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Best Daypacks For Hiking

Best Daypacks for hiking

Once you found the best daypack for hiking, it will easily become your best friend (right after the best hiking shoes) when opting outside.

I can remember headaches after a hike, aching neck and shoulders because I just grabbed any backpack I had at home when going outside. After I changed that habit and got a good fitting hiking backpack it was a game changer. I never had any headaches again. Not even when my backpack was kinda heavy.

If you are used carrying a water bottle by hand or just grabbing any kind of bag when going on a hike, the right backpack can become a game changer too.

The best Daypacks for hiking are made to make hiking more enjoyable.

They are designed having the trails and your needs in mind. Prepared to make every hike an enjoyable one.

Wether you are going on a short day hike, or a long day hike. If you need to carry camera equipment or food. They have different features like hip straps, bottle bags on the outside, and backpacks designed for women are made for the body of a women. They are slightly different to mens backpacks because our anatomy can be slightly different (height, size of shoulders and back, etc..)
You will find the best hiking daypack if you are keeping your needs in mind during the search for your new hiking daypack.

So think about what you mostly do for hikes, and then go find the best hiking daypack for your next adventures. It is worth it!

The best hiking daypacks for women

The best hiking daypacks are lightweight, durable and long lasting. They will have features like  hip and breast straps, straps for hiking poles, external pockets and more.

We asked around to hear from friends and other hikers about the best hiking daypacks and which brands they prefer, so here are our favorite daypacks for women.

If you scroll down we will talk a little bit more about extra features, daypack sizes, sustainable brands and how to choose the best hiking daypack for you.

Gregory Mountain Nano 16L

This basic daypack is great for short adventures.
External pocket for a bottle, a small pocket for keys, etc. and basic breast and hip straps.

Those basic straps where enough for me to end my neck and headaches. The size is great for shorter but also longer day hikes, if you don’t need to carry a lot of extra layers for bad weather.

Fjällräven Keb Hike 20L

Fjällräven is known to make great durable Outdoor Gear.

This 20L Daypack is made from Eco S and water resistant recycled Nylon. It is perfect for winter hikes as all functions are designed for easy handling with winter gloves.

Straps to attach Trekking Poles.

Deuter Speed Light 22L

This light Daypack from Deuter has a padded hip strap that even has a small pocket.

It has a device for drinking system.

A Lite contact back system.

And they have a SL-Womens fit-specially adapted to the female anatomy.

Deuter now also has a collection called UP** made from recycled PET bottles.

Fjällräven High Coast Foldsack 24L

This foldsack from Fjällräven is made out of 100% recyclet nylon.

It is water resistant with front pocket with zip and two side pockets.

Foldable lid, main compartment closable with zip and hook.

Carrying handle and adjustable, padded shoulder straps with clips on the chest and hips.

Osprey Sirrus 24L

This 24 L Daypack from Osprey has comfortable padded shoulder and hip straps with pockets.

Breathable back system and straps for hiking poles.

It has an integrated rainprotection cover too.


Vaude Prokyon 30L

This 30L Daypack has a lot of space for extra layering or food. Or if you need to carry more stuff like Camera Gear.

It has a padded back system, a snug hip belt, and the zip in front makes it easy to reach anything packed further below.

It has a side pocket for your bottle or hat.

PFC-free, eco friendly water repellent finish.

The VAUDE green shape label stands for eco-friendly products made from sustainable materials.

How to choose the best Daypack for hiking

The big factors on how to choose the best daypack for hiking, is to know what you might need it for. How much equipment you need to pack, how long your trips are gonna be, what kind of features you want or need.

Hiking Daypacks or Backpacks are made light and durable. A good hiking backpack should be made with durable materials so they won’t tear easily when passing thorns or sliding along rocks.

Hiking Backpacks will come with different kinds of features, from hydrating pack pockets, side pockets for bottles, external pockets for easy acessible snacks or your phone, straps for hiking poles and more.

If you never experienced a hike with a good backpack, once you did you don’t want to go back. It is definietly a game changer for your outdoor adventures.

