Best Daypack for Travel – Traveling is one of the most fulfilling activities that you can get into.
There are a lot of life lessons that you can learn from embarking on an adventure, and it doesn’t even matter how long or short it is.
Having padded shoulder straps and room for your essential items, the right pack will make all the difference. We encourage you to learn about the perfect travel daypack for your situation. You can also bring it as your carry-on personal item during air travel.
Best Daypack for Travel Review
Ultralight Stuff Pack by Osprey
Just like finding the best travel backpack, you should consider Osprey bags. They started in 1974 when Mike Pfotenhauer, then 16, handmade his own backpack.
Since then, this young entrepreneur opened his small shop in California where backpackers and travelers lined up to get custom-fit packs that they would have to wait for several days for Mike to finish.
Today, while they are not handmade and custom-fit anymore, we can still enjoy that same quality with Osprey’s fine line of products.
The Ultralight Stuff Pack is part of their Ultralight series. Other pieces in the series include their Mesh Sack, Zip Organizer, and more.
It is priced mid-ranged compared to other packs by other brands.
The main features of this daypack include dual zippers that allow you to access your belongings from different parts of the bag.
Another feature is its mesh side pocket that can easily accommodate different gear like your water bottle and foldable umbrella.
Aside from the mesh pocket, this bag is further equipped with three more exterior pockets to fit any item that you might need on hand during your trip.
Our most favorite features and benefits of the Ultralight Stuff Pack are:
- Osprey’s Airmesh harness provides supportive yet breathable straps for added comfort.
- You can fold down the pack itself into a carrying case that you can squeeze into the pocket of other bags.
It’s perfect for serving as a secondary bag for souvenirs and other things that you might accumulate during a trip.
What We Like and Don’t Like Ultralight Stuff Pack by Osprey
We like that Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack is made of high-quality materials, and it is available in four different colors: electric lime, poppy orange, shadow gray, and tropic teal.
This product also comes with Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee, which is a lifetime free repair for any damage caused by any reason.
They also state that if the bag falls into an irreparable condition, Osprey will even replace it for you. A guarantee that is difficult to get from other bags and brands.
The only thing that we probably don’t appreciate in this bag is that it only comes in a single size. It would have been nice to have other size selections.
- Well-known brand
- External pocket
- High-quality materials
- Different color options
- Brand-exclusive features
- Lifetime free service warranty
- No size options
Ultra Lightweight Backpack by Zomake
Zomake is probably not as big as Osprey yet when it comes to being a renowned name in the industry, having been established in 2016.
Aside from that, their products are still only available through online retailers.
What we love about this brand that specializes in various sporting goods, though, is that they are all affordable like their Ultra Lightweight Backpack.
It’s a perfect hiking daypack for beginner hikers not looking into investing in a pricier pack just yet.
Don’t underestimate the Zomake Ultra Lightweight Backpack.
First of all, it is waterproof, which means that you won’t have to worry about your gear being wet during light rains and more humid conditions.
Another good feature is that it is made of high-quality, tear-resistant nylon material and abrasion-resistant zippers.
The Zomake Ultra Lightweight Backpack also has one big-sized exterior pocket and mesh side pockets. However, its premium feature is that it has a 20-liter capacity, and you can fold it down into a sandwich-sized pack.
Ultra Lightweight Backpack by Zomake Pros and Cons
What we absolutely like about the Zomake Ultra Lightweight Backpack is its 13 color choices. You don’t see this wide spectrum of color options from other packs.
When you buy the Zomake Ultra Lightweight Backpack, just keep in mind that it’s not water-resistant, so your gear can still get wet if you expose it to heavy rains.
Not to mention that since it is cheap, it will not be as durable as higher-end brands, nor will it come with any warranty.
