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10 Best Daypacks: Lightweight Hiking Packs for Your Essentials

Are you looking for the perfect daypack? Look no further, because we found some options we think you’ll like. Whether you’re going for a day of hiking or a short walk, having the essentials in a pack is crucial. 

Keep reading to learn what features to look for in a day hiking pack. We’ll reveal the ten best options. 

Lace your hiking boots, and let’s get going! 

What Is the Difference Between a Backpack and a Daypack? 

A daypack is smaller than a backpack. It’s lightweight and carries daily essentials instead of clothing or overnight gear like a sleeping bag. A daypack comes in handy for short or day-long hikes, visiting tourist attractions, or even running errands around town. 

How to Choose a Hiking DAYPACK! | Miranda in the Wild

Features to Look for in a Day Hiking Pack

When looking for a day hiking pack, begin by finding one that is the right size for your body. A comfortable bag is one you will use more readily, and it will last longer if it’s the right fit. We suggest getting one with adjustable straps. 

We also recommend looking for features like a water bottle holder or a pack with a hydration reservoir. While you likely won’t bring much on a day hike, get a bag with enough space for the essentials.

Also, having different compartments in the pack keeps items more accessible. For example, you may want to keep your sunscreen on one side of the bag and your sweatshirt on another.

Pro Tip: Before you head out for your hike, make sure you pack these 10 Hiking Essentials You Should Never Hit the Trail Without.

Daypack and hiking boots sitting on sidewalk.
Pack up just what you need for a day’s worth of hiking in your daypack.

10 Best Daypacks: Lightweight Hiking Packs for Your Essentials

Are you ready to go shopping? Let’s look at ten of the best daypacks on the market. We’ve chosen the packs based on quality, brand reputation, and customer reviews.

1. Osprey Daylite Daypack

About: Osprey is one of the leading brands for backpacks. Their Daylite Daypack holds up to 13 liters. It has a roomy main compartment, dual stretch mesh side pockets for additional storage, and a front mesh zipper pocket with a key clip.

Osprey Daylite Commuter Backpack, Black
  • Large panel loading main compartment provides accessibility to...
  • Dual stretch mesh side pockets provide additional storage options
  • The multi-function interior sleeve can be used for either a...

There’s an interior sleeve that you can use as a hydration reservoir or for carrying a tablet or small computer. The back mesh-covered panel provides ventilation and a cushion for your back. 

Our Favorite Feature(s): Our favorite features are the interior and multifunctional sleeve for either a hydration reservoir or carrying a tablet. We love how comfortable this pack is with the padded back.

2. Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack

About: The Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Daypack has a high-quality tear and water-resistant nylon fabric. It also has heavy-duty zippers and a double-layer bottom to improve its strength. The pack weighs one pound and is straightforward to store. It has breathable mesh shoulder straps with padding for extra comfort.

Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Travel Hiking...
  • 【Upgraded Wet Pocket Design】Venture Pal backpack stands out...
  • 【Durable Material】This backpack is made of high quality tear...
  • 【Compact & Comfortable】It weighs only 1 pounds, can easily...

There’s also one main zipped compartment, a front pocket, and two side pockets. In addition, there is one small zipped pocket inside the main compartment for additional organizing.

Our Favorite Feature(s): The pack has one waterproof wet pocket in the main compartment. You can access it via a zipper on the back, and it is an excellent option to keep damp or sweaty clothes separate from the rest of your belongings.

Tom from Mortons on the Move hiking with a daypack
Comfort is key when finding the perfect daypack for you.

3. HIKPRO 20L – The Most Durable Lightweight Packable Backpack

About: The HIKPRO 20L is a lightweight, water-resistant daypack. Made with nylon fabric, this pack has a minimalist design that prevents excessive weight on your shoulders. It weighs 7.5 ounces, making it manageable to carry and fold into storage.

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It has three zippered compartments, including a small outer pocket and an inner zippered pocket for valuables. Also, there are two side mesh pockets for water bottles. 

Our Favorite Feature(s): The durable nylon material is tear-resistant. It’s also water-resistant and will keep your belongings dry for an hour in the rain, giving you enough time to get to a dry location. It has a five-year warranty as well.

4. Zomake Lightweight Hiking Backpack Water Resistant

About: The Zomake Lightweight Hiking Backpack is highly transportable and comes with a carrying tote. With thick and durable water-resistant fabric, it has an abrasion-resistant metal zipper and strengthened stitching. The daypack holds 20 liters.

ZOMAKE Ultra Lightweight Hiking Backpack 20L -...

It has one main zipped compartment, a front pocket, and two side pockets. If unsatisfied with the product, you can return it within 90 days.

Our Favorite Feature(s): We like that the pack comes in numerous colors. It’s very lightweight and packable. You can easily fold it into a suitcase to take on any trip. It will even fit in a purse or computer bag.

People hiking in snowy mountains with hiking pack
No matter where you are hiking, you’ll need a daypack to hold all of your essentials.

5. Sunhiker Small Cycling Hiking Backpack Water Resistant Travel Backpack Lightweight Daypack M0714

About: The Sunhiker Small Cycling Hiking Backpack is water-resistant and lightweight. It holds 20-25 liters and weighs 12.3 ounces. The material is tear-resistant, water-resistant, and scratch-resistant nylon, making it durable and comfortable.

sunhiker Small Cycling Hiking Backpack Water...
  • IMPORTANT PRODUCT IMFORMATIONS: The sunhiker backpack is a...
  • ABOUT THE MATERIAL: This hiking backpack is made of Nylon Fabric,...
  • DETAILS DETERMINDED QUALITY: We pay attention to every detail for...

