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Daypacks

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Daypacks

Perhaps no outdoor gear has found greater utility than daypacks. We use them to carry everything from algebra books to zip-off pants.

REI has a huge assortment of daypacks; here are a few considerations to narrow your choices:

Intended use: Hikers have different needs than transit riders.

Capacity: Need to carry a few valuables or a day's worth of climbing gear?

Features: They can vary from tool loops to an internal frame to an included reservoir.

Fit: Bigger packs come in different sizes and have more adjustment options.

Intended Use

Packs designed for a particular activity are set up to carry the gear needed for that activity. Any pack with pockets, though, can carry a wide variety of stuff.

Gear Capacity

Daypack capacities vary widely. Even the term "daypack"; can be a misnomer when you choose one big enough for an overnight trip. Below are some rough guidelines about pack capacity:

11-20 liters: Light and small, with room for essentials, like a jacket, snacks and water.

21-35 liters: This is the sweet spot for most hiking and travel daypacks.

36-50 liters: Good for big, bulky items or for an overnight backpack with ultralight gear.

Daypack Features

These can include a range of things, like hipbelt pockets, organizer pockets (with slot pockets, zip mesh pockets or a key clip inside) and trekking pole tool loops. Other features might include:

Internal frame: A lightweight internal structure that helps support heavier loads. Larger packs that have one are also likely to have padding on shoulder straps, the hipbelt and the back panel.

Hydration reservoir: A few packs include one; others might have a sleeve for yours.

Mesh back panel: A special panel placed so that air can flow across your back.

Daypack Fit

Smaller daypacks come in one size. Sizing in larger packs is based on "torso length," which can be measured in an REI store. For details on how to do this at home, read our article about how to measure your torso and fit a pack.