17 Best Hiking Daypacks In Australia For 2024

Hitting the trails and immersing yourself in nature for an adventurous day of hiking can look completely different from one person to the next. There are many factors that play a part in what you need to take with you, which is why choosing the best hiking daypack for your style is essential for a positive experience.

Daypacks can vary considerably depending on their intended use, which is often narrowed down as far as the terrain and season they’re designed for. And while this can make finding the best daypack for hiking a challenging task, it also gives you the opportunity to find the perfect fit for you!

We’ve spent many hours on the trails with our fair share of hiking daypacks – which have ranged from incredible to incredibly uncomfortable. So after plenty of trial and error and loads of research, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to choosing the best daypack for hiking, including a list of the top hiking daypacks for the coming season!

Hiking towards Barn Bluff in my best hiking daypack

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How To Choose The Best Hiking Daypack For Your Adventures

Define Your Hiking Style

The first task that should be done before you begin to lose yourself in the myriad of hiking daypack options is to define what your main use will be. This will allow you to pinpoint the features that are of the highest priority and ultimately help you narrow down your search.

These are a few questions to ask yourself in order to define what your greatest needs are for your new hiking daypack.

  • Where do you predominantly hike (e.g. location, climate)?
  • What terrain do you usually hike in (e.g. alpine, coastal, dense forest)?
  • How long on average are the hikes you choose?
  • Will you be hiking in winter?
  • Will you be hiking with children?
  • Do you want to use your daypack for travel as well?
  • How many hiking essentials do you generally need to take with you?

These questions can help you identify factors such as the level of support you need from the suspension, the durability of the outer material, the amount of storage and pockets, and so on.

Hiking to Key Summit for sunrise wearing the Osprey Mira 32

Types Of Daypacks

In our experience, the large array of daypacks for hiking can be loosely divided into four distinct categories. Though it’s important to note that there’s no real black-and-white system across the board and many backpacks will fit into more than one category.

  • Everyday/Casual: An everyday/casual daypack is generally the most basic design and cheapest option. It will often have very minimal or no support or rigidity in its structure. Casual daypacks are good for use on easy short walks, light everyday use and travel.
  • Hiking: A hiking daypack is the most common type and will generally have a lightweight design with a padded backpanel and moderate support. These daypacks are perfect for easy to moderate hikes and offer enough comfort for all-day use.
  • Technical Hiking: A technical hiking backpack will have better support and load transfer, allowing for a heavier load and increased comfort for steep ascents and uneven terrain. They’re usually slightly heavier but have additional attachments and better durability.
  • Mountaineering/Climbing: Daypacks designed for mountaineering, alpine climbing or just climbing will generally be the toughest and have plenty of external attachment straps for crampons, ice axes, skis and so on. They’re often the heaviest option but provide the best support and weather resistance.

Buyer’s Guide For Choosing The Best Daypack For Hiking

  • Determine what you plan to carry and the style of your hikes before beginning your search
  • Pick a daypack with a padded hipbelt and load transfer in the shoulder straps if you plan to carry more than 4 kg
  • Hydration compatibility is very beneficial
  • Extra pockets like the stash-it front stretch pocket is great to carry wet or dirty gear
  • The sweet spot for volume size for the average day hike (where no technical gear is needed) is roughly 24 – 30 litres
  • Choose a daypack with a high denier count if you need extra durability
  • An integrated rain cover is highly recommended
  • Prioritising quality is essential to ensure your daypack will withstand the inevitable abuse of the elements, ultimately saving you money in the long run

What Size Pack Is Best For Day Hikes?

The size of a hiking daypack is expressed as volume, which is almost always measured in litres. The volume of a daypack refers to the capacity it can hold and is the first decision you must make.

There is no clear-cut answer to what volume is best for a daypack because there are too many factors involved. The hiking daypacks listed below range from 18L to 40L, the smallest fitting the bare essentials – such as a rain jacket, snacks and a water bottle – and the largest accommodating for full-day technical hikes or winter adventure.

The best way to decide which size daypack is best for you is to make a list of the essentials you expect to pack for most of your hikes and follow our guidelines below – this will also help determine the load range needed which we will dive into next.

  • 10 – 20 litres Suitable for short hikes where an extra compressible layer (rain jacket or down jacket), snacks and a water bottle are all you need to bring.
  • 20 – 25 litres Best for short but technical hikes where a first aid kit or other additional gear is needed.
  • 25 – 30 litres – The ideal size for longer day hikes where extra essentials are needed or additional space for delayering.
  • 30 – 35 litres – Perfect for all-day hikes or parents who need a little more room for extra jackets and food. This is also a good size for winter hiking when you’ll need more layers and potentially more gear.
  • 35 – 40 litres – This size is suitable for gear-heavy winter expeditions or mountaineering. It can also double as an overnight backpack for hut-to-hut walks during the warmer months.
preparing for a hike wearing the Osprey Mira 32 Hiking Daypack
Osprey Mira 32 Technical Hiking Daypack

Although we would suggest that between 25 – 30 litres is the sweet spot for most hikers, we highly recommend going a little bigger than you expect to need just to be safe. Almost every daypack on this list has compression straps that allow the bag to be cinched closer to your back if it isn’t full.

Personally, I have the Osprey Mira 32 daypack and I find it to be the perfect size for most of my day hikes. It fits everything I need for a full day on the trails but it also cinches down really well when I have only a few essential items.

Hiking Daypack Load Range

The next step in finding your ultimate daypack for hiking is to determine, on average, the weight you expect to carry on your adventures. This will allow you to understand the load range you need for your daypack.

The load range refers to how much weight the daypack can comfortably support. Generally, the better the suspension system and hipbelts, the more weight the pack can carry without forcing unwanted pressure on your shoulders and back.

Unfortunately, very few brands list the suggested load range for their hiking daypacks. The best way to estimate the range of these bags is to compare their suspension system to a daypack with a load range listed. The brands that provide load ranges are Osprey, Deuter, Big Agnes and Gregory.

Support

Harness system of the Osprey Mira 32, a very supportive daypack for hiking

The support of a daypack is provided by the suspension system and padding. The suspension system includes the harness, hip belt, shoulder and chest straps, frame and back panel.

Not all daypacks will have a complete suspension system – especially casual daypacks which can often have nothing but shoulder and chest straps. Some will simply have a back panel made of thick foam padding or a semi-rigid sheet and others will have a wire frame and padded hip belts with highly efficient load transfer.

The level of support you need will coincide with the weight you plan to carry and the duration of your hikes. For example, if you’re planning to carry upward of 10 kg on technical trails, you will be best off with a full suspension system such as the one found in the Mammut Trion Spine 35 or the Osprey Sirrus/Stratos 24. However, if you only plan on carrying a light load you can save weight by choosing a daypack with a foam backpanel and no wire such as the Macpac Harper/Hester 30.

Hip Belts

Hiking Daypack Hipbelt

Hip Belts vary considerably on daypacks for hiking, ranging from highly cushioned padding to a thin strap. The padded hip belts will provide better support and transfer the load from your back to your hips. But even a thin hip belt is better than nothing – it’s amazing the difference you’ll feel in your shoulders when you cinch it tight around your waist!

The one downside to padded hip belts is the added weight and lowered packability if you wanted to use your daypack for travel as well. Which you choose will ultimately come down to the most common use but as a guideline, we highly recommend choosing a padded hip belt if you intend to carry more than 4 kg.

