Picking The Best Daypack For Travel

By Lily Evans | Travel Gear

Nov 02
Picking The Best Daypack For Travel

If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know that I like to be very organized when I travel. Unfortunately, packing is a pain and it’s just hard to keep things tidy when you’re carrying a lot of things. That said, I’m rounding up the best daypack for travel to help you stay organized on-the-go.

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What is a Daypack?

What is a Daypack

Simply put, a daypack is a smaller travel bag. It is typically a small backpack used to carry valuables and other essentials during your travel. It is called a daypack because it is what you would typically carry with you during the day when you are out exploring your travel destination.

How Useful is a Daypack?

How Useful is a Daypack

​If you’re only going on a day or overnight trip, then you can do away with a daypack. In fact, it might even be inconvenient to bring one. However, if you’re spending a couple of days in a certain location, I highly recommend carrying a daypack with you.

​I’m rather fond of taking pictures and enjoying local delicacies, so it’s extremely important for me to have both of my hands-free during my day explorations. I can't travel without my camera, my phone, and my water bottle. If you’re like me, then it would be wise to bring a daypack.

A daypack is particularly beneficial if you do a lot of walking. After all, even an extremely light backpack can hurt your back if it contains all your belongings and you have to carry it all day long. In addition, a large backpack can make you stand out as a tourist and attract snatchers or thieves.​

What Should You Look For in a Daypack?

What Should You Look For in a Daypack

1. Weight

Since you’d be carrying your daypack with you the whole day, it’s advisable to choose one which is sturdy but lightweight. The idea is to pick a daypack which can securely hold all your valuables, without adding any unnecessary weight.

That said, I highly recommend purchasing daypacks from physical stores. This way, you know exactly how light or heavy a certain bag is. If this is not possible, however, make sure that you check the product specifications before ordering a daypack online.

2. Comfort

Lightweight does not automatically mean comfortable. The design of the bag, particularly the straps, plays a key role in ensuring comfort.

It might be difficult to determine how comfortable a bag will be until after you’ve used it, but you can never go wrong with padded straps and an ergonomic design.​

3. Size

The perfect size will really depend on what kind of traveler you are and how much you like to carry with you. If you’re like me who likes to carry a camera when traveling, then you might need a larger daypack.

On the other hand, if you only carry your phone, wallet, and a couple other miscellaneous items, then a small daypack should suffice. To determine how large or how small your daypack should be, make a mental note of all the things you would normally carry around.​

4. Security

Pickpocketing is a fairly common problem in popular tourist spots, especially larger cities. To keep your vacation enjoyable and hassle-free, it’s vital to keep your belongings secured. A slash-proof backpack with security features can do just that.

When choosing a daypack, I gravitate towards thicker fabrics that don’t rip or tear easily. I also prefer daypacks with covered zippers since they are harder to open.

5. External Pockets

. If you’re carrying electronics, it’s advisable to keep those in your bags main pocket, preferably at the bottom where it’s not easily accessible. You might want to do that for your wallet, too, to make sure that they can’t easily be pick-pocketed.

While this will keep your things safe, note that it’s also extremely inconvenient, especially if you have to make a lot of small purchases. This is why I like daypacks with a lot of external pockets. This way, I can easily stash some cash in the pockets and securely keep my wallet inside.

6. Style

Style Daypack

This is not really a paramount consideration, but it’s particularly important if you like to travel in style. Fortunately for stylish travelers, there is a wide selection of daypacks which are stylish as they are sturdy and practical.

Top 5 Products on the Market

Now that I’ve given you some tips on choosing the right travel daypack, I’m now sharing with you my top 5 daypacks for travel. There is, of course, a selection to choose from, but these are my most trusted brands. If you haven’t made up your mind on which daypack to buy, this is a good place to start.


Gootium 21101 Specially High Density Thick Canvas Backpack Rucksack

Gootium 21101 Specially High Density Thick Canvas Backpack Rucksack

Pros

  • Weighing only 1.9 pounds, this bag is incredibly lightweight
  • Made from thick, high-quality canvas
  • Has padded, adjustable shoulder straps for added comfort
  • Comes with a top-mounted handle for easier handling. The top-mounted handle is also convenient for drying the daypack after washing
  • Despite being extremely lightweight, this daypack can easily carry a seventeen-inch laptop, a seven-inch tablet computer, and a smartphone. You can also fit a decent camera in its spacious interior.
  • The drawstring and buckle closure makes it easier to access the contents of your bag.
  • Several built-in pouches in the interior for easier and more efficient organization. The interior pouches have zippered closures and are ideal for keeping your valuables safe.
  • The three exterior pockets are perfect for keeping tickets, loose change, and similar other items.
  • Has a very stylish design. This travel daypack can also double as an everyday backpack or a stylish book bag.

