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Backpacks

The 7 Best Daypacks for Every Kind of Hike

From quick jaunts to the biggest days, these packs will keep you comfortable no matter how heavy (or light) your load.

A dayhike can be anything, from an after-work stroll to a grueling, dawn-to-midnight mission. However you hit the trail, one of these 7 daypacks is perfect for your done-in-a-day adventures.

Black Diamond Distance 15

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We reached for the sub-1-pound Distance whenever done-in-a-day summits were on the menu. Even though it’s light, the packbag’s PU-coated, 210-denier nylon is threaded with polyethylene, so we never worried about scraping it during scrambles. Buy Black Diamond Distance 15 / Read the Full Review 

Deuter Trail Pro 36 / 34 SL

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This hauler bridges the gap between huge day and ultralight overnight hikes. Buy Deuter Trail Pro 36 / 34 SL Now / Read the Full Review 

Gregory Miwok 12 / Maya 10

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On days when we were speeding down the trail, this pack and its body-hugging fit were an easy pick. Clever use of foam and stretchy mesh allow the shoulder straps and hipbelt to flex and relax like tendons, so the Miwok stayed glued to one tester’s back on a 10-miler in Montana’s Bighorn Mountains. Buy Gregory Miwok 12 / Maya 10 Now / Read the Full Review

Hydro Flask Journey Series 20L

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The Journey is Hydro Flask’s first foray into the dedicated hiking pack category (the company is better known for insulated drinkware and portable cooler packs), and we’re impressed with its warm-weather performance. Buy Hydro Flask Journey Series 20L Now / Read the Full Review

JanSport Tahoma 27

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The Tahoma is more affordable than some packs half its size, but it doesn’t skimp on features. Its foam shoulder straps are perforated for breathability and support loads up to 25 pounds with help from a rigid plastic backpanel. Buy JanSport Tahoma 27 Now / Read the Full Review

Mystery Ranch Scree 32

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This pack looks different because it is different. The Scree’s Y-shaped zipper (it has three zipper heads) opens like an old-fashioned doctor’s kit, allowing us to find exactly what we were looking for quickly and easily. Buy Mystery Ranch Scree 32 Now / Read the Full Review

Osprey Skarab 22 / Skimmer 20

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Even though it sits in the middle of the size spectrum, the Skarab’s smart design gives it the capacity of a bigger pack. A bellowed stuff-it pouch on the front fits a shell and gaiters, and roomy hipbelt and side pockets make stashing extra layers and snacks a cinch. Buy Osprey Skarab 22 / Skimmer 20 Now / Read the Full Review