Whether you're going on a one-day trek or planning a serious hike that will take you days, a daypack is an essential item for your next adventure. The best daypacks for women are made from water-resistant material and come with supportive, breathable, and cushioned straps. Capacities vary so you'll need to make sure the pack is roomy enough to store everything you plan on taking with you. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you shop.
Nylon and polyester are both ideal materials for a daypack because they are light, durable, and resistant to water and tearing. The volume of your daypack will be reflected in liters (L). If you need to carry enough in your pack for an intense dawn to dusk hike, consider going for a capacity range in the 21 to 35; if you just need your wallet, keys, and maybe an extra jacket, a smaller pack that holds 10 liters or less should be fine. Keep in mind, you may want to go for a higher capacity if you're planning a winter activity and need to accommodate for more layers.
Some key features you'll want to look for in a quality daypack include breathable mesh shoulder straps that are designed with padding so you can feel more comfortable when you're wearing one for hours. A bag with multiple pockets, included a padded laptop sleeve, provides a way to safely store gear, while a built-in insulated bladder keeps water cold and allows you to stay hydrated while you're on the go. A heavier daypack that is designed to carry more gear will ideally have waist or sternum straps that help disperse the weight of the backpack.
Finding a woman's daypack that has details that fit your lifestyle can feel a bit overwhelming, but I’ve included something for everyone. These picks are approved by reviewers and come in a variety of sizes and prices.
1. A Spacious Backpack That Has Back Support
- Liters: 30
- Dimensions: 19.25 x 13 x 7 inches
This roomy backpack from a trusted brand has a place for everything you’ll need, plus it’s designed to keep your back cool and supported. The North Face’s suspension system includes a padded mesh panel and cushy shoulder pads. A lumbar panel provides additional support. The highly rated pack is made from nylon and features multiple pockets, including a padded fleece-lined sleeve for your laptop, mesh water bottle pockets, and multi-use zipper pockets. It has a sternum and waist strap to help distribute the additional weight.
Helpful Review: "I couldn’t be more happy with this product! But [it] is North Face so that’s to be expected! It’s very spacious and the back has great support! I use it when I go kayaking, hiking.....pretty much everyday! So glad I purchased this!"
- Available Colors: 24
2. A Stylish Daypack With A Wet Pocket
- Liters: 40
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 6.3 x 19.3 inches
This patterned daypack weighs just 11 ounces, yet holds up to 40 liters of gear and accessories for your next adventure. The shoulder straps are designed with mesh padding and it has four pockets, including a waterproof wet pocket. Made from water-resistant nylon, this pack has more than 6,000 reviewers and a 4.6-star rating. It can even clip at the chest for extra support and has a durable double-layer bottom so you can carry more items without worrying about the pack not holding up. Reviewers report that it folds into a small pocket, which makes it ideal for traveling. It comes in several prints, as well as solid colors.
Helpful Review: “This bag is great. Seems like I can just keep stuffing my things in it and it just keeps expanding. I love how much room it has. It’s very lightweight and great for traveling. The pattern is just so vibrant, I love it. I’ve had several compliments on it since I started received it.”
- Available Colors: 11
3. A Compact Daypack That's Perfect For Traveling
- Liters: 20
- Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 5.5 inches
This compact daypack is a great choice if you’re traveling light. It is made from water-resistant nylon and has a large main pocket to hold a change of clothes, as well as a convenient smaller pocket for maps, books, or a small camera. The third pocket is concealed and serves as a perfect place to store valuables. It is the most lightweight option on this list at just 7.5 ounces and can be folded into a small square about the size of a sandwich bag for simple storage. The wide mesh straps are breathable and fully adjustable. It’s reinforced for extra strength and comes at an affordable price — which has helped earn this pack a 4.7-star rating with more than 4,000 reviews.
Helpful Review: "I just recently returned from a trip to Switzerland and bought this before I left to use as a supplemental pack for touring and day hikes etc. This was the PERFECT pack! It is lightweight, easy to take along and holds more than enough for its intended use, including an extra sweater, tour guidebook, a hat, souvenirs and even a light lunch, with plenty of room to spare. [It] also holds two medium size water bottles in the side pockets and they don't slip out! It handily folds into its own interior pocket and shrinks down to about the size of a sandwich. It also has an interior and exterior pocket, which is nice to separate small items in their own areas. Very easy to take along in a suitcase without taking up a lot of room. It is sturdy and well made. I love this pack and am now using it at home for day hikes. One great quality product at a very reasonable price."
- Available Colors: 8
4. An Insulated Hydration Pack
- Liters: 18
- Dimensions: 17.7 x 19.8 x 5.9 inches
This hydration pack holds your water for the day and still has room left over. It has a large, 2.5-liter insulated BPA-free bladder that is easy to fill and is designed with a straw function that allows you to drink while hiking. The pack, which weighs 1.4 pounds, has room for everything else you need, too. It can hold 18 liters and has a built-in tablet sleeve, small pockets in the waistband, and mesh pockets on each side. This pack is made of water-resistant nylon, plus it has 1,200 reviews and 4.7 stars. Many reviewers say they love the quality you get for such a reasonable price and one even reports using it to hike Machu Picchu.
Helpful Review: “This hydration pack is perfect for what I've used it for. There's plenty of room for snacks and an extra layer of clothes. The side/waist pockets are extremely convenient and my iPhone 7 fits perfectly in them. There [are] zipper pockets inside of the backpack for extra security for things like keys or other stuff you don't want to lose. The water bladder is great quality as well as the hose and the part you drink from. It hasn't leaked or dripped at all. The overall comfort of the bag is great! It's got a good amount of padding and didn't feel awkward at all. Not even after [a] 7 mile hike."
- Available Colors: 7
5. An Oversized Daypack With A Rain Cover
- Liters: 50
- Dimensions: 25.6 x 13.8 x 9.8 inches
If you’re looking for a large waterproof backpack that can withstand heavy rain, this pick holds an impressive 50 liters and is made from a waterproof nylon and polyester blend. It’s equipped with a rain cover that makes sure your belongings stay dry. It features multiple pockets, with a chest and waist strap, breathable mesh shoulder straps, comfortable sponge padding. This pack is a heavier pick that weighs 2.6 pounds, but it has more than 1,500 reviews and a 4.5 star rating. If you’re hiking for days at a time, this is the pack you’ll want. Beyond its internal storage, it has eight adjustable straps on each side that can hold a hammock, sleeping bag, or tripod.
Helpful Review: “Traveled to Hawaii and did a ton of hiking! Worked great! Hiked the most rainy spot on earth. The built-in cover works great keeping the pack dry. Even on the beach as it started raining I covered it up and went in the water to embrace the rain. My stuff stayed dry! I think my husband was jealous my pack was better than his so he tucked his belongings in my pack to stay dry. Needless to say I’ll buy him one soon!”
- Available Colors: 5