Hiking Daypack Frames

Osprey Mantra 34 Backpanel and frame

Daypacks for hiking will often have some sort of frame to keep a rigid structure and prevent the backpack from sagging. The frame design will generally be either a plastic framesheet or a metal wire in a V, U or hoop shape.

A metal frame offers better support for heavy loads, but it also adds weight and lowers packability. For everyday use or hikes requiring a pack weight below 6-7 kg, you can easily get away with a semi-rigid plastic framesheet.

Backpanel

Foam Backpanel of The North Face Borealis hiking daypack

All but the most basic daypacks (such as the Cotopaxi Batac 24) will have a foam backpanel at the very least, but it will most often be coupled with a frame sheet or wire frame. This provides extra comfort and prevents items from digging into your back. It will also provide a small amount of rigidity if there is no frame in the daypack.

As you will have guessed, a thicker foam backpanel will provide better comfort and more support compared to a thin fabric one, but it will also add extra weight.

Another style of backpanel, rather than foam or fabric resting against your back, is a ventilated backpanel that involves a trampoline-style suspended mesh connected to a wire frame. This enables unparalleled airflow and prevents a sweaty back, making it a highly popular choice for warm climates.

Ventilation Of Day Packs

Air gap for maximum ventilation and support of the frame on the Osprey Mira 32

Ventilation from a daypack is achieved by minimising the amount of contact your body has with the pack and/or including aerated foam for the harness and backpanel. The best system for high ventilation is the suspended backpanel I mentioned above, which provides the least amount of contact between your back and the daypack, allowing maximum airflow. However, this design is often heavier, more expensive and can cut into the volume of the pack.

The other form of ventilation for hiking daypacks is through perforated or die-cut foam. This basically means that the foam padding used for the shoulder straps, hipbelt and backpanel is constructed with either tiny holes (perforation) or shapes (die-cut) cut into the foam to increase breathability.

If you predominantly hike in hot climates, a suspended backpanel may be the best choice for you. However, if ventilation isn’t your highest priority, then choosing a daypack with a die-cut backpanel and perforated harness will suffice and often be cheaper, lighter and pack down better.

Weight 

The weight of a hiking daypack varies considerably, with some basic designs weighing a featherlight 480 g while other burly daypacks can weigh up to 1.4 kg. The main concern for weight is if you’re planning to travel with your daypack and need to stuff it into a suitcase.

Essentially, the better the suspension system and durability, the heavier the pack will be. Our suggestion is to decide on your load range and the level of support you need before looking at the overall weight. This will allow you to determine where you can make sacrifices if you want to lower the weight – without neglecting your priorities.

Size And Fit Of Day Packs For Hiking

Hiking through the beautiful forests of Lake Marian wearing the best hiking daypack

Choosing a hiking daypack that fits you correctly is important to ensure comfort on the trails and proper weight distribution. The sizing of a daypack refers to the length of your torso which is measured from your back, between your C7 vertebrae and your iliac crest (the protruding bone at your neck to the middle of your hip bones).

While most trekking backpacks come in various sizes, it’s not as common for daypacks. Often, they’re only offered in one size and sometimes a women’s specific as well. You should still be able to find the recommended torso length for one-sized daypacks and if you can’t, it’s best to try it on in-store before making your purchase.

In addition to the torso length, it’s also imperative to have the ability to cinch the hipbelt tight enough around your hips to take the load of your daypack. This information isn’t usually listed in the specs of a hiking daypack and will need to be checked before hitting the trails. 

Note: Some brands, such as Osprey, have recently included plus size backpacks to their range that have longer hipbelt and shoulder straps.

Torso Adjustability

Unlike trekking backpacks, only some of the top technical daypacks, such as the Gregory Jade 38, have the ability to adjust the torso length. This is a beneficial component for one-size packs because it gives you a better chance of fitting the daypack correctly.

That said, torso adjustability is only a high necessity for those that need ultimate support and comfort for long, technical hikes. It isn’t as imperative if you’re carrying a lighter load over easier terrain as a perfect fit isn’t as crucial.

Women’s Specific Daypacks

Admiring the view of Mt Cook from the Red Tarns Lookout wearing my women's specific hiking daypack the Osprey Mira

Women’s specific daypacks offer even more versatility in size and fit and are most certainly worth considering – for women of course. A women’s daypack is designed specifically to fit our shape and includes a shorter torso, a more narrow design and contoured shoulder straps. When there are both women’s and men’s options, it also allows the men’s daypack to be designed more specifically to their shape as well.

You’ll generally only find women’s and men’s specific daypacks when you begin to look through the high-end technical packs. If you’re simply searching for a daypack for hiking casually or for travel and hiking, a unisex daypack will be sufficient.

Durability Of Hiking Daypacks

Hiking through thick shrub in Tasmania wearing my hiking daypack

Durability is an essential factor to consider in a daypack for hiking to ensure your backpack of choice can withstand the terrain you plan to hike in and the abuse it will most likely receive through travel.

The most common materials you’ll see listed for hiking daypacks are nylon, polyester or polyamide. Here is a quick summary of each fabric.

  • Nylon: This is a synthetic fibre and a type of polyamide thermoplastic, it is the most popular fabric for hiking daypacks
  • Polyester: Also a synthetic fabric, polyester is similar to nylon but is generally lighter and slightly less durable
  • Polyamide: Nylon is the commercial name for a type of polyamide thermoplastic, but recently brands have been simply stating the material is polyamide
  • Ripstop: A fabric (usually nylon but can sometimes be polyester) that is woven in a specific way that reinforces it, making it more resistant to tearing and ripping

If durability is a priority for your hiking daypack, look for a pack that has a high denier count (the density of the fabric) and preferably ripstop. You will often have to sacrifice slightly on weight for a highly durable daypack, but it will be worth it when you can trust your backpack to withstand the harsh elements.

Hiking up rugged trails in New Zealand wear the best Osprey Daypack for Hiking

Water Resistance

It is almost a certainty that you’ll encounter wet weather on your hiking trips and therefore, some sort of water resistance on your daypack is paramount to keep your valuables safe. 

Most commonly, water resistance will come in the form of a DWR coating and a rain cover. For the best fit and ease of use, we highly recommend choosing a pack that has an integrated rain cover. However, you can purchase rain covers separately which generally come in a range of sizes to suit various backpacks.

On some occasions, and especially for mountaineering or backcountry daypacks, the pack can be constructed with an additional water-resistant outer layer – typically a PU (polyurethane) or TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) laminate or coating. However, it’s important to note that unless the zips are waterproof and the seams are sealed, this is only an initial defence to light moisture (such as snow or mist) and a rain cover will also be needed when it begins to rain.

Choosing a pack with a water-resistant outer layer is necessary if you expect to find yourself in damp conditions often and need an extra layer of defence. But you will generally pay a higher price for the extra protection.

Hiking Daypack Features

The features offered in hiking daypacks can vary considerably. While some are highly beneficial, like compression straps and hydration compatibility, you can save money by foregoing others that could potentially raise the price of the packs you’re considering.

Hydration

Hydration bladder attached to the chest strap of my Osprey Mira 32

Daypacks for hiking will most commonly have two external stretch side pockets for water bottles and an internal sleeve and/or attachment mechanism for a hydration bladder. Most hydration sleeves will accommodate up to a 3-litre bladder – except packs with a volume below 20L, which are better suited to a 2-litre bladder.

