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Day Packs

Day packs

We all have things we can't get by in life without – for some it's their latest 'smartphone' for others it might be their morning coffee. For me it's my bivy sack and daypack. I'm an outdoor bloke and there's nothing I like better than packing up a few bits of kit, some tucker and a few stubbies.

We can argue over the best kit to take for a hike to a particular trail but we need something to pack it all in at the end of the day. I like to travel light when I can and a daypack is perfect for those short adventures when you just need to get away from it all. It doesn't really matter what you're doing as there's bound to be a daypack that's suited to carry your gear – I've taken mine on three day mountain biking trips as well as single day hiking adventures. There are special packs designed for climbers, snowboarders, and skiers to name a few. Many have hydration packs made to carry an internal supply of water that you can suck out via a straw to rehydrate yourself without having to stop and open a bottle of water. It's not advisable to fill these with amber fluid, how ever tempting that may be!

Some daypacks are also made for specific seasons such as the winter. These are designed with relevant features – winter daypacks have attachments and loops for skis, snowboards and trekking poles, etc.

Daypacks come in various sizes so make sure you look for one that's large enough for your gear. This is a tricky balance as you need the right gear for the trip but don't want to be weighed down. The Alpine National Park is one of my favourite destinations for a weekend and I know exactly what to take so I've got enough water, tucker and gear but can roam and explore without getting worn out under a heavy pack.

Day packs

Daypacks come with different numbers of pockets and compartments and it's worth giving some thought to what access you need so you choose the right one. For example, if you're into photography you'll want compartments for your camera and kit. Most daypacks will have one or two large compartments that can be sealed with a zipper and then will have a number of smaller zippered or mesh pockets for carrying smaller bits and bobs.

Weight is also an important feature of a daypack and they come in various weights. Most models come with padded backing for comfort, a hip belt and shoulder straps. Make sure you adjust these to fit as it can make all the difference when you're hauling around your gear. Some daypacks come with an aluminum stay to help you carry a heavier load.

You'll find that there are dozens of different daypacks on the market and most of them will be either top loading or panel loading. They are also made out of many types of materials such as polyester and nylon and some are reinforced for extra strength. Some backpacks are coated with a water resistant material so think about the types of adventures and conditions you'll be facing and decide if this a feature you need.

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