Day Packs


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In a lineup of touring packs, this boot bag and small daypack didn't make the cut, but they're still well worth your attention

Top-notch carry solutions for on-the-go essentials

“The Talon 22 is a highly functional daypack that can carry your gear across multiple disciplines,” wrote our tester. “It’s loaded with thoughtful features, like trekking-pole attachments, a helmet-carry system, and an ice-tool loop.”…

Dialed and ready for big loads, these bags will help you keep the pace

In his test of the Journey Hydration Pack series, our tester wrote: “Ultimately, the Journey packs offer a comfortable ride, which is exactly what you want from a bag when you’re flying down singletrack.” The Journey includes an insulated bladder system, so if cold water on your ride is…

The Talon has everything you love about Osprey’s backpacks, just shrunk to fit around your waist. It comes with smart details like padded bottle holsters, small zippered pockets on the sides for quick access, and external compression straps that let you carry an extra layer. Osprey also makes a women’s-specific…

At your waist, across your back—what’s old is cool again

Logging miles in brutal conditions? Be sure and replace what you sweat out.

This slim cross-body bag will hold essentials like your phone, wallet, and keys—ideal for summer beach days or walking around town. We especially like it for travel because you can wear it under a jacket to keep your valuables safe.

We got a peek of the Hydra pack when it came out in 2018. “All in all, the designs promise to bring something new to the pack market and the North Face line,” wrote gear editor Ariella Gintzler. At 26 liters, the Hydra is best for longer day hikes…

Gear editor Ariella Gintzler wasn’t thrilled about this über-pared-down design at first, but after several days of testing, it won her over. “I came to appreciate the pack’s simplicity, which made for an easier and more comfortable carry, thanks to the absence of dangly straps and overstuffed side pockets,”…

Our Gear Guy dubbed the Kanken the best backpack for parents because it transitions seamlessly between a diaper bag and an everyday carry pack. “Fjällräven’s Kanken does it better than anything else I’ve tried in the 11 months since my daughter, Jojo, was born,” he wrote.

When it comes to bringing a personal item on a plane, I like to keep it simple. This is the bag I grab before every flight.

In our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide, we picked the Signal 20 as the best daypack for travel. It has five exterior pockets along with the main compartment and an easy-access laptop sleeve. Plus, the main chute has an additional organizer panel to store pens, passport, keys, and snacks.

This versatile pack works just as well as a commuter pack as it does a gym bag. That’s why we recommended it as one of the best fitness gifts of 2019. Made from 50 percent recycled materials, each Pivot Roll Top is the equivalent of eleven plastic water bottles.

Filson’s Ranger Pack is made to last you a lifetime, thanks to features like rugged twill fabric and bridle-leather buckles. “It has everything you need without being overkill, and its simple design means there’s less to wear out,” wrote our tester.

Each one of these packs are one of a kind and made from repurposed fabric. The 24L Luzon is a bigger version of the 18L Luzon which we praised as a solid lightweight carry-all. This pack doesn’t have an internal hydration sleeve, but it does have two external water…

Finally, a winter hauler that hits the sweet spot

This day pack is small, light, and perfect for your everyday carry. It has an internal stash pocket for a tablet or small laptop and an outer pocket for keys or a wallet. Plus, the pack stuffs into its own front pocket for easy storage, so you can bring…

Featured in our roundup of the best bike commuting gear from our 2019 Winter Buyer’s Guide, the Quito is “made from a water-repellent Cordura fabric, with a cinch-top hood flap and water-resistant media pocket.” Simple, sleek, and lightweight, this pack is ideal for commutes or easy days on the…

This pack is ideal for day hikes and quick technical pursuits. When we reviewed it in our roundup of packable backpacks that won’t break the bank, we found it durable and “stacked with features, like compression straps to tighten the load, a hydration sleeve with hose ports, and trekking-pole…

Thanks to the EnRoute’s cushioned and removable camera storage cube, we traveled stress-free with our DSLR and multiple lenses. This pack offers a padded laptop sleeve, two side zippers that access the main compartment (even when the roll top is closed), and a zippered water bottle sleeve. Pro tip: If…

Everyone's quick to tell you all the reasons to go lighter. Allow me to explain why they're wrong.

Nathan moves the water storage (two ten-ounce bottles) to the sides of the hips to disperse the load and keep the running-specific Trail Mix Plus from bouncing too much. While storage is minimal, the belt is made from a stretchy nylon-polyester blend for a snug but comfy fit, and there…

Nothing says “I’m here to party” quite like Kavu’s Spectator, with its bright stripes and streamlined two-pocket design. It’s just big enough to fit festival essentials like a tube of sunscreen, a phone, and a wallet.

Based in Bellingham, Washington, High Above specializes in waist packs for mountain bikers. We dig the Lookout’s camo body, which is waterproof and durable as hell, thanks to the Dimension Polyant VX material. Three interior pockets make for simple—not fussy—organization.

Mountainsmith has been synonymous with hip packs for years, and it updated the classic Tour by making it waterproof: built with TPU-coated nylon, welded seams, and waterproof zippers, it ensures everything inside stays moisture-free. A mesh back panel and compression system keep the load comfortable and compact, while detachable bottle…

If you need to carry a lot of stuff, look to this eight-liter pack and its massive main compartment that’s big enough for all your day-hike necessities. An additional zipper pocket keeps smaller items separate, compression straps cinch the load close to your body, and the burly 500-denier Cordura fabric…

Snacks, water, and diapers—these fit it all

This hauler’s 55-liter capacity can hold a few days’ worth of gear (up to 45 pounds), but don’t go overboard: you don’t want to weigh down your child too much on their first multi-night backpacking trip. The Optifit suspension can be lengthened as your kid grows, while multiple exterior pockets…

CamelBak built a kid’s version of its most popular mountain-bike pack for the littlest of shredders. The Mini Mule comes with a 1.5-liter hydration bladder, just under a liter of gear space, and a mesh harness that vents so junior isn’t left with sweat stains under the shoulder straps.

