Author: The Adventure Lab Staff
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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.
KATHMANDU JYLA 20L TOTE
- 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.
OSPREY DAYLITE 13L DAYPACK
- Simple, convenient design
- Nylon Double Diamond Ripstop fabric
- Side mesh pockets for water bottle
- Zipping front pocket
THE NORTH FACE BOREALIS
- Protective Laptop Compartments
- Front Compartments
- Mesh water bottle pockets
Travel Daypack Buyer’s Guide
When you’re looking for the perfect pack, here are a few things you key an eye out look 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.
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
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Travel Daypack Reviews
Now that you have a basic idea of what to look for in a daypack, it’s time to find one of your own. To assist, we’ve put together this list of some of the best on the market.
#1 OSPREY TALON 22L HIKING 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 days 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
Hip and chest belt
- Hip Pockets nonadjustable
#2 KATHMANDU Jyla 20L Tote
BUY AT kathmandu
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
#3 Osprey Daylite 13l Daypack
BUY AT wild earth
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
#4 THE NORTH FACE BOREALIS DAYPACK
BUY AT the north face
This pack is one of our favorites in part due to the packs 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
Mesh water bottle pockets
No padding on hip-strap
Not very water resistant
Side mesh pockets could be more durable
#5 KATHMANDU Gluon Beyond 18L Pack
BUY AT kathmandu
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 above packs are all great options, and any one of them would serve as an excellent daypack. Ultimately we selected the Osprey Talon 22L Hiking Daypack as our Top Pick thanks to its versatility along with the high quality Osprey is renowned for. Durable, weather resistant, and generally just a great all around pack we recommend this for any traveller.
If you're looking for something more affordable that still brings a lot to the table then the Jyla 20L Tote wins our position for best overall value. Affordable, durable, and versatile, it’s hard to beat if you're on a budget.