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#135003 - 06/11/10 10:05 AM should I daypack?
MarkNM Offline

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
So i've been toying with the idea of picking up a seperate daypack. Probably around 75-100 dollar priced include hydration capabilites some minimal load bearing capabilites and a decent material. All of that I can's where the dilema comes in

I already have an awesome bag(ok maybe not but i love it) th eNF Primero 85L...the thing is rugged as hell, and has all the space and features i'll ever need...its practically weather and bombproof...and it feels comfortable enough for me...

I've been using that pack for pretty much everything since I got it, including little 10 miler loops and as luggage from NJ to Seattle on my biz trips. (BTW i'll be out june 21- 24th if someone wants to take me on a nice jaunt around RAiner park mondaylate morning afternoon when I arrive!!!)

I'm thinking it might be more enjoyable to have a much smaller pack, but would it be worth the expenditure?

Also, I feel from my survialist background and boyscout mentality, I usually over pack for unplanned nights out, freak storms, and other stupid things in my brain that may never happen but i'd be so angry if they did and i didn't say have my filter if my water supply ran out on the day hike....

has anyone else gone through this decision? did you get a daypack and regret it? did it change your weekends?

I'm leaning toward just keeping the 85l primero as my sole pack and just be in ridiculous shape....

thoughts comments anything welcome...maybe even break me of my survival habits that kill my loads...idk...don't worry i won't be rude like that other NJ guy - and sorry for the length of post!
I do it because I also helps that you are not there...

#135012 - 06/11/10 01:50 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
lori Offline

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
You mean I'm the only one who has a pack for everything?


Let's see... there's the fanny pack for anything under five miles, the 200 cu in Camelbak for 5-6 milers, the 1500 cu in for dayhikes of 7-10 miles, the 2000 cu in for 11-15 mile trips...

And the two backpacks, one for bear canister trips, the other for bear bag trips.

And the urban assault bag with the laptop sleeve.

And the homemade stuff sack/daypack hybrid for base camp/dayhike scenarios.


"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

#135013 - 06/11/10 01:56 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: lori]
MarkNM Offline

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
oh my! You have quite the collection!
I'm curious as to why you need all those? Again it may just be in my head, but i don't see the need for the fanny pack for 5 miler trips, and then another for mid range...etc etc....was something bothering you about your daypack loads..that made you decide on the camelbak and fannypack?

my thinking was it would be nice to have a smaller bagwith less overkill...but now i'm thinking the daypack might be overkill as well?? I guess alot depends on what you plan on doing?

you have a different pack for every need....right now i have one pack that fits everyneed but maybe and is often overkill

i guess is there a list of questions that if i anser 6 out 10 with a yes i should get a
I do it because I also helps that you are not there...

#135018 - 06/11/10 02:44 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
lori Offline

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Well... I dayhike every week.

With Search and Rescue, I am expected to wear a pack that will stand up to abuse - I'm dropping it out of or into various vehicles and dragging it through miles of manzanita or getting it hung up in granite. So that's a three pound daypack before I start adding the contents.

Some SAR operations are urban, so the fanny pack is all I need - the basics, snacks and water.

The Camelbak is for the half day outings I plan for the hiking group. Longer day outings I have a slightly larger daypack but nothing so bomber as my SAR pack is necessary to haul a water filter and a tarp as well as the usual day gear. Anything over 10 miles I am automatically acting as if I need to spend the night. (A purist would say I should act like that regardless of trip length...)

Leisure backpacking I take a very light Gossamer Gear pack, or a heavier Granite Gear pack if I need a bear canister. My general three season gear weighs in around 25 lbs inclusive of water and food, or 22 lbs if I am in the Gossamer Gear (bear can for weekend trips weighs 1 lb 6 oz, and the pack itself is a pound and a half lighter). Later this year I will be carrying around 30 lbs for six days (adding more food and a larger canister). Since I will be making a base camp to lighten the load to ascend Whitney I will use my very light stuff sack pack and leave the Granite Gear in camp with the rest of the gear.

The older I get, the more I enjoy leaving unnecessary weight behind and leaping to the heights with a spring in my step. grin

I have a feeling you would be astounded at the difference a lighter load can make. You don't even have to sacrifice a lot of comfort to do it. Our home page and all the gear lists and articles are a great start if you are interested.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

#135019 - 06/11/10 02:44 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6561
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I have only two packs, one for dayhiking and one for backpacking. The backpacking pack, a Six Moon Designs Comet, is plenty big enough for trips of 9-10 days, using hardly any of the extension collar, but I can compress it down for weekend trips. While I do scrunch it down to use as a daypack when I'm dayhiking from a base camp, I wouldn't want to use it as a regular daypack. The model has been discontinued, and I want to save it for backpacking only. Actually, a cheap book pack is fine for dayhiking--you don't have to spend a lot of money!

If you are serious about lightening your load, go to the home page of this forum and read the articles listed on the left side of the page. They will show you how to lighten your load without any danger to your survival. I was able to cut my pack weight to less than half just from these articles, especially the 7-day gear list.

