Finding the best day pack for travel can ensure you have a secure and hands-free vacation. Our readers chime in and share their top choices that are both stylish and practical!
The Best Daypack for Travel Anywhere
Table Of Contents
Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:
“I need your recommendations for a daypack that is both durable and somewhat sleek and stylish. What do you take for your day adventures while traveling? I initially thought I wanted a leather crossbody but quickly decided against it because I want to be hands-free and will be doing more outdoor exploring (beach, hiking, etc.). I hate the idea of an anti-theft backpack (overkill?) but also know I need to be safe if I’m packing my daily things on my back. Can anyone recommend one that looks nice and not campy?”
This is a great question that’s commonly asked by our readers. A day pack is essential for easy traveling, whether you’re hiking on a rugged trail or walking around a city. Toting one allows you to be hands-free so you can truly enjoy your time without worrying.
The myth that we have to sacrifice style over functionality is untrue. If you’re itching to find a bag that won’t look frumpy and overly-touristy, our readers share their choices for the best travel daypack to suit any type of trip!
Readers Top Picks for the Best Day Packs
Best for Packability: Travelon Anti-theft Backpack
Travelon’s packable day pack is known for its solid security features—including locking compartments, slash-resistant front panels, and webbing in the straps. It has compartments for umbrellas, water bottles, and other things you might want to bring on daily outings.
A quality-made and popular item, it’s ideal for packing anything you need for sightseeing and can be folded up small so you can store it in your luggage until you need it.
It’s so popular many readers think it’s the best daypack for travel in Europe where incidents of theft, such as pickpocketing can be high. Truly, the anti-theft components make it an awesome choice for any destination!
For more security-conscious travelers, take a look at this list of “theft-proof” bags for travel!
Best for Adventure: Osprey Tempest 30
The best hiking daypack should be durable, lightweight, and well-constructed. Osprey fits that criteria hands-down! When you want to go beyond urban sightseeing excursions, but don’t want to haul something heavy the Tempest is ideal.
It has 30L of capacity, which is perfect for day hiking or overnight nature trips. Overall, it’s also suitable for your carry-on as well any off-the-road fun you have planned.
Here’s additional information about this Osprey Tempest 30!
Best for Fashionistas: Rebecca Minkoff Julian Bag
The Julian by Rebecca Minkoff is highly recommended by many readers and it’s easy to see why! Made from textured leather and finished with gold hardware, it’s lightweight, yet can hold all your essentials. The stylish lines will pair well with basic shorts to a flirty, summer dress.
Travel daypacks should always offer variety to suit any style or taste. Besides leather, it also comes in nylon, which some prefer more than leather, as it’s lighter and can fold up flat in luggage. Though the nylon version is sportier looking, it can transition well from outdoor activities, like hiking and sightseeing, to fancier occasions, like dining out.
One reader says, “I’m not typically one to use something like this in a dressier situation but I would with this bag. You can sling it over one shoulder and be instantly fashionable!”
Get a comparison: Rebecca Minkoff Julian vs Henri Bendel Jetsetter. What’s better?
Best for Cities: Copi Modern Fashion Backpack
The Copi is a gorgeous blend of durability and femininity, perfect for day-to-day use, occasional travel, or last-minute city adventures. Leather day packs can also be gentle on the environment, and this one is because it’s artificial, which adds to its longevity.
One TFG reader feels this is the best urban daypack, saying, “I don’t worry about it getting banged up when it’s under an airplane seat, it looks great, and it comes in a bunch of different colors. It’s also a perfect size and zips shut.”
With multiple pockets, it’s a breeze to organize your belongings—including a wallet, passport, cell phone, water bottle, and even a tablet. Plus, the adjustable straps allow for a comfy fit!
Check out our best travel day bag post to get more ideas!
Best for Versatility: Sak Ventura Convertible Backpack
The Sak Ventura is ample enough to keep all of your essentials organized while being useful for any activity because you can wear it backpack-style or as a messenger bag. (Perfect if your back gets tired.)
There are plenty of pockets and compartments to store items and the fold-over flap adds an element of security. But, it’s the tassel detail that makes it shine. As one TFG reader shares, “It’s very roomy but not overwhelming, yet super cute.” Readers’ daypack reviews say it all: this bag is versatile and worth it!
Looking for more versatile options? Check out our post on convertible backpack purses!
Best for Dependability: Fjällräven Water Resistant Pack
The traveling day pack from Fjällräven is another TFG favorite. It’s dirt-resistant, water-resistant, spacious, and highly durable.
One reader shares, “I love my Kanken! It’s surprisingly comfortable to wear, even if it’s packed to the max (I wasn’t convinced by the tiny straps before I owned one). I find that it’s water-resistant (for drizzly days) and it’s crazy durable.”
This bag comes in fun colors and is casual enough to cart to a beach or sidewalk cafe and blend in nicely. One reader reiterates this point. “They have been so prevalent that if carrying one, it’s not obvious if you are a tourist or local, so you won’t stand out as a tourist.”
You can also use one of these cute backpacks for travel!
Best for Storage Space: LeSportsac Voyager
LeSportsac is another favorite travel day pack among readers and the Voyager receives high praise. What wins travelers over is how spacious this bag is! It’s able to hold a staggering amount of items yet somehow remains lightweight. As one reader says, “This bag is so easy to carry but durable.”
It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, has adjustable shoulder straps, and many pockets for easily organizing belongings. Roomy and stylish, what’s not to love?
Speaking of lighweight, you might wanna check the list of best ultralight backpacks!
Best Compact Size: Longchamp Le Pliage Pack
The Longchamp brand is super popular among travelers and TGF readers. The Le Pliage is an adorable mini day pack that’s lightweight and easy to fold-up.
