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  1. #1

    Default Looking for a good day pack

    So, I have my main ruck sack which is 60L bag; but on day hikes it is far to much for a general day hike. What backpack would you recommend for a day hike? Would really like something with a few attachments on the outside, and the possibility of attaching my trekking poles; but just looking for something that will hold up, and not break down in a year or two.

  2. #2

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    There are literally 100's to chose from. The hydration day packs are popular. I guess it depends on how much you want to carry. I have a North Face 35L daypack which is big enough to do a summer overnighter with. I think it was designed to be a climbers pack, so it has all kinds of attachment points and is a little on the heavy side, but very durable.

    But for summer day hikes I use a cheap Walmart hydration pack, which is 13L. It's big enough for a rain jacket and lunch, along with a few tools I need when brushing trail, which is usually what I'm doing when using it. I prefer water bottles then the bladder, which increases the space inside. On of the seams is blowing out around a zipper, but I've had it a few years and it's got a lot of miles on it. I'll get at least another season out of it.

    If you want something with a name brand, Osprey makes a line of hydration packs, along with most every other pack manufacture.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #3

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    Thank you for your reply SLO-go’en. I really don’t have to have anything “name brand.” That isn’t what I’m after. I am wanting something that will last, feasible, functional, and a good investment.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephDurham View Post
    Thank you for your reply SLO-go’en. I really don’t have to have anything “name brand.” That isn’t what I’m after. I am wanting something that will last, feasible, functional, and a good investment.
    Okay, don't we all?

    Any of the name brands will do that, as do many of the no-name's. It's kind of hard to recommend a specific one other then to say "this is what I got and am happy with it" testimonials.

    First decide on what size you want and see what there is offered and which has features you like. The little 13L pack I use in the summer can carry my poles if I need my hands free by using the water bottle pockets and side straps. A rain jacket, lunch, water and the local map incase I need to give someone directions is all I carry in the summer. If you want to extend use into the fall or winter, probably go with like a 20L pack.

    Happy shopping, lots of sales right now. Or maybe just ended.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephDurham View Post
    So, I have my main ruck sack which is 60L bag; but on day hikes it is far to much for a general day hike. What backpack would you recommend for a day hike? Would really like something with a few attachments on the outside, and the possibility of attaching my trekking poles; but just looking for something that will hold up, and not break down in a year or two.
    I bought a Mystery Ranch Coulee 25 on sale and like it a lot. It has everything you're asking for, and is very comfortable. It's not ultralight, but who cares for a day pack.

  6. #6
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    IMHO, bucking ultralight philosophy is most defensible when talking daypacks. If you aren't going to be carrying the weight for consecutive days on end, you can afford to get a product that will be durable and carry weight (esp. water weight) comfortably. I say this as someone who has a 10-oz 22L daypack (REI Stuff Travel Sack) and a 14 oz, 22L one (LLB Stowaway) as well (the former used by Mrs. Zone when she comes along). But I also have a 4 lb, 39L pack (LLB Bigelow) that carries like a dream - no weight on shoulders at all. It's got very durable fabric for the thorny, overgrown trails I often travel, and has a rigid internal frame that does not give even when carrying a lot of weight, such as with extra water for a hot summer overnighter. Rich in functional features, and plenty of places to strap stuff. But I don't think the any of them have tool loops often used to attach hiking poles.

    Slo-go'en is right, there are hundreds to choose from. You might want to look for a pack with a couple of those tool loops, but there are other ways to attach them. [as an aside, I don't know why people attach hiking poles - they're virtually always in my hands when I am hiking, save for when they must be set down ahead to climb with hands over rocks]. That's never been a selection criterion of mine, nor do I expect it to be. But to each his (or her) own.

    There are a few gearmakers that appear, to me, to be associated with offering durability at the cost of weight: Kelty, Gregory, LL Bean, some REI stuff, some North Face stuff.


    One pack I'm evaluating now is the LLB Trail Model Hunting Pack. Currently it's offered in blaze orange only, but in has previously been available in camo as well. For some places I hike, wearing blaze orange isn't just wise, it's required. Anyway, it is "only" 28L but has many ways to attach stuff on the outside - including the two tool loops I mentioned. The hipbelt, shoulder straps, and backpanel seem to be excellent, but there are no hipbelt pockets. Couple odd things about it, at least one of which relates to its hunting orientation: one is that the water bottle pockets are remarkably small, with little clearance above. This can be overcome in part by the fact that the side pockets have a pass-through behind them, so a tall water bottle can tuck in behind those pockets. Obviously that robs a bit of space from either the pocket or the pack body, but it's doable. The other odd thing is the fabric. It is very soft and fuzzy, so that it is quiet, and enables more stealth for hunters. I don't know how durable that fabric may be, however.


    https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/82945

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7

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    The reason I carry my poles in my pack is to free my hands to use the loppers and brush trail. Otherwise, I suppose if you got a long stretch of level trail or road walk, you might not want to use your poles. Or places where you need both hands to climb.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  8. #8

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    I’ve been eyeing the osprey escapist but haven’t used it.

  9. #9

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    Many packs are made for school or work use. Lots of organization at the expense of space and weight. I use one of these only because I already have it from a past job, and it fits well. You really need to get to a store with a large selection and try them on, with some weight inside. The store should have weights there. Comfort matters on day hikes too, so make sure it fits well. There are several REI stores in and near Ohio. Make a day of it. Check ahead for sales.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  10. #10
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    School packs are an interesting option. My kids used LLB deluxe book packs in their school years, and we have a nice collection of old ones. 32L, 21 oz. Great shoulder straps and strength of material, but waist belt was merely a 1" strap, so not really suitable for getting weight off your shoulders - it really only serves to keep it from going side to side when on scrambles. No hydration sleeve or water bottle pockets at the time, but bottle pockets have since been added. No good way to strap stuff to the outside, either ... there's but one grab loop at the top. Much as 32L and 21 oz sounds good it's really not the right tool for the job IMO.

