Before you choose one, notice that some daypacks are very specialized. They are tailor-made for distinct uses, for which the 7 best lightweight daypacks listed below are the shining examples:
Here are the best lightweight daypacks you can buy in 2020:
- Best Overall: Outlander Ultra Lightweight Backpack
- Top Rated: HIKPRO 20L
- Budget-Friendly: AmazonBasics Day Pack
- Best For Thru-hikers: Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L
- Best For Day Hikes: Osprey Daylite Daypack
- Best For Hunters: ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Hunting Pack
- Vintage Looking: Gootium 21101
|Top 7 Best Lightweight Daypacks|
|Outlander Ultra Lightweight Backpack||Read Our Review|
|HIKPRO 20L||Read Our Review|
|AmazonBasics Day Pack||Read Our Review|
Best For Thru-hikers
|Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L||Read Our Review|
Best For Day Hikes
|Osprey Daylite Daypack||Read Our Review|
Best For Hunters
|ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Hunting Pack||Read Our Review|
|Gootium 21101||Read Our Review|
Best Overall: Outlander Ultra Lightweight Backpack
- Give two options of capacity to choose from
- Lightweight, rip-proofed, water-resistant, and strong
- Can be easily clipped to things
- There is some shoddy stitching on the zipper of the main compartment
- Mesh pockets are a bit flimsy
Outlander Ultra Lightweight Backpack is one of the most stable units in our list that nails up with the right features for different sports or outdoor adventures.
It’s raised the bar in terms of durability and strength to hold up well a 20/33-liter load.
The stress points that reinforced with bar tacking combine with the highly rip-proof and water-resistant nylon fabric to create long-lasting performance, with modest weight.
While the Outlander Ultra Lightweight Backpack is strong, its 5 compartments fit a variety of items with ease access. It works well as an excellent stuff sack to have along with you on day trips.
And with the additional carabiner clip, you can attach it to things.
|Outlander Ultra Lightweight Backpack Specifications|
20L: Unfold: 16.92x10.63x7.08 inches
Fold: 6.29x5.90x1.97 inches
33L: Unfold: 19x13x8.2 inches
Fold: 6.29x5.90x2 inches.
Stress points are reinforced with bar tacking
2-way Abrasion Resistant SBS Metal Zippers
Rip-proof and water-resistant nylon fabric
A carabiner clip included
Constructed with surpassed material and expertise, this is a no holds barr
Top Rated: HIKPRO 20L
- Can keep its content within 40-60 minutes in the rain
- The fabric has more textile threads per unit area and it’s also doubled at the bottom to be efficiently tear resistant
- Have a 5-year warranty to cover all problems with workmanship and material
- The bag has no shape, which makes the mesh pockets easily fall off and the zippers go halfway down it
In the world filled with fancy travel bags, enter the HIKPRO.
It’s one of the least expensive options in our test group without compromising quality, the most persuasive proof of which lies in its material.
This is an exclusive nylon fabric that is only used in Hikpro backpacks, highlighting more textile threads per unit area to efficiently tear-resistant and water-resistant. According to HIKPRO, the contents of this daypack can be dry and safe within 40 to 60 minutes in the rain.
There are, in addition, 2 resilient tear-resistant sides mesh pockets, over 14 places reinforced with Bartack process, and some s-type adjustable should straps. The bottom of the bag is also doubled the fabric.
To top all with the goodies off, HIKPRO covers it with a 5-year warranty to a problem with workmanship and material.
|HIKPRO 20L Specifications|
12 x 5.5 x 18 inches
Water-Resistant Nylon material
Abrasion Resistant SBS Metal Zipper
Side Mesh Pocket; double fabric at the bottom
If you usually use your daypack in high humidity or rainy weather, the HIKPRO 20L will carry the gear you need dry and safe.
Budget-Friendly: AmazonBasics Day Pack
- Priced under $15 but comes with several high-end features
- Lightweight, rip-resistant, and ultra-strong
- Zippers are abrasion resistant and 2-way designed for extra convenience
- Fabric isn’t waterproof
- The straps hurt if you use it for an all-day excursion with some weight
When buying a lightweight daypack on a budget, we’ve realized that it’s still possible to have some ultra-strong rip-resistant nylon options on hands (though they’re like gold dust).
This AmazonBasics is luckily one of them.
While constructed from heavy-duty fabric, all stress points of this unit are reinforced by bar-tacking for extra security and zippers are made from abrasion-resistant SBS metal. Plus, they are 2-way designed.
With 4 well-organized compartments, it is indeed the best option no matter for daily use or a short travel adventure.
|AmazonBasics Day Pack Specifications|
17.5 x 7.5 x 11.5 inches
Budget-friendly price tag
Ultra-strong rip-resistant nylon fabric
Durable two-way abrasion-resistant SBS metal zippers
We’ve owned the AmazonBasics for over a year and our experience has convinced us that this is the best pick for lightweight, budget daypack.
Best For Thru-hikers: Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L
- Shoulder straps are specifically designed to give utmost support and comfort to relieve stress from heavy loads
- Can hold up well 88 pounds
- Good ventilation system at the back to keep you from sweaty, unpleasant feel during a hike
- Some zippers aren’t in good condition
This 50-liter bag offers a load-bearing at a whopping 88 pounds, making it one of the biggest daypacks on our list. With multiple pockets added, the unit can hold up well an enormous load for 3 or 4 days of the trip, fitting nicely a thru-hiker in 5' - 6'5".
A notable thing is, the pack is really designed with customers’ comfort in mind.
It has plentiful sponge padding on both the back and shoulders to ensure the stress from these body areas can be relieved as much as possible.
A shining example is the breathable and adjustable mesh shoulder straps with ergonomic S-type design and waist belt.
There is also high elastic breathable open-cell foam back support combining with molded channels and a lumbar pad to provide maximum ventilation and comfort.
While being packed with functionality and support, the bag meets all size requirements for most airlines. And it comes with 8 adjustable straps, a rain cover, and even a 90-day guarantee. What else to ask?
|Loowoko Hiking Backpack 50L Specifications|
25.6 * 13.8 * 9.8in
Package size: 22.28 * 14.72 * 2.75in
8 adjustable straps
Widened and thickened s-type shoulder straps
Open-cell foam with lumbar pad and molded channels
Load bearing of 88 pounds
For those thru-hikers who like to use a lightweight daypack for 3- or 4-day trips, check out the Loowoko.
Best For Day Hikes: Osprey Daylite Daypack
- Can fit a 3-liter reservoir finely
- Foldable, ultra-durable and tear-resistant
- Offer one litter larger capacity than the previous versions to hold more stuff
- Can easily attach to different compatible Osprey’s bigger travel pack
- When tightening the shoulder straps, its top part might cut into the back of your neck
While this pack is passable for a day trip away from your base camp, we prefer its leveraged design, which performs excellently on different outdoor situations.
Compared to the previous versions, regardless of the color switching for the side fabric panels, we’ve found a slight upgrade in the volume of this daypack – about one liter (enough for extra pairs of socks).
The bottom fabric is also changed to a 410D Packcloth (vs. a 210D Nylon Double Diamond Ripstop of the previous siblings) for extra durability and support to heavy payloads.
The biggest selling point is, while most of the units that we tested are hydration bladder compatible in different ways, only this one is built with an external hydration reservoir pocket. According to Osprey, it can hold 3 liters’ reservoir fine.
|Osprey Daylite Daypack Specifications|
18 x 9 x 9 inches
Spacer mesh shoulder straps with integrated handle
Mesh-covered die-cut foam back panel with slotted foam
External hydration reservoir pocket
Due to exceptional ventilation and comfort, the Osprey Daylight Pack is a good choice for day hikes.
Best For Hunters: ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Hunting Pack
- Support heavy loads with tear-free thanks to the aluminum frame
- Can safely pack big hunting gears, like bow, rifle, or gun
- Keep multiple gears within your reach thanks to the organizational front shelf pocket
- Include a D-ring clip and a rain cover for extra convenience
- Not suit for large-frame guys
- A bit struggling to strap a bow or rifle when the daypack is fully stuffed
- Can’t pack out meat from the harvest or any heavy loads
While the ALPS OutdoorZ is one of the priciest daypacks in our test group, the price does include a supportive aluminum frame with some extension lashing strap to carry a 30- to 40-pound load with tear-free.
What’s more, it has a special front pocket where there are organizationally smaller internal slots to keep multiple gears neat and within your reach.
Some quiver holders on each side of the daypack to carry bow and arrows. A drop-down holder pocket for bow or handgun to give a hands-free capability. There are also some hydration ports and pockets for on-the-go hydration.
While carrying a bunch of hunting gear on the back, you can count on its padded shoulder harness, padded waist belt, and adjustable torso range. They combine altogether to keep you ultra-comfortable and bulky-free to move in the field.
Finally, are a D-ring clip and a blaze orange rain cover included for extra convenience.
|ALPS OutdoorZ Pursuit Hunting Pack Specifications|
2700 cubic inch
4 lbs. 1 oz.
22 x 14 x 4 inches
An aluminum frame with some extension lashing strap
Padded waist belt with two pockets and reinforced webbing
Organizational front shelf pocket
Quiver holders a drop-down rifle/bow holder pocket and hydration pocket and port
Include a D-ring clip and a blaze orange rain cover
For hunts where you have to carry numerous hunting gear along, the ALPS OUtdoorZ Pursuit daypack is the best bet.
Vintage Looking: Gootium 21101
- Give a soft hand-feel and distinctive vintage looking to enhance your style
- Built with extra security and durability in mind to travel with worry-free
- Buckles are flimsy and a pain to open/close
If you are finding one of the most iconic all-around daypacks out there, Gootium 21101 is hard to beat.
It is crafted from 100% pure cotton thick canvas with garment-washed treatment to deliver utmost satisfaction in both the look and the touch.
Some practical features also get attention.
For example, the durable metal fastenings, the well-made hardware closure, and the delicate genuine leather trim. This combo enhances the bag’s durability and security so whether it’s packing up with your carry-on essentials or overnight gears, just worry-free.
Along with the immerse capacity at a whopping 23/30 liters, you can feel both comfy and painless when engaging the adjustable well-padded shoulder straps.
|Gootium 21101 Specifications|
30liters / 23liters
2.1lbs / 1.85lbs
Large:13.5" x 8" x 17.7" (L x W x H)
Small:12" x 8" x 15" (L x W x H)
100% pure cotton thick canvas with a garment washed
Durable metal fastenings
Hardware closure, genuine leather trim
Designed with both function and style, we assure you that you’ll love the Gootium 21101 wherein the unique retro-styled looking is a sure thing to get attention.
How To Choose The Best Lightweight Daypacks?
Your Purpose Of Use & Weight
- Okay, when it comes to choosing a lightweight daypack, you might be wondering how much is considered “light”, right?
- This feature is actually dependent on your activities and personal needs, such as:
- How many gears you want to carry along for the trip: The heavier the load, the sturdier the pack MUST be – such as doubled fabric at the bottom, heavy-duty material, or even extra metal frame - which leads to a heavier weight.
- Do you want it to be well-organized and ultra-convenient or just as minimalist as possible: A daypack which is kept as minimally as possible – no overly functional features and innumerable pockets - will be the lighter
- In general, a daypack weighing under 1 pound is considered “lightweight” as long as it’s used for daily use or a day trip. For hunting, skiing, snowshoeing, or several-day trips, the weight of your bag should be heavier but don’t go anything over 3 pounds.
- For a daypack, 20 to 30 litters are a fine range of capacity.
- Some specific activities like skiing or winter snowshoeing will exceptionally require more space for gear, which means the daypack capacity now can be increased up to 35 - 50 litters.
- To us, any bigger than 50 litters are really immersed. Daypacks like that will also tempt you to fulfill them, which results in unnecessarily hefty loads.
- Below is the best capacity range of daypacks for different uses that come with compromise of max weight load and convenience:
Type of activity
Daypack Capacity (liters)
12 - 20
Adventure racing & trail running
15 - 30
Skiing & winter snowshoeing
20 - 40
- The comfort of a daypack relies on the ventilation system, load-carrying capability, and adjustability.
- No matter how many loads you’re going to carry, the bag itself should be built with adjustable shoulder straps and back ventilation. With daypacks that are designed for larger payloads, you should consider some extra features, like fully cushioned hip belts, sponge cushioning on shoulder straps, and load lifters.
Which Brands Make The Best Lightweight Daypacks?
- If it’s not Osprey, nobody else in the industry makes this No.1 position worth. Founded in 1974 by Mike Pfotenhauer, in Santa Cruz, California, the brand has now been a melting pot of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and personalities.
- Come with over 20 years’ expertise in manufacturing daypacks, HIKPRO deserves to take one slot in this list. Their products are praised for comfort and adjustability that ensure the best fit for the users.
- With a similarly rich history, Gootium is another reliable brand to try. It was founded by Jelimy, in Australia. up to now, Gootium has been one of the most well-loved workshops specialized in canvas bags.
- ALPS OutdoorZ, established in 2007 by ALPS Brands, is known for its team of skillful and passionate hunters with the promise to offer only high-quality hunting gear at cost-effective price points.
No matter you’re a student, a climber, or a hiker, you might want a feather-light pack for one or more of your activities. Though looking for the best lightweight daypacks can be a struggling challenge, we hope that with 7 well-picked options listed above, it helped you in that quest.