MightyGoods > Daypacks

Top Daypacks Reviews and Buyer's Guide

Last updated July 2, 2019

A daypack is one of the most versatile types of backpacks, so you should expect to use your new daypack quite often.

It's therefore super important that you choose a daypack that is comfortable and that suits your needs.

You need to make sure the backpack is big enough for the stuff you need to carry, and at the same time it cannot be too heavy. You also need to make sure the quality is good enough and that the backpack doesn't have features you don't really need.

The Best Daypack

Having checked thousands of daypack reviews, we can say that the Ethnotek Raja is the best choice for most people.

The Ethnotek Raja got a rating of 4.80 out of 5, while the average rating in the list below is just 4.10.

Ethnotek Raja
This is the best reviewed daypack.
How we rate the bags

We have checked 63,269 daypack reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.

Also Great

If the Ethnotek Raja isn't your style, you might also consider the Osprey Escapist.

The Escapist is a close runner-up with a rating of 4.73 out of 5 - and it's usually cheaper than the Raja.

Osprey Escapist
The second-best reviewed daypack.
Finally, you might consider the Cotopaxi Cusco.

The Cusco is the third-best rated daypack with a rating of 4.60 - and it's most often cheaper than both the Raja and the Escapist.

Below is the list of all top 96 best daypacks. Great if none of the three bags above are your style.

The 96 Best Daypacks

PS: We have checked 63,269 reviews to make this top 96 list!

