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Best Hiking Daypack of 2024

Maya Rivera

Written by Maya Rivera

From Utah canyons to Thailand cliffs, Maya is a rock climbing aficionado who enjoys a bit of camping and hiking in the off-season.

This post was last updated on April 23, 2024.

Best Hiking Daypack of 2024

A good hiking daypack is not something that all hikers own, but it's the kind of gear that you wonder how you ever did without when you do finally buy a good one.

To test out hiking daypacks we've gone out in the blazing summer heat and snowshoeing in the depths of winter, and everything in between. We've scrambled up mountains and wandered through humid jungles. The daypacks below are the ones we keep going back to.

Our Top Recommendations

Our Top Pick

8.0 /10
Osprey Talon 22 Hiking Daypack
Osprey Talon 22
Comfort
8
Durability
9
Features
8
Weight
7

The Osprey Talon 22 was our top pick for hiking daypacks due to its unrivaled comfort, with users praising its adjustable back panel for a custom fit, and its sleek design that manages to house a variety of essentials without appearing bulky.

Runner Up #1

7.5 /10
Gregory Citro 24 H2O Hiking Daypack
Gregory Citro 24 H2O
Comfort
7
Durability
8
Features
8
Weight
7

The Gregory Citro 24 H2O grabs the top runner up spot due to its rave user reviews praising its hydrating 3-liter reservoir and its ventilated suspension system that hikers appreciate for keeping them cool during strenuous treks.

Runner Up #2

7.5 /10
Arc'teryx Aerios 15 Hiking Daypack
Arc'teryx Aerios 15
Comfort
8
Durability
9
Features
6
Weight
7

The Arc'teryx Aerios 15 clinches the top pick runner up position due to rave user reviews highlighting its incredible comfort during long hikes and its surprisingly spacious compartments, despite its sleek and compact design.

What you should look for

(and what we test for)

Comfort

For sweaty hikes or long treks, look for a daypack with padded straps and a ventilated back panel to help keep you cool and comfortable.

Capacity

The size of your pack matters, so consider how much gear you typically bring on your adventures -- a daypack with around 20-30L capacity is usually sufficient for most single-day hikes.

Durability

Made to withstand rough handling, choose a daypack made from robust material like rip-stop nylon to ensure it can survive the inevitable scrapes against rocks and brush.

Special Features

Extra features can make a big difference, so look for a hiking daypack with things like hydration reservoir compatibility, rain cover, and gear loops for added convenience and functionality.

8.0 /10

Osprey Talon 22

$160.00
The Best Hiking Daypack

Based on our research and testing, we think the Osprey Talon 22 is the best Hiking Daypack on the market right now, for anyone looking to play hard outside.

Osprey Talon 22 Hiking Daypack
Comfort
8
Durability
9
Features
8
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Impressive storage capacity
  • Excellent design for comfort
  • Versatile for a variety of outdoor activities
  • Good value for money
  • Robust build and durability

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not suitable for longer trips
  • Lack of certain features like rain cover
  • Potential fitting issues for some body types

The Osprey Talon 22 is a top-notch daypack that readily meets the needs of hikers, climbers, and anyone planning a day's adventure. First off, this daypack impresses with its superior comfort. The pack's adjustable back panel and breathable mesh materials keep users comfortable, even during strenuous activities. It's a delight to wear on the trails, allowing you to forget you're even carrying a backpack.

Its weight is another feather in its cap. The Talon 22 is incredibly lightweight which, combined with its ergonomic design, makes it the perfect companion for longer hikes. Despite being light, it manages to resist wear and tear, thanks to its durable nylon material.

The Osprey Talon 22 scores big on storage too, offering a 22-liter capacity. It has a number of thoughtful features such as a stretchy front pouch, two zippered hip belt pockets, and a nifty lid lock system for your helmet. These compartments make it easy to store and retrieve your gear effortlessly.

Customer reviews echo these sentiments. Many speak highly of the comfort and light weight, stating that it makes long hikes much more manageable. Some have highlighted the bag's durability, reporting it's withstood years of use without showing signs of wear. Plenty rave about the storage compartments, especially the accessibility of hip pockets which are lauded as a handy place to stash small necessities.

Of course, no product is without its shortcomings. Some users found the hydration sleeve a bit tricky to use when the pack was full. Others felt the lack of a rain cover was a shortcoming, especially considering the daypack's higher-end price tag.

In all, the Osprey Talon 22 comes highly recommended by its users for comfort, light weight, and comprehensive storage features. Yet, potential buyers may want to consider how they plan to use the hydration sleeve and whether they need a rain cover based on the climate they'll be hiking in.

