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November 2020 Issue
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2020’s best daypacks

Macpac Rapaki 25L $199.99

For short-duration trips, you need a daypack that can hold your essentials and help you achieve your objective – whether that’s a day on the tops or in the bush.


For short-duration trips, you need a daypack that can hold your essentials and help you achieve your objective – whether that’s a day on the tops or in the bush.

Shoulder straps

Padded shoulder straps are contoured to eliminate excess weight and prevent chafing around the neck and armpits. Sternum straps provide stability and prevent the shoulder straps from sliding down the arms. They often come with a built-in emergency whistle.


Most packs will have stretch side pockets which can accommodate drink bottles and will also have an internal hydration reservoir sleeve with a port allowing the hose to exit the pack.


To reduce sweaty backs, airflow between the pack and back is provided by mesh suspension systems or a foam panel with channels cut into it.

Hip belt

Smaller capacity packs will have a webbing belt to assist with stability. Larger capacity models will have a padded belt, but because the weight being carried is not great, it is likely to have minimal padding and consist of perforated foam.

Tool attachment

Most daypacks provide attachment points for tools such as walking poles and ice axes.


Side compression straps are standard and help keep the load stable – especially when the pack is only partially full.

Fabric and water resistance

It’s common to see different weight fabrics used. Lighter fabrics are used on the upper parts of the pack, with heavier and more durable fabrics (around 200-450 denier) used in places that receive a lot of wear and tear – like the pack’s base. Nylon is common because it is light and hardwearing.


The North Face Hydra 26 $300
Self-equalising Dyno Lift System, trampoline back panel, T6 aluminium frame, beaver-tail stash pocket, hydration compatible, two tool keepers, FlashDry back panel, stretch side pockets, 14kg load capacity. Fabric 70D
nylon Capacity 26l Weight 879g (m), 850g (w).


Lowe Alpine Aeon 35 $279.95
Top and side opening, large stretch front and hipbelt pockets, side compression straps, walking pole and tool attachment points. Fabric Trishield 100D, 210D Taslan Dobby Capacity 35l Weight 940g.


Lowe Alpine AirZone Trail 35 $279.95
Top-loading, breathable AirZone back system, forward pull hipbelt with pockets, hydration compatible, ice axe loop, rain cover, internal lid pocket, TipGripper walking pole attachments, sternum strap with whistle, stretch side pockets Fabric Nylon Mini Ripstop Capacity 35l Weight 1007g.


Lowe Alpine Aeon 27 $259.95
Top loading main zip entry, large lid pocket, large front stretch stash pocket, side stretch pockets, hydration compatible, TipGripper walking pole attachments, ice axe loops, double side compression. Fabric Trishield 100D, 210D Taslan Dobby Capacity 27l Weight 854g.


Macpac Rapaki 25L $199.99
3D moulded mesh back panel, recycled polyester lining, removable hipbelt, walking pole attachment, padded laptop sleeve, internal pockets, front zip pocket, inner mesh pocket with key clip, front and side mesh stash pockets, hydration compatible, bike light loop. Fabric 420D Oxford nylon Capacity 25l Weight 910g


Salewa Mountain Trainer25 $259.90
Dry Back Contact carrying system with 3D air channels, split shoulder strap
and hipbelt, hiking pole attachments, hydration system compatible, daisy chain, raincover. Fabric 100D nylon Capacity 25l Weight 933g.


Montane Trailblazer 30 $199
Adjustable ZephyrAD back system, two off-centre Click and Go chest straps, harness pockets, wrap-around wand pockets, bivi opening with quick release Cord Lock, stretch pocket, daisy chain, front and underarm pole carry system. Fabric 70D nylon, 210D nylon base Capacity 30l Weight 800g.


Osprey Hikelite 26 $149.99
Integrated raincover, hiking pole attachment, hydration sleeve, organisation pocket, stretch mesh side pockets, sternum strap with whistle, removable webbing hipbelt, front shove-it pocket. Fabric 100D nylon, 500D nylon packcloth base Capacity 26l Weight 740g.


Macpac Litealp 23L AzTec $119.99
Angled front pocket with heavy duty zip, zipped main compartment, top grab handle, bike light loop, reflective detailing, vintage Macpac logo patch. Fabric Aztec 12oz canvas, 1000D nylon base. Capacity 23l Weight 620g.