- 13 color options
- Good hiking daypack for beginners
- 20-liter capacity
- Made of high-quality nylon
- No laptop compartment
- Not water-resistant
- Not very durable
- Warranty not included
Lightweight Daypack by Venture Pal
Here’s another relatively new brand in the backpack industry: Venture Pal. They were founded in 2015 and since then produced packs and other travel gear.
Like Zomake, they also offer their products at a more affordable price, like the pack that we will feature today, which is their Lightweight Daypack.
It is great for individuals looking for a higher liter capacity and printed style options.
The Venture Pal Lightweight Daypack is made of a high-quality wear-resistant nylon material.
Like Osprey, this product also sports mesh straps that are durable and breathable even with built-in padding.
A feature that’s unique with this bag that we haven’t seen in previously featured products, though, is its chest clips and buckles, especially since this piece has a 40-liter capacity.
As for its pockets, the Venture Pal Lightweight Daypack has one zipped front pocket and two side mesh pockets.
Its main compartment also has one separator and a zippered compartment for better organization.
You might think that you cannot fold this bag down, but it still does in the same size as the previous lightweight packs we’ve featured.
As for our favorite feature, it has got to be its waterproof wet pocket that gives you space to put your wet items in, such as towels and soiled garments.
This allows you to keep your other things clean and dry.
What We Like and Don’t Like Lightweight Daypack by Venture Pal
We really like that the Venture Pal Lightweight Daypack can accommodate 40 liters of items.
There are not a lot of lightweight packs that are available in this size. Aside from that, we also like the fact that it comes in 11 style options.
That includes eight plain-colored packs and three printed ones, which are blue leaf, white leaf, and peony blue.
As much as we appreciate the different color options, there are a few things that can use some improvements.
First of all, the Venture Pal Lightweight Daypack is not water-resistant. Hence, you can expect that heavy rains will permeate into its nylon material.
Aside from that, it is not as durable as higher-end pieces, and it doesn’t come with a warranty.
- 11 style options
- 40-liter capacity
- Made of high-quality nylon
- No warranty included
- Not water-resistant
- Not very durable
Sling Backpack by Mosiso
Here’s another new brand in the industry of backpacks; in fact, we weren’t able to find anything about their company’s background.
That said, we have still chosen to feature their product because it’s a good choice for those looking for an affordable sling backpack option as opposed to the traditional two-strapped packs.
It’s understandable if you’re a bit worried about the strap style if you’re left-handed.
Fortunately, one of the best features of the Mosiso Sling Backpack is its interchangeable strap that you can carry on either your left or right shoulder.
This strap can also be adjusted to fit your body structure for a more comfortable carrying experience.
The best thing is that the strap has breathable paddings.
Another great feature is that the Mosiso Sling Backpack comes with different zippered compartments that are sized perfectly to hold your digital devices.
It can accommodate your tablet, smartphone, and power bank. As per the dimensions of its main compartment, it is compatible with a 2019 iPad 7 10.2.
It even has a hole where you can put your earphones through so that you can listen to your favorite tunes while keeping your device safe inside your pack.
Unlike other sling backpacks, the Mosiso Sling Backpack comes with two mesh side pockets to carry your water bottle and other gear.
It’s made of water-repellent polyester.
Sling Backpack by Mosiso Pros and Cons
We really appreciate that the Mosiso Sling Backpack comes with a lot of color options. There are 17 in all in various shades of neutral grays, blues, pinks, and more.
It also has more compartments compared to the other packs we have featured so far.
The main thing that we don’t like about the Mosiso Sling Backpack, though, is the fact that it can’t accommodate as much gear as the packs we have featured above.
This daypack is definitely dedicated as an extra pack to wear to have your digital devices more easily accessible.
As such, we don’t really recommend it for long trips, but we do suggest it for quick biking and running training.
- Interchangeable straps
- 17 color options
- Made of water-repellent polyester
- Limited space for travel gear
- No warranty included
Rope Sling Backpack by Kavu
If you’re looking for a higher-end sling backpack that’s made by a more established brand, that’s exactly what our next featured item is.
