From sternum straps to back ventilation, we’ve sorted out the tech talk to get to the bottom of buying the right daypack. First off, daypacks are lightweight and snug-fitting – great for day walks or your daily work commute.
Know your limits when it comes to carrying heavy loads and buy a smaller size if needs be. Daypack’s typically range in size between 20 and 30 litres, which is big enough for snacks, water, a hat, sunscreen – think day hikes in the mountains or sightseeing in Paris. Many bags come with bungee straps on the outside for carrying extras like shoes.
Choose a bag that’s both well ventilated and comfortable. Carrying a heavy load can be sweaty work so check the back ventilation features. Often better airflow technology requires hard padded materials in lieu of softer fabrics. You can choose a steel frame that leaves a wide gap between you and the bag or a technical mesh channel that creates increased airflow.
Buy a pack with a waist belt and chest straps (also known as sternum straps) so your back doesn’t take strain – on long, walking days you’ll be grateful for the help.
Women have smaller frames and narrower shoulders than men. Most packs come in a unisex design, but gender-specific backpacks are available from brands such as Osprey and Deuter. Ask in store about your options.
5. Extra Features
More features? More bucks. If you’re not lugging around a laptop or using the MP3 cable sockets, consider a simpler pack. However, water bottle pockets and zippered outer stash pockets are endlessly useful.
Ready to buy? We tested 10 daypacks and found the best packs for any adventure.
The September 2015 issue of Getaway magazine is dedicated to all things walking and hiking, with inspiring stories, gear reviews and great competitions galore. Get your copy today.