Gear Review: L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa Daypack

L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa
L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa

L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa
$100, 2 lbs. 2 oz. (M/L)
Sizes: S/M (1,422 c.i./23L) and M/L (1,620 c.i./27L)

Tradition meets modern technology in Bean’s Trekker 25 with Boa compression. On dayhikes from Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve to the Needles District of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, the Trekker 25 gave me plenty of space for extra clothing and food for my kids and me, carried quite comfortably with up to 15 pounds, and offered the kind of organization that makes an obsessive-compulsion person like me feel all warm and fuzzy. But the deal closer is the pack’s two Boa compression systems, with internal wires that are cranked tight and released with an external knob (think: ski and snowboard boots), that snug undersized loads against your back so well that the pack never shifts, even when scrambling rugged, off-trail terrain.

L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa
Boa compression system open.

The Boa system on each side of the pack not only compress it quickly and efficiently, they eliminate the need for external compression straps that can get in the way when you’re trying to get inside. That compression system and the pack’s spacious main compartment and multitude of pockets and features make it highly versatile for everything from an all-day tromp in the mountains to bike commuting, a hut-to-hut trek, and air travel. The top pocket is one of the biggest you’ll find in a daypack—you could stuff a jacket in there, although the ample front shove-it pocket is the best spot for that. The zippered, bellows front pocket on the face of the shove-it pocket has plenty of space for hat, gloves, snacks, and small items. Stretchy side pockets each hold a liter bottle.

L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa
Boa compression system tightened up.

The internal, plastic framesheet provides support for loads up to 15 pounds or more, while perforated air mesh in the hipbelt, shoulder straps, and the three foam back pads kept me cool and comfortable on spring desert hikes. While not the lightest daypack out there, the Trekker 25 falls right around the middle of the field for weight, and it’s light for the amount of cargo space and the comfort it delivers. And you can expect it to last many years, with a body made from 210-denier ripstop nylon and the bottom from 600-denier Kodra nylon.

L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa
L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa.

Like any daypack with a real hipbelt, the Trekker 25 should have hipbelt pockets. But that’s my only complaint about this pack. In designing the Trekker 25, Bean didn’t throw out the baby with the bath water—they kept what’s good about traditional daypacks and introduced smart technology to make it better, and then offered it at a good price.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking this link to buy a men’s or women’s L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa daypack at

See all of my reviews of daypacks I like and all of my reviews of hiking gear.

NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu.

—Michael Lanza




Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Places in the Northwest and Northern Rockies?

Review: Clothing That Helps Me Run and Hike Farther


Leave a Comment

6 thoughts on “Gear Review: L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa Daypack”

  1. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for these reviews! I’m a backpacker, looking for a daypack to do short-ish day hikes, 4-6 hours, mostly solo. I was debating between this and the Gregory Miwok 24…I was leaning towards the LL Bean, but was curious if you had a preference between the two.


    • Hi Mike, I’ve been asked by other readers to compare the Trekker 25 and the Miwok 24. I think the choice comes down to personal preference. Obviously, they have very similar capacity, and the major difference (besides the Bean’s Boa compression feature) is that the Miwok is lighter and the Bean has more organizational features. For dayhikes on my own (when I’m not carrying stuff for my family, for instance), I like a lighter, more streamlined daypack like the Miwok, and I don’t require a huge amount of organization; I also like the Miwok’s hipbelt pockets, so I can grab a snack without stopping. But some hikers prefer the compartmentalization offered by the Trekker, which makes it versatile for use as an around-town or carry-on pack, too. Good luck.

  2. Is it waterproof or do you need a rain cover? We’re headed to Peru to hike the Inca trail and know it rains frequently daily.

    • Hi Keith, it’s not waterproof and there’s no integrated rain cover, so you’ll probably want to either buy a small pack cover, or get waterproof stuff sacks for everything you put inside the pack. A pack cover can get blown off by wind, while waterproof stuff sacks organize your stuff and keep it dry.