20 Best Travel Daypacks of 2024

You’re spoiled for choice when looking for the best travel daypack. These 18 options will help you navigate any adventure.

Looking for a new daypack to carry your gear in comfort and style? With hundreds of options out there, it can be difficult to sift through all the mediocre products to find the best travel daypack for you.

Your daypack will be your constant companion while you travel, so it’s essential to pick one that is comfortable, functional, and durable.

I’ve dug through the details on dozens of different packs and put them to the test in the real world. Read on for my picks of the best daypacks for travel across a wide range of categories. Whether you need a pack for hitting the trail, traveling the world, or commuting to work, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

  1. 2
    Moment MTW 17L Daypack

    Best Daypack Overall

    Moment MTW 17L Daypack

    • Sleek, minimal design
    • Compact size
    • Smart accessibility features
  2. 3
    REI Co-op Flash 18 Pack

    Most Affordable Daypack

    REI Co-op Flash 18 Pack

    • Great hiking daypack
    • Price
    • Functionality
  3. 4
    Osprey Daylite

    Best Lightweight Daypack

    Osprey Daylite

    • Very large lugs for wet/soft terrain
    • Designed for excellent comfort
    • Great for mud
    • Very comfortable
  4. 5
    Timbuk2 Parker Commuter

    Best Commuting Backpack

    Timbuk2 Parker Commuter

    • Tons of exterior pockets and organization
    • Great durability and lifetime guaranty
    • Professional style
    • Expandable storage space
  5. 6
    NOMATIC Backpack

    Best Laptop Backpack

    NOMATIC Backpack

    • Sleek minimalist style
    • Fantastic organization
    • Weather-resistant construction
    • Expandable main compartment
  6. 7
    WANDRD PRVKE

    Best Camera Daypack

    WANDRD PRVKE

    • Fantastic organization for camera gear
    • Tons of pockets
    • Great versatility with removable camera padding
    • Lifetime guarantee
    • Plenty of storage space
  7. 8
    Osprey Talon 22

    Best Hiking Daypack

    Osprey Talon 22

    • Protected by Osprey’s powerful warranty
    • Great comfort and durability
    • Top pick for hikers
  8. 9
    Osprey Arcane

    Most Versatile Daypack

    Osprey Arcane

    • Ready for almost anything
    • Recycled materials
    • Simple, intelligent features
  9. 10
    Able Carry Daily Plus

    Best Daypack for Travel in Europe

    Able Carry Daily Plus

    • Excellent fit and comfort
    • Tons of organization pockets
    • Easy-access exterior pockets
  10. 11
    Rains Backpack

    Best Waterproof Daypack

    Rains Backpack

    • Fully waterproof material
    • Stylish design
    • Great build quality and durability
  11. 12
    Timbuk2 WMN Never Check Day Backpack

    Best Women’s Daypack

    Timbuk2 WMN Never Check Day Backpack

    • Perfect fit for smaller women
    • Great water resistance
    • Compact size
  12. 13
    Bellroy Venture Ready

    Best Men's Daypack

    Bellroy Venture Ready

    • Intelligent design features
    • Comfortable pack panel and shoulder straps
    • Awesome versatility
  13. 14
    Mission Workshop Rhake

    Best Tactical Daypack

    Mission Workshop Rhake

    • Premium build quality
    • Made in the USA
    • Tons of well-designed organization for packing essentials
  14. 15
    Fjallraven Kanken Classic

    Best Daypack for a Classic Backpack Style

    Fjallraven Kanken Classic

    • Stylish design
    • Very sturdy
    • Versatile
  15. 16
    Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack

    Best Packable Daypack

    Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack

    • Packs down to almost nothing
    • One of the lightest daypacks on the market
  16. 17
    Matador Freerain24 Backpack

    Best Packable Waterproof Daypack

    Matador Freerain24 Backpack

    • Accessible roll-top design
    • Waterproof
    • Lightweight
    • Great for trails
  17. 18
    Cotopaxi Batac 16L

    Most Eco-Friendly Daypack

    Cotopaxi Batac 16L

    • Cool colors
    • Each bag is unique
    • Great functionality for a day out
  18. 19
    Stubble & Co Roll Top Mini

    Best Roll Top Daypack

    Stubble & Co Roll Top Mini

    • Excellent water repellency
    • Sleek, intuitive design
    • Secure and functional 16" laptop sleeve
  19. 20
    Kodiak Katmai

    Best Leather Daypack

    Kodiak Katmai

    • Beautiful real-leather style
    • Great organizing pockets
    • Durable materials and construction
  20. 21
    Pacsafe Eco 18L

    Best Anti-Theft Daypack

    Pacsafe Eco 18L

    • Slash-proof material and straps
    • Gives lots of peace of mind
    • Comfortable shoulder straps
1

Moment MTW 17L Daypack: Best Daypack Overall

Moment MTW Backpack

Moment started on Kickstarter with photography accessories and gear for smartphones. Now they’ve grown into a full-fledged marketplace for adventurous creatives.

Moment’s brand ethos is all about slowing down to find and savor real experiences. Their products are thoughtful, dialed-in, and minimalist, and are intended to let you focus less on your gear and more on what’s around you.

The Moment MTW 17L Daypack is a beautiful travel daypack with honed-in details, tasteful styling, and just the right amount of space (or lack thereof) in the main compartment for minimalist travelers and commuters.

