20 Best Small Hiking Backpacks: The Ultimate List

small hiking backpacks

123RF (mihtiander)

Everybody who enjoys the outdoors oughta have a trusty hiking backpack. Packing your essential gear comfortably and conveniently for the trail starts to feel like second nature once you own a pack that you know and love. When it comes to day trips and hiking close to camp, owning a small hiking backpack is pivotal.

With so many features and styles to choose from these days, there are quite a few backpacks that will no doubt suit your needs. Our top list has highlighted a variety of options from near-weightless ultralight backpacks to highly equipped expedition-style bags, as well as a few particularly capable economic options.

What Are The Best Small Hiking Backpacks?

Osprey Stratos 24 Hiking Backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 210D double ripstop nylon and 420HD nylon pack cloth construction is ultralight and built to last
  • Integrated and removable rain cover
  • Internal hydration sleeve fits up to a 3 liter reservoir
Price: $228.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Orvis Safe Passage Anglers Daypack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large main compartment and separate top compartment combine for a high degree of storage (30 liters)
  • External front pocket is great for storing more cumbersome gear like a rain jacket or your lunch
  • Foam-padded, low profile straps feature a technical suspension system
Price: $169.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Deuter Airlite 26 SL Ultralight Day Hiking Backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ultralight, yet full-feature women's backpack that is built anatomically-sound (men's option available too)
  • Compression straps, hipbelt, and ventilated shoulder straps for enhanced comfort
  • Ripstop 210 and Microrip-Nylon fabric construction is remarkably lightweight and durable
Price: $81.10 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Mammut Trion 18 Backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super low profile pack designed for minamalist climbing
  • Two loops for ice axes or trekking poles
  • Anatomically shaped carrying system makes it easier to reach upwards
Price: $99.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Kelty Redwing Tactical 30 Backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Hybrid-loading u-zipper design for ease of gear storage
  • Single light beam aluminum stay helps support heavier gear loads
  • Hydration compatible
Price: $119.79 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 Backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 4-Layer Dimension-Polyant fabric is durable, light and waterproof
  • Contoured ventilated back panel with lightweight frame sheet wears comfortably and effectively supports loads
  • Flat base design allows easier loading while padded base construction protects contents
Price: $104.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Granite Gear Virga 26 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Rolltop closure with extended overflow
  • External tool loops and full length compression straps can be used to secure more cumbersome gear
  • Frameless suspension makes this pack rollable/stuffable
Price: $119.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Granite Gear Scurry Ultralight Day Pack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 24-liter pack ideal for scrambling up rocks and variable trail conditions
  • Roll-top main compartment, secondary zippered front pocket
  • Built from Robic high tenacity 100D and 210D nylon
Price: $84.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
osprey, backpack, hiking, daypack, small backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Impressive organization potential for its minimalist design
  • Collapses into its own carrying pouch
  • Highly breathable strapping
Price: $32.05 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
sea to summit pack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Collapses into a tiny little stuff sack
  • Fairly water resistant
  • Large capacity (20 Liters) for its size
Price: $56.85 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Osprey Packs Kitsuma 7 Women's Hydration Backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Dedicated hydration compartment includes Osprey Hydraulics LT 2.5L reservoir by Hydrapak
  • Low-profile design features AirScape backpanel and rolled, soft-edged harness for maximum comfort
  • Blinker light attachment and dual stretch mesh side pockets
Price: $74.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Teton Sports small hiking pack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes rain cover
  • Includes two liter hydration bladder
  • Variety of color options available
Price: $38.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
United By Blue Base Backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Drawstring closure and top pocket lid
  • Exterior zippered pouch pockets and open side pockets
  • Multiple aesthetics available
Price: $86.40 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Kelty Ardent Hiking Daypack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large, U-zip main opening
  • Padded, external access pocket
  • Air mesh/EVA shoulder straps and back panel
Price: $79.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
thule departer backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Nice array of internal pockets and external storage space
  • Convenient front clip
  • Wide color selection
Price: $49.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
osprey radial pack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Comfortable and breathable strapping
  • Intensive array of pockets
  • Includes a high-visibility rain cover
Price: $179.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
gootium, rucksack, small backpack, backpack, hiking Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Tough fabrics and metal fastenings
  • Pretty high capacity (33L)
  • Vintage aesthetic
Price: $35.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
zomake, backpack, daypack, hiking, small backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super affordable!
  • Water and tear resistant
  • Folds up nicely for storage
Price: $15.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
g4free, backpack, small backpack, daypack, hiking Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Interior zippered pocket
  • Super cheap!
  • Material is foldable
Price: $11.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
quechua backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super affordable price point
  • Wide selection of sharp color schemes
  • Water and tear resistant
Price: $14.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Osprey Stratos 24 Hiking Backpack

