osprey daypack front and back side by side with text 'best daypacks'

Choosing a daypack can be daunting. I know I spent hours and hours of research before finalizing on the daypack I wanted to commit to. There are a number of features to look for in a daypack that is primarily understood while traveling. So, here I am listing out not only the best daypacks but also all the features that you should be looking for in your daypack.

After evaluating dozens of daypacks, I decided to go for Osprey Flare 22. Even though it was well over my budget, I was jobless back then but after giving it days, I decided to spend the extra money for this daypack that I knew was going to last me years. 

Just like backpacks, a daypack is one of the most important things to purchase. I have used mine to travel to Thailand for two weeks and used it every day to work. A good daypack can be used for short hikes, for travel, for everyday use and therefore I believe the time you invest in looking for the perfect one would be well worth it in the long run.

Top Daypack recommendations

  • Osprey: My all-time favorite brand of backpacks has a great lineup of daypacks as well. I’ve used one every day since early 2019.
  • Patagonia: Patagonia has some beautiful and practical daypacks in the same price range as Osprey.
  • The North Face: The North Face backpacks are known to be sturdy packed with great features.
  • Deuter: Just like their backpacks, Deuter makes some great daypacks in durable material perfect for hiking or everyday use.
  • Gregory: Gregory is another big name in the backpacks world and its fans are also in plenty in the travel world.
  • Vaude: This German brand makes some tough, reliable packs that has built a community of fans around the world.

Why I choose an Osprey

I’m a minimalist but a sucker for backpacks. Leave me at REI or Decathlon and I’m a happy woman. In spite of daydreaming about many packs, I went back to an Osprey for the following reasons:

  • Lifetime Warranty: Even though I have not used the service center in the last 4 years, I do like the fact that it’s an option.
  • Features: I was looking for a daypack in the 20-25 lt range weighing less than a kg. I wanted a front stretchy pocket, side straps, a few hoops on the outside, two side stretchy pockets, hip strap, a laptop sleeve, and a lot of pockets in the first zip. There were only a handful of packs that fit the criteria. Eventually, I chose Osprey because of my great experience with the main backpack.

Feature to look for in a quality Daypack

  • Volume: Daypacks generally range from 10-35 lt. I went for 24 lt solely because I intended to use it as my only pack while I kept a base. It has worked well and the longest I have been gone with it is 2 weeks.
  • Weight: If you’re going to use the daypack for short trips as your only luggage then it would be great to consider a lighter pack that allows you to remain in cabin luggage weight limits. This saves money on a few budget flights.
  • Backsystem: A lot of daypacks don’t come with a sophisticated back panel like backpacks because it also adds to the overall weight of the pack.
  • Ease of organization: A daypack is your companion on long journeys when the main backpack gets checked in. This is why it’s essential to have the pack with multiple organization section that allows you to easily access things on a moving bus or train. Like a laptop sleeve, compartment for pen and notebook etc.
  • Durability:  Nobody likes being in a foreign country with a broken bag. It’s best to start with a great pack and travel more stress-free about the load.
  • Water bottle pocket: Water bottle pockets come in really handy while on hikes or just in everyday use so you don’t have to unzip the entire pack to pull the bottle out.
  • Raincover: While I would have loved to have an integrated rain cover in my pack, there were barely any shortlisted daypacks with one. Surprisingly, rain cover was a lot more common in the lower end daypacks. But a great feature to have and I hope the reputed brands would make more models with integrated rain covers.

Some places to shop

Some of these brands are now available on Amazon for a slightly higher price than the global rates. While the best thing would be to get it delivered to a friend in the US or Europe who intends to make a trip to India, but this is not always a feasible option and not to forget time taking. The other option is to use a website like trekkinn that charges an international delivery but has a wide array of international brands.

About Daypacks

A daypack is a bag that can be interchangeably used as a backpack for shorter trips, hiking companion, or every everyday use (I take it to client locations).

A good daypack allows you to pack efficiently and travel conveniently giving access to things easily without messing the entire luggage.

I have been using my daypack for about two years now, I have taken it to interviews, to client locations, to work, to hikes, to 2 week long trips, and everything in between. This is why I don’t regret the one-month-long wait, the money I had spent on it that could have been used on the road. Travel is a lot more enjoyable with the right gear, I hope you find yours.