CAMPING & HIKING

Best Packable Daypack: Stay Comfortable During Your Travels

Packable daypack on bike
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

A daypack is a small backpack designed to carry only the most basic items that you would need for one day. That means that daypacks usually have only a couple of compartments, such as food and water, for example. Are you looking forward to your next trip but you are unsure which model to purchase?

Girl on creek rock

You do not need to worry because in this article we are going to help you choose the best packable daypack! Additionally, we are going to review some of the models that are considered to be the best.

The Most Important Features of a Daypack

As you probably already know, a daypack, also known as a day bag, is intended only for a daily use. That means that it is suitable for short day trips and not for example a climbing expedition. Now we are going to take a look at some of the most important features of daypacks, and what to look out for when you decide to purchase one.

Purpose

When it comes to style as a personal preference, colors and design are not important. What is crucial is whether a daypack is of urban or athletic performance. If you need a fashionable daypack for everyday use, for example for walks or work, then you should go for an urban daypack.

However, if you are an athlete who needs a comfortable and more organized daypack, then you will prefer an athletic daypack, which might be a bit pricier. It is up to you to choose which one suits your lifestyle better.

Security

It is common knowledge that a person wearing a backpack on public transportation might be an easy target for pickpockets. In order to protect yourself and your belongings, purchase a model that has clipped or locked zippers.

Day hike backpacking

You can also look for the models that have a metal mesh sewn into the pack. This makes for an extra level of security, but do not forget to always be careful.

Weight

The most recognizable feature of a daypack is being lightweight. You should be able to carry it without any difficulty because it is designed to be carried for one day only. If it is too bulky or heavy then you probably would not enjoy your short trip and its purpose would be lost.

Size

A perfect daypack should be big enough to carry the basic necessities such as water, camera, map, snacks, light clothes etc. This means that it should not be tiny, but neither too big, otherwise it would be difficult for you to navigate and move around.

It would also be pointless to wear a huge pack around when you need it for only one day. The ideal daypack is between 10 liters and 30 liters.

Comfort

Even though you won’t wear your pack often or for a long period of time, it is important that it features padded shoulder straps and ventilated backs so you can enjoy your trip more, no matter how short it is. Make sure to check out the models that have additional belts.

Pockets

Also important feature because they can make your life easier. However, make sure to store only non-valuable items in your external pockets such as pens, maps and notebooks. Valuable items should be in your internal jackets pockets.

Girl with red daypack

Speaking of that, do not forget that extra compartments can come in handy as well. It is even better if they have security or zipped closures so you do not lost your items.

Different Types of Daypacks

Now that we have covered the most important features that you should look out in a daypack, let’s take a look at different types.

  • A packable daypack is known as an extremely lightweight pack that is supposed to carry the most necessary items for a short trip. This type of pack can be easily stuffed into a bigger backpack, which comes in handy when you have to catch a plain or train. This kind of daypack is almost always the most common and the cheapest solution.
  • Minimalist daypacks are the smallest and you cannot stuff many things inside of them. This type of a daypack is perfect for navigating busy streets. Most of them look like they are designed for athletes.
  • Anti-theft daypacks are the most expensive because they come with a couple of amazing features – the extra layers of security. That means that the zippers are puncture resistant and there are also wire mesh sewn into the fabric. That makes it harder for thieves to cut open your bag.

Different Types of Fabrics

Before you decide to purchase a new daypack, make sure to know which materials are good.

  • Nylon is a type of fabric that can withstand tearing and it is one of the most commonly used materials.
  • Hypalon is a synthetic material that is very flexible and often used to create patches.
  • Polyurethane (PU) is the type of coating used inside of the interior walls of a daypack. It is the material that is responsible for water resistance.
  • Silicone is another coating that minimizes weight and can be very tear-resistant.

Tips on Purchasing a Daypack

Keep in mind that it is important to know what you need before you go to the store, so you do not end up with a different type of product and wasted money.

Kids on backpacking hike

Here are several tips on purchasing a daypack of high quality that can come quite in handy:

  • Before you purchase a daypack you must decide what you need it for. If you need it for regular short trips, then a packable athletic daypack would be great because it is usually more durable, it has more compartments and it is more organized. However, if you need a daypack for irregular use such as commuting, rare short trips and walks, then a fashionable urban one would be sufficient. Just make sure that is has good closures.
  • Make sure that the shoulder straps are padded and that the pack has external pockets and additional belts. They are necessary if you need a pack for traveling. Also make sure to check out the fabric – it should be comfortable, not rigid.
  • If you need a daypack for work, school or just everyday use, there are anti-theft models designed with an extra layer of security. They are more expensive but also worth your money. However, if your budget does not allow you that, then go for the models that have security closures that are not easy to open.
  • And finally, check the pack – is it tough and strong but lightweight? Can you imagine carrying it where you intend to go? Is it spacious enough for all the necessities? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you are ready to go.
  • After all this you can decide on your favorite color and design, there is no harm in having a daypack that is both stylish and easy on the eye.

