Day Packs

The latest


These bags redefine carrying comfort

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

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

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.

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.

Finally, a winter hauler that hits the sweet spot

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

Snacks, water, and diapers—these fit it all

The season’s haulers emphasize user-friendliness

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.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Arc'teryx Aerios 14 pack.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Osprey Verve 13 backpack.

I'm looking for a backpack for traditional, one-day, multi-pitch climbing. Which is the best one? I'm inclined to the Marmot Ascent 40. AndreaSao Jose

I am looking for a solid pack that is large enough for a bivy, a 32- to 45-degree down sleeping bag, an inflatable pad, and food for a night stay. But I also want to minimalistic. There are so many choices. Any suggestions? What should I be looking for? William Oakland, CA

I'm going to Peru for a week-long hike to Machu Picchu. I think the tour guides carry the large gear (tents, food). What backpack should I get? My local store suggested an Osprey 40 but I really have no idea what to get. Help! Thanks.ChrisLouisville, KY

I need the perfect present for my boyfriend's birthday! He's a cyclocross racer, mountain biker, skier, rock climber, and camper, and loves all outdoor gear and tools. Any great ideas within the $150 range?? -Sara Las Vegas, NV

I need a cool, new commuter bag. What do you recommend? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

FREERIDER’S DELIGHT It’s tough to find a backcountry pack that carries skis as well as a snowboard, but the 1,600-cubic-inch Pro 2 excels at both. An easy-to-use retract­able-cable system can handle even the fattest of powder skis, and it can accommodate snowboards horizontally or vertically, making it the best board-hauling…

Mountainsmith’s Modular Hauler storage system is built around cubes that measure 15 inches to a side. In that space, the Bike Cube Deluxe holds (and organizes) tools, a changing mat, clothing, eyewear, shoes, and a helmet.…

TOUGH BUT LIGHT Purists will love the Needle: It's an alpine pack that's been stripped of everything but the essentials. What's left is a supremely tough sack capable of handling your most epic days, but still weighing less than three pounds. The trick is putting the weight where it counts.

Good for Backcountry If the devil is in the details, this daypack is an unrepentant sidecountry sinner. Whereas most packs have one or two really smart touches, the Spindrift has half a dozen: a bit of mesh at the bottom of the avy-tool pouch so snowmelt can…

BASIC BAG If you could turn an old metal lunchbox into a ski pack, it would look like this—a utilitarian, bargain-priced hauler. The 1,647-cubic-inch pack held all the tools we needed for a daylong ski-mountaineering trip, stayed out of the way when we spent a morning making laps at Vail,…

This 2,520-cubic inch duffel, made from recycled materials, held a yoga mat, water bottle, and post-yoga clothes with room to spare. Plus the inside has organizational pockets for your cell phone, ID, and more.…

Good for Backcountry Pricey, comfortable, and tough, the Pro Light Tour was the luxury SUV of our test. There are no cupholders, but with a separate pocket for tools, vertical-carry ski straps, and ice-ax loops, everything else has a place. Plus there’s ample padding and just enough…

GATE HOPPER The 1,098-cubic-inch Silo 18 is an ideal choice when you’re jumping between the lifts and the sidecountry. Three stash pockets (one internal, two external) help you keep track of quick-grab items. The polyethylene back panel is just tough and stiff enough to make a solid base for ski…

KEEPS YOU COOL Admit it: Ever since you retired your fanny pack, you’ve missed being able to hike in the heat without soaking your T-shirt. With a curved suspension that lets air flow across your back, the Garmsal cools without compromising its carrying ability—or your cred. The crossed aluminum stays…

Old-School Cool A 1,950-cubic-inch daypack made out of merino wool? Yup. And it’s not a greenwashed gimmick, either. For starters, the merino wool here bears little resemblance to your favorite sweater; the yarn is worsted and given a ripstop treatment so it’s durable yet light. While the overall design is…

CHAMELEON When worn alone, the Outtabounds’ detachable 728-cubic-inch yo-yo pack was perfect for riding lifts. Insert it into the main pack and you have a 2,300-cubic-inch combo with stable support, effective compression straps, and simple carry system (lash your board vertically or skis diagonally). It proved the perfect package for…

VAUDE‘s ROCK 45+10 PACK. Its front crampon pocket keeps sharp points away from your jacket and rope, and its single-clip holsters fit everything from mountaineering tools to leashless axes with and without grips.

Smart and Fast In an actual emergency, the last thing you want to do is fumble with zippers. Which is why Marmot designed the Backcountry’s external snow-safety-tool pocket with double zippers and a sturdy pull loop: You can rip it open with one quick tug. It’s just one of many…

With nine pockets (including a hideaway bottle holder) and a magnetic closure that makes getting at junk a cinch, the burly nylon Stroll is the perfect personal assistant. 1 lb, 380 cu in;…

BEST EVERYDAY PACK Consider the RPM a showcase pack from the less-is-more school of design. Climbers who loathe extraneous doodads will love the lean construction, but so will anyone looking for a simple, lightweight, do-anything hauler. On hikes and even long runs, the padded (but frameless) back panel and well-cushioned…

Most Breathable Seems like 2,000 cubic inches is the magic number when it comes to versatility—just big enough to max out on a fast-and-light overnighter but not too big for a day hike. And size isn’t the only thing the top-loading Spectro AC gets right. It was the most breathable…

THE PLAYER Instead of carrying your iPod in your jacket, stow it safely in the padded compartment of this 1,281-cubic-inch pack. The controls and phone jack mount on the ergonomic shoulder straps, and you can work the buttons with gloves on. Tunes or no, the Audex has ample room for…

Backcountry Staple At three pounds, the Cruise is light enough for quick tours and sidecountry laps, but at 30 liters there’s also just enough space to load up for a full day in the backcountry. An external shove-it pocket is the perfect size for climbing skins or a lightweight down…

Ski-Mountaineering Master With straps, loops, and holders designed specifically to carry skis, snowshoes, a helmet, ropes, ice axes, and trekking poles, the 40-liter, ski-mountaineering Spindrift is without a doubt the most versatile pack we tested this year. Even more impressive is how intuitive it is to affix all of the…

This was the most secure daypack we tested this year. Credit the superstretchy harness system, which twists with the body. Smart: The Maya’s internal compression system turns the pack into a tight bundle in one pull. 1.6 lbs, 1,040 cu in;…

MOST WATERPROOF When Moab's worst rainstorm in years coincided with our weekend plans, the Dryshield prevented a soggy retreat. In conditions that would have soused a lesser pack's contents, the 500-denier, polyurethane-coated packcloth kept our stuff bone dry. Its streamlined features—there's little more than mesh pockets and ax loops on…

Top Ultralight Lunch-hour hikes. Mountain-bike rides. Long trail runs. At 600 cubic inches, the Fluid 10 is just big enough to fit the essentials—shell, camera, lunch, etc.—without any wasted space. The light, ridged polypropylene frame­sheet gives it some stability (and a bit of ventilation) without adding too much bulk or…