The Best Daypack for Hiking in 2017

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.

Comparison Table of the Best Hiking Daypacks


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

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 model.

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)Click for Pricing

TETON Sports Summit 1500 Ultralight Internal Frame Backpack

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

4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)Click for Pricing

High Sierra Cirque 30 Internal Frame Pack

30L capacity.
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


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

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

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

North Face Women's Jester

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

Gregory Maya 16 Daypack

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 AG26 Hydration Pack

26L 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 5 Best Daypacks for Hiking Reviewed

Thule Stir 35L Men’s Hiking Pack

Lightweight and reliable in many situations, the Thule Stir 35 is large enough for a day hike, but doesn’t add too much weight while you’re on the move.

The backpack is made with quite tough elastin coated 210D Robic and 70D nylon so it means it’s able to take the intense regular use for a decent amount of time.

The features on the hiking pack are plenty and functional and each one of them means more for your comfort and easier use.

The pack comes with plenty of pockets and the pocket layout is very well thought-out. The side pockets are easy to access, whereas the small compartments on the belt may store your smaller items. The multiple pouches and the zippered compartments give you not only many storing options, but also a good organization of your items.

We also like the adjustability of the pack and the torso is easy to adjust for the perfect fitting. The hip belt is removable and you can definitely try the sternum strap when running some errands in town.

The pack is very easy to access thanks to the lid that also features a helpful storm flap. A StormGuard system protects the pack as it combines a partial rain cover with a waterproof bottom liner. You get in the end a hiking pack that is entirely waterproof.

The side zipper gives you easy access to your gear, whereas the light loop attachment point and reflective material are important details.

The stretch pocket on the shoulder strap is useful when you want to store your phone or other small items. You get more easy access through the front shove-it pocket and you may hang your hiking poles or ice axes with the help of the two attachment loops.

The hiking pack is comfortable and has a good built. It’s spacious and lightweight and comes with a rain cover.

It looks nice and is dependable.

Let’s highlight the most important pros:

  • The pack has a good build and a good design of the pockets
  • It comes with many pockets and pouches
  • It’s waterproof and includes a rain cover
  • It’s comfortable, spacious and lightweight

We do have some cons to mention:

  • It’s not a good option for laptop carry
  • The material could be more durable

Despite the minor cons, for the all the storing options is gives and the good qualities, the pack is a great choice for your daily hikes.

Osprey Packs Talon 22 Backpack – New Model

The lighter model of the famous and popular Osprey Talon 22, the new Osprey Packs Talon 22 backpack brings to the table plenty of great features and promises to be at least as popular as the first Talon 22.

The backpack is highly versatile and its 22 L of capacity recommends it as a great option for the day hikes, running some errands in town or in case of urban commutes.

Going through a detailed look, we see the Biostretch harness and continuous wrap hip belt that create together a very stable carry system. The backpack doesn’t use much material and glue, so it’s lightweight and so much breathable. Despite the weight though, the backpack is durable and takes the daily hikes for a very long time.

An amazing feature on the new Talon 22 is the Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole carry system that helps you move easier, while carrying comfortably your trekking pole.

Another feature that we really like is the Lidlock helmet, reliable when you want to stop for getting a coffee or have a chat with your neighbor.

The backpack is highly adjustable and the hip belts are well placed and zippered for safer carry. You get plenty of space to organize your items and the backpack features side stretch mesh pockets and a harness pocket. The top-lid storage adds to the list of organizing options.

The compression/carry straps are lower placed and inside out for comfortable design. They hold securely in place your loads and compress your backpack for better storage.

We also need to mention the external hydration sleeve that not only helps you easier refill, but also protects the content of your backpack from incidental spills.

The backpack is breathable and cools you in a hot summer day thanks to the precision cut and accordion spread mesh-covered foam ridges. The fit is nice and almost perfect due to the die-cut slotted foam hip belt (also mesh covered) and harness. The hip belt body wrap is seamless for extra comfort and better support as well.

The tool loop with bungee tie-offs increase the versatility of the backpack that has a good weight distribution holds pretty well, even throughout the rainy days.

Let’s make a short list of pros:

  • The backpack is lightweight, comfortable and durable
  • It has plenty of pockets for you to organize your items
  • The torso length is adjustable
  • The backpack comes with many functional features

We only have some minor cons to mention:

  • Some would like a better finish on the elasticated parts
  • Some reported the backpack not being entirely waterproof

Despite the minor cons, considering the impressive list of good things, we’d take the new Talon 22 on a hike any day.

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.