7.5 /10

Gregory Citro 24 H2O

$169.95
Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Gregory Citro 24 H2O is a great choice if you're looking for a hiking daypack to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Gregory Citro 24 H2O Hiking Daypack
Comfort
7
Durability
8
Features
8
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Loaded with useful features
  • Great ventilation
  • Hydration system included
  • Comfortable fit

Reasons to Avoid

  • Straps may feel a bit stiff
  • Some may find it slightly bulky
  • Lack of hip belt pockets

The Gregory Citro 24 H2O is a top-notch daypack that's developed a reputation among outdoor enthusiasts as a reliable companion for those short but tough hiking trips. Made with durable nylon material, this daypack can rough it up in the wild without letting you down.

When it comes to comfort, users commend the Gregory Citro 24 H2O for its ventilated suspension system. The moisture-wicking technology built into the back panel keeps perspiration at bay, so you can hike in comfort and dryness for longer periods.

Space and storage have been highlighted as standouts for this daypack. With a 24-liter capacity, it provides just enough space for a day's worth of supplies. It even has an integrated hydration reservoir, which means you can tote along 3 liters of water without it taking up too much space. Quite a few users have noted how convenient it is to have this hydration reservoir for those long, tiring hikes.

The daypack's design does not disappoint either. It features seven exterior pockets, ensuring everything you need for the hike is within easy reach. The bag's stretchy front pocket has gained particular praise from buyers for how surprisingly spacious it is.

However, the Citro 24 isn't without its minor missteps. Some users have pointed out that the shoulder straps, though padded, can be a bit uncomfortable when the pack is filled to its fullest. Also, the shortage of color options might leave style-conscious hikers craving a bit more variety.

A common refrain among buyers of the Gregory Citro 24 H2O remains its robustness and dependability. These are aspects that have made it an incredibly popular choice among hikers who don't mind blazing trails for hours on end.

One other feature that stands out based on customer reviews is the bag's easy accessibility. With a large zippered top, getting your snacks or grabbing your jacket when the weather turns chilly is a breeze.

All in all, it seems that the Gregory Citro 24 H2O as it stands is a solid choice for keen day hikers. While it may be just a notch short of perfect, it certainly does tick a lot of boxes, offering ample comfort, storage, and hydration for anyone looking to make the most of their time in the great outdoors.

7.5 /10

Arc'teryx Aerios 15

Runner Up

Based on our research and testing, we think the Arc'teryx Aerios 15 is a great choice if you're looking for a hiking daypack to go play hard outside with, if our top pick isn't quite what you're looking for.

Arc'teryx Aerios 15 Hiking Daypack
Comfort
8
Durability
9
Features
6
Weight
7

Reasons to Buy

  • Quality material and construction
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Good storage capacity
  • Quick and efficient access to pockets
  • Streamlined and stylish design
  • Sufficient padding on shoulder straps
  • Ideal for both short and long hikes

Reasons to Avoid

  • May not suit heavier pack loads
  • Lack of ventilation on the back panel
  • No hip belt for better weight distribution
  • Expensive compared to other daypacks

Meet the Arc'teryx Aerios 15, a hiking daypack that has gained recognition as one of the best products in its category. Shoppers are often quick to note its thoughtful design, quality craftsmanship, and impressive durability.

Features such as flexible hydration bladder storage and numerous pockets make it stand out from the crowd. Outdoor adventure seekers have often praised its easy-access hydration sleeve which allows you to hydrate on the go without the need to unpack your gear, and its ample pockets help keep everything organized.

Many customers have taken note of the Arc'teryx Aerios 15's lightness, which makes it ideal for a variety of outdoor activities, not just hiking. They mention that it's barely noticeable, even when packed full, allowing you to explore nature without being weighed down.

Users also vouched for the Arc'teryx's high level of comfort. With its breathable back panel and comfy shoulder straps, the Aerios 15 offers top-notch support during long treks, reducing the likelihood of back strain or discomfort. The pack's adjustable sternum and hip straps are also given thumbs up for their contribution to getting an optimal fit.

On the durability front, the Arc'teryx Aerios 15 has shown itself to be a reliable friend. The pack features a lightweight but rugged nylon fabric that's often found in hard-wearing climbing gear, a fact that's widely recognized among reviewers.

However, few critics note the pack’s limited space. While it’s ideal for day hikes, it might be a tad cramped for those looking to pack gear for overnight treks. This detail seems to mar an otherwise stellar score for the backpack.

Overall, the Arc'teryx Aerios 15 has been widely praised by online reviewers. Comfortable, light and durable, it's proven to be a worthy investment for outdoor enthusiasts.

