Osprey Syncro 20
$119, l lb. 15 oz. (M/L)
Sizes: S/M 18L/1,098 c.i., M/L 20L/1,220 c.i.
This daypack is all about organization, comfort, and versatility for several hours of hiking or biking. On hikes, rides, and light ski tours in Idaho’s Boise Mountains, I found its suspension super stable, thanks to a single, aluminum perimeter stay that wraps around the back panel and flexes with your torso motion while providing enough support for loads of 15 pounds or more. The trampoline-style back panel allows lots of air circulation, which kept my back cool on long uphill slogs, while the lightly padded, mesh waistbelt and shoulder straps are comfortable without being bulky or obtrusive.
The main compartment, accessed by a large, clamshell-style zipper (read: no top lid pocket to have to unclip first), has space for all the extra clothing you’d need on an all-day hike or a trail ride with the prospect of mixed weather and a range of temperatures. A second clamshell pocket is organized to hold a small pump and other tools. A zippered front pocket has compartments for keys, a phone, and other small items, and the stretchy, mesh side pockets are accessible while wearing the pack. It also has biking details like a helmet clip and blinker light attachments on the front and a built-in reflective rain cover. It comes with a tough, three-liter hydration reservoir with a locking bite valve, saving you at least $25. The Syncro 20 is a great bike-commuter pack, too, but bigger than needed for everyday workout rides of a couple hours or less. For that kind of use, check out the two smaller versions, the Syncro 15 ($109, 1 lb. 10 oz. and 15L/915 c.i. for the M/L) and Syncro 10 ($99, 1 lb. 9 oz. and 10L/610 c.i. for the M/L).