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Day hiking is an important part of any camping trip. That’s why it’s important you choose the correct gear to bring with you. One of the most essential pieces of equipment you’ll need is a backpack.
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A high-quality backpack should be able to carry your gear without being too heavy. Furthermore, some backpacks offer more than just a place to put your equipment — choose the right one, and you may get some extra perks which we will discuss later.
In this article, we review eight backpacks, and guide you through the buying process with an in-depth buyers guide. The buyers guide section will highlight the most important features, allowing you to choose the best day hiking backpack in 2021.
8 Best Day Hiking Backpacks
- 1. Rupumpack Insulated Hydration Backpack
- 2. Outlander 100% Waterproof Hiking Backpack
- 3. WintMing 70L Hiking Backpack
- 4. Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack
- 5. HIKPRO 20L
1. Rupumpack Insulated Hydration Backpack
The Rupumpack comes in a range of colors including black, army green, light grey; orange, pure blue, red, or teal. If you want the color to resemble a camping vibe — army green is your best bet.
The inside is big enough to fit the most common day hiking equipment. On the flip side, the outside features two storage pockets where you can put personal belongings such as your phone, keys, and other small accessories.
Attached to the bottom of the backpack are two waist straps, for extra support when carrying heavier gear. That being said, try to hike as light as possible, you’ll thank us later!
Furthermore, the reason this backpack got the first position on this list is because, alongside the obvious benefits, it also includes a built-in hydration pack. It can hold 2.5L of water, and weighs only 1.4 pounds unfilled.
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If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an opening where you can add ice if you prefer your water cold; however, it does contain an insulation layer that keeps all liquids cool for up to four hours, so the ice isn’t necessary.
Although you’ll probably never need it, Rupumpack offers a one year after sales service. Send them a message if you have any issues and they will take care of it for you.
- Multiple color options
- Big storage area
- Extra pockets for phone and keys
- Waist straps
- Includes hydration pack
- Water bottles cannot be stored in side pockets
2. Outlander 100% Waterproof Hiking Backpack
The Outlander Hiking Backpack is made from a nylon fabric — ensuring durability and strength, while keeping it as lightweight as possible. It’s also waterproof and has sealed seams, so your gear can stay dry; even in the harshest conditions.
Outlander have designed this backpack to be super portable. In fact, when empty, you’ll be able to fold it up and put it in your pocket, making it a must have for any camping or hiking trip.
As you may have guessed, it’s lightweight and sits at only 0.42 pounds when empty. Don’t be fooled though, although it may seem small; it’s spacious enough to fit all your most important gear.
Inside the backpack are multiple storage compartments, allowing you to organize your items. There is also an internal zipped pocket where you can store personal belongings such as your phone and keys.
In addition, the front of the backpack has two zipped pockets for small items. These are great if the main compartment is full, and you have leftover gear. Furthermore, there are two compartments on the side with a drawstring design, for water bottles and umbrellas.
- Super portable
- Spacious (25L)
- It Isn’t padded
3. WintMing 70L Hiking Backpack
Wintming has hit the nail on the head with the generous amount of color options available.. You can choose from black, camouflage, army green, camotabby, and many more.
Furthermore, if it’s size you’re looking for, then the Wintming Hiking Backpack won’t let you down. It’s 70L and has multiple storage compartments for both large and small items.
The main compartment features an elastic drawstring design — spacious enough to fit sleeping bags, mats, and even hammocks. Attached to the main compartment is a place where you can store your laptop. Although, you’re probably not going to be sitting on a laptop when surrounded by all that beautiful nature.
There are two side compartments to store water bottles and umbrellas. The great thing about these is they’re fully enclosed, meaning nothing can fall out.
Additionally, it’s completely waterproof, and designed with 600D oxford fabric, making it extremely durable, and able to withstand the harshest environments.
The shoulder straps are adjustable, allowing you to fit this backpack to your body frame. It’s also designed with shoulder padding, meaning you can relieve stress from your shoulders, for a more comfortable hiking experience.