It’s the Rope Sling Backpack by the brand Kavu. The company was founded in Seattle in 1993 by Barry Barr, who enjoyed commercial fishing among other outdoor activities.
Their iconic item is the Strapcap, which is a headgear that Barr started selling out of his car.
The brand has grown since then and they now offer a wide range of products.
This product, in particular, is part of their Rope Bag collection that offers rope sling bags in different sizes, styles, and color options.
Keep in mind that since this a high-end product, it is significantly more expensive than all the other packs we have featured on this list.
What we love about the Kavu Rope Sling Backpack is that it offers two spacious main compartments for you to organize your gear better and separate your belongings.
What’s better is that these are not the only compartments. It also comes with an internal zippered pocket and two external zippered pockets.
The Kavu Rope Sling Backpack’s main feature is the iconic rope sling that you won’t find anywhere else.
It is very durable, adjustable, and comfortable to wear. The Kavu Rope Sling Backpack is also not bulky to wear, and it comes with strong buckle clips built to last.
Finally, this pack is made of 100% cotton canvas material.
Rope Sling Backpack by Kavu Pros and Cons
Since the company puts a lot of value on the freedom of expression, the Kavu Rope Sling Backpack comes in more than a hundred different style options!
It is overwhelming to go through their drop down of options, but we’re sure that you will find the design that best fits your personality.
It’s just a little disappointing that the Kavu Rope Sling Backpack doesn’t come with any warranty given the price point, but otherwise, the durability of this pack is made to last long years of adventure.
- Well-known brand
- Very durable
- Spacious compartments
- Iconic rope sling design
- More than 100 style options
- No warranty included
Travel Daypack Buyer’s Guide
You probably have your personal favorites already from the daypacks that we have featured above. However, we do suggest that you take a quick look at our buyer’s guide.
This is where we will talk about the features you should take a look into before buying one. In this way, you can make a more informed purchase decision. There are many types of daypacks. Consider:
Volume refers to the weight capacity of your daypack, which is usually expressed in liters.
Here are the different volumes that daypacks are commonly available in as well as the general idea of when to use them and how much you can fit in one:
10 Liters and Below
These are small packs that are perfect for bringing during your short biking or running sessions. It can only fit your bare essentials like your phone, keys, wallet, a couple of energy bars, and if it’s spacious enough, an ultralight jacket.
11 to 20 Liters
These are the volumes that most daypacks usually come in. These are perfect for short hiking trips that only last for a few hours. They can fit a change of clothes, your water bottle, and other essentials that we have mentioned earlier.
21 to 35 Liters
These are the volumes that we prefer to use since these bags hit the sweet spot between having enough space to fit extra travel gear and, at the same time, not being too bulky or heavy. You may find this range to be the most versatile daypacks.
These bags can fit a few sets of clothes for changing, food, water, your camera, digital devices, and other gear that you might want to pack for an entire day of hiking or traveling. It is also the perfect size for overnight trips.
36 to 50 Liters
These are the volumes to choose when you’re going on an extended trip, and you need more clothes and food to pack, or if you’re going on activities that require you to bring additional gear like mountaineering or climbing and other heavy loads.
These bags are also a good choice for parents who are packing for their kids.
2. Type of Daypack
Aside from the volume, you can also categorize daypacks for travel by its type, which is determined by their loading style. There are two:
These are daypacks that only have a single main compartment that you can load from the top and close through a drawstring. These packs are usually more durable than panel-loading packs since the enclosure doesn’t put too much force on zippers.
These packable daypacks can have multiple compartments that can be loaded and accessed through zippers. These packs are perfect for those who want their gear to be more organized and sorted.
They also usually come with more compartments and pockets, both internally and externally, zippered and not zippered.
3. Ventilation & Comfort
After you have determined the capacity that you need and the type that you prefer, the next thing that you should definitely consider is the ventilation and comfort of your pack when carried.
