The Ultimate Guide to the best Travel Daypack 2018

A good daypack is important when traveling since you want to have all your important belongings safely with you while traveling. Of course, there are different features your daypack should have depending on what kind of trip you are going to have.

In this article, we talk about which features your daypack should have and how to find the best travel daypack which is perfect for your next trip.

What exactly is a daypack?

A daypack is different from a normal travel backpack. While you need a travel rucksack or backpacking rucksack to transport all the belongings that you bring to the trip, the daypack is, as the name implies, designed to carry everything you need during the day.

We have already introduced you to our favorite travel backpack in our Southeast Asia packing list.

Furthermore, such a daypack is practical as a carry-on baggage for the plane or for bus and train travel, when your main travel backpack or suitcase is not accessible.

For what kind of trips do you need such a small travel backpack?

Generally, a daypack is useful for any type of long-haul travel, as you can fill it with things that you need during your flight or train journey.

Also for outdoor trips such as bike tours or hiking trips, a daypack is important.

In addition, even on city trips and backpacking trips, a small daypack can be useful in order to take along your camera, etc. 

But even for going to work, a daypack can be practical, if you want to transport a laptop or books.

What features should your travel daypack include?

Sure, the best daypack for hiking is perhaps not that great for city trips. That’s why it’s important to determine what requirements your daypack should meet. To do that, you first have to ask yourself for what kind of trip you need your backpack for. Here is a brief overview of which feature is important for which type of trip.

Outdoor Travel

For example: hiking, cycling, camping

For an outdoor trip, your backpack should be one: waterproof. Furthermore, it may be advantageous if it is as light as possible. For cycling or long hikes, a heavy, bulky backpack can be a big drawback. Nevertheless, your trekking backpack should be big enough to carry everything you need.

Furthermore, it should be noted that such a hiking backpack for ladies can differ from a hiking backpack for men due to its shape and size.

What should fit: Of course, this is different from trip to trip, from person to person and depending on the weather conditions. Generally, on an outdoor trip, you need space for the following: water, snacks, rain jacket, tissues, camera, anti-mosquito spray, first aid kit etc.

City Trip

Even on a city trip, a light daypack is ideal. Especially those who like to take photographs and therefore always have their camera equipment with them should pay attention to a particularly theft-proof and robust backpack.

But even those who are traveling as a digital nomad and therefore have a laptop or a tablet with them might perhaps want to choose a waterproof model.

What should fit: mobile phone, purse, small purchases such as souvenirs, camera, city/subway map, umbrella, possibly laptop or tablet

Backpacking trip

Even classic backpackers do not always carry their big backpacks with them. During the day, they also need a good daypack. As a backpacker, you usually have high demands on your daypack, as your trip includes a bit of everything – city trip, hiking, long-distance travel, humidity, and heat are just some of the things your daypack should be able to withstand. But on the other hand, it should be as light as possible, even foldable – Not that easy to find.

The most important feature is also that your daypack is waterproof.

What should fit: travel documents, rain jacket, water, snacks, Fotoapperat, possibly photographic equipment or drone, tissues, thin jacket

Beach trip

Also for a beach trip, a daypack is useful. It should have plenty of space for towels and bathing suits and possibly snorkel and other bathing accessories. Your daypack for beach visits should be easy to clean, as there is always some fine sand get caught up in the interior.

What should fit: Towels, bathing suit, change of clothes, bath and beach accessories, water, snacks, sunscreen, a book or a magazine

Traveling with children

If you have (small) children, you are always carrying a lot of things with you, whether you just have a walk around the park or traveling. The smaller the children, the more stuff you have to carry with you. All these things usually take up a lot of space.

What should fit: snacks, toys, wipes, yes, according to the age of the children: diapers, underwear to change, jacket to coat, camera

Plane travel

If you check in your luggage, you will not be able to reach your belongings during the flight, so it’s important to have an extra backpack for your valuables and everything you might need during your flight.

But even those who only travel with a carry-on often also carry another small backpack that can be placed between their feet or under the seat. So you don’t have to constantly get up and take your backpack out of the luggage rack if you need anything. Especially for people who like to sit by the window, it’s a pleasant alternative (your neighbors will thank you!).

Such a backpack for the plane should be small and handy and not take up too much space. In addition, it should not weigh much, so that the maximum weight for carry-on luggage is not exceeded that quickly.

What should fit: chewing gum, a book or magazine, a few thick socks, sleep mask, mobile phone/tablet, travel documents, valuables, possibly a thin jacket/sweatshirt to coat

What else should you consider before buying your daypack?

Pockets

While it may be convenient for city breaks or family travel, if your backpack has many different pockets – so you always know where you have stowed what – it’s usually more sufficient for a beach trip to bring a backpack with one large storage space.

Brand

When it comes to clothes, I am more of an anti-brand person (if there is such a thing). The only exception is when it comes to functionality and quality, such as shoes, jackets, backpacks, etc. I’m not saying that a no-name product cannot be as good as a branded product, but that there are just a few brands you can count on regarding their quality. So it happens that many people first look at the backpacks of their favorite brand before checking others that could be an even better fit.

