A daypack is a small, lightweight backpack designed for day trips and outdoor activities. Typically ranging from 12 to 40 liters in capacity, daypacks are made from durable materials like nylon or polyester to withstand harsh conditions. They feature multiple pockets and compartments for easy organization, and their comfortable fit is ensured by padded shoulder straps and back panels. Suitable for activities like hiking, camping, travel, and commuting, daypacks offer a versatile and essential solution for carrying essentials such as water, snacks, electronics, and personal items, allowing users to stay organized and comfortable on the go.
Key points to consider
- Compactness: The daypack should be foldable, rolled, or stuffed into its own pouch for easy storage and transport.
- Lightweight: Opt for packable daypacks made from lightweight materials like nylon or polyester to avoid adding unnecessary weight to your luggage.
- Durability: Choose a packable daypack that is lightweight but still designed to be durable and withstand regular use.
- Capacity: Packable daypacks should have enough space to carry essential items for a day trip, such as water bottles, snacks, a camera, and a light jacket.
- Comfort: Look for packable daypacks with padded shoulder straps and back panels for extended wear comfort.
- Versatility: Consider daypacks that can serve various purposes, such as day hikes, city exploration, shopping, or as an extra bag for unexpected needs.
- Water resistance: Many packable daypacks come with water-resistant coatings to protect your belongings from light rain or splashes. Please note that if the product description says “water-resistant,” it means “splash proof,” which is not fully “waterproof.”
- Purpose and usage: Consider whether you prioritize weight and packability or features and comfort, as daypacks vary in these aspects.
- Additional features: Check for external zipped pockets, water bottle holders, sternum straps, hip belts, hydration ports, back and shoulder strap padding, and weather resistance, depending on your needs and preferences.
- Durability: Look for quality fabric and zips to ensure the daypack’s longevity.
The Bellroy Lite Backpack is a super lightweight and durable backpack designed for active adventures. Part of their Lite range, it features ripstop fabric made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles, making it 3x lighter than their other bags. The 20L capacity backpack offers convenient organization with an internal document sleeve, elevated essentials pocket with a key clip, stretch bottle pocket, and a raised sunglasses pocket with a water-resistant zip.
*All prices are as of the time of writing
Comfort is prioritized with padded, breathable mesh back panels and shoulder straps, along with an adjustable and detachable sternum strap. Despite its lightweight design, it maintains a sturdy structure for everyday adventures and comes with a 3-year warranty. Easy to fold or roll, this versatile backpack is perfect for travel, fitting into a weekend bag or luggage, and is ready to be used on day trips and local excursions.
- Ample organizational features: The Bellroy Lite Daypack offers various compartments, including a zippered pocket, stretchy water bottle holder, document sleeve, and a water-protected sunglasses pocket, keeping your gear well-organized.
- Comfortable design: With padded back panels, cushioned shoulder straps, and an adjustable chest clip, the backpack ensures a comfortable fit during your adventures.
- Lightweight and packable: The bag is super lightweight and can be easily folded or rolled up for travel, making it convenient to carry in a weekend bag or luggage.
- Environmentally friendly: The ripstop fabric is sourced from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles, making it an eco-conscious choice.
- No pocket or pouch for folding: One downside is that the backpack does not fold into its own pocket or pouch, potentially making storage less compact compared to some other packable backpacks.
The L.L.Bean Stowaway Pack is a highly versatile and lightweight day pack designed for outdoor adventures and hiking. It offers a spacious 22-liter capacity and can be easily packed into its own internal pocket for convenient travel. The pack comes with a breathable mesh back panel, padded shoulder straps, adjustable waist belt, and chest strap, ensuring comfort and support during long trips. It features numerous organizational pockets, two water bottle sleeves, and a binky loop for attaching a safety light.
- Spacious capacity: The L.L.Bean Stowaway Pack offers a generous 22-liter capacity, providing ample space for gear and essentials on outdoor excursions.
- Compact and packable: The day pack can be easily stuffed into its own small internal pocket, making it highly portable and ideal for travel.
- Organizational features: The bag comes with lots of pockets, including an easily accessible front “shove it” pocket, two side mesh water-bottle pockets, and an internal stow pocket for organization.
- Comfort and support: The backpack features a breathable mesh back panel, padded foam shoulder straps, an adjustable waist belt, and a chest strap, ensuring comfort and support during extended use.
- Eco-friendly materials: The shell material is bluesign-approved recycled polyester ripstop made from recycled soda/water bottles.
- Slightly heavier: At 0.9 pounds, the L.L.Bean Stowaway Pack is a bit heavier compared to other packable designs, which might be a consideration for those seeking the lightest possible option.
The Patagonia Packable Backpack-Tote Hybrid is a versatile and lightweight 27-liter bag made from 100% recycled nylon ripstop material. It offers multiple carrying options – by hand, over the shoulder, or as a backpack with a comfortable mesh harness. The bag has a large main compartment with internal and external zippered pockets for gear organization and stretch water-bottle pockets.
Despite not being waterproof, the bag is weather-resistant (splash-proof) and highly packable. It is also made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory, supporting ethical labor practices. The bag’s durability, water resistance, and organizational features make it an excellent choice for everyday use and travel.
- Versatile design: The bag can be carried by hand, over the shoulder, or as a backpack, offering multiple carrying options.
- Lightweight and packable: Made from lightweight recycled nylon ripstop, the bag is highly packable and easy to carry around.
- Organizational features: The bag has multiple pockets, including a large zippered main compartment, an internal zip pocket, and an external zippered organizer for gear organization.
- Stretch water-bottle pockets: It comes with double stretch-mesh water-bottle pockets for easy access to hydration.
- Fair Trade Certified™: The bag is made in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory, supporting ethical labor practices and ensuring the people who made the product earn a premium for their work.
- Not waterproof: The bag is splash-proof, it’s not fully waterproof, which may be a consideration in certain environments or conditions where complete protection from water is required.
The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack is a minimalist, lightweight, and packable backpack made from 30D siliconized CORDURA® fabric. It offers incredible strength-to-weight performance and can hold up to 20 liters of gear. The pack is suitable for various purposes, such as a summit pack, carrying groceries, or serving as an extra travel tote. It packs down to the size of a tennis ball and comes with non-padded shoulder straps, making it ideal for carrying essentials during quick-strike missions. While it is splash-proof, it is not fully waterproof due to unsealed seams and zippers. The pack is not recommended for long hikes as it lacks a hip belt and chest strap. However, for lightweight and convenient use, it’s an excellent option for travel and everyday activities.
- Lightweight and packable: The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack is made from ultra-sil fabric, enabling it to pack down to the size of a tennis ball and easily fit into pockets, purses, or luggage.
- Durable and strong: The 30D siliconized CORDURA® fabric and reinforcing bar-tacks at stress points make the pack highly durable and capable of withstanding loads many times its own weight.
- Versatile use: With a 20-liter capacity, it serves well as a summit pack, grocery carrier, extra travel tote, or lightweight backup bag for various purposes.
- Splash-proof: The pack is splash-proof, providing protection against light rain and splashes.
- Award-winning design: The Ultra-Sil Day Pack has received recognition for its strength-to-weight performance and innovative design.
- Not waterproof: While the pack is splash-proof, it is not fully waterproof due to unsealed seams and zippers, which means it may not be suitable for prolonged exposure to heavy rain or downpours.
- Lack of padding: The pack comes with non-padded shoulder straps and does not include a hip belt or chest strap, which may limit comfort for longer hikes or heavy loads.
The Naturehike Ultralight Foldable Daypack is an 18-liter waterproof camping backpack made with high-quality water and tear-resistant 30D nylon material. It features YKK zippers sealed with silicone for water resistance and fine nylon lines stitching for durability. The backpack is lightweight (4.2 oz) and roomy, with a large main pocket, outer pocket, inner zippered pocket, and two large side mesh pockets. It can be folded down to a compact size of 4.7″ x 2.7″ and unfolds to a size of 17″ x 10″.
However, some users find the straps too narrow and flimsy, so it is recommended for occasional use or lighter loads. The product comes with a risk-free ironclad 2-year guarantee, backed by Naturehike’s commitment to product quality and customer satisfaction.
- High-quality construction: The Naturehike Waterproof Camping Backpack is made with water and tear-resistant 30D nylon material, featuring YKK sealed zippers and fine nylon lines stitching for durability.
- Waterproof: The silicone-coated nylon fabric provides PU2000mm waterproof, making it suitable for outdoor sports and leisure activities.
- Lightweight and roomy: Weighing 4.2oz, the 18L backpack offers a spacious main pocket, outer pocket, inner zippered pocket, and two large side mesh pockets for easy organization.
- Comfortable to wear: The backpack comes with padded shoulder straps for pressure relief, breathable mesh for staying cool and dry, and adjustable buckles for a comfortable fit.
- Risk-free guarantee: Naturehike offers a 2-year guarantee to ensure product quality and customer satisfaction.
- Limited pocket options: The backpack lacks an internal pocket, except for the small drawstring pouch it folds into, which may limit storage for smaller items like keys.
- Narrow opening: The zip’s limited opening may make accessing the contents more challenging than larger daypacks.
- Flimsy straps: Some users found the shoulder straps to be too narrow and flimsy, making the backpack better suited for lighter loads and occasional use.
A quick comparison
Compare the daypacks of your choice in the table below. We’ve selected L.L.Bean Stowaway Pack vs Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack, but you can add or remove any.
|Bellroy||L.L.Bean||Patagonia||Sea to Summit||Naturehike|
|Purpose||Active adventures||Outdoor adventures||Versatile tote||Versatile lightweight bag||Camping backpack|
|Material||Recycled PET plastic||Recycled polyester||Recycled nylon||Siliconized CORDURA®||30D nylon|
|Weight||12.35 oz||14 oz||13.05 oz||3 oz||4.2 oz|
|Size (inch)||18.9 x 10.6 x 7.1||19 x 10 x 7||15.5 x 10.25 x 8||18.9 x 7.9 x 11||9.06 x 6.69 x 16.54|
|Features||Foldable, pockets for essentials||Compact, pockets for water bottles||Can be tote or backpack, multiple pockets||Ultra compact, bike light attachment||Folds small, multiple pockets|
|Comfort||Padded, breathable back/straps||Padded, breathable back/straps||Breathable mesh harness||Non-padded straps||Padded, breathable straps|
|Packability||Not foldable into its own pocket||Folds into an internal pocket||Folds into its own pocket||Packs down to the size of a tennis ball||Folds down to a compact size|
|Return||30 days||1 year||1 year||60 days||30 days|
|Pros||Organization, comfort, eco-friendly||Spacious, packable, comfort/support, eco-friendly||Versatile, packable, ethical labor practices||Lightweight, packable, durable||Quality construction, waterproof, roomy, comfortable, guarantee|
|Cons||No folding pocket, not fully waterproof||Heavier design, not fully waterproof||Not fully waterproof||Not fully waterproof, lack of padding||Limited pockets, narrow opening, flimsy straps|
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