At first glance, this bag is sleek, streamlined, and minimalist. No unnecessary straps, buckles, or zippers here to mess with the aesthetic. Seriously, this bag is stunning!

That clean, understated look conceals an array of functional and well-thought-out organization features. You get an exterior pocket for water bottles, side zip access that makes it easy to reach your gear, a padded laptop sleeve that fits up to a 16-inch screen, and a fantastic array of organizational pockets. This bag is ready for whatever you’re bringing with you.

With its stylish design and streamlined build, this is definitely a pack oriented to urban travel and commuting. While it works as a hiking pack, if you’ll be spending a lot of time on the trail, you may want to look at something built more for that purpose.

The exterior is made of a recycled, water-resistant Cordura fabric. Combined with low-profile padding, you can be sure your belongings will be protected in this bag. Want a little more space? The MTW is also available in a 21L version that gets you more volume.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Sleek, minimal design
  • Compact size
  • Smart accessibility features
  • Limited exterior pockets
  • Heavy for a daypack
  • No hip belt
Capacity17 L
Weight28 oz
Material600D Nylon
Price$$
2

REI Co-op Flash 18 Pack: Most Affordable Daypack

REI Co-Op Flash 18

This hiking and travel daypack has been for sale in various iterations since the mid-2000s and has never failed travelers and hikers looking for a solid travel daypack at a reasonable price.

The REI Co-op Flash 18 Pack has an 18 L capacity, which puts it in the middle of the range for daypack size. At 9 oz, it’s lightweight, and the frameless build also makes this daypack quite compact; it can roll up to about the size of a softball. This makes it the perfect companion on a long trek when you want to do a quick side trail. Its ripstop nylon build makes it tough and durable.

Where this day bag can really shine is in its simple functionality. It gives you everything you need without any unnecessary frills. It has one spacious main compartment that closes with a drawstring. There are no zippers to snag. You don’t get much in terms of organization, but for a simple bag on your back, it works really well.

There aren’t padded shoulder straps, which isn’t ideal for carrying heavier loads, but that’s not the purpose of this bag. As long as you aren’t overloading it, this simple daypack is actually surprisingly comfortable.

Overall, this is one of the best-value travel daypacks you can find. With its minimalist design and lightweight construction, this packable daypack is a fantastic option for hikers, but probably not the best choice for city travelers or commuters who may benefit from more organization.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Great daypack for hiking
  • Price
  • Lighter than traditional backpacks
  • Easily packable bag stows away for storage
  • Mesh shoulder straps aren't padded
  • Not good for cities
Capacity18 L
Weight9 oz
MaterialRipstop Nylon
Price$
3

Osprey Daylite: Best Lightweight Daypack

Osprey Daylite

Osprey is a huge name in the backpack world, and as someone who took one of the company’s 65L backpacks around the world, I can say they’re one of my favorite backpack brands on the planet.

Osprey’s Daylite bags were originally designed to attach to the back of some of the company’s larger travel backpacks to make them a convenient option for world travelers, but thanks to their popularity, they are now sold separately as well.

At just 13L, this is one of the smaller daypacks on the market. If you need a lot of space, you’ll probably want something different, but the compact size is perfect for people who are always on the go.

Comfort is where this travel daypack really shines. There’s plenty of padding on the back and shoulders, and the shoulder straps wrap comfortably around your back. You won’t feel weighed down by this bag on all-day hikes.

There are a bunch of extra pockets on this packable daypack, most importantly the water bladder pocket common to all Osprey bags, which is also a convenient size for a laptop or tablet. There are zippered compartments on the interior and exterior for keeping small items in place and accessible.

There are stretchy mesh water bottle pockets on the side, but they’re a bit tight for larger bottles. On a pack that’s otherwise great pack for hiking, I’d love to see bigger side pockets.

Put simply, Osprey backpacks are popular for a reason. They are comfy, and the Daylite offers a lot of pack for your money.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Protected by Osprey's robust warranty 
  • Comfy shoulder straps
  • Compatible with other Osprey travel backpack systems
  • Compression straps help cinch down the pack
  • Lower capacity
  • Small bottle pockets
Capacity13 L
Weight16 oz
Weight30D Cordura
Price$
4

Timbuk2 Parker Commuter: Best Commuting Backpack

Timbuk2 Parker Commuter

Timbuk2 is a growing modern lifestyle brand that focuses on building sleek packs and bags for urban nomads. Their products are perfect for people who are always on the go.

A good commuting bag needs to focus on the essentials: a protective laptop sleeve, smart organization, and durability to survive your daily grind.

The Timbuk2 Parker Commuter is a travel daypack designed specifically for urban commuters, and it shows.

The first thing you notice about the bag is the abundance of pockets to keep all your gear organized and accessible. There are three (yes three!) zippered exterior pockets, stretchy bottle pockets on the side, a side- or top-access laptop sleeve, and more pockets on the inside.

You definitely won’t be running out of places to put things in this bag.

This bag has a clever expandable backpack design that lets you compress it down or open up more volume when you have more to carry.

You also get an integrated zip-away rain cover to keep your stuff dry when the heavens open up.

The Parker Commuter manages to offer all these features without looking cluttered or “tactical.” It has a clean, professional style that fits right in anywhere, from the office to the airport to just cruising around town.