    Pros:
    • 210D double ripstop nylon and 420HD nylon pack cloth construction is ultralight and built to last
    • Top panel zippered stash pocket and front panel vertical center zippered pocket provide easy access to essential items
    • Stretch mesh pockets on both sides of pack, two zippered hip belt pockets, and Stow-On-The-Go Trekking pole attachment points add storage and organization potential
    • Internal hydration sleeve fits up to a 3 liter reservoir
    • Integrated and removable rain cover
    • Airspeed Suspension utilizes a ventilated backpanel with adjustable shoulder harness to ensure you can locate the perfect fit
    • Integrated safety whistle on the chest strap
    • Nice color selection to choose from
    Cons:
    • Expensive option
    • May take some time to make the proper sizing adjustments - but the resulting fit is well worth the effort
    • Extensive array of pockets, external attachment points and compartments may be excessive if you're seeking a simple daypack

    The Osprey Stratos 24 Hiking Backpack is an impressively equipped and durably built expedition-style backpack that’s designed for minimalist, fast-paced backcountry adventures.

    This is a serious pack for serious outdoorsmen and women despite its smaller size. Osprey has engineered this backpack to support hikers with a smaller gear load but has maintained many of the awesome features included in their full-size, full-feature packs.

    The 210D double ripstop nylon and 420HD nylon pack cloth construction is ultralight and built to last, so this is a pack you’ll own for many years of trekking.

    The Airspeed Suspension system utilizes a ventilated back panel with an adjustable shoulder harness to ensure you can dial in the perfect fit, allowing the Stratos to be precisely matched to anyone’s frame. Men, women, boys, and girls will all find adjusting this backpack to be a bit intensive, but well worth it, in the end, considering the streamlined, near-weightless fit you can achieve.

    In addition to the main compartment, a top panel zippered stash pocket and front panel vertical center zippered pocket provide easy access to your essential items, so you won’t waste time digging around for a snack or your phone. Stretch mesh pockets on both sides of pack, two zippered hip belt pockets, and Stow-On-The-Go Trekking pole attachment points add further storage and organization potential – totalling to quite a bit of overall capacity despite the Stratos’s smaller size!

    An integrated and removable rain cover, safety whistle on the chest strap, and internal hydration sleeve (fits up to a 3-liter bladder) hit all the bases when it comes to both your frontcountry and backcountry needs – not a surprise when you remember we’re talking about an Osprey pack here!

    All things considered, outdoor adventurers seeking a highly equipped, built to last backpack option for shorter and/or less gear-intensive treks should absolutely have this big-bag disguised as a day pack on their radar!

  2. 2. Orvis Safe Passage Anglers Daypack

    Pros:
    • Large main compartment and separate top compartment combine for a high degree of storage (30 liters)
    • External front pocket is great for storing more cumbersome gear like a rain jacket or your lunch
    • Easy-access side mesh pockets
    • Foam-padded, low profile straps feature a technical suspension system
    • Molded back panel conforms to your frame
    • Lumbar and chest straps to help support heavier loads and minimize bulk
    • Bottom coating increases water resistance and durable 410-denier nylon construction ensures long lifespan
    • Excellent brand guarantee
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option
    • Limited color selection
    • 30 liter size borders on being a larger backpack - those seeking a truly small option might want to seek something below 20 liters

    The Safe Passage Anglers Daypack by Orvis is one of our top picks from our list of the best fly fishing backpacks that will make an excellent companion for the trail, or virtually any outdoor endeavor.

    This bag borders on being more of an intermediate size than a small pack option at 30 liters, so there’s a fairly large amount of capacity here. The effect of the compression straps and inherently streamlined design of the Safe Passage, however, makes it quite low profile on your frame, therefore it wears like a smaller backpack.

    The large main compartment and separate top compartment on their own combine to a high degree of storage and organization – add in the external front pocket and easy-access side mesh pockets and you’re looking at an impressively equipped backpack that’s up for way more of an adventure than its size suggests.

    A molded back panel conforms to your frame while the foam-padded, low profile shoulder straps feature a technical suspension system for assistance bearing heavier loads. Lumbar and chest straps furthermore minimize bulk when fully loaded, ensuring a truly streamlined hiking companion.

    The durable 410-denier nylon construction has been engineered for long lifespan, and a bottom coating further increases both water and abrasion resistance.

    All things considered, this expedition fishing pack is a brilliant, technical companion for the trail that will prove itself to be a highly organized and capable option for toting all your light-hiking essentials and more! No doubt a great all-purpose pack from Orvis that you’ll own and hike with for many seasons to come!

