Best Backpack for Short Hikes

7 Best Backpack for Short Hikes

What if you’re planning a short hike but don’t want to carry an extra-large backpack that will weigh you down? What size best fits your needs? This article will help answer those questions and more.

We’ll discuss the best backpacks for short hikes, what features we should look for when buying one, and how much it may cost us. Read on now!

Our Picks for Top 7 Best Backpack for Short Hikes

Osprey Talon 11 Hiking BackpackCheck Price
Venture Pal 40L Hiking BackpackCheck Price
CamelBak Octane 18 BackpackCheck Price
G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking BackpackCheck Price
Sunhiker Water Resistance BackpackCheck Price
Zomake Small Hiking Backpack Check Price
Fengdong Short Hiking Backpack Check Price

1. Osprey Talon 11 Hiking Backpack

Osprey Talon 11 Hiking Backpack

When you’ve got a mile or two to hike, take this pack. Talon 11 is designed specifically for those occasions when you need just a daypack of gear; there’s room inside to stash some water and a few snacks, all your electronics, fragile items like sunglasses and cameras… even your hiking shoes!

The back panel is padded with Airscape foam for cushiony comfort that won’t slow you down on the trails.

Keep up-to-date with what’s going on at camp by stashing smart phones in hipbelt pockets deep enough for iPhones and Androids alike, then head out on the trail.

Extra features include a LidLock helmet attachment so you can head off into your high-adventure without worrying about leaving anything behind and accessory attachments to conveniently carry trekking poles while wearing the pack!

What We Liked

  • Airscape foam back panel is padded with cushiony comfort that won’t slow you down on the trails
  • Hipbelt pockets deep enough for iPhones and Androids alike, then head out on the trail
  • LidLock helmet attachment so you can head off into your high-adventure without worrying about leaving anything behind

What Could Be Improved

  • Not as durable or capable of carrying heavy loads

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a pack that’s best suited to short hikes with plenty of added features and roomy pockets, this is one we’d recommend checking out!

2. Venture Pal 40L Hiking Backpack

Venture Pal 40L Hiking Backpack

Venture Pal 40L Hiking Backpack is the best hiking backpack with all amenities and features you’d dream of. It also has a space-saving design at just 12″ x 11″, which means it’s shorter than traditional backpacks.

Complete with tear-proof nylon, water-resistant zippers and bar tacks to strengthen points of high stress, this bag won’t crumble or break under the weight of your heaviest items.

And why should you choose this Venture Pal backpack? The answer is quite simple: It’s affordable and lightweight!

This 40L hiking backpack is sure to keep all your essentials together as it only weighs 0.7 pounds — that’s nearly half a pound lighter than the average heavier bag!

What We Liked

  • 12″ x 11″, smaller than most backpacks
  • Tear proof nylon, water resistant and bar tacks to strengthen points of high stress for best durability
  • Lightweight bag at just 0.70 pounds
  • Affordable

What Could Be Improved

  • No waist strap for added support or comfortability, only has a chest strap. However, the weight of this bag is very light so you won’t feel like it’s pulling on your shoulders and back at all!

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a backpack for short hikes that is lightweight and affordable, this 40L hiking backpack by Venture Pal should be your go-to purchase.

3. CamelBak Octane 18 Multisport Hydration Pack

CamelBak Octane 18 Multisport Hydration Pack

CamelBak – the best reservoir system on the market. When we say an 18-ounce water bladder is big enough for small hikes, we mean it! Breathable Air Mesh will keep you both cool and collected on your adventures.

The cargo compression panel keeps your belongings within quick reach and with an elastic bungee security pocket, they’ll never bounce out of place again.

And when exploring off the beaten path requires some effort (and not just in spirit), be grateful that the load-bearing hip belt comes complete with balance compressor straps to transfer weight from your shoulders to wherever it needs to be – like as close to your core as possible!

With a removable sternum strap, multiple lash points and lots of nifty cargo attachment points, this backpack will be whatever you want it to be.

What We Liked

  • 18-ounce water bladder for hydration on the go
  • Mesh back panel for ventilation and comfort
  • Compression straps to adjust load distribution
  • Built in rain cover that clips to the back of the pack
  • Balance compressor straps to transfer weight from your shoulders to wherever it needs to be

What Could Be Improved

  • Some features are great, but it’s quite expensive
  • Not best suited for winter or high altitude treks, but that’s not what it was designed for.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a well-made and versatile backpack with lots of features, this is the best one to buy. The water bladder in this pack is a great addition for people who want to bring water with them on the trail.

4. G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack

G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack

Just when you think it couldn’t get better, we bring in this hiking backpack with its lightweight and many riveting features. So what exactly are they?

