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best travel daypack

Having the best travel daypack means everything. When you leave your house, get to the airport, fly, and arrive at your hotel, you need a strong and sturdy suitcase. But once you’re actually on holiday, it’s your daypack you’ll be relying on.

Your daypack can be something small for city holidays, or a large backpack if the need requires. Whatever kind of holiday you head out on, you need to have the best travel daypack with you. Something waterproof, strong, lightweight, and easily portable.

Whether you’re looking for the best hiking backpack for women or the best lightweight backpack for the city, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from here. But just before we explore your options, let’s consider what features you should be looking for.

Read next: 23 best bags for travel

How to find the best travel daypack

Comfort and size

Ask yourself where you’re going; what kind of terrain is it? What activities are you going to be doing? If it’s a city break with a lot of shopping and strolling, a practical rucksack is ideal. A standard 25 litre backpack is the best travel bag for Europe, if you’re mostly exploring the cities.

If you’re planning on spending your days hiking and exploring more rural areas, you’ll want a hiking backpack. Either way, you need to think about comfort. Daypacks and hiking backpacks all need plenty of padding for your back and shoulders, as well as adjustable straps. A daypack for city exploring should be around 25 litres: small, practical, easy to carry. But the best backpacking backpacks are around 45 litres. Anything bigger is for more hardcore long-term backpacking.

Utility

What are you going to be carrying? For a daypack it’s going to be things like electronics – maybe your laptop, tablet, Kindle, phone. And maybe food for the day and some water. A jacket? Scarf? Wallet and passport? To keep all these things separate, you’ll need to think about having a travel backpack with a few different compartments and pockets.

A side pocket for a water bottle; a large compartment for spare clothes; a smaller compartment for your phone and purse. The best travel daypack should do all of these things. So, consider what you’ll be carrying every day in your daypack, and shop accordingly!

Material

Is it waterproof? That should be your biggest question when it comes to material. You want something long-lasting, sturdy and strong, and most importantly waterproof. Not water-resistant; fully waterproof.

We’re always packing our most valuable and useful things into our travel backpack: phone, money, laptop, Kindle, etc. So, having your daypack be completely waterproof is an absolute must. That said, if you’re going to be in a place where the chance of rain is minimal, perhaps prioritise getting the best lightweight backpack instead.

Weight

Consider how much weight you’re comfortable with carrying, and how long you’ll have it on your back for each day. Choosing a lightweight backpack is essential for your comfort. 

Best backpack brands

Osprey

Osprey is the most famous backpack brand. They specialise in long-lasting backpacks and hiking bags with a lifetime guarantee. Buying an Osprey is like mating for life. They’re expensive but they last forever; they’re usually waterproof and super lightweight. The all-round favourite of all the backpack brands.

Haglöfs

Haglöfs are hardcore backpacking clothes and bags for hardcore backpackers. They’re one of the backpack brands that’s praised for delivering high quality products consistently. Their smaller daypacks are very reasonably priced, while their large backpacks for hiking are on par with Osprey. Not cheap but built to last.

The North Face

North Face are renowned for their waterproof products: jackets, backpacks, messenger bags, you name it. They’re very reasonably priced and well built. They’re perhaps not quite as long-lasting as Osprey bags, and they typically deliver more on smaller daypacks than large backpacks, but they are perfect waterproof bags.

Deuter

Deuter specialise in the best backpacking backpacks and hiking backpacks. They don’t offer many smaller daypacks: it’s about semi-professional hiking bags with all the best technology. They’re also very reasonably priced; amazing quality for that price, as well!

For the city

City bags put fashion and design before anything else. They’re meant to be enjoyed as a fashion accessory in stylish cities like New York, Paris, and London, while also keeping all of your things safe and secure at all times.

Herschell Little America
This stunning backpack is the best travel daypack for the variety of colours and styles available. It’s perfectly sized and ideal as the best carry-on backpack.

Buy from Amazon

Timbuk2 Uptown
This is a small and practical daypack with a lot of space and very strong material. For its size and practicality, it’s the best travel bag for Europe if you’re a city-explorer.

Buy from Amazon

Fjallraven
A perfectly sized and balanced everyday bag that’s perfect for city travel. If you’re planning on simply exploring the town day-to-day, a small bag like this is exactly what you need.

Buy from Amazon

For hiking

Hiking bags put function ahead of fashion. They’re designed to be safe, sturdy, secure, and able to withstand a bit of abuse and poor weather. When you’re hiking, you want your things kept safe after all.

Haglöfs Vide Medium
A sturdy backpack that’s perfect for a daily hike. It’s strong and safe enough to carry everything you need for a day’s hike up a mountain. I’ve got one of these and I’m very happy with it.

Buy from Amazon

Hikpro
As the name suggests, this is a professional hiking backpack. Small and very comfortable; perfectly balanced and supportive. The best backpack for backpacking Europe? Maybe.

Buy from Amazon

Osprey light daypack
Or maybe this Osprey backpack is even better! One of the best backpacking backpacks for its size, this sturdy and compact bag comes in multiple colours and is ultra-comfortable and supportive.

Buy from Amazon

North Face Jester backpack
The best travel daypack for women is lightweight and reliably strong, and this North Face bag ticks off every one of these requirements! I’ve got this one too, and hiked with it several times.

Buy from Amazon

Deuter Airlite 22
As I’ve mentioned, Deuter backpacks are sturdy and professional. They’re the most comfortable backpacks on the market, and this one in particular is no exception.

Buy from Amazon

Packable daypacks

If you don’t want to use your daypack all the time, a foldable bag might be ideal for you. It’s a bag that can be folded away and put in your luggage; then taken out when it’s needed, depending on the day and what you’re up to. They can fold away to nothing.

Zomake
The best thing about this particular bag, apart from it being so small and foldable, is that it’s completely waterproof, making this one of the most practical daypacks around.

Buy from Amazon

Outlander
A simple and very affordable daypack that comes in a huge range of colours. Practical, water-resistant, and easy to fold and pack away.

Buy from Amazon

Venture Pal
So many colours to choose from! This is a perfectly sized backpacking backpack that can hold everything you need.

Buy from Amazon

Gonex
This multi-purpose backpack is both thin and sturdy, made from tough materials and designed with practicality in mind.

Buy from Amazon

Best lightweight backpack

A lightweight backpack is the definition of a daypack. Something that is portable, big enough to carry your essentials, light enough to have with you on a long day out and can be easily stored. They’re the ideal daypacks that balance fashion with function and design.

Sea to summit
This bag weighs next to nothing and yet can carry everything you need for a hike or a day trip. Simple and strong; your ideal backpacking daypack.

Buy from Amazon

Osprey ultralight stuff pack
It’s Osprey so you know it’s built to last. And yet it’s also light as a feather and big enough to hold all your necessary items. The best travel daypack for its size and weight.

Buy from Amazon

Naturehike
This is another simple and practical daypack that offers so much for its low price tag. It’s not super fashionable, but it is perfectly practical and ideal for a day’s hike.

Buy from Amazon

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Need a little help finding the best travel daypacks? Get the ultimate guide to finding the best daypacks for travel no matter where in the world you're traveling. #travelbags