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Lightweight daypack with hip belt
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Zack Freije
(oldskool) - F

Locale: Ohio
Lightweight daypack with hip belt on 06/14/2012 15:56:10 MDT Print View

I've been doing a considerable amount of day hiking up to around 16-20 miles. I've found that my shoulder strap only pack is really making my shoulders sore. I typically carry 10 pounds or less, no need for things like tent, bag, cook kit, etc. Just first aid, snacks, water, extra clothing and a variety of other items. Sometimes I attach a DSLR to my pack shoulder straps and this really adds to the weight. Other times I'm carrying a two way radio.

I'm hoping I can find an effective day pack that can distribute weight to my waist rather than shoulders with options such as attaching an assorted items bag to the belt (chapstick, kleenex, snacks, etc.) and the ability to attach a DSLR bag to the chest area via shoulder straps. I'd plan to use my platy water system.

Any suggestions? I've never looked for such a thing before and have usually settled for a Camelback HAWG or MULE.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Lightweight daypack with hip belt on 06/14/2012 16:31:30 MDT Print View

I've been looking, too, but I need either a woman-specific pack or one that will adjust down to a 15" torso length. Nearly all the makers are, at this point, going to unisex packs, all of which are too big for me and too small for men with long torsos! I also don't want a day pack that weighs more than the pack I take for a 10-day backpack, which is 28 ounces (Six Moon Designs Comet, since discontinued).

I found at the REI Outlet a woman's REI Stoke 19 for a summer backpack on closeout (they now make this pack only in a single unisex size). It fits me perfectly and is very comfortable. However, this one barely holds the "Ten" Essentials, lunch, my small point and shoot camera and a couple of small water bottles. It sure wouldn't work with a large camera added! REI now makes this pack (and a 30L equivalent) only in a single unisex size.

For cold weather dayhiking I plan to look at the Osprey Talon 33 which at least has the advantage of an adjustable harness and comes in two sizes. I don't know if it will work; my previous try-ons with Osprey packs weren't too successful. If it works, it appears that I can whack off several ounces of gewgaws and still have a functional pack.

If you can wear the single unisex pack size, there are lots of daypacks around with hip belts. If you don't mind a heavier pack (say 2-3 lbs.), there are even more. Osprey, Deuter, Mountain Hardware, REI. They all have hip belts with hip belt pockets to carry your little stuff. If you have a long torso, though, you'll be limited to those packs that come in both Medium and Large sizes; the "one size fits all" will probably be too small.

Good luck!

Zack Freije
(oldskool) - F

Locale: Ohio
weights on 06/14/2012 16:35:33 MDT Print View

Hmm. My full backpacking pack weighs only 2 pounds and has a hip belt and frame.

Maybe it's unrealistic to find something much lighter than that, as the volume itself is not what creates the majority of the weight....

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Lightweight daypack with hip belt on 06/14/2012 16:41:09 MDT Print View

Find a Salomon Revo 20 or 25 to try on. I can put all the weight into the hip belt if I want to. It will depend on your torso length and how the pack fits you.


I like the two mesh pockets for water access and a wind shirt, and the two hip belt pockets for food and camera.

In general, I find the pack well designed and constructed.

Edited by greg23 on 06/14/2012 16:42:30 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Hornet 24 on 06/14/2012 16:49:22 MDT Print View

maybe peek at the Hornet 24, if the torso fits (it's not adj like the Talon) it might suit your needs, there was a recent thread with someone looking for a new day pack and he ended getting the 24 and posted up a glowing review

Sean Rhoades

Locale: WV
MH Fluid pack on 06/14/2012 21:06:17 MDT Print View

I recently picked up a Mountain Hardwear Fluid 35 pack and love it. The straps and hip belt are very comfy and it holds the weight well. They also make an 18L and 26L depending on how much room you need. I picked mine up for $74.95 from Sunny Sports. It's a great daypack or even overnighter in the larger volume packs.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Hornet 24 on 06/14/2012 22:15:02 MDT Print View

Lots of day pack threads. Hornet 24, 20 oz. in size M/L and very capable. Done three hikes with it and don't feel the need to find a better or lighter pack. The hip belt and foam frame sheet transfer all the weight to your hips.

Here's my daypack thread from March:

Zack Freije
(oldskool) - F

Locale: Ohio
Thanks on 06/14/2012 23:30:31 MDT Print View

Thank you Warren, I appreciate that. I did read through that and looked up some of the suggestions. Not a lot is currently readily available, other than the current model big name brand stuff.

I am looking for something along the lines of 19L (that's proven to be more than enough for my needs).

I really want a back panel that performs well at allowing heat and moisture to escape.
Secondly, I need a good hip belt that can carry a load up to 10 pounds. (I probably carry around 6 pounds or less in most cases)
Third, it needs to accommodate a hydration system as that is my preferred method. (I don't carry water bottles and don't intend to.) Because of this, the side pockets always seem like such a waste to me. :(

I like the idea of padded shoulder straps and a sternum strap.
I like to store a jacket or wet gear if on the outside and I'd be fine with just shock cord and a cord lock.

I looked at the Hornet 24, and it appears to be pretty good in many respects. I don't really understand the stretchy shoulder strap pockets, and it's a tad bit heavier than I'd like. Still, not bad.

I like the mesh back on the Osprey Talon 22, but the pack is way too heavy.

The Salamon XA20M looks nice.

I think the main thing is the effectiveness of the mesh back and the comfort and support provided by the hip belt.