CamelBak Magic Hydration Pack
Magic Hydration Pack

Which small daypack is super-light but will still carry the essentials?

I’m walking the Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day this fall and want to buy a small pack for the event. I’ll walk 20 miles a day and will need to carry a few essentials, including water. Got anything in pink? Joy Cottage Grove, Oregon

CamelBak Magic Hydration Pack

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Good for you, Joy. That’s a very worthwhile event. And 20 miles in a day is…20 miles. A long walk.

CamelBak Magic Hydration Pack

CamelBak Magic Hydration Pack Magic Hydration Pack

I’d probably go with a hydration pack, as that takes care of the water-bottle part of things while leaving room for the other stuff you need. REI has a very sweet little pack out now called the Stoke 9 ($40; It doesn’t come with a water bladder; you buy that separately (get a CamelBak Omega for $28), or of course you can carry bottles. With 550 cubic inches of volume, it’s trim but has enough room for the things you need to carry, plus maybe a rain jacket (heaven forbid). It’s highly adjustable and has a comfortable, breathable back pad and shoulder straps.

I also like Ultimate Direction’s Wasp ($75;, which is just a bit smaller than the Stoke 9 but still has room for the things you need. It’s very minimal and rides high and close to your back. The straps are very comfortable, so you’ll hardly know you have it on.

CamelBak’s Magic ($75; has the bonus of a women’s-specific fit, meaning the shoulder straps and waist belt are designed to accommodate narrower shoulders and wider hips. It comes with a water bladder, of course, and has two zippered pockets for essentials. It’s designed for cyclists but will work just great for a long walk. It doesn’t come in pink, but it does come in a tasteful light blue and gray color scheme.

Have a great walk! Send us a report afterward.

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