One reader shares, “I usually stick it folded up into my luggage and use a regular pack for the flight. Then when I get to my destination, I put my wallet and other essentials into it.”
It is a great example of a compact, yet durable bag with limited structure, which probably makes it the best lightweight daypack around—versatile for packing whatever you need day or night. If you like to arrange things a bit, use a small purse organizer to give it some support and shape. Structured or not, this bag will polish any travel outfit off with panache!
Here’s our longchamp backpack review, to give you more details about this product!
Day Packs Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Travelon Anti-theft Packable Backpack||Travelon’s packable day pack is known for its solid security features—including locking compartments, slash-resistant front panels, and webbing in the straps.||Check Price|
|Osprey Packs Tempest 30 Backpack||It has 30L of capacity, which is perfect for day hiking or overnight nature trips.||Check Price|
|Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack||“I’m not typically one to use something like this in a dressier situation but I would with this bag. You can sling it over one shoulder and be instantly fashionable!”||Check Price|
|Copi Modern Fashion Backpack||“I don’t worry about it getting banged up when it’s under an airplane seat, it looks great, and it comes in a bunch of different colors. It’s also a perfect size and zips shut.”||Check Price|
|Sak Ventura Convertible Backpack||“It’s very roomy but not overwhelming, yet super cute.”||Check Price|
|Fjällräven‘Mini Kånken’ Water Resistant Backpack||“They have been so prevalent that if carrying one, it’s not obvious if you are a tourist or local, so you won’t stand out as a tourist.”||Check Price|
|LeSportsac Classic Voyager - Mochila||“This bag is so easy to carry but durable.”||Check Price|
|Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack||“I usually stick it folded up into my luggage and use a regular pack for the flight. Then when I get to my destination, I put my wallet and other essentials into it.”||Check Price|
What is a Day Pack?
These types of bags are used by travelers for sightseeing, hiking, exploring, and/or as their “personal item” while on transportation (flights, buses, trains). Besides serving as a personal item on your flight, it can be used in place of a purse during your trip.
The best daypacks for travel are useful because of the ability to store many items in dedicated pockets or compartments and having the option of shoulder straps that fit securely against the body.
Depending on your needs, any bags for trips that you have planned might entail a large beach tote, oversized purse, small pack (15-25L), or a luggage-style tote.
Overall though, many people prefer this style of bag so they can sightsee hands-free!
You’ll want to look your best when you travel! Read my travel tips to Pack Light Stylishly!
How to Use One Properly
Once you’ve chosen the best bag for your next trip, you’ll want to know how to use it!
When I’m traveling on a bus, plane, or train, I use my daypack as my personal item and carry my most valuable items inside. This bag does not leave my side and sits on my lap if needed.
Generally speaking, if I’m in a place that’s known for muggings or high theft, I separate my valuables between my body, my pack, and my suitcase. Otherwise, for regular travel, my valuables are inside my daypack.
I also use this bag if I decide to do side trips within my regular trip. Sometimes, I might leave behind my regular luggage locked away at a guesthouse or hotel and just take my daypack with only the necessities for a short island trip or trek. If I was going on a one to three-day (non-cold) hike this is the bag I would carry. I used an Osprey bag similar to this 20L backpack on both my trekking trips to Machu Picchu.
Consider Using Packing Cubes
Not sure how you’re going to fit all of your things? At TFG, we love Compass Rose packing cubes. After all, we created them! They make packing more stress-free ensuring all of your items are kept organized and easy to access. Just use the color and numbering system!
Slim packing cubes can maximize your luggage space for whatever you choose to bring—either your carry-on as well as your daytime bag.
TFG Editor’s Pick: Rebecca Minkoff
How the TFG Editor Wears Her Favorite Day Pack
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What a fantastic trip to Paris I got to go on a couple weeks ago with my mom! In addition to this stop, we were also able to visit Rome, Venice and Basel, Switzerland – we celebrated both of our birthdays together while abroad and it was seriously such a trip to remember. ❤️ And of course, it wouldn’t be a true travel fashion journey without bringing along some of my favorite TFG-approved pieces, such as Rebecca Minkoff’s Julian backpack and Leith’s ruched body-con tank dress. There are plenty more pics to share of this magnificent trip so stay tuned! #TravelFashionGirl #TFGonthego
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Easy & breezy 💙 Sunny days call for maxi dresses and this piece from @toadandcoclothing does the job perfectly (it’s literally called their “Sunkissed Maxi”) Flowy and functional, this is beautiful enough to be worn anywhere from a beach wedding in Playa Del Carmen, strolling around the temples in Southeast Asia or right there in San Diego where I shot these looks. Also pictured is their vacation perfect Americano hat – couldn’t have been a better match! #livewelldogood #trailtotavern #everydayisanadventure
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Got to put SO many TFG favorites to use while exploring Europe! There was comfort for all day walking in my @skechers Pureflex slip ons, anti-theft protection thanks to my @travelonbags messenger bag and lightweight layering in my @anatomiestyle Kenya jacket (it even folded up perfectly in the Travelon bag when I wasn’t wearing it!) plus the Anatomie Skyler pants, too. Last but not least, my favorite @ospreypacks Ozone 35 Liter backpack allowed me to pack carry-on only for 12 days (with the help of my Compass Rose packing cubes inside, of course 😉) I was so happy to curate a look that ended up doing it all – have YOU tried any of these TFG approved items? Let me know in the comments below! #TravelFashionGirl #TFGonthego
What is the best day pack for your type of travel? Share in the comments!
For more travel gear, please read:
- 14 Cute Backpacks for Travel You’ll Want to Wear Everywhere
- The 10 Best Laptop Bags for Travel
- How to Choose the Best Travel Backpack: A Step by Step Guide
- Best Travel Bags with Trolley Sleeve
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