Day Hiking Backpack Comparison Table, Sorted by Weight

Daypacks Price ($) Weight (oz) Total Volume (L) Material
MLD Hell 27 155 9.8 27 Challenger Ultra
Zpacks Sub-Nero Ultra 30 225 11.8 30 Challenger Ultra
Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 69 11.9 25* Robic Nylon
REI Flash 22 60 14.0 26* Recycled Nylon
Cotopaxi Luzon 24 80 14.4 28* Nylon Remnants
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Elevate 22 249 17.9 30* Dyneema
Gossamer Gear Loris 25 130 18.7 31* Robic Nylon
HMG Daybreak Daypack 229 21.0 23 Dyneema
Osprey Daylite Plus 75 21.0 24* Recycled Nylon
Six Moon Designs Wy’east 155 25.0 30 Robic Nylon

*Total volume includes main compartment and all external pockets. A * indicates pocket size has been estimated.

Best Day Hiking Backpack – Performance

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Elevate 22

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Elevate 22 (shop now) is an ultralight daypack that is basically a slimmed down version of their backpacking pack design. This includes its Dyneema construction, roll top closure, and full suite of external storage. We love this design and find it be extremely functional and well-thought out. Read more in our Hyperlite Mountain Gear Elevate 22 Review.

  • Weight: 17.9 oz
  • Price: $249
  • Materials: Dyneema
  • Back Panel: 1/4″ foam back panel
  • Main Compartment Volume: 22L
  • External Volume: 4L*
  • Pros: Ultralight. Waterproof fabric. Durable. Top-of-the-line materials. Full external pockets. Backpacking pack style. Padded removable hip belt. Cinchable side pockets.
  • Cons: Expensive. Front mesh pocket is smaller than it looks. No hip belt pockets. Difficult to access bottom of main compartment when full.


For starters, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Elevate 22 is constructed with the same waterproof/indestructible combination of Dyneema fabrics as their full size packs. That includes the roll-top closure DCH 150 body material, Dyneema Stretch Mesh rear pocket, and Dyneema hardline side pockets. It also uses the same mid-size buckle hardware that we’ve found to be sufficiently usable/durable. Primarily, this is what makes Elevate so expensive.

We love the side pockets, perfect for storing water bottles of all sizes (including with tall Sawyer Filters), or excess gear. The shock cord cinch closure is super handy and very functional for narrower bottles or small securing small item. The optionality of choosing between the Dyneema hardline side pockets and Dyneema stretch mesh front pocket is nice. However, like with the Unbound packs, we wish the front pocket had more slack. As-is, this pocket is smaller than it looks in pictures and all of its volume is derived from stretch.

The hip belt is also worth calling out. First off, it is removable. Our editorial team has split preferences on whether or not to use a hip belt with a daypack. But HMG has given its customers the opportunity to decide here whether or not they want it, which is always welcome. But if they’re billing this as a technical backpack, we would have preferred hip belt pockets for easy access to snacking.


The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Elevate 22 is an exceptional ultralight daypack with the chassis of a downsized backpack. It is comfortable, durable, nearly waterproof, and has adequate external storage. This is the pack we grab most frequently for serious day hikes, and highly recommend picking one up.

Best Day Hiking Backpack – Value

REI Flash 22

The Flash 22 ( Shop now)  is an absolutely killer deal on a fully-featured ultralight daypack made of recycled materials. It’s simply a great all-purpose hiking backpack, and sustainable to boot. See more in our full-length REI Flash 22 Review.

  • Weight: 14oz
  • Price: $60
  • Materials:100% Recycled Nylon
  • Back Panel: Modular Foam Sit Pad
  • Main Compartment Volume: 22L
  • External Volume: 4L*
  • Pros: Ultralight. Incredible value. Recycled materials. Lid compartment. Comfy hip belt. Tall side pockets.
  • Cons: No front mesh pocket. Floppy when empty. Barrel-shaped when full. Zippered side pocket shares volume with main compartment.

Construction & Features

Flash 22 weighs only 14 oz, and we classify any daypack less than 16 as ultralight. Therefore, you’re getting an ultralight pack for just $60. Not bad at all!

The 22L internal compartment opens and closes with a drawcord cinch, and is covered by a lid with a zippered pocket, handy for storing snacks and useful knickknacks. There are two tall side pockets for water bottles, which are very secure and deeper than average. A large zippered bonus pocket is situated on the wearer’s right

For a mostly structureless pack, it’s comfortable too. We like the breathable, spacer mesh shoulder straps and hip belt, which is widened to disperse pressure. The backside has spacer mesh panels as well.

