This is a gear review about the best daypacks for hiking for 2022.
If you want to head of on a day hike you will need a good quality daypack for hiking. The hiking backpack will need to be comfortable and big enough to carry all the items you need for the day.
With so many hiking daypacks out there, each one with different features and designs, it can be hard to narrow down the choice.
I’ve used to manage a large retail store and part of my job was matching the right person to the best hiking daypack. Hopefully I can do that for you here today. I’ve reviewed some of the best models according to purpose, reliability, budget, and much more. So let’s find the best day hiking backpacks for 2022.
Best Day Hike Backpack 2022
The Best Day Hike Backpack in 2022 are:
Best Daypack 2022 – Overall
Weight: 30oz / 850grams
> Hydration Compartment
> Adjustable strap on the sternum has an attached safety whistle.
> Very Comfortable
> Flexible internal pack frame
> Fabric isn’t waterproof and you will need to buy a rain pack covers separately.
We’re kicking off the list with this Osprey Talon 22 pack.
This daypack includes many different features, including a suspension style harness which is usually only found on larger packs. The padded shoulder straps incorporate trekking pole holders.
It also has a flexible frame that provides complete freedom to move around on more active hiking trails and the padded hipbelt keeps your load as secure as possible, whilst also fitting comfortably on your body.
It also has an external hydration sleeve which will easily hold a 3L hydration pack. And the front stretch mesh pocket which is good to store your puffy or rain jacket if needed.
The hiking backpack is not waterproof but you can pop a rain cover on the daypack in wet weather.
The Osprey Talon Series of packs come in many sizes varying in size between 11L to 44L. The Osprey Talon 22 is the best compromise between size and weight with the perfect sized main compartment.
Overall, the Osprey Talon 22 is one of the best daypacks for hiking in 2022. It is comfortable, easy to use, fully adjustable, completely dependable, and will not let you down.
Best DayPack for travel 2022
Weight: 17oz / 482grams
> A great weight-to-volume ratio of 0.94 ounces/L.
> Comfortable cushioned back panel and shoulder straps.
> Great for all-sized torsos.
> Hip Belt is Thin and not comfortable when carrying a lot of weight
The Deuter Speed Lite 20 is a great daypack that is a simple and light. It’s big enough for long day hikes and can withstand a range of different activities on the trail such as mountain biking or climbing.
It has a cushioned back panel and padded shoulder straps which means you won’t be in any pain carrying your load. The internal frame has a flexible fit to whatever your torso size. The Deuter Speed Lite 20 has a weight-to-volume ratio of 0.94 ounces/L and can be compressed to fit in other luggage or backpack.
Its small size allows you to replace your hydration-specific pack with it and you can always add extras such as an ice axe, trekking poles.
The Speed Lite has some handy bells and whistles too, it is easy to use, reliable, durable, and safe to take along most trails in the US.
Overall, the Deuter Speed Lite 20 will be one of the best daypacks for travelers as it will compress into other luggage quite well and is lightweight.
Most Comfortable Daypack 2022
Weight: 44oz / 1247grams
> Great for panel-loading organization and convenience.
> Comfortable and Adjustable
> Airspeed Suspension
> Ventilated mesh back panel with added adjustability to suit different torso lengths.
> Included rain cover.
The Osprey Stratos 24 is great if you want something completely adjustable and offers optimal comfort throughout your hike or whilst running errands. If carrying heavier loads this is one of the better hiking packs.
Let me be clear that this is the most comfortable daypack for for day hikes. But all that comfort comes at the cost of weight. This is a heavy daypack but it has a good sized main compartment that has easy access.
The pack is complete with adjustable torso lengths, a ventilated back panel and an adjustable padded shoulder harness with load lifters so you can dial in a perfect fit.
It comes with a removable integrated rain cover and so is perfect for wetter conditions. It is hydration compatibility with a hydration sleeve that can fit any size water bladder up to a 3L reservoir.
The trekking pole attachments feature allows you to carry your poles with you wherever you go. The two hipbelt pockets which are zippered pockets keep all your essentials close by and accessible. And there is an ice axe loop if needed.
