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Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to backpacks.
You may need a big backpack to carry all your travel or hiking gear, but this isn’t ideal if you just want to carry a few items while walking around a city or heading on a shorter hike.
That’s where detachable daypacks come in. these attach to your larger backpack to provide extra storage space but can easily be separated when you need something more convenient.
In this guide, I’ll run through some of the most popular backpacks that have an integrated day pack and share my favourites with you all.
Why Choose A Detachable Daypack?
Before we jump into the full reviews, here are some of the main use cases for this type of bag:
Perfect for Day Trips – Backpacks with removeable daypacks are most commonly used for travel. You can leave your main bag in your hostel or hotel while using your smaller daypack for exploring cities, going on day trips, etc. I have noticed a lot of people using these on longer round-the-world trips.
Great for Camping – If you are camping for more than one day, a detachable day bag can be really handy for exploring around your main camp or heading on shorter day hikes. This saves carting your bulky main pack everywhere.
Adapt Your Backpack – Removeable daypacks don’t have to be used independently of the main backpack and can simply be used for extra storage capacity. This saves you buying multiple bags for different trips as you can easily scale up or down the total amount of space in your bag.
View more backpack guides:
Types of Detachable Daypack
Not all detachable daypacks are the same, they will vary in size and functionality. If you plan to use the daypack independently of the main pack then ensure it’s
- Sling pack – This has a single strap that goes over your shoulder, usually with one zip compartment
- Backpack – This has two straps that you wear over your shoulders like a regular backpack
Best Backpacks with Detachable Daypack
These are the best backpacks with detachable daypacks:
- Best for Travel: Osprey Farpoint (see Fairview for women’s fit)
- Best for Hiking: Osprey Aether (see Ariel for women’s fit)
- Runner Up: Deuter Aviant Access Pro
- Budget Pick: Mountain Warehouse Traveller
- Best with Wheels: Kathmandu Hybrid Trolley with Gluon Daypack
- Best for Carry-On: Hynes Eagle
Below I’ve compiled some more information about each of these backpacks to help with your decision.
Best for Travel: Osprey Farpoint
View Fairpoint 55 for women’s fit
Sizes: Available as 55L and 70L // Daypack Style: Zip on backpack // Material: Ripstop Nylon
It’s no surprise to regular readers that the Osprey Farpoint is first on my list. As a long-term user of the Farpoint, I can vouch for their high-quality build and materials that make them very durable. My Farpoint is my go-to pack for travel.
The larger Osprey Farpoint (Fairview for Women) backpacks are made up of two sections; the main bag which is a front loading backpack, meaning it opens up like a suitcase rather than from the top as typical backpacks, then the detachable daypack which zips on to the back.
It has a ventilated back system which is similar to what you’d expect on Osprey hiking backpacks, so you’ll be able to carry this for long distances with ease.
As well as carrying on your back, you can stow away the straps and use the shoulder strap or carry it with the huge grab handles on the side.
Both the Farpoint 55 and Farpoint 70 have detachable daypacks, whereas the cabin sized Farpoint 40 is a different style and does not have this feature. The day pack is about 12L and has an organisation compartment within. It connects to the main pack with both a zip and clips to keep it secure.
Best for Hiking: Osprey Aether AG
View Ariel 55 AG for women’s fit
Sizes: Available as 60L or 70L // Daypack Style: Lid converts to a sling pack // Material: Nylon
If you’re looking for a hiking or trekking backpack with a daypack, then the Osprey Aether AG (Ariel AG for women’s fit) is the best of the best.
The AG stands for anti-gravity which is Osprey’s top tier back system. This begins with a suspended pack that doesn’t sit directly against your back. It then extends down to the hip belt which grips tightly to your body to spread the weight of the pack down through your hips which makes the bag feel far lighter than it is.
As well as the top access, there are very handy front and bottom access zips that mean you don’t need to empty the pack to reach items packed deep in the pack.