It’s not perfect though. The laptop sleeve only fits up to 15″ screens, so if you have a big 17″ work computer, it probably won’t work. It’s also quite heavy at almost 4 lbs. This won’t be a huge issue for most people, but if you bike to work or have a long walk, you may want a lighter bag.

This everyday backpack definitely isn’t meant for hiking or other outdoor adventures, so it’s not really the best travel daypack for doing everything. If you want a dedicated daily driver for city commuting, though, it’s hard to beat.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Tons of exterior pockets and organization
  • Great durability and lifetime guaranty
  • Professional style
  • Expandable storage space
  • Heavy
  • Organization may be overkill for some
  • Sadly, it only comes in black
Capacity26 L
Weight61 oz
MaterialCoated nylon
Price$$$
5

NOMATIC Backpack: Best Laptop Backpack

Nomatic Camera Backpack

NOMATIC is a modern lifestyle and travel brand that aims to build products that look sleek and stylish while staying incredibly functional. Their packs and bags are designed for travel and everyday use in an urban environment.

Whether you’re commuting to work or cruising around campus, you need a durable and functional backpack that will carry your gear in style. The NOMATIC Backpack is perfect for anyone looking for a backpack with understated styling and uncompromising utility. It really is one of the best laptop backpacks out there.

The external of this pack is very simple and streamlined. There aren’t lots of unnecessary straps, zippers, and pockets, so it looks very clean and sleek. With a combination of waterproof fabric and coated zippers, the exterior is also very rain-resistant.

Inside the main compartment you get a ton of pockets and compartments to keep everything organized. There is a padded laptop compartment, a padded sleeve for a tablet, and a document sleeve, along with lots of small pockets for keeping items like charging cords, a phone, and sunglasses. The pack also has lockable zippers to keep it secure while traveling. In all there are 20 different compartments, so it’s easy to stay organized and have a place for everything.

The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink design comes at a weight cost though. This bag weighs a hefty 4 lbs. That’s heavier than most travel backpacks, so if carrying less is important to you, you may want to look elsewhere.

If you want the most organized pack possible, though, the NOMATIC Backpack has you covered with a design that’s optimized for urban travelers.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Sleek minimalist style
  • Large compartment for a laptop
  • Fantastic organization
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • Expandable main compartment
  • Heavy
  • Only one color (black)
  • No good water bottle pockets
Capacity20 L up to 24 L expanded
Weight64 oz
MaterialFace-coated nylon/polyester blend
Price$$$
6

WANDRD PRVKE: Best Camera Daypack

WANDRD PRVKE 41

WANDRD was started by two brothers who couldn’t find a quality camera bag that both functioned well and looked good. They set out to make their own camera bags for photographers who travel and explore the world.

A good camera daypack needs to be protective, offer fantastic organization, and make it easy to access your camera on the go. It also shouldn’t compromise on standard daypack requirements like comfort and durability.

The WANDRD PRVKE is their original camera backpack that started it all, though it’s been through many iterations. This bag was designed to work better than anything on the market while still delivering style and comfort.

It all centers around the camera compartment, which is padded and very protective for your expensive photography gear. The pack comes with an array of removable dividers that you can configure to hold your camera, lenses, and other accessories.

The best thing about the camera storage is its easy accessibility. There is a wide-opening zippered flap on the front of the pack that gives you access to everything inside, and a zippered side opening makes it easy to grab your camera on the go—perfect for getting those unexpected shots.

The entire camera protection system is also removable. This adds a ton of versatility and means you aren’t limited to using this bag as a camera bag only. Remove the padded camera storage, and you have a spacious everyday or travel daypack.

The downside is that you have to pay extra to have the padded camera cube included with the bag. It’s an expensive pack as it is, and the price with the full photography bundle is very high.

It seems like they’ve thought of everything with this camera daypack, and the design is top-notch. The high price puts it out of reach for many people, but for serious photographers, this is the bag to get.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Fantastic organization for camera gear
  • Tons of pockets
  • Great versatility with removable camera padding
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Expensive
  • More complicated than most people will need
Capacity21 L (31 L and 41 L also available)
Weight2.8 lbs
MaterialWaterproof tarpaulin and 1680D ballistic nylon
Price$$$
7

Osprey Talon 22: Best Hiking Daypack

Osprey Talon 22

This hiking and travel backpack from Osprey has been lauded for its all-around utility and excellence, which you will find useful on the trail in just about any situation you come across.

The Osprey Talon 22 has been built with comfort as a first priority. This is a massive benefit for long days on the trail.

The form-hugging shape is designed to complement your body and distribute the weight of your gear evenly. It also has an aluminum frame to maintain that weight spread and make the backpack sturdier without weighing it down excessively.

This Osprey daypack clocks in at 1 lb 13 oz, with an alternative for smaller torsos weighing 1 lb 5 oz. This isn’t a lightweight bag, but the supportive frame, hipbelt, and padded shoulder straps make it much more comfortable than a lighter pack.

There’s an aerated padding system on the back to keep you well-cushioned and less sweaty. The nicely padded shoulder straps are very comfortable, and the system of internal supports means that weight is effectively transferred to the hip and chest straps instead of being totally on the shoulders. The side compression straps also help cinch this bag closer to your body to balance the weight.

There are three zippered compartments on the outside, some small, easy-access pockets on the chest and hip straps, two water bottle pockets, a large stretchy jacket pocket, compression straps, and a pocket on the back for a water bladder to use this as a hydration pack.

