it in a puddle, or ride the motorcycle at 80 miles an hour, and will not soak through.

The Phantom backpack is able to achieve this by using a welded seamless construction of PVC coated 600D nylon. There are no other pockets besides the main compartment and one mesh side pocket, and the top gets sealed by folding in on itself three times. The two ends then buckle together or to the sides, and are secured with a Velcro strap that holds the lid in place. You can submerge this backpack, or float on it. If water is not an issue at the moment of your hiking, you can fit a jacket in the bungee cords on the front.

There’s an internal pocket as well with a zippered closure, to allow you to store keys, documents or wallet without them sinking to the bottom of the bag mixing in with the clothes.

It’s got padded shoulder straps and back panel, with adjustable sternum and hip straps, for snug and comfortable carrying.

At 25 liters capacity and 2.4 pounds, the Phantom Walrus Dry Bag is roomy enough to hold your things for a day’s trip, and light enough to be used by men and women alike. It’s one of best waterproof daypacks available on the market.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Best hiking daypack
Author Rating
5