What structure there exists is derived from a removable foam sit pad that can be extracted from inside the top of the main compartment. This helps blocks lumps while wearing, but is quite thin and a bit too much work to remove.

While we hat to pick flaws in a pack that’s this lightweight and affordable, the lack of a front mesh external pocket is an obvious design error. With just the addition of a front mesh pocket with room to store a rain jacket, we would change our assessment from great to excellent.


Sixty dollars is an incredible price for an ultralight hiking daypack that’s this well-rounded. Sure, slightly better daypacks exist, but none are this light or affordable.

Best Day Hiking Backpack – Top Pick

Gossamer Gear Loris 25 Daypack

For an all-around excellent, user-friendly, and lightweight day pack at a fair price, grab the Gossamer Gear Loris 25. It’s new for 2023!

  • Weight: 18.7
  • Price: $130
  • Materials: 70D Robic Nylon
  • Back Panel: Modular Foam Sit Pad
  • Main Compartment Volume: 25L
  • External Volume: 7L*
  • Pros: Lightweight. Easy gear access. Full external pockets
  • Cons: Hip belt sold separately


The Gossamer Gear Loris 25 is a roll top design with a twist. It has a singular zipper running down the center back that can be opened when the lid is unclipped. This allows for easy access to gear in the middle of the pack without going full yard sale. This is a super user-friendly day-hiking backpack.

The full set of external mesh pockets, plus lid pocket, is what swayed us to include Loris in our guide to the best hiking backpacks. External volume is not provided, but we conservatively estimate 1L per side pocket and 4L on the rear back. It also has a small zippered ~1L pocket on top of the lid, ideal for valuables, sunglasses, or anything else you don’t want to squish.

Loris’ back panel doubles as a foam sit pad. This blocks lumps and gives you something to sit on at breaks. It is surprisingly comfortable.

The pack is made with classic Robic Nylon, durable, water resistant, and long lasting. It does not come with a hip belt, but one can be purchased separately (and includes .5L hip belt pockets) for an extra $20 and 3.3 oz.


This is an extremely versatile and well thought design, and already a best ultralight daypack. It’s lightweight, user-friendly, and complete with full external pockets. A great pick up for a very reasonable price that checks all of the boxes.

Best Day Hiking Backpack – Top Pick

Six Moon Designs Wy’east Daypack

Six Moon Designs Wy’east offers the most external pockets of any day hiking pack we’ve reviewed. It looks and performs more like a shrunk-down backpacking pack, which we highly approve of.

  • Weight: 25 oz
  • Price: $155
  • Materials: Robic Nylon, UltraStretch, option for ECOPAK
  • Back Panel: Mesh overtop of Foam Sit Pad
  • Main Compartment Volume: 28L
  • External Volume: 2L*
  • Pros: Many excellent pockets. Very durable. Complimentary sit pad. Good value.
  • Cons: Midweight


At its core, this is a frameless roll top daypack with a lid. The extension collar adds extra volume when needed, or shrinks down for smaller loads.

There may be six moons in their logo, but the Six Moon Designs Wy’east daypack has eight exterior pockets. Two on the hipbelt, two on the shoulder straps, one in the lid, two mesh sides, and one mesh rear. It’s a really user-friendly design, and one that we wish more brands would follow suit on.

They claim the pack has only 2L of external storage, but that must be a hyper conservative estimate and not accounting for the ability to increase their size by stretching. Needless to say, if you like exterior storage, the Wy’east has got it going on.

We love that everything is included with this pack, including many add-ons that are often sold separately. The foam sit pad? Check. Hip belt with pockets? Check. Shoulder strap pockets? Check. Six Moon Designs loves their customers? Check!!

A new piece of textile tech that they’ve added to this design is Challenge UltraStretch – a hyper durable, relatively-new-to-market stretch mesh that is tough and abrasion resistant, while offering light duty water resistance and breathability. And speaking of Challenge fabrics, for an extra $100, you can upgrade the base model of Robic Nylon to ECOPAK Ultra, a waterproof and 100% recycled composite fabric. This adds three extra ounces of weight.