The only drawback I can think of for this bag is that it isn’t waterproof. If that’s a key concern for you, I would look into getting a rain cover for the bag before writing it off entirely. For any other situation, if it’s outdoors, this is the bag for you. Take it on a day hike, climbing trip, or mountain bike ride. This is the best travel daypack for outdoor adventure.

Click here to check out my full Osprey Talon review.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Protected by Osprey’s powerful warranty
  • Great comfort and durability
  • Top pick for hikers
  • Great range of zipper pockets
  • Compression straps to secure your load
  • Works as a hydration pack for hiking, biking, and more
  • Doesn't come with rain cover
  • Pricey (but worth it)
  • Not good for commuters
Capacity22 L
Weight1 lb 13 oz
Material70-100D Nylon
Price$$
8

Osprey Arcane: Most Versatile Daypack

Osprey Arcane Roll-Top

We talk a lot about Osprey on TravelFreak, and it’s because they build seriously good packs. Between their emphasis on innovative carrying systems and their lifetime guarantee, it really is hard to go wrong with an Osprey bag.

So far this list has focused mostly on daypacks built for very specific purposes. The Osprey Arcane breaks that trend with a design that works for a little bit of everything. This simple and stylish backpack is meant for everyday use, and with a padded sleeve for a laptop, accessible exterior pockets, and a streamlined design, it’s ready for the office, the gym, and everywhere in between.

The carrying system has a lot of carry-over from Osprey’s dedicated hiking packs, and it’s plenty comfortable for all-day use. Although it’s not marketed as a hiking pack, it will work very well for casual day hikes. The front jacket pocket, side bottle pocket, and waterproof roll-top closure are great features for hiking.

The Osprey Arcane even works great as a travel daypack for trips around the world!

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Ready for almost anything
  • Recycled materials
  • Simple, intelligent features
  • No sternum strap or hip belt
  • Only one bottle pocket
Capacity22 L
Weight26 oz
MaterialRecycled polyester
Price$$
9

Able Carry Daily Plus: Best Daypack for Travel in Europe

Able Carry Daily Plus

Able Carry has a straightforward brand mission to “engineer the best everyday bags to supercharge your day.” They aim to do this by creating functional, durable designs that prioritize fit and performance for adventurous travelers.

I love that Able Carry puts so much focus on fit and comfort. It’s easy to geek out about features, materials, and organization, but in the end, if a bag is not comfortable, it isn’t going to work well for you.

If you’re planning a trip around Europe, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time with your backpack on your shoulders. Fit becomes even more important, and you need something that can take you from airports to train stations to the streets with ease.

The Able Carry Daily Plus is a bomber, reliable daypack that will stand up to the wear and tear of travel. It is designed to be comfortable and supportive even with heavier loads, so it’s perfect for longer trips.

This backpack has a somewhat tactical aesthetic that may not appeal to everyone, but it is definitely functional.

The main shell is made from X-Pac laminate fabric. This fabric uses multiple layers to get a unique blend of performance. The outer layer is a durable nylon, then there is a ripstop x-grid that adds structure and tear resistance, then a waterproof film, and finally a thinner fabric on the inside to protect the waterproof layer.

X-Pac is commonly used in high-end backpacking gear, so you can expect impressive performance from this fabric. It is tough, entirely waterproof, and should last a long time.

The interior organization of this bag is impressive. In the main compartment, it has a padded laptop sleeve and tons of internal pockets for keeping everything neat and accessible.

You also get good exterior pockets, including a concealed bottle pocket that zips closed to maintain the clean aesthetic. I personally like having my water bottle easily accessible at all times, but you may prefer this system.

The Able Carry Daily Plus is a well-built bag that is supportive and comfortable enough for longer trips and heavier loads.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Excellent fit and comfort
  • Highly water-resistant, so there's no need for add-on rain cover
  • Easy-access exterior pockets
  • Spacious main compartment for all your travel gear
  • High-quality materials
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Lacks external mesh pockets
Capacity21 L
Weight41.6 oz
MaterialX-Pac Laminate Fabric
Price$$$
10

Rains Backpack: Best Waterproof Daypack

Rains Waterproof Backpack

Rains is a modern lifestyle brand that specializes in rainwear and waterproof daypacks for city use. Their packs use the same signature waterproof PU fabric as their rain jackets for fully weatherproof performance.

The Rains Backpack is a simple, streamlined design that combines elegant, minimalist styling with impressive water resistance.

This little daypack keeps it simple with a flap-opening main compartment, a single internal zip pocket, and a single external zip pocket on the back panel. This exterior pocket is great for keeping items like phones secure since it’s right next to your back.

The big thing that’s missing for me are side pockets for bottles. It really doesn’t make sense to put a bottle inside the main compartment, and I’m not sure why they left this feature out.

Some people may prefer having more pockets in general, but there’s definitely something to be said for simplicity. Less stitching also means better water resistance.

The shoulder straps are thin and not my favorite. They work fine as you’re carrying light loads, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to wear this packable daypack all day. For commuting or quick jaunts around town or across campus, it’s not a problem though.

