Favorite day pack and base weight?

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    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    What's your favorite day pack? What is your day hiking base weight?

    I take food, emergency/survival essentials, a potty kit, an extra layer, a rain shell or poncho, gloves, hat, map and compass, and a liter of water. I'm using a Steripen and a Playtpus with the bottom cut off for water treatment, which allows going with less water on board (I crossed 6 clear-running streams on my last day hike). I do like to take heavier camera gear on day hikes.

    Dave Jenkins
    BPL Member


    Locale: NC

    I am using a Tactical Tailor lightweight assault pack right now for day hikes, but I have a Zpacks ZERO X-small on they way. I would have to load it and check but my base weight is probably around 6lbs.

    I usually carry:

    Rain jacket
    First Aid
    Cat hole trowel/TP
    FIre steel
    Signal Mirror
    Space Blanket
    Sunscreen/Bug Juice
    Cell Phone/dry bag
    Trekking Poles
    Steri Pen and prefilter
    Nalgene colapsable widemouth (to scoop and treat water)
    Platypus bladder

    And then add in food and water depending on location and duration.

    I know, not ultralight for a day hike, but it is what I carry. I like to think I have the stuff to handle a surprise overnighter. The new pack will hack off near a pound.

    Jennifer McFarlane
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California

    I use an Osprey Manta 20. I don't use the relatively heavy reservoir it come with- I use either a 2 liter PLatypus or just bring a couple liter bottles of water. I can fit light weight jackets, wind shirts and food for myself, husband and son in it. Once I strap on the waist belt I don't really feel the weight much.
    I like it because it has a relatively narrow profile, meant for bike riding. I use it for that too and I'll often use it as a purse on vacations.
    I don't have a scale (on vacation right now) so not sure what it weighs empty without the Osprey hydration reservoir.

    Justin Baker
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Rosa, CA

    I usually don't put too much thought into my day pack. Just my regular old jansport pack. I usually carry:
    Space Blanket
    (The above three get me through emergency overnights)
    Sometimes a alchy stove if I want to cook and I am worried about the forest police.
    and msc. small stuff

    BPL Member


    What's your favorite day pack? What is your day hiking base weight?

    Without a doubt, the ZPacks Zero, X-Small in Cuben Fiber.

    I not only use it for day hiking but I use it for a 2.4 pound BPW summer setup as well.

    Mark Hudson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Eastern Sierras

    I have a packs zero 1500…probably to large for a true day pack as I suspect I could go overnight for one night with the pack but the weight difference is very small.

    I think my pack weighs like 7 Oz

    J. Lopes


    I use a rei flash 18 for work (computer, lunch, coffee mug, etc.) as a gym bag to hold my clothes and water bottle and as a day pack that can hold anything I need for a 12 hour day.

    For a hiking daypack in late spring to summer.

    1.5 liter nalgene canteen in the hydration pocket
    Golite wind jacket / rain coat (or both depending on the weather)
    small pocket knife
    lunch (usually a sandwich and a granola bar)
    keychain compass and map(s)
    bug spray
    wallet and cellphone in a small dry bag
    pack towel

    If I am pushing it for a long long day hike I stuff my steripen in there as well and bring the 1L canteen instead.

    Mike M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Montana

    I mostly use a Talon 5.5, right at 17 oz for the pack

    I store a 2 liter platy in the bladder holder, a few Micropur tabs for purification

    I tend to be on the cautious side as spending a night out in Montana, even in August, can mean freezing temps- a lightweight down jacket, windshirt or rain jacket (weather depending), light wool gloves, light wool beanie for clothing

    a AMK thermolite bivy, 25' hank of Spectra cord, small headlamp, small fire kit, small first aid/repair kit, map/compass, TP, sanitizer, sunscreen, bug dope

    I also carry a 450ml ti mug w/ a small esbit stove and a couple of esbit tabs nested inside

    in addition to lunch and a few snacks, I carry a single serving freeze-dried supper (hoping it doesn't get used!) and a few instant coffees

    w/o food & water ~ 5 lbs

    on my person- a small neck knife and a matchsafe in the pocket

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    That's quite a list for a 5.5! I carry similar items, with the idea that spending a night out in the Cascades or Olympics can mean constant rain, even in August :)

    Yesterday, I went to my favorite hiking store ( and went through ALL the day packs and settled on an Osprey Talon 22. I never realized the Talon line is adjustable! I use an Osprey Exos for my overnights and multi-day, and I found that the fit and feel of the Talon is the same. I'll have to try an uber-minimal overnight with the 22 later this summer.