The season’s haulers emphasize user-friendliness

The 40-liter Icarus is designed for overnight or quick weekend trips into the backcountry, and it comes loaded with the same features your favorite adult packs have: a hydration sleeve, a trekking-pole attachment, a rain cover, a separate slot for a sleeping bag, and an exterior stash pocket. The VersaFit…

Built for big boys and girls (8 to 12 years old), the Tarn Hydro is a straightforward daypack with a wide opening to the main compartment and a comfy padded back panel with an air-flow channel. The stretchy mesh side pockets are great for items your kids want to access…

This Deuter pack is for when you introduce your children to technical pursuits, like ski touring and rock climbing. It has 22 liters of room in a top-loading compartment, with space for a hydration bladder, but is also outfitted with ice-ax straps, D rings, and gear loops for lashing rope,…

A pack made for fast-and-light adventures on a bike, the Moki is a small 1.5 liters, just enough for a layer and some snacks. But it also comes with a dedicated hydration sleeve—with its own quick-zip access—and an attachment strap for a blinking light, so it’s easy for your child…

With a cavernous 28-liter main compartment and a dedicated sleeve big enough to hold a 15-inch laptop, the Refugio can easily carry the essentials for work, the gym, or extra layers on long day hikes.

The Isabella will serve you well on your daily commute, on campus, or as a carry-on. It’s outfitted with a laptop sleeve, two side pockets, a compartment for your electronics, and plenty of room for textbooks. And the cushy shoulder straps make this pack a solid option for day hikes…

The 24-liter size of this bag is only big enough for day missions, but it has A-frame ski-carry or vertical snowboard-carry options, a fleece-lined goggle pocket, a front-pocket organizer, and a main compartment big enough for extra layers and lunch. It’s a paired-down, budget-friendly choice for short trips into the…

Based in Asheville, North Carolina, this maker is best known for producing big, canvas-walled tents and packable two-person dome tents. The Great Day pack has adjustable straps so you can wear it as a shoulder bag or backpack. The 24-liter bag is made from waxed canvas and has a zipper…

A bucket-style main compartment lets you access your trail essentials quickly and easily, and dual water-bottle pockets are designed to securely hold one-liter vessels.

From light and adaptable to strong workhorses

The Everyday Sling from Peak Design can fit a full camera body and two lenses.

With waxed cotton fabric and no external pockets, these bags are a far cry from Osprey’s traditional fare

Women need packs that are just as capable as men’s—and they need them to fit right. Here are the best, most comfortable performers for all-around backpacking.

Besides your hiking boots, your daypack is your most-used piece of gear. These are our favorites.

Everything from a spare battery to a rainjacket

We tested the Squamish XL, which is full of tech-oriented features to keep your gear organized and safe while you travel

From insulated water bottles to portable toilet-paper rolls, here's what our staff never leaves home without

When it comes to daypacks, it's all about the details

The special-edition pack is made of G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco fabric to celebrate the 65th birthday of Fjällräven's first jacket

Hopefully after reading this, you'll never buy luggage without two shoulder straps again

Why this 35-year-old fanny pack is still a perfect piece of gear

A buffalo leather briefcase with all the necessary details.

Putting in big miles on dirt roads? This is the kit you need.

Most functional bags of 2015.

Stuff these in your pack and head out of the country with peace of mind

Grand Canyon tested and approved

Matthew McConaughey says yes.

With ice-ax retention you can release with the pack on, gear loops for ’biners and belay devices, and an integrated crampon pocket, the Matrix is purpose-built for ski mountaineering. But you don’t have to rope up to appreciate how light, roomy, and useful the Matrix is.

Splash around this summer. With this gear, you’ll be ready for serious summer fun whether you’re in it for fitness or just to get wet and cool down.

Think of your pack as a closet on your back. And just as there’s no right way to fold your clothes, there’s no single pack that’s suited to everyone. But allow us to offer some advice.

A titanium bike with swooping lines and parallel triangles for added flex and greater shock absorption.

With Shimano XT parts (plus an XTR derailleur), Trek’s proprietary dual-chamber technology in both shocks, and adjustable geometry, this aluminum model is the best value.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Summer Buyer's Guide, including the 5.10 Coyote Canvas climbing shoes.

Eddie Bauer First Ascent Alchemist 40L This shape-shifter might just replace every pack you own. Lashed down, the Alchemist is compact enough for one-day summit bagging. Unzip the top wedge and unfurl the hideaway lid, and it morphs into an entirely different beast—a roomy 55-liter hauler with plenty of space…

Versatile outfits, shoes, and other gear made with world travelers in mind.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Salomon Quest 30 pack

Design and Technology Special: The world's most streamlined and innovative new gear, gadgets, tools and toys, including Nau's Motil Commuter.

Design and Technology Special: The world's most streamlined and innovative new gear, gadgets, tools and toys, including Kelty's Mockingbird rucksack.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Timbuk2 Candybar backpack.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Camelbak Aventura.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Osprey Hornet 32 pack.

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