Overall, this is a great option for a stylish day-to-day bag that offers waterproof performance. If you’re looking for waterproof daypacks that are more hiking and outdoor-oriented, the Matador Freerain24 on this list is another great waterproof option.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Fully waterproof material
  • Stylish design
  • Great build quality and durability
  • Small capacity
  • Thin shoulder straps
  • Fewer pockets than other daypacks
Capacity13 L
Weight35 oz
MaterialPolyester with PU coating
Price$$
11

Timbuk2 WMN Never Check Day Backpack: Best Women’s Daypack

Timbuk2 WMN Never Check Day Backpack

This is the second Timbuk2 bag on this list—and for good reason.

They pride themselves on building products with legendary durability, and they stand behind their bags with a lifetime warranty and repair services. They even sell a full range of replacement parts, from buckles to luggage wheels, so you can do DIY repairs to keep your bag going the distance.

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many backpacks out there designed specifically for women’s frames. That means you often have to compromise with a bag that is either uncomfortable, or lacking in features, functionality, and quality.

The Timbuk2 WMN Never Check is a perfect daypack if you’re petite woman who has struggled to find a backpack that fits right. The compact size, tailored fit, and impressive array of features mean you don’t have to compromise on anything.

This bag is small, with just 13L of interior space, but it has fantastic organization that makes it easy to bring everything you need day-to-day. The padded laptop sleeve, inner dividers, and exterior zippered pocket keep your belongings organized and easy to access.

The backpack is built with a high-denier water-resistant fabric that will stand up to a lot of abuse. Paired with waterproof zippers, this exterior protects your belongings from splashes or unexpected downpours.

For women looking for a stylish, well-fitting travel daypack that still offers maximum durability and functionality, this backpack is a fantastic choice.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Perfect fit for smaller women
  • Great water resistance
  • Compact size
  • Built-in luggage strap to secure pack to rolling luggage
  • Only one color option
  • Limited storage
Capacity13 L
Weight32 oz
MaterialWater-Resistant Nylon
Price$$$
12

Bellroy Venture Ready: Best Men's Daypack

Bellroy Venture Ready

Bellroy is dedicated to building packs and bags that have a positive impact on the world. They are a certified B-corp, and put a lot of emphasis on using renewable and recycled materials.

They also just build stunning, highly-functional products.

For a men’s daypack, you want something streamlined, durable, and versatile enough to do everything you need. The Bellroy Venture Ready is a capable pack that can carry your laptop to work, a change of clothes to the gym, and your gear for a hike.

It’s obvious that ease-of-use was a high priority when this pack was designed. The wide zipper opening makes it super easy to get into the main compartment, there are plenty of easy-access zippered pockets for organization, and stretchy pockets on the side can hold your water bottles.

I love that the designers paid close attention to little details, like the clever interior pocket that can be opened without spilling stuff out in any position.

The styling of this pack is spot-on, with just the right balance of rugged and sophisticated. It looks at home in the office, on the streets, or out on the trail.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Intelligent design features
  • Comfortable pack panel and shoulder straps
  • Awesome versatility
  • Expensive
  • Only one water bottle pocket
Capacity26 L
Weight33.7 oz
Material100% recycled nylon
Price$$$
13

Mission Workshop Rhake: Best Tactical Daypack

Mission Workshop Rhake

Looking for a pack that is loaded with features and is constructed like a tank? Mission Workshop has a range of bombproof packs that use high-tech materials and incorporate smart design.

If any daypack is ready to survive the apocalypse, the Mission Workshop Rhake is it. It is built tough in the USA, is totally weatherproof, and has all the organization you could wish for. Sound too good to be true? Well, it comes at a cost. This bag has a price tag that’s more than triple most of the daypacks on this list.

It is built of X-Pac, a 4-layer material that was originally designed for yacht sails, but also works great for packs because of its durability and waterproofness. You can count on this bag to keep your gear dry in downpours.

A highlight of this bag is its incredible organization system. It has tons of zippered interior and exterior pockets designed to hold your phone, keys, tablet, sunglasses, cables, laptop, and more. Seriously, there’s no way you’ll run out of pocket on this thing.

The Mission Workshop Rhake isn’t for everyone—it’s a bit heavy, very expensive, and overkill for most people. If you want a tactical backpack that has every feature you could wish for and incredible build quality, it’s worth checking out.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Premium build quality
  • Made in the USA
  • Tons of well-designed organization for packing essentials
  • Very expensive
  • Heavy for a daypack
Capacity22 L
Weight50 oz
MaterialX-Pac VX21 or HT500 Cordura
Price$$$$
14

Fjallraven Kanken Classic: Best Daypack for a Classic Backpack Style

Fjallraven Kanken Classic

You’ve probably already seen this iconic but unpronounceable name adorning travelers’ backs almost everywhere in the world. There is a reason for its popularity: it is an excellent travel daypack. (Also, it’s pronounced fyell, reven if you were wondering!)

The styling of the Fjallraven Kanken Classic makes this everyday backpack stand out. It’s clean, simple rectangular design gives this bag a timeless look that’s hard not to love.

It’s not just about the looks though. This is a very well-built and durable travel daypack. The main pack material is made from vinylon F, a synthetic fiber that behaves like many natural fibers. When it gets wet, the fibers expand, naturally sealing out water without the need for chemical coating. This is also a very durable, hard-wearing fabric.

At 13 L this is a smaller packable daypack, but its easily packable shape will surprise you with how much it can fit in the main compartment. The external zippered pocket is great for keeping small essentials within easy access.

While there are pockets on the sides, they are too small to really be used for bottles, so that’s one downside to consider.

