Top 10 Best Daypacks in 2018

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.

Having checked many thousands of daypack reviews, we can say that the Mammut Lithium Speed 20 is the best choice for most people.

Mammut Lithium Speed 20

Mammut Lithium Speed 20

The best reviewed daypack
Rated 4.90 out of 5

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PS: We have checked 19,329 reviews to make this top 10 list!
1Mammut Lithium Speed 20Mammut Lithium Speed 204.90Check Price
2Marmot Eldorado 29Marmot Eldorado 294.89Check Price
3Gregory Juno 20Gregory Juno 204.86Check Price
4Patagonia Paxat 32Patagonia Paxat 324.80Check Price
5Cotopaxi CuscoCotopaxi Cusco4.80Check Price
6Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 324.76Check Price
7Gregory Compass 30Gregory Compass 304.76Check Price
8Fjallraven Raven 20Fjallraven Raven 204.73Check Price
9Osprey Nebula 34Osprey Nebula 344.73Check Price
10Osprey Nebula 34Osprey Nebula 344.73Check Price

How we rate the bags

We have checked 19,329 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.

Not sure what daypacks to choose? Read on as we are going to take a closer look at each bag!

1 – Mammut Lithium Speed 20

5 review stars Rating 4.90 based on 10 reviews

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Mammut Lithium Speed 20

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Mammut Lithium Speed 20:

Reviewers like these things about the Mammut Lithium Speed 20

  • One favorite feature among users is its multiple storage options that comes in handy on multi-day or multi-week journeys.
  • A lot of users enjoy the stuff sack in the bottom which is perfect for sleeping bag.
  • Others find the bottom compartment ideal to keep damp or stinky clothes separate from the rest of their stuff.
  • Some users that another handy thing the pack offers is the ability to easily change the back length.
  • Others thought the back pads make hauling gear just a little bit easier.
  • Many reviewers love how the rainfly rolls up nice and tight in a zipper on the top of the pack and is super easy to throw over when unexpected weather rolls through.
  • MAny hikers like how the hip pocket allows them to easily access necessary items without having to stop.
  • Others are thankful that the pack has an integrated place for a bladder and they can snake the mouth spout through the back to attach to the shoulder straps for easy access on the trail.
  • A lot of users thought it’s an extremely well built and sturdy bag.
  • Others said it has a nice structure but still lightweight and comes with all the handy features of a bag.
  • Many owners find it perfect to bring on hikes, overnight trips and camping.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Others find the material low quality.
  • Some reviewers find it too big for their liking.

2 – Marmot Eldorado 29

5 review stars Rating 4.89 based on 19 reviews

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Marmot Eldorado 29

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Marmot Eldorado 29:

Reviewers like these things about the Marmot Eldorado 29

  • Testers said that it is a big pack with great features for day hiking and travelling.
  • Most of the testers said that the pack has good weight distributing properties making it more comfortable to carry long hours.
  • Many reviewers have said that it is a lightweight pack with good and sturdy straps.
  • Some reviewers also said that the pack has a great storage capacity for weekend trips and camping.
  • Most buyers are happy with the pricing of this great backpack.
  • Some buyers also said that the fabrics are of great quality and the pack is more stylish for day hiking.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A couple of the travellers complained that the loose straps don’t stay fasten on the shoulders.
  • Some buyers complained that the pack is a little heavy to carry when it is fully loaded.

3 – Gregory Juno 20

5 review stars Rating 4.86 based on 14 reviews

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Gregory Juno 20

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Gregory Juno 20:

Reviewers like these things about the Gregory Juno 20

  • Most of the testers said that it is a perfect versatile pack for all day hiking.
  • They said that it has great suspension system and is very stable on the back.
  • Some reviewers also said that the pack has good ventilation system to keep them dry on long tails.
  • A few of the buyers said that the pack has good balance and fits perfect on their back.
  • A user said that the waist belt is more supportive compared to other pack he had earlier.
  • Another user said that the pack is roomy and has good number of pocket to keep things organized.
  • Some travellers said that the hip belt pockets are big enough to carry all their emergency gadgets for easy access.
  • A buyer is also happy to have large side pockets to carry bear spray.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user wished that he had some daisy chains on the pack to carry extra gear.
  • Another user complained that the insulation for the reservior is not good enough and it drenched his back on the trial.
  • Few reviewers complained that the pack doesn’t have a rain cover.