  3. 3. Deuter Airlite 26 SL Ultralight Day Hiking Backpack

    Pros:
    • Ultralight, yet full-feature women's backpack that is built anatomically-sound (men's option available too)
    • Compression straps, hipbelt, and ventilated shoulder straps for enhanced comfort
    • Integrated, detachable rain cover
    • AirComfort back system utilizes a flexible steel spring frame to stabilize the mesh panel and create ventilation space between the pack and your body
    • Compatible with 2 or 3 liter hydration bladders
    • Dual mesh pockets, hiking pole attachment loops, valuables compartment and more add up to a high degree of organization
    • Ripstop 210 and Microrip-Nylon fabric construction is remarkably lightweight and durable
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option
    • Limited color selection
    • Long term integrity of the mesh pockets is questionable

    The Deuter Airlite 26 SL Ultralight Day Hiking Backpack is a fantastic choice for women seeking a full-feature daypack that maintains the weight and tighter profile of minimalist options.

    This is a highly equipped option that’s designed anatomically correct for the ladies (men’s sizing available through this link as well), ensuring a sporty, form-fit no matter who you are!

    There is a high degree of organization potential with this option between the dual mesh pockets, hiking pole attachment loops, valuables compartment, and main opening so you can pack all of your essentials for a day on the trail. Deuter has furthermore integrated a hydration compartment compatible with 2 or 3 liter bladders so you can ditch the water bottle. 

    Compression straps, a hip belt, and ventilated shoulder straps enhance overall comfort, and the Ripstop 210 and Microrip-Nylon fabric construction is remarkably lightweight and resistant to abrasion. The unique AirComfort back system furthermore utilizes a flexible steel spring frame to stabilize the mesh panel and create a ventilation space between the pack and your body for even greater comfortability.

    An integrated, detachable rain cover remains out of sight, out of mind until you need it, and protects your gear load if the weather turns. 

    A bit on the expensive end yes, but more than worth the cost when you consider the array of integrated features and craftsmanship here!

  4. 4. Mammut Trion 18 Backpack

    Pros:
    • Super low profile pack designed for minamalist climbing
    • Anatomically shaped carrying system makes it easier to reach upwards
    • Two loops for ice axes or trekking poles
    • Dual load transfer construction
    • Internal zipper compartment
    • Sharp color selection
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option
    • Lacks external attachment points for gear
    • Minimal organization potential

    The Mammut Trion 18 Backpack is a high-speed, low-drag technical minimalist backpack option designed with climbers in mind that’s engineered for light gear loads and high freedom of movement.

    If your hikes take you to some intense, demanding terrain, this could be a solid choice of daypack for you. Mammut has designed the Trion for athletes seeking a pack option that feels virtually non-existent on your person, so climbers, trail runners, and more technical hikers in particular will love this option.

    The anatomically shaped carrying system employed in the design makes it easier to reach upwards, so this pack won’t hold you back in any way while working your way up a cliff face or down a chute. Two loops for ice axes or trekking poles are furthermore present on the Trion’s exterior in order to give you an extra pair of hands without having to dig into the bag.

    The main compartment is complemented by an internal zippered pocket, as well as a unique external loop system that can be modified to tote your climbing rope, or other more cumbersome gear. Considering its inherently streamlined and simple design, the Trion is impressively equipped for organization.

    The brand even offers this bag in a nice array of colors so you can select an aesthetic that matches your style. Those seeking a low capacity, high-performance trail companion that’s up for the most technical of hikes, climbs, and runs, will find a reliable backpack option in the Trion by Mammut.

  5. 5. Kelty Redwing Tactical 30 Backpack

    Pros:
    • High storage and organization potential for its size
    • Hybrid-loading u-zipper on main compartment for easy gear access
    • Front zippered pocket contains a mindfully designed organizer
    • Side sleeves and compression straps can accommodate more cumbersome gear like trekking poles or fishing rod tubes
    • Single light beam aluminum stay helps support heavier gear loads
    • Hydration compatible
    • Removable waist belt
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive
    • Not as form fitting as some more streamlined, technical pack options
    • No color selection

    The Kelty Redwing Tactical 30 Backpack is a highly capable and versatile do-anything, go-anywhere option for those hikers seeking a large backpack in disguise as a smaller unit!

    I myself own a larger model of the Kelty Redwing for travel and backpacking applications and swear by this series of packs. The integrity, functionality, and price point is tough to beat here – the brand has truly engineered a winner when it comes to value with the Redwing! 

    The hybrid-loading u-zipper design for ease of gear storage enables you to unzip this pack almost all the way down the length of the bag, allowing you to reach contents that are stuffed in the bottom of the Redwing without having to unpack it! It’s a simple, but brilliant zipper design that’s far less frustrating to utilize than top-loading backpacks in a lot of contexts.

