Whether you are new to hiking or a seasoned veteran of the sport, having the right tools is essential, an often-overlooked accessory is the hiking backpack. When setting out on your hike, be it a short hike or an all-day excursion, first and foremost is to consider your safety requirements.
Every hiker should carry these basic items with them, a first aid kit, a compass, a map, food, water, extra clothes in case of weather change, a space blanket, a phone, multi-function tool and a headlamp just in case.
So now you have your essentials together, finding the best day hike backpack for your kit is crucial. There are many types and styles of backpacks on the market and choosing the right one can be quite daunting at first. Backpacks differ in features and storage size and we will look at some of the best day hike backpack options for hiking. When choosing a day hike backpack there are a few points to consider based on your needs when hiking;
Best Day Hike Backpack
Does The Backpack Have Enough Support?
An important consideration when choosing a backpack is support carrying a loaded pack all day should be comfortable, the last thing you need on your hike is back pain or chaffing from an ill-fitting pack. Look for backpacks with padded shoulder straps and, depending on the load you will be carrying, packs with additional sternum strap and waist belt will help keep the pack stable.
Is there enough storage capacity?
Depending on the duration of your hike, having the correct storage capacity in your day hike backpack is another important aspect to consider. The longer the hike, the higher capacity you will need.
Do I need a hydration sleeve?
As an option, there are hikers who like to use a hydration system for easy access to water. If you wish to use this system select a backpack with a hydration sleeve and port for the tube used to deliver the water.
If you prefer the good old water bottle look for a backpack which can comfortably accommodate the bottle/s. Most day hiking backpacks have side pockets specifically designed to house water bottles.
Does the day hike backpack have enough ventilation?
There is nothing worse than a sweaty back and shoulders when hiking which could lead to chaffing. Avoid poorly ventilated backpacks, look for packs which feature mesh paneling, this provides better airflow between your body and the backpack reducing sweat.
Will the fully loaded day hike backpack be too heavy?
The longer the hike, the heavier the pack will be due to the additional supplies you will need. Look for lightweight day hike backpacks which will assist in overall weight reduction. Taking the above into consideration here is a selection of three hiking day backpacks which have received high praise by hikers and reviewers alike.
The Osprey Talon 22
The Osprey Talon 22 is a much-praised day hike backpack and it is well deserved. Well ventilated around the shoulders, back and waist the Osprey is very comfortable to wear.
Adding to the comfort of the pack is the fully customizable fit. The new version is also lighter than previous builds which helps when fully loaded. The Osprey has a separate hydration compartment for easy access.
Hip belt pockets and side mesh pockets for extra kit. Attachments for hiking poles add to the list of features available on this daypack. If you are looking for top of the range hiking day backpacks, this one comes highly recommended.
The REI Co-op Flash 18
One of the lightest day hike backpacks available and competitively priced it still packs a lot of features for your hiking needs. For storing your smaller items for your hike there is an external pocket. The added daisy chain offers extra external storage for such items as shoes etc. A very versatile pack and with a good price point this is one-day backpack to consider as an option for your hiking activities.
The Deuter Speed Lite 20
With minimal but useful features the Speed Lite is ideal for short day hikes. Its light construction and uncomplicated build still gives plenty of storage space where needed. Attachment options include compression straps which reverse around the backpack allowing for easy storage of equipment. Another good choice for the day hiker it comes highly recommended.
There are literally hundreds of day hike backpack options available in the marketplace and choosing the right one for your hiking needs is an important decision. Analyze your needs based on comfort, ease of use, weight, storage options and of course safety.
Are you going on short hikes or long hikes or a combination of the two? Making the right choice of day hike backpack from the start will ensure that your hikes will be a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Networking with your fellow hikers and retailer will add insight into making the right decision. Happy hiking.