It has mesh pockets to keep bottles and even smaller personal items handy.
Overall, this is one of the best hiking daypacks for someone wanting the most comfortable backpack, and the best pick for accessibility and convenience along the trail.
Best Lightweight Daypack 2022
Weight: 13oz / 369grams
> Ultralight – Weighs only 13 ounces.
> Versatile – Back panel can be removed and you can remove the waist belt and sternum straps.
> Drawcord closure and lid with zippered pocket.
> You will need to buy a separate hydration reservoir.
> Not Weather Resistant
The REI Co-op Flash 22 is one of the best lightweight day backpack at an affordable price point.
The mesh shoulder straps are breathable and have padding that softens the impact on your neck and shoulders and the back panel can also be removed entirely and used as a seat pad when you might want to stop for a drink and to rest up.
Though REI Co-op Flash 22 daypack is light anyway, to lessen the load, even more, you can remove the waistbelt and sternum strap. It can be a great option for a travel daypack.
It is secured with an easy-to-use drawcord closure and a lid with a zippered pocket. It also has an integral sleeve to hold a hydration reservoir, however, this is not included. And the external pockets are big enough for a water bottle. There is also ice axe attachments if heading out on winter hikes.
You can keep your essentials nearby with stash side pockets and the side exterior loops allow you to add compression or any extra gear you need.
Not only is the REI Co-op Flash hiking daypack great for those wanting a completely versatile piece of equipment but made with bluesign materials, it also promises to protect the environment, workers, and hikers alike.
Overall, the REI Co-op Flash 22 is one of the lightest daypacks in this review. It is a packable daypack for hiking and travel.
Best Ultralight Daypack 2022
Weight: 13.9oz / 394grams
> Ultralight but Sturdy
> The harness system is adjustable and the shoulder has padding.
> Reflective tick and secure ice tool holder.
> Water bladder is sold separately.
The Black Diamond Distance 15 Day Backpack is designed to take on anything from rocky mountain terrain to alpine adventures to day hikes down canyons.
The hybrid pack is a pack designed with running vest technology that blends with the company knowledge of alpine pack systems to carry heavy loads. All this whilst remaining lightweight and comfortable.
It is built with UHMWP 10x Rip stop Yarns which means it is completely tear-resistant and is ten times stronger than steel. It won’t rip or break when you’re out in the wild, however is still built light enough to float on water.
It offers great comfort for the user with taping technology for comfort on the breathable mesh shoulders as well as the flexibility to move around a lot.
The main opening has a slash pocket to tuck in excess cording and the dual side compression even has a reflective tick to ensure you’re always spotted in darker conditions. There are no external pockets on this pack.
Overall, this is one of the best ultralight daypacks for hiking. If you want something safe, durable yet ultra lightweight, this could be the hiking daypack for you.
Best Waterproof Daypack 2022
Weight: 20oz / 570grams
> Large External Front Pocket
> Fully Adjustable
> Hip belts can be removed
> Buckles to compress the pack
> Waterproof material.
> Waterproof YKK Zip
> Hip belt not padded enough.
The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak is has a main compartment capacity of 17L with a further 6L of storage in the front stash pocket and a great two angle side water bottle pockets.
It is perfect for day hikes and will provide enough room for adequate hydration sources, snacks, and lunch, as well as clothing changes, trekking poles, a headlamp, and more.
It has a very big external front pocket as well as a shock cord system, making it easy to store essential items and allowing quick access to these items.
The pack material is weather proof and it features water-resistant YKK zipper allows easy access no matter the conditions.
The HMG Daybreak has a lightly padded hip belt, you can store this away when not in use and the sternum straps are adjustable. You also have an integrated back panel for comfort, as well as hardline Dyneema shoulder straps which have daisy chains if you want to attach gear to the straps.
Overall, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak is the best waterproof hiking daypack and a great choice for when the weather turns bad.
Best Hydration Daypack 2022
Weight: 25oz / 708grams
> Ventilated- Breathable air mesh.
> Comfortable and Adjustable- Removable chest strap and adjustable features.
> Included Hydration Pack.
