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4 Best Day Hiking Backpack Under 100 For Short Trails

Day hiking like any other form of hiking is good for the heart, mind, and body. This form of hiking is limited to a twenty-four-hour duration. It is recommended for beginners. Day packs were created to complement this form of hiking owing to their light and compact design. They come in different shapes or sizes. Notwithstanding, it is what they offer that really counts. There is no need to spend a fortune on a pack that will not live up to your expectations. Consequently, it is advisable to start small. Pocket-friendly daypacks are also brilliant for other adventurers on a shoestring budget. Here is an exclusive buying guide for the best day hiking backpack under 100.

best daypacks for hiking under 100

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Best Day Hiking Backpack Under 100 Comparison

premium pick
top pick
top pick
The North Face Borealis School Laptop Backpack, Summit Gold Ripstop/TNF Black, One Size
Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack, Desert Orange
Gregory Mountain Products Zulu 30 Liter Men's Hiking Daypack, Fiery Red, Medium/Large

The North Face

Borealis Backpack

Osprey

Daylite Plus Daypack

Gregory Mountain Products

Zulu 30 Liter Men's Hiking Daypack

Volume: 25 L
Weight : 2.0 lbs.
Dimensions: 21" x 16" x 4"

Volume: 20 L
Weight : 1.19 lbs.
Dimensions: 18" x 10" x 10"

Volume: 30 L
Weight : 2.7 lbs.
Dimensions: 21.5" x 13.0" x 8.0"

Superior design, Comfortable and ventilated Lumbar panel, Laptop and tablet sleeves , Suitable for short trails, External pockets for gear organization, Durable and strong,

Ultra lightweight, Comfortable, Robust in design, Fascinating colors, Durable, Ventilated back panel, Stretchable mesh pockets, Pockets for laptop or tab inside,

Weighs 2.7 lbs, Suitable for day hike, More external pockets, Attached rain cover, Waist belt pockets, External attachment points for poles, Comfortable,

premium pick
The North Face Borealis School Laptop Backpack, Summit Gold Ripstop/TNF Black, One Size

The North Face

Borealis Backpack

Volume: 25 L
Weight : 2.0 lbs.
Dimensions: 21" x 16" x 4"

Superior design, Comfortable and ventilated Lumbar panel, Laptop and tablet sleeves , Suitable for short trails, External pockets for gear organization, Durable and strong,

top pick
Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack, Desert Orange

Osprey

Daylite Plus Daypack

Volume: 20 L
Weight : 1.19 lbs.
Dimensions: 18" x 10" x 10"

Ultra lightweight, Comfortable, Robust in design, Fascinating colors, Durable, Ventilated back panel, Stretchable mesh pockets, Pockets for laptop or tab inside,

top pick
Gregory Mountain Products Zulu 30 Liter Men's Hiking Daypack, Fiery Red, Medium/Large

Gregory Mountain Products

Zulu 30 Liter Men's Hiking Daypack

Volume: 30 L
Weight : 2.7 lbs.
Dimensions: 21.5" x 13.0" x 8.0"

Weighs 2.7 lbs, Suitable for day hike, More external pockets, Attached rain cover, Waist belt pockets, External attachment points for poles, Comfortable,

1. The North Face Borealis Backpack

“Best Suitable For Women Hiking Enthusiasts For Short Trails!”

Premium Pick

The North Face Borealis Backpack

Main Features

  • Mesh back panel for proper aeration
  • Attractive color
  • Designed for women
  • Lightweight design, day pack weight: 2.00 lbs.

The North Face Borealis backpack is comfortable and easy to carry around. Here are exclusive reasons why you need to have this backpack:

Adventure ready

Hikers need backpacks that are well adapted to the unforgiving outdoor conditions. Well, this model has everything you need from a tough fabric to quality construction. Although it lacks a hydration sleeve, it has two side pockets for a water bottle. Water is no match for its super impermeable fabric. Also, it is easy to adjust for a customized fit and carry around.

Revolutionary technology

This model is all about coziness thanks to the ingenious flex vent technology. Essentially, the technology delivers a better suspension system. Breathable lumbar panels and heavily cushioned shoulder straps define it. They work hand in hand to provide extraordinary ventilation and comfort.

Stress-free organization

Packing your hiking essentials is easy with the North Face Borealis Backpack. Its pockets and compartments boost convenience owing to its unique design. Aside from two side mesh pockets, the pack features fleece-lined pockets and a roomy main compartment.

In short, this pack is suitable for any rugged adventure owing to its light and comfy nature.

PROS

  • Designed with external pockets for electronics
  • Excellent suspension system
  • Thick back padding and shoulder straps for comfort
  • Fitted with a detachable laptop sleeve

CONS

  • The capacity is limited to a 1 to a 2-day hiking trip

2. Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack

“Best Unisex Backpack Suitable For Day Hikes And Short Trips!”

Top Choice

Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack

Main Features

  • Comfortable unisex design
  • More durable and sleek, Weight: 7 oz.
  • Easy accessibility with 20 L Volume
  • Available in attractive colors

Osprey never disappoints when it comes to hiking backpacks. The Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack is an incredible model designed with a hiker’s needs at heart.