    Side sleeves and a front zippered pocket with a mindful internal organizer add some nice organization potential to the Redwing, providing a variety of storage for each and every piece of gear you take on the trail. At 30 liters, this is barely considered a small hiking backpack, and its exceptional use of its limited space makes it feel and behave even more like a full-sized option.

    If you like the design of this backpack as a larger, backcountry option, then be sure to check out the 44 and 50 liter versions available through this same link.

    A single light beam aluminum stay helps to support heavier gear loads in place of a full frame without adding very much at all to the overall design, so the Redwing has you covered when it comes to weight-bearing ability.

    This option is furthermore hydration compatible, Kelty has truly hit all the bases on this one. 

    The brand offers a standard (non-tactical) original version of the Redwing for those that want to personalize their color choice a bit, the only real difference being that the Tactical pack is built with slightly more robust fabrics and more durable side sleeves.

    All things considered, the Redwing series is a beautifully versatile choice of hiking backpack that you will likely find all sorts of alternative applications for!

  6. 6. Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 Backpack

    Pros:
    • 25-liter, highly integrated, technical pack perfect for a wide array of low-capacity applications
    • Contoured ventilated back panel with lightweight frame sheet wears comfortably and effectively supports loads
    • 4-Layer Dimension-Polyant fabric is durable, light and waterproof
    • Flat base design allows easier loading while padded base construction protects contents
    • Compression strap combined with fully removable floating lid creates stable exterior rope carry or over-load option
    • Forward-access gear loop shape keeps clipped gear easily reachable
    • Spacious side sleeves
    • Full length dual daisy chains and array of additional attachment points for gear
    • Front carry handle makes clipping and pulling this pack up ascents a piece of cake
    • Sharp color selection to choose from
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option
    • Some might not like the profile of this pack created by the flat base
    • Some hikers might not prefer the top-loading style when it comes to reaching contents at the bottom of the pack

    The Mountain Hardwear Scrambler 25 Backpack is a highly integrated technical pack perfect for a wide array of low-capacity applications.

    This pack is a true workhorse equipped with a wide spectrum of daisy chains, external attachment points, and side sleeves in addition to the spacious main compartment. The Scrambler’s compression strap furthermore combines with its fully removable floating lid in order to create a stable exterior rope carry or over-load option.

    The contoured ventilated back panel utilizes a lightweight frame sheet and wears comfortably while supporting heavy loads. The forward-access gear loop shape furthermore ensures that your clipped gear is easily reachable – the design of the Scrambler is inherently quite user-friendly despite its more advanced aesthetic (and functionality).

    Whether you’re attempting a technical approach in alpine conditions or just going for a leisurely day hike, this pack has you covered when it comes to the intuitive storage and organization of your tools and equipment.

    The 4-Layer Dimension-Polyant fabric used to build this bag is durable, lightweight and waterproof, resulting in a highly abrasion and water-resistant backpack overall. It wouldn’t be a Mountain Hardwear product unless you could beat the hell out of it (AKA enjoy the outdoors) without concern of degradation. 

    A flat base design allows for easier loading while the padded base construction protects the pack’s contents even further – the brand has truly thought of everything with this one. An integrated front carry handle even makes clipping and pulling this pack up ascents a piece of cake when you need to unstrap and send your bag up ahead of you.

    Easy access to gear, extensive storage and organization for its size, unrivaled durability and water resistance, and a righteous head-turning aesthetic available in several colors – the Scrambler is a true trail-hero built for virtually every style outdoorsman or woman!

  7. 7. Granite Gear Virga 26

    Pros:
    • Rolltop closure with extended overflow
    • Large stretch side pockets and stretch mesh front pocket
    • External tool loops and full length compression straps can be used to secure more cumbersome gear
    • Frameless suspension makes this pack rollable/stuffable
    • Cordura high tenacity nylon construction is built to last
    • Removable 1 inch webbing belt
    Cons:
    • Frameless design is not as supportive as a framed pack when carrying particularly heavy loads
    • Limited color selection
    • Removable webbing belt is not very well-designed for comfort carrying heavy loads

    The Granite Gear Virga 26 is a mid-capacity backcountry backpack that’s suitable for day hikes to multi-day treks depending on who you are.

    This is a relatively simple and straightforward backpack option employing roll-top closure, frameless suspension, and large exterior stretch pockets. It has an unassuming capacity for gear and can be effectively outfitted for minimalist backcountry hiking. If you’re seeking a small hiking backpack that employs large-capacity features without the cumbersome size, this is a great go-to.

