Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
If I were climbing a significant mountain that required an overnight camp before summit day I would (have used) use the pack I packed in. My overnight pack is only about a Kilo so that is reasonable for a day excursion. A fair sized backpack can also be used to put your feet in if you have an unexpected night out.
We do the hike-setup-hike scenario nearly every trip, lately, since the sites in RMNP are reserved and there are so many cool alpine lakes, so I have bought packs that were meant to compress a lot when not carrying the whole kit.
For about 15 years, I used a Golite Jam pack which has clips at the bottom and long compression straps to shrink the pack. Now, I carry a SD Flex Capacitor which compresses horizontally down to 25L.
I have a little daypack that is designed to flip inside out to be a stuff sack inside a larger pack, but haven't used it like that.
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I was eyeing those Flex Capacitors back when they were available on Drop. Sadly, Drop seems to have, well, dropped almost all of their outdoor related offerings, but I digress. How do you like that pack?
The journey is more important than the destination.
Loc: Portland, OR
This, like all of one's gear choices, depends on making tradeoffs among a matrix of factors. I recently bought a 20L UL day pack made by Sea-to-Summit to address this question for my own hikes away from a base camp. It is called Ultra-Sil Day Pack and weighs 2.5 oz. It works for me because my day hike loads don't weigh very much.
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Those are some nice packs you all are using. Mine is a bit heavier at 9 oz but the REI Flash 18 waist strap works as a hip belt on my long torso which is amazing so all the weight rides on my hips, not the shoulders. Water is heavy enough to make this a precious thing. I hate weight on the shoulders all day even with a lighter day pack.
4Evrplan, I've only had the chance to take it on one trip, so far. I got the 25-45L version on a SD flash sale for about $80. With a BV450 jammed into the top, it was barely able to close, but I liked how it carried the weight while full and when compressed down to daypack size. The frame on this smaller version is overbuilt for the pack size, but I was glad to have it when full. When it's compressed, it carries kind of like a running vest, with all the reachable pockets.
The old Golite Jam was like carrying a sleepy child back to the hotel all the way from the deepest part of Disneyland at closing time.
Thanks all, that is kind of what I figured, just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing options.
I have been kind of curious about packs like DustinV talks about, maybe I will look into them more.
I do a lot of my backpacking in the southwest on trips with little or no water along the way. When starting a trip with 25+ pounds of water, saving a couple pounds on gear never seemed that important, so being very light has not been a priority.
I've had a couple more trips with the SD Flex Capacitor 25-40L. Since the BV450 didn't fit in it very well, I grabbed a Contender bear can which fits inside much better. Also, I can confirm the pack does very well with water carry weight. More to the point of the thread though, it makes an excellent daypack when compressed.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that with this smaller capacity model, 40L is really the maximum for this pack. It doesn't have a draft collar, so you actually need to dial in the volume of your gear more than the weight. I chose this capacity because 25L is small enough to be a daypack.
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