1Ethnotek RajaEthnotek Raja
Available on Amazon
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22 reviews
2Osprey EscapistOsprey Escapist
Available on Amazon
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1,930 reviews
3Cotopaxi CuscoCotopaxi Cusco
39 reviews
4Marmot EldoradoMarmot Eldorado
20 reviews
5Lowepro RidgelineLowepro Ridgeline
99 reviews
6Platypus SiouxonPlatypus Siouxon
49 reviews
7The North Face RouterThe North Face Router
607 reviews
8Gonex UltraGonex Ultra
8,739 reviews
9Osprey CometOsprey Comet
441 reviews
10Osprey NebulaOsprey Nebula
516 reviews
11Osprey QuasarOsprey Quasar
631 reviews
12Osprey PogoOsprey Pogo
92 reviews
13Mystery Ranch ScreeMystery Ranch Scree
38 reviews
14Maxpedition FatboyMaxpedition Fatboy
1,776 reviews
15Osprey TroposOsprey Tropos
137 reviews
16Gregory CompassGregory Compass
61 reviews
17Columbia VarsityColumbia Varsity
114 reviews
18Osprey RadialOsprey Radial
208 reviews
19Osprey FlareOsprey Flare
27 reviews
20Cotopaxi LuzonCotopaxi Luzon
189 reviews
21Osprey DayliteOsprey Daylite
1,506 reviews
22Zomake UltraZomake Ultra
5,967 reviews
23Osprey NovaOsprey Nova
187 reviews
24Osprey CelesteOsprey Celeste
233 reviews
25Camelbak CoronadoCamelbak Coronado
12 reviews
26Osprey TaliaOsprey Talia
34 reviews
27Mountainsmith DivideMountainsmith Divide
25 reviews
28Platypus DuthiePlatypus Duthie
129 reviews
29Gregory AlpinistoGregory Alpinisto
42 reviews
30Mindshift Gear UltralightMindshift Gear Ultralight
46 reviews
31Burton ProspectBurton Prospect
1,229 reviews
32Venture Pal LightweightVenture Pal Lightweight
8,591 reviews
33Gregory CitroGregory Citro
16 reviews
34Arcteryx GranvilleArcteryx Granville
43 reviews
35Columbia CircuitColumbia Circuit
13 reviews
36Osprey QuestaOsprey Questa
290 reviews
37Eddie Bauer StowawayEddie Bauer Stowaway
528 reviews
38Gregory JunoGregory Juno
34 reviews
39Mindshift Gear BackLightMindshift Gear BackLight
60 reviews
40Camelbak QuanticoCamelbak Quantico
42 reviews
41Eagle Creek PackableEagle Creek Packable
217 reviews
42Vaude BrentaVaude Brenta
20 reviews
43Gregory MatiaGregory Matia
77 reviews
44Mountainsmith Grand TourMountainsmith Grand Tour
47 reviews
45Osprey PulsarOsprey Pulsar
94 reviews
46Sea to Summit RapidSea to Summit Rapid
19 reviews
47Black Diamond NitroBlack Diamond Nitro
48 reviews
48Osprey KobyOsprey Koby
90 reviews
49Osprey SpinOsprey Spin
63 reviews
50Osprey MomentumOsprey Momentum
199 reviews
51Gregory MiwokGregory Miwok
121 reviews
52Quechua ArpenazQuechua Arpenaz
17,680 reviews
53Osprey CyberOsprey Cyber
214 reviews
54Gregory VerteGregory Verte
10 reviews
55Exos BravoExos Bravo
554 reviews
56Osprey PandionOsprey Pandion
14 reviews
57Gregory SalvoGregory Salvo
50 reviews
58Timbuk2 AceTimbuk2 Ace
234 reviews
59Mountainsmith AdventureMountainsmith Adventure
75 reviews
60Gregory SuciaGregory Sucia
13 reviews
61Cotopaxi BomaCotopaxi Boma
39 reviews
62Osprey ParsecOsprey Parsec
21 reviews
63Vaude JuraVaude Jura
10 reviews
64Gregory SulaGregory Sula
17 reviews
65Exped CloudburstExped Cloudburst
50 reviews
66Burton BravoBurton Bravo
70 reviews
67Osprey ZipOsprey Zip
15 reviews
68Gregory BorderGregory Border
38 reviews
69Burton KettleBurton Kettle
1,178 reviews
70Osprey PixelOsprey Pixel
255 reviews
71Gregory MayaGregory Maya
130 reviews
72Gregory PatosGregory Patos
16 reviews
73Gregory SketchGregory Sketch
116 reviews
74Arcteryx MantisArcteryx Mantis
42 reviews
75Osprey PerigeeOsprey Perigee
38 reviews
76OXA UltralightOXA Ultralight
581 reviews
77Black Diamond MagnumBlack Diamond Magnum
25 reviews
78Timbuk2 MuttmoverTimbuk2 Muttmover
57 reviews
79High Sierra HawkHigh Sierra Hawk
46 reviews
80Burton CadetBurton Cadet
169 reviews
81Columbia BeaconColumbia Beacon
1,414 reviews
82Cotopaxi IncaCotopaxi Inca
25 reviews
83Black Diamond BoltBlack Diamond Bolt
35 reviews
84Jansport Spring BreakJansport Spring Break
541 reviews
85Thule DeparterThule Departer
101 reviews
86Thule PerspektivThule Perspektiv
181 reviews
87Tenba DiscoveryTenba Discovery
66 reviews
88Timbuk2 HeistTimbuk2 Heist
49 reviews
89Thule EnRouteThule EnRoute
997 reviews
90Thule ParamountThule Paramount
152 reviews
91ALPS Mountaineering ArvadaALPS Mountaineering Arvada
13 reviews
92Herschel PackableHerschel Packable
499 reviews
93High Sierra XBTHigh Sierra XBT
1,333 reviews
94ALPS Mountaineering SolitudeALPS Mountaineering Solitude
12 reviews
95Osprey BitstreamOsprey Bitstream
28 reviews
96Jack Wolfskin BerkeleyJack Wolfskin Berkeley
46 reviews

Buyers Guide to Daypacks

[toc] A daypack is the best carrying solution when you are only planning on being outdoors for a couple of hours or more. This is probably one of the most popular type of packs, however, so you are going to find yourself bombarded with various options. So, with all of these models, features, and designs, how do you figure out what you need?

Luckily for you, there are some strategies you can use to separate the great from the weak. In this article, you will be able to figure out how to grade each pack and then decide what the right one is for you. Happy Choosing!