Hydration bladders are beneficial for smaller daypacks as it keeps the weight centred and of course – allows you to stay hydrated without stopping.

You’ll find the hydration bladder attachment excluded from some budget-friendly casual daypacks but unless you only plan to embark on short walks, we strongly recommend choosing a hydration-compatible pack.

Rain Cover

Rain cover form my hiking daypack

A rain cover is a top priority for most hikers as you’ll almost certainly find yourself hiking in bad weather at some point. If you don’t want to deal with searching for suitable separately sold options, we highly recommend choosing a pack with a built-in rain cover.

But if you are in the market for a separate rain cover, ensure it’s the correct size as the performance will drastically decrease if it’s too big or too small.

Compression Straps

Osprey Mira Bihia zippers and compression straps

One of the most important features, in my opinion, for hiking daypacks is compression straps. This allows you to cinch the backpack close to your body when it isn’t at full capacity, keeping the weight centred and your shoulders happy.

Compression straps also enable you to choose a higher volume backpack in order to suit a larger range of applications rather than having to purchase a different daypack for different circumstances.

Pockets

Unzipping the pocket in my hipbelt on my daypack for hiking

The perfect amount of external and internal pockets on a daypack depends on each individual and your organisation preferences. If you like to separate your items and have easy access to smaller things such as a head torch or snacks, we recommend looking for a pack with an internal organisation pocket and hipbelt pockets.

Additionally, some daypacks will have more than one main compartment which is ideal if you need to separate gear – for example, if you have wet or dirty gear. Another great pocket for wet or dirty gear is an external ‘shove it’ stretch pocket at the front of the bag.

Often you’ll find that budget-friendly casual daypacks have the least amount of pockets. It’s good to be aware of this and determine whether this will be annoying for you once you’re out on the trails.

External Attachments

Hiking pole attachment on the back of the Osprey Mira Hiking Backpack

On most technical hiking daypacks, you’ll find external attachments for gear like your hiking poles, ice axe or helmet. This is obviously extremely beneficial if you hike with this sort of equipment, but this feature can be omitted if you don’t.

Access And Closure Systems

Each hiking daypack on this list has access to the main compartment via the top of the pack. Most achieve this with a simple zippered access but there are a few that have a roll-top or a top lid over a drawcord access – like you would generally find on a hiking backpack.

The benefit of a roll-top is the ability to compress the daypack size when it isn’t full, this style can also be slightly more water-resistant compared to zippers. A top lid is beneficial for extra storage on top – which allows for better weight distribution.

However, if you’re planning to use your daypack for travel as well as hiking, you might want to consider the simple zippered access as it will be the easiest to access (and to lock) and also allows you to wear the pack on your front without the bag rising above your face like it would with the top lid style.

Sustainability

I am very pleased to say that during my research for the best daypacks for hiking, I found that a vast majority of them are made with recycled material – or bluesign-approved/certified at the very least.

This gives me great hope for the future of outdoor gear, but it isn’t the only component to consider when you’re searching for a sustainably made hiking daypack.

Other things to consider regarding sustainability are whether the backpack is ethically made, the brand’s commitment to company-wide sustainable practices, the longevity of the daypack and the company policy on warranty.

  • Ethically sustainable: The best way to verify whether a company is ethically sourcing fabric and treating the producers of the backpacks fairly is to look for a Fair Trade label.
  • Materials: The best material to use for sustainability is recycled or repurposed fabric. When this isn’t possible, Bluesign-certified or approved labels are the next best thing.
  • Company Practices: This refers to packaging, the factories they use and the use of electricity in their offices. B-Corp certified companies are at the forefront of sustainable practices, but you can also look for brands that are doing their best to be carbon-neutral or positive.
  • Longevity: The quality of the hiking daypack is extremely important. If it is poorly made and doesn’t last longer than a year, the brand is directly adding to overconsumption and waste. The best way to determine whether your daypack in question will last is to check reviews.
  • Company Policy on Warranty and Repairs: Choosing to purchase from a sustainable outdoor company that offers repairs rather than replacements will assist in the war on waste. A brand that excels in this field is Osprey, who offers a lifetime warranty on their packs and will continue to fix them until the backpack is well and truly done.

17 Best Daypacks For Hiking In 2024

HIking the Hooker Valley Track in Mt Cook National Park in New Zealand

Best Hiking Daypacks Comparison Table

Hiking DaypackPriceVolumeTypeWeightFrameHipbeltSustainable
Mammut Lithium$21525LHiking / Technical880gAluminium U-FramePaddedYes
Osprey Mira / Manta$33632/34LTechnical1350g4mm LightWire FramePaddedYes
Macpac Harper / Hesper$25030LHiking740gFoam BackpanelPaddedYes
Osprey Daylite Plus$9520LEveryday / Casual585gFoam BackpanelNon-paddedYes
Patagonia Terravia$22028LHiking797gFramesheetPaddedYes
Osprey Sirrus / Stratos$25524LTechnical1240g4mm LightWire FramePaddedYes
Deuter Futura$33332LTechnical1400gSpring Steel FramePaddedYes
Mammut Trion Nordwand$27028LTechnical810gAluminium V-FramePaddedNo
Gregory Zulu / Jade$28038/40LTechnical1250g4mm Alloy Perimeter FramePaddedNo
Deuter Speed Lite$23325LHiking710gDelrin U-FramePaddedYes
The North Face Borealis$20028LEveryday / Casual1050gFoam BackpanelNon-paddedYes
Gregory Nano$9018LCasual / Hiking454gFoam BackpanelNon-paddedYes
Patagonia Black Hole$19025LEveryday / Casual650gFoam BackpanelNon-paddedYes
Big Agnes Ditch Rider$25032LHiking907gFoam BackpanelNon-paddedYes
Cotopaxi Batac$14024LEveryday / Casual482gNoneNoneYes
The North Face Slackpack 2.0$20020LTechnical / Backcountry940gSoft Foam BackpanelNon-paddedNo
Fjallraven Abisko Hike$40935LTechnical1400gAluminium FramePaddedYes

Mammut Lithium 25 Daypack

Best Overall / Versatile Hiking Daypack

The Mammut Lithium 25 is a versatile hiking daypack full of unique handy features such as a removable drop-down phone pocket on the hipbelt – which is completely detachable for when you want to go minimalistic.

The Lithium is better suited to the average hiker in comparison to the Trion Nordwand, with more organisation opportunities and better airflow for warm weather. However, it is slightly less durable, weather resistant and heavier compared to its alpine-focused counterpart.

What the Mammut Lithium 25 is good for

If you’re looking for a versatile and comfortable daypack that performs well for both technical trails and travel, then you will love the Mammut Lithium 25 hiking daypack. With enough support and mobility for carrying a light to moderate load on long hikes and increased packability due to the detachable hipbelt, the Lithium will be your go-to for adventurous travel.