4 – Patagonia Paxat 32

5 review stars Rating 4.80 based on 95 reviews

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Patagonia Paxat 32

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Patagonia Paxat 32:

Reviewers like these things about the Patagonia Paxat 32

  • Many reviewers noted that the nylon and polyester materials of the Patagonia Paxat backpack make it exceptionally durable.
  • Many users also pointed out that the presence of several pockets makes it easy for storing equipment and gears securely.
  • Several reviewers found out that the pack is lightweight, providing ease when using it for travel or everyday use.
  • Many of the users commended the internal organization feature of the backpack for keeping electronics and other supplies.
  • Users like that the main compartment of the bag is spacious to hold books and clothes for a getaway.
  • Other users noted that the bag might be repellent to water due to its fabric.
  • Laptop users found it easy to store their gadgets due to a compartment dedicated for laptops.
  • Reviewers noted that it was comfortable to use the backpack due to its airflow-mesh shoulder straps and back panel.
  • Other reviewers thought that it was easy to use the zippers.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user said that the back panel of the backpack is not as efficient as a those from a hiking backpack.
  • A reviewer noted that the bag lacks a hip belt which could also offer more space.

5 – Cotopaxi Cusco

5 review stars Rating 4.80 based on 41 reviews

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Cotopaxi Cusco

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Cotopaxi Cusco:

Reviewers like these things about the Cotopaxi Cusco

  • Most users said that the most versatile backpack they’ve ever owned.
  • Reviewers have mentioned that the little top pocket is perfect for keys, Chap Stick, earbuds, etc.
  • Many users praised the fact that the pack is a combination of a stylish and functional backpack.
  • Some other reviewers said that the zippers are beefy.
  • Users also said that the stitching is straight and strong.
  • Reviewers who have used the pack said that water beads on it rather than soaking in.
  • Several users said that the curved shoulder straps are comfortable and the chest and waist straps hold it in.
  • Reviewers have also mentioned that it is well designed and constructed in a sturdy manner.
  • Some other reviewers said that the material looks and feels durable.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that the water bottle side pockets don’t really stretch,.
  • Others users mentioned that though there is plenty of pockets, they don’t have a closure.

6 – Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32

5 review stars Rating 4.76 based on 20 reviews

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Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32:

Reviewers like these things about the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32

  • According to users, the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol backpack is comfortable to use.
  • Other users pointed out that the back panel and shoulder straps of the pack are high-tenacity and ultralight.
  • Testers found out that it is likewise equipped with easy access pockets for ice tools.
  • Other testers discovered that the backpack is equipped with a holder dedicated to helmets.
  • Reviewers noted that it is versatile and functional.
  • Reviewers recommend the backpack for country snowboarding, trail running, and split board touring.
  • They noticed that its fabric material is durable.
  • Other reviewers also found that the bag has good organization capacities.
  • Users discovered that its main compartment is durable.
  • They also noted of its sufficient pockets which allow neat organization.
  • Testers found that there are spaces designed to separate the wet gear from the dry gear.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that the board halves are too wide for the A-frame.
  • A tester said that the bag does not accommodate a split board.

7 – Gregory Compass 30

5 review stars Rating 4.76 based on 53 reviews

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Gregory Compass 30

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Gregory Compass 30:

Reviewers like these things about the Gregory Compass 30

  • Many reviewers said that it is a lightweight pack and suitable to carry heavy loads for travelling.
  • They said that pack is roomy to carry all stuffs for trafvelling.
  • Many users said that the pack is comfortable wearing and is lighter to carry.
  • Some buyers said that the pack is quiet durable in nature.
  • They also said that the pack is comfortable to carry even when it is fully loaded.
  • A user mentioned that the back doesn’t look bulky when fully stuffed.
  • Some users said that the pack comes with good organizational pockets to keep things organized while travelling.
  • A buyer also mentioned that the pack is water resistant in nature.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A few users said that though the pack is water resistant yet it will require a rain cover to fully protect the bag from rain.
  • Some travellers complained that the shoulder straps are not that comfortable to carry the pack for longer hours. The said that the straps have minimal padded and doesn’t provide enough comfort.

8 – Fjallraven Raven 20

5 review stars Rating 4.73 based on 268 reviews

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Fjallraven Raven 20

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Fjallraven Raven 20:

Reviewers like these things about the Fjallraven Raven 20

  • Many reviewers noted on the durability of the Fjallraven Raven backpack due to its G-1000 Heavy duty material.
  • Most reviewers agree that optimum support and comfort is provided by its padded back panel and shoulder straps.
  • A reviewer thought that the backpack ensures the security of belongings due to its zippered main compartment.
  • Laptop users agree that a zippered laptop compartment secures their laptops in place.
  • Other users lauded on its zippered security pocket which keeps valuable items such as phones and wallets confidential and secure.
  • Some reviewers also praised the presence of several external pockets where users can store equipment and valuables.
  • Some testers also pointed out that the backpack possesses a sufficient gear capacity.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user’s primary concern is that the fabric material may be susceptible to being ripped, especially at its seams.
  • A reviewer thought that the water bottle pockets are not elastic, making it difficult for the bottle to place.