Highly portable

As much as the Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack is not as big as other models on this list, there is a bright side to its size. With a smaller capacity, the pack is compact and easy to carry around. Nonetheless, its main compartment is roomy.  The model attaches to other Osprey packs as well.

Versatile

The most likable attribute of this model is impeccable versatility. You can use it as a hiking daypack or pack accessories whenever you need to hit the road. It is ideal for school as well.

Enviable extras

It contains two mesh side pockets as well as the main compartment. Moving on, the model includes an integrated hydration pocket as well as an internal laptop pocket. The construction is superior too.

In short, this ultralight model is fit for any day hikes or can be carried as an add-on pack for long trails.

PROS

  • Adjustable straps for ergonomic support
  • Easy to carry around
  • Very comfortable 

CONS

  • Not big on packing space 

3. Gregory Zulu 30 Liter Day Hiking Backpack

“Best Suitable For Carrying Heavy Loads Comfortably!”

Premium pick

Gregory Zulu 30 Liter Day Hiking Backpack

Main Features

  • Well ventilated back panel
  • Enough 6 exterior pockets
  • Integrated rain cover and waterproof
  • Top access design and weighs: 2.7 lbs.

If you are seeking a backpack that is nicely adjustable and comfy then look no further. The Gregory Mountain Products Zulu 30 Liter Men’s Day Hiking Backpack is perfect:

Smart features

Extensive mesh ventilation on the hip belt and meshworks to reduce weight and boot’s breathability. Aside from that, the pack has an integrated rain cover for weather protection. Unlike ordinary packs, it features waist belt pockets and an interior security pocket. Other likable features include attachment points for your tools. 

Multi-storage compartments

Packing and organizing your stuff in this pack should be enjoyable. This is because of its multiple storage compartments and exterior pockets. It also boasts hybrid top-loading panel access. Sturdy zippers secure exterior pockets. Plus, it has stretch pockets suitable for water bottles.

Optimal coziness

You do not have to stress over sweating as the pack comes with a dynamic chassis system. It elevates breathability in cold conditions and heightens ventilation in hot weather. Additionally, a classic stiffening system transfers the load to a tensioned steel wireframe. This makes the pack lighter besides stabilizing the open mesh back panel. To top it off, the model’s cross-flow DTS suspension ensures the pack complements the back’s physical shape. Thus, you do not have to strain while carrying the backpack. 

In short, generally, this is a pack that you should consider when you need a five-star hiking backpack on a tight budget.

PROS

  • Comes with two stretchy external pockets for water bottles 
  • It has front u-zip access to increase capacity 
  • It has front u-zip access to increase capacity
  • Features multi-straps comfort and support

CONS

  • The stripes are not easily adjustable
  • Might be too bulky and large for a short hiking trip

4. Osprey Hikelite 18 Hiking Backpack

“Best Suitable For Lightweight Enthusiasts To Go Day Hiking!”

Premium pick

Osprey Hikelite 18

Main Features

  • Hydration compatible up to 3 Liter(sold separately)
  • Scratch-free pockets with 18 L capacity
  • Rain cover attached with trekking pole attachments
  • Osprey all mighty guarantee and weighs: 1.49 lbs.

Osprey Packs Hikelite 18 Backpack is a versatile bag fit for short hiking expeditions. Its ready to go design is just a tip of the iceberg with regard to its impeccable attributes:

Minimalist construction

This daypack is light and compact. That might explain why it is preferred for short hikes and travels. Apart from being roomy enough for a few essentials, the pack is attachable to bigger rucksacks. Excellent comfort with a dimension: 18″ x 10″ x 11″.

Thoughtful organization

The daypack provides unbeatable convenience as every pocket or compartment is accessible. Its main compartment comes with a large zippered panel that improves organization. Next, it has a key clip as well as a front pocket that includes a mesh organizer. Similarly, there is an internal pocket for your tablet or a hydration sleeve. Finally, there are side mesh pockets ideal for water bottles among other accessories.

Solid protection

Strong lockable zippers secure all pockets. Equally important, the entire structure features expertly stitched nylon fabric. Nylon is tough and waterproof.

In short, If you are after a flexible and quality hiking backpack at a reasonable price then this would be a great pick.

PROS

  • Has a reasonable packing capacity for day hikes. 
  • Side pockets offer more packing room
  • Features a shoulder harness and a padded hip belt for comfort
  • Reputed brand product

CONS

  • The 18L capacity may not be adequate for a longer hiking period

How do you choose a budget daypack?

Choosing a flawless backpack is not easy particularly if you are low on funds. Here is an easy way to do it:

Try it on if possible

The main reason behind trying your new day pack on is to ensure that it fits accordingly. Most people do their purchases blindly and end up with either large or tiny packs. You need a model that is comfortable and designed to suit your needs.

Feature set

It is quite important to familiarize yourself with the feature set of any day pack model before making up your mind. Not all daypacks are the same. Therefore, take a close look at its features to be certain that they are worth your money.