6 Best Packable Daypacks and Their Reviews

Let’s take a look at 6 amazing packable daypacks that are known for good quality, durability and practicality. Some of them can used for simple everyday activities such as going to school, commuting, walking etc. However, most of them are perfect for even more challenging activities such as short trips.

ChicoBag Daypack15

ChicoBag Daypack 15Dimensions: 17 x 4 x 9 inches; 5.6 ounces

Best use: work, school, everyday activities, commuting

Design Features: it is made of recycled plastic bottles which makes it eco, it comes in three colors: black green, and Turkish blue; the capacity is 15 liters.

Check out this amazing DayPack15 rePETe™ by ChicoBag! It is made of a lightweight and recycled material, which makes it a perfect choice for commuting, school or any other everyday activity you can think of. It can even serve as a packable pack for short trips. It has adjustable shoulder straps, internal zipper pockets and a unique closure system.

This means that you can stuff even large items in this daypack and it will endure them. This can be even a great gift for an environmentally conscious person who is need of a durable and practical pack. Additionally, this daypack can be packed into a bigger one when you travel or need to catch a plane. Other recycled materials include: Polypropylene, Aluminum, Polypropylene, and Nylon. DayPack15 is indeed a great choice you won’t regret.

Check the price on Amazon

ZOMAKE Waterproof Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack

ZOMAKE Waterproof Ultra Lightweight BackpackDimensions: 16.5 x 11.8 x 7.1 inches; 0.45 pounds

Best use: traveling, work, school, everyday activities, commuting

Design Features: it is made of high quality water and tear resistant nylon material with SBS metal zipper; there are main pockets, outer small pockets, pack-in pockets and breathable mesh shoulder straps. There are also bottle holder on the both sides.

Take a look at this fantastic waterproof and ultra-lightweight daypack by ZOMAKE! It is known as a pack of great quality that is water- and tear- resistant, plus you receive a capacity of 20 liters storage space. It is extremely durable, which means that is it a great choice for shorter trips and commuting.

What makes this daypack amazing is the fact that it has been reinforced with Bartack Process in more than 31 places. It is a great choice for plane traveling because you can avoid overweight charges and fold it into a small pocket that is of sandwich size. That means that you can easily pack it into a bigger suitcase and bring it anywhere you want to.

Check the price on Amazon

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack

Sea to Summit Ultra-SilDimensions: 17.72 x 9.84 x 5.91 inches; 0.18 pounds

Best use: traveling, work, school, everyday activities, commuting

Design Features: this daypack consists of a two-way zipper closure, a siliconized cordura for strength and durability and a simple design. It comes in three styles and one color blue.

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack comes with a 20-liter capacity space, which is perfect from everyday commuting or short distance traveling. What makes it great is the fact that you can pack it down and stuff it into larger purses or luggage.

What makes this daypack amazing is the fact that it is bar tack reinforced and it has got stitching on all stress points. Additionally, that makes it unbelievably strong and durable yet lightweight. Do not fret because there is also a two way zipper closure that will allow you to put large items inside. Whether you are a busy mom, a student or just a traveler, give this pack a chance because it is low-profile yet tough, strong and practical.

Check the price on Amazon

EMS Packable Pack

EMS Packable PackDimensions: N/A

Best use: traveling, everyday activities, commuting

Design Features: it comes in only one size and color – caviar/methyl blue; the shoulder straps are large and mesh-padded while the sternum strap has an emergency whistle and it is adjustable; there are dual mesh water bottle holders and two grab loops.

Check out this durable EMS Packable Pack by Eastern Mountain Sports. It comes in only one size and color but it is still stylish and amazing, plus it is affordable. What makes this pack good is the fact that you can put everything you need for a short trip and it won’t seem overloaded. It is designed for easy storage and international traveling.

The padded shoulder straps make it comfortable while the emergency whistle is there just in case. The dual bottle holders at each side are easy to reach and you will grateful for them later. There is nothing better than having a durable and strong daypack with you all the time, so give it a chance!

