Best Ultralight Daypacks of 2024

Best Ultralight Daypacks: Ultralight hiking daypack amidst mountain grass during golden hour

In this post, we'll take a look at:

When heading out for day hikes or lightweight trips, having the right ultralight daypack makes all the difference. But with so many options on the market, how do you pick the perfect one?

In this post, we’ll examine the best ultralight daypacks based on extensive testing.

Whether you’re a casual daytripper or serious trailblazer, one of these top-performing ultralight daypacks will take your outdoor fun to new heights.

Let’s get started.

What Are the Best Ultralight Daypacks?

  1. Most Ultralight: Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack (2.53oz/72g)
  2. Best Overall: Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 Daypack (9.6oz/273g)
  3. Best Value: Montbell Versalite Pack 15 (3.28oz/93g)
  4. Waterproof Option: Exped Typhoon 25 Rucksack (15.87/450g)
  5. Most Comfortable: Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak 17 (21.05oz/597g)

1. Most Ultralight
Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack

Sea To Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack

Key Specs

Weight: 2.53 ounces (72 grams)
Capacity: 20L
Material: siliconized cordura fabric
Price: $


✅ Ultralight

✅ Comfortable


❌ No chest straps

The Ultra-Sil Day Pack from Sea to Summit offers a combination of noteworthy advantages and considerations. This minimalist backpack boasts remarkable strength and can be compressed down to a size comparable to a tennis ball.

Crafted from 30D siliconized CORDURA® fabric and featuring reinforced bar-tacks at stress points, it demonstrates the ability to endure loads exceeding its own weight.

However, we have noticed a practical limitation. It may not provide optimal security for more vigorous movement, and the addition of a chest strap could enhance its functionality. Despite this consideration, it remains a commendable ultralight daypack.

2. Best Overall
Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 Daypack

Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 Daypack

Key Specs

Weight: 9.6 ounces (273 grams)
Capacity: 19L
Material: 70D robic nylon ripstop
Price: $$


✅ High quality

✅ Great pockets


❌ Chest starp is non adjustable

For lightweight carrying capacity, the Minimalist 19 excels. Mesh pockets provide excellent hydration access without interfering with fit. Multiple organizational pockets keep smaller items well separated. The removable back panel further increases versatility.

However, the fixed sternum strap is my primary gripe. For individuals with narrower builds, it can cause chafing or gaps in coverage. Not fully adjustable sternum options would make fit more customizable.

Additionally, the reservoir sleeve’s loose hanging design risks dislodging contents or becoming entangled on retrieval. Securing it to the rear panel could streamline access.

Overall though, Gossamer Gear nails comfort and functionality for day hikes and trail runs alike. Quality fabrication ensures durability season after season.

With a few tweaks, this pack could achieve true perfection for minimizing weight without compromising practicality.

3. Best Value
Montbell Versalite Pack 15

Montbell Versalite Pack 15

Key Specs

Weight: 3.28 ounces (93 grams)
Capacity: 15L
Material: 30D ballistic nylon ripstop
Price: $$


✅ Comfortable

✅ Good in hot conditions


❌ No padding on shoulder straps

For ultralight enthusiasts, the Versalite Pack 15 truly delivers. Constructed from durable yet lightweight 30-denier ripstop, this pack impressively shrugs off abrasions without excess ounces.

While the unpadded straps can feel fatiguing under heavy loads as intended, Montbell’s mesh design superbly wicks sweat and distributes weight evenly. On recent day hikes transporting essentials and supplies, I hardly noticed the pack at all.

Additional perks include versatile compression straps and a spacious main compartment fitting extra layers, food, and small gear. The stashable design compacts wonderfully too.

Overall, Montbell nails the balance of rugged dependability and true lightweight efficiency. Its no-frills approach works beautifully in practice.

4. Waterproof Option
Exped Typhoon 25 Rucksack

Exped Typhoon 25 Rucksack

Key Specs

Weight: 15.87 ounces (450 grams)
Capacity: 25L
Material: 210D robic HD ripstop nylon carbonate
Price: $$


✅ Waterproof

✅ Nice storage features


❌ Can rub the neck

I found the Exped Typhoon 25 to be a premier choice for wet weather hiking thanks to its waterproof construction and versatile storage options.

During multiple trips in rainy conditions, the roll-top closure kept contents bone dry without compromising accessibility. Side pockets and webbing loops excellently expanded carrying abilities.

Made from recycled, PFC-free fabric, this pack stood up to rough trails while protecting the environment. The lightly padded back panel and adjustable hip belt distributed weight comfortably for all-day wear.