I’d also love to see padded mesh shoulder straps, though that may interfere with the aesthetic. The simple webbing straps you get on this bag look good, but they can dig into your shoulders on long days.

Another drawback in my mind is security. With the lack of an inner zippered pocket , I don’t see this as a very secure place for your valuables. Besides that, this is an excellent travel daypack that I highly recommend.

And of course, we can’t forget that beautiful Scandinavian aesthetic—utilitarian, but with a timeless style. I don’t think you could find a more stylish travel daypack if you tried.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Stylish design
  • Very sturdy
  • Versatile travel daypack
  • Lower security for your things 
  • Price
  • No real water side pockets for bottles
  • No hip belt
Capacity13 L
Weight10.5 oz
MaterialPolypropylene
Price$$
15

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack: Best Packable Daypack

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil

This offering from Sea to Summit is aimed at the traveling hikers out there. With its form-hugging shape, spartan aesthetics, and ultra-lightweight compact design, this is a packable daypack designed for the trail.

This bag is very focused on its purpose as a secondary smaller daypack for backpackers on longer treks or minimal travelers touring the globe. It’s meant to stash inside your main bag until you get to camp or to the hotel. Then you can whip it out for fast-and-light side trail hikes or day trips in a new city.

For it’s intended purpose, there’s nothing like it, but if you want a nice all-around daypack, it is probably too minimal for most people.

One of the first things you’ll see on the product photos for this Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack is a tennis-ball sized sack attached to a keychain—that’s how compact this thing is. It weighs in at a frankly extraordinary 2.5 oz. I’m pretty sure I own socks that are heavier than that! It’s all made of water-resistant nylon material, and with a 20 L capacity, you can fit a fair bit in there.

On the comfort and convenience side, there isn’t a lot to talk about in this packable bag. There are no extra straps, no pockets beside the one main pocket, no padding on the shoulder straps, and no side pockets. It’s not weatherproof, although the bottom is water-resistant.

This is a purpose-built packable daypack that’s meant to be as light and compact as possible, so you sacrifice some comfort and convenience.

Basically, this bag is a straight shooter. It’s light and compact and that’s what it does best. If you are hitting summits or thru-hikes and want to shed as much weight as possible, this is the best packable daypack you can buy.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Packs down to almost nothing
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Great daypack to store in a main bag
  • Spacious compartment for such a lightweight bag
  • Not very durable
  • No padding 
  • No external storage
Capacity20 L
Weight2.5 oz
MaterialSiliconized Cordura
Price$
16

Matador Freerain24 Backpack: Best Packable Waterproof Daypack

Matador Freerain24

This is another light, packable daypack that will work well for travelers who like to hike. It is a little heavier than the Ultra-Sil, but that extra weight comes with extra functionality that some travelers might find useful.

First and foremost, this daypack is packable! It rolls down into a pouch that you can easily throw into your main bag. On top of that the Matador Freerain 24 is a completely waterproof backpack. This is a huge selling point of the bag!

The bag is very light at 5.5 oz, but with 24 L of space, it’s still plenty big enough for your travel gear.

Comfort-wise, given that this is a lightweight, packable daypack, there is not much in the way of padding. The shoulder straps are made of a lightweight breathable mesh, and they’re well-shaped. As long as you aren’t carrying heavy loads, it should be comfortable enough.

Overall, this is a great compressible daypack if you want a waterproof, lightweight, and packable daypack but don’t want it stripped down to the bone.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Accessible roll-top design
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Great for day trips on trails
  • No padding 
  • Not good for commuters 
  • Small water bottle pocket
Capacity24 L
Weight5.5 oz
Material30D Cordura
Price$$
17

Cotopaxi Batac 16L: Most Eco-Friendly Daypack

Cotopaxi

I have never seen a packable daypack quite like this one. Trust me: No one else will ever have one quite like yours! That’s because the Batac 16L daypack—part of the Del Dia range from Cotopaxi—are all crafted from recycled scraps and cutoffs leftover from creating other products. That makes this one of the most eco-friendly daypacks on the market.

And they don’t stick to a single-color scheme. Scraps that match the right material specifications are stitched together in a color riot to make a series of unique bags that help Cotopaxi cut down on waste. The bags’ sales page literally has a photo gallery of different examples of individual bags that have been made. A fantastic innovation if you ask me!

At 16L, this is one of the smaller daypacks on the market. It has a long rectangular shape that makes it easy to pack and make use of the small space. The materials are mesh and nylon, which make it very light and compact. This backpack folds into its own pocket so you can throw it in your suitcase without taking up extra room.

It has an easy-access zippered pocket reachable from the outside and an internal sleeve divider that can fit a laptop or water bladder.

One major downside of this packable backpack is that the mesh pockets on the sides of the bag are not really suitable for larger water bottles such as Nalgenes. Depending on the water bottle you use, you may look for a bag with a bigger mesh pocket on the side.

As for comfort, the thin shoulder straps on this packable daypack don’t have a ton of padding, and there’s no hip belt, which could be a concern for some. That said, this bag will likely not be carrying a massive amount of weight unless you’re carrying a lot of water.

There is an adjustable sternum strap for a bit of extra support in the front. The shoulder straps hug the body well and have plenty of room for adjustment.