- Multiple color options
- Very spacious (70L)
- Relieves shoulder pressure
- Compartment for laptop
- Too big for short hiking trips
4. Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack
When it comes to the best day hiking backpack, Osprey is the go-to brand. They were founded in California in 1974, and have since grown to produce some of the best backpacks money can buy. If you purchase an Osprey backpack, then rest assured it will last you a long time.
The Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack is a great example of the quality Osprey provides. It’s designed with high-quality materials and comes in a range of different color options; there’s so many, it’s hard to choose!
Some backpacks can become uncomfortable when hiking for long periods of time; however, that’s not the case with this one. The mesh-covered foam back panel, provides great comfort and breathability.
This 20L daypack offers plenty of room for short to medium hikes, and even comes with an internal laptop pocket.
In addition, there’s also a pocket where you can insert and store a hydration pack, allowing you to have a constant intake of water throughout your hike.
The only downside is the side pouches are not deep enough for most water bottles, so using a hydration pack is your best bet.
- Reputable brand
- Spacious (20L)
- Comfortable to wear
- Storage pocket for hydration pack
- Great for short to medium hikes
- Side pouches aren’t great for holding water bottles
5. HIKPRO 20L
The Hikpro 20L has a nice clean look. There are nine colors options you’ll be able to choose from including army green, black, deep blue, light blue, and many more.
It’s designed to be super lightweight and weighs only 0.4 pounds when empty, making it one of the lightest backpacks on the market. As well as being lightweight, it’s also designed for comfort and reduces excess shoulder load, meaning you can enjoy a more pleasant hiking experience.
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There are three storage compartments. The main one is great for your essential hiking equipment; whereas the outer pocket is designed for smaller items such as cameras and maps.
In addition to these compartments, there are two large mesh pockets on either side where you can store umbrellas and water bottles safely.
Thanks to the water-resistant nylon material, this backpack will stay dry for up to one hour in the rain. If you’re going to be spending longer in the rain, then it may begin to leak through — damaging your equipment.
If it does malfunction, you’ll be covered by a five-year warranty, making this purchase 100% risk-free.
- Nine color options
- Super lightweight
- Reduces shoulder load for increased comfort
- Includes security pouch inside main compartment
- Can only be in the rain for up to one hour
6. Daxvens Day Hiking Backpack
The Daxvens Day Hiking Backpack has a maximum capacity of 25L, making it a little bigger than some of the previous other on this list. The main compartment allows you to store bigger equipment and food; whereas the several smaller compartments let you store smaller gear.
Furthermore, it’s unisex, which is shown in the color options available. You can choose between green, pink, yellow; deep blue, black, and sky blue. All of these colors are great on the eye.
The shoulder straps are padded, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy your hike in peace without having to worry about being uncomfortable. It also includes a chest strap, which keeps it secure.
You’ll also be glad to hear it’s lightweight, water-resistant, and made with high-quality materials that are designed to last. The contents of the backpack will stay dry in light rain. If you’re going to come into contact with heavy rain, a waterproof alternative is a more suitable option.
The one downside we found with this backpack is it doesn’t have a hole for a hydration pack. This means you’ll have to bring water bottles and store them in the side compartments.
- Spacious (25L)
- Multiple compartments
- Water-resistant and lightweight
- Side compartments
- Isn’t waterproof in heavy rain
7. Osprey Stratos 24 Men’s Hiking Backpack
Unlike the previous backpack, this one is designed for men. The thing that caught our eye is the fact it comes with an integrated rain cover in case you find yourself in the middle of a storm.
There’s an attachment on the side that allows you to store trekking poles while on-the-go, making this the perfect hiking backpack.
Furthermore, there are two zippered hip belt pockets where you can store your phone, keys, and other small personal belongings without having to worry about them falling out and getting lost.
If it couldn’t get any better, inside the backpack is a sleeve for your hydration pack, allowing for easy access and stable handling.
