Osprey Daylite Plus Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Simple, lightweight, versatile
Cons: A little small, lacks high-end features
Manufacturer: Osprey Packs
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Osprey Daylite Plus
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|Pros||Simple, lightweight, versatile||Lightweight, only the necessary features, comfortable suspension for the weight||Simple, durable, versatile, inexpensive||Affordable, minimalist design, lightweight, super packable||Lightweight, external accessed hydration or document compartment, breathable back panel and shoulder straps|
|Cons||A little small, lacks high-end features||Uncomfortable with heavy loads, not durable||No padded waist belt, heavy for the volume and features||Few features, thin shoulder straps and hip belt||Only 2 compression straps limits lashing opportunities, no ice axe loop, size is a bit small for long days, water bottle pockets are small|
|Bottom Line||A simple and lightweight hiking backpack that serves a dual purpose with a laptop sleeve||This pack is an excellent value, providing all-around performance for light and fast activities at a bargain price||A simple, durable backpack for the casual to enthusiastic day hiker that is also suitable for commuting and multi-sport use||A simple pack that's easy on the wallet, ultralight, and super popular||This is a simple daypack with everything you need for short hikes and for traveling|
|Rating Categories||Osprey Daylite Plus||REI Co-op Flash 22||REI Co-op Trail 25||REI Co-op Flash 18||Osprey Daylite|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Osprey Daylite Plus||REI Co-op Flash 22||REI Co-op Trail 25||REI Co-op Flash 18||Osprey Daylite|
|Volume (liters)||20 L||22 L||25 L||18 L||13 L|
|Measured Weight (ounces)||20.6 oz||12.6 oz||30.9 oz||9.0 oz||16.0 oz|
|Back Construction||Mesh over vented foam||Simple foam pad||Contured, foam pad||Simple foam pad||Mesh and soft foam|
|Hydration Compatibility||Internally accessed sleeve, holds up to 3L, bladder not included||Internal hydration sleeve||Internal hydration sleeve||Internal hydration sleeve||Sleeve for 2L bladder or tablet, bladder not included|
|Hipbelt||3/4" webbing, removable||3/4" webbing removable||3/4" webbing||3/4" webbing removable||3/4" webbing, removable|
|Number of pockets||6||5||6||2||3|
|Description of Pockets||2 stretchy mesh side, 1 interior padded laptop sleeve, 1 back zippered with internal mesh dividers and key clip, 1 back expandable waterbottle, 1 back zippered.||1 main top loader, 2 side stretchy mesh, 1 top lid zippered, 1 outer zippered||3 stretchy mesh side, 1 top zippered, 1 main compartment zippered, 1 bottom zippered for rain cover||1 main top loader, 1 outer zippered||2 side mesh pockets, 1 front pocket|
|Materials||Nylon||Nylon||Nylon||Nylon||210D nylon and 600D packcloth|
|Outside Carry Options||Side compression strap||Ice axe loop and bungee holder, daisy chains, attachment loops around back panel||Daisy chain, ice axe, pole loops, sleeping pad straps (bottom and top)||1 exterior daisy chain||1 strap on each side, small water bottle pockets|
|Other Notable Features||Compatible as an attachment to other Osprey packs||Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum and hip belt straps, attachment loops to add compression cords||None||Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum and hip belt straps||Attaches to several large Osprey backpacks|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Daylite Plus from Osprey is a most elegant combination of a hiking daypack and an everyday or travel laptop bag. This model is for a narrow niche of consumers looking for one bag that can carry your laptop and your daily work materials, as well as the 10 essentials for a day of mountain biking or hiking. It performs almost equally at both functions, making it an ideal crossover product for those looking for one bag to do it all.
Osprey has a strong reputation for making comfortable backpacks. Even with the relatively minimalist suspension, the careful proportions of the Daylite Plus are comfortable. The shoulder straps are thin but contoured and proportioned well for most users. The removable waist belt is nice but doesn't carry much load. The simple mesh-over-foam back panel is breathable. A suspended mesh back panel would be better for ventilation, but packs with stiffer back panels rarely work well for in-town or travel use.