Price: $215 AUD
Category: Hiking / Technical Hiking
Material: 100% polyamide
Weight: 880 g
Volume: 25L (also available in 15,20,30,40 and 50 litres)
Load Range: Unknown
Sustainability: 89% recycled materials used, PFC-free DWR, Bluesign Product, Fair Wear

Mammut Lithium 25 Hiking Daypack, the best overall daypack for hiking in Australia

Features

  • Large zippered access to the main compartment
  • Trekking pole and ice axe attachments
  • Integrated, detachable rain cover
  • Hydration compatible – an extra zippered compartment for the bladder
  • 1 zippered front pocket with key pocket, 2 mesh side pockets for water bottles, 1 zippered hipbelt pocket and 1 removable fold-out hipbelt pocket for a mobile phone
  • Large stash-it front pocket
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps
  • Refunds and exchanges are available through a 90-day free returns policy if you purchase from Wildfire Sports

Suspension

  • Padded, detachable hipbelt with forward-pull adjustment
  • Ventilated EVA foam padded shoulder straps
  • Contact U frame – aluminium U-shaped frame spreads the weight across the entire back and provides good freedom of movement
  • 3D EVA mesh foam backpanel with air channels for increased airflow and comfort

Positives

  • Great for technical hikes but also packable enough for travel
  • Sustainably made
  • Great strength-to-weight ratio
  • Removable hipbelt allows for lowered weight

Negatives

  • Not as durable as the Nordwand
  • No adjustability in the torso length

Osprey Mira 32 / Manta 34 Hiking Daypack

Best Daypack For Heavy Loads and Technical Hikes

The Osprey women’s Mira 32 and men’s Manta 34 offer ultimate comfort for moderate to heavy loads thanks to the exceptional support provided by the ventilated tensioned backpanel and innovative harness design that allows the pack to hug your body perfectly.

I own the Osprey Mira 32 and love the support given, no matter if I have the daypack full to the brim or packed with just a couple of items. It handles weight really well and the organisation makes packing a breeze. The one thing I don’t like about the pack is the fact that the lower compression strap doesn’t include the front pocket, but it looks as if that has been fixed on the newest model – which is also now constructed with 100% recycled materials!

But the best part is, The Mira and Manta also come with an included 2.5L water bladder which connects to the chest strap via a handy magnet, allowing the bite valve to sit at your chest rather than hang at your elbow. 

What the Mira & Manta Daypacks are good for

The Osprey Mira 32 and Manta 34 are the ideal choices for hikers looking for a pack they can rely on to stay comfortable no matter where the trail takes them and how heavy their gear needs to be. It’s also a great daypack for backpacking travel due to the fact that the bag sits below your neck so you can comfortably wear it on your front.

Price: $336 AUD
Category: Technical Hiking
Material: Main: 210D honeycomb contrast nylon, Bottom: 420D high-tenacity nylon, DWR coating
Weight: 1.35 kg
Volume: 32L / 34L (also available in women’s 22 litres and men’s 24 litres)
Load Range: 5 – 13 kg
Sustainability: 100% recycled material, Bluesign Approved, PFC-free DWR

Osprey Mira 32 hiking daypack, a great backpack for technical hiking

Features

  • Large top zippered access to the main compartment
  • A separate zippered compartment for a hydration bladder – can also be used to separate gear
  • 2.5L next-gen hydration bladder included
  • Integrated rain cover included
  • Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment and ice axe attachment loops
  • 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles, 1 external top zippered pocket, 2 zippered hipbelt pockets and 1 large external front zippered pocket with internal organisation
  • Large stash-it stretch pocket at the front of the pack for wet or dirty gear
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps
  • Refunds and exchanges are available through a 90-day free returns policy if you purchase from Wildfire Sports
  • 2-year warranty for Osprey in Australia and an All-mighty Guarantee for the US

Suspension

  • Highly ventilated die-cut EVA foam hipbelt with forward-pull adjustment
  • Highly ventilated die-cut EVA foam shoulder straps with a mesh yoke that distributes weight evenly
  • 4 mm powder-coated LightWire frame  – supports the load and shapes the backpanel for a close-to-body fit
  • 3D-tensioned suspended mesh backpanel provides exceptional breathability and has 10cm of torso adjustability

Positives

  • Very supportive for up to a 13kg load
  • Highly comfortable for all-day wear
  • Allows free range of movement for technical trails
  • 2.5L water bladder included
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • The daypack is a little wide rather than narrow which won’t suit some hikers
  • The lower compression strap didn’t include the front pocket in the previous design and it’s not confirmed it does in the new design – we will update this information when we know
  • The hipbelt pockets don’t fit a phone the size of a Pixel 6

Macpac Harper & Hesper 30 Hiking Daypack

Best Lightweight Daypack

The women’s Harper 30 and the men’s Hesper 30 are Macpac’s lightest technical daypack, weighing an impressive 740 g while still offering good support and loads of space for everything you need for full-day hikes.

While we would be hesitant to load the Harper & Hesper any heavier than 8 – 10 kg, the suspension system sits snug and offers great comfort thanks to the thick padded shoulder straps and hipbelt and ventilated foam backpanel.

What the Harper & Hesper Daypacks are good for

If you’re searching for a hiking daypack with a clean design and light base weight without sacrificing important features, then you’ll love the Macpac Harper and Hesper 30. You’ll find enough support for a light to moderate load and comfort for long day hikes.

Price: $250 AUD
Category: Hiking
Material: Main body: 100D nylon ripstop with UTS coating, Base: 210D nylon
Weight: 740 g
Volume: 30L (also available in 50 litres for the Harper and 52 litres for the Hesper)
Load Range: Max 8 – 10 kg
Sustainability: Mostly made of recycled material, Bluesign certified base fabric

Macpac Harper Daypack for Hiking

Features

  • Top zippered access to the main compartment
  • Hiking pole and ice axe attachments with tuck-away loops at the base
  • Hydration compatible
  • 1 open and 1 zippered hipbelt pocket, 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles and an external top zippered pocket
  • Large front stash-it pocket for wet or dirty gear
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps
  • Limited lifetime warranty and a 60-day return policy (free if you return in-store)

Suspension

  • Lightly padded fixed hipbelt
  • Lightly padded shoulder straps with perforated foam for increased ventilation
  • Fixed foam backpanel with air channels and mesh cover for better airflow

Positives

  • Very lightweight for its volume
  • Simple and clean design with good organisation
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • No rain cover included
  • The zipper to main access is quite small, making it difficult to reach items at the bottom of the pack
  • Not much padding on the hipbelt

Osprey Daylite Plus 20

Best Budget-Friendly Daypack

If budget and simplicity are your main priorities then look no further than the Osprey Daylite Plus. This 20L pack is built with the same high-end quality we all love from Osprey but at a very affordable price and a simple design that works for anything from around town, travel and short day hikes.

The Osprey Daylite Plus 20 offers light padding along the shoulders and backpanel for comfort when you need to pack that extra jacket and comes in at a low weight of just 585 g. While the webbing hipbelt isn’t anything to write home about, it does detach to make travel and storage easier.

What the Daylite Plus is good for

The Osprey Daylite Plus 20 is another great contender for a casual daypack that can be used for travel or short hikes. But what the Daylite has over the similar Gregory Nano 18 is a stash-it front stretch pocket and it can be attached to Osprey’s larger backpacks – such as the Ariel and Aether hiking backpacks – for backpacking trips.