No prices found. Check back later!

7.5 /10

REI Co-op Flash 22

Best Budget Hiking Daypack

Based on our research and testing, we think the REI Co-op Flash 22 is a great pick if you're looking for a hiking daypack that is more budget friendly, without sacrificing too much in quality.

REI Co-op Flash 22 Hiking Daypack
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Features
6
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Affordable price
  • Ample storage for a day trip
  • Comfortable fit
  • Easy access to items
  • High-quality material

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not enough padding in the straps
  • Not water resistant
  • May be too small for longer hikes

Looking to hit the trails without breaking the bank? Our review of the REI Co-op Flash 22 just might be what you've been looking for.

First, let's talk about the design and comfort. A streamlined silhouette with an adjustable shoulder strap and a removable waist belt offers a snug, almost tailor-fit. It's comfy even when stuffed to its 22L capacity. Users have noted that the sternum strap runs smoothly and the adjustments stay in place, even after a solid day of bouldering or hiking.

The pack material is made from recycled nylon which, aside from being eco-friendly, holds up shockingly well even against rough encounters with nature. The mesh back panel aids ventilation, a bonus for those hot, summer hikes.

Now, storage - it's a daypack, so don’t expect to pack the kitchen sink! However, for its size, the Flash 22 truly maximizes its space. It boasts a roomy main compartment, a lid pocket (ideal for quick-grab items), and a hydration-compatible design, serving outdoor enthusiasts pretty well.

User reviews have frequently mentioned its exterior daisy chain. It adds functionality for attaching extra gear on the move. It's customer approved – 'Loved it for its simplicity and multi-functionality', says one happy hiker.

Also, let's not forget the fact that it’s lightweight. Weighing less than a pound when empty, it won't weigh down on those longer treks. One user mentioned, 'It’s so light you often forget you’re even wearing it.'

One challenge some users faced was lack of a dedicated rain cover. Although the nylon material is water resistant to some degree, if you're planning to hike in a downpour, you might want to get a separate cover.

Another common theme in customer reviews was the absence of hip pockets. Searching for that sunscreen or energy bar mid-hike could mean a bit of a rummage.

Despite a few trade-offs, the overall sentiment from REI Co-op Flash 22 users is overwhelmingly positive. With critical reviews widely praising the pack’s comfortable fit, lightweight and practical design – it’s a serious contender if you’re shopping on a budget.

No prices found. Check back later!

7.8 /10

Black Diamond Distance 15

$179.95
Best Ultralight Hiking Daypack

Based on our research and testing, we think the Black Diamond Distance 15 is a solid choice for those looking for a lightweight hiking daypack option to go play hard outside with.

Black Diamond Distance 15 Hiking Daypack
Comfort
8
Durability
7
Features
7
Weight
9

Reasons to Buy

  • Rugged construction
  • Ergonomic design
  • Hydration compatible
  • Comfortable fit
  • Easy to adjust

Reasons to Avoid

  • Limited storage
  • No rain cover
  • Not ideal for long trips
  • Lacks external pockets

The Black Diamond Distance 15 daypack was designed with the experienced, ultralight backpacker in mind. Made from tough and durable ripstop nylon, it is engineered to withstand those tough outdoor elements while maintaining a light, barely-there feel. This pack is not just suited for seasoned hikers, but also caters to those beginners who may want to start with a smaller, less cumbersome option.

Its versatile nature and the focus on weight efficiency are features that most users rave about. The pack has simplistic design, ditching the heavily padded straps and waist belts of larger packs for thin but durable shoulder straps and a simple webbing waist belt. Several hikers have additionally appreciated this back-to-basics design for its ability to provide comfort during long hours on the trail, without any unnecessary weight.

The Black Diamond Distance 15 also shines in its storage abilities despite its minimalist design. It has a 15-liter capacity, including a hydration sleeve and plenty of zippered pockets for tools and snacks. Its main compartment has ample space for essentials, and external stretch pockets, which many users find ideal for easy-to-reach items while hiking.

However, one user noted that due to the pack's slim design, it can sometimes feel unsteady when fully packed. Another common critique is that the lack of padding in the straps can become uncomfortable during longer hikes, especially when the pack is heavily loaded.

Overall, the Black Diamond Distance 15 is highly regarded among its users for its ultralight, efficient and simplistic design. It makes an excellent addition to the gear of any hiker looking to lighten their load while still having enough space for their hiking essentials.

7.5 /10

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 25

$179.95
Best Hiking Daypack for Backcountry Skiing

Based on our research and testing, we think the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 25 is a solid choice if you want a hiking daypack that's really well suited to Backcountry Skiing.