    Mike M
    BPL Member


    Locale: Montana

    Dale- I think you'll find the 22 pretty impressive, I have one that gets used mostly for winter outings. Has a great spot for a small shovel and swallows up bulkier clothing pretty handily :) I think an overnighter ("summer") would not be a problem w/ it.

    the 5.5 is a pretty conservative rating, while it's certainly smaller than my 22 it's no where near four times as small- it does swallow a lot of gear for such a small pack

    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California

    Favorite pack depends upon the hike and the season.

    Most often it is a TNF Rucksack, which I use a carry-on luggage or throw into checked luggage when I need to wear suits. I do a lot of day hikes when I travel, which can be frequently during parts of the year.

    Around home in moderate temperature it is a REI Flash 18.

    In winter it is the Rucksack or even my GG Murmur, depending upon what I am bringing.

    Base weight for non-winter trips is well under 2 lbs. Basically a minimal 1st aid kit, map and compass (for unfamiliar areas), wind shirt and sometimes a poncho/tarp.

    Winter I may take my EnLIGHTened quilt and other warm stuff in case I need to overnight it, but this has never happened in 40+ years, and I hike a lot.

    Steven Adeff
    BPL Member


    Locale: Boston

    Outbound Velocity: 1760cuin, 24oz
    I also use it for summer overnighters as I can fit all the gear I need in it. best is I only paid like $15 for it through STP. it's comfy and convenient. I've thought about removing the mini-pockets that are in the secondary compartment as I never use them.

    Dave Jenkins
    BPL Member


    Locale: NC

    I got the Zpacks zero I ordered in today and took it for a short day hike. So far so good. This is the x-small with pockets added. Weighs in at 3.5 oz. In the pick I have is about half full.

    zero 1

    zero 2

    zero 3

    Justin R


    Locale: Bay Area, Ca.

    I would have to say my lightspeed by triple aught design.

    Dave Jenkins
    BPL Member


    Locale: NC

    I have a TAD FAST pack that I have used for day hikes as well. It was my main pack in Iraq as well. Built like a tank.

    The smaller Lightspeed seems nice.

    Serge Giachetti


    Locale: Boulder, CO

    if its here in the CO foothills, I usually either don't bring anything or I bring a montbell running belt with cell phone, wind shirt, a bar or two and a frontier pro filter with a platy wrapped around it. Including belt, this base weight is probably about 8oz.

    If I'm hiking like a 14er or 13er in the summer, I usually bring a mountainsmith tour lumbar pack with the above items + an MB 3.75 oz down vest, light rain jacket, a wool/synth hat and extra food. The MS tour pack is about a lb and the rest is about a lb as well.

    Dayhikes usually end up being a mix of running and hiking, so I try to go as minimal as possible.

    I just got hipbelt pockets for my gorilla, so I think I"ll detach the belt and use that for day hikes out of a base camps when backpacking.

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    I got out for an 8-miler yesterday with the Talon 22 and it worked very well for me. The only negatives are that the zippers on the waist belt pockets are hard to close with one hand and the pockets are a little small. They are fine for a granola bar or a tube of sunscreen, but just a little too small for a camera or sunglasses.

    I've run into the zipper issue on most waist belt pockets– the last 25% is hard to get completely closed, particularly if the pockets aren't full. A little lube and some wear may help.

    As far as fit and comfort, it is like part of my body. The seam at the top of the back pad where the shoulder harness seats was noticeable when I first put it on, but tweaking the load lifter straps a bit took care of that. I guess the load lifters put a little curve in the top of the back pad.

    James Neal


    Locale: Ozarks

    I use my MLD Burn for day hikes. My base weight varies, but it's not much. Essentials, food and water. I have a camera bag that attaches to my sternum strap that I usually carry too and my Tenkara equipment.

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