When it is cold outside, I find myself choosing shorter hikes, and shorter hikes mean I don’t have to lug around my sixty-five liter pack.  For these quick trips, I grab my Osprey Daylite Daypack.

  • Pros
    • Lightweight, weighing in at one pound.
    • Perfect size for a day hike.  Personally, I hate those middle-size packs (the ones around thirty/forty liters) because they are not big enough for a backpacking trip but they are too large for a day hike.  That’s why this pack is ideal.
    • It has a foam backpanel and then mesh over that so my back is comfortable and cool.
    • There’s a basic design here, which I love.  Companies are starting to do away with the ‘extras’ (extra pockets with extra zippers, extra straps, etc) because all of these additions equal weight.  This pack has a basic design — two zippers, two buckles — which means it is light.
    • Fits my three-liter hydration bladder perfectly.
    • Great multi-use pack: Because it is light and small, I often use it for purposes beyond hiking, such as my carry-on for flights.
  • Cons
    • I’ll be honest, the need for a daypack may be in the past due to companies designing large packs with removable top lids that can be converted into daypacks.  Because of this — if you are serious about getting into camping and/or backpacking — I’d go straight for a large pack because it may come with a removable lid.  By purchasing the large pack first, you may automatically get your daypack too, which means you will end up saving on money.
    • This pack’s side mesh pockets for drinks needs to be deeper.  My drinks fall out often when I set the pack down or make drastic movements.
    • The small front pocket is very small.  It can essentially fit my cellphone and a couple other tiny bits but that’s it.
  • Rating: IMG_2397IMG_2397IMG_2397 out of Five Vistas
    I feel a daypack should have two functions: One, be able to carry a minimal amount of gear and two, be able to carry drinks easily.  Because this pack scores low on carrying drinks in the sidepockets, it holds down the overall rating.
  • Tips when tracking down your own daypack
    • Remember, if you want to get into backpacking, check out larger packs and see if they have a removable top lid before purchasing a little day pack!
    • Short and sweet: Be sure the pack’s liter-size suits you.  Test it out and if you don’t like it, take it back.  Don’t grab those medium-sized packs for day hikes because all you’ll find it that it is extra weight and has unused space.
    • Determine what your priority is for a daypack — If it is having space to put layers you shed, be sure you have room to do that.  If it is storing drinks to hydrate yourself, be sure there is space for a hydration bladder and side pockets that are large enough to secure drinks.

Happy trails!

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