Its mesh, breathable shoulder straps relieve stress on your shoulders. It has multiple compartments to fit all your essentials. 

Our Favorite Feature(s): The Sunhiker has a water bottle holder on both sides. We also like the zipper with a whistle buckle. Overall, this is an excellent daypack, and it comes in multiple colors.

6. Osprey Talon 22 Men’s Hiking Backpack

About: Osprey’s Talon 22 Men’s Hiking Backpack is for larger body types. It has the durability and high quality you’d expect from Osprey products. The daypack has dual zippers for the main compartment.

Osprey Talon 22L Men's Hiking Backpack with...
  • Dual-zippered access to main compartment
  • External hydration sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold...
  • Adjustable shoulder harness to dial in perfect fit. Blinker light...

It also has an adjustable shoulder harness for the perfect fit, and you can add a blink light attachment if you have one. The pack has external hydration sleeves, which can hold up to three liters, and has stretch mesh pockets on both sides.

Our Favorite Feature(s): Our favorite feature is the two zippered hip belt pockets with a LidLock helmet attachment. Another favorite is the Stow-On-The-Go trekking pole attachment. 

Caitlin from Mortons on the Move using daypack
Whether you’re climbing mountains or wandering through town, you’ll want a daypack that fits you well to hold all of your stuff.

7. Osprey Tempest 9 Women’s Hiking Backpack

About: Osprey’s Tempest 9 Women’s Hiking Backpack is for smaller body frames. It has a dual-zippered access panel to get into the main compartment. There’s an internal zippered mesh pocket, including a key clip.

Osprey Tempest 9L Women's Hiking Backpack with...
  • Dual-zippered panel access to main compartment
  • Internal zippered mesh pocket with key clip
  • Tuck-away ice ax attachment with bungee tie-off

Like the Osprey Talon 22 Men’s pack, it has a Stow-On-The-Go Trekking pole attachment. Additionally, it has a top panel zippered slash pocket.

Our Favorite Feature(s): We like the color options for this pack and the Osprey signature padded back and shoulder straps. It’s a comfortable option for day trips, running errands, office visits, and more.

8. Venture Pal Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Travel Camping Hiking Outdoor Sports Backpack Daypack

About: The Venture Pal Ultralight Daypack is perfect for camping, hiking, or sports. It’s highly durable with tear and water-resistant material, including a double bottom layer for extra support.

Venture Pal 35L Ultralight Lightweight Packable...
  • DURABLE. Made with high quality material, ultra-light, tear and...
  • COMFORTABLE. Breathable mesh shoulder straps with plentiful...
  • MULTI COMPARTMENTS. One main zipped compartment including two...

The pack has heavy-duty two-way metal zippers. It also has breathable mesh, adjustable shoulder straps, and a chest strap with a whistle buckle.

Our Favorite Feature(s): We like that the daypack weighs less than a pound and holds up to 35 liters. It also has two storage compartments to organize your essentials better. Finally,  it folds into a small pouch for transportation and storage.

Person on a hike in the mountains
Don’t forget your waterbottle, sunscreen, hiking gear and more when packing your daypack.

9. TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack with Free 2-Liter water bladder

About: The TETON Sports Oasis holds 18 liters and has a hydration pack. It also has a free, durable two-liter water bladder with a kink-free sip tube and cushioned bit valve. The daypack is adjustable to fit various body frames, including adults and youth. 

TETON Sports Oasis 18L Hydration Pack with Free...
  • WATER NEVER TASTED SO GOOD: During a long hike having water so...
  • HYDRATION BLADDER INCLUDED: 2-liter water bladder included;...
  • GET THE PERFECT FIT: Low-profile athletic cut with full...

Our Favorite Feature(s): We like the expansive main pocket and bungee cord system for bicycling and climbing helmets. The pack is stylish and comes in numerous colors.

10. Osprey Hikelite 18 Hiking Backpack

About: Osprey’s Hikelite 18 Hiking Backpack has a ventilated mesh back panel with side vents. It has a comfortable fit with padding. The pack also has an integrated rain cover to keep it and your gear dry.

Osprey Hikelite 18L Unisex Hiking Backpack, Aloe...
  • Ventilated AirSpeed Mesh backpanel with side vents maintain a...
  • Integrated raincover keeps your pack and gear dry in inclement...
  • Internal hydration sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold...

In addition, it’s compatible with all hydraulic reservoirs. The internal hydration sleeve accommodates three liters. 

Our Favorite Feature(s): The daypack has a scratch-resistant organization pocket for sunglasses and electronics. It also has stretch mesh side pockets. In addition, Osprey creates a high-quality, comfortable pack, no matter the model.

Pro Tip: Want to protect your feet while hiking? Find out Are Special Hiking Socks Overrated and whether or not you should buy a pair.

Woman looking out at mountain summit with a hiking pack
Bring along your daypack as you explore new heights.

What to Bring In Your Daypack

Are you ready to load your daypack? Whether hiking for the day or at an amusement park, keep some essentials in your pack. We recommend sunscreen, an umbrella, an extra shirt or sweatshirt, snacks, a water bottle, a hat, a small first aid kit, and a camera. Other items you might need could include medication, a map, and money.

Are Daypacks Worth It?

Daypacks are worth it. A lightweight option for your essentials on a hike or sightseeing trip is a priority. A day of adventuring and entertainment can get tiring quickly, so making things less challenging by having a comfortable backpack is worth it.

Carrying a walking stick can also increase your comfort on day-long hikes. Check out your best options: 7 Best Walking Sticks for Hiking and Why You Want Some

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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