There are two options for a daypack, you can detach the lid which turns in to a very easy sling pack for leaving the camp. Alternatively, if you want a more featured daypack, there are loops for attaching the Osprey Daylite day packs.
This YouTube video gives you a full look at the Aether:
Runner Up: Deuter Aviant Access Pro
See Access Pro SL for women’s fit
Sizes: Available in 60L or 70L // Daypack Style: Backpack attached by buckle / / Material: 600D Polyester
Deuter is a German backpack brand, and as you’d expect the manufacturing quality of these is really high. My very first travel backpack was a Deuter and it was a real workhorse. The Aviant Access has been one of their most popular travel backpacks, but the Pro version takes this a step further with the inclusion of a removeable daypack.
Like most good travel backpacks, it has a wide front panel opening that makes it easy to keep organised. It’s got a rigid frame with high levels of padding which make it comfortable to carry. There’s an abundance of air channels, so you won’t get too hot and sweaty when backpacking in warmer climates.
In the front of the bag is a removeable daypack that easily slides in and out of a dedicated slot. This is not only great for day trips and exploring but adds extra capacity to your bag when travelling between destinations. The daypack includes a laptop compartment with extra padding.
It also comes with a separate bag to keep your shoes and dirty clothes away from all your clean clothing.
Budget Pick: Mountain Warehouse Traveller
Size: 60+20L // Daypack Style: Backpack attached via zips // Material: Polyester
The Traveller 60+20L backpack from Mountain Warehouse features a large 60L main pack with a 20l detachable daypack.
It’s a perfect budget alternative to the Osprey Farpoint and has many of the same features including the front-loading main pack and high adjustable straps. It is made from Polyester which tends to be less rugged than Nylon and it lacks the laptop compartment that the Farpoint has in the daypack.
It does however have plenty of pockets for organisation including a large base compartment which can be used for a sleeping bag or the divider can be removed to increase the main compartment’s capacity. Tucked into the lid, you’ll find a rain cover for keeping your bag and belongings safe and dry.
If you want to check the bag in, the straps can be covered away nicely in the zippable compartment so that they don’t hang loose.
Best with Wheels: Kathmandu Hybrid with Gluon Daypack
The Gluon backpack is sold separately and can be found here.
Sizes: Main pack 50L or 70L, Daypack 18L // Daypack Style: Backpack sold separately // Material: Nylon
If you’d prefer a hybrid backpack that has both traditional straps and the option to wheel it along, then look no further than the Kathmandu Hybrid Trolley.
I rated this one of my favourite wheeled backpacks for being highly functional in both modes.
The straps are padded with a mesh-like material which allow air flow whilst the main pack is made from durable Nylon.
Wen you want to pull it along, the telescopic handle extends from the pack and the straps can be zipped away. Of course being a wheeled backpack, it will be heavier than the previous options.
The day pack is the Kathmandu Gluon 18L. Unlike the other backpacks here, the daypack is sold separately but is fully compatible with the Hybrid Trolley and many other of Kathmandu’s travel packs such as their popular Litehaul packs. The Gluon functions well as a stand-alone pack too, with lockable zips, multiple pockets and a mesh back system.
Best for Carry-On: Hynes Eagle Backpack
Size: 63L // Daypack Style: Backpack attaches to top or front // Material: Polyester
Here’s another 2-in-1 backpack that functions as both a backpack and with wheels, however this one is a lot smaller and more cabin friendly than the Kathmandu shared before. Conversely, its back straps are not as well designed as the Kathmandu so this one is more suited to being wheeled.
It comes with a detachable 20L daypack which can be attached to the front of the main bag or can be attached on top of the main bag when it’s in wheel mode.
It has padded sleeves for both a 15.6” laptop and a tablet, plus document storage in the organisational compartment. It opens from the front like a traditional suitcase which makes packing and unpacking very easy.
Unlike the other bags here, it’s made from 210D Polyester which is less rugged than nylon, although tends to be more water resistant.
A nice final touch is that it also includes some handy packing cubes as part of the package that have been sized to fit perfectly in the main bag.