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Top Packable daypacks Reviews and Buyer's Guide

Last updated July 3, 2019

The quality of most packable daypacks vary a lot, so it's important you spend some time checking the different brands and models before choosing your new pack.

The Best Packable Daypack

Having checked thousands of packable daypack reviews, we can say that the Cotopaxi Luzon is the best choice for most people.

The Cotopaxi Luzon got a rating of 4.27 out of 5, while the average rating in the list below is just 3.99.

Cotopaxi Luzon
This is the best reviewed packable daypack.
How we rate the bags

We have checked 2,457 packable 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 Cotopaxi Luzon isn't your style, you might also consider the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil.

The Ultra-Sil is a close runner-up with a rating of 4.22 out of 5 - and it's usually cheaper than the Luzon.

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil
The second-best reviewed packable daypack.
Finally, you might consider the Eddie Bauer Stowaway.

The Stowaway is the third-best rated packable daypack with a rating of 4.14 - and it's usually cheaper than the Luzon.

Eddie Bauer Stowaway
The third-best reviewed packable daypack.
Below is the list of all top 7 best packable daypacks. Great if none of the three bags above are your style.

The 7 Best Packable Daypacks

PS: We have checked 2,457 reviews to make this top 7 list!

RankPackable DaypackRating
1Cotopaxi LuzonCotopaxi Luzon
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
189 reviews
2Sea to Summit Ultra-SilSea to Summit Ultra-Sil
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
978 reviews
3Eddie Bauer StowawayEddie Bauer Stowaway
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
528 reviews
4Eagle Creek PackableEagle Creek Packable
217 reviews
5Exped SummitExped Summit
15 reviews
6Herschel PackableHerschel Packable
499 reviews
7Pacsafe PouchsafePacsafe Pouchsafe
26 reviews

Buyers Guide to Packable Daypacks

[toc] Are you planning on doing some exploring once you have touched down at your holiday destination? If so, you are probably going to need a packable daypack on hand. These compact bags can make traveling and sightseeing a great deal easier for anyone. Of course, the trick is to find one that will work well for you.

If you aren’t feeling up to this challenge, don’t worry. We have put together all of the details, elements, and insights that will make choosing your packable daypack an absolute breeze. All that there is left for you to do is to understand which type of bag is best for you:

Packable Daypacks: Your Solution to a Compact Carrier (Buyers Guide)

If you are headed out of your own city, it is quite likely that the bag that you picked was either a suitcase or something equally large and hefty. While this is good if you want to transport many of your belongings, it isn’t the ideal option for exploring or sightseeing. At the same time, it isn’t like you can stuff an entire backpack into your luggage.

The great thing about packable daypacks is that they offer the best of both worlds. So, if you are considering this type of bag to make it easier for you to head out unencumbered, there are a few things that you should know first:

How Do Packable Backpacks Work?

To start, you need to understand just what packable backpacks are. As the name suggests, these are backpacks that can be packed themselves. They are made from thin fabric and contain very little structure. As such, they can be folded up into a much smaller size and kept in a bag.

There are more or less, two types of packable backpacks. The first is a bag that is folded and then placed in another, separate bag. The benefit of this type of backpack is that the folding and storage part is quite easy. However, it also means that wherever you take this backpack, you have to remember to take the pouch that it goes into as well.

The other type of packable backpack is one that folds up into a pocket that is present in the backpack. Now, this eliminates the need to take another bag with you. Nonetheless, you may also be faced with trying to figure out how to maneuver all the fabric in a way that it fits into that attached space.

What You Should Be Aware of When Choosing a Packable Daypack

While packable backpacks are far from flimsy, they still have to be light and flexible enough to be folded up. Now, the advantage of this is that when empty, these bags are quite light. On the other hand, this also means that these bags may not be as strong as the traditional backpacks. So, they may be unable to carry the weight that a regular backpack with that capacity would be able to. When packing, it is imperative that you keep the strength of the material in mind. This will prevent the backpack from ripping or tearing while you are walking around.

Now, one of the main reasons that some people look for a packable daypack is the low weight. If this is something that you are interested in, you may be tempted to choose the lightest option available to you. What you need to know is that this can come with some disadvantages. If the backpack is overly light, it means that the manufacturers have skimped on many of the features that make backpacks comfortable. So, you will have to deal with the bare bones of the bag, which can become quite uncomfortable the longer that you carry the bag.