How to Choose a Daypack

The advantage of daypacks being quite so popular is that you have a large selection to choose from. Thus, it is more likely that you will find one that is a perfect fit for you. At the same time, it does mean that you have to wade through quite a few packs before stumbling upon the right one. Well, to figure out which one will actually be of greatest benefit to you, here is what you should consider:

What Is Your Activity of Choice?

First things first, what exactly do you need your daypack for? Are you going on a hike, climbing rocky terrain, hitting the slopes, commuting or cycling? The following sections will make it easier to find the ideal daypack based on your activity:


There are three things to think about when looking for daypacks for hiking. These are space, comfort, and the number of compartments. For most day hikes, you aren’t going to need much more than food, water, a layer of clothing, and perhaps a first aid kit. However, it is a good idea if all of the items aren’t placed in one compartment. Having numerous pockets, especially on the outside will make it easier for you to reach various items without having to stop. These type of daypacks also need to be comfortable to carry on your shoulders and be able to stabilize weight well.


When running, you want to carry as little as possible with you, so these daypacks should be on the smaller side. However, lots of compartments on the outside are quite important. This is especially for those that are used to store hydration bladders or water bottles. These type of daypacks need to have straps that can pin it to your body. This way, there will be limited movement when you are running.


When it comes to climbing, the size of the daypack is really up to you. For instance, some climbers prefer smaller packs as they are easier to move around with. Other climbers, however, carry a lot of gear with them. Due to this, they prefer larger daypacks that has a stabilizing framework. One thing you should undoubtedly look for such daypacks is plenty of loops and chains. This will allow you to fix and your gear that you may need to the outside of the pack so it can be reached quite easily. Also, a narrower profile will make it easier for you to move your shoulders and arms as you climb.

Cycling and Mountain Biking

Usually, cyclists prefer small daypacks that fit tightly against their backs. This prevents any excessive movement while cycling and prevents any wind resistance as well. Mountain bikers, on the other hand, may choose larger packs. This lets them carry their tools and gear with them. To make things easier, daypacks for cycling and mountain biking should have hydration packs so that you don’t have to stop to drink water. They should also have a low profile hip belt so that there is no discomfort as you peddle.

Snowboarding or Skiing

The main focus of these daypacks is to have little restriction and to move as little as possible. This means that they are often smaller and narrower. They also come equipped with sternum and hip belts so that they can be secured tightly to your body. You should look for daypacks that will allow you to fasten your gear or snowshoes to the pack.


Daypacks aren’t just for sports and outdoor activities, they can also be used just to travel around, perhaps to and from school. Here, the size is largely up to how you need to carry on a daily basis. What is important, though, is how many organizational features there are. For instance, you may require lots of compartments, both large and small to store various items. Also, students can find laptop compartments quite handy too. Since you will be travelling with them quite often, the straps will also need to be comfortable.


The Capacity of the Daypack

Now, just how large your daypack needs to be is dependent on you. You will need to take your activity, items that you need to carry, and your size into consideration. Once you have an idea of how much space you need, you can compare it to the most common sizes available:
  • 10 – 20 liters: daypacks of this size are able to store some food, water, gear, and perhaps even an extra item of clothing. These are a good fit for climbers, mountain bikers, or perhaps really short hikes.
  • 20 – 30 liters: daypacks between these sizes are what is best for most day hikes. This will allow you to carry all of the food and water you will need. There is often enough room for some clothing items.
  • 30 – 50 liters: if you want to carry a good amount of gear with you in addition to the water and food, this is a good sized daypack. It is also adequate for extra layers of clothes as well.

The Fit

It doesn’t matter what activity you need your daypack for, it is vital that it fits you just right. This will help you to move without hassle, allow the weight to be distributed more equally, and ensure that you are comfortable. This is what you need to ensure a good fit:

Balance between Daypack and Torso Length

To ensure that the daypack fits on your back properly and that your gait is not hindered, you need the length of your torso and that of the daypack to be similar. If you are buying online, this means that you will need to compare measurements. Consider the length between the base of your neck and just above your hip bones against the pack length.

