There’s no vacation where a daypack wouldn’t come in handy – but too often you just can’t spare the space to pack one for the few times you really need it. However, if you invest in one of these easy-to-pack-down versions for you and your children, you’ll never leave home without a daypack again:
REI Stuff Travel Daypack – We’ve found this pack to be robust enough for all occasions but it packs down to a tiny pouch and weighs just 10 ounces. (Check the video at the bottom of this page for a demo.) It has a top zipper pocket for small items and two large pockets for quick stashing of water bottles, snacks, maps, or trash your kids give you to hold (because you look like a garbage can?!)
REI Flash 22 Pack – The Flash 22 is a step up in functionality and price from REI’s Stuff Travel Daypack. While still lightweight, the Flash 22 has a spot for a hydration bladder and detachable waist and sternum straps. My teen uses this bag as a carry-on and loves it.
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack – When my husband Don held this daypack for the first time in one hand, he used his free hand to add this to his Christmas List. This bag weighs less than a reusable shopping bag – only 2.4 ounces! – and literally packs down and cinches up so that it can be attached to a key ring. It’s not going to be comfortable if you’re climbing a mountain but if you want a daypack to put in your pocket for use after a run or bike ride, you’ll have one.
REI Tarn 18 and Tarn 12 Daypacks for Kids REI’s Tarn daypacks are a slam-dunk choice for any smaller adult or bigger child. The Tarn 12, 12-liter version, is designed for kids 5-8 and the Tarn 18, 18-liter version is aimed at tween-agers. Both packs have a large outer stash pocket, side pockets for water bottles, a whistle on the backpack strap, and a roomy interior which will accommodate a hydration bladder. They are functional enough to serve as a daypack on a hiking trip, small enough to serve as a carry-on, and flexible enough to pack down in a checked bag.
by Maryann Jones Thompson, December 2016
© ROAM Family Travel 2016 – All rights reserved
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