Cons

  • It does not have a zipper closure. The drawstring and buckle snaps do not provide much in terms of security.
  • This daypack cannot be machine-washed.
  • Does not have a built-in water bottle holder.
  • No piping so the bag does not retain its shape. The bag also cannot stand on its own so you would want to make sure that the bag is resting against something, especially if your laptop is inside

Osage River Osceola Hiking Daypack Camping Backpack

Osage River Osceola Hiking Daypack Camping Backpack

Via Amazon.com


Pros

  • Weighing only 1.85 pounds and measuring 2.7 x 14.5 x 19.5 inches, this daypack is incredibly lightweight and compact, making it perfect for day explorations.
  • Specifically designed for outdoor activities, this bag is made from lightweight 420D Nylon and 1680D Polyester.
  • Has padded shoulder straps, compression straps, and adjustable chest strap. This daypack also has an adjustable hip/suspension belt to ensure maximum comfort.
  • Comes with a top carry handle for easier handling.
  • Has heavy-duty zippers with durable zipper pulls.
  • The main compartment is spacious enough to hold a laptop. There is also a built-in laptop and tablet sleeve.
  • Has a built-in reflective patch to make you visible at night. This is especially handy if you plan on setting foot on hiking or cycling trails.
  • Has mesh water bottle holders on both sides.
  • Has multiple exterior pockets and small pouches for mobile phones, pens, maps, and such other small items.
  • Covered by a lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • The hydration pouches are not strategically placed. To access it, you have to take the bag off your back first.
  • The zippers are not flimsy, but they are not high-quality either. Overstuffing the bag or carrying a lot of heavy items can cause the zippers to give.
  • The plastic lining is perfect for keeping moisture out and protecting the contents of the daypack, but it tends to make your back all sweaty.

Zacro Lightweight Packable Backpack Handy Foldable Travel Daypack

Zacro 0.3lb Lightweight Packable Backpack Handy Foldable Travel Daypack

Via Amazon.com


Pros

  • Weighing a mere 0.33 pounds, this daypack is as lightweight as it gets for maximum comfort
  • Despite its practically negligible weight, this daypack can hold up to 25 liters.
  • This daypack is made from high-quality polyester fiber. It also has an added water-resistant feature to keep your things safe and dry.
  • The straps are adjustable.
  • The interior has a medium-sized zipper pouch where you can keep your valuables.
  • There are two mesh pockets outside which can be used to carry water bottles or an umbrella.
  • This daypack is foldable for easy storage. You can also carry it as a backup bag if you're planning to do a lot of shopping at your destination.
  • It is very affordable. If you are planning a quick trip and do not want to shell out a lot on a travel daypack, this bag should do just fine.

Cons

  • The material holds quite well but it resembles a windbreaker jacket. While it may be perfect for carrying a few essentials, it might not be the ideal daypack for carrying cameras, laptops, and other expensive gadgets.
  • The straps tend to come undone easily, so it’s not advisable to use this daypack when carrying a lot of heavy things.

Victorinox Luggage Altmont 3.0 Standard Backpack

Victorinox Luggage Altmont 3.0 Standard Backpac

Via Amazon.com


Pros

  • Made from 100% imported nylon, this daypack weighs a mere 1.3 pound and can pack an astounding 1,242 cubic inches.
  • This daypack measures 12 x 17.25 x 6 inches with a 16-inch shoulder drop.
  • This daypack’s durable versatek main body fabric is abrasion-resistant, durable, and can withstand regular use.
  • The padded back panel and adjustable shoulder straps provide maximum comfort, especially when the bag is filled with heavy objects such as electronic gadgets.
  • The interior organization features dual mesh pockets, as well as dual storage pockets.
  • The exterior of the daypack features two front zippered pockets where you can store loose change, tickets, and other trinkets.
  • The holes in the zipper are large enough to fit a standard lock for added security.
  • The patented multi-purpose zip-away side pocket is ideal for storing a water bottle or an umbrella.

Cons

  • The bag is actually not waterproof and the black material starts peeling off when the bag is not dried properly. As long as you don’t let it soak, however, the bag should be fine.
  • It does not really hold its shape and has a tendency to sag if it’s only partially full.
  • While the shoulder straps are adjustable, they can still be fairly long for short people.

Tumi Voyageur Halle Multipurpose Backpack

Tumi Voyageur Halle Multipurpose Backpack

Via Amazon.com


Pros

  • Weighing 2 pounds, this 13 x 10.75 inches daypack is the perfect size to fit in overhead baggage compartments and cabins.
  • This daypack is made of 100% nylon and synthetic lining to ensure durability.
  • Has heavy duty gold zipper that zips smoothly and quietly. The zippers are also well-placed and do not get caught in the lining.
  • Has front and back exterior pockets which are easily accessible and provides additional storage space.
  • The interior is organized with clear pockets and a nylon zip pouch.
  • The elegant leather trim and jewel-tone metallic hardware make for a very attractive design. In addition to being a great travel daypack, you can also use it as a book bag or an office bag.
  • There is a wide band at the back of the daypack so you can slip it over the handle extensions of your luggage.
  • Comes with distinctive but equally stylish ID tags.

Cons

  • Quite pricey compared to other popular daypacks of similar quality.
  • The bag can fit a tablet computer just fine, but most laptop computers will not fit inside. The most it can accommodate is a 14.5-inch laptop.
  • There is some padding on the shoulder straps, but not sufficiently thick to provide enough cushion if you are carrying a lot of heavy gadgets.


My Favorite Daypack

I usually switch among different bags when I travel, depending on where I’m going and what I’m planning to do. If I have to choose just one, however, it will be the Victorinox Luggage Altmont 3.0 Standard Backpack.

Victorinox Luggage Altmont 3.0 Standard Backpac

Via Amazon.com

I like how it’s lightweight and waterproof. I also like how it’s specifically designed to ensure maximum comfort even when carried the entire day. The exterior pockets for water bottles are a big plus for me as I like to keep hydrated when traveling.​

​Have a daypack to recommend? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to share this article if you enjoyed reading it!

About the Author

I'm Lily Evans and I’m here to share with you pieces of travel advice, as well as handy tips and tricks, which I have accumulated over years of travelling and exploring the globe.