    The Virga 26 utilizes external tool loops and full-length compression straps for securing more cumbersome gear and maintaining a tight-to-body fit. The hip belt is furthermore removable, so on days that don’t call for a heavier gear load, you can lose the extra bulk. The frameless suspension design makes this pack effectively rollable/stuffable, so you could even pack it within a full-size hiking backpack and deploy it as a daypack as needed.

    There is not a ton of organization potential with this one, but those that are used to using top-loading hiking backpacks will find this is essentially just a scaled-down version of that. The Virga at least offers exterior stretch-mesh pockets for keeping your go-to essential trial items on hand. 

    The Cordura high tenacity nylon construction is built to last, so rest assured this pack will stand the tests of time and aggressive abuse on the trail. Granite Gear has engineered this option as a minimalist, yet highly capable backpack that won’t let you down as long as you don’t over exert it.

    All things considered, the streamlined versatility, weight-bearing capabilities for its size, and razor-sharp aesthetic of the Virga 26 make it one of the coolest and most practical small hiking backpack options out there for the cost.

  8. 8. Granite Gear Scurry Ultralight Day Pack

    Pros:
    • 24-liter pack ideal for scrambling up rocks and variable trail conditions
    • Roll-top main compartment, secondary zippered front pocket
    • Stretch woven side pockets
    • Hydration port and internal sleeve
    • Adjustable sternum strap and webbing waist belt
    • Dense, low-profile foams in the back panel and shoulder straps keeps your pack high and tight and maintains tight center of gravity
    • Full-length horizontal compression straps
    • Built from Robic high tenacity 100D and 210D nylon
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive
    • Limited color selection
    • Some might not like the roll-top design - it's a matter of preference

    The Scurry Ultralight Day Pack by Granite Gear is a high-performance option offered at a reasonable price point that’s perfect for hikers seeking a low-profile pack ideal for variable, technical terrain.

    This is a 24-liter bag that the brand describes as “ideal for scrambling up rocks and variable trail conditions”. It employs a roll-top main compartment and a secondary zippered front pocket, as well as stretch-woven side pockets and a small array of external attachment points for gear. The organization potential here is impressive to say the least for the Scurry’s smaller size.

    Full-length horizontal compression straps ensure you can cinch this bad boy down when the trail turns gnarly and you need to be as streamlined as possible, and a hydration port and internal sleeve allow you to effectively pack your water along for the ride. An adjustable sternum strap and webbing waist belt are furthermore present for customizing your fit.

    Granite Gear has even employed dense, low-profile foams in the back panel and shoulder straps to keep this pack high and tight in order to maintain an overall tight center of gravity. If you’ve struggled to find a small hiking backpack that can keep up with your demanding treks and climb, good luck challenging the Scurry past its capabilities!

    Built from Robic high tenacity 100D and 210D nylon, this option is just as rock-solid as it is streamlined. The brand has engineered this one knowing you’re going to beat on it hard, so rest assured your rowdy hikes and fast-paced climbs won’t push the Scurry to its breaking point.

    A technical pack that’s perfect for both casual and more intensive day hikes and climbs, Granite Gear has come up with an impressively versatile and capable backpack option with this one!

  9. 9. Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

    Pros:
    • Impressive organization potential for its minimalist design
    • Mindfully designed, breathable strapping ideal for the active hiker
    • Collapses into its own carrying pouch
    • Sharp color selection
    Cons:
    • No dividers inside the main compartment
    • Main material is pretty thin and susceptible to abrasion
    • Chest straps are a bit snug for people with a larger than average build

    The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack is a particularly portable backpack option for packing light and hiking hard. 

    Dual zippers allow you to grab what you need from different points on the pack, and stretch mesh side pockets can accommodate water bottles or any other smaller gear you are comfortable stowing externally.

    The air mesh construction of the strapping makes for a very breathable and comfortable fit – ideal for those more intense hikes when you don’t want to be stuck to your pack once you heat up.

    This bag weighs less than half a pound, and packs down into its own carrying pouch, so it’s a great day pack to take with you traveling as well as on the trail.

    A reliable, effective and reasonably priced backpack by Osprey that’s suitable for a wide range of applications, the Ultralight Stuff Pack is a winner in several categories!

  10. 10. Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil 20 Liter Day Pack

    Pros:
    • Super lightweight! Excellent daypack to stuff in your regular backpack or luggage
    • Collapses into a tiny little stuff sack
    • Fairly water resistant
    • Has a large capacity (20 Liters) for such a light and portable bag
    Cons:
    • Only has one main pocket- no external storage or internal dividers
    • Fabric is very thin and susceptible to tearing due to its ultra light weight
    • A fairly expensive pack considering the lack of features

    This is a seriously ultralight day pack for hikes that you want to feel totally free on. The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil 20 Liter Day Pack will pack down to fit into a purse or even a pocket it’s so portable!

