HIKPRO 20L Backpack Review
One of the best $16 items we’ve recently purchased
Given all the day hiking we’ve been doing recently, we decided to test one of the highest rated (4,000+ positive reviews), most popular packs on Amazon. After a number of long local hikes over the past month we’re pleasantly surprised with it’s performance. The $16 HIKPRO 20L Daypack is both light (7.5 oz) and well constructed with durable, water resistant fabric, and wide comfortable shoulder straps, with strong bar-tacks in critical places. It has most of the features we’d want in a daypack and is blessedly devoid of many unnecessary features that add bulk and weight. Finally, the pack is a great value at only $16 — a fraction of the cost and weight of most daypacks from many well-known brands.
In addition, while being a great day pack, it is equally adept for an impromptu trip to the supermarket, or as a packable backpack for travel since it stuffs to a very small size!
Make Sure You Bring Everything You Need for a Hike
- For a checklist of what to take on a day hike see our top ranked Hiking Gear List | 3 Lb Ultralight Day Hiking Essentials. The HIKPRO 20L will easily hold all the gear we recommend for a day hike.
- And for a multi-day backpacking trip Ultralight Backpacking Gear List | 9 Pound
- And if you are interested in backpacks for multi-day trips checkout our: Best Backpacking Backpacks 2020
The HIKPRO 20L pack is a good size to stow everything you need for a day hike. And it’s easy to keep your gear organized with a large main pocket, two mesh side pockets, a zippered rear pocket, and an internal zippered pocket for wallet, keys, and other valuables that also doubles as a self-stow pouch.
Video Review of the HIKEPRO 20L Pack in the Field
See a hands on, in-the-field look at the pack in action.
Field Testing and Evaluation
Over the past month, we’ve used the HIKPRO 20L Backpack on dozens of hikes — some local hikes lasting a few hours to all-day weekend hikes in the mountains, some even in brutal weather. We like the 20 liter capacity which usually is enough to hold gear, clothing and food for two people on a day hike. Only in near freezing, wet windy mountain weather did we each carry our own pack. Even in significant amounts of the rain, the pack kept contents in the main pocket dry. We found the wide mesh-lined S-type shoulder straps comfortable, and carried weight well.
The pack has a well thought out set of pockets to easily organize gear, and keep frequently needed items easily accessible on the outside of the pack. We also like the internal zippered pocket for keeping track of keys, wallet, and other valuables. You can tell this pack has been through a number of design cycles and refinements over the years that have corrected any problems with durability and usability — stronger fabric for the pack body and revised mesh side pockets, bar tacks in every stress area (an exceptionally strong way to sew things together), and nice touches like big zipper pulls and reflective patches.
As we said earlier the pack is blessedly minimal. This keeps the pack light and functional, providing exactly what we need like a good set of pockets, and comfortable shoulder straps and not a lot more. There’s no foam padding on the backpanel, the shoulder straps while very comfortable, are not overly padded, there is no sternum strap, and no hipbelt. We know the saying gets old, but “exactly what you need and nothing more,” exemplifies this pack’s focused design.
The strong and water resistant fabric does a good job of beading rain and keeping pack contents dry.
Conclusion | a Great Ultralight Daypack that Anybody Can Afford
You gotta love the 7.5 ounce weight and $16 cost. And to be honest the HIKPRO 20L doesn’t give up much compared to heavier and higher priced packs from well known brands. As such, we’re quite positive on the HIKPRO 20L Day Pack. We love it’s lightweight and highly functional design. The pack is comfortable, a good size for day hiking, durable, highly water resistant, and has a good set of pockets for gear organization. It has all the features we want in a day pack but avoids a number of unnecessary ones that add weight, bulk and cost. Finally, and likely the highest compliment, a number of our friends having seen the HIKPRO Pack in action have purchased the pack for themselves.
- Light | At only 7.5 ounces, it is much lighter than most daypacks
- Low Cost | A fraction of the cost of most daypacks from well-known brands
- Comfortable | Wide, ergonomic, lightly padded, mesh-lined S-type shoulder straps carry weight well
- Capacity | 20L is a great size for most day hikes.
- Strong | Good construction with durable fabric and strong bartacks at critical areas including shoulder strap attachment
- Water Resistant | Fabric does a good job of keeping rain out (but not completely waterproof for all day rain)
- Pockets | Main pocket and 4 pockets make for good gear organization
- Essential Features | Wide shoulder straps, zipper pulls, haul loop, reflective patches, etc.
- Minimal Design| Not including the following saves weight, bulk and cost: no excessive padding, hydration bladder, stiffened back panel, waist strap, etc.
- Packable | Folds into a small size | more of a travel feature, but nice nonetheless
The pack stuffs into its own pocket and is much lighter than most daypacks. This makes it equally adept for an impromptu trip to the supermarket, or as a packable backpack for travel
A Few Things You Should Know
None of these are problems for us, but to be objective here are a few things that people may want to know.
- No hydration bladder features | Actually a plus for us as we prefer simple water bottles for hydration, which are lighter and easy to use. You can definitely use a hydration system with this pack, but there are no dedicated features to hold the bladder or route a hose.
- No hip belt or sternum strap | For us this is a plus as we feel neither are necessary for a light daypack.
- Zippers not water resistant | While the pack’s fabric is quite water resistant, over time in a heavy rain some water will get thru the zippers. Our suggestion for long periods of rain is to use a waterproof plastic bag for the main body of the back and a Ziplock bag for the contents of the outer pocket.
- Mesh side pockets | HIKPRO upgraded to more durable mesh for the side pockets and we didn’t experience any tears. That being said, there is a potential for any pack with mesh pockets to get a few nicks and small tears. The fact is, mesh tears more easily than solid fabric. But mesh has so many advantages that it’s used in the side pockets of most packs.