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 25 Hiking Daypack
Comfort
7
Durability
8
Features
9
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact and lightweight design perfect for backcountry skiing
  • Versatile enough for all-weather conditions
  • Offers ample storage space
  • Constructed from durable tear-resistant material

Reasons to Avoid

  • Higher-end price point
  • Lack of multiple pockets might feel limiting for some
  • If not packed properly, it might become top-heavy

The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 25 backpack is a popular pick among backcountry skiing enthusiasts and it's clear why once you start digging into the details. The overall design of this daypack provides the perfect combination of comfort, compactness, and capacity, making it an easy fit for both inexperienced and seasoned backcountry enthusiasts alike.

The primary praise this daypack receives from users revolves around its build quality and durability. Made with pro-grade Dynex fabric, it's amazing how it shrugs off scrapes and bumps without losing its shape or functionality. Coupled with AvaLung-Ready design compatibility, Dawn Patrol 25 stands out as a reinforced, rugged survivalist’s choice.

The 25-liter pack capacity offers ample space for all essential gear without feeling bulky or burdensome. Users appreciate the organized room it offers with a dedicated avalanche-tool pocket that safely stows all snow safety gear separately. Also, the main compartment is easily accessible via the back panel, which is highly appreciated for quick and easy gear retrieval even with gloves on.

Another consistently appreciated feature is the ergonomics of this bag. Users love its active, form-fitting suspension with high-density, breathable EVA back panel and shoulder straps, not only for overall support during intense movements but also for its great ventilation. Moreover, many people find the adjustable, removable waist-belt and diagonal ski-carry system utterly practical.

However, reflections from consumers do bring a few drawbacks into light. A common lament is the absence of a hydration pouch, a typical feature many hikers expect from a daypack. Also, a few users reportedly found that the stated pack capacity tends to feel a bit tight when traveling with bulky winter gear. Lastly, while its in-built compatibility with AvaLung breathing device is a highlight, one should remember that the device is sold separately adding onto the costs.

All these points considered, the Dawn Patrol 25 by Black Diamond overwhelmingly receives high praise from its users. Especially recommended by those who prioritize durability, compactness, and easy gear accessibility, you do understand why it's a common sight at the backcountry. Bearing in mind its shortcomings, it's a powerful addition to the daypack market and a wise choice for those pushing into snowy and icy mountain slopes.

7.0 /10

Dakine Heli Pro 20L

$120.00
Best Hiking Daypack for Resort Skiing and Snowboarding

Based on our research and testing, we think the Dakine Heli Pro 20L is a solid choice if you want a hiking daypack that's really well suited to Resort Skiing and Snowboarding.

Dakine Heli Pro 20L Hiking Daypack
Comfort
7
Durability
8
Features
7
Weight
6

Reasons to Buy

  • Great storage capacity
  • User-friendly accessibility
  • Excellent durability
  • Perfect fit and adjustability

Reasons to Avoid

  • Pricey
  • Non-insulated hydration sleeve

The Dakine Heli Pro 20L daypack is a hot favourite among skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Originally designed for resort skiing, it also proved to perform beyond expectations in outdoor trekking.

The bag gets a thumbs up for its roomy main compartment that is perfect to stow your day hiking essentials or winter gear. Not neglecting hydration, it includes an insulated hydration sleeve, which is a boon during cold winters.

The front pocket serves well for smaller items, ensuring they are readily accessible. There's also a fleece-lined goggle pocket to keep your wipe or delicate items scratch-free. Don't underestimate the board carry system; it is an ingenious feature. It holds the board securely and also makes it easy for climbers to strap their ice axes or hiking poles.

Many reviewers online were impressed with the Heli Pro's comfort level when fully-loaded. Its sternum strap, padded back panel and hip belt distribute the load efficiently, reducing shoulder strain. However, some found it a bit stiff initially but reported it eases up with regular use.

Buyers appreciated the high-quality built of the pack. They confirmed it withstands tough conditions well, resistant against sharp gear and accidental drags. Longevity is the name of the game with the Heli Pro, certainly worth the investment.

In terms of aesthetics, this pack scores good remarks. It is enhanced with sleek, modern designs, available in several attractive colours that are quite the statement-maker on the trails or slopes.

However, not all feedback was roses. Some customers wished for a few more pockets for better organisation. Some users found the size a little too compact for their liking, although many admitted that it encouraged them to carry only what is truly necessary for their day out.

Despite these nitpicks, overall, buyer sentiment leaned towards the positive. The Dakine Heli Pro 20L has made a reputation for itself in the world of skiing and snowboarding, with its practical design and robust build.

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