You will be sweating a lot from all those outdoor activities that you will engage on, after all, so it’s best to get a pack that has straps made of breathable material.
Don’t forget to choose packs that are equipped with adequate padding as well, both on their straps and back support for added comfort. Padded shoulder straps are essential.
As we mentioned above, panel-loading daypacks usually have more compartments than top-loading ones. There are top-loading pieces, though, that also have outer compartments.
These pockets are great for storing essentials that you need easy access to, like your navigational gear, phone, energy bars, and other items that you might want to get even while you’re walking, so you won’t have to stop and rummage through the main compartment just to get them.
Consider if you’ll want hidden pockets and anti-theft features to keep your gear safe.
You’ll want some zippered pockets and water bottle pockets. Also consider if you want a padded laptop sleeve.
Another thing that you should consider is the frame of your daypack. Some day packs have internal frames made of plastic sheets that add structure and support.
As you might notice in our featured pieces, there are also a lot of daypacks that don’t come with one.
What we love about frameless packs is that they are more lightweight. You can also fold them up for easy storage.
While most travel daypacks will have many of the same features, consider how you will use them. For example, water bottle pockets. You’ll want to be sure your water bottle will fit and that it will be EASILY accessible.
Consider also handy compartments for your mobile phone you may need to access.
Consider safety too and what can be LESS accessible. For example, you’ll want hidden pockets for your wallet, credit cards, and money. Consider also daypacks with lockable zippers.
6. Extra Features
Finally, you might also want to consider other features based on your needs and preferences. For instance, one favorite feature of ours is a rain cover. As you might have noticed, most daypacks are waterproof, but they are not water-resistant.
Having a built-in rain cover will protect your gear from being drenched should the rain start pouring.
Another is a trekking pole attachment for trekking poles.
Other useful features to have are a hydration reservoir and a sleeping bag compartment. Consider additional straps as well such as added straps, compression straps, a luggage strap, mesh shoulder straps, etc.
While you must focus on the daily essentials, you’ll also need to decide if you’ll want the daypack to fit larger items such as 15-inch laptop. If so, one of the internal pockets should be able to protect it. This will likely be a larger daypack.
Travel Daypack FAQs
What Is a Daypack?
A daypack is a lightweight pack designed to hold only the essentials that you need in a day hike or short outdoor activity.
What Is a Daypack vs. Backpack?
The main difference between a daypack and a backpack is the size. Backpacks are generally bigger, heavier, and can accommodate higher volumes of gear.
Another significant difference is the fact that not all daypacks come with frames. On the other hand, almost all backpacks come with one. In fact, some backpacks come with external steel frames that offer additional support for heavier loads.
How Do You Pack a Daypack?
Different outdoors persons load their daypacks differently, but here’s how we do it:
- We line our daypack with a heavy-duty plastic bag to give it an added waterproof lining.
- We then put the bulkier items first, like a spare set of clothes, a blanket, and other bigger items.
- The next thing to pack that you might not need while you’re walking but is still important is your first aid kit and food.
- The next thing that you want to pack is your bigger digital devices like your camera and power bank.
- The last thing that you want to put on your main compartment is your rain cover so that you can easily grab it if needed.
- Finally, pack your absolute essentials like your phone, keys, energy bars, and water bottle inside external compartments.
What Is the Best Size Daypack?
This largely depends on your personal travel needs and preferences. We suggest for you to reference the different liter capacities that we have listed above to give you an idea of what size to choose.
Best Daypack for Travel
At last, we have finally reached the end of our best daypack for travel options. For our recommendation, our top choice has got to be Osprey’s Ultralight Stuff Pack since it’s the perfect balance between price, quality, and features.
That said, we do recognize that it can have limited color options.
Thus, if you do want additional color options, and you have the budget to spend on a higher-end pack, then we recommend Kavu’s Rope Sling Backpack and its hundred color options.