The Best Backpacks For Day Hiking
When it comes to backpacks, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking they’re all the same, or an ‘any bag will do’ mentality.
Whilst for some that may be a great option, for those looking for a durable, hardwearing and versatile backpack that can double up as both a fantastic pack for a day out but also be a durable pack for the daily commute, look no further!
We’ve consulted our experts at our Cambridge fitting store and are thrilled to share with you some of our absolute favourite packs that we know you are going to love.
So without further ado, let’s jump into finding the perfect pack for your next day trip!
What Do You Need The Pack For?
The best place to start when trying to find any piece of equipment is ‘What do I need it to do?’. If you are looking for a pack that you only need to perhaps carry a few bits of food, a water bottle and a jacket, then you’re going to want something far more compact than someone who is looking to essentially camp overnight with a requirement for carrying more supplies or a full spare set of clothes.
Generally speaking most daypacks come between 20 – 35 litres in size. This is compact enough to remain a staple lightweight backpack, but variable enough to fit larger items for those special days out.
As it is such a common requirement, most of our pack brands stock packs in this size, However each has their own unique flare and characteristics that will draw some people to certain models and other people to other options.
Whilst ultimately it is up to you on which pack you gravitate towards, there are a few general tips and features that we personally would recommend to anyone looking to invest in a pack that is going to be highly durable and suit your needs time after time.
Generally, we’d always recommend a pack with either a zip design or a clamshell cover (on larger sizes). Not only does the zip keep your pack secure and contents easily accessible, but the clamshell is a fantastic mechanism for both enhancing weather resistance and added security. Fantastic for those travelling or carrying valuables, having a zip and clamshell top also allows for the possibility to add a padlock onto your pack if you’d like and gives two layers of added security before reaching your gear.
Today we’ll be highlighting three of our team’s personal favourites. Each comes with both an equivalent men’s/women’s range and are available in a wide range of colours and sizes so you can move up the range as you wish!
OSPREY: Talon / Tempest
We love this pack so much that we’ve actually written a full guide to their range here. The pack itself is lightweight, versatile and incredibly durable.
Some of our team often refer to the Talon / Tempest as the ‘swiss army knife of packs’. Loaded with features, this pack really sets the benchmark for a high functionality pack that you’ll keep enjoying for years to come.
All of the new Talons and Tempests are now constructed with high-quality bluesign®-approved recycled high-tenacity nylon, so it’s fantastic to know that you’re helping the environment by using a bag that uses fewer raw materials than ever before.
Likewise, all Talons feature the cleverly designed AirScape™ foam backpanel combined with a seamless lumbar-to-hipbelt body wrap increases air flow and provides an even more comfortable carrying experience, by keeping the load close to the body and spreading the weight evenly around the hips. Finally, walkers rejoice as both the talon and tempest are built with Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachments, giving the perfect solution for storing your trekking poles as well as multiple compression straps to keep your gear in place..
This makes it a fantastic pack for not only hiking but also one that is ideal for the daily commute, or cyclists and thanks to the highly versatile strap fittings and hip placement, this pack is easily shared between a mother and daughter, or father and son.
LOW ALPINE: Aeon
Taken the same formula of the Talon and Tempest but with their own added twist, the Low Alpine Aeon is a sleek pack with everything you need at your fingertips.
Unlike the Talon or Tempest that opts to be a bag that can prep you for every possible eventuality, the Aeon is far more of a cleaner design loaded with only the essentials. There’s no random features you spot and think: “When am I ever going to need that?”, it keeps it basic, and that’s it’s beauty!
It is light and stable for running, has clean lines for biking and climbing with load carrying comfort and excellent breathability for all-day hiking. The adjustable AirContour back system features large vent zones to disperse moisture which, along with the seamless mesh of the belt allow the pack to combine hot weather breathability with the stability that distinguishes close fitting packs.
It goes without saying that a rucksack is defined by its shoulder straps and the Flexion shoulder harness on the Aeon range is re-defining how comfortable straps are constructed. They are ultra low bulk, but spread the load evenly across the shoulders, contouring themselves to the wearer even when the pack is heavily loaded.
Thanks to the sleeker design, it’s absolutely ideal for those looking for a pack that can easily double up as a work bag, this pack also features the clamshell hood that we noted earlier along with internal security pocket for those carrying things such as laptops.
Last but certainly not least we’ve got the deuter Trail and Trail SL. The first thing we’d like to mention here is something that we get asked a lot – on the SL versions (the female hip belt), why is there an added flower to the bag? This is an interesting question and actually has a lovely story!
Many of the deuter design team are women and the flower is a Yellow Alpine Lily that supposedly grows rather near the deuter HQ, so this is their way of making their own mark on the packs that suit them best!
None the less and flowers aside, the Trail is a sensational pack which is universally loved by our team for one reason in particular. In our personal opinion, of all of the packs out there, deuter have a unique way of creating incredibly comfortable shoulder straps. Where some packs do grate after a while, we’ve always found deuter products to be incredible friendly on both the skin and the shoulders.
The comfortable Aircontact Trail System brings the weight close to the body ensuring full load control and effective load transfer and an extensive set of features will help you prep for any eventuality.
This pack also includes lightweight, breathable mesh hipwings that can be easily stowed away, wet laundry pouch, direct access to the main compartment via two way zip on the front and detachable rain cover.
All of this makes it a perfect companion during day hikes, multi-day mountain excursions and for daily use!
So there you have it! Some of our top picks for daypack essentials! Which pack suits your needs best? We’d love to hear from you! Comment below or join the conversation on our social media channels using the #ForTheOutdoors