How should a Daypack for hiking sit

The fit of a daypack is not as special as a Backpacking pack.
You will find different sizes like for children, women, men, but most unisex daypacks will fit just great because you can adapt the fit with adjustable straps.

We do recommend to try a new backpack before you buy it so you can make sure it really fits to your anatomy. Even hiking daypacks can be a pain in the ass if they don’t fit right.

When you put the backpack on, the waist balt should sit slightly above the center of your hips. The belt should sit comfortable snug but not too tight.
Now cinch the shoulder straps down. If it feels like the shoulder strap is weighing you down, you should consider to size up. If there is a gap between the strap and your shoulder the torso of the bag is too long for you, and you should try another brand or smaller size.

Without Breast and Hip Straps I get Headaches
Day Hike in Austria

Daypack Sizes: What size do you need?

Going on short easy nature walks doesn’t need too much equipment, while going on a serious long day hike maybe in difficult terrain need a bit more planning and packing, meaning a bigger daypack with more features.

For longer hikes you’ll need more snacks, extra clothing, and other hiking essentials.

A daypack will typically be one under 40L.

A short summary of Daypack Sizes:

Up to 10L: great for short hikes, bike trips or trail running.
11-20L : longer day hikes or mountain bike trips.
21-35L: Longer hikes, intense hikes, and any all day trips.
36-40L or more: recommended if you need a lot of extra equipment or gear like for climbing, or photography and filming.


Hiking Daypack Features: What do you need and want?

If you are looking for a good hiking daypack, you can choose between a lot of different features these days.

  • Waistbelt and breast-strap: For me one of the most important features. They help to distribute the weight of your bag so it dosn’t all weigh on your shoulders and back. For all of you having headaches or neck pain after a longer hike this should be a must feature! For trailrunning this is a must too because it holds the pack on place and makes sure the backpack doesn’t hop around chafing while running.
  • Frameless or Frame: A frameless bag is nice to pack in your bag when traveling. They are lighter and simpler but it can be packed down to a very compakt size. A frame makes a backpack hold its shape and keep it off your back to allow an airflow. They might be a bit heavier than a frameless one but for longer hikes we do recommend one with a frame.
  • Padding on the back/belt/shoulder straps: This can reduce chafing and sometimes allow a bit airflow too. It does add comfort when carrying a bit more weight.
  • External pockets: Great to have for some easily accessable snacks, sunscreen, phone, etc. Some bags have one one extra pocket while others have more.
  • Water bottle pocket or water hydration compartment: While most daypacks have site pockets for water bottles, some of the simpler bags have non at all. And some other bags have compartments for your hadration pack. You know best what you like or use mostly: a hydration pack or bottle. Choose the right feature your your best hiking daypack.
  • Mesh ventilation: Can be nice to have when out on sweaty dayhikes. The backpack can quickly be the reason for sweaty backs and a ventilation mesh on the back side of the backpack can help.
  • Extra straps: Accessory straps for hiking poles, ice tools, climbing gear or what ever gear you need to reach easily that doesn’t fit into your bag.

Sustainable Daypacks for hiking:

It get’s easier and easier to choose sustainable outdoor gear because most of the serious outdoor brands do have a sense for sustainability. Some of them have from the beginning, some of them are starting to follow while some others only produce cheap stuff to earn a lot of money.

It can sometimes be hard to find the 100% real sustainable product, but it is not hard to make the happier choice.

So when looking for the best daypack for hiking, look out for brands using: Bluesign approved materials, reducing their Carbon footprint, using Sustainable Materials, Recycelt Materials, PFC free repellent.
Choose brands participating with 1% for the planet, organizing clean ups, recreation.
Look for social responsibility, fair wages, vegan materials, responsible down or wool, rapair options, guarantee for life, transparency – sustainability reports on their website.

Some Outdoor brands I like to recommend:





I hope I could help you to find the best hiking daypack for your next trip.

Do you have a favorite Daypack already? Or a favorite sustainable Outdoor Brand?
Please share in the comments below.

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