How to Choose Day Packs For Hiking

teenage boy backpack
Day packs for hiking can range in size. They can be small enough to take for a day’s trek, or they may be large enough to take on a weekend hike. These day packs are designed such that the weight is mostly carried on your shoulders, and there are great designs that will provide you with comfort even when carrying heavy weights. Prepare to pay between $25 and $100.

The primary consideration when buying day packs is your comfort when carrying heavy weights for a day’s hike. A day pack that has extra features may be fun, but ultimately you want one that is easy to carry with minimal effort.

The following are some of the features that you should be looking for when buying day packs for hiking to ensure maximum comfort:

  • Shoulder pads that have been curved so that they do not chafe your skin
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Padded backs
  • Wide waist belt that is adjustable
  • Materials that are breathable and porous material against your back

If you want your day pack to be versatile, meaning it can be used for carrying other items such as books as well as being useful for hiking, then consider purchasing a backpack with a reinforced bottom. The bag may also feature a padded case that can be removed when you are not using the bag for carrying a laptop. The day pack should also have different compartments that may be used to pack pens, a mouse as well as laptop cords.

You should choose a backpack that is large enough to carry all the things that you will need on your day hike, and not be too large that there is still room left in the bag when you have packed it. Another thing that you will need to consider is the amount of weight that you can comfortably carry. The bag should be scrutinized for its durability, and the things that you need to look for are if the zippers and fasteners are non metal. The bag should also have solid stitching especially along the zippers. Magazines and websites that specialize in outdoor activities are great for checking out product reviews as well as hiking tips.

To start your search for a great day pack click here.

Photo credit: photostock

Be Sociable, Share!

Technorati Tags: , ,

14 Responses to “How to Choose Day Packs For Hiking”

  1. Whenever possible, the lumbar waist backpack is a good choice for day hiking. It puts the weight on the strong part of your body, the hips, so your shoulders don’t become strained or injured. There are many different sizes of waist packs, including some large enough to carry several liters of water. Of course, if you are hiking in inclement weather, you may need a larger day pack to carry clothing.

  2. Hiking requires extra features on a daypack, so don’t be tempted to buy an everyday urban daypack for hauling gear outdoors. You still need a solid lumbar pad or waist padding to help offset the load. Remember to protect your back first and save money second.

    • That is a great point. I found out that urban daypacks typically don’t hold up well to heavy books, etc. when used for school. i was buying more than one each year for my son to use for school until I started buying specialty packs that were made stronger. Hiking would put the same demands on a pack and requires the features needed to wear safely and comfortably as well as hold up well under the touch conditions. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  3. Bruno Blackstone Reply 28. Sep, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Some further tips on wearing a walking rucksack to ensure maximum comfort

    1. Begin by loosening all the straps.
    2. Making sure you keep your back straight carefully lift the bag onto your shoulders.
    3. Make sure you are standing up straight.
    4. Tighten the hip belt making sure it’s not on top or below your hip bones.
    5. Really your shoulders should not be taking more than about 20% of the weight, if it feels like they are, adjust the shoulder straps so that they fit more closely until you re-distribute more of the weight to the hips
    6. If the rucksack has a chest strap adjust properly it so that it can pull the shoulder straps together, this allows your arms to move more freely and brings the weight closer to your body.
    7. When packing the bag try to distribute items evenly and you’ll be better balanced if the heavier items are at the bottom.

    Finally remember that rucksacks will not remain waterproof after a few hours in the rain, that’s why rucksack liners and covers are a worthwhile investment

    Bruno Blackstone

    • Bruno,
      Thanks for the tips on adjusting the pack before wearing it out on a hike. I just purchased a new daypack and had to make several adjustments to it before it fit me comfortably. Once the adjustments were made, it felt great.

  4. thanks for those tips in adjusting the packs before wearing it, My choice would those packs with lumbar belts on it so the weight of the pack will not be on my shoulders. Every time we decide to hike always remember to be comfortable with all our hiking gears.

  5. The best feature (in my opinion at least) is a backpack that has a separate pocket for a water hydration pack. This can help keep the rest of your pockets free of condensation and keeps it organized.

  6. Day pack is one of the necessities for the hiking activity. These are great pointers, which can surely help in the selection of the right day pack. Thanks for this useful information.


  1. OpenTrailsHiking - 25. Aug, 2011

    How to Choose Day Packs For Hiking | Helpful Hiking Tips

  2. Hiking and Camping - 25. Aug, 2011

    How to Choose Day Packs For Hiking | Helpful Hiking Tips

  3. Mountain Man Cowboy - 25. Aug, 2011

    How to Choose Day Packs For Hiking #BackPacks #Hiking #Outdoors #gear #Tips #Hike4LoveHike4Life

  4. hikethehighland - 25. Aug, 2011

    How to Choose Day Packs For Hiking | Helpful Hiking Tips

  5. Mountain Man Cowboy - 18. Sep, 2011

    How to Choose Day Packs For Hiking #BackPacking #Hiking #HikingTips #DayPacks #Outdoors #NationalParks