But it can also be worthwhile to think outside the box and compare other brands. Who knows, maybe you even find a new favorite brand;)

Color and shape

Some models come in different colors and shapes. You should try to find a shape that fits best to your body size and shape.

Also, note that there are often differences in shape between a women’s daypack and men’s daypack.

Of course, if there are different colors to choose from, you should also choose the color that you like best.

Budget

Of course, your budget also plays a role in backpack choice. But a higher price usually does not automatically mean better quality. But what is true, is that you might have to pay more for some brands. But even if you are looking for a budget option you can find amazing daypacks with great quality. But more about that later.

The best daypacks overview

Maybe you already have a rough idea now of what features your daypack should include. If not, don’t worry, we will tell you for each of the presented backpacks for what kind of trip they are suitable for. Here you will find an overview of the best daypacks 2018, which we will have a look at with more details later on.

Feature // BackpackLiterMen/WomenColorReview on AamazonPrice
Quechua MH500 Hiking Backpack
20, 30 or 40 LiterBoth availableblue / gray-pink / black-orangeNo review yet on Amazon // 4,67 / 5 at DecathlonCheck Price
Osprey Packs Talon 22
22 LiterMenBlack / Ultramarine blue / Martian Red4,7/5Check Price
Osprey Packs Tempest 20
20 LiterWomenBlack / Iris Blue / lucent green / Mystic Magenta4,6/5Check Price
Deuter Speed Lite 20
20 LiterBoth availableBlack / Cranberry-Maron (red) / Bay-Midnight (blue) / Petrol-Arctic (blue)4,5/5Check Price
The North Face Borealis Backpack
29 LiterUnisexVarious colors (about 15 different colors available)4/5Check Price
Quechua NH100 Hiking Backpack
10 LiterUnisexCarbon Gray / Navy Blue / Raspberry Red / Dark Blue / Fire Red / Caribbean Green / Lime Green Steel Gray and more4,6/5 (Amazon DE)Check Price
Fjällräven Kånken
Various sizes available (e.g. 7 Liter, 13 Liter & 16 Liter)Unisexavailable in various colors4,0/5Check Price
Jack Wolfskin Perfect Day
22 LiterUnisexPhantom / Ocean Wave/ Burgundy / Pinewood / Black / Ebony / Nordic Blue4,5/5Check Price

The best Daypacks compared

The best daypacks

Could you pick one or maybe several favorites? Then here, you will find further information about each of the backpacks with more details.

Quechua MH500 hiking backpack


The Quechua MH500 hiking backpack is my personal favorite. It convinced us with its great value for money. Some models are much cheaper than the backpacks of other brands and yet the quality is great. There is a 10-year warranty on the backpacks and after 7 months of backpacking in Asia, our backpacks (except for a few stains of course) still look like new.

Features: Positioning straps, hoist belt, chest strap, thumb loops, ventilated mesh back

Compartments: 2 outer pockets, one inner pocket, 2 outer mesh pockets, two pockets on the belt

Men / Women: Both available

Waterproof: Integrated rain cover

Liter: 30, 40 or 50

Weight: 1100 g (2,43 pounds) , 1242 g (2,73 pounds) or 1325 g (2,92 pounds)

Colors: blue / gray-pink / black-orange

Suitable for: outdoor travel, backpacking trip, beach trip, traveling with children

You can find more information and prices here.

Osprey Packs Talon 22

The Osprey Packs Talon 22 is currently considered one of the best daypacks on the market. With its 22 liters, it is small and handy. The backpack is available in 2 sizes (S / M and M / L), so it can perfectly adapt to your body shape and therefore offers the perfect fit and high comfort while wearing it.

The Osprey brand is being known for its good quality for years.

Features: Adjustable back system, AirScape ™ mesh-covered foam accordion back panel, External bladder compartment, External key clip, LED light attachment, LidLock ™ bike helmet attachment, Ice ax loop, Whistle strap with whistle, Stow-on-the-Go ™ trekking pole attachment

Compartments: External bladder compartment, Front stretch compartment, Stretch compartment on the shoulder strap, Two zipped compartments on the waist belt, Zippered access on the main compartment

Men / Women: Men

Waterproof: Integrated rain cover

Liter: 22

Weight: 0.81 kg (1,79 pounds) (M / L variant)

Colors: Black / Ultramarine blue / Martian Red

Suitable for: outdoor travel, backpacking, plane travel, city break

You can find more information and prices here.

Osprey Packs Tempest 20

The Osprey Packs Tempest 20 is the female counterpart to the earlier introduced Osprey Mens Talon 22. The backpack is designed specifically for women and therefore fits perfectly to the female body, (the adjustable back system helps for even further adjustment) which provides better support and comfort.

Features: Adjustable back system, AirScape ™ mesh-covered foam accordion back panel, External bladder compartment, External key clip, LED light attachment, LidLock ™ bike helmet attachment, Ice ax loop, Whistle strap with whistle, Stow-on-the-Go ™ trekking pole attachment

Compartments: External bladder compartment, Front stretch compartment, Stretch compartment on the shoulder strap, Two zipped compartments on the waist belt, Zippered access on the main compartment

Men / Women: Women

Waterproof: Integrated rain cover

Liter: 20

Weight: 0.75 kg (1,65 pounds)

Colors: Black / Iris Blue / lucent green / Mystic Magenta

Suitable for: outdoor travel, backpacking, plane travel, city trips

You can find more information and prices here.