Price: $95 AUD
Category: Everyday/Casual
Material: Main: 300D polyester, Accent & Bottom: 600D polyester, DWR coating
Weight: 585 g
Volume: 20L (also available in 13, and 15 litres)
Load Range: Unknown
Sustainability: 100% recycled materials, Bluesign Approved, PFC-free DWR

Osprey Daylight Plus 20L Backpack

Features

  • Top zippered access to the main compartment
  • Hydration compatible with a padded sleeve in the main compartment – can also be used for a laptop
  • 2 mesh side pockets for water bottles, 1 external large front zipper with organisation sleeve and key clip, 1 external small zippered pocket on the front
  • Front stash-it stretch pocket for additional items
  • Dual upper compression straps
  • Attaches to a range of compatible Osprey backpacks
  • Refunds and exchanges are available within 80 days (returns at your own cost for shipping) if you purchase through Wildearth
  • 2-year warranty for Osprey in Australia and an All-mighty Guarantee for the US

Suspension

  • Removable webbing hipbelt
  • Lightly padded die-cut EVA foam shoulder straps with spacer mesh for ventilation
  • Mesh-covered die-cut EVA foam backpanel provides ventilation, comfort and rigidity

Positives

  • Versatile and cheap option for travel and short hikes
  • Good level of comfort for it’s size and price
  • Lots of storage options
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • Only sold in one size which might not fit every person
  • You can feel sharper objects through the thin backpanel if you don’t carry a water bladder

Patagonia Terravia 28 Hiking Daypack

Most Sustainable Daypack

The Patagonia Terravia 28 hiking daypack is thoughtfully designed for ease of use and simplicity. The lightweight build offers a good level of breathability due to the suspended foam backpanel and Airmesh shoulder straps and hipbelt.

While the suspension system isn’t ideal for a heavy load (there is barely any padding on the shoulder straps or hip belt), the Terravia 28 balances durability and overall weight exceptionally well. Plus, you’ll love the spacious main compartment and the wide open access that makes finding your gear a breeze.

What the Patagonia Terravia is good for

The Patagonia Terravia 28 is the ideal companion for hikers looking for a lightweight and no-frills daypack that will comfortably carry their light load. Constructed with a highly durable nylon ripstop and a PU coating, this pack will hold up against gnarly trails and light moisture.

Price: $220 AUD
Category: Hiking
Material: 140D / 210D nylon ripstop
Weight: 797 g
Volume: 28L (also available in 14, 22 and 38 litres)
Load Range: Unknown
Sustainability: Main fabric and rain cover are made with 100% recycled materials, PFC-free DWR, B-corp certified company, 1% for the planet

Patagonia Alitvia 28 Hiking Daypack

Features

  • The main compartment is accessed by a flip-top lid and a quick-release drawstring closure
  • Integrated rain cover
  • Trekking pole attachment
  • Hydration compatible
  • 2 side mesh pockets, a zippered external pocket on the top lid, 2 small zippered hipbelt pockets and an internal security zippered pocket
  • Side bungee compression straps located at the top of the pack
  • Patagonia offer an Ironclad Warranty and free returns with no time limit

Suspension

  • Breathable Regulator Airmesh shoulder straps and hipbelt
  • Layered foam frame sheet provides rigidity and moderate support with a light load
  • Suspended mesh backpanel provides increased airflow

Positives

  • Durable material and a sturdy design for rugged trails
  • A versatile option to use for travel as well as lightweight hiking
  • Good storage
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • No load lifters in the shoulder straps make this bag uncomfortable for anything over 4 or 5 kg
  • Thin padding on the hipbelt and shoulder straps

Osprey Sirrus / Stratos 24 Hiking Daypack

The Osprey women’s Sirrus 24 and men’s Stratos 24 are quite similar to the Mira and Manta above, but come at a more affordable price if you’re not interested in the included hydration bladder.

In addition to a cheaper price, the Sirrus and Stratos have a more narrow design that sticks close to the body, making them a more ideal option for climbers or hikers needing a slim daypack.

But as with the Mira and Manta, you’ll find the same incredibly comfortable Airspeed suspension system that can support a medium load with ease. The only thing they don’t have is a front stash-it stretch pocket.

The only reason (other than the added hydration bladder) why I chose the Mira 32 over the Sirrus 36 is the fact that it had a flip-top lid which wouldn’t work for backpacking trips and no front stash-it stretch pocket – plus, I didn’t need the additional 4 litres. However, if I were to choose between the Sirrus 24 and Mira 22, I would choose the Sirrus 24 due to its more narrow and streamlined design when packed full.

What they’re good for

The Osprey Stratos or Sirrus 24 hiking daypacks is the perfect companion for technical day hikes when comfort is more important than overall weight. You’ll find all the necessary features such as trekking pole and ice axe attachments and an integrated rain cover.

Price: $255 AUD
Category: Technical Hiking
Material: Main: 210D honeycomb nylon, Bottom & Accent: 420D nylon
Weight: 1.24 g
Volume: 24L (also available in men’s 34 and 36 and women’s 36 litres)
Load Range: 5 – 12 kg
Sustainability: 100% recycled materials, Bluesign Approved, PFC-free DWR

Osprey Stratos technical daypack for hiking in Australia

Features

  • Large top zippered access to the main compartment
  • Separate zippered compartment for a hydration bladder
  • Stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment and ice axe attachment loops
  • Integrated rain cover
  • 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles, 1 internal mesh pocket with key clip, 1 external small front zippered pocket and 1 larger vertical zippered pocket and 2 zippered hipbelt pockets
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps
  • Refunds and exchanges are available through a 90-day free returns policy if you purchase from Wildfire Sports
  • 2-year warranty for Osprey in Australia and an All-mighty Guarantee for the US

Suspension

  • Highly ventilated die-cut EVA foam hipbelt with forward-pull adjustment
  • Highly ventilated die-cut EVA foam shoulder straps with a mesh yoke that distributes weight evenly
  • 4 mm powder-coated LightWire frame  – supports the load and shapes the backpanel for a close-to-body fit
  • 3D-tensioned suspended mesh backpanel provides exceptional breathability and has 10cm of torso adjustability

Positives

  • Streamlined design stays close to the body for good weight bearing
  • Extremely comfortable for all-day hikes
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • No stash-it front pocket and only a small non-stretchy external pocket – not a good organisation as the Mira
  • Heavy for it’s volume

Deuter Futura 32 Hiking Daypack

The Deuter Futura 32 hiking daypack is built just like a mini backpacking backpack, including all your favourite features like dual access to the main compartment, a flip-top lid and a thick padded hipbelt.

A suspended mesh backpanel allows for increased airflow, making the Futura 32 a great choice for warm climates and all-day summer hikes. However, there is always a sacrifice to be made for ultimate comfort and that comes in the hefty 1.4 kg weight.

What the Futura 32 Backpack good for

If high comfort and support for a moderate load are your top priorities, then the Deuter Futura 32 hiking daypack is the one for you. The suspension system provides exceptional support without sacrificing flexibility so you can stay nimble all day long.

Price: $333 AUD
Category: Technical Hiking
Material: Main: 210D Polyamide, Bottom: 600D Polyester
Weight: 1.4 kg
Volume: 32L (also available in 13, 17, 21, 23, 25, 28 and 30 litres)
Load Range: 4 – 8 kg
Sustainability: Main material made from 50% recycled materials, PFAS free, Bluesign Certified

Deuter Futura 32 hiking daypack

Features

  • The main compartment is accessed from a flip-top lid with a drawstring closure
  • Additional access to the main compartment through a zip at the bottom – this section can also be zipped off internally to make a separate compartment
  • Integrated rain cover
  • Trekking pole attachment
  • Hydration compatible for up to a 3-litre water bladder
  • 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles, 1 top lid external zippered pocket, 2 hipbelt zippered pockets, 1 internal pocket for valuables
  • A mesh stash-it outer pocket at the front for wet or dirty gear
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps
  • Refunds and exchanges are available through a 90-day free returns policy if you purchase from Wildfire Sports
  • Deuter offers a 2-year warranty with free repairs or replacements

Suspension

  • Padded hipbelt with pull-forward adjustment for the perfect fit on the go
  • Ergonomic and adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • The elastic spring steel frame provides a round profile and keeps the suspended mesh tensioned
  • Air Comfort system – suspended mesh backpanel that integrates seamlessly into the hipbelt for increased airflow and a snug and comfortable fit

Positives

  • Highly durable
  • Great ventilation for summer use
  • Can also be used for ultralight overnight hikes
  • Good organisation

Negatives

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • A relatively low load range compared to the overall weight of the pack
  • No adjustability for the torso length

Mammut Trion Nordwand 28 Alpine Daypack

Mammut is well known for their high-end quality and you’ll find nothing different with the Trion Nordwand 28. This alpine backpack is designed to provide everything you need for a day on the technical trails and nothing you don’t.