    The total weight is less than two and a half ounces so its practically weightless packed in your luggage or larger backpack. It’s a simple, streamlined design that’s meant to be super low profile and allow you great range of motion.

    Despite its exceedingly light construction, this bag has bar tack reinforced stitching on all of the stress points, so it should hold up fairly well as long as you don’t fill it with an unreasonable amount of weight. I think the two zipper closure is a nice feature for such a portable bag.

    There is no external storage space, or padding of any kind within the main pocket, so this bag is really a minimalist pack for highly active hiking. The material is fairly water-resistant and breathes well, making it a reliable and sporty pack for the trail.

  11. 11. Osprey Packs Kitsuma 7 Women’s Hydration Backpack

    Pros:
    • Dedicated hydration compartment includes Osprey Hydraulics LT 2.5L reservoir by Hydrapak
    • Low-profile design features AirScape backpanel and rolled, soft-edged harness for maximum comfort
    • Front panel vertical zip compartment with tool organization
    • Dual stretch mesh side pockets
    • Blinker light attachment point
    • Magnetic sternum strap bite valve attachment
    • Multiple aesthetics available
    Cons:
    • Expensive considering this pack's small size
    • Not much capacity for any cumbersome gear
    • Design of the hip belt is not particularly impressive

    The Kitsuma 7 Women’s Hydration Backpack by Osprey is one of the ultimate low-profile options for hikers seeking a hydration pack with some added storage and organization potential for the trail.

    This is a truly slim-fit pack option that really hugs your frame intended to carry your water for the day, and not much else. That being said, there are stretch-mesh pockets on the sides, a front panel vertical zip compartment with tool organization, and a blinker light attachment point in addition to the main reservoir compartment for bringing along some additional hiking items and accessories.

    The brand even includes an Osprey Hydraulics LT 2.5L Reservoir by Hydrapak – a great value in itself!

    The low-profile design of the Kitsuma features the AirScape back panel and a rolled, soft-edged harness for maximum breathability and comfort. The idea here was to create a hydration pack that doesn’t feel like it’s there nor generate any added heat or perspiration. It’s a brilliant design that enables you to bring your water for the day with some strategically added space for additional gear.

    Osprey carries a men’s version of this pack, the Katari, that’s highly comparable to the Kitsuma if you’re not seeking a ladies specific unit.

  12. 12. Teton Sports Oasis 1100 2 Liter Hydration Backpack

    Pros:
    • Includes rain cover and two Liter hydration bladder (with hose and bite valve)
    • Pretty light weight at just 2 pounds unfilled
    • Great array of pockets and external strapping for stowing gear and gadgets
    • Variety of color options available
    Cons:
    • Customer review complaints about the zippers malfunctioning
    • Stiching is questionable
    • Poor quality control

    The Teton Sports Oasis 1100 2 Liter Hydration Backpack is an excellent bag for the casual hiker seeking a highly efficient, hydration compatible day pack at a reasonable price point.

    This bag is loaded with features; it includes a rain cover, a bungee cord system for stowing gear, a butterfly opening ideal for accessing clothing, and of course, a hydration bladder!

    Customer reviews insist that the two-liter bladder, sip tube, and cushioned bite valve included with this pack are of good quality. This backpack is designed to have a low profile athletic cut and is adjustable for all frames including men, women, and children.

    This one will stay out of your way while trekking the burliest terrain while still providing you with the gear storage you need. It’s a fairly minimalist design, the added external storage ups your gear-capacity quite a bit.

    Considering the quality of the materials used and the included hydration bladder and rain cover, this 18 Liter bag is a stellar value for the price point.

  13. 13. United By Blue 30 Liter Base Backpack

    Pros:
    • Drawstring closure and top pocket lid
    • Durable Water Repellent finish helps to shed moisture and resist staining
    • Exterior zippered pouch pockets and open side pockets
    • Padded laptop sleeve, accommodates up to 15 inch laptop
    • Waist strap keeps this bag tight to your frame when generously packed
    • Multiple aesthetics available
    • For every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our world's oceans and waterways
    Cons:
    • Load bearing ability is not impressive considering the lack of chest strapping
    • This pack is not particularly form-fitting, so those seeking a streamlined option should look elsewhere
    • Not hydration compatible

    The United By Blue 30 Liter Base Backpack is a wonderful option for casual hikes and days in the outdoors that don’t demand a high-performance, technical backpack. 

    What you see is what you get with this one – the Base Backpack is more or less a sharp commuter or school-style backpack that includes a few features enhancing its ability as a hiking companion.

    Drawstring closure around the main compartment and a top pocket lid combine with the side sleeves and zippered front pockets to create a decent array of storage and organization, totaling to an impressive 30 liters for this pack’s modest overall size. 