Overall, if you’re after the best small packable daypack that combines the basics of functionality with the funkiest look, this is the ultimate daypack for you. It would do well on a day trip, a commute, or a short hike.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Cool colors
  • Each bag is unique
  • Great functionality for a day out
  • Compact compressible daypack for easy storage
  • Convenient internal pocket
  • Not weatherproof
  • Not much padding
Capacity16 L
Weight12 oz
Material75-210D Nylon
18

Stubble & Co Roll Top Mini: Best Roll Top Daypack

Stubble & Co Roll Top Mini

Stubble & Co’s Roll Top Backpack blends sleek minimalism, functionality, and intuitive design.

The roll-top access is a unique feature that I’ve loved having on this backpack. The G clip ensures quick and secure access perfect for travel, and this expandable backpack can add extra room with the roll top for longer trips.

Its 20L capacity can accommodate all your daily essentials, electronics, and more—great for digital nomads like myself!

The padded sleeve for a laptop is accessed externally from the back panel, which I love. You don’t have to reach inside the bag and move things around to get to your computer! It is also very secure, because the laptop is closest to your body and nearly impossible to pickpocket.

Two side pockets offer external space for water bottles, snacks, sunglasses and other small essentials. There is even a small zippered pocket flush with the front of the bag for easy access to things like documents, credit cards and keys.

The interior pocket helps keep you organized while still offering a spacious main compartment for bulkier items.

With padded shoulder straps and an adjustable sternum strap for optimal weight-bearing, I haven’t experienced any discomfort while wearing this backpack for several hours at a time.

Made from water-repellent recycled materials, this is a perfect roll-top daypack for those on the go!

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Excellent water repellency
  • Sleek, intuitive design
  • Secure and functional 16" laptop sleeve
  • Heavier than many other packs
Capacity20 L
Weight1.9 lbs
Material600D Recycled PET
Price$$$
19

Kodiak Katmai: Best Leather Daypack

Kodiak Katmai Leather Backpack

Kodiak Leather is a brand that’s been making a name for itself with premium-quality leather packs, bags, purses, and wallets that come in at an approachable price.

The Kodiak Katmai is a beautiful leather daypack that is designed for all-around everyday use. It is built with high-quality top-grain leather and has a timeless style that will only improve as you use it.

I love the feel of good, quality leather, and this bag is definitely well-built. It should handle the wear and tear of everyday use without any problems. Just be aware that, as a leather product, it will require some additional care to keep it in top condition.

While this pack has an internal sleeve on the back, it isn’t really padded, so I definitely wouldn’t use it as a laptop bag. But overall, the Kodiak Katmai is a great pack for anyone who loves the timeless style of quality leather gear.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Beautiful real-leather style
  • Great organizing pockets
  • Durable materials and construction
  • Smaller capacity
  • Leather requires more care than other materials
Capacity16 L
Weight3.5 lbs
MaterialTop-grain cowhide leather
Price$$$
20

Pacsafe Eco 18L: Best Anti-Theft Daypack

Pacsafe Eco 18

Pacsafe is a globally trusted brand focusing on anti-theft backpacks. It was founded 20 years ago by two guys who had some of their stuff stolen on a trip and vowed to help people never have that same experience.

Everything in the design of this travel daypack is meant to keep your belongings secure. The main pack material has a slash-proof wire mesh built in. The lockable zippers make sure no one is getting into your bag. The straps also feature wire reinforcement so a thief can’t cut the straps and run.

There’s an interior padded laptop compartment, an RFID-protected passport, and a credit card pocket at the back where it’s hardest to reach. There aren’t any easy-access exterior pockets beyond some mesh pockets for water bottles.

Finally, there’s a strap-locking system that allows you to lock the bag onto heavy furniture without it getting snatched; very handy for a night in a dorm room or extra peace of mind in a cafe.

Overall, while this travel bag probably isn’t versatile enough to be taken seriously as a hiking bag, it is absolutely the best travel daypack if you are worried about security on the road.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Technical Specs
  • Slash-proof material and straps
  • Gives lots of peace of mind
  • Comfortable shoulder straps
  • Heavy for its size
  • Overkill security for many people
Capacity18L
Weight25.6 oz
Material320D ECONYL (recycled nylon)
Price$$$

Buying Guide for the Best Travel Daypacks

There are some serious factors you’ll want to keep in mind in order to snag yourself the best travel daypack for you.

Comfort and Fit

In my opinion, comfort and fit are the most important considerations when searching for the best daypacks. You may find the most durable, feature-packed bag on the market, but if it rubs your shoulders wrong or leaves your back aching, it isn’t going to work for you.

Comfort and fit are largely personal: what works for someone else may not work for you. Your height, build, and personal preferences all play a role in finding a pack that fits. Whenever possible, I recommend trying a pack on before buying it, ideally with some weight in it. If you’re shopping online, you should buy from a retailer with a good return policy so you can return a bag if it doesn’t fit.

A man hiking in the mountains with a small daypack and bedding
Finding a comfortable daypack is essential if you plan to do some hiking!

There are definitely some general features you should look for that contribute to a pack’s comfort and carrying capacity.

Well-padded shoulder straps will definitely help eliminate pressure points and distribute the load more evenly. A sternum strap across your chest will help dial in the fit and pull some of the weight off your shoulders.

If you need a pack for a longer day hike, I’d definitely recommend getting a pack with a hip belt. This can make a big difference in your comfort after hours on the trail. Some sort of built-in frame or framesheet will also help distribute more of the load down to your hips.

