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Daypack for every activity?

Looking for a womens daypack that i can use for every activity- skiing, mountain biking, running, hiking, etc Etc. I’d like to have a hydration System and hip/chest straps. What’s the best pack out there with lots of compact storage?

There are a great number of well designed, versatile packs available these days, for both guys and gals.  The most important factor is proper size and fitting.  Probably you will end up with more than one pack - you will carry a different load when running compared to hiking, esp. overnight excursions.  I would start with something carrying about 3000-3500 cu.in.

I am a notorious REI fan; their stores have the capability to get you the proper size and there is a wide selection of good items available.  They are not the only game in town, however.

Hard to find a pack that covers that full range. Running packs are usually low volume for minimal gear and have to hug the back tightly to avoid sores from bouncing and rubbing -- the best are really vests with a pouch on the back and various pockets and loops for energy bars, phone water bottles. For example:

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/montane/via-dragon-20/#review32449

Standard day packs are OK for xc skiing, but may bounce a little if you are using strong classic technique and throw off balance while skating. I prefer a fanny pack (I ski a lot). Packs for backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering have some sort of provision for carrying skis. For example:

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/osprey/kode-30/#review26868

If all that is more specialized than what you are thinking about, then there is still a huge range of choices. You should think about what volume you need -- i.e. maybe 20L for mountain hikes in warmer conditions, 30-40L to carry all the gear you might need to stay warm and safe in winter conditions. Decide how you feel about zippers -- they are convenient, but all zippers fail sooner or later. Think about waterproofness -- some pack have fully taped seams and a roll top so they are effectively waterproof, at least for a while, a good choice for wet climates and canoe/kayak trips. Then it can be nice to have a net pocket on the outside to put wet stuff in. I like having hip pockets to keep energy bars, sunscreen, GPS, pocket camera handy. Suspension and support systems on day packs can be fancy and heavy, or simple and light but sometimes less comfortable, especially with more weight or action. Lots to think about and evaluate.

Most of the top brands offer something that will suit your needs: Osprey, Gregory, and Deuter come to mind but there are others.

For example:

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/osprey/skarab-32/#review37769

Here is the link to the Trailspace list of day packs:

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/daypacks/

You can further select by brand etc.

Good luck!

ULA of Utah.  One pack for everything. 

I’m a fan of the Mountainsmith Lumbar series with the optional shoulder strap kit. My experience is over 15 years with the larger Lumbar Day at 13 to 14 L. But I wanted something even more compact and finally got the Lumbar Tour at a steal of a price. It is 9 L with two very secure side pockets on top of that. I can get a liter of water, a Snugpak Patrol poncho for rain, a light Montbell down jacket, titanium cup, closed cell foam sit pad, food, knife, fire kit Patagonia Houdini wind shirt and a few odds and ends. A pair of wind/rain pants can easily fit if need be. I’ll do a quick 10k to 14k with a couple thousand feet of ascent with speed and comfort. 

 It is super comfortable and really the only small pack that fits my long torso but is fully compatable with short torsos too. I don’t feel like I have a plastic bag on my back. It is my day hiking pack for both summer and winter. They are extremely versatile packs when you are not taking the kitchen sink.

 I have taken a Kelty Redwing Men’s  a lot of times and my Wife who is 5’4 has used it a lot also.  Best advice go to a Outfitter Store and try them on and pick a color you like.  

The brands that do a better job with packs fit for women in my opinion are Osprey, gregory, camelbak, (mystery ranch if you are thinking heavier and pricier).  could try black diamond, north face, Lowe, center, rei. A lot depends on what feels and fits you best.  

October 27, 2021
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