This is certainly not a daypack for the average hiker, as you’ll likely miss the lack of external pockets, but if robust, water-resistant and superior support are your top priorities then this is the daypack for you!

What the Mammut Trion Nordwand is good for

The Mammut Trion Nordwand 28 is the ideal daypack for winter expeditions when you want to move light and fast. With only one water-resistant external zip and a roll-top, this durable pack will withstand light moisture and a heavy amount of abuse.

Price: $270 AUD
Category: Technical Hiking / Mountaineering
Material: 100D Cordura nylon, 210D nylon
Weight: 810 g
Volume: 28L (also available in 15 and 38 litres)
Load Range: Unknown
Sustainability: PFC-free DWR, Fair Wear

Mammut Trion Nordwand 28 backpack

Features

  • Roll-top closure for increased water resistance and to eliminate excess space
  • Trekking pole and two ice axe attachments
  • Rope attachment on the flap
  • Hydration compatible
  • Water-resistant external zippered side pocket
  • Mesh pockets on the shoulder straps to store small items needed on the go
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps and an additional strap at the front of the daypack
  • Refunds and exchanges are available within 80 days (returns at your own cost for shipping) if you purchase through Wildearth

Suspension

  • Anatomically shaped hipbelt and shoulder straps for increased comfort
  • Forward pull hipbelt adjustment for on-the-go changes
  • Contact V Frame – aluminium V-shaped frame transfers load to the hips without compromising manoeuvrability
  • Padded backpanel for extra comfort with a moderate load

Positives

  • Lightweight for its durability
  • Highly durable
  • Carries a moderate load well
  • Water-resistant design is perfect for snowy adventures

Negatives

  • No use of sustainable materials
  • Minimal external pockets and no water bottle pockets
  • No rain cover
  • No adjustability for the torso length

Gregory Zulu 40 & Jade 38 Hiking Daypacks

Gregory is relatively new to Australia but a much-loved and trusted brand in the US that rivals Osprey for exceptional support and build quality. The men’s Zulu 40 and women’s Jade 38 daypacks are great examples of their innovative and comfort-focused designs and have all the features you’d expect to find on a superior daypack – without the inflated cost!

Similar to the Deuter Futura 32, the Gregory Zulu & Jade daypacks provide the same support found in larger trekking backpacks, but Gregory outshines Deuter by offering an adjustable torso length, a larger volume and a lighter weight for $50 less.

What the Zulu & Jade Daypacks are good for

With a high load range and superior support, the Gregory Zulu 40 and Jade 38 hiking daypacks are perfect for technical winter hikes when extra support and gear are needed – or for parents that need a larger storage capacity to carry their kids’ gear as well. 

Price: $280 AUD
Category: Technical Hiking
Material: Body: 210D honeycomb cryptorip HD nylon, Bottom: 420D HD nylon, Lining: 135D HD embossed polyester
Weight: 1.25 g
Volume: 38L / 40L (also available in women’s 28, 33 and 43 and men’s 30, 35 and 45 litres)
Load Range: Max 16 kg
Sustainability: None

Gregory Jade 38 Hiking Backpack

Features

  • Dual access to the main compartment via the top flip-lip with a drawstring closure and the front U-zip opening
  • Integrated rain cover included
  • Trekking poles or an ice axe attachment loops
  • Hydration compatible with a separate sleeve that accommodates up to a 3-litre water bladder
  • 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles, 2 zippered hipbelt pockets, 1 external zippered top pocket and 1 underside zippered pocket
  • Large front stash-it mesh pocket with a buckle for secure closure
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps – the lower one can either go behind or in front of a water bottle
  • Sunglass can be attached to the QuickStow system on the shoulder harness
  • Refunds and exchanges are available within 80 days (returns at your own cost for shipping) if you purchase through Wildearth

Suspension

  • 3D comfort cradle hipbelt made with dual-density Lifespan EVA foam and a 3D construction to prevent hotspots and increase comfort
  • The hipbelt is also designed with FreeFloat flex panels that allow the hipbelt to pivot and flex with the natural movements of your body
  • Die-cut EVA foam padded shoulder straps with mesh covering for increased ventilation
  • The 4mm perimeter alloy frame and fibreglass anti-barreling cross-stay provide stable load management
  • The FreeFloat ventilated suspended backpanel has an adjustable torso length with an open-air ventilated backpanel covered in a moisture-wicking mesh

Positives

  • Superior support and comfort for all-day hiking with a moderate load
  • Great price for the features you receive
  • Relatively lightweight in comparison to similar daypacks

Negatives

  • Not sustainably made
  • Only one attachment for either trekking poles or ice axe – not both
  • The hydration sleeve and clip are set up to work with Gregory’s hydration bladders – can use other ones but they don’t sit as nicely

Deuter Speed Lite 25 Hiking Daypack

Deuter is another well-loved brand in the outdoor world for their reliable and innovative backpacks. The Deuter Speed Lite 25 is a lightweight and sustainable daypack for hiking fast and light.

The design of the Speed Lite has been carefully thought out for ease of access. You’ll find three small pockets located on the shoulder straps and hipbelt for snacks and other small items such as lip balm. Unfortunately, these are too small to fit anything as big as your phone but we do like the idea of extra storage up front. 

What the Speed Lite 25 is good for

The Deuter Speed Lite 25 daypack is an excellent choice for minimalist or speed hikers who prioritise low weight over extra padding. But even though it features a relatively stripped-back design, you’ll still find plenty of space and attachments for gear such as hiking poles, helmets and up to a 3-litre water bladder.

Price: $233 AUD
Category: Hiking
Material: 140D recycled nylon, 100D recycled nylon
Weight: 710 g
Volume: 25L (also available in 13, 17, 21, 23, 25, 28 and 30 litres)
Load Range: 4 – 7 kg
Sustainability: Main material made from 100% recycled pre-consumer waste, PFAS free, Bluesign Certified body fabric

Deuter Speed Lite 25 hiking daypack

Features

  • Zippered access on top for the main compartment
  • Trekking pole attachments and a daisy chain to attach items like a helmet
  • Separate zippered compartment for up to a 3-litre water bladder
  • 1 zippered hipbelt pocket, 1 stretch and 1 zippered pocket on the shoulder straps and 2 stretch side pockets for water bottles
  • A mesh front stash-it pocket for wet gear
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps
  • Refunds and exchanges are available through a 90-day free returns policy if you purchase from Wildfire Sports
  • Deuter offers a 2-year warranty with free repairs or replacements

Suspension

  • Ergonomic lightly padded shoulder straps
  • Lightly padded adjustable hipbelt
  • The tensioned Delrin U Frame provides a good balance between flexibility and stability with minimal weight
  • Breathable 3D Air Mesh backpanel for increased airflow and comfort

Positives

  • Super lightweight while still offering a thick hipbelt and light support
  • Sustainably made
  • Well thought out design

Negatives

  • Shoulder strap pockets could be bigger, or moved elsewhere
  • Not a whole lot of padding on the shoulder straps and hipbelt
  • No rain cover included

The North Face Borealis 28 Daypack

The North Face Borealis 28 is an everyday/casual daypack that deserves a mention for its super comfortable rounded backpanel (that’s even certified by the American Chiropractic Association) and extensive organisation abilities.