The CamelBak Rim Runner 22 is a great pack for keeping comfortable and organized throughout your adventure and with breathable air mesh, it also promises adequate ventilation.
A promising feature of this hydration daypack is the tube trap management which allows you to keep your hydration tube secure and it comes with a hydration bladder and plenty of pockets for storage including zippered hip belt pockets.
It also comes with a load-bearing hip belt that transfers the weight to your hips for comfort and stability. There are a range of adjustments such as the sternum strap you can remove makes it perfect for those wanting to save a bit of weight. The shoulder straps are padded and comfortable. They also have attached daisy chains if you want to clip something to the straps.
Finally, it comes with cargo compression to keep your gear close by and increase your stability further. Stable, durable, and with an included hydration bladder, this pack is an excellent choice for those wanting a comfortable pack built to provide you with everything you might need along that tough trail.
Overall, this is one of the best hydration pack for hiking and trail running.
Best Packable daypack 2022
Weight: 2.5oz / 71grams
> Packs down to the size of a tennis ball.
> Durable- Made with siliconized Cordura Nylon.
> Two-way zipper closure with webbing loops so you can attach a bike light.
> Material not Waterproof.
The Sea to Summit Daypack is great for both hikes or even carrying groceries.
Its ultra-small compressed size allows it to fit onto your keyring or in your jacket pocket when not in use but as the shoulder strap is not padded. This is for lighter loads with the maximum weight being no more than 15lb / 7kg in pack weight.
However, this is still 250 times more than the weight of the pack and the innovative design and performance of such a small pack are outstanding.
It weighs less than 3 ounces which is much less than the other packs. The Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Pack is made from durable and water-resistant materials such as Cordura Nylon. It also has a two-way zipper closure and webbing loops to attach a bike light and promises to equip you with all you need whether you’re running errands, riding your bike or hiking down canyons.
I used this daypack for several years as an ultralight daypack for short dayhikes, grocery shopping and more. While it is light and packable it has no padding on the back and requires careful packing to prevent sharp objects sticking into your back from the main compartment.
Overall, this is one of the best pack for travel, hiking, grocery shopping and more.
Hiking daypacks – More Options
Osprey Daylite 13L
Weight: 17oz / 481grams
> Multi-functional sleeve to hold a hydration reservoir or tablet.
> Comfortable and Ventilated
> Can attach other Osprey bags.
> Built with sustainable materials.
> Can be too long for smaller people.
The Osprey Daylite is simple, comfortable, durable, and lightweight, making it not only great for a quick day hike but also for running everyday errands.
It is made with sustainable, recycled materials means you’ll be doing your bit for the planet and as well as being made from bluesign materials, GRS-certified nylon, and a PFC-free DWR coating. It is totally versatile, allowing you to attach a range of different bags, and is built to last.
The stretch mesh pockets on the side allow for additional storage and the front zippered pocket has a mesh organizer and key clip. The large panel provides excellent accessibility to your items and if you want to stay organized whilst protecting the planet, this pack is for you.
Overall, this is a good daypack for someone who wants to use a pack for day to day use at home or at work and take it hiking on the weekend.
Weight: 41oz / 1162grams
> Versatile- Can be used for longer or shorter hikes.
> Adequate Storage- Main compartment, trekking pole keepers, hip belt pocket, water bottle pockets.
> Trustworthy Design- Made with bluesign materials.
> You will need to buy a separate hydration reservoir.
> You cannot adjust the torso length.
From long epic adventures to day hikes, the REI Co-op Traverse Pack is perfect for all occasions. Made of bluesign recycled materials and nylon, it’s built to last and is good for the environment.
REI Co-op Traverse Pack comes with a padded shoulder harness and hip belt for comfort all day and night long and the compression straps which are included can run from loop to loop to sculpt the shape of your load.
With hip belt pockets, an outer stash pocket, water bottle pockets, compression straps and trekking pole keepers, you are prepared for everything and it even has an included rain cover that is easily accessible should you find yourself in a sudden storm. The design is hydration compatible and we promise this pack won’t let you down.
Overall, the REI Co-op Traverse Pack is a nice hiking day bag for someone on a budget.