My one quibble was a tendency for shoulder straps to creep up on inclines. However, with mindful adjustment they remained reasonably comfortable overall.

For its strong waterproofing, excellent capacity, and carefully considered ergonomic design, the Typhoon 25 proves to be a standout pack for wet adventures.

5. Most Comfortable
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak 17

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak 17

Key Specs

Weight: 21.05 ounces (597 grams)
Capacity: 17L
Material: DCH150
Price: $$$


✅ Durable

✅ Comfortable


❌ Relatively expensive

For comfortable carrying capacity on day trips, the Daybreak 17 truly shines. Constructed from durable yet lightweight Dyneema fabric, it secures gear both sturdily and in ultralight fashion.

Notable benefits include multiple pockets, mesh water bottle sleeves, and load-bearing versatility. The well-padded straps provide exceptional weight distribution and breathability over miles.

While its cost is higher, this pack easily justifies the price through quality design, abundant storage options, and excellent wearability even with full loads.

If your needs demand a durable and capable daypack built to last, look no further than the top-performing Daybreak 17. It handles ultralight adventure with flair.

How to Choose the Best Ultralight Daypack

When picking an ultralight daypack for hiking, focus on:

  • Capacity: Look for a pack between 15 to 30 liters to fit essentials like water, snacks, and layers.
  • Compartments: Make sure it has easily accessible pockets and holders for items you’ll need on the trail like your phone or water bottle.

You’ll find two main daypack styles:

  • Frameless packs are lightweight and great for lighter loads on shorter hikes. They strip away unneeded support to save weight.
  • Internal frame packs have an internal aluminum frame. This adds support for heavier gear loads, which you typically won’t need for a simple day hike.
  • Prioritize packs with ventilated, mesh back panels. This will keep you cooler during hikes on hot days. Suspended panels help create airflow between your back and the pack.

The key is finding a lightweight, well-designed pack that fits your gear and keeps you comfortable mile after mile on the trail.

Additionally, make sure the pack is available in different sizes to match your torso length and hip size for a comfortable fit.

If you’re unsure about sizing your pack, you can check out our helpful post for more information.


How to choose the best ultralight daypack?

Opt for an ultralight daypack around 1 pound that has a compact 15-30 liter capacity to fit hiking or travel essentials. Prioritize packs with ventilation features like mesh backing to keep your back cool and moisture-free. Look for durable, weather-resistant fabrics and versatile compartments to organize gear while keeping weight down. Adjustable suspension systems with padded straps ensure a comfortable, customized fit. The ideal ultralight pack maximizes comfort, capacity and features while minimizing weight so you can adventure farther without being weighed down.

How durable are the best ultralight daypacks?

The best ultralight daypacks use rugged, weather-resistant fabrics like ripstop nylon, Dyneema composite, or high-denier nylon to create durable packs that stand up well to outdoor use and abuse. They reinforce high-wear areas with abrasion-resistant materials. Despite their minimalist design, top quality ultralight packs can handle being stuffed full, tossed around, and taken on countless trails year after year. The most durable examples have sturdy zippers, straps, and buckles along with seam taping or bonding where needed. While staying featherlight, the ideal ultralight daypack is crafted to provide lasting durability for the long haul on the trail.

How water-resistant are ultralight daypacks?

Ultralight daypacks utilize lightweight ripstop nylon or other quick-drying fabrics which provide basic water resistance, but are not completely waterproof. Critical seams may have sealing or tape to improve water resistance. Some ultralight packs have DWR (durable water repellent) coatings to make fabric more moisture-shedding. However, extended exposure to heavy rain can lead to the fabrics becoming saturated in most cases. For complete water protection, users need to utilize rain covers or pack liners, or go with a waterproof daypack. The minimalist materials used to cut weight reduce the overall water resistance of most ultralight daypacks. A waterproof daypack is a good option if you’ll be facing wet conditions.

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Why you should trust us

At Hikinglite, we're all about helping you hit the trails with lightweight and ultralight outdoor gear that won't weigh you down. Our crew of content creators? Real outdoor enthusiasts who've logged countless miles on the trails.

Leading the pack is our editor-in-chief, Alex Jardine – an ultralight evangelist who's hiked over 10,000 trail miles across the globe. He's basically a walking outdoor encyclopedia. This dude loves testing out the latest and greatest products, so you can trust his recommendations are always well-informed and reliable.

We treat all our suggestions like advice from close trail buddies. No fluff, just real insights from folks who live and breathe the outdoor life.

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