Daypack Size

This is a pretty obvious consideration with any travel backpack. But with a daypack, you have slightly different considerations than with a trekking pack. To find the best travel backpack, you need to think about what you will be using this bag for and how much stuff will be inside it.

Most daypacks have somewhere between 10 and 30 liters of storage volume, and the specific size you get will depend on your use case and personal preferences.

Smaller travel daypacks are excellent if you’re someone that travels light or in warmer conditions. A bag with a 10 L to 20 L capacity is great for many situations. This size range works for carrying your food and water on a day hike, carrying your camera around a new city, or taking your essentials to work.

A compact travel daypack is great for air travel because you can use it as your under-seat personal item without any extra baggage charges.

A small packable daypack, like many of the options on this list, is fantastic for bringing inside a larger bag. A lightweight travel backpack like this can carry everything you need for day trips while stowing away when it’s time to move on.

photographer with a backpack standing on a ledge overlooking a desert
The size of your backpack will greatly depend on what you’re using it for

Larger bags are better for people who often have to carry more stuff. If you are lugging a lot of textbooks to university, going on a longer trip, or hitting a trail during the colder months, a 20-30 L capacity is what you should aim for.

Larger bags also tend to come with more organizational features to help you stay organized.

The downside is that they are bulkier, and when they are less full, the weight won’t sit as comfortably. I’ve also found that a larger pack can lead to a tendency to overpack; I’ll bring things I don’t really need just because I have the space for it.

Weight

Whether you are traveling around the world or going on a long hike, you’ll spend a lot of time wearing your daypack, and cutting down on weight can help reduce fatigue after long days. Some of the packs on this list come in close to half a pound or less, meaning you won’t have any unnecessary weight on your shoulders.

Lighter isn’t always better though. A flimsy, poorly-built travel backpack can actually feel heavier and less comfortable than one with a frame and well-padded shoulder straps, especially if you need to carry heavier loads. Lighter packs are also typically less durable.

Rather than looking for the lightest possible pack, I recommend focusing on functionality, comfort, and durability before trying to cut weight. It usually isn’t worth saving a few ounces if it means getting a bag that doesn’t carry as well or wears out quickly.

Pockets, Storage and Organization

Keeping things organized can streamline the travel experience because your essential items will be on hand when you need them. This is particularly important in airports, where knowing where your passport and valuables are at all times can reduce your stress while traveling. This convenience is also great for a commute when good pockets will help keep important stuff like laptops from rattling around.

A hiker in a red jacket stands on a cliff with a backpack
A good travel daypack will take you anywhere.

The pockets and features you need will depend you your use case. For city travel, you’ll probably want a padded sleeve for a laptop and zippered pockets for keys, charging cables, and other small items. For hiking and outdoor adventures, you’ll probably want a front stuff pocket and stretch mesh pockets for bottles on the side.

If you are traveling by air a lot, you also may want to look for features like a luggage strap, multiple grab handles, and lockable zippers to make your time in airports easier and more secure. An expandable backpack design can also make a daypack more versatile for different trips.

Materials

Most daypacks for travel these days are made from some variety of coated synthetic fabric, but there is a wide range of different options in this category, and pack fabric will have a big impact on the performance, comfort, and weight.

A travel daypack will typically be made of either ripstop nylon or polyester. While there are some differences between the two materials, in my mind they are similar enough that you don’t need to worry about which one you get. The biggest difference will be in the specific weave, weight, and coating of the fabric.

Fabric thickness is typically measured in denier, which indicates how many individual fibers are in each thread. A higher denier number will make a thicker, stronger, and heavier fabric. A travel backpack will typically use a fabric somewhere between 100-denier and 600-denier. If cutting weight is more important to you, look for a lower number. Higher denier fabrics will be more durable.

Most travel backpacks that claim to be weatherproof will not be fully waterproof, so you can’t go wading through rivers with them and expect them to stay dry. However, if you do find yourself in an unexpected downpour, a weatherproof bag will give you enough time to find shelter without putting your belongings at risk of getting soaked.

Style

A travel daypack is a very visible piece of equipment, so for many of us, the aesthetic will be as important as anything. Some daypacks are made for the trail, and are more utilitarian, while more city-oriented packs definitely focus on styling.

The best daypacks for travel manage to combine style and function. You can wear them around town without looking like a lost tourist but also hit the trail with the confidence that they will take a bit of punishment.

Final Thoughts

Your daypack will be your constant companion while you travel, whether you’re hopping between airports or cranking out miles on the trail. It’s important to find one that has the features you need combined with comfort and durability.

The packs on this list have been chosen because they are the best daypacks for travel within their specific niche. Whether you need a school bag for college, a hiking pack, or a daypack for long-term travel, hopefully, you can find the perfect daypack for your needs.


READ MORE:

Travel Daypacks FAQs

What is the best day bag for travel?

The Moment MTW 17L Daypack is our top day bag for travel and everyday use.

What is the best size daypack for travel?

15-25 liters is a good size for a travel daypack.

What is the difference between a daypack and a backpack?

A daypack refers to a backpack that is designed specifically for day trips (as opposed to multi-day travel). Daypacks are usually under 30 L.

What is a daypack for flying?

When flying, a daypack will usually count as your personal item—meaning it fits under the seat in front of you.

Should a daypack have a frame?

Small daypacks don’t need a frame, but larger bags designed to carry heavy loads need some sort of frame.

About the Author

Jeremy Scott Foster

Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.
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