The Packable Daypack Capacity Guide

Now, from the name alone, you should be able to tell that a daypack is meant to carry enough of supplies for a day’s hike or trip. The same is true for the packable version as well. Due to this, most of the packable daypacks tend to be between 20 to 30 liters.

However, you can find daypacks that are a little smaller as well. These can typically carry between 15 to 20 liters. These are good for half-day hikes but you may find that they are too small for cold weather or if you need to carry gear or equipment with you.


It isn’t enough to just focus on the capacity of the bag – you will also need to take into consideration the size of the pack as well. Since it is a daypack you usually will not come across over-sized bags. That being said, you should avoid a bag that cannot sit between your shoulder blades and your hip bones. A bag that is any bigger than this can throw off your center of gravity and make it difficult to maintain your balance.

Choosing the Fabrics

The reason that the fabric is quite so important with packable daypacks is because it is directly related to durability. Considering that the structure of the backpack is already quite thin, it is vital that you settle on a material that is strong enough to hold all of your items.

This is why you will often find that most of the packable daypacks are made from nylon. While it is quite light, it also has the advantage of being incredibly strong. Now, if you are headed out into the woods or a similarly rough terrain, you may require a fabric that can withstand even more abuse. In this case, you will find that ripstop nylon will be a better fit for you. This material is abrasion resistant which means that it has a lower chance of wearing away.

Then, there is the matter of water-resistant materials. On its own, most fabrics will absorb water. This is why you need to look for materials that have been treated with a durable water-resistant coating. One of the more common coatings is polyurethane.

Features to Consider

When searching through a variety of packable daypacks, here are some of the characteristics to look out for:


It doesn’t matter how great your packable daypack is if it is too uncomfortable for you to carry it for long periods of time. Now, you should know that if you want a very comfortable bag, you have to be willing to sacrifice a bit of the lightness.

On that note, one of the things to examine is the shoulder straps. These should be wide and have enough of padding to cushion your shoulders and spread out some of the weight that you are carrying. The straps should also be easy to adjust as this will come in handy in ensuring that the backpack will sit properly on your back.

Now, typically there aren’t any sternum straps or hip belts to be found on these bags. Some manufacturers do offer them, however, so that you can carry a heavier load. Just make sure that the hip belt is cushioned to avoid it chaffing against your hip bone. The sternum strap should also be adjustable so that it can be tightened enough to hold the backpack against your back.


Since packable daypacks don’t boast a lot of features, it is unlikely that you will come across one with a hydration reservoir. So, what you will need to do is to look for packs that have external mesh pockets on the outside, where you can keep the bottles. There are a few things to keep in mind about these pockets. First, they need to be easy to reach so that you don’t have to take off your backpack, every time that you want a drink. Also, the mesh pockets need to be high enough to accommodate bottles of all lengths. Similarly, there should be an elastic binding that expands and contracts, depending on the circumference of the bottle.


Even though you will only be using your packable daypack for a few hours at a time, it is still nice to be able to organize all of your items. This is particularly important if you are hiking and don’t want to keep stopping. There are many daypacks that avoid panels, pockets, and organization features in favor of a lighter bag. So, if neatness and precision are important to you, these are definitely elements that you will need to keep track of.

Of course, it isn’t just internal organization that you have to think of. Now, daypacks have a limited amount of space. This can be a bit of a disadvantage if you need to take equipment or larger gear with you. In this instance, look to see if the daypack allows you to attach these items to the outside of the bag. Lashings, daisy chains, and loops are all attachments points that allow you to do this.

Fold-Down Size

The whole point of a packable daypack is that it is smaller and lighter to carry when it is folded. This is why you should compare the fold-down sizes of the various bags available. This size will depend on the design of the bag as well as the fabrics that it is made from. For instance, if the backpack in question is made from a strong or sturdy material, it may not fold as well. Still, you will find that even the largest bag can fold down to the size of a smartphone or perhaps, a little bigger.


If you want to upgrade from a water-resistant bag to a waterproof one, there are a few more details to pay attention to. To start with, any zippers on the bag will need to be sealed up with a waterproof coating. This should also be done to the seams of the bag. By sealing these areas up, there will be no entry points for the water.

A packable daypack may prove to be the answer to all of your travel carrier problems. This guide will make it even simpler for you to find it now.

1 More Packable Daypacks

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

RankPackable DaypackRating
Olympia DenaliOlympia Denali

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Last updated on July 03, 2019