9 – Osprey Nebula 34

5 review stars Rating 4.73 based on 215 reviews

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Osprey Nebula 34

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Osprey Nebula 34:

Reviewers like these things about the Osprey Nebula 34

  • Several reviewers recommended the Osprey Nebula backpack to be used in business and leisure travels.
  • Other reviewers praised the ventilation which the meshed back panel provided.
  • Laptop users lauded the presence of a padded sleeve dedicated to keeping their gadgets safe and secure.
  • Other users thought that its sufficient pockets made it easier for them to organize items such as hydration bottles and electronics.
  • Testers have discovered that the bag includes a blinker light attachment, providing an area to place a blinker light which makes the backpack visible when users are in dark environments.
  • Many reviewers thought that the backpack was lightweight and durable.
  • Other users also found the bag comfortable to use.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user mentioned that the hip straps are difficult to stow when not needed.
  • Another user said that the backpack has a seemingly thin fabric material.

10 – Osprey Nebula 34

5 review stars Rating 4.73 based on 215 reviews

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Osprey Nebula 34

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Osprey Nebula 34:

Reviewers like these things about the Osprey Nebula 34

  • Reviewers agree that EOsprey Nebula backpack is comfortable to wear.
  • Other reviewers thought that the bag is durable due to its fabric and construction.
  • Reviewers noted that it consists of a suspended mesh ventilated back panel.
  • They also stated that it has a padded sleeve dedicated to laptops.
  • Users pointed out that the bag also has a sleeve designed for tablets.
  • Testers indicated the presence of an attachment meant for blinker light.
  • Other testers thought that the carrying handles are durable.
  • Users pointed out that it has separate zippered access to the laptop.
  • Reviewers found that its simple design is ideal for long road trips.
  • Other reviewers said that the pack is lightweight yet fully functional.
  • Users thought that it has a front panel organization pocket.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user had issues with the side pockets.
  • Another user indicated that the hip straps do not have a place to stow them on when they are not in use.

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Buyer’s guide to daypacks

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.

Selected reviews

Mitten Camper reviewed the Osprey Exos 58

All in all the Exos 58 is an excellent backpack. It is fairly lightweight, extremely comfortable, and has some features I’ve found helpful and useful on the trail. It’s a nice pack for people who pack lighter than a traditional backpacker and want some versatility but are not quite in ultralight territory.

Posted 23 April 2018 by Sean Mittencamper – Read full review

The Big Outside reviewed the Osprey Talon 22

For dayhikes of any distance, mountain biking, bike commuting, or adventure racing, when you need a little more space and want comfort and features without extra weight, they’re among the top two or three daypacks in that category.

Posted 17 May 2017 by Michael Lanza – Read full review

Gear Junkie reviewed the Osprey Talon 22

The Osprey Talon 22 is a perfect example of a versatile bag that works for anything, from bike commuting to hiking to, yes, even archaeological fieldwork. With its versatile design and durability, this bag will support any endeavor where a small day pack is a fit.

Posted 28 April 2017 by Steve Goranson – Read full review

Her Packing List reviewed the Osprey Escapist 25

I think it’s a great bag, and I’m really happy with it. I definitely recommend the Osprey Escapist if you’re looking for a good daypack.

Posted 31 October 2016 by Ali Garland – Read full review

Bike Radar reviewed the EVOC FR

A touch pricey, but comfort and stability is impressive and the flexible back protection adds peace of mind.

Posted 11 September 2014 by Rob Weaver – Read full review

Bike Radar reviewed the EVOC FR

Stylish, comfy and tough, but we’d like to see a bladder as standard. It doesn’t come with a bladder, which is a shame. At this price, we feel it should.

Posted 29 July 2013 by Faye Sanders – Read full review

Bike Radar reviewed the Osprey Escapist 25

It doesn’t include a bladder in the price but it’s tough as old boots (it weighs 1.1kg), which should mean a good life expectancy, however if you’re after a pack to go light and long’ with then there are other options that weigh half as much.

Posted 6 June 2011 by Matt Skinner – Read full review

Bike Radar reviewed the EVOC FR

A well ?tting and secure pack with built-in back protector. Our only quibble is that there’s not much depth to the main compartment – we had to take more of a suitcase approach to packing, rather than adopt our usual stuff it in’ style.

Posted 23 September 2010 by Russ Burton – Read full review

Bike Radar reviewed the Osprey Talon 22

The Talon’s well designed harness system gives a truly comfortable feel out on the trail. The deep hip belt sits snugly in position and it’s easy to ?x the weight to your shoulders with the looped adjusters.

Posted 14 September 2010 by Russ Burton – Read full review

Backpack Gear Test reviewed the Osprey Talon 22

I really think that Osprey has a winner with this pack and the whole series from what I can tell from my two examples.

Posted 19 June 2007 by Raymond Estrella – Read full review

Notes about this top 10 list

The list was last updated 19/09/2018.

The list shows the best reviewed daypacks from a much bigger list of selected products. The list should not be considered a complete list of all available, excellent daypacks

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.

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