While the Borealis 28 is technically designed for work or study, this daypack will also be a favourite for those that love extra internal pockets for organisation when they go on the occasional day hike.

What the Borealis Hiking Daypack is good for

If you want a daypack that will serve your everyday use and the occasional short day hike, then the TNF Borealis 28 is a fantastic choice. You’ll receive just enough support for a light load thanks to the ergonomic backpanel, articulated padded shoulder straps and removable webbing hipbelt.

Price: $200 AUD
Category: Everyday/Casual
Material: 210D nylon ripstop with DWR coating
Weight: 1.05 kg
Volume: 28L 
Load Range: Unknown
Sustainability: Recycled material, PFC-free DWR

The North Face Borealis 28 daypack for hiking in Australia

Features

  • Large top zipper access to the main compartment
  • Separate zippered compartment next to backpanel for laptop – which can also be used for a hydration bladder (though there is no portal for the hose)
  • 2 mesh side pockets for water bottles and an external fleece-lined front zippered pocket for sunglasses
  • Internal organisational sleeves and a zippered pocket for small valuables
  • Bungee-compression system at the front of the pack for additional items such as a rain jacket
  • Compression bungee cord straps on the side of the daypack and dual compression straps at the bottom to pull weight up
  • Limited lifetime warranty and free 30-day return policy when you shop directly with The North Face

Suspension

  • Removable webbing hipbelt
  • Articulated and lightly padded shoulder straps
  • FlexVent suspension system – padded semi-rigid rounded backpanel

Positives

  • Sustainably made
  • Versatile option to suit both light and short hikes and everyday use
  • Good organisation

Negatives

  • Lacks some important features for hiking such as a portal for a hydration bladder
  • Heavy for its design

Gregory Nano 18 Backpack

The Gregory Nano 18 is a budget-friendly daypack fit for anything from short hikes to days wandering a new city. While it’s small, the Nano 18 doesn’t skimp on the necessary features needed for the trails, such as compression straps, a hydration sleeve, ventilation and a removable webbing hipbelt.

And if you need just a little extra room, you can opt for the larger 20 or 24-litre Nano instead, which also features a stash-it mesh front pocket and hiking pole attachments for the 24-litre option.

What the Gregory Nano bag good for

If all you need is an extra layer, snacks and water, then the Gregory Nano 18 is the daypack for you. It’s built to the same quality standards you’ll find across Gregory’s well-loved range of backpacks for a great price and a super low weight.

Price: $90 AUD
Category: Casual / Hiking
Material: Body: 210D nylon dobby, Bottom: 420D nylon, Lining: 135D polyester
Weight: 454 g
Volume: 18L (also available in 14, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 30 litres)
Load Range: Max 6.8 kg
Sustainability: 40% postconsumer recycled polyester

Gregory Nano 18 hiking daypack

Features

  • Top zippered access to the main compartment
  • A separate zippered compartment  for up to a 2.5L water bladder, with routing to harness
  • Zippered external front pocket with a key hook and organisational sleeves
  • 2 mesh side pockets for water bottles
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps with quick-release buckles
  • Refunds and exchanges are available within 80 days (returns at your own cost for shipping) if you purchase through Wildearth

Suspension

  • Removable webbing hipbelt
  • Padded airmesh shoulder straps
  • Die-cut perforated CLPE Foam backpanel with airmesh for increased ventilation

Positives

  • Great features at a low price
  • Comfortable for all-day use with a small load
  • Versatile use from travel to short day hikes

Negatives

  • Small zippered access to the main compartment
  • The backpanel is quite thin and you may feel some sharper items if you don’t have a water bladder separating your back from the main compartment

Patagonia Black Hole 25 Daypack

If you travel often and need a highly durable and weather-resistant daypack that can handle the abuse of short trails and airports and other transport, look no further than the Patagonia Black Hole 25 daypack.

This burly daypack is built with an extremely durable yet light recycled polyester ripstop and a highly weather-resistant TPU-film laminate. On top of a well-built design, you’ll find plenty of storage options for great organisation – including a hydration sleeve that can also be used as a laptop sleeve.

What the Patagonia Black Hole 25 is good for

The Patagonia Black Hole 25 daypack is your go-to if your main purpose is travel and everyday use, but you want to be ready for any short day hikes that pop up on your travels. While I wouldn’t suggest carrying much weight – there isn’t a hipbelt or load bearing in the shoulder straps – this is the perfect choice for when you need little more than an extra layer, lunch and water.

Price: $190 AUD
Category: Everyday/Casual
Material: Body: 300D polyester ripstop with TPU-film laminate, Lining: 200D polyester with PU coating
Weight: 650 g
Volume: 25L
Load Range: Unknown
Sustainability: 100% postconsumer recycled material, Bluesign Approved body fabric, Fair Trade certified sewn, B-corp certified company, 1% for the planet

Patagonia Black Hole 25 hiking daypack

Features

  • Zippered access to the main compartment
  • Hydration compatible
  • 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles, 1 external front and 1 external top zippered pocket and an internal padded sleeve
  • Daisy chain gear loops to attach extra items like a helmet
  • Refunds and exchanges are available within 80 days (returns at your own cost for shipping) if you purchase through Wildearth
  • Patagonia offer an Ironclad Warranty and free returns with no time limit

Suspension

  • Padded shoulder straps for increased comfort
  • Air mesh padded backpanel for extra comfort and increased ventilation

Positives

  • A great all-rounder for travel
  • Extremely durable and weather resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • No hipbelt
  • The small opening to the main compartment can make it hard to find smaller items

Big Agnes Ditch Rider 32 Daypack

The Big Agnes Ditch Rider 32 is a lightweight and sustainable daypack that features a roll-top lid and duffel-bag style access through the backpanel for easy packing, unpacking and organising.

You’ll find a surprising amount of durability in the thin material and great comfort for light loads thanks to the body-mapping foam backpanel. The Ditch Rider’s design also allows it to pack down small for travel – the only downside being that the thinly padded shoulder straps and hip belt, and lack of load lifters or a wire frame, don’t invoke confidence in the claimed 11 kg max load range.

What the Ditch Rider Hiking Daypack is good for

If you need a versatile yet lightweight daypack that can comfortably cinch down to whatever size you need, then the Big Agnes Ditch Rider 32 is the one for you. With its lightweight roll-top lid and unique compression straps located at the sides and the bottom, you can customise the volume of this pack easily to accommodate any size load for varying hikes.

