You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to choosing a daypack, so we’re here to help you make the right choice. Daypacks are made for short hikes or bike rides, but they can also be used for everyday use. They’re great for carrying all your essentials while keeping them safe and secure.

In this post, we’ll cover how to choose the best daypack for your needs. We’ll also talk about how to make sure it’s comfortable enough for you to wear all day long!

Choosing a Daypack by Activity

A quick way to narrow your search for a daypack is to look for one that’s designed for the kind of adventure you want to have. The following are some of the activities daypacks are built for, along with some features you can expect to find on them:

Hiking: Hiking daypacks are designed for long, strenuous days on the trail. The most important thing to consider is the pack’s capacity. You want something that can hold all of your gear for the day without weighing you down. If you’re going out for a weekend trip, you’ll want a bigger pack. If you’re going out for a few hours, a smaller pack will do.

Climbing: If you’re climbing, you want a pack that’s comfortable, holds everything you need and is also tough enough to hold up against the elements. You’re going to want something light and durable, with lots of pockets so you can organize your gear. You’ll also need a water bladder pocket and waist belt.

If you don’t have one already, consider investing in an internal frame backpack for long treks up the mountain.

Running: If you’re an avid runner, you will want a daypack that is lightweight and breathable, but also able to hold all of your gear.

You’ll want something that has plenty of compartments for any items you might need on a run—water bottles, snacks, keys, and phones are just some examples. You’ll also want a waist strap that can be adjusted to fit both men and women. The best daypacks for runners provide comfort and convenience without sacrificing style or function.

Travel, School, Commuting: When you’re traveling, your daypack needs to be light and functional enough to carry around all day without getting too heavy. You’ll want a backpack that’s comfortable on your back and has plenty of space for all the items you’ll need. If you’re carrying a laptop and other electronics, make sure there are enough pockets for chargers and cords. Look for backpacks with padded straps that can be adjusted for comfort.

If you’re in school or commuting by bike or public transportation, it’s important that your backpack is durable and waterproof. A waterproof cover will protect your books from rainstorms or spills while they’re in transit between classes or home/work and provide extra padding if they fall off the bike seat onto the ground during a crash landing!

Road Cycling and Mountain Biking: The most important thing to look for when choosing a daypack for road cycling or mountain biking is stability. You need to be able to trust that your bag will stay put as you go over bumps and through potholes and that it won’t bounce around as you run over rocks or dirt.

The next thing to consider is how much stuff you’ll actually be carrying with you on your ride. If you’re just going out for an hour or two, then the capacity of your bag doesn’t matter as much, but if you’re planning to ride all day long, then it’s worth getting one with lots of space.

If you’re planning on carrying food and water with you, then look for a model that has a pouch in the front of the pack where you can store these items without having them spill out onto everything else inside. This will also help keep them cool so they don’t spoil before you get home!

Snowsports: For a day of snow sports, you want a daypack that is compact and lightweight, but also has enough storage for all your gear. You’ll want to make sure it’s waterproof so you can protect your stuff from the elements. Snowsports daypacks are typically made from nylon or polyester and have a lot of pockets for storing extra layers, goggles, gloves, hats, and other items you may need during your ski trip.

Backpacking: If you’re going to be backpacking, you’ll want a backpack that carries everything you need and fits your body well. A good backpacking pack should have a hip belt with at least two straps that can be adjusted for the perfect fit. The shoulder straps should also have adjustable straps so you can easily adjust them to fit your body size.

You’ll also want a pack with plenty of pockets for storing all your things, as well as a rain cover to keep your gear dry in wet weather conditions. Some backpacks come with built-in hydration systems which make it easier to carry water without having to stop or slow down just so you can drink something while hiking through nature on your own terms!

Daypack Capacity

When choosing a backpack, think about your typical day’s itinerary and the gear you’ll be carrying. Is the pack big enough for your Essentials? Do you have room for your favorite jacket? Will it handle the weight of long trips?

Here are some factors to consider when determining pack capacity:

10 liters or less: Some of these packs were specifically designed for lightweight pursuits like running and road biking, while others are small enough to take on very short hikes. Their compact and low-profile design allows you to carry only the essentials for a quick day hike like an ultralight jacket, some energy bars, and your keys.

11–20 liters: These compact packs are built for hiking, mountain biking, running or traveling. Some feature extra pockets for keeping your belongings organized when you’re exploring the great outdoors. They are useful for keeping an extra layer, food, and other items close at hand during day trips.

