A solid daypack should be a staple of every outdoor enthusiast's gear collection. Whether you’re hitting the trail for a hike, biking to work, or even hopping on a flight, a great daypack will serve you well for many years.
With hundreds of daypacks out there serving up a range of functional differences, it can be hard to determine which one will work best for you. We researched and tested dozens of daypacks to create this list of the best hiking packs with a good balance of comfort, convenience, weight, and cost.
You will find that most of our choices are around Osprey and that is for one good reason: Osprey has proven to make reliably good backpacks.
Check out this quick list of our favourites if you’re in a hurry, or continue scrolling to see our full top 8 list with in-depth reviews.
Best ultralight budget daypack: Berghaus TwentyFourSeven 15 Litre
Best hydration daypack with comfortable ventilation: Osprey Hikelite 26 Daypack
Small & durable hiking daypack with comfortable padding: Montane Mezzo 16L
Affordable daypack with a minimal but functional design: Quechua NH100
Ultralight & packable daypack for short hikes: Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack
Ultralight daypack for long day hikes & quick overnights: VANGO Ozone 40 Backpack
Critical Daypack Considerations
Want to know if a hydration pack is right for you? Curious about what pack capacity you’ll need to ensure you have room for your essentials? Scroll to the bottom of this post for our Critical Considerations section where we cover everything you need to know.
Best Hiking Daypacks
BEST DAYPACK OVERALL FOR COMFORT & FUNCTIONALITY PRICE: £100 WEIGHT: 600 g CAPACITY: 22L / 20L
PROS: Comfortable, padded/ventilated back panel, supportive hipbelt, good pocket arrangement, helmet clip for commuting, good value for the price, durable
CONS: Heavier than some other daypacks, hipbelt isn’t removable
BOTTOM LINE: The Osprey Talon 22 (men’s sizes) and Tempest 20 (women’s sizes) provide an exceptional balance of comfort, convenience, and functionality. Our favourite feature of these packs is how they form to our bodies. With cushy hip belts, padded shoulder straps, and ventilated back panels, the Talon and Tempest ride very comfortably on the trail. These packs have plenty of room for a full day adventure and convenient storage compartments to keep our gear organised nicely.
BEST ULTRALIGHT BUDGET DAYPACK
PRICE: £30 WEIGHT: 300g CAPACITY: 15L
Keep drinks handy in the side bottle pocket
Never lose your keys thanks to a handy key clip
Stay organised with internal pockets
Kinder to the environment with PFC-free water repellent
Dimensions: 42cm(H) x 24cm (W) x 16cm (L)
PROS: Affordable, ultralight, good pocket organisation, comfortable, compact
CONS: Not as supportive as some others
BOTTOM LINE: Weighing as little as two smartphones, this great rucksack is the smallest of the Twentyfourseven range, but is deceptively roomy. Strong and durable you'll be surprised how much you can pack in, which means it's perfect whether you're going to the gym, or for a day out in the country. Every detail's been carefully considered, including internal pockets and an external carabiner, so you can keep everything you need organised, and at your fingertips.
Plus, you can give feeling hot and bothered the heave-ho thanks to the vented foam and air mesh back system, which will keep you comfy on the way to work, or on the hill.
BEST HYDRATION DAYPACK FOR HIKING
PRICE: £80 WEIGHT: 730g CAPACITY: 26L
Fabric: 100D nylon mini diamond shadow Frame:
Lightweight peripheral frame
Back system: AirSpeed
Integrated & detachable raincover
Front shove-it pocket
Stretch mesh side pockets
Internal hydration sleeve
Removable webbing hipbelt
Side compression straps
Sternum strap with emergency whistle
Zipped panel access
Trekking pole attachment
Zipped scratch-free sunglasses & electronics pocket
Max Dimensions: 46 x 28 x 28cm
PROS: Raincover included, internal hydration pocket, front pocket for your jacket, very comfortable, supportive, transfers weight to hips well, good pocket organisation, durable CONS: Side pockets fit narrow water bottles great but are tight for wide bottles BOTTOM LINE: The Hikelite 26 Rucksack from Osprey is a lightweight, well-ventilated hiking backpack that is ideal for day trips. With plenty of pockets, there is room for a map, your phone and wallet, and everything else you could need for day out and about. If you get caught in the rain, there is a detachable raincover integrated into the bag so all your stuff stays dry even if you don't.
SMALL & DURABLE HIKING DAYPACK WITH COMFORTABLE PADDING
PRICE: £45 WEIGHT: 430g CAPACITY: 16L
Fabric: RAPTOR Grid 210D
CONTACT Air Mesh Plus on harness & back pad
Extremely comfortable, padded and highly breathable air mesh back panel
Ergonomic, padded and highly breathable yoke style shoulder straps
Chest harness strap
Top compression straps with compression wing
LED light slot and reflective detailing
Side stretch mesh wand pockets
Internal zipped organisation pocket with key clip
Hydration bladder compatible
PROS: Affordable, durable, comfortable, lightweight, padded back panel, hipbelt, large/convenient opening for main compartment CONS: Front stash pocket is somewhat inconvenient to access, chest harness clasp a bit clumsy BOTTOM LINE: The Mezzo 16L rucksack from Montane is an everyday multipurpose daypack. It features their Contact Air Mesh on the back system and ventilated hipbelt, meaning you get excellent ventilation without sacrificing performance where you need it most and makes it an ideal choice for both hot and cold climates.
The ergonomic and padded harness offers great support and breathability whilst maintaining a comfortable temperature so you don't have to worry about readjusting the pack whilst out on your adventures. With two side stretch mesh pockets and an internal organisational pocket you'll know where everything is when the time calls.
The Mezzo rucksack is compatible with hydration packs and has also been designed with reflective detailing with a LED light slot, making it an ideal for longer runs and cycling trips.
ROOMY PACK THAT’S GREAT FOR TRAVEL & LONG DAY HIKES
RRP: £200 (£135 at GoOutdoors) WEIGHT: 219g (men's) 208g(women's) CAPACITY: 50L PROS: Ice Axe Attachment, Padded Shoulder Strap, Raincover included, Walking Pole Holder, Adjustable Back System, Emergency Whistle, Hipbelt, Hydration Compatible CONS: Heavy, more room than necessary for short hikes BOTTOM LINE: Designed for longer trips and larger loads, the Artmos 50 cleverly distributes weight and ventilates the back in the process.
The AG AntiGravity™ back system and ExoForm™ are responsible for this – lifting the rucksack from your back whilst transferring the load through the large muscle groups in the legs, making a light load of even the most demanding bulk.
With multiple access points, the bag makes a breeze of locating those buried items, and the separate sleeping bag compartment with separate zip entrance, alongside the internal divider, allows you to keep things nicely organised. Twin front zipped pockets, base pocket and a top loading compartment make accessing your gear simple.
With numerous other considerations and clever design points that range from integrated rain covers and Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachments to InsideOut™ compression and removable sleeping bag straps, the Ariel 65 is a great choice for anyone who is planning a longer trip or adventure. MORE: If you’re looking for something larger, the Atmos also comes in a 65L and Large size
Osprey Stratos 26 (men’s sizes) and Sirrus 26 (women’s sizes)
COMFY & SUPPORTIVE HIKING DAYPACK FOR LONGER HIKES