As for "survival," if you take care of your gear and know how to use it, you don't need double or triple backups for everything. You do need to be prepared to stay warm and dry if the weather gets messy, but if you keep your insulation dry, as you should, you don't need multiple backups for clothing, either. Surviving bad weather and other problems is a matter of skills, especially keeping your gear dry and thermoregulating your body temperature, far more than gear! Practicing these skills in horrible weather close to your car takes a lot of will power, but it's the safest way to learn to cope!

BTW, just to avoid confusion in terms, most of us use the term "bag" to refer to a sleeping bag rather than a backpack.

Edited by OregonMouse (06/11/10 04:29 PM)
Edit Reason: typo--"to," not "by"
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#135023 - 06/11/10 04:16 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: OregonMouse]
kbennett Offline

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
I have several packs, too. A small daypack for summer dayhikes and frontcountry (state parks, etc.) hikes. It's the old 24 pack from Golite. I can carry rain gear, water, lunch, the usual ten essentials stuff, but not much more.

Next up is an Osprey Kestrel 32, which is a framed day pack that can easily carry 30 pounds. It's used for photo equipment, birding stuff (scope and tripod), long backcountry dayhikes, travel, and even a light overnight. Just got it last year, and I love it.

My backpacking pack has been the Six Moons Designs Starlite, which is a terrific long distance hiking pack. Lots of room, very comfortable, and under two pounds. But it's far too large for day hikes -- it's just not comfortable with tiny loads.

I still have my old Gregory Shasta, 6000 cubic inches of load monster pack. Over six pounds, and that's after cutting off every extraneous strap. I haven't carried it in probably ten years.

To answer your question, Yes, I would buy a day pack specifically for day hikes. I can recommend the Kestrel.
--Ken B

#135030 - 06/11/10 06:52 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
CamelMan Offline

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 17
Loc: Chicago, IL

I have an urban pack (the TNF Heckler) that's great for carrying my laptop and heavy Physics book to Starbucks ;-) though I wish the hip belt had padding so I could actually use it.

My day pack is an REI Venturi 30, which has side mesh pockets and a frame that creates a very cool back compared to flat-back packs. I highly recommend it, although you'd have to check the size of your kit because the curved back limits what you can stuff in there. I use it for day hikes and training (putting in some scuba weights), and I've fantasized about getting my load so low that I could use it for trips of a few days' duration in the summer months. Oh, it also has mesh pockets on the hip belt that make it easy to keep a small camera handy.

Recently, I invested in a lumbar pack that was perfect for walking from my campsite into town with a rainjacket and headlamp so as to avoid drunk driving. The funny thing is that I was stopped by a ranger hanging out at a trail junction, who asked what I was doing ;-)

Anyway, I think there's definitely something to be said for matching the size of the tool to the size of the job. Personally I dislike having all that extra floppy space if I use my big bag.

Camel Man

#135040 - 06/11/10 10:13 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: CamelMan]
balzaccom Online   content

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1800
Loc: Napa, CA
You obviously don't have kids. WE have a collection of perfectly good daypacks the kids used to take their books to and from school. Great for short hikes, and even on an airplane.

And I bet you could pick one up at a thrift shop for under ten bucks.

check out our website and blog:

#135041 - 06/11/10 10:13 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2797
Loc: California
From your other posts I gather you are young and strong. In my 20's I did not get too worried about weight of my pack. We older folks are only still going because we have really lightend up! But at any age and condition, a lighter pack makes the backpacking more comfortable. This assumes that the lighter pack as a suitable suspension system for the weight carried. It seems to me that the issue is not the pack, but what you feel you need to carry on a day hike. So, you may want to just borrow a small day pack from a buddy and see if you can cut down on your day-hike gear to fit the smaller pack.

For example, on a day hike either carry enough water or if there are water sources, take a filter and pump at rest stops. Do not to both. Even if you were to drink bad water, you will not get sick on that day. So it is not a survival situation. If you carry water, and spill it, or use it up faster than anticipated, then just drink out of the stream. Chances are you are not going to get Giradia. Really, how often do you think your water bottle will burst?

A day pack in the 1-pound range is really nice to have. You should be able to keep your day-gear to about 10 pounds - maybe 15 max.

There are lots of good day packs on sale for $30-$100 range. I have a small REI day pack (under 1 pound) that I even take when I use my Kelty frame pack on very long trips. If I want do some day-hiking from my base camp or climb a peak, I use it. Otherwise, it doubles for my sleeping bag stuff sack.

I do not think you will be sorry to get a specific day-pack.

#135042 - 06/11/10 10:47 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
ChrisFol Offline

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
I am another who has multiple packs.

My current rotation is a Gossamer G4 for general three-season use. This is my "go-to" pack for for anything longer than a weekend. For winter use I take the Golite Pinnacle, not really because it has a larger capacity, but because it is just more durable than the G4 and I know that my snowshoes won't chew the pack up.

For shorter trips I take either my Golite Jam (weekenders) or MLD's Burn (overnighters, day hikes, day fishing trips, summits etc). I am currently trying to fade out the Jam in favour of the Burn, even on multi-day trips.