The sternum strap is adjustable, and although it has fixed shoulder straps, this pack fits a variety of torso sizes, making it nice to use as a loaner pack. The shoulder straps contour well for most people, and while they aren't quite as good as those with load lifters, we found them to work just fine for most activities.
The Daylite Plus sits a little above the middle of the weight-to-volume spectrum. At a measured 20.6 ounces with a 20-liter volume, it's a little heavy for a small daypack, most of which come in around or under 1 ounce of weight per liter of volume. However, it has some nice features, like internal divider pockets and a laptop sleeve. Its organizational capabilities are a decent tradeoff for it being a bit heavy.
The Daylite Plus uses thicker fabrics, and durable, easy-to-grab buckles and zipper pulls, justifying its slightly higher than average weight. It also provides plenty of outside carrying options, like compression straps and an outer stuff pocket that can hold a small layer. These things add weight but make for a very functional pack.
A pack's versatility largely links to its size and features. A larger pack capacity gives you the option of hiking in colder conditions or tackling semi-technical endeavors with the additional associated gear. The Osprey is a little below average in size. It makes up for this smaller size with a few minor features that increase the versatility, especially for those that wish to use it in town with their laptop. Specifically, the Daylite Plus is the only hiking daypack we tested that has a dedicated, padded laptop sleeve.
We found this pack great for day hikes, and its flexible back panel makes it decent for mountain biking as well. However, don't expect to be able to carry much technical or cold-weather gear. For travel, this pack is great if you need a small pack to stuff in overhead bins, but also if you prefer being able to organize documents and chargers.
Ease of Use
Osprey is known for attention to detail and carefully tailoring their backpacks. The zippers pull smoothly, buckles operate cleanly, and when a strap crosses a zipper, it does so largely out of the way. The Daylite Plus is no exception. We found all the features useful and found the overall construction and main compartment to be functional.
The Daylite Plus is compact and relatively simple, even with a lot of useful organizational pockets. Osprey's recent update to the inner pockets kept the same simple layout while substituting the mesh for solid fabric. They kept the hand key chain attachment as well for a convenient feature.
A further update to the exterior pocket led to a slight loss of function. The exterior pocket is now a top zipper instead of a side zipper. This minor change makes accessing this pocket without fully taking the pack off more difficult than the previous side zipper.
The side mesh pockets fit 1-liter water bottles nicely, including bulkier insulated bottles (i.e., Hydroflask), as well as trash and small items. Combined with the compression straps, even larger bottles or poles can be fastened securely.
We had no problems with the construction and durability of the Osprey Daylite Plus. Through many years of testing, we have had very few issues with any Osprey backpacks. They make great, well-built gear. The Daylite Plus has tight seams, strong materials, smooth zippers, and thick straps.
Our major concerns in terms of durability for this pack come from the mesh side pockets and shoulder straps, both of which tend to wear out after long years of use.
In the rain, don't expect these exposed zippers to keep gear dry. While a rain cover might work alright for this pack, it doesn't come with one, and it probably isn't a great choice for super wet environments. That said, with a panel-loading design, it would be easy to use a lightweight pack liner drybag in wet conditions.
For the most part, you pay a premium for Osprey's excellent construction and comfort. Given the simple construction of the Daylite Plus, it is on the less expensive end of what they produce in this size range. With the seven-day-a-week versatility and the years-long durability, the Daylite Plus is a great value.
We try and sort out products into different categories. Notably, what we test as "daypacks" and what we test as "laptop backpacks" are somewhat similar but have enough defining differences to categorize products into one or the other easily. The Daylite Plus truly bridges the gap in this case. It made its way into this review purely on its hiking performance but could easily appear in the laptop backpack review as well. If you're looking for a great bag for having fun outside as well as getting some serious work done during the week, our Top Pick for around-town use is the bag for you.
— Jacob Clark & Jediah Porter
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