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    23 Small Hiking Backpacks For Your Next Outdoor Adventure

    Whether hiking is your heaven or hell, you'll want these bags for your next expedition.

    1. A sling backpack that you can simply throw over your shoulder and go about your day outdoors. It has a waterproof exterior and plenty of pockets to store anything you'd need (including one for your tablet).

    2. A 10-liter day pack with a secret pocket (among loads of others) so you can feel super safe while you're out being the nature god/goddess that you are.

    3. A North Face mini backpack stylish enough to evoke envy from everyone on your campus, and functional enough to hit the trails at any time.

    4. A foldable cross-body backpack that will take up less space than a Nintendo Switch, and you can still pack it full of all your essentials then frolic to your heart's content.

    5. A hiking daypack available in a 24-L version that can ACTUALLY fit in your pocket when it's folded up. When unfolded, this will be your next lightweight travel BFF.

    6. An Osprey day pack you'll be delighted by, on account of just how many knickknacks you can stuff in here and you'll still feel like you're wearing nothing on your back.

    7. And a bonus kids' Osprey with tons of tot-friendly features so your little one can hit the trails safely — like a safety whistle, a hydration pack, easy-to-grasp zipper pulls, and pockets with tethers for smaller grabbers.

    a child model wearing a leaf-printed backpack
    a child model holding up the clasp on the strap of their backpack
    a child model holding a leaf-printed backpack

    Promising review: "Got two of these packs for our 5- and 3-year-old boys. Perfect for storing snacks and water for hikes and adventures. They fit them great and the boys love them. Perfect size for little explorers." –