Okay, so that’s a lot of upside, but it’s not all gravy. This pack weighs 25 oz. True, that’s lighter than the average hiking daypack and you’re getting a lot of features for that weight. However, it is the heaviest pack on our list and roughly the heaviest pack we’re willing to go for. But the Wy’east rocks, so we’re willing to bend the 20 oz rule.


If you like external pockets and add-ons included, Six Moon Wy’east is the daypack for you. This rucksack is fully featured and then some, and we recommend it for those who don’t mind something lightweight-not-ultralight.

Best Day Hiking Backpack – Multi-Purpose (Value)

Osprey Daylite Plus Pack

The Osprey Daylite Plus pack is an incredibly versatile, affordable, all-purpose lightweight daypack that performs as well on-trail as it does around town.

  • Weight: 21 oz
  • Price: $75
  • Materials: 300d Recycled DWR Nylon
  • Back Panel: Die-cut foam backpanel
  • Main Compartment Volume 20L
  • External Volume: 4L*
  • Pros: Lightweight. Good value. Durable. Versatile. Simple.
  • Cons: Not ultralight.


The Osprey Daylite Plus is designed to be equal parts day hiking backpack and daily driver for errands, travel, and general-purpose use. And at 21 oz, it is lightweight and effective on the trail. It is one of the most versatile and best day hiking backpacks.

It features a 20L primary compartment with a hydration/laptop sleeve and zippered clamshell opening. There are mesh side pockets for water bottles, a rear panel and zippered pocket. This litany of storage is helpful no matter how you choose to use it. Side compression straps solve for unused space.

The back panel and shoulder straps are all die-cut foam for good cushioning and acceptable breathability.

The 300/600 denier blend of nylon is 100% recycled and bluesign approved. Great sustainability, but a bit overkill on the thickness if you ask us. This pack would still be burly enough if you shaved off half of that fabric weight and we wish it was a tad lighter for hiking. That said, it’s sure to last forever, so make sure to choose a color you like.


Great on the trail, great around town, lightweight, and all for a great price. It ain’t fancy, but here’s your quiver-of-one backpack.

Best Day Hiking Backpack – Multi-Purpose (Performance)

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak Pack

The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak Daypack is a lightweight, burly, fully-featured, waterproof Dyneema pack with a user-friendly clamshell top and impressive craftsmanship. It is our favorite lightweight daypack.

  • Weight: 21.0 oz
  • Price: $229
  • Materials: DCH 150
  • Back Panel: Integrated foam padding
  • Main Compartment Volume: 17L
  • External Volume: 6L
  • Pros: Waterproof. Easy gear access. Lightweight. Full external pockets.
  • Cons: Expensive. Light-not-ultralight.


Like all HMG gear, the Daybreak Daypack is constructed with Dyneema Composite Hybrid fabric. It’s famously expensive, durable, and waterproof. While this certainly one of the best day hiking backpacks, it’s a bit too heavy to be considered for the heralded, best ultralight daypack slot.

Unlike the other best hiking backpacks on this list, the Daybreak is a zippered clamshell design. Compared to a roll top, we believe the clam shell makes accessing gear much easier. It is more user-friendly. You can zip about 60% of the bag open to easily fish around for whatever you need inside.

While these are high end waterproof YKK Zippers, all zippers are more prone to failure than a roll-top closure. As invincible as the rest of the pack is, we expect the zippers would be the first place to fail and the only reason to ever need to replace a Daybreak Daypack.

We love this Daybreak’s full set of external storage pockets, all of which are made with durable Dyneema, instead of rip-prone stretch mesh. There are 1L side pockets for storing water bottles and a 4L rear center pocket for rain gear, snacks, and accessories.

The shoulder straps are the same design as you’ll get with their full size backpacking packs, which means they’re very comfortable, lightly padded, and well-made. The hip belt is lightly padded with foam on the sides. The back panel has an integrated foam liner to block lumps.

Compression shock cords on the outside allow the entire pack to cinch down, or for excess gear to be strapped on.

At 21 oz, it’s the heaviest pack on our list, but it’s still lighter than average. We’re willing to forgive that because the rest of the pack is so well-made and such a joy to use.


This is perhaps the most wow-inducing, elegant, and enviable daypack we’ve ever seen. It is an elegant piece of craftsmanship that is comfortable, waterproof, invincibly durable, and easy to use. The price tag and the fact that it is light-not-ultralight are the biggest downsides.

