The best Daypack for travel

Updated 1 year ago

Big 40L travel backpacks can get you to where you need to go, but they aren't fun to lug around day to day. Or maybe you pack mostly with luggage and don't need a big backpack. We recommend in these cases smaller 20L backpacks, perfect daily companions when on the go.

These bags will work for a day hike, but if you’re actually backpacking in the wilderness there are clearly better options since we focus on city travel and everyday use.

What we look for

Same as travel backpacks except in a smaller package and without packing focused features like a clamshell design.

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Aer Fit Pack 2

Sleek and superbly built bag for everyday essentials

Don't let the minimalist exterior fool you: Aer's Fit Pack 2 packs a lot of features in a fairly small package. Made originally to help people easily transition between the office and the gym, you'll find all sorts of ways to help you organize: a quick access pocket on top, a shoe compartment on the bottom, and an area for a 15" laptop along with all your cables and boondogles. These all easily make it a perfect option for traveling.

Osprey Daylite Plus

For outdoor versatility and combining with Osprey's larger bags

Osprey's Daylite Plus is a solid bag: good quality, enough pockets, and lightweight. What makes it extra handy though is it can combine with Osprey's bigger Porter series like the Porter 46 recommended above, giving you the flexibility of a bigger bag for transit and this daypack for day to day usage. Its outdoor style isn't as hip but that outdoor use case is also where this bag shines: when you don't need a full hiking backpack but want features like a hydration reservoir pocket or high visibility.

  • 20L, 1 lb
  • Lifetime warranty (Osprey's famed "All Mighty Guarantee")

Lo & Sons the Hanover

Minimal and eco-friendly with clever travel features

Lo & Sons took everything they learned building their popular overnight bags and put it into the Hanover, a lightweight and minimal backpack made from eco-friendly recycled plastic. The brand's travel focus didn't disappoint with nifty features like a removable padded insert for a 15" laptop and water bottle, secret side pockets, a back sleeve for sliding over luggage handles, and memory foam shoulder straps.

  • ~21L, 1.75 lbs
  • No set warranty, but told us they'll do right by the customer when contacted (and the positive chatter amongst social media for their brand seems to bear that out)

Minaal Daily Bag

If you're a serious traveler that wants the best

On the spectrum of a plastic grocery bag to a bag overflowing with features and quality, Minaal definitely skews to the latter. There's no question few backpacks can compete with them, which is why despite their high price tag they are loved by serious travelers. For their Daily bag, they took what worked so well for their bigger Carry On bag and shrank it. It's similarly lightweight, has a ton of pockets, lies flat, can stow its straps away to turn into a briefcase, and comes with a built in raincover.

  • 21L, 2.16 lbs

Filson Journeyman Backpack

Great heritage looks with Filson's signature rugged quality

In Filson's 100 year history of making rugged Americana style clothing and gear, their backpacks are a fairly recently addition. They don't disappoint: the quality of the oil finished tincloth, leather trim, and brass hardware are all a sight to be behold and use (with a commensurate price). While the Journeyman does have less inner pockets for organizing than today's nylon options, it has more than other workwear style bags so ultimately if you're going for that heritage look, we think this is the best option out there. Plus, Filson products come with a famed lifetime guarantee and will fix nearly any problem you encounter.

  • ~18L, 2.25 lbs
  • Lifetime guarantee

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