    A padded laptop sleeve furthermore accommodates up to 15-inch laptops if and when you utilize this bag for more lifestyle type applications, or could also be implemented as a divider to further organize your hiking items.

    A simple waist strap is also present for effectively keeping this bag tight to your frame when it’s generously packed. A simple, but appreciated feature.

    Best of all, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our world’s oceans and waterways for every product sold, so true lovers of the outdoors can rejoice in knowing they’re making a real environmental difference with this purchase!

    With a few sharp aesthetics and color choices to choose from, you can select an option that suits your style for the trail, workplace, and beyond!

  14. 14. Kelty Ardent Hiking Daypack

    Pros:
    • Large, u-zip main opening
    • Padded, external access pocket
    • Laptop-tablet sleeve
    • Side sleeves accommodate water bottles nicely
    • Air mesh/EVA shoulder straps and back panel
    • Line of gear loops integrated into the strapping for tool/accessory attachment
    • Multiple color options available
    • Great price point
    Cons:
    • Lacks a waist strap
    • Not a particularly form-fitting option for those seeking a streamlined pack
    • Longterm integrity of the Polyester construction is questionable if you're hard on your gear

    The Kelty Ardent Hiking Daypack is a cost-effective option for casual day-hikers seeking a companion for toting their lunch, a camera, some added layers, and a few accessories!

    This is a simple and straightforward backpack option featuring a large, U-zip main opening, a padded external access pocket, laptop/tablet sleeve, and side sleeves for accommodating water bottles. A line of gear loops is furthermore integrated into the strapping for additional tool/accessory attachment.

    This is not a particularly technical backpack by any means, but its storage schematic and inherent design absolutely competes with higher performance bags. 

    Kelty has designed the Ardent Pack at a particularly affordable price point, so it’s a budget-friendly option for those outdoorsmen and women seeking something that won’t break the bank.

    While it’s quite inexpensive, the mindful pocket schematic and air mesh/EVA shoulder straps and back panel are more indicative of a high-quality option than they are an entry-level bag. Leave it to Kelty to engineer a product that far outperforms its price point.

    With a few color options to choose from, there’s bound to be an Ardent Daypack right up your alley!

  15. 15. Thule Departer Daypack

    Pros:
    • Padded laptop and tablet pockets
    • Nice array of internal pockets and external storage space
    • Unique shape and color scheme that will turn heads on the trail
    • Convenient front clip for adding a light or carabineer
    • Wide color selection
    Cons:
    • Not a very low profile backpack, may feel a bit cumbersome for the more active hiker
    • Straps are not made of breathable material
    • This backpack may be a bit wide for people with a particularly narrow build

    The Departer Daypack by Thule is a great all-around backpack that is perfectly suitable as a hiking option. This nylon backpack has a pretty unique shape and design, so you’ll stand out with this one.

    There’s a sweet array of internal sleeves and slip pockets for effectively stowing all your different gear. There are compartments that nicely fit a laptop or a tablet, and dual mesh side pockets on either side of the bag to create some additional external storage.

    A custom-molded attach point for a carabiner or flashlight is a nice added feature for customizing your backpack for the trail. At about two pounds, it remains pretty lightweight while still maintaining a pretty tough build.

    Customer reviews agree this is a highly functional day pack that fits comfortably and has great organization potential. All in all, the Departer Daypack is a very practical bag that’s ideal for comfortably loading up a good bit of gear.

  16. 16. Osprey Radial 26 Daypack

    Pros:
    • Comfortable and breathable strapping that keeps the bag snug to your body
    • Includes a full, high-visibility rain cover for when the weather turns nasty
    • Tab on the front base of the pack is perfect for clipping a carabineer or flashlight onto
    • Great array of pockets and compartments for customized organization
    Cons:
    • Fairly expensive option
    • A bit of a cumbersome fit for a hiking bag if you embark on more technical treks
    • Limited color selection

    The Radial Daypack by Osprey is a pretty standard looking backpack, but equipped and designed to be a trusty trail companion.

    There’s a great array of pockets and dividers within the two main zippered compartments making this pack effective for stashing your gear in a well thought out, organized manner.

    This backpack sports a padded laptop compartment and also a zippered padded tablet compartment, so if you like to bring your more sensitive electronics on the trail this could be a good option for you.

    The Radial backpack has a built-in high visibility rain cover, ensuring your gear will stay dry during even heavy rains. The strapping and back of the pack are designed with a high quality breathable mesh making it a pretty comfortable bag to hike with.

    I personally enjoy the very basic design of this backpack knowing that it is built with the trail in mind. The strapping and organization potential of this bag is what makes it an attractive option to me.

