The 6 Best Daypacks for Hiking in 2022

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Your hiking pack is one of the most essential pieces of equipment you will bring on any trail. But, with over 100s of hiking daypacks on the market it can get overwhelming to find one that you’ll enjoy bringing with you on your daily hikes. 

Through countless hours of research and trial and error we are here to assist you with finding the best daypacks for hiking. Hiking backpacks come in many shapes and sizes, so choosing the right one for your needs can be tricky. However, we have your back and in this article we will address some things to consider when shopping for a new pack.

Bottom line: Our top choice is the Deuter Speed Lite 25 & Speed Lite 23 SL. This is the best daypack all around. It is a “jack of all trades” type of backpack good for comfort and has overall good features that will work for most people. The hip belt offers a good amount of comfort for those longer day hikes. The ergonomic back panel structure provides great lumbar support and the pack provides a fair share of accessories and pockets for storage needs. All in all this one should check most of the boxes, which is why it makes it in our top spot. 

Short on time? Here’s a summary of our top picks for the best hiking daypacks in 2022

The 6 Best Hiking Daypacks

In this list we break down the top 6 best daypacks for hiking that we have found. Also, further we discuss how to choose your next hiking bag. Things like what to look for in regard to weight, capacity, and features. Keep reading on to find a pack that will work for you.

Best All Around Hiking Daypack 

Deuter Speed Lite 25 & 23 SL

  • MSRP: $120
  • Weight: 1lb 9oz / 1lb 8oz 
  • Capacity: 25L / 23L 
  • We Like: Lightweight, tons of features, attachments, and comfort at a reasonable price. Lifetime warranty 
  • We Don’t Like: Less cushioned sternum and waist straps 


The Deuter Speed Lite 25 & 23 SL are the most balanced hiking daypacks on this list featuring good comfort, breathability, and fair share of features. This pack has a lot of nice features and attachments for trekking poles, bike helmet loop, and extra zipper storage pockets. It excels with light weight and multiple features and can easily hold a 3L hydration pack

The Deuter Speed Lite 25L is just an all around great daypack that meets general specs. While the Deuter speedlite 23 SL is specifically designed for women. Featuring a more slim lined fit with different strap placement to maximize comfort and minimize chafing. Lastly, Deuter backs their products up with a lifetime warranty to repair any pack no questions asked. 

Best Lightweight Hiking Pack

Hyperlite Daybreak 17L backpack 

  • MSRP: $229
  • Weight: 1lb 4.4oz 
  • Capacity: 17L
  • We Like: Lightweight, comfortable, just enough room for storage 
  • We Don’t Like: Ventilation is fair back panel gets warm, high price tag 


Overall this pack is a great choice for those times when you are wanting an ultralight pack. The pack barely weighs over a pound but still has good 17L capacity. Which is more than adequate for carrying the essentials plus more. 

It comes with many features such as buckles, bungees, ice axe and grab loop attachments. In addition, the pack is water resistant and made with YKK zippers. The material is Dyneema which is known for being lightweight but also really durable. The waist belt and sternum strap are adjustable and fit well. 

One great feature is the angled side water bottle pockets that allow for effortless reach while you’re moving. Overall, this a fantastic option if you are wanting a more minimal lightweight daypack with features and a good capacity for an overnight stay in the wild. 

Best Daypack for Longer Hikes 

Osprey Stratos 36 & Sirrus 36

  • MSRP: $210
  • Weight: 3lbs 4.5oz
  • Capacity: 36L/36L 
  • We Like: Great Storage, Multiple attachments, excellent comfort and fit
  • We Don’t Like: On the heavy side for capacity 


The Stratos and Sirrus hiking daypacks are very similar to the Talon & Tempest however, it knocks it out of the park. Small side pockets and a tiny hydration reservoir sleeve are major flaws in the Tempest and Talon. But, definitely not with the Stratos and Sirrus. 

