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While going out for a long excursion with a good-sized backpack is a great way to spend some time, there are also situations when you are only able to get a day hike in. On those occasions you need to look at a smaller pack, to carry just the essentials. With that in mind, this article will take a look at some of the best lightweight daypacks for hiking. In it, I’ll take a detailed look at five outstanding choices and give you all the information that you will need to pick the one that is right for you.
Top 5 best lightweight daypacks for hiking
1. Osprey Packs Daylite Daypack
The first pack to make our cut is the Daylite Daypack from Osprey Packs. This pack is a great overall pick. It is an extremely lightweight pack, coming in at only a pound of overall weight. It has 13 L of storage space on its own, but it is also designed to attach to an array of different packs from Osprey as well. The back of this pack is covered with a mesh slotted panel, that provides both comfort and breathability during wear.
The waist strap of this pack is removable, allowing you to choose if you want to use it or stow it for later. The pack also features a pouch to store a hydration bladder in. While the pack does not come with a bladder, the pouch is large enough to take a 3-liter bladder with you. For additional hydration, there is a mesh side pocket that will hold a 32-ounce water bottle.
At the end of the day, this is a solid lightweight daypack. While it is a little on the smaller side for longer day hikes, it can easily hold a good amount of gear. One other thing to note is that if you place things in the upper pocket it can be a little bit top heavy. As a plus though, this gives you a choice of 10 different colors to help your pack stand out.
2. Osprey Hikelite
This pack also has some large stretchy mesh pockets for storing extra items. The Hikelite does not attach on to other Osprey packs like the Daylite does though. So if you like the idea of being able to combine a small pack with a larger one for backpacking, then maybe skip this one.
If you are just looking for a lightweight pack from a good brand and at a pretty good price, then this could be a good choice.
3. Venture Pal Lightweight Hiking Daypack
For a more budget-friendly pack, the Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack. This pack tips the scale at less than a pound but gives you 35 liters of storage space. But that isn’t the only trick it has up its sleeve. When you empty it out you can fold it down and zip it into a rectangle that comes in at 8.5 in by 9 in and only about 2 inches thick.
This pack does not have a particular pouch to store a hydration bladder nor does it have a built-in port for the drinking tube that goes with a hydration system. There are some sectioned off areas in the main compartment that you could place your bladder and with the double zipper set up, you can run the tube through the zippered opening.
This pack offers a good amount of pockets to store various supplies in while you are on your adventures. As you might expect, to get the weight so low the material is thin. As such it can be prone to ripping, but it comes with a lifetime warranty. This pack is available in 11 different colors.
4. Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack
Another pack from Osprey to consider is the Ultralight Stuff Pack. This one is great on its own as a lightweight daypack or stuffed into your backpack for those quick day hikes during an excursion. While the pack compresses down to about the size of an apple and weighs about 4 ounces, it still has a lot to offer when it is called into service.
The main compartment gives you 18L of storage space for your gear. In addition, there is a small top zippered pouch that is a gear place to stow your sunglasses and an internal security pocket that seems to be built with phones in mind. Along the outside you get mesh side pockets that are a natural place to store a water bottle, sadly there is no set up for a hydration system to work easily with this pack.
This pack comes in four different colors and as with the others from Osprey, it falls under what they call the almighty guarantee. It boils down to a lifetime guarantee in the United States, though there is a note that it may differ in other countries.
5. Deuter Speed Lite 20 Athletic Daypack
The last pack on the list is a bonus choice, that of the Deuter Speed Lite 20 Athletic Daypack. This pack comes in at just over a pound but it gives you 20 liters of space for all your gear. The back panel of the pack has a ventilated 3D mesh to provide both padding while carrying your pack and still letting air flow to keep your back from getting soaked. They don’t stop there, as they have the same mesh in the
The pack is compatible with up to a 3-liter hydration system but also has side pockets that will allow you to stow more water bottles. The pack also sports 3M reflectors that help to ensure that you are visible, either from flashlights or headlights if you are along a road. This pack is offered in 4 different colors.
With that, you should have all the information that you need to not only pick out one of the best lightweight daypacks money can buy. Having a proper pack can make the hike so much more enjoyable and even keep you safe.