Tag Archives: hydration pack reviews
By Michael Lanza
Choosing a daypack for hiking can seem simple—until you see the dozens of choices out there today, which range all over the map in terms of volume, weight, carrying capacity, features, and cost. Before buying, consider what you need a daypack for. How much stuff will you carry? That partly depends on where, when, and how far you hike. What kind of pack design suits your dayhiking style: low- or high-capacity? Lightweight and minimalist, or with an assortment of pockets and features? Built for hard abuse, or mostly for cruising good trails?
The seven daypacks in this freshly updated review stand out as the best available today—and this review describes the subtle differences between them to help you find the right pack for your dayhiking adventures.
Plus, right now, you’ll find some of them at sharply reduced sale prices.
Patagonia Nine Trails 20L
$129, 20L/1,220 c.i., 1 lb. 11 oz. (S/M)
Sizes: S/M and L/XL
What’s an ideal daypack for three-season hikes? When you’re only carrying food, water, extra clothing, and perhaps some incidentals like camera gear (as I do), a daypack of 15 to 20 liters is ideal for most dayhikers in three-season conditions: They’re light on your back but offer all the space and features you need. Sometimes the story behind a piece of gear will appear sparse, precisely because it dispenses with the superfluous in service to functionality. On various dayhikes from Zion National Park to a 27-mile, 16-hour traverse of western Maine’s Mahoosuc Range, I found the Nine Trails 20L hits a sweet spot for supremely easy access, low weight, capacity, and comfort. Continue reading →
Gregory Citro 20/Juno 20
$120, 20L/1,220 c.i., 2 lbs. 3.5 oz. (without reservoir)
One men’s and one women’s size
On a 16-mile, roughly 5,000-vertical-foot October dayhike of 11,749-foot Mount Timpanogos in Utah’s Wasatch Range, on a day when I needed clothes for temperatures ranging from around 50 to the 30s Fahrenheit, with strong, cold winds at higher elevations, I carried the Citro 20 for several hours with about 15 pounds of water, food, clothing, and camera gear inside. That day convinced me that many hikers would like the men’s Citro 20 and women’s Juno 20. Here’s why. Continue reading →
Exped Skyline 15
$129, 2 lbs. 5 oz.
Daypacks come in many sizes and designs these days, some for multi-sport use, some more specialized. But real technological innovation happens rarely in that market. Now comes Exped’s new Skyline 15, which, with one simple adjustment that takes a few seconds, essentially shape-shifts between two different types of pack. To see whether it really measures up to its promise, I took it out for a true test on a rugged dayhike in New Hampshire’s White Mountains on a day of hot temperatures and humidity. Continue reading →
Osprey Talon 22 and Tempest 20
$110, 20L/1,220 c.i., 1 lb. 11 oz. (men’s S/M)
Sizes: men’s S/M and M/L, women’s XS/S and S/M
Daypacks are a little like flavors of ice cream—there’s something for everyone’s taste, and they vary so greatly that you can get to feel like one isn’t nearly enough. So how do you find the right model when you want a quiver of one daypack for all purposes? In pursuit of the answer to that enduring philosophical conundrum, I carried Osprey’s Talon 22 on a dayhike to the highest point in California’s Death Valley National Park, 11,049-foot Telescope Peak, and on dayhikes during a family trip to Costa Rica, including the crazily steep and rugged peak Cerro Chato. Continue reading →