The best 20-30 litre backpacks

These daypacks will help you enjoy the great outdoors in ease and style for years to come

Couple walking with best 20-30 litre backpacks

by William Austin-Lobley |
Updated on

A backpack, often referred to as a daypack, is perfectly formed for your country strolls, short hikes, mountain rambles and the morning dash for the bus. With a capacity of between 20 and 30 litres, these backpacks are great for holding daily essentials in a convenient and functional way.

There are a number of key features to look out for and consider, and the usefulness of these will depend on your intended use and personal preference. There are some packs which focus on airflow to ensure that your back remains cool, whereas others prioritise tough construction and larger capacities. Organisation is important too, with varying configurations of internal and external pockets offering up new ways of packing and organising your gear. For example, a front stowing or stuffing pocket is good for quick access to your waterproof or map storage, whereas side pockets are perfect for bottle carrying.

We’ve collected up some of the best daypack sized backpacks for you to choose from, each offering its own answer to your perfect pack search. Whichever you choose, you’ll be happy, and it’ll last for years.

If you're looking for something a little larger, we've also got a comprehensive rundown of the best 30 -35L backpacks. Still not big enough? Then how about some reviews of the best 65-litre rucksacks?

What's the best daypack?

Fjällräven Kaipak 28
Price: $167.55

Fjällräven is renowned for having focussed and long-lasting designs, and the Kaipak 28 is no exception. In addition to the main top-accessed compartment, the pack has large stow pocket and two side pockets for bottles. This backpack offers comfort through well-positioned and padded shoulder straps and good weight distribution with compression straps to keep things tight. The pack is lightweight (weighing under 1kg) and is constructed from Fjällräven's own durable 1000 HeavyDuty Eco material, which is an eco-friendly material made from recycled and organic material. There're no mod-cons on this pack, but it's simplicity will both please and last.

The Deuter Trail is a clever and well-constructed piece of hiking equipment. It'll take all a rugged environment can give thanks to the durable, close-fitting and clutter-free design. The backpacks offer great comfort thanks to the Air Chimney airflow system and flexible hipbelt, which helps distribute the pack weight. The large main compartment can be accessed at the top or the front of the bag too, which makes it very easy to get at all of your equipment no matter where it's stored.

Osprey has designed the Stratos 26 to be extremely comfortable. The back rigidity works to maintain the pack's shape and prevent distortion, meaning there won't be any lumps and bumps prodding the wearer. Another back feature is the mesh trampoline, which maintains equitable weight distribution while increasing air flow. There are a number of useful pockets and a rain cover for a little extra protection. The Osprey Sirrus 26 is the women's version, with optimised straps and hip belt.

The Aeon 22 is Lowe Alpine's answer for those looking for a "one pack for all" solution – be it hill walking, running or commuting. The Aeon 22 has a moulded back panel to increase airflow and adjustable shoulder strap height, allowing you to dial in the perfect configuration for you. There is also a hydration internal pocket and Multi-Lock attachments for trekking poles.

Tested on the trails of the Canadian Rockies, this lightweight pack from Black Diamond is reliable and robust. The lid and hipbelt are removable to reduce weight as desired, and the front of the pack has point of connect trekking poles or crampons for those serious about their winter treks. There is an internal hydration pocket, and the material is extremely durable. This is a four-season pack for those who plan to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors.

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