  17. 17. Gootium High Density Thick Canvas Rucksack

    Pros:
    • Built with tough fabrics and metal fastenings
    • Pretty high capacity (33L) for carrying gear between all the external pockets and main compartment
    • Vintage aesthetic
    Cons:
    • Drawstring style closure to the main compartment may not be secure enough for some highly rigorous activities
    • Gootium recommends NOT machine washing this pack
    • A few customer reviews complain the straps don’t stay adjusted and need to be tied secure

    Those with an appreciation for vintage-style gear will really dig the look and style of this classic rucksack by Gootium.

    This pure cotton thick canvas backpack is built pretty dam tough and has a real rugged appearance. The material is solid and the fastenings are all metal, ensuring this pack is the real deal.

    The design includes three external pockets and one large internal pocket. There’s also a nifty zippered pocket within the main compartment perfect for tossing in your phone or wallet.

    If you enjoy owning old school style gear that is made reliably, then this is a great option. All the available aesthetics and colors have a sharp look, but who doesn’t love that classic khaki appearance?

    This is a great value buy when you consider the inherent integrity and therefore the long lifespan of this bag – just be sure to consider that it won’t keep your gear dry in wet weather. For those sunny days on the trail, however, this is one rad rucksack.

  18. 18. ZOMAKE Water Resistant Hiking Daypack

    Pros:
    • Water and tear resistant
    • Folds up nicely for storage into a larger pack or suitcase
    • Super affordable!
    • Wide selection of color options available
    Cons:
    • The strapping on this is not very high quality if you plan on a lot of rigorous hiking with a fair amount of loaded weight
    • The side mesh pockets will not fit larger water bottles (24 oz) and canteens
    • Questionable long term durability

    The ZOMAKE Water Resistant Hiking Daypack is a sweet little affordable option that might be all you need to load up and hit the trail if your gear loads are small and your budget is tight.

    This is a great multi-purpose backpack that can fold up to nearly pocket size. It could be an ideal bag to stuff in your suitcase or backpacking pack to have on hand for day trips where you’ll only be needing a few things. Constructed with water and tear-resistant nylon material, this is a pretty rugged bag for the price.

    I wouldn’t count on it to keep your gear truly dry in a pouring rain, but having some waterproof coating on your day pack is a big bonus none the less. Between the front zip, mesh side pockets and main compartment, there’s pretty decent organizational potential to this 20-liter pack.

    A simple and highly affordable backpack, this option by ZOMAKE will ensure you’re covered on the trail.

  19. 19. G4Free Ultralight Hiking Daypack

    Pros:
    • Water and tear resistant
    • Interior zippered pocket perfect for stashing valuables
    • Super inexpensive!
    • Material is foldable and packs nicely in a suitcase or larger backpack
    Cons:
    • Mesh side pockets don’t hold water bottles very effectively
    • Nylon material pretty thin and susceptible to tearing
    • material is crinkly and noisy

    Another highly affordable daypack with a solid list of features for the money – the G4Free Ultralight Hiking Daypack is tough to beat when it comes to overall value.

    This unit is built from a water and tear-resistant nylon material and weighs less than a half-pound – impressive to say the least.

    The material is easily foldable, so this is another daypack that is suitable for packing in your luggage or larger backpack. There’s a zippered pouch on the front of the bag in addition to the main compartment, and also mesh side pockets for stashing smaller items. An inner zippered pocket is ideal for tucking away valuables.

    With a wide array of colors available, there should be one that suits you.

  20. 20. Quechua X-Sports Decathlon 10 Liter Daypack

    Pros:
    • Super affordable price point
    • Adjustable strapping
    • Water and tear resistant
    • Wide selection of sharp color schemes
    Cons:
    • Only a 10 liter capacity, so don’t buy this expecting to fit a ton of gear, its a smaller pack
    • No external storage space or pockets
    • Material although water and tear resistant is quite thin, so I imagine it won’t hold up after a lot of heavy use

    The Quechua X-Sports Decathlon 10 Liter Daypack is another ultralight and minimalist, yet reliable option for hiking that’s nearly unrivaled when it comes to its staggeringly low price point.

    Built from water and tear-resistant nylon, this is an impressively solid pack for the cost that should keep your gear from getting soaked in at least a mild rain. At only five and a half ounces, it’s an ultralight option with a decent amount of space.

    The straps are adjustable and even a bit padded, pretty sweet for such a budget pack. Unfortunately, there’s no external storage on this one, so the one zippered pocket and the main compartment are all you get.

    If you only need to bring along a gear load consisting of something like a fleece, water bottle and a few small gadgets, then this pack is a great one to have on hand. For the cost, this product by Quechua is a nice item to have in your outdoor gear locker.

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