Osprey Daylite Daypack


Versatile daypack

I’m not an everyday carry guy in the traditional sense, but I do have a small pile of stuff I like to have handy anywhere (contact solution, pen and notepad, etc).

For years I have used various messenger-style bags, then a simpler, lighter weight variant — all of which threw my spine out of alignment when carrying the bag slung on one shoulder. For the sake of my back and shoulders, I really needed to use a two-strap backpack. In recent months I’ve switched to an Osprey Daylite daypack. It hits a sweet spot between minimalist and overly featured. There’s one main pouch with an additional sleeve, one small outer compartment with some subdivisions, a rear hydration bladder sleeve, and two mesh water bottle pockets on the sides.

The waist belt is removable (not a load-bearing hip belt, it’s of more use to cinch the pack to you if you’re going to get really dynamically active). At just shy of 800 cubic inches, it’s pretty much the perfect size to carry my little round-up of “emergency” supplies, plus all my writing gear (tablet, BT keyboard, USB On-The-Go adapter, wireless mouse with USB dongle, sheets of paper in various sizes with notes and scribblings. I also tend to have a paperback in there)

I use it for small grocery runs, and a light or compressible jacket fits too. I carry my empty coffee thermos home in one of the mesh pockets, and cram other stuff in them at various times – I’ve yet to stretch them beyond their ability to rebound. When I go for a real hike (like a few weeks back when I summited a 14,199′ mountain), I add a hydration bladder to the rear sleeve that’s intended for just that purpose — easy to insert and remove, and no routing the hose through a hole in the pack. The 13 liter bag capacity was perfect for that trip too — space for food, clothing layers, and actual emergency supplies in addition to the 3 liter water bladder I used.

If you own one of a handful of other Osprey packs, you can easily attach the Daylite to it as a daypack/carryon bag — they’ve developed a simple system that’s built into larger and smaller packs. I’ve got the Porter 46 for longer/air travel, and the Daylite goes right on to carry them together; comes right off for day trips.

Perhaps the best feature of the Daylite — and of any bag Osprey has ever made — is their Almighty Guarantee. They will repair (or replace if necessary) any bag they’ve ever made, any time, for any reason. You don’t have to be the original owner, the damage doesn’t have to have been an accident, just get it to them and they’ll fix it. Basically I can keep this bag for life; even if I manage to wear it out, it can be made new. Same goes for my Porter, and even the old, discontinued Osprey messenger bag I got at a thrift store. The only feature I would add to the Daylite, Osprey has already covered with the 20L Daylite Plus: an external “shove-it pocket”, a place to quickly secure a coat, hat, etc. I may have to pick one up for overnight hikes!

Any of Osprey’s packs can be purchased directly from them at, or at a handful of online retailers. The main changes to any given pack year to year are color options (for instance, I have last season’s shade of green, which I happen to like more than either of the two current green options).

(Disclosure: I currently work for an online retailer that sells Osprey products. This is how I was introduced to the brand, and learned of the amazing lifetime warranty. I also have been able to purchase Osprey products at a discount (though even at full retail they’re worth it). I will not receive any compensation or consideration for plugging them here (or anywhere), I just think they’re great!)

-- Kyle Wayman 12/22/16

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