daypack reviews

The Gregory Miwok 18 daypack.

The 10 Best Hiking Daypacks of 2021

By Michael Lanza

Choosing a daypack for hiking can seem overwhelming when you see the dozens of choices available today, which range all over the map in terms of volume, weight, carrying capacity, features, and cost—as well as fit and comfort. Look no further. This freshly updated review spotlights the best daypacks for hiking and offers expert buying tips that explain the subtle differences between packs to help you find the right one for your own adventures.

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Salomon ADV Skin 12 running hydration vest.

The Best Running Hydration Vests of 2021

By Michael Lanza

Some ideas are so obviously better than everything that came before that the new thing just takes off: Many serious runners now recognize that the smartest way to carry water on a run—plus clothing layers and food on longer trail runs—is in a lightweight, streamlined, torso-hugging hydration vest. This review spotlights the best vests for trail running—how they differ in fit, comfort, capacity, and details—and offers expert advice on choosing the right one for your runs and dayhikes.

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Arc'teryx Aerios 30 hiking daypack.

Review: Arc’teryx Aerios 30 Daypack

Daypack
Arc’teryx Aerios 30
$190, 30L/1,831 c.i., 2 lbs. (men’s regular)
Sizes: men’s and women’s regular and tall
rei.com

Even in the context of how much continued, impressive innovation has occurred in the category of hiking daypacks in recent years, the Arc’teryx Aerios 30 raises the bar for versatility and sheer ingenuity. Marrying the best elements of traditional daypacks and running vests, this comfortable sack combines a reasonable weight with bountiful capacity, a smart feature set, and top-shelf durability. It also has one flaw, though not one that constitutes a dealbreaker.

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Deuter Speed Lite 24 daypack.

Review: Deuter Speed Lite 24 Daypack

Daypack
Deuter Speed Lite 24
$115, 24L/1,465 c.i., 1 lb. 11 oz.
One size
backcountry.com

With the Speed Lite 24, Deuter set out to make a pack that does it all. Weighing well under two pounds—low for a pack with this much capacity—it’s marketed as an ultralight, all-around daypack for long trail days, technical rock climbing, and even snow climbing. I wanted to see if such a light pack could fill all those roles, so I tested it extensively, including a 4500-foot, eight-mile hike up Ferguson Canyon and a 3,000-foot scramble up the South Ridge of Mount Superior in Utah’s Wasatch Range.

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A backpacker on the Gunsight Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.

Why and When to Spend More on Hiking and Backpacking Gear

By Michael Lanza

You need a new backpack, backpacking tent, rain jacket, boots, or a sleeping bag. You’ve read reviews. You’ve winnowed your short list to a handful of possible choices—with a significant difference in prices. That’s when you struggle with the question that pushes the frugality button in all of us: Why should I spend more?

This story will explain why some gear is more expensive and give you specific advice on buying five big-ticket items: packs, tents, rain jackets, shoes and boots, and sleeping bags.

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