Best Ultralight Daypack

Zpacks Sub-Nero Ultra 30

Technically, Zpacks Sub-Nero Ultra 30 is a super ultralight backpacking pack, but we prefer to recommend it as the perfect full ultralight day hiking backpack. It is comfy, waterproof, durable, and has massive external pockets.

  • Weight: 11.8
  • Price: $235
  • Materials: Challenge Ultra 100/200
  • Back Panel: Foam Sit Pad
  • Main Compartment Volume: 17L
  • External Volume: 13L
  • Pros: Ultralight. Full External Pockets. Waterproof.
  • Cons: Expensive


Offering 13L of external storage, the Zpacks Sub-Nero 30 has the best external storage of all packs on our list. We’ve never met a pack with too much external storage, and most daypacks have far too little. This is the exception, and undoubtedly one of the best ultralight daypacks money can buy.

The body fabric is Challenge Ultra, the best performance fabric in existence. It’s extremely durable, waterproof, and lightweight – the perfect material for the job. We recommend the Jet Black colorway because its fabric is thicker and more durable than the gray, and weighs just 0.3 oz more.

The foam back panel doubles as a removable sit pad and the 2.75” extra wide shoulder straps make for a very comfortable carry. The nylon webbing hip belt strap costs $10 extra and adds an ounce. It comes with a modular sit pad foam back panel. Our listed price and weight count both, but they are removable if you’d prefer to scrape off two ounces.

Lastly, it has side and top straps for attaching extra gear, or compressing when you don’t need the volume.


This super ultralight backpacking pack makes for the perfect daypack. Zpacks Sub-Nero Ultra 30 is constructed with the best possible materials, and delivers a top notch performance and user experience, thanks to the large external pockets. It’s expensive but well-worth the price.

Best Minimalist Ultralight Daypack

Mountain Laurel Designs Hell 27L

The Mountain Laurel Designs Hell 27L weighs less than 10 oz yet is still durable, waterproof, and comes with full size external pockets.

  • Weight: 9.8 oz
  • Price: $155
  • Materials: Challenge UltraGrid
  • Back Panel: None
  • Main Compartment Volume: 25
  • External Volume: 2L
  • Pros: Ultralight. Waterproof. Durable.
  • Cons: Expensive: No back panel.


For starters, we’re very enthusiastic about Hell’s sub-10 ounce weight. That’s super light, even for a minimalist day hiking backpack of this size, and makes it a near auto-include on our guide to the best ultralight daypack. And it’s all thanks to a combination of minimalism, and Challenge UltraGrid fabric, an innovation on traditional ripstop nylon from the makers of ULTRA fabric.

We’ve got to call out the unique rear external pockets, made of a durable nylon lycra blend. Rather than separating out two side pockets plus a center rear pocket, there is just one continuous stretch mesh panel across the entire lower half of the pack. This is great for holding tall water bottles, rain gear, and small accessories.

However, as big as this pocket looks, it doesn’t have much slack,o all of the volume comes from stretching it. This secures everything very well, but explains why such a large pocket offers only 2L of listed external storage.

The 2.5” EVA foam shoulder straps are comfy, and there is also a nylon webbing hip belt to keep the pack secured in place. There is no back panel padding or frame whatsoever.

As such, we recommend buying a foam sit pad and carrying it on the inside to prevent lumps. Or just load the pack such that your fleece, puffy, and rain gear situate along the inside to provide pseudo back cushioning.


The Mountain Laurel Designs Hell 27 offers incredible stats and materials performance to those willing to choose the most minimalist, super ultralight option. It’s spendy, but not the most expensive. What a great pack!

Best Ultralight Daypack – Value

Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 Daypack

A super ultralight daypack for a super ultra low price. Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19 Daypack is the best way to cut weight and save money while still maximizing exterior storage.

  • Weight: 11.9 oz
  • Price: $69
  • Materials: 70D Robic Nylon
  • Back Panel: Modular Foam Sit Pad
  • Main Compartment Volume 19L
  • External Volume: 6L*
  • Pros: Ultralight. Good value. Full external pockets.
  • Cons: Minimal back panel.  Hip belt sold separately.


The most important feature of the Gossamer Gear Minimalist is its weight. At 11.9 oz, it’s one of the very lightest packs with a full suite of external mesh pockets. The combination of those two things is what earned Minimalist’s place on this guide to the best ultralight daypack.

Gossamer Gear packs are known for their amazing external storage and this does not disappoint. While the total external volume is not listed, we conservatively estimate 1L for each side pocket, and 4L for the rear back pocket. It is likely larger than that though.

