daypack reviews

Deuter Speed Lite 24 daypack.

Review: Deuter Speed Lite 24 Daypack

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

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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Mystery Ranch Coulee 25 daypack.

Review: Mystery Ranch Coulee 25 Daypack

Daypack Mystery Ranch Coulee 25 $189, 25L/1,525 c.i., 2 lbs. 11 oz. (men’s S/M) Sizes: men’s S/M and L/XL, women’s XS/X and M/L The long arc toward lighter gear in the outdoor industry has undeniably brought many benefits to those of us who love going into the backcountry. But the flip side of that trend sometimes manifests in compromises …

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Black Diamond Trail Blitz 12 ultralight daypack.

Review: Black Diamond Trail Blitz 12 and REI Flash 18 Daypacks

Ultralight Daypacks Black Diamond Trail Blitz 12 $50, 12L/732 c.i., 6.5 oz. One size REI Flash 18 $40, 18L/1,100 c.i., 9 oz. One size When considering whether to carry a light daypack or summit pack for side hikes or peakbagging on a backpacking trip, I’d normally weigh the length of the side hikes—i.e., how far I’d have to …

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The Gregory Miwok 18 daypack.

Review: Gregory Miwok 18 and Maya 16 Daypacks

Gregory Miwok 18/Maya 16
$110, 18L/1,098 c.i., 1 lb. 12 oz. (men’s)
One men’s and women’s size, adjustable

Look at a row of modern daypacks in any store or at an online retailer and you’ll see an increasing number that strive to strike a balance between good carrying comfort and capacity, with a smart feature set that’s not over-engineered, and low weight. Many of them are using the template employed by Gregory’s Miwok and Maya daypack series for years. Carrying the recently updated Miwok 18 on sections of a five-day trek through northern Spain’s Picos de Europa Mountains, and on an eight-mile, 5,200-vertical-foot dayhike of Idaho’s 12,662-foot Borah Peak—with some third-class scrambling—I was reminded of everything I’ve liked about this pack for a long time, and had an opportunity to evaluate a fine, major improvement these outstanding daypacks have just received.

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Deuter Trail Pro 36 daypack.

Review: Deuter Trail Pro 36 and Trail Pro 34 SL Daypacks

Large Daypack
Deuter Trail Pro 36 and Trail Pro 34 SL
$165, 36L/2,197 c.i., 3 lbs. 7 oz. (men’s)
Sizes: one men’s and one women’s, not adjustable

On the second day of a five-day hut trek through Spain’s Picos de Europa Mountains, the trail immediately grew steep and remained steep for most of the day. We hiked long stretches over snow-covered talus and scree—and concluded the day’s hiking with a descent of almost 3,000 feet through innumerable switchbacks. On top of that, the skies rained and snowed on us virtually all day. Sometimes, you just get lucky with conditions that put a pack through a testing gantlet. Throughout that Picos trek, the Trail Pro 36 demonstrated that it’s a high-quality, versatile, large daypack.

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