For shorter hikes, less than seven miles or so, then I will just take a hydration waistpack since all I would really need to carry is a litre or two of water. It makes no senese to bring an actual pack for this purpose.

I guess I just like having the right tool for the job. Personally, I couldn'y envision taking my 72L Pinnacle on a day hike-- all that loose pack, sagging in the most inconvient way etc.

#135048 - 06/12/10 01:04 AM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
Narf Offline

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 76
Loc: Missouri
Multi packs here too. My everytrip backpack for past year has been an REI Flash 50, have a new Gregory Baltoro 70 that I plan on using for long trips or heavy load cold weather trips. I also have a smaller 25ish liter Kelty daypack for stictly dayhikes. I then have a REI Flash 18 which I use as a stuffsack inside my larger Flash50 / Gregory, which converts to my dayhiker when I hit camp.

#135052 - 06/12/10 02:30 AM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
Bushman Offline

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
I recommend the REI flash if you are going to just buy something. I have added additional straps to tye my stuff to the outside.
As a day pack I can pack a poncho or rain jacket, a days food and other survival gear. If I want to I can bring my pot, stove, sleeping pad and bag.

#135060 - 06/12/10 11:29 AM Re: should I daypack? [Re: Bushman]
oldranger Offline

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
I have two series of pack - one for fun trips, and one for work related excursions.

The fun series consists of a Golite Gust for overnighters and a small very light North Face day pack I have had for years at about 1800 cu in. It doubles as a stuff sack. I also use waist packs on short rambles.

My work related series consists of a Maxpedition Vulture (2800 cu in). It isn't that great a pack, but it is as tough as nails and withstands a lot of abuse. My work overnighter is a venerable Mountainsmith, 8000 cu in. which has hauled all sorts of weird s*#t for me over the last twenty years or so. It is heavy, but comfortable when loaded.

If I wanted to have just one pack for all purposes, I would acquire something in the 3600 - 4000 cu in range, with the ability to shrink for light loads. The first consideration must be that it fits the body and is comfortable. Everything else is secondary.

#135096 - 06/13/10 03:38 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
TomD Offline

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Why do you think you need to spend $75-100 for a daypack? What are you planning on doing with it? For backcountry skiing or SAR work, a heavy duty pack, as already discussed, would be worth the cost, but just for day hiking, I don't see the point.

As I have posted in other threads on this topic, my day pack is a small teardrop pack that cost me nothing, free, and it has lasted more than 20 years. No hydration sleeve, but I don't like them, so no big deal. It will hold a jacket, some food, a couple of water bottles and some misc stuff. I'm not going off trail with it, so don't have the whole "ten essentials" in it. I have a bigger pack for that kind of hiking.

There are lots of really nice day packs out there, but every time I look at them, I look at my pack (which pretty much is my constant companion) and think "is that $100 pack really all that much better?" annd the answer is no.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

#135106 - 06/14/10 12:29 AM Re: should I daypack? [Re: TomD]
Howie Offline

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Canora, SK, Canada
I used a $20.00 book bag knapsack for a while. The only thing I found was it leaked in heavy rain, so I upgraded to my Vaude. It is a very comfortable pack with a rain cover. I cannot remember what it cost but it was probably expensive. If I were a less wealthy man I might have just rigged up a pack cover for the book bag.


#135114 - 06/14/10 10:11 AM Re: should I daypack? [Re: Howie]
MarkNM Offline

Registered: 05/03/10
Posts: 141
Loc: Pompton Lakes, NJ
thanks for all the posts...they are all quite helpful

let me respond a bit...I'm definetly young and strong...carrying the 85l primero around all the time with training weight even on day hikes has got me going pretty good...but as the other posts mentioned...

id feel id be more comfortable with a lighter pack and lighter load, and breaking myself of the habits to bring backups on gear and stuff(don't any of my other scouts still take "be prepared" to the fullest)?

the 85l compresses fairly nice, but it still is large even when empty its around 5 lbs.

I'm glad to see others have broken down and gotten other packs...

no i don't have kids - i have backpacks from my days - but i never had a decent jansport or something with decent straps...i used old military rucksacks, that have no structure...not something fun to carry more than an hour...

and to answer the question on why i thought i'd spend 75 or more? well i know i'm going to want certain features like a hydration bladder...and some technical aspects as i'm known to jump from boulders to canoes, then back on the trail into some snow....

i have 40% kelty code(also willing to get stuff for you guys using the code) but I love NF bags...

any recommendations?
I do it because I also helps that you are not there...

#135151 - 06/14/10 08:35 PM Re: should I daypack? [Re: MarkNM]
Tango61 Offline

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

don't any of my other scouts still take "be prepared" to the fullest)

It takes time to break the habit of "two is one and one is none" mentality, but you CAN get there.

I'm living proof and try to teach it to my Scouts each time we go out. Many of my Scouts have now gotten down to what most of us more experienced light(er)-weight backpackers do.

It's interesting to watch the new guys go on their first camp out and see what their parents have packed for them. By the third trip, they're doing it on their own and leaving a bunch of 'stuff' behind. The guys that end up going on our backpacking trips take it even one step further.
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.


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