Top Five Packs For A Hiking Day Trip
By Adelia Ladson
When you’re heading out on a hiking daytrip, you may not need as much as you would carry when you’re camping but you definitely need supplies. So having a bag that’s going to be comfortable to hike with all day but still have enough room to carry the essentials that you need for all day is key to a great hiking experience. There are items that you need to carry with you that are the same as when you’re camping like a first aid kit, food and water, a reliable knife, a firestarter, a weather radio and some type of shelter. There are also specific items that you absolutely need to have in your bag like a map and compass, trail markers, an emergency blanket, and a first aid kit for blisters.
Features To Look For
When you’re shopping for a hiking backpack, there are some features that you need to look for. The shoulder straps need to be comfortable and adjustable so that they provide a balanced fit that will allow you to carry the pack without undue stress to your back, neck and shoulders. Also, look for its organization capabilities and how accessible they are while you’re walking. For example, is there a pouch for a water bottle on the side of the bag or a strap that you can attach one to? Is there a zippered pocket on the outside so that you can easily reach your hiking snacks? The pack needs to be water-resistant in case inclement weather pops-up.
The Top Five
M48 OPS Solar Panel BackpackI’ve used the M48 OPS Solar Panel Backpack for daytrips, hiking and on city walking tours. I love it because it solves the problem of having to bring a power bank with me, which adds more weight to my bag that I don’t want. This backpack lets you plug directly into the sun, an unlimited power source, to keep your smartphone or mini tablet charging wherever you are. The removable solar panel has a mesh zippered panel on the opposing side that serves to house the USB plug and the smartphone that’s charging. When you’re out under the sun, just simply plug in your device to the USB port, drop it in the zippered pouch and let it continuously charge while you’re out and about. The backpack itself is extremely durable with its 600D Oxford material. There’s a main compartment with a big mesh pocket to keep your items secure and a zippered pocket, too. The pack has adjustable, removable cushioned mesh straps and the front of the bag features MOLLE straps and two zippered compartments. For an even more comfortable carry, the solar panel backpack has a mesh cushioned back.
- You never have to worry about running out of juice for your smartphone.
- It’s not a bulky backpack to carry but is spacious enough to carry everything that you need.
- It’s very comfortable with a padded back and padded shoulder straps, plus, a quick-release waist belt.
- If it’s cloudy, the solar panel won’t charge your smartphone continuously since, there’s no power bank.
- The solar panel covers a large pocket so that you can’t easily access what’s in it.
- It’s a smaller backpack so you do have to be conservative about what you can bring.
Outback Traveler RucksackSince the Outback Traveler Rucksack was designed with the seasoned traveler in mind, it’s a great bag for both hiking and as a carry-on. The bag has a tough construction with a professional appearance so that it goes from hiking adventures to airport adventures with no problem. I like that the brown canvas has a weathered look on the outside but there’s a luxe soft lining on the inside. For hiking, it’s up to the challenge with premium leather straps and heavy-duty metal buckles and zippers. There’s a spacious main compartment with two small interior pockets and a padded laptop or tablet pocket with a Velcro closure. The main compartment is secured with a drawstring under a top flap that’s secured with snaps. The rucksack also has two zippered pockets on the front, one on the side and a shallow slip-in zippered pocket on the side, toward the back of the bag, which perfect for your wallet, ID holder or passport.
- The rucksack offers multiple easy-to-access pockets, giving you a complete organized packing strategy.
- The soft lining is easier on your valuables and clothing when you use it as a weekend getaway bag.
- It just looks good when you’re traveling with it and you can get the Outback Traveler Duffel Bag to make a great set of luggage.
- The canvas construction, although tough, is not water-resistant and neither is the lining.
- The main compartment has a drawstring top, making it less secure than a zipper.
- There’s no place to place or secure a water bottle that’s easy to get to while you’re walking.
Khaki Day BagI’ve included the Khaki Day Bag as a lightweight bag for your essentials when you’re taking a walking tour of a city or tourist attraction. It has a pocket on the side with an elastic top that’s perfect for a water or drink bottle. The large, main compartment has a drawstring closure under the top flap, which is secured with an ABS quick-release buckle. There’s also a large, zippered pocket on the front of the bag. Th adjustable shoulder straps are padded and there’s a padded top handle for grab-and-go situations. The nice-sized, 18”x 12 1/2” day bag is made of 100 percent, khaki cotton canvas with nylon webbing straps.
- The bag is made of 100 percent cotton canvas that is lightweight enough to be folded-up and stored in your luggage when you travel.
- The day bag is spacious enough for any souvenirs that you buy while touring and a raincoat or umbrella, for just in case.
- The side pocket is really convenient for carrying a bottle of water or soft drink when you’re on the go.
- Just like the Traveler Rucksack above, the day bag is not water-resistant either.
- The lightweight cotton canvas material lacks the structure of a more heavy-weight canvas material.
- It only has the two pockets and one main compartment, so organization of your gear is limited.
Olive Drab BackpackA classic, military-style backpack, the Olive Drab Backpack is actually large enough to accommodate two hikers, so that you can share the burden of carrying it. It’s made of sturdy cotton canvas with nylon webbing straps and metal strap adjusters. The adjustable shoulder straps are really sturdy because they’re made of nylon canvas and nylon webbing. The backpack has one main compartment with a drawstring top and a flap that’s secured with straps and strap adjusters. There is an outer pocket on the front and one on each side, also secured with straps and metal strap adjusters.
- The backpack is large enough to easily carry enough day-hike supplies for two people, who can share the task of carrying it.
- There’s a pocket on each side of the backpack, allowing you to carry a water bottle on each side, one for you and one for your partner.
- The shoulder straps are sturdy, but they are not padded, which after hiking for a while, won’t be very comfortable.
- This backpack’s pockets are secured with metal strap adjusters, which means you can’t open them when you’re walking.
M48 OPS Tactical Waist Sling BagThe M48 OPS Tactical Waist Sling Bag is another great choice for day tours when you’re on vacation. It has an over-the-shoulder sling design that lets it sit securely fitted at your waist and the extra mesh padding on the back adds to its overall comfort to carry. The adjustable, quick-release shoulder strap is heavy-duty nylon webbing, and it also has padding. There’s a zippered compartment on the back that can be used for your wallet or passport. The main compartment is ABS and nylon lined, making it water-resistant. It can be closed with a drawstring and a flap, secured with a quick-release buckle, folds down over it. The flap has a zippered shallow pocket and another smaller, zippered pocket on the top. Inside the main compartment is a mesh pocket and an open pocket. On the front of the bag, also covered by the flap, is a large, zippered pocket with a mesh pocket and a carabiner strap for your keys on the inside and there’s an open pocket on the very front of the large pocket. On one side of the bag is a zippered pocket with an open pocket inside and, on the other side of the bag, there’s a drawstring mesh pocket. Finally, built into one side of the shoulder strap connector is a small pocket with a quick-release buckle and two ink pen holders. The MOLLE webbing on the exterior of the waist sling bag allows for simple attachment of other types of gear. The bag’s heavy-duty 1000D nylon construction and heavy-duty TPU quick-release buckles will stand up to anything!
- Pockets, pockets, pockets! Organization for absolutely everything that you need for a daytrip.
- The waist sling bag has a nylon and ABS liner, assuring that your things won’t get wet if it starts to rain on your outing.
- The pocket on the very front is covered by the bag’s flap so that you can’t access the contents quickly while you’re walking.