When you want to go out on a day hike, a critical piece of kit you need to have with you is a day pack. A day pack is a small backpack that enables you to carry all the necessary bits of kit for your day hike.
So, that bit of food for a snack and your lunch, the all important water to keep you hydrated and a place to keep extra layers of gear should you need to put them or a place to put them if you take some off.
As with rain Jackets and hiking boots, a daypack is pretty much a necessity for your basic hiking gear kit. As with any piece of outdoor gear kit these days though, there is a plethora of choices available to you on today’s market, lots of good ones and lots of not so good ones. Nothing new there 🙂
Best Day Packs
Best Day Pack.
- 70D and 100D nylon
- Dual zippered panel access to main compartment
- External Hydration Sleeve
Excellent Pocket Options.
- 100D nylon
- Expandable front pocket with bungee closure
- Adjustable trekking pole system
- Tough 210D nylon
- Side stretch mesh pocket, dual hip belt pockets
- Soft touch front accessory pocket
Some Tips Before you Buy
You need to know what you need a pack for. This gets easier as you get more experienced with hiking but when you’re new to hiking, it can be a bit confusing. There are so many different sizes of packs, from day packs to back packs … what’s the best option for me!? What will meet my needs!?
While this page is specifically about day packs, it’s worth looking into this on a broader scale for a moment to help illustrate what I mean.
As always, start with what you need your pack for ... where are you going hiking? Are you going for a few days? Will you need to wild camp? Are you only ever day hiking? If so, for 2 hours or 10 hours? Will you be hiking in hot conditions and so may need to carry less extra gear, or will you also be heading out in the middle of winter when it’s near zero degrees at the summit of the peaks you want to climb?
As you can see, the answers to all of these questions will have a large impact on the kind of pack you need to get.
Now, as mentioned, this page is about day packs so we’re not talking about backpacking or camping for a night or two here. That immediately excludes the bigger internal and external frame backpacks. However, even within the smaller range of daypack sizes available, there is still a lot to consider.
If you’re completely new to all this and you’re not 100% sure what your needs are and what specific things you should be looking for in a day pack, check out the day pack buying guide. It runs you through everything you should consider and what features are good to have in a day pack.
Personally, I use and recommend a 25 to 35 liter day pack as it should do you all year round. It has that bit of extra space for extra layers should you need to carry more gear at colder times of year. At hotter times, you just have less kit in it so no problems there.
Remember, do your homework first! Depending on the result of your investigations based on the buying guide i.e. deciding what you need your day pack for, what type of hiking you’re doing, what kind of climate, etc. , a 30 to 35 liter or 20 to 25 liter day pack, may be a better option for you.
OK, so that’s it for now. I hope you found the recommendations useful and they help you pick the right day pack for your hiking needs. As always, take your time and educate yourself well in the process and, most importantly, be clear about what you need your pack for.
Remember the day packs listed here are good for day hiking but not suitable for longer hiking or backpacking trips, you need something bigger for that. Knowing what you need your pack for is key. Read the hiking daypack buying guide first, that will walk you through all the many things you need to consider when choosing a day pack.
When you've done that, have a good think about how much stuff you need to carry with you on your day hikes at different times of the year. In short summary, know what your needs are before your purchase.
Finally, in the sidebar, there are lot's of gear coupon options available. Be sure to check them out before you purchase anything, you could bag yourself a bargain!
I’ll be updating this as things change but these are my recommendations for now. If you've any questions on any of this or if I can help in any way, feel free to leave a comment or send me a note via the contact page. Happy to help if I can.