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Choosing a Daypack

Bushwalking, cycling, skiing, climbing, running, fishing, shopping, carrying textbooks. Whatever the pursuit, it's likely a daypack has already been designed to help you enjoy it with greater ease and convenience. Daypacks can be a significant improvement from a basic backpack which generally offers little or no support or padding. Daypacks are designed to have enough space for single-day activities. Simple daypacks will concentrate the weight of a loaded pack on the shoulders. More technical daypacks will come with greater support, in the way of a hip strap and sternum strap, as well as any number of features which directly relate to your activity of choice.  

There is a huge range of daypacks available in Paddy Pallin stores or online.


How to Choose a Daypack


The key to choosing a daypack is to match the pack to the activities you have in mind. Consider the features that you value most, for example, a large capacity, pockets, compartments for organizing gear, ice axe loops, helmet clip etc.


Stick with a narrow-profile pack, one that includes a padded back or a frame. A hip belt and a sternum strap are a good idea. As you may often be walking in a variety of environments you may need a larger capacity (30 litres plus) pack to accommodate extra clothing such as a rain jacket or warm layer.

Rock climbing

Rock climbing can require a range of packs depending on your aspirations. A close fitting technical daypack with a lower centre of gravity is best (This helps to lessen the effect of wearing a pack on your balance when climbing). Compare your standard equipment load (ropes, carabiners, shoes etc.) with the list of specialized features a pack may provide (ground sheet, internal pockets, daisy chain, crampon straps). A sternum strap and a variety of compression straps (which consolidate your load and keep it from shifting) are also important.

Ski touring

Choose a pack with a narrow profile pack with hip and sternum straps to allow for greater balance and increased arm movements. Your capacity requirements will be determined by the length of your trip. Remember that you will need some extra gear and clothing in the snow. Pockets or compression straps on the sides of the pack can be handy when carrying your skis.  

Hydration packs

Hydration packs are available in a range of sizes and styles, from small packs with only room for your water and keys to larger technical packs. Designed for active use, hydration packs are usually close fitting daypacks that include a removable reservoir (or bladder) with a sipping hose attached. The bite valve of the hose can be clipped to a shoulder strap for easy access, so you can remain active without needing to access your pack to have a drink.

Bush running/ Multi-Sports

Bum bags, hydration packs and vest packs are good options for trail running and adventure racing. Looking for a bag that is stable while you run, and well ventilated so perspiration can escape. If you require more carrying capacity a close fitting technical daypack may be preferable.

Work, School or University

Daypacks have become handy and practical replacements for briefcases and shoulder bags for many people in recent times. If carrying books and a laptop is your primary requirement, there are many daypacks designed specifically with this in mind, with padded laptop compartments, book bags, slots and sleeves for digital devices, etc. Many manufacturers produce a hybrid style pack that will cater for your needs on and off the streets.

Bum bags

Bum Bags are a compact unit ideal for day walkers, runners, skiers and even city walkers, who want the benefit of an extra pocket without the hassle of carrying a pack. Bum bags are often available with a hydration option as well, either in the form of bottle holders or a removable bladder. For longer outdoor walks on hotter days, a bum bag and the full ventilation it affords your back is a great option.


Daypack styles


Front loading daypacks

Feature a panel-loading style, where the main storage compartment is accessed via a long, U-shaped zipper. Fully opened, one side of the compartment falls away like a flap. This wide opening makes it easy to access items such as clothing or books, which may be more difficult to locate in a top loading pack. Often packs used in urban or travel capacity will be designed in this fashion. 

Top loading or rucksack-style packs

The bags usually do a better job of keeping gear from shifting, especially if they offer compression straps. They are well suited to activities where balance is vital (climbing, ski touring, walking, cycling, or trail running).

Daypack Materials

Day packs are a science all of their own when it comes to fabrics and features. Lightweight fabrics such as Siliconized Nylon are great for adventure racing and highly active sports where weight is everything, it is however less durable than a heavier fabric such as Canvas. Although slightly heavier, canvas is more water and abrasion resistant-resistant than nylon. Cordura is another fabric used in day packs which is again more durable than Nylon but generally lighter than canvas. No pack can be considered totally waterproof, so in wet conditions we recommend the use of a pack liner or cover.


Shop Daypacks or Hydration Packs Online

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