This day hiking backpack is constructed with 70D Robic nylon, which is durable and lightweight. It has a modular foam sit pad back panel, but it is quite thin. Remove the foam sit pad and the whole thing packs down to the size of a large sandwich, perfect to stow in a duffel while traveling.

The design is a drawstring cinch top closure, which is quick and easy to use, but slightly less protective than a roll top or clamshell.

Hip belt straps are sold separately for an extra $20 and weigh 3.3 oz. They come with .5L hip belt pockets.


With the Gossamer Gear Minimalist 19, you’re getting a super ultralight day pack with a full suite of external mesh pockets. It is very affordable, and very light. Hip belt sold separately.

Best Ultralight Daypack – Sustainability

Cotopaxi Luzon 24L Pack – Del Dia

The Cotopaxi Luzon 24L Pack – Del Dia wins our pick for best sustainability thanks to the use of remnant nylon. This keep excess fabric out of the waste cycle and is more eco-friendly than constructing with recycled fabrics.

  • Weight: 14.4 oz
  • Price: $80
  • Materials: Repurposed Nylon Remnants
  • Back Panel: None
  • Main Compartment Volume 24L
  • External Volume: 4L*
  • Pros: Ultralight. Good value. Very sustainable. One of a kind.
  • Cons: Minimal comfort features. Unpredictable fabric performance.


We’re always happy when a sustainably made product keeps up with unconstrained designs. The Cotopaxi Luzon weighs just 14.4 oz and costs $80. It is a legit best ultralight daypack to consider, and certainly the most sustainable in that niche.

What’s more, it’s splashy as all get-out. Each Luzon day hiking backpack is its own unique combination of remnant nylon; no two packs are the same. It is up the craftsmanship of the sewers to combine leftover nylon as they see fit. Very cool and very sustainable.

As far as the design itself goes, this is a non-lidded drawstring closure. Effectively a stuff sack with shoulder straps and a lightly padded back. There are two mesh side pockets for storing water bottles, and one exterior zippered pocket.

Because each Luzon pack is unique, we don’t know which fabrics will be used if you order one. But from cruising for online info and pictures, it seems like there is a fair amount of ripstop. That said, it does create an element of unpredictability and asks some durability questions. Buyer beware.

This backpack is certainly not the most technical and was designed as much for travel and adventure as it was for hiking. And in that sense, it has minimal comfort features. The shoulder straps are virtually unpadded. The nylon webbing hip belt secures the pack to your torso, but bears no weight.


If you’re shopping at the intersection of sustainability, ultralight, value, and color pop, then Cotopaxi Luzon 24 is the obvious choice.

Ultralight Daypack & Day Hiking Backpack Buyer Info

Criteria for the best ultralight daypack

For a day hiking backpack to be included in this guide, it must meet the following criteria:

1. Sized for day hiking

The best hiking backpacks for day hikes store 20-30L of gear. Any smaller and you’re cramming or cutting important items. Any larger and you will start to have too much empty space and the pack may feel sloppy.

2. Lightweight or ultralight

Because there are so many good day packs that weigh about 20 oz or less, there is no need to stoop to anything heavier. While this is a somewhat arbitrary cut off point, it helps with the goal of keeping total base weight for day hikes under four pounds.

3. Good External Storage

Just like our backpacking packs, we have high standards for external storage on our day packs. Through a combination of lid and external mesh pockets, you should be able to store lots of handy gear on the outside of the pack.

4. Durable

A daypack should be durable and stand up to the rigors of the trail. This is usually achieved with high abrasion resistant ultralight fabrics like Robic Nylon, Challenger Ultra, or Dyneema.

5. Comfortable

The best hiking backpacks are comfortable without dedicating excess weight towards that goal. It just needs to be comfortable enough and nearly all backpacks check this box easily. Always remember, too many comfort features make a pack uncomfortably heavy.

Best Ultralight Daypack Pockets

The best hiking backpacks all have a full suite of three large external storage pockets. And just like the best backpacking packs, this means two side pockets for water bottles, and a rear center pocket for easy access to frequently used gear. If a daypack has a lid, it should also have a pocket there.

External pockets drastically increase how usable a pack is and are almost always worth their weight in handiness.

Best Ultralight Daypack Back Panel Configurations

The best hiking backpacks are usually frameless, and have some kind of foam back panel to prevent lumps and/or do double duty as a sit pad.