Customer review

You can never be sure about the quality of a new pack without referring to what other buyers think about it. Customer review will point out any underlying shortcomings as well as the selling points of any product in question.

The brand

The brand speaks volumes with regard to the quality or performance of a product. Day packs are not exceptional. Some brands are synonymous with top-notch day-packs that you can rely on. The fact that you are on a tight budget does not imply that you should fall for anything. Go for the best.  

Things to consider while choosing a day pack for hiking under 100

You can bank on the tips below in selecting the best day pack under 100:

Capacity

Capacity is an indispensable attribute when it comes to the best daypacks for hiking. You need a model that is not only strong and durable but also accommodative of your essentials for a day. The volume that a pack can hold is measured in liters. It ranges between 10L to 35L for most daypacks although an ideal one should be about 20L to 30L in capacity.

Material

Daypacks come in a variety of materials. A budget buy is all about durability and top-class functionality. This is why the fabric is key. Different materials are used to make hiking sacks. Choose a fabric type that is tough, rugged, and ideal for the jungle. Canvas is great for hiking daypacks as it is rugged and long-lasting. Another befitting material is nylon which is known for its waterproofing capabilities. It is also puncture-proof. Leather provides more life to the pack and is stylish too. 

Rain cover

Other than choosing great fabric material, opt for a model with an integrated rain cover. Waterproof fabrics may not be sufficient in adverse weather conditions. Your day pack will benefit from an extra layer of protection. Rain covers are good at that.

Ventilation

Day packs that are breathable and well-ventilated guarantee a better hiking experience. For enhanced comfort, look out for models designed with a suspended mesh pack panel alongside foam padding.

Weight

Although the weight of a sack should not be your topmost priority when selecting a day pack for hiking, it is still matters. It determines how comfy or easy it is to carry the pack around on a day hike. Avid day hikers prefer lightweight daypacks.

Activity

Your day pack choice should be anchored on the type of hiking activity you intend to engage in. Rigorous activities like mountain climbing require a sturdy and more sophisticated model for supportive heavy gear. On the other hand, brief day hikes demand a light minimalist day pack.

Hydration compatibility

You risk dehydration should your water supply run out on an excursion. That is why you are advised to get a pack that is hydration compatible. Hydration compatible sacks come with reservoir pockets and hydration ports that store water bladders.

Sternum strap

Unlike other models, modern daypacks are comfy and easy to carry around even when contents are heavy. All this is thanks to the inclusion of a sternum strap. Follow suit by choosing day packs with this feature. Sternum straps provide support in addition to keeping the sack secure.

Hip belt

Hip belts work to distribute a sack’s weight on the hips. By so doing, they lessen the strain or pressure exerted on your shoulders. It is obvious that a day pack with a hip belt will be easy to carry around on your day hike.

Support frame

Ultralight daypacks do not have frames. However, support frames come in handy when you have to carry a heavy load on a long excursion. Nonetheless, frameless packs are cheaper making them ideal for tight budget buyers.

Water bottle holsters

The essence of hydration on a day hike goes without saying. With this in mind, look out for water bottle holsters in the event that your preferred model lacks a hydration bladder. Holsters located on side pockets are more convenient.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for the best day hiking backpack for under 100 dollars, here are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure that the backpack is durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It’s also important to find a backpack that has plenty of compartments, pockets, and slots so that you can organize all of your gear easily. And last but not least, be sure to consider how many days you plan on spending out hiking each week – the stronger the bag, the more weight it will carry. Thanks for reading!

The quality of a pack does not lie in its price but is based on an impeccable feature set, unbeatable outdoor performance as well as enviable functionality. Some inexpensive daypacks offer this combination too. You will find the best backpacks for hiking under 100 with this guide.

FAQs

More faqs relating to daypacks and day hikes are highlighted below: 

What are the Best Day Hiking Backpack Under 100?

A quick view list of the best affordable day hiking backpacks:
1. The North Face Women’s Borealis Pack (Premium Pick)
2. Osprey Packs Daylite Plus Daypack (Top Choice)
3. Gregory Mountain Zulu 30L Men’s Day Backpack (Best Value)
4. Osprey Packs Hikelite 18 Backpack     

How big of a backpack do I need for a day hike?

A full-day hike requires a day pack with a capacity of 20L to 30L. Such a capacity is spacious enough to accommodate food, clothing, and water.

What is a day hike?

An excursion that is meant to last for a single day is referred to as a day hike. You do not need a ton of supplies for day hikes which makes day packs relevant for such trips.

What is a daypack for hiking?

Just like the name suggests, day packs are designed to carry supplies and other necessities for a day. Day packs are light and comfortable enough for activities like climbing, trekking, or hiking.

What are the popular backpack brands?

There are so many backpack brands out there although a few are outstanding. The most exceptional brands in the market currently include Kelty, Deuter, Osprey, TETON Sports, Gregory packs, and  Arcteryx.

What is a daypack vs backpack?

Daypacks are compact and lightweight packs meant for day hikes while backpacks are sacks designed to be worn on the back. All daypacks qualify to the backpack too in terms of where they are worn. However, backpacks are bigger while daypacks do not exceed 35L in capacity.

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