Hands-on Gear Review

Osprey Daylite Review

This is a simple daypack with everything you need for short hikes and for traveling.
By: Jeremy Bauman ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 22, 2017
Price:  $50 List  |  $45.49 at Amazon - 9% Off
Pros:  Lightweight, external accessed hydration or document compartment, breathable back panel and shoulder straps
Cons:  Only 2 compression straps limits lashing opportunities, no ice axe loop, size is a bit small for long days, water bottle pockets are small
Manufacturer:   Osprey
60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 15
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Weight - 25% 6
  • Versatility - 25% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • Durability - 10% 7
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Our Verdict

The popular Osprey Daylite carries your essentials for short hikes and urban outings. Our experts trekked through tropical Haitian mountains with this model where the breathable mesh back panel and shoulder straps were appreciated. We preferred its sleek design when hopping around town, too. On day hikes and while traveling, the mesh water bottle pockets, compression straps, and easily accessed front pocket made this pack a joy to use over contenders like the REI Co-Op Flash 18.

New Look Since Our Tests
Osprey confirmed with us that they updated the colors and graphics the Daylite since our tests in 2017. As of Fall 2018, everything else is the same. The new look is pictured above. As no features, materials, or construction were changed, performance remains the same.

The Daylite is comparable in size and function to the Top Pick winning Deuter Speed Lite 20. If functionality and versatility are essential to you, we think that the Speed Lite is the better backpack between the two because it has more external lashing options, thanks to reconfigurable straps. It also has a nifty front pocket for small items. Still, many people will prefer the Daylite because it is compatible with and attaches to many larger Osprey backpacks. Also, people who use hydration reservoirs love the Daylite's externally accessed hydration sleeve. Overall, this contender is an excellent pack at a price that's half that of many others in our review.

Need More Space?
Love the design but need a little more space? Be sure to take a look the bigger sibling, the 20-liter Daylite Plus that comes complete with an external pouch, an extra front zipped pocket, and a padded laptop sleeve for longer hikes and more versatility as an urban commuter pack.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The New Look of the Daylite


Osprey gave this pack a minor update in the looks department, with a new graphics logo and new colors. Otherwise, this pack is the same as its predecessor according to the manufacturer. Check out the photos below, with the updated version on the left and the older one we reviewed on the right.

Osprey Daylite

Performance Comparison


The Daylite is exactly what many people look for in a small daypack, with its breathable back panel and shoulder straps, hydration compartment, front zipped pocket, compression straps, and water bottle pockets.

Comfort


3D mesh on the shoulder straps helps wick moisture away. The hip belt was a nice feature but often unnecessary when carrying just a few items. Still, it is a nice feature if you need to run or jog with the pack. The back panel design was comfortable and allowed for a little ventilation in a hot and humid climate. When used while trekking through the mountains of southern Haiti, this pack kept our reviewer's back drier than the similar Deuter Speed Lite 20.

The 3D mesh shoulder straps are ultra breathable! We also liked that you can access the hydration pouch at the top of the pack without opening the pack itself. It's also a great place to store documents while traveling.
The 3D mesh shoulder straps are ultra breathable! We also liked that you can access the hydration pouch at the top of the pack without opening the pack itself. It's also a great place to store documents while traveling.

Weight


The Daylite lives up to its name and only weighs 16 ounces. It surely won't weigh you down. If you are buying this pack as a summit sack for backpacking, then you should take a look at the Flash 18 that weighs 6 ounces less and packs down to a smaller size.

Versatility


The Daylight is a simple pack with a few features. Because it lacks a front pocket and only has two compression straps, we found it to be less versatile than the Deuter Speed Lite, which has four reconfigurable compression straps, a front pocket, and an ice axe loop.

While trekking through the mountains of inland Haiti  we really appreciated this pack's breathable mesh shoulder straps and back panel.
While trekking through the mountains of inland Haiti, we really appreciated this pack's breathable mesh shoulder straps and back panel.

Ease of Use


In total, we appreciated the streamlined design that slipped from sight and mind. The biggest complaint we have is that we wish that the water bottle pockets on the sides were bigger with forethought; they can fit a standard one-liter water bottle if you put it in before filling the pack. If you forget or pick up a drink later, you'll probably join us in wishing that the pockets were stretchier. Without a front stash pocket, you'll need to put small things like sunscreen, your phone, and keys in the top zipped pocket, which is the perfect size to keep essentials handy. The external access hydration pocket allows for quick fill-ups.

Already have an Osprey backpack? The Daylite attaches to the Aether/Ariel, Volt/Viva, Ace 75, Shuttle, Sojourn, Farpoint 80, and Porter backpacks.

We loved this pack for traveling  but the bottle holders were a bit smaller than we'd prefer.
We loved this pack for traveling, but the bottle holders were a bit smaller than we'd prefer.

Durability


Made of 210 denier nylon along the front and 420 denier packcloth on the bottom, the Daylight is built with moderately durable materials and should withstand the rigors of typical daypack use. We would expect this pack to last for many adventures. The Camelbak Rim Runner is far more durable, while the Flash 18 is less durable. If climbing is a function you want in a pack, we think that these are better options. While the Flash isn't particularly durable, it is lightweight and much cheaper than the Daylite.

Best Application


The Osprey Daylite is a great little pack for your next day hike. Carry a rain jacket, snacks, water, headlamp, and a small med kit with a little room to spare. It works best for relatively short hikes in the summer where you don't need to carry a bulky, puffy jacket.

Value


For $50, the Daylite is a pretty good deal for what you get. While our reviewers ultimately preferred the more expensive Deuter Speed Lite ($80) because it is a little more versatile, some testers like the simplicity and design appeal of the Daylite.

Conclusion


The Daylite is an excellent small daypack that's perfect for short hikes, traveling, kicking it around town, or carrying your gym shoes. We loved the simple design and visual appeal of this pack. We particularly enjoyed using it as a personal item while flying, because it was a perfect size and is easy to get into. The hydration sleeve is an accessible place to stash travel documents! Though it didn't win any awards, the Daylite is a top scoring pack that's ready for your next adventure.

This tester loved this packs simple and clean design. It has the feature he needed without extra fluff.
This tester loved this packs simple and clean design. It has the feature he needed without extra fluff.

Jeremy Bauman

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Most recent review: May 22, 2017
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