Deuter Speed Lite 20


The Deuter Speed Lite 20 is another popular leightweight daypack. It is considered one of the lightest in its class and is therefore particularly suitable for hiking and other outdoor activities. With its V-cut and S-shaped shoulder straps, this daypack offers optimal fit to the body and great freedom of movement.

With its lightweight back system, it also helps to carry light to medium loads significantly more comfortably.

Features: Adjustable chest strap, SOS label, Helmet attachment loops, Compatible with 3-liter hydration system/bladder, Lite system, Detachable hip belt, Taillight loop, Reflector, Vented 3D AirMesh cover

Compartments: stretch inner compartment, 3 outer compartments, valuables compartment

Men / Women: Unisex

Waterproof: rain cover must be purchased separately

Liter: 20

Weight: 490 kg (1,08 pounds)

Colors: Black / Cranberry-Maron (red) / Bay-Midnight (blue) / Petrol-Arctic (blue)

Suitable for: outdoor travel, backpacking, plane travel, city break

You can find more information and prices here.

The North Face Borealis Backpack


The North Face Borealis Backpack is the perfect daypack for digital nomads. Not only can you safely store your laptop, important documents, and folders, as well as other things you might need for your work, such as pens and notebooks, but also things you need for e.g. hiking.

The North Face also offers a lifetime warranty for their backpacks, which indicates high quality.

Features: FlexVent ™ carry system with foam-injected shoulder straps and additional PE foam, padded air mesh back panel, integrated reflective light attachment loop, adjustable hip belt with flaps, removable chest strap, hydration system opening

Compartments: Large main compartment with organizer compartments and a padded compartment for laptops of different sizes, the second compartment with organizer compartments, storage pocket on the front, mesh pockets on the sides

Men / Women: Unisex

Waterproof: Water repellent, but not waterproof, rain cover must be purchased separately

Liter: 29

Weight: 1160 g  (2.2 Pounds)

Colors: Various colors (about 15 different colors available)

Suitable for: outdoor travel, backpacking trip, digital nomad trip, plane travel, city break

You can find more information and prices here.

Quechua NH100 Hiking Backpack


The Quechua NH100 hiking backpack is probably the smallest, cheapest and lightest backpack on this list. This ultralight daypack comes with no unnecessary bells and whistles and is therefore perfect to just go shopping or carry a few things without having to carry a large backpack. We use this backpack almost every day and love it. Despite its low price, this Quechua backpack comes with a 10-year warranty.

Features: padded back and straps, thumb loops,

Compartments: Zipped pocket, front pocket

Men / Women: Unisex

Waterproof: no

Liter: 10

Weight: 132 g (0,29 Pounds)

Colors: Carbon Gray / Navy Blue / Raspberry Red / Dark Blue / Fire Red / Caribbean Green / Lime Green Steel Gray and more

Suitable for: outdoor travel (smaller tours), backpacking, plane travel, city trip

You can find more information and prices here.

Fjällräven Kånken

The Fjällräven Kånken backpack is ideal for city trips and plane trips. Depending on the size you can transport your laptop perfectly in this backpack.

With its padded laptop compartment, your laptop is not only protected from impacts but also easy to be taken out of your back, for example, at the Airport Security Check. The removable seat pad cushions the back and ensures a comfortable fit. According to the manufacturer if you take good care of your backpack it can hold for all your life.

Features: Removable seat cushion, the padded compartment (protects laptop), padded shoulder straps, logo patch with reflector

Compartments: main compartment, two open side pockets, and front pocket

Men / Women: Unisex

Waterproof: only water repellent

Liter: Various sizes available

Weight: depending on size (460 g (1,01 Pounds)  for 18 liters)

Colors: available in various colors

Suitable for: backpacking, plane travel, city break, travel with children

You can find more information and prices here.

Jack Wolfskin Perfect Day


The Jack Wolfskin Perfect Day backpack is significantly reduced in features and therefore perfect for any kind city trip our small outdoor-travel. With its various pockets, it is perfect for those who like to keep order and is therefore great for trips with children, for work/university or digital nomads.

With its wide shoulder straps and special load distribution, it offers extra comfort.

Features: comfortable carrying system with wide straps, versatile fixing loop, small compartments and slots for small parts, key carabiner

Compartments: main compartment with circumferential zipper, large front compartment, 2 mesh pockets

Men / Women: Unisex

Waterproof: no

Liter: 22

Weight: 500 g (1,10 Pounds)

Colors: available in various colors

Suitable for: plane trip, city trip, travel with children

You can find more information and prices here.

About me

Vicki

Hi, my name is Vicki. Here you can accompany my boyfriend Eduardo and me on our way through different countries of this world. Let's travel together!

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The Ultimate Guide to the best Travel Daypack 2018
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