There’s nothing like the sound of the wind rushing through pine trees in the forest. Far away from the clamor of everyday life, nature gives us a way to decompress. Nature is also unpredictable. That’s why it pays to come prepared.

 The simplest way to take the essentials with you when you travel is to put them in a daypack. Daypacks are designed as lightweight carryalls to take on a short trip. 

 Most brands separate daypacks into men’s and women’s styles. The women’s packs are shorter, have narrower straps, and carry less than the men’s. You should also consider a pack’s capacity and empty weight. 


Best Overall Hiking Daypack

MensOsprey Talon 22| WomensOsprey Tempest 20

 Best Weather Resisitant Daypack

MensVans Fend Rolltop Backpack| WomensNevo Rhino Hiking Backpack

 Best Budget Daypack

MensOsprey Daylite Plus| WomensZomake Small Hiking Backpack

 Best Hydration Daypack

MensArc’teryx Aerios 10| WomensOsprey Skimmer 28

 Best Lightweight Daypack

MensThe North Face Borealis Backpack| WomensOsprey Daylite Plus Pack

Best Overall Hiking Daypack

These daypacks combine all of the best features into one package.

Men – Osprey Talon 22

The Osprey Men’s Hiking daypack checks all the right boxes for a stellar hiking daypack. It’s got pockets for everything you might want to travel with, like a poncho, maps, and keys. LidLock bike helmet and Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachments let you keep your hands free. 

 This Osprey constructed the Talon 22 from recycled high-tenacity nylon that’s comfortable, durable, and sustainable. The waist belt is seam-free to reduce friction and irritation on long hikes. Osprey’s special Airspeed mesh back panel allows for airflow behind the pack. 

 The max carrying capacity for this daypack is 22L, and it weighs 1.32 pounds. 

Shop this item here: Osprey Talon 22

Women - Osprey Tempest 20

The Osprey Tempest 20 has similar features to the men’s daypack above, including the zippered hip belt pockets and shoulder harness pocket. 

 If you don’t want your smaller items like keys, lip balm, and cash to scatter inside the pack, put them in the built-in mesh pocket. The pocket comes with a key clip, so you don’t have to dig to the bottom of the pack when you’re ready to get back in your car.

 The pack comes in black, purple, jasper green, and gray and sizes extra small to large. The carrying capacity is 20L, and it weighs 1.84 pounds. 

Check out pricing here: Osprey Tempest 20

Best Weather Resistant Daypack

Be prepared for inclement weather with these weather-resistant suggestions.

Men – Vans Fend Rolltop Backpack

In a downpour, you need a pack that keeps your matches, guidebooks, and extra pairs of socks dry. This Vans Fend pack has a roll-top enclosure that’s functional as a rain fly that protects what’s inside.

The ripstop polyester material is durable as well as water-repellant. That makes it a bit heavier than the Osprey Talon, but thorns and branches don’t snag it easily. 

Sunny lime is easy to spot in the brush, but if lime isn’t your color, you’re out of luck. That’s the only color option available. The pack carries up to 21.5L and weighs 3.70 pounds.

Click here for the latest prices: Vans Fend Rolltop Backpack

Women - Nevo Rhino Hiking Backpack

It’s no fun getting soaked on a day hike. With this pack, you can protect your gear with a hidden waterproof rain cover. Pack a poncho or an umbrella, and you’ll be good to go, even if it pours.

 An internal, removable frame helps disperse weight evenly so you can carry more without extra aches and pains. The substantial waist pad aids in weight distribution as well. Zippered waist pockets are ideal for cash and cards.

 The Nevo Rhino comes in sizes that hold 40, 50, 60, 65, or 80L. You have 11 colors to choose from. This daypack weighs 3.09 pounds, including the frame.

Shop this item here: Nevo Rhino Hiking Backpack

Best Budget Daypack

As with other outdoor gear, packs can get expensive. Here are a couple affordable choices.

Men – Osprey Daylite Plus

If you need a budget pack that will cost you less than $100, this is the one to get. Osprey cut costs without having to sacrifice functionality. 