Bungee elastic ropes to hold all of your extra gear (put down the fighting pole), a chest strap for more safety and emergency purposes, a padded shoulder that’s not too rigid or delicate on your shoulders.

This bag is made from high quality water resistant nylon fabric so no tearing should happen any time soon!

Plus, at just 12.7 ounces you’ll barely even notice the weight while carrying it around. And now to top everything off – this pack can take up to 40 L for our hikers who like to have more space than needed for their travels!

What We Liked

  • Bungee cord on the front of the pack for extra storage
  • Chest and shoulder straps are adjustable
  • Hydration sleeve included
  • High quality water resistant nylon fabric so no tearing should happen any time soon!
  • It is just 12.71 ounces so you’ll barely even notice the weight while carrying it around

What Could Be Improved

  • The only con we could find is the lack of a hip belt; but given how lightweight it is (12.7 pounds total), it really isn’t that big of a deal.

Bottom Line: This particular model has several features which make it an extremely good choice for hikers who like to be out on the trail for hours at a time without feeling too worn out. These features include a lightweight design, 40L capacity for all your necessities (featuring an H20 sleeve), and best of all: it’s only 12.0 pounds!

5. Sunhiker Water Resistance Backpack

Sunhiker Water Resistance Backpack

The Sunhiker backpack is perfect for those of you out there who have never been outdoorsy before, and don’t want to carry around a bulky backpack.

This small pack is the perfect size to hold your essentials while you’re on the trails. Lightweight, water resistant, and breathable mesh shoulder straps are highlights of this pack that will keep it light on your back.

With plenty of space categorize everything in one place or just fit all that you’ll need with space left over!

Besides, the zippered front flap opens up to reveal secure zippered compartments that are big enough for all of the essentials and more! A built-in loop handle makes it easy to grab anywhere, anytime.

What We Liked

  • Lightweight, water resistant, and breathable mesh shoulder straps
  • Plenty of space categorizes everything in one place or just fit all that you’ll need with space left over!
  • Zippered front flap opens up to reveal secure zippered compartments big enough for all the essentials and more
  • Hydration pocket
  • Adjustable sternum strap and waist belt for best fit

What Could Be Improved

  • No extra storage pockets – but a lot of room to hold items you’ll need on the trail.

Bottom Line: This small backpack is perfect for those who are just getting started with short hikes because it has plenty of space to fit everything you need comfortably without having to carry a bulky backpack around on your back!

6. Zomake Small Hiking Backpack

Zomake Small Hiking Backpack

Introducing Zomake, your new foldable, ultra-light backpack at less than 1lb! The perfect backpack for travelers and commuters who need to pack light.

This small hiking backpack can be brought on flights as carry-on luggage without getting charged with overweight baggage fees.

It’s especially handy for active commuters because it can be stored in your computer bag or carrying case and unfolded once you reach work – instead of using up the extra space by bringing it with you all day.

And if it’s not enough room to get what you want to bring home from shopping trips abroad, just unfold it right there in your suitcase – avoiding the pain of overstuffed suitcases!

What We Liked

  • Small size and lightweight, making it perfect for travelers and commuters
  • Comes with a handy padded sleeve to store your laptop or tablet
  • Extra small zippered pocket on the front can be used as an exterior compartment for shorter items like pens

What Could Be Improved

  • The top lid of the pack is not removable. This means if you fill-up the bag with stuff, it will be harder to get anything out of the top without taking everything out first

Bottom Line: The Zomake is a great pack for those who are looking for lightweight protection that they can take anywhere. It’s perfect for commuters and travelers, but maybe not so much for longer hikes or adventures!

7. Fengdong Short Hiking Backpack

Fengdong Short Hiking Backpack

Who says being stylish means you have to give up all the comfort? This windbreaker backpack is a great way to bring your good sense with you on any outdoor journey.

The material is both lightweight and breathable, so whether you’re trekking for miles through the mountains or blazing along on a bike in blistering heat, your equipment will be safe from sweat and discomfort while staying out of sight from suspicious eyes.

Along with style come some pretty helpful features: side pockets, padded shoulder straps, and two front zipped pockets for quick access each hold just what they say on the label–you’ll never cough up time wasted digging around blindly again.

What We Liked

  • Breathable and lightweight material
  • Side pockets, padded shoulder straps, two front zipped pockets
  • Stylish design with features such as a mesh side pocket for your water bottle.

What Could Be Improved

  • The pack is not waterproof. If you are going to hike in wet locations or plan on getting caught in the rain this may not be the best backpack for you.
  • Straps could use a little more padding or cushioning.