Price: $250 AUD
Category: Hiking
Material: Nylon ripstop and nylon taffeta lining
Weight: 907 g
Volume: 32L
Load Range: Max 11 kg
Sustainability: Recycled material, GRS certified

Big Agnes Ditch Rider 32 Hiking Daypack for the Australian wilderness

Features

  • Access to the main compartment via a roll-top closure with two side webbing buckle closures for an easily adjustable pack volume
  • Trekking pole attachment and daisy chain for additional gear
  • Internal hydration sleeve fits up to a 2-litre water bladder (not included)
  • 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles, one external top zippered pocket and additional access to the main compartment via the zippered backpanel
  • Large front stash-it pocket for wet or dirty gear
  • Unique compression straps located at the side and bottom of the pack pull weight inward and upward
  • Optional rain cover sold separately
  • Refunds and exchanges are available within 80 days (returns at your own cost for shipping) if you purchase through Wildearth

Suspension

  • Articulated open-range hipbelt provides flexibility and stability
  • Contoured shoulder straps for extra comfort
  • Contoured anatomically curved backpanel with body map foam and thick channels for ventilation

Positives

  • Ability to easily cinch down the roll-top to adjust the pack volume
  • Easily packable for travel
  • Durable for its weight
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • The suspension system doesn’t carry a heavy load very well
  • Rain cover isn’t included and needs to be purchased separately
  • Reviews have indicated that the shoulder straps are too close together and can rub on the neck

Cotopaxi Batac 24 Daypack

The Cotopaxi Batac 24 isn’t technically a daypack for hiking, but I wanted to include it for its awesome sustainable production. The Batac 24 is created using fabric left over from other companies’ larger production runs and their sewers have full creative control over the final look, meaning no two bags are the same!

You won’t find any support other than an adjustable chest strap, but you will find a hydration (or laptop) sleeve, lots of organisational opportunities and a fun and bright design.

What the Cotopaxi Batac Bag is good for

The Cotopaxi Batac 24 daypack is a favourite for travellers who need a no-nonsense pack that can roll up small but provide enough space for the light essentials needed for a quick hike or a day exploring the sights. 

Price: $140 AUD
Category: Everyday/Casual
Material: Nylon ripstop
Weight: 482 g
Volume: 24L (also available in 16 litres)
Load Range: Unknown
Sustainability: Repurposed material left over from larger companies, B-corp certified company, Climate neutral, 1% for the planet

Fun and colourful bag for casual wear and travel, the Cotopaxi Batac 24

Features

  • Large top zippered access to the main compartment
  • External front zippered pocket and 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles
  • Internal sleeve divider and mesh zippered pocket for better organisation
  • Separate zippered compartment at the back for a laptop
  • Daisy chain on the front to clip on extra items such as a helmet
  • Refunds and exchanges are available within 80 days (returns at your own cost for shipping) if you purchase through Wildearth

Suspension

  • Lightly padded mesh shoulder straps with an adjustable chest strap

Positives

  • A sustainable and innovative way to use wasted material
  • Fun colours and unique one-of-a-kind designs for each bag
  • Very lightweight and packable

Negatives

  • No hipbelt
  • No backpanel and therefore no structured shape to the pack

The North Face Slackpack 2.0

Designed for backcountry skiing and snowboarding, The North Face Slackpack 2.0 is a 20L daypack built with exceptional durability and weather resistance. But while its main function isn’t for hiking, it’s a great alternative to the average hiking daypack if you need a streamlined design that will take a good amount of abuse from the elements.

However, in order to attain a streamlined design, you will forego side mesh pockets for water bottles and any other external pockets. But the two main compartments are well thought out and allow for easy organisation.

What The North Face Slackpack 2.0 is good for

If you’re in need of a streamlined design that won’t get caught on rocks or branches when you’re hiking off-track, and will protect your gear against light moisture, then the TNF Slackpack 2.0 is the daypack for you. This is a great choice for quick winter hikes that don’t require much gear.

Price: $200 AUD
Category: Technical Hiking / Backcountry
Material: Front: 600D polyester with tarpaulin coating and diamond emboss, Side & bottom: 1200D polyester with DWR coating
Weight: 940 g
Volume: 20L
Load Range: Unknown
Sustainability: PFC-free DWR

The North Face Slackpack 2.0 Winter Hiking Daypack for Australia

Features

  • Backpanel access to the main compartment for increased weather-resistance
  • Hydration compatible with internal sleeve
  • Large separate front zippered pocket with organising sleeve
  • Internal fleece-lined pocket for valuables and a secure zip pocket with key clip
  • Straps across the front of the pack (for snowboard carry) double as compression straps
  • Limited lifetime warranty and free 30-day return policy when you shop directly with The North Face

Suspension

  • Removable webbing hipbelt
  • Lightly padded shoulder straps with adjustable chest strap
  • Soft padded backpanel that zips open for access to main compartment

Positives

  • Extremely durable
  • Weather-resistant
  • Good internal organisation

Negatives

  • No backpanel support
  • Not sustainably made
  • Could do with a little more padding on the shoulder straps and a thicker hipbelt

Fjallraven Abisko Hike 35 Hiking Daypack

The Fjallraven Abisko Hike 35 is a technical hiking daypack with a top-quality design that Fjallraven is known for. The daypack is equipped with all the necessary features for all-day comfort on the trails, including an adjustable torso length and ventilated air mesh on the backpanel, shoulder straps and hipbelt for better airflow.

While the Fjallraven Abisko Hike 35 isn’t cheap by any means, if longevity and superior build quality are your main priority then it might be worth splashing out for this feature-rich technical daypack.

What the Abisko Hike 35 is good for

The Fjallraven Abisko Hike 35 is your go-to for technical hikes where durability and organisation are of the highest importance. You’ll find several sleeves inside the pack to organise your items as well as two access points for the main compartment.

Price: $409 AUD
Category: Technical Hiking
Material: 210D polyamide ripstop, G-1000 Heavy Duty Eco S: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
Weight: 1.4 kg
Volume: 35L
Load Range: Unknown
Sustainability: Recycled material, PFC-free DWR

Fjallraven Abisko Hike 35 Daypack for Hiking in Australia

Features

  • Dual access to the main compartment via a flip-top lid with a drawstring closure and a large front zip
  • Integrated rain cover included
  • Hiking pole or ice axe attachment
  • Hydration compatible with internal sleeve and hook
  • 2 mesh side pockets for water bottles, 1 zippered external top pocket, 1 zippered mesh pocket inside lid, 1 internal zippered side pocket, 1 internal pocket and 2 zippered hipbelt pockets
  • Bungee cord on the top lid to stash items such as a rain jacket
  • Dual side compression strap
  • 2-year limited warranty and 30-day return policy (postage at your own cost)

Suspension

  • Lightly padded ventilated hipbelt
  • Padded ventilated shoulder straps
  • Aluminium frame for increased support
  • Ventilated air mesh backpanel

Positives

  • Highly durable
  • Good support and comfort
  • Adjustable torso length
  • Sustainably made

Negatives

  • Expensive
  • Hipbelt could be better padded
  • Heavy 

Final Thoughts On Australia’s Best Hiking Daypacks

No matter if you’re searching for the best hiking daypack for short and easy hikes or to assist you on long and gnarly ascents through the alpine, it’s important to choose the right style of daypack for you and ensure it can support the weight you expect to carry.

We hope that our guide to choosing the best daypack for hiking and our list of the top daypacks on the market for the coming 2023/2024 season has helped you with your decision making. If you need additional guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach and we’ll do our best to help you further.

Happy Hiking 🙂

Last Updated: 31/12/2023