The back panel is made from ventilation mesh, and designed to ensure you have the most comfortable hiking experience possible. The straps are also fully adjustable, so regardless of your size and height, it will adjust to your body.
While all these benefits are great, Osprey have gone a step further and took into consideration people camping in harsh terrain such as ice and snow; by adding an ice tool loop, making this backpack great for all terrains.
- Includes integrated rain cover
- Trekking pole attachment
- Zippered pockets for phone and keys
- Comfortable back panel
- Ice tool loop
- Putting the hydration reservoir into the backpack can prove difficult
8. ZOMAKE Small Hiking Backpack
The Zomake Small Hiking Backpack has a lightweight and compact design. It weighs 0.6 pounds, and measures 6.7 x 5.5 inches. In fact, it’s so compact, that when folded, it can fit into your pocket.
Furthermore, if you’re going to be hiking in an area with light rain, then this backpack prevents the contents from becoming wet; however, it’s not waterproof, only water-resistant, so it won’t protect your items during heavy rainfall.
The breathable mesh straps mean you can enjoy a comfortable hike without having to worry about shoulder tension after long periods of use.
Inside are multiple compartments that offer enough room to store essential hiking equipment. There are also two extra zippered compartments on the outside, where you can store leftover items.
In addition, if you need a place to put your water bottles, you can use the two mesh pockets on either side. The only problem we discovered is that these pockets are small, meaning your water bottles could fall out when hiking.
- Breathable mesh straps
- Spacious (25L)
- Small mesh pockets
What To Look For When Buying A Day Hiking Backpack
If you’re looking to get your hands on the best day hiking backpack, there’s some things you must first take into consideration to ensure it will stand the test of time. Let’s take a look at them below.
If you’re going to be hiking for long periods of time, you need to ensure the backpack you purchase is lightweight. A heavy backpack will add to the existing load and could cause back strain if you’re not careful.
On the flip side, a lightweight backpack allows you to carry your equipment without adding any unnecessary stain. This will make the whole experience a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.
The truth is that in this day and age, most backpacks you come across are lightweight. However, it’s always good to check just in case.
In most cases, the more expensive the backpack, the more features and benefits it provides. For example, take the Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack. It not only features the most benefits you expect to see with a backpack, but it also includes a trekking pole and ice tool attachment.
However, you get what you pay for, as this is one of the most expensive options on this list.
While you can stick with the cheaper alternatives, if you’re looking for a backpack that will last you for years to come, then you may have to part with a bit more money than expected.
If we had to give you one piece of advice on buying a day hiking backpack, it would be to ensure it’s comfortable, and can be used for long periods of time. After a while, some backpacks can become uncomfortable and make hiking less enjoyable.
To stop this from happening, look for a backpack that has great padding, especially on the shoulder straps and back panel.
Water Resistant Or Waterproof
Most hiking backpacks fall under two categories, they’re either water-resistant, or waterproof. The type of backpack you choose to buy depends on the weather conditions you’re going to be hiking in.
If it’s a crystal clear day with no clouds in sight, then a water-resistant backpack should be fine; however, if you’re going to run into bad weather, then we recommend getting your hands on a waterproof backpack.
A waterproof backpack has a taped seam and waterproof material, preventing any water from entering.
On the flip side, water-resistant means the backpack can only handle light rain, so should you find yourself in the middle of a storm, your equipment may become damaged.
If you’re still not sure what type of backpack to get, then sticking with a waterproof one is your best bet. This will protect you in all types of weather.
When hiking, you’re going to need to bring some equipment. A day hiking backpack helps you carry it without putting too much stain on your back, considering you choose the right one.
We hope this article has helped you decide which backpack is right for you. However, if you’re still unsure, the Osprey Stratos 24 is a great choice. It comes with an integrated rain cover, hydration sleeve, and will keep you comfortable, thanks to the mesh back panel.
I currently own two different Osprey packs (the green day pack I’m wearing above, and the Xena pack that I use for over night trips).
If you have any further questions, then feel free to drop a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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