    One thing about those weights in stores, is that they're often more dense than the weight in a pack, and thus are more prone to sag in many internal-frame packs than a realistic, more spread-out load would.

  11. #11

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    You might also consider a pack that you can use for shorter trips, since your other pack is 60L.
    I have an Osprey Manta 25 that's a very nice daypack, but rarely use it. My lidless 38L Exos makes a great daypack, too, but is also my main backpacking pack for most anything short of a week, with the 58L version being reserved for longer trips and/or use with a bear canister.
    I replaced all the compression straps on the 38 with shock cord that's just long enough to allow full use of the pack's capacity, but keeps everything sucked in when not stuffed full.
    Carries really well with light loads, and actually weighs less than the Manta.

  12. #12

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    [QUOTE=

    One thing about those weights in stores, is that they're often more dense than the weight in a pack, and thus are more prone to sag in many internal-frame packs than a realistic, more spread-out load would.[/QUOTE]

    My local REI has both weighted and high volume filler sacks to make a realistic loading. Or you can always use weights with some other filler, such as a big coat or two to do the trick.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    Have a look at the Osprey Talon series. Several capacity oprions and very durable, with tie-outs and trek pole holders. Warranty is good and they are often on sale for previous year models.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    My local REI has both weighted and high volume filler sacks to make a realistic loading. Or you can always use weights with some other filler, such as a big coat or two to do the trick.
    That's cool. I've only seen the smaller beanbag style weights at mine.

    Reminds me of a review I once saw about a burly Gregory pack. Guy put in a bag of cat litter (~40 lbs?) to simulate a big carry, and it sagged. I did the same on a similarly burly pack I used to have, and it sagged too. I eventually reasoned that a dense bag of cat litter (about 1 cu ft/28L ) isn't going to carry the same as if that weight was more evenly distributed in the whole 65L-75L pack. And that probably any pack would sag under that test - at least, any internal frame would.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
    I’ve been eyeing the osprey escapist but haven’t used it.
    I was given a 30l escapist and used it last season as my trail maintaining pack. It carries well and is very durable. There are so many pockets that I sometimes have to hunt things I've stashed there.

    I don't use treking poles on my work trips as my hands are occupied with a swing blade, shovel, fire rake or pulaski.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephDurham View Post
    So, I have my main ruck sack which is 60L bag; but on day hikes it is far to much for a general day hike. What backpack would you recommend for a day hike? Would really like something with a few attachments on the outside, and the possibility of attaching my trekking poles; but just looking for something that will hold up, and not break down in a year or two.
    For what it's worth, I have tried a lot of day packs over the years and have usually been disappointed in them for a number of reasons. Most day packs will carry their content weight too high for me and not allow weight transfer to the hips. As information, I am about 6-feet tall and can have a difficult time finding packs that fit my torso comfortably.

    After a lot of trial and error I found the Osprey Manta 36 pack is one of the best small packs I have owned after years of service without a problem. Its fairly light, can carry an amazing amount of things which is handy when you are hiking with family or others not having a pack and needing a place to stuff a jacket or other things. It holds a 3L bladder and can be used for day hiking and weekend camping with some packing technique. I use this pack in fall, spring, and winter and with numerous attachment points on the pack and shoulder straps I can stow cameras, trekking poles, snowshoes, crampons, ice axe and other gear on or in it. I can get it adjusted for any load so it carries well and will support a fair amount of weight easily on the hips.

    I also have a smaller Osprey Daylite pack for summer and warm temperature hiking that holds a 3L bladder and has room to stow rain gear and other necessaries in. This pack is proving it's worth (used about 3 years seasonally), having similar attachment points as the Manta. It carries well and provides support where I like to have it.

    I am very impressed with the durability having taken both these packs into terrain that can be a problem for other packs i have used. These are not the least expensive packs you can get, but not the most expensive either. Keeping an eye out for sales on them can get you a bargain. Were I to be in the market again for either these packs I would absolutely choose the same pack again.

  17. #17

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    I bought a Mountainsmith Lookout 25 that I've been happy with. Paid $50 for it at Sierra Trading Post

  18. #18

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    I really do appreciate everyone’s response!! You folks really are a great deal of help!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    That's cool. I've only seen the smaller beanbag style weights at mine.

    Reminds me of a review I once saw about a burly Gregory pack. Guy put in a bag of cat litter (~40 lbs?) to simulate a big carry, and it sagged. I did the same on a similarly burly pack I used to have, and it sagged too. I eventually reasoned that a dense bag of cat litter (about 1 cu ft/28L ) isn't going to carry the same as if that weight was more evenly distributed in the whole 65L-75L pack. And that probably any pack would sag under that test - at least, any internal frame would.
    I remember shopping for externals. One person would wear the pack, another would more or less climb on. I still have a pack chosen that way. Still works fine, too.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  20. #20

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    Well, I ended up finding a pack for an amazing deal!! A little bigger then needed for a day excursion, but I think all in all I will be overly pleased. REI had a huge sale this weekend, it ends the 11th if anyone wants to know. But, I found a Deuter ATC 30L; REI originally sold them for 130, from looking all over, the highest I found them was $170. REI had it on sale for $77, and then an additional 25% off. It brought it down to $57 plus free shipping. It had loops for my trekking poles, hydration bladder access, waist strap that can be tucked away, it can be opened from the top or the bottom, and it has a rain cover attached. The reviews on this are excellent, and every site had it at about a 4.8 out of 5 stars.

    https://www.rei.com/product/880687/d...18113915&ev11=

    It should arrive this week, I am hoping.

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