Check the price on Amazon

Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack

Packable Handy Lightweight Travel BackpackDimensions: 20 Liters; unfold: 16.92 x 11 x 4.72 inches; fold: 6.5 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches

Best use: traveling, work, everyday activities, commuting

Design Features: it has spacious inner zippered pockets, the main compartment, a couple of front zipper pockets to hold small items, one internal zippered pocket for valuable items and two side pockets for water bottles; it is made of water resistant nylon fabric; the stress points are reinforced with bar tacking for increased longevity; it comes in a variety of colors; you get a lifetime warranty and exchange.

This packable and lightweight daypack by Free Knight is exactly what you need if you are looking for a great piece of luggage that will make your adventures easier! With a stylish design and almost 10 colors to choose from, this daypack is also compact and durable. It is not only affordable but it also contains multi compartments that can be used for storing various items that can come in handy during your travels.

It is quite roomy as it has a 20/30 liters space. You can also stuff it into another, bigger bag and take it with you whenever you need to go. It is made of a rip- and water-resistant material that has a long-lasting performance but does not weigh much. Just imagine having this ultra-light and ultra-durable daypack, you won’t regret it!

Check the price on Amazon

Eagle Creek Packable Daypack

Eagle Creek Packable DaypackDimensions: 4.7 x 11 x 18.1 inches; 6.4 ounces

Best use: traveling, work, everyday activities, commuting

Design Features: the daypack is imported, made of a rip-stop material and it has a lockable compartment, a pack-in pocket and a front pocket with key fob; breathable mesh shoulder straps, and a lockable main compartment.

It is definitely not easy to find a durable and strong daypack that would last for the whole day and be useful in the future as well. And that is why Eagle Creek presents this amazing Packable Daypack that is made of a water-resistant and rip-stop fabric. Available in three bright colors, this affordable daypack is perfect for unexpected trips or simple everyday commuting.

It has a strong zipper closure, a lockable main compartment that can be used for keeping various items and extra pockets. The shoulder straps are breathable and padded, which means that carrying this pack will be nothing but comfortable.

Check the price on Amazon

Final Thoughts

To sum up, we have covered the most important features of every daypack and what to look out for when you finally decide to purchase one. We have also covered 6 packable daypacks of high quality that are known for their durability, strength, and breathability. The most important characteristic is the durable and lightweight material because a daypack should never be too big or heavy; otherwise it might sabotage you on your travels.

Besides being durable and lightweight, you might also wish to look out for extra pockets and compartments or even go as far as buying an anti-theft model. Do not forget to put only non-valuable items in external pockets in order to avoid becoming a victim of theft. Most models can be packed and put into bigger bags so you can bring them with yourself whenever you go.

Two friends hike

That is another reason why this type of pack should never be too rigid or heavy. If you need a daypack for everyday activities, commuting, school or work, then a fashionable urban pack might be the one for you, just make sure that it has security closures. But if you are an athlete, then go for a more expensive daypack.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Natalie Green

    My daypack is from Eagle Creek, though it has the cross-body strap, more like the one in the picture right before the suggestions list. I love daypacks because they are so multi-purpose. I can take it for short hikes or trips in the great outdoors, but I can also use it when I am taking a trip to the city, or taking my nieces or nephews somewhere and have to bring all number of things for them. It’s a much better option than just having a huge purse because of the fact that it is usable in some many different situations.

  • Daniel Carraway

    That’s a great brand and hope it is serving you well? Eagle Creek is a very good brand and it’s quite popular due to its many features such as the rip-stop fabric. They also come in various colors so you can pair it with your clothing, among others. It’s very affordable, too. 🙂

  • Adam White

    Any thoughts about the daypacks that double as a water holding source? I have used one and I found it was nice to not have to carry a lot of extra water bottles etc. But then I wonder, does holding all that water in the pack make it heavier? Any thoughts on something like a Camel Bak?

  • Tonya Murphy

    I think they key word here is day. I mean what could one really need to go enjoy nature and being out and about for a day? Some water and granola bars is fine with me! Maybe a few other things like bug spray, etc. I just now I’m much happier with a hands free pack on my shoulder that is very light.

  • Daniel Carraway

    Are you referring to hydration packs?
    See the link here: http://myoutdoorslife.com/gear/camping-and-hiking/best-hydration-pack-for-running.html

    If you want something similar to the Camel Bak that’s lightweight and has room for water bottles, then the EMS Packable Pack is well-recommended.

  • Daniel Carraway

    That’s right! Pack light but don’t forget the basics plus your first aid kits, of course! I’ve invested in an anti-theft daypack which may be pricey but well worth it. It really depends on where you’re going and if you’re going on public transport like trains or buses.
    For me, I just love the peace of mind knowing that I can travel with all my valuable intact. I also go for a bag that has lots of pockets and compartments. That way, being neat and organized is easier.

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