Spring 2015 Daypack Comparison Review

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This year, we sent one of our gear testers on a quest to find and test the best daypacks around. From the top of Mailbox Peak to the streets of Seattle, these packs have been loaded, hauled, and beaten up, all in the service of finding out what they’re really made of. In the 2015 daypack comparison review, you’ll get all of the beta on the Osprey Tempest 30, the Cotopaxi Inca 26L and the Kelty Redtail 22 – and you’ll see the first ever Seattle Backpackers Magazine Editors’ Choice Award given out. Here you have it:




Osprey Tempest 30 – Best All-Around – Editors’ Choice Award Winner2015 Daypack Comparison Review

2015 Daypack Comparison Review

(Read the full review)

Osprey consistently makes some of the very best packs on the market, and this year is no exception. The Tempest 30 is a women’s specific pack that uses BioStretch technology to create an individualized fit for every user. The pack’s dynamic adjustment system along with its technical features and comfortable fit make this daypack our Editors’ Choice Award Winner.


Cotopaxi Inca 26L – Best Town-to-Trail Pack

2015 Daypack Comparison Review

(Read the full review)

The Cotopaxi Inca 26L is a great pack for this weekend’s day hike or next month’s trip abroad. It’s functional, stylish and has all the features you need. Plus, Cotopaxi is a company that backs up technical design with ethical practices – each of their products contributes to a specific humanitarian cause.


Kelty Women’s Redtail 22 – Best Bang-for-your-Buck

2015 Daypack Comparison Review

(Read the full review)

At only $79.95, the Kelty Redtail 22 is our least expensive pack on the list. Its comfortable, durable design make it a great pick for all of your non-technical day hikes. Because of its conveniently placed haul handles, you can easily toss it in the car and be ready to go.


Osprey Tempest 30Cotopaxi Inca 26Kelty Redtail 22
Osprey Tempest 30Cotopaxi Inca 26Kelty Redtail 22
Frame StyleInternal frameInternal frameInternal HDPE frame sheet
Backpanel StyleAirscape backpanelPadded, breathable backpanelDynamic AirFlow backpanel
HydrationExternal hydration sleeve and two 1L water bottle pocketsInternal hydration sleeve that doubles as a laptop sleeve and two 1L water bottle pocketsInternal hydration sleeve and two .5L water bottle pockets
ColorsStormcloud Grey, Mystic Magenta, Tourmaline GreenClassic Blue, Dark ShadowBlackberry, Black
PocketsTwo side pockets, two hip belt pockets, front panel stretch mesh pocket, mesh under lid pocketZippered top pocket, two zippered side pockets, two side water bottle pockets, cell phone pocket on shoulder strapTwo side water bottle pockets, zippered stash pockets, large front pocket with organization
Straps/ AdjustmentsGender specific BioStretch hipbelt, gender specific BioStretch adjustable harness, adjustable chest strapAdjustable chest, waist, and shoulder strapsWomen's specific suspension, webbing waist belt, AirMesh shoulder straps, waist belt, and lumbar
UsesDay hikes, climbing, cragging, overnightsDay hikes, travelDay hikes, travel
Ice Tool/ Trekking Pole CompatibilityYesYesYes
Gender SpecificationsWomen's specific pack. Men's version: Talon 33UnisexWomen's specific pack. Men's version: Redtail 27

Anna Elliott grew up canoeing in the Northwoods of Wisconsin where she acquired a love for all things wild. A month long backpack through the Wind River Range in Wyoming later convinced her that western mountains were the place to be. Moving to the Seattle area in 2011, Anna has been taking advantage of the wilderness playground that is the Pacific Northwest— hiking, climbing, trail running and paddling— ever since. Writing, editing and leading trips, she is always looking for opportunities to inspire others to get outside.

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