 A padded interior sleeve easily holds a laptop or hydration bag. Carry small items in mesh organizer, two side mesh pockets, and a slash pocket in the front panel.

 The Daylite Plus attaches to other Osprey packs if you need to carry supplies for a more extended trip. The pack has a padded laptop or hydration compartment. Its capacity is 20L, and it weighs 1.19 pounds.

For current prices, click here: Osprey Daylite Plus

Women - ZOMAKE Small Hiking Backpack

The first notable feature of this daypack is its compact size. The entire pack folds into a built-in zipper pocket for easy storage. It’s great to slip into a carry-on for short trips once at your destination. 

 This pack comes in a rainbow of colors, and at this price, you can afford several to match your luggage or hiking gear. Multiple zippered pockets keep your belongings secure. The zippers are very reliable and well-made.

 The ZOMAKE’s carrying capacity is 25L and weighs a meager 0.6 pounds. It owes its lightweight to a sturdy nylon material and absence of added padding. 

Check out current prices here: ZOMAKE Small Hiking Backpack

Best Hydration Daypack

The most valuable thing you can take into the outdoors is water. These packs make it easy.

Men – Arc’teryx Aerios 10

Although this pack doesn’t come with a hydration pack, it can adequately handle one. The Aerios has a bladder sleeve and a modular hose clip. It’s so lightweight that the added water weight won’t make your load overwhelming.

 The modular waist/sternum belt is a nice feature on this pack. It minimizes bouncing and shifting during rigorous activity and includes a security pocket and breathable shoulder straps.

 The only downside to the Aerios is that it’s not water-resistant. The seams and zipper will let water pass through. This pack has a 10L carrying capacity, and it weighs slightly under one pound.

Shop this item here: Arc’teryx Aerios 10

Women - Osprey Skimmer 28

The Skimmer comes with a hydration pack that carries 2.5L of water. It’s nestled in a special compartment that protects the rest of the pack against leaks or spills.

 It’s easy to get in and out of this daypack using its broad, bucket-style opening. A mesh compartment stores small items. The hip belt, front shove-it pocket, and side panel pockets offer additional storage space. 

 The pack is available in blue or plum, has a 28L capacity, and weighs 2.15 pounds when empty. Use the daisy chain attachment points to clip on carabiners, keys, or a trekking pole.

Click here for the latest pricing: Osprey Skimmer 28

Best Lightweight Daypack

If you like to travel light, these two daypacks won’t weigh you down.

Men  – The North Face Borealis Backpack

This pack is equally at home in the outdoors or a classroom. It has fleece-lined compartments to protect laptops, tablets, and sunglasses from getting scratched. The padded straps are very comfortable and connect with a sternum strap.

 If you’re going for a leisurely climb or just a trek around the city, you can remove the detachable hip belt. The padded mesh back panel with spine channel cushions against heavy loads, especially if you’re traveling by bike.

 There are reflective surfaces all over this daypack for added visibility when you’re out after dark. The Borealis carries 28L and weighs just over two pounds. 

For current pricing, click here: North Face Borealis Backpack

Women - Osprey Daylite Plus Pack

The Osprey Daylite Plus is a sleek, streamlined pack that has a surprising amount of storage space. You can slip a laptop into the sleeve in the main compartment. The pack has five additional pockets that zip up to keep small items from traveling.

 The only disappointment with this pack is the skimpy hip belt. It’s a simple nylon strap without padding or pockets. That makes it lighter, however, and you only really need a hip strap on larger bags.

 The Daylite Plus’s capacity is 20L, and it weighs just a little over one pound. It is hydration compatible.

Shop this item here: Osprey Daylite Plus Pack

Time For A DayHike

Ultimately, the best hiking daypacks for you will be those that fit well and feel comfortable. It’s always wise to have a range of packs so you can pick one based on your travel plans. A few of these packs attach to larger backpacks in the same product line. 

 Larger packs can hold all of your gear. When you get to your destination, grab the day pack for sightseeing and light hikes. Be sure to have fun and pack plenty of hydration.