21–35 liters: This is the perfect size for a daypack for most hikers or travelers. It’s big enough to hold all your clothes, some food and even a camera or a book.

36–50 liters: These larger packs are more suitable for trips that require additional clothing and gear, like climbing, mountaineering, or non-summer hiking. For parents who need to carry clothing, gear, and other items for their children, these packs are a perfect fit. Some of the items on this list may be suitable for overnight trips if you pack ultralight, compact gear.

Daypack Features

Daypack Frame Type

If you’re looking for a new daypack, there are tons of features to consider when choosing one. The first thing to think about: what kind of frame system do you want? There are two main types of daypack frames: internal and frameless.

Internal frame: packs have an internal structure that helps stabilize the load and transfer weight from your shoulders onto your hips. They give you more support than frameless daypacks, but they’re typically heavier and bulkier than frameless packs.

Frameless: packs don’t have any internal structure at all—they rely on a stiff fabric panel to keep the pack rigid while carrying weight in it. Frameless packs tend to be lighter, smaller, and more streamlined than internal frame packs, but they won’t offer as much support or stability during long hikes or multi-day trips.

Pack Access

Top Access: These bags have a top-accessible opening, so you don’t have to dig around the bottom of your bag to find what you need. They are ideal for carrying items such as sunscreen, water bottles, and snacks.

Front Access: These backpacks typically have a front-facing zipper on the main compartment. They’re great for carrying things like wallets or phones without having to open up the whole bag to get at them.

Side Access: Side access daypacks are designed to be accessed from either side of the bag. This is great for when you’re carrying a lot of stuff and need to get in and out quickly, but it’s also good if you want to be able to reach everything without having to take off the pack entirely or put it down.

Bottom Access: Bottom access daypacks typically have zippers on the bottom of the pack that allows you to open them up completely and access everything inside. They’re especially useful if you don’t want anything falling out while hiking through rougher terrain or climbing mountains—and they’re also great for when you want quick access to anything at all times!

Hydration Reservoir

Nearly all daypacks have an internal sleeve that you can slip a hydration reservoir into, but it is sold separately. Daypacks that include a reservoir are typically labeled as hydration packs.

Additional Features

There are a lot of other features you should look for when buying a daypack. Here are some of the ones we think are most important:

Suspended mesh back panel: This allows for airflow, so you don’t sweat as much. It also makes it easier to carry your pack, because it fits more easily on your shoulders and back.

Raincover: A raincover will protect your bag from inclement weather, keeping it dry and usable even if you get caught in a downpour.

Sleeping bag compartment: A sleeping bag compartment lets you safely store your sleeping gear in one place instead of having to worry about packing it separately.

Daypack Fit

The fit of your daypack is essential for comfort and safety, so it’s important to make sure you have the right size.

Torso Length: The length of your torso determines how high your backpack sits on your back. To measure this, stand straight with your feet together and measure from the top of your shoulders to the base of your neck. If you have a long torso, choose a bag with a torso length that’s at least 1″ longer than this measurement; if you have a shorter torso, choose one that is at least 1″ shorter than this measurement.

Waist Size: The waist size of a pack determines how snugly it fits against your hips. If you’re someone who likes to wear their bag lower on their body, choose a backpack with a waist size that is 2-4 inches smaller than the measurement around your hips. Alternatively, if you want to wear your pack higher up on your body so it rides closer to where most backpacks sit. You’ll want to select one whose waist size is 2-4 inches larger than this measurement.

Women-specific backpacks: Women-specific backpacks are designed to fit more comfortably on female bodies. They tend to have shorter straps that sit lower on the body, which helps distribute weight more evenly throughout your entire upper half so you don’t feel like you’re carrying the whole world on your shoulders!

Additional Backpack Fit Adjustments

Load Lifter Straps: These are the straps that go over your shoulders and help stabilize the load on your back. They should be tight enough to keep the pack from shifting around, but not so tight that they dig into your shoulders. The weight of the pack should rest on your hips, not your shoulders.

Sternum Strap: The sternum strap goes across your chest to anchor the shoulder straps more firmly in place and prevent them from slipping off when you bend over or move around.


So there you have it! You’ve come a long way in your search for the perfect daypack, and we hope that we’ve been able to help you make an informed choice.

If you have any questions or comments about choosing the right daypack for you, feel free to reach out. We’re always happy to help!