Overall, these packs provide more benefits for those going on longer hikes or carrying a heavier load. The Stratos and Sirrus are framed packs that feature additional padding and a more comfortable hip belt and sternum strap. 

It has plenty of attachment points for trekking poles, sleeping bags, and any other gear you might want to take. Overall, the best feature is the comfort, it works well to offload the weight from your back and features a mesh panel great for additional ventilation. Also, if you get any nicks or tears on your pack send it in and they’ll repair it no questions asked. 

Best for Hydration 

Camelbak Fourteener 26 Hydration Pack

  • MSRP: $155
  • Weight: 2lbs 5oz
  • Capacity: 26L 
  • We Like: Comfortable, nice features, and attachments, storage for hydration.
  • We Don’t Like: A little heavy. Shoulder straps are a bit thin


This pack has some of the best features when it comes to hydration. It features a hydration sleeve with multiple pockets for storing water bottles and other gear. The hip belt and sternum straps are well adjustable which allows for increased comfort. Has multiple pockets inside, outside, and along the waist belt for easy access. 

Really liked the back panel, the Air Support™ technology allowed for maximal comfort and excellent ventilation. Also, it has many useful features such as an attachment point for storing trekking poles. And the redesign added an integrated rain cover for when times get a little wet. All around works well at providing support for the low back when carrying more hydration on the trails. 

Best Simple Budget Daypack 

Osprey Daylite Plus

  • MSRP: $75
  • Weight: 1lb 4.6oz 
  • Capacity: 20L
  • We Like: Lightweight, simple design, great price, and excellent style and color options
  • We Don’t Like: Small side pockets, small waist straps, limited support 


The Daylite Plus is a fairly good budget daypack, it is an all-around lightweight, simple, and comfortable pack. This pack is very sturdy and constructed with recycled polyester and DWR coating. It is a versatile pack that is great for hitting the trails while also working well for everyday use. 

The pack features multiple external pockets and an interior sleeve that works well for hydration or a 15” laptop or tablet. Overall, this is a great budget pick if you are looking for a simple, sleek, smaller daypack, with minimal features.  

Best Weather Resistant Daypack 

Fjallraven Bergtagen 30L

  • MSRP: $200
  • Weight: 2lb 4.7oz 
  • Capacity: 30L
  • We Like: Waterproof, durable, and comfortable 
  • We Don’t Like: A little heavy and high price tag


The Fjallraven Bergtagen 30L is a niche hiking backpack that is designed to be waterproof so your gear will stay dry. This truly waterproof hiking pack comes in handy during those wet days and times where you may have to cross a river or stream. One of my favorite hikes in Southwest, Missouri at Busiek State Forest has multiple river crossings. I can recount on many occasions where I have had to cross in waist deep water, while holding my backpack above my head in fear of it falling in. With this pack you don’t have to worry about that.

Overall, the Fjallraven’s Bergtagen is durable while also being comfortable on the lower back and shoulders. However, one downside of the pack is the weight as it is fairly heavy compared to the other packs on this list. Out of the hiking daypacks on this list, this one is a definite good choice for those that might be doing some rafting, hiking in wet places, or even in the snow.

How to Choose a Hiking Daypack 

Most daypacks are designed for many purposes and can range in a lot of functions for activities. For example you may be someone who would be willing to add a little weight to have more comfort on your hikes. Or you could be on the flipside of that and be willing to give up a little on comfort and capacity for a lighter and minimalistic hiking daypack. 

When thinking about choosing your daypack, really consider what you are going to be using it mostly for and what is important to you. We like to consider these four factors when we choose a daypack to bring on our hikes.

  • Size & Fit: Is the pack comfortable? Does the torso length and hip size fit?
  • Capacity: The amount the pack can carry 
  • Weight: How much the pack weighs
  • Features: What frame type and features does it have? 

Size and Fit

When it comes to the best fit for a daypack there are two things to consider torso length and hip size. This factor is often overlooked but it is one that totally makes a difference in finding the best daypack. In the past I have worn poorly fitted daypacks and let me tell you having your back hurt and your shoulders rubbed raw on a hike is not a fun way to experience the great outdoors. 