With so many factors, it can be hard to find the perfect daypack on your own. This buyer’s guide will guide you on what you should be keeping an eye out for whilst researching.
When you come to buying a hiking pack, you don’t want something that is going to weigh you down on the trail. Look at the weight of it and consider that weight on top of the load you will already be carrying.
If it’s too heavy for you, consider opting for a lighter hiking backpack that might hold slightly less, your back and shoulders will thank you.
Some designs even have technology that transfers the weight to your hips so if you struggle to carry heavy loads, this might be something to keep an eye out for too.
Each pack will be designed for a different activity and a different length hike.
Moreover, an easy-to-access main compartment is useful along the trail for whichever activity you end up doing and so have a look at how you access this before buying any day backpack.
Does it have two zippers? Does it have mesh storage pockets on the side? These are all things to find out before making that all-important purchase.
Short Day Hiking Pack
For shorter hikes will only need small packs, you might want one of the small frameless packs that are lightweight and minimalist. But it should be big enough to hold all that you need for the day. Exterior pockets are a good option on most of these packs for gear that needs to be easily accessed or to store wet gear.
If you’re climbing to the summit or you like going on overnight hikes you might want something with more support and something with a larger main compartment. It should also be more durable built to last in harsher weather conditions.
How long your hike is will also determine the size of your daypack. If you’re staying overnight, you’re going to need to pack for carrying extra gear. Usually much more than if you were going hiking for a few hours.
The larger pack the pack, the more room there is in the main compartment for your gear. It may have a dedicated sleeping bag compartment for those light and fast overnight trips. Almost all will have padded hip belts and a comfortable padded shoulder strap. And a mesh back panel is handy to store a wet rain jacket or other gear after rain.
Unlike a backpacking pack most of these larger daypacks will be too small for heavier loads and all your backpacking gear. Only an ultralight minimalist hiker with a light load will be able to fit everything in.
Some people like myself like to use my hiking backpack as a commuter bag when in town. I like it when I can use the hydration sleeve as a laptop sleeve. And many daypacks have internal pockets for pens or keys. A versatile pack that can double as a work bag is another thing to consider. I also want a place for water bottles when hiking and when walking around town.
When you are looking for a hiking daypack you will need to carry water. Most packs have some form of water storage. Will you use a water bottle or a hydration bladder.
Most daypacks in this review have a internal sleeve to fit a hydration bladder. The best hydration bladders are universal and can fit into any of the packs that have the sleeve. You do not need to buy the one that is made by the manufacturer of the backpack.
Some people including myself love to carry water bottles. Whether it is a water bottle with a filter or a cheap bottle that I have reused 100s of time, they need to be stored somewhere when hiking.
Mesh pockets on the side are a good option, specially if they have some sort of clip system to lock them in place. Most daypacks that have a side mesh pocket are perfect for water bottles. If not, they may have to go inside the hiking pack.
Just like clothes, a hiking daypack is designed for different-sized people. You may get an option to pick a size and this will be according to the buyer’s measurements, so check these first.
The measurements are usually referring to a buyer’s torso and the ranges vary from manufacturer and by gender. Hip belts also accommodate a range of waist sizes and so ensure you measure this too.
They usually range from mid-20 inches to around the mid-40s Finally, the load lifter straps and sternum strap should fit correctly on a daypack and form a 45-degree angle between the shoulder straps and the pack.
The chest strap boosts stability and ensures you don’t fall over on rough terrain. Often it is removable and adjustable.
Overall, there are a lot of great daypacks for hiking and short trips. It is safe to say that you should be happy with any of the day backpacks from the list below.
Frequently Asked Questions
A day Backpack is a smaller version of a large backpack that is usually lightweight, but big enough for essential items to take on day hikes or sometimes overnight trips.
This will depend on what you are using the daypack for, but if it is for hiking, we recommend a spare change of clothes, water, snacks, lunch, sun protection, and a first aid kit as the bare essentials.
For everyday hiking a day pack is vital. You want to find something that is small and lightweight, durable and sturdy, and designed to take on many different weather conditions.
Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.