Top 6 Best Day Hiking Backpacks

Warm weather is back, and so is our hiking bug! If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a new day pack that meets all your gear segmentation and style needs and can take a little rough-and-tumble adventure on the trail. We put together a list of day hiking packs currently offered by our outdoor startup brands, what their best perks are, where they’re lacking a bit, and how you can use them to get after it:


BE Tahquitz Pack - 35L, 40L

Pluses: 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.

Detractors: Due to its larger size, the Tahquitz is a better fit for serious day hikes when you need to bring extra layers, water, food, a medkit, or climbing gear. You could bring it on a 2 mile nature walk, but you might find it a bit excessive.

Uses: Long moderate to difficult day hikes, hybrid water/hiking/climbing trip, travel

Anicca Bags Classic - 20L

Pluses: Aptly named, the Classic rocks tons of utility wrapped up in an evergreen stylish look. The hiking pack is waterproof and features easy to grab zippers, clip-on loops, side pockets for water bottles, adjustable sternum strap, and 13’’ laptop/water reservoir sleeve. The main compartment’s zippers go over halfway down the pack for easy gear retrieval. For larger packs with a similar classic style, check out Anicca’s Jolly Rogers and Ortiz Pro packs.

Detractors: Would benefit from more compartments for segmenting gear.

Uses: Easy to moderate day hike, city, travel

Cotopaxi Luzon - 18L

Pluses: Cotopaxi’s signature day hiking pack is built with waterproof, lightweight, durable nylon and compresses down for easy storage. The Lyzon features comfy mesh shoulder straps, adjustable sternum and hip straps, and way more color choices than anyone needs (but you’re glad you have them!)

Detractors: There are no side pockets for water bottles, and it has a top drawstring closure that will be problematic in rain showers. There are only two pockets, so gear is easily lost in the larger compartment.

Uses: Easy to moderate day hikes, gym, travel

Montem Diadema - 18L

Pluses: Very similar to the Luzon, the Diadema is lightweight, water resistant, and easy to compress and pack down. This pack also comes with mesh shoulder straps, adjustable sternum and hip straps, and bright color options.

Detractors: The detractors are also very similar to the Cotopaxi Luzon: top drawstring closure isn’t good for rain, no side pockets for water bottles, and only two compartments.

Uses: Easy to moderate day hikes, gym, travel

Parks Preserve Day Pack

Pluses: This pack features several separate compartments for gear segmentation, elastic side pouches, and top cinch belts for compression. Parks Preserve’s raison d’etre is to support our National Parks through donations and volunteer hours, so you can rock their day pack on a park hike and feel good about your purchase.

Detractors: This pack is not particularly waterproof.

Uses: Easy to moderate day hikes, city, travel

Hemetic Trading Co Day Pack - 17L

Pluses: With its clean style and padded laptop sleeve, the Day to Day Backpack is designed more for the frontcountry than to be thrown around on the trail. The pack is water resistant and features ergonomic shoulder straps and a water bottle slip pocket. This pack was proudly manufactured in the US and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Detractors: This one might be subjective, but this pack seems a little too hip for the trail - I would be afraid of ripping the pack on a rock or tree as I hike by. Also, there’s no sternum strap - crucial for weight distribution.

Uses: Easy day hike, city, travel


Elissa Author Photo.JPG

Elissa Bowling

Elissa loves striking that perfect balance between outdoor adventure and organized sports. Her ideal week is full of basketball, soccer, and rock climbing followed by a weekend of hiking and camping. She works on the website migrations team at HubSpot and is based out of Cambridge, MA. Elissa is passionate about startups, particularly in the outdoor industry, and her life goal is to one day win a Reddy Yeti gear giveaway.

LinkedIn Instagram



ReddyYeti Logo