If you have never used a hybrid sit pad back panel before, know that it’s comfier than it looks. The panel will conform to the natural shape of your back, and never dig in or chafe anywhere. We acknowledge that it is a tad sweatier than aerated foam or stretch mesh paneling, but it is as comfy or comfier in all other ways. They don’t transfer weight to the hips, but this hardly matters for a lightweight daypack load.

If a backpack has no frame and no back panel, you need only line the inside with your spare clothes, like a fleece or a puffy jacket, to act as a buffer against lumpier objects like water bottles or a first aid kit.

Day Hiking Backpack hip belts

Unlike much heavier backpacking packs, most daypacks are not designed to transfer weight onto your hips. As such, you will see a much dinkier assortment of hipbelts, and some daypacks forgo them entirely. The hip belts on the packs in our guide are mostly just nylon webbing, and are designed to give a secure fit.

How to pack a day hiking backpack

While this depends largely on a combination of what you’re packing, what conditions you’re expecting, and personal preferences, we will do our best to give some tips.

We like to keep water bottles, bathroom kit, a few snacks, and rain gear on the outside for easy access. First aid, repair kit, and essential knickknacks sit at the bottom of the main compartment as they’re least likely to be used. Then put your fleece and puffy jacket on top of that. You might consider storing a hat and gloves in the pockets of the fleece or puffy, since they will most likely be used together. Top it off with your lunch and you’re good to go.

a hiker tests a day pack in the mountains

Best Hiking Backpacks Conclusion

As you can see, the best ultralight daypack and day hiking backpacks are also ultra functional. They offer a full suite of external pockets while weighing about 20 ounces or less. Just below a pound is average. They are frameless but supported with a modular foam back panel. Any ultralight daypack on this list will serve you well on your next day hike. Happy trails!

6 replies
    • Jaeger Shaw
      Jaeger Shaw says:

      All of these are taller than 40cm (that’s exceptionally small for a backpack) when fully loaded. However, if you took the foam back panel out of the REI Flash, Gossamer Gear Loris/Minimalist, Zpacks Sub-Nero 30, or the MLD Hell 27, and filled it only 1/3 to 1/2 way, you could sort of compress it down to fit those requirements.

  1. Stephen Murphy
    Stephen Murphy says:

    Hey Alan, you are my go-to expert on all things hiking. Thank you for sharing your advice!

    Question: love the updated UL daypack list – I actually already have the HMG Daybreak which is awesome but I found the lack of ventilation made for a very uncomfortably sweaty back on a hot day! Any tips to keep one’s back dry using these UL packs? Starting to wonder if frameless packs are going to be my winterwear and perhaps I’ll stick to framed packs for the warmer months.

    • Jaeger Shaw
      Jaeger Shaw says:

      Hey Stephen!

      Thanks for the feedback, and great question! You’re right in that all of these packs forgo back ventilation in favor of weight savings. And that’s definitely a matter of preference. We feel Osprey has the back ventilation market cornered, and the Osprey Stratos 24 would be a good pick if that’s what you prioritize. It’s like a slimmed down, day hiking sized version of the Exos with a suspended air mesh back panel. Def not ultralight, but would likely reduce back sweat somewhat compared to frameless ultralight model that hug the back.

      Here’s a link to the Stratos 24:

      -Jaeger, Team Adventure Alan

      • Stephen Murphy
        Stephen Murphy says:

        Thanks for the tip! I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to create more ventilation by adding something like a sit pad, mounted similar to how the Sub-Nero does:

        Don’t think that’s exactly what they were going for but I can imagine it might help… would be interested in your thoughts on that or if you’ve ever come across a backpack that can be adjusted to add/remove ventilation as needed!

        • Jaeger Shaw
          Jaeger Shaw says:

          Hmmm, good question. The textured bumps and ridges of a foam sit pad would offer a bit of breathability relief compared to a flat surface. But closed cell foam is an insulative material and usually has an R-value of ~2, as we know from sleeping pads. So any benefits from the bumps lifting the surface off your back would likely be lost as it reflects more heat to your back. Depending on what pack you’re modifying, this may be comfier feeling, but it may or may not help with back sweat. If the pack already has any degree of mesh or textured foam built into the panel, it probably wouldn’t make any difference.

          Most packs with sit pad back panels use some form of stretchy shock cord to strap the sit pad down. You only need 2 or 3 lines running perpendicular to the pack to secure it. You would have to find a pack with good attachment points along the sides though.

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