Bottom Line: The Fengdong is a great backpack to hike with, it’s lightweight and has many useful features. One thing I didn’t like about this backpack is it’s not waterproof. Besides, this pack has two front zipped pockets and a bottom side pocket which is great for storing your water bottle.

Things to Consider Before Purchase A Short Hiking Backpack

Things to Consider Before Purchase A Short Hiking Backpack

Before purchasing a hiking backpack, you should consider the following:

Backpack capacity: 

The capacity is shown in liters, rather than cubic inches.

This refers to the volume of space inside your backpack and it’s important because a larger backpack would be able to accommodate more gear or clothing than a smaller one.


How much stuff can you fit in there? A hiking pack with 80-liters will easily hold everything you need for an overnight camping trip but maybe not as good if you’re carrying lighter loads on day hikes.

There are some packs out there that have little or no frame at all, which means they’ll work best for those who only carry small amounts of weight (less than 20 pounds).

The hip belt: 

The best backpacks for hiking will have a sturdy, wide waist belt to distribute weight evenly across your hips and help with reducing fatigue; these are often padded too which is nice.

Some come with removable pads that allow you to customize them or replace as needed so they last longer.

Hip pockets: 

These pockets on either side of the pack can be helpful in organizing small items like headlamps or snacks but also act as attachment points for things like sleeping mats if desired (some packs have this feature built-in).

If not included, look into purchasing some accessory hip belts that include said pouches.

Sternum strap:

This strap attaches from the top of the pack to your chest and helps take some of the weight off your shoulders.

You can adjust it for a custom fit, which is nice if you want to wear the backpack with another layer – like a rain jacket or winter coat – on top.

Weight of the backpack: 

The next important thing to think about is weight. With a backpack, one of the biggest factors that will affect your comfort and endurance on a hike is how heavy it feels on your back.

This can be affected by things like what types of materials are used in construction (soft or hard-wearing) as well as where items go inside – try packing heavier stuff close to you so they take up less space but don’t weigh down against your spine or neck with strain.

Most packs come with a strap that goes over your hips. This helps you carry the load of the pack on your waist instead of just having it on one spot on your back. If you don’t have this strap, then buy one because it will help prevent pain in the future when you are at the top of a hike.

Comfortability and level of adjustability:

Your backpack should be easy to adjust and comfortable enough for long hikes. Bags that are too heavy or bulky will make your back hurt easily, slowing you down on the trails.

To avoid this problem, it’s important to find a bag with adjustable straps and some kind of waist strap as well – these features fit different shapes better than others and will make your hike more enjoyable.

Water resistance:

This feature goes hand in hand with hydration capability – after all, what good is a backpack with water holders if it can’t protect your stuff from the wet weather?

Make sure before you buy that the pack comes equipped with some kind of coating or material to keep all of your belongings dry and protected.

Waterproofness/water repellant:

For example, a rain cover for your backpacks can make them more resistant to wet conditions but not completely protect from them.

Some are just designed with extra seams that have been taped so they’re waterproof while others use special lining material that won’t let anything seep through to the inside stuff.

A few packs even come with their own built-in rain covers on top; these function as an additional layer over everything else you put into the bag which will help keep things dryer longer if a downpour comes out of nowhere.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a daypack?

Day packs are smaller than 40 liters (or 30 if you want to be really conservative) and are typically designed to be used for day hikes. It is common for these packs to have a hydration sleeve and allow you to attach trekking poles.

What is the best size backpack for a day hike?

The best size backpack for a day hike is 15-25 liters. Smaller than 25 liters may not be enough for your hiking needs, but bigger than 30 liters will likely weigh you down and make it difficult to walk long distances with the heavy load on your back.

Remember that as the number of miles increase, so does the need for more water and gear. Keep the size of your pack in mind when you are shopping, as it is important to be able to carry everything that you may need without feeling weighed down.

How big of a backpack do I need for a 3 day hike?

A pack that is 30-40 liters would be sufficient for a three day hike. However, the more gear and water you can carry on your back, the better!

How do I choose an ultralight backpack?

Ultralight backpacks are generally made of lightweight materials like titanium, aluminum and Dyneema. The weight will range between 15-25 ounces with the majority of it being in the torso area for support.


After much research and testing, we’ve found that the best backpack for short hikes is the Osprey Talon 11 Hiking Backpack.

This pack has a padded hip belt with an air mesh back panel to give you support as well as ventilation during your hike.

It also comes equipped with two pockets on each side of the waistbelt so you can store water bottles or other items while hiking without having to take them out every time you need something from your bag.

The compression straps make it easy to tighten up any extra space in this backpack and keep everything secure while bouncing around through bumpy terrain.

With all these features combined, there was no doubt in our minds that this would be one of the top rated packs for short hikes.

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