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Osprey Daylite Review

This is a simple daypack with everything you need for short hikes and for traveling
Osprey Daylite
Photo: Osprey
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Price:  $50 List | $49.83 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
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
By Jeremy Bauman ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 22, 2017
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Weight - 25% 7
  • Versatility - 25% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7
  • Durability - 10% 7
RELATED: Best Daypack

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.

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.

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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Osprey Daylite
This Product
Osprey Daylite
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award  
Price $49.83 at Amazon
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$139 List$180.00 at REI
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$99.01 at Amazon
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$139.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Lightweight, external accessed hydration or document compartment, breathable back panel and shoulder strapsComfortable, stabilizes heavy loads, thoughtful design, modular, recycled fabricsComfortable, ultralight, versatile, effective featuresTons of features, fully adjustable, comfortable, well ventilated, separate hydration compartmentGreat range of motion, excellent external carry, durable, well-executed side access
Cons Only 2 compression straps limits lashing opportunities, no ice axe loop, size is a bit small for long days, water bottle pockets are smallNon-adjustable frame, only decent ventilationLacks ventilation, lots of cords, steep learning curveRuns small, side mesh pockets are debatably smallNo lower compression straps, not water-resistant
Bottom Line Simple yet well-designed, this model has everything you need for a short trail romp or city sightseeingA function-over-form backpack for carrying big loads in any conditionsThis daypack transitions seamlessly from running to scrambling or winter travel, all the while staying comfortable and easy to useTime tested and a top pick for versatility, this pack wins our Editors' Choice awardWith durable fabric and a comfortable carry, this pack is stellar for mountain adventures
Rating Categories Osprey Daylite REI Co-op Traverse 35 Salomon XA 25 Osprey Talon 22 Black Diamond Bolt 24
Comfort (25%)
6
10
10
9
9
Weight (25%)
7
7
9
7
6
Versatility (25%)
5
7
5
9
7
Ease Of Use (15%)
7
8
9
7
8
Durability (10%)
7
9
7
7
8
Specs Osprey Daylite REI Co-op Traverse... Salomon XA 25 Osprey Talon 22 Black Diamond Bolt...
Weight (ounces) 16 53.69 15.25 27.44 33.13
Measured volume (liters) 13 48.34 29.4 22.56 25.8
Back Construction Mesh and soft foam Spring steel Vented EVA foam Vented, contoured OpenAir back panel for airflow
Hydration Sleeve for 2L bladder or tablet, bladder not included Internal hydration sleeve Internal hydration sleeve, 2 included 500ml soft flasks Externally accessed sleeve, holds up to 3L, bladder not included External hydration sleeve
Hipbelt 3/4" webbing, removable 3D Contoured hip belt Thin webbing, nonremoveable Broad, padded, with pockets Padded, with pockets
Number of pockets 3 9 10 9 7
Description of Pockets 2 side mesh pockets, 1 front pocket 1 main top loader, 1 outer flap with nylon/stretchy-mesh, 1 outer zippered, 1 top lid zippered, 1 top lid mesh, 2 side stretchy mesh, 2 hip belt 2 front stretch, 2 front flask pockets, 2 front top-of-shoulder stretch, 2 front zippered, 1 main roll-top, 1 large back stretch mesh with clip 1 main compartment zippered, 1 stretchy mesh shoulder strap, 2 waist zippered, 2 side stretchy mesh, 1 back stretchy mesh, 1 top zippered, 1 open hydration reservoir pocket behind back panel 1 top-loader main, 1 zippered lid, 2 side stretchy mesh, 1 raincover pocket (raincover isn't included), 1 hipbelt pocket, 1 outer crampon/stuff pocket
Materials 210D nylon and 600D packcloth Recycled 200D ripstop nylon, recycled 400D Oxford packcloth 82% Polyamide, 18% Polyethylene Nylon 210D ripstop
Outside Carry Options 1 strap on each side, small water bottle pockets Ice axe loop and bungee holder, 12 attachment loops along bottom and sides of pack perimeter double-cinched cord for poles/axes, pole carry on front or back Bungee helmet tab, Blinker light patch, ice axe loop and bungee holder, front-side pole carry bungee loops Trekking pole lash points, ice axe attachments, daisy chains, bike light clip
Whistle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other Notable Features Attaches to several large Osprey backpacks Uplift compression straps really tighten down the load, included raincover Running-vest style suspension, comes with soft flasks which fit into strap pockets on chest Blinker patch, front-side pole carry loops Swing-arm suspension
Weight : Volume (oz/L) 1.23 1.11 0.52 1.22 1.28
Weight : Volume Ranking Midweight Midweight Ultralight Midweight Midweight

Our Analysis and Test Results


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.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

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 dry.

The 3D mesh shoulder straps are ultra breathable! We also liked that...
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.
Photo: Jeremy Bauman

Weight


The Daylite lives up to its name and only weighs 16 ounces. It surely won't weigh you down. However, that low weight comes with tradeoffs: minimal features and low carrying capacity. If that sounds like your cup of tea, great; otherwise, consider heavier and more well-featured packs.

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 most packs we tested, which has four reconfigurable compression straps, a front pocket, and an ice axe loop.

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

However, the low weight and simplicity of this pack makes it nice for transitions between the urban and mountain environments. It's at home both on the bus and on a short day hike, which is really nice.

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

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. If climbing is a function you want in a pack, we think that burlier, simpler packs are better options.

Value


The Daylite is a pretty good deal for what you get. While our reviewers ultimately preferred the versatility of some more expensive packs, some testers like the simplicity and design appeal of the Daylite. It's great for people just looking for a simple, panel-loading pack.

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

Jeremy Bauman