the best day hiking backpacks for the next time you hit the trail
So you’ve decided to start hiking. You have the snacks, the rain jacket, the water bottle and first aid supplies. Now you just need a place to store all your supplies on your adventures.
The wide range of available bags can seem intimidating. While some daypacks are less than 20 liters in capacity, it’s better to go with something between 20 and 30 liters so you have a little more space to carry extra snacks or jackets on longer hikes. Daypacks also make great carry-on bags for plane trips or work bags for the bike commuter.
Here are some of the best bags on the market:
The all-around pack -- Osprey Talon 22 ($110)
This light, durable pack comes in a variety of bright colors and can be used for hiking, commuting or hopping on a flight. The Osprey Talon 22 has seven external pockets for your smaller item and an external sleeve to fit a hydration bladder. A hip belt as well as a sternum strap help distribute weight should you decide to carry heavy gear with you. The bag comes in two sizes and the length of the bag can be adjusted to fit your torso.
Can fit Anything - BE TAHQUITZ PACK - 35L, 40L
The Rogan brothers thought of everything when it comes to this comfortable, simple-yet-elegant, functional day pack. The pack is waterproofed to the T with a roll-top closure, water repellent coating, and waterproof zippers. The shoulder straps and back panel are breathable and comfortable, the sternum strap is adjustable, and the main pocket includes a water reservoir. The Tahquitz backpack has several sneakily compressed compartments for easy access, and even features a water reservoir with tube ports.
For the design-conscious -- Fjallraven High Coast 26 ($125)
For a sleek look, it’s hard to beat the Fjallraven High Coast pack. It’s made of recycled polyester and organically-grown cotton and fits a 15-inch laptop in the main compartment. However, the bag’s modern design comes with a cost: It only has three external pockets. The pack is water resistant and includes a rain cover for the unfortunate event that you get caught in a downpour. Finally, it comes with a removable hip belt to use when you need to carry heavier loads.
A bag that won’t hurt your budget -- Marmot Kompressor 18 ($50)
A well-made bag will last decades, but that doesn’t mean you have to shell out hundreds of dollars to hit the trails. The minimalist Marmot Kompressor is smaller than many daypacks, but is a great option for a short jaunt. The pack weighs a bit more than half a pound and doesn’t have a traditional frame. Instead, the bag uses a removable rectangle to give it shape and the entire pack can be tucked into its top lid for storage. It’s not the bag for an all-day foray into the woods or inclement weather, but is perfect for the simplest of walks.
Author: Elise Schmelzer