Torso Length 

When looking at torso length you want to make sure the pack will fit well on your back. I recommend having a partner to help with this measurement because it can be difficult trying to measure your back by yourself. However, it can most definitely be done if you can’t find someone to help out. 

First, you will need a flexible measuring tape, usually this can be found in the sewing section at most stores. Next, locate the C7 vertebra along the back of your neck, this is the bony bump on the back of your neck. Once you have found it, you will end up using this as the top of the torso measurement. Afterwards, you will then find your waistline that will be used as the bottom of the measurement.  

Hip Length

Most packs have adjustable hip lengths on them but it is still very important to get a properly fitting pack that will fit fairly snug on the hips. When looking for a pack you want it to rest on the top of your hip bones and not hang on over your butt. When measuring the hip length, you are going to use that flexible measuring tape again and wrap it around your hips. 


All daypacks vary on the amount of capacity they carry and most daypacks even feature various types of capacities for the same model. Overall, this is dependent on what you are going to be using the backpack for. When looking to find the right size of bag to buy you need to have a plan of what you are going to be packing in your bag and an idea of the amount of weight it might be holding.

In general a good starting place for most hiking daypacks is anywhere from about 20-30L and a great average spot is about 25L for most people. Also, if you need a starting place for packing a bag look into starting with at least the 10 essentials and build from there. 


When looking at choosing a pack weight is a fairly important consideration and goes hand in hand with capacity and comfort. If you’ll be carrying a lot of weight you will most likely want a daypack with a fair amount of padding on your back, waist, and shoulder to help distribute that weight. 

Otherwise, if you won’t be bringing a lot of stuff with you or you are okay with sacrificing a bit of comfort. Then more minimal and lighter weight options will work for you. In general, most people like to find something that balances cushion, weight, and capacity. Most daypacks with 20-30L capacity and a fair amount of cushion will work great for the majority of day hikes. 


When looking at features for daypacks you will notice that there are quite a lot. Some of the features you may need but there are also some you might not need either. Again this is a bit dependent on your preference and what you’ll be bringing with you on the hike.

Frameless vs framed

The main difference between frameless and framed packs is how the weight is distributed which impacts the comfort and sturdiness. In general framed packs are going to be a bit sturdier and heavier and for longer hikes where you might have to carry a lot of weight they will often be a more comfortable choice.

Frameless packs can be very comfortable especially for lighter loads. In addition, frameless hiking daypacks are more advantageous when it comes to agility and comfort. Also, they tend to be much lighter and less expensive. In general you probably really don’t need a framed pack unless you are going to be carrying more than 25lbs of equipment. 

Hip Belts and Sternum Straps 

Hip belts and sternum straps help to distribute the majority of the weight so your lower back is not having to bear all the weight. Sternum straps are an awesome touch; they extend across the chest between the shoulders. They are important in helping to spread out the pressure, improve stability and they help the shoulder straps from moving outwards and rubbing too much on the front of your shoulders. 


External pockets come in handy when you are trying to store extra items and make it easier to organize your pack. Imagine how difficult it would be to find an item if you had to store everything in one main compartment. Side pockets are great for storing water bottles and if you need more hydration make sure your pack has a bladder sleeve. 

Attachment Points

These straps make it helpful for storing extra items like trekking poles, sleeping pads, and other gear. If you might be wanting to be able to carry extra gear while leaving your hands free then this is something you may want to look into when choosing a pack. I usually carry trekking poles on a lot of my hikes so this is something I personally look for.  

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, you found this guide for the best daypacks for hiking helpful. If you have any recommendations or any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments down below. If you believe someone else may find this guide helpful, give it a share. Stay safe and hike more, worry less!

Editor note: This post was originally published April 27, 2022 and has been updated for more accuracy and comprehensiveness

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