If you are making the purchase in-store, try the pack on. There should be no gap where the bag meets your shoulders. If there is one, it means the pack is too large. On the other hand, if the straps connect to the pack only just under your arms, it is too short. The pack should sit just above your hip bones so that it won’t get in the way of your walking.

Hip Belt and Sternum Strap

The hip belt will right above your hip bones and is responsible for carrying most of the weight of the bag. This means that you will need to check that once the strap is adjusted that it sits snugly around your waist. This is the best way to take the pressure off your shoulders.

The sternum strap will help to balance out the weight too, especially when carrying heavier loads. It also aids in stabilizing the bag by pinning it to your chest. Make certain that it is a close fit and not too loose.

Women Specific Daypacks

In certain instances, a woman specific bag can actually be quite useful. These are designed to cater to shorter individuals who have wider hips. The sternum strap is also made to sit higher up to accommodate a larger bust. If you, as a woman, are finding it difficult to find traditional daypacks that fit, you may want to consider the more tailored packs.

Ventilated Back Panels

If you are going to be engaged in strenuous activities, there is one thing that you can be certain of: sweat. When you are carrying a load on your back, you can feel even more uncomfortable. If you are anticipating a good workout, you should look for mesh back panels.

The mesh ensures that the perspiration is not absorbed and instead lets the material dry faster. What the panels really do, though, is create space between the bag and your back. This way, cool air is allowed to pass through this space, keeping your back cool.

Type of Pack Access

The other question is just how much access do you want to your daypack throughout your excursion? Most daypacks have what is known as a top loading design. This means that most of your belongings will be placed inside one compartment. The items that you will need later on go at the bottom of the pile while those that should be readily available go on top. These packs are known for their lightweight and simple design.

If you are looking for a bit more organization, then you should look into the front loading or panel access. These contain a main compartment and then oftentimes smaller pockets. This way, you can access the bag panel by panel which makes it easier to find what you need. These additional features can sometimes result in a lighter weight for the pack.

Water Resistance

Since you are only going to use this pack for short periods of time, it is unlikely that you will require a pack that is waterproof. Instead, one that has water resistance features should be more than adequate. PU coated nylon is usually a good choice if you are expecting a little bit of rain or want to protect your belongings from moisture. There are some daypacks that come with their own rain cover which is made from water resistant materials.

These are all of the features and elements that you should take into consideration when choosing your daypack. This will make it much more likely that you will buy a pack that will serve you and your lifestyle well.

31 More Daypacks

Classic daypacks and models that haven't yet got enough reviews to be ranked.

1Osprey EllipseOsprey Ellipse
125 reviews
2Kalusi LightweightKalusi Lightweight
38 reviews
Osprey PaleaOsprey Palea
Marmot Big BasinMarmot Big Basin
Marmot RootMarmot Root
The North Face AleiaThe North Face Aleia
Gregory MuirGregory Muir
Gregory TahquitzGregory Tahquitz
Gregory KletterGregory Kletter
Gregory VelataGregory Velata
Gregory TarifaGregory Tarifa
Gregory SatumaGregory Satuma
Gregory BooneGregory Boone
Mountainsmith WizardMountainsmith Wizard
Vaude MaremmaVaude Maremma
Vaude ScopiVaude Scopi
Exped SkylineExped Skyline
Boreas ExcelsiorBoreas Excelsior
Boreas LarkinBoreas Larkin
Boreas MissionBoreas Mission
Eagle Creek Ready GoEagle Creek Ready Go
EMS SectorEMS Sector
Cotopaxi KilimanjaroCotopaxi Kilimanjaro
Bergans HeliumBergans Helium
Heimplanet MonolithHeimplanet Monolith
Slumberjack StriderSlumberjack Strider
Ortlieb CommuterOrtlieb Commuter
Olympia DenaliOlympia Denali
Boreas MontereyBoreas Monterey
Boreas Muir WoodsBoreas Muir Woods
Hynes Eagle Travel

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Amazon deals/prices updated daily (last 2020-04-05).

Last updated on July 02, 2019