Multiple easy to reach pockets keep you organized all trip long. In our guide at the bottom, we’ll break down the different kinds of packs, common features you may want to prioritize, and how to optimize your choice based on the activity. Our favorite laptop bags are more stylish than a messenger bag but also more refined and work-appropriate than a tote you might take to a grocery store.
Mystery Ranch’s Scree 32L is built with ventilated mesh in the back to prevent moisture build-up as well. On our snowshoe hikes, I didn’t experience sweating, because well, it was cool enough to where I didn’t overheat. However, my back sweat quite a bit while summer hiking because of the internal frame. To me, this isn’t a downside of the Scree, just a fact of all internal frame packs, since I naturally sweat quite a bit. A daypack is a type of bag or backpack that you use to carry just enough items to get you through the day.
We’ll be talking more about features — what they are, why you might want them, and what to look for — in the What to Look for In a Daypack section. The Dagger is a new pack as of 2020, but it’s already received praise from Outside and Section Hiker. We realize some of the extra cost comes from the Daybreak is made in the USA, the only pack that we considered that has that accolade.
FRAME – Some ultralight daypacks with lower capacities are frameless, meaning they have little to no structure to disperse weight between your back and hips. Frameless packs are highly portable and handy for quick trips, but packs with padding, a frame, and a hipbelt are better for longer adventures with heavy loads. Each product in this review proved to be durable over months of use, but some will certainly last longer than others.
Traditional daypacks can come in a wide variety of sizes but, in general, most packs will have a capacity between 10 and 25 liters. Usually, you’ll find one large compartment with a few other smaller pockets around the bag. But there is a ton of variety in the traditional daypack department, so that’s not all you’re going to find—there are plenty of traditional daypacks out there that offer loads of organization. Really, you can find bags at any end of the spectrum—from zero organization to a boatload to a happy medium.
While zippers are great for keeping stuff dry, they are both heavy and mechanical — so they add weight to a pack and eventually can break. While having pockets is great, more pockets mean more material is being used — meaning the pack itself is going to be heavier. If you are trying to keep things minimalistic, opt for a simpler design, like the Six Moon Designs Wy’east 34L or the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak 17L.