If you travel frequently, then you know how important it is to take the right gear with you. Selecting the right day pack is an important part of your preparation.
You want a backpack that’s going to fit your needs without bogging you down, and that starts with selecting the right size. If your backpack is too small you won’t be able to fit everything you need into it, too large and you’ll be carrying excess weight.
The material is also important, especially if you’ll be out in the weather. There’s nothing worse than being caught in the rain with a backpack that isn’t waterproof and having all your stuff get soaked. If you pick the right daypack it could last you for years no matter where your adventures take you.
After the summary table below, we discuss the key things to consider when choosing a daypack for your next trip, followed by reviews of some of the best products on the market in Australia.
Our top pick: Kathmandu Gluon Beyond Pack
The Gluon pack provides great additional storage and has the extra benefit of being compatible with Kathmandu’s line of travel packs and trolleys.
The zips are lockable and there’s also a zip pocket inside for additional security for your gear along with an interior document package.
The external portion of the pack features a zip pocket.
- Lockable Main Zipper
- Internal Document Sleeve
- Internal Zip pocket
- Hip strap is unpadded
The North Face Borealis Daypack
This pack is one of our favourites in part due to the pack’s dedication to an easy and comfortable experience.
The main compartment is padded to protect your belongings, in addition to having a special laptop sleeve for secured storage.
The front flap also features a tablet sleeve inside the front compartment.
Like all good daypacks it comes with a pair of water bottle pockets on the sides combined with a bungie cord for maximizing your carrying capacity.
- Protective Laptop Compartments
- Front Compartments
- Mesh water bottle pockets
- No padding on hip-strap
- Not very water resistant
- Side mesh pockets could be more durable
Osprey Talon Daypack
This versatility of this pack is quite seriously bar none. No matter what environment you see yourself heading to or how long you’ll be out, it can be a great asset on your journey.
The 22l capacity means that it can make a great carry-on bag if you’re on a longer trip, or prepare you for the day’s adventures if you’re just kicking it around town.
A spacious interior pocket combines with convenient side pouches to provide plenty of storage space, while the breathable back panel ensures you aren’t developing a coat of sweat on your back from trapped heat.
It even has a place to store a walking stick to free up your hands when not in use.
- Designed for both day hikes and city trips
- Breathable back panel
- Pole holding clasp
- Padded shoulders
- Hip and chest belt
- Hip Pockets nonadjustable
Kathmandu Jyla 20L Tote
This offering from Kathmandu provides a versatile solution to your travel needs. This bag packs a lot more space than you might expect, with an internal sleeve for storing your laptop.
It doesn’t stop there though, magnetic-closures secure items in outside pockets that ensure you’ll always have your phone and keys at hand.
While configured for daily use the zip-top design adds security making it suitable for international travel as well.
- Internal laptop sleeve for up to 15” computers
- Internal security pocket
- Can function as a tote or a backpack due to its fold-over design.
- No locking zippers
Osprey Daylite 13l Daypack
Whether you’re heading out on a city escape or backpacking across Europe this backpack can be the perfect solution for your needs.
The main compartment offers abundant space with secure zipping technology while two mesh pockets are included along the sides to accommodate water bottles so you can stay hydrated on the go.
A center oriented back pocket provides a convenient container for easy to access necessities.
This bag is made from a nylon double diamond ripstop fabric that makes it durable enough to face even the most extreme environments while the pack-cloth bottom ties it all together for miles of travel.
- Simple, convenient design
- Nylon Double Diamond Ripstop fabric
- Side mesh pockets for water bottle
- Zipping front pocket
- Doesn’t come with lockable zipper
Travel Daypack Buyer’s Guide
When you’re looking for the perfect pack, here are a few things you key an eye out for:
Size – Consider what the weather will be like on your travels and how much extra clothing you expect to be carrying on your day trips. Will you be carrying gear just for yourself or will you be sharing pack space with a travel partner?
Material – There’s an endless selection of materials out there today, and which one you settle on for your daypack is dependent on what kind of weather you expect to encounter. You’re also going to want something that dries well, like treated nylon, so that it doesn’t get a mildew smell to it.
Multiple Compartments – Even if it’s only a day pack it should have a few compartments available for organising the things you carry with you. A front zipper pocket means you’ll be able to keep the items you need quick access to immediately available, while side pockets are often good for water bottles and a small umbrella.
Lockable Zippers – A little bit of security never hurt anybody, and lockable zippers are a recent innovation that’s started to be available on all types of travel containers.
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Laptop Sleeve – If you’re carrying a laptop around with you on your journey, having a padded laptop sleeve in your daypack can be a great idea. It allows for quick access and also saves you from needing to pack a separate laptop case, freeing up space inside the bag.
Padded Shoulder Straps – Padded shoulder straps mean you won’t have to suffer with the pain caused by weight pressing directly on your shoulders. The padding helps distribute the weight of your daypack which also helps reduce strain on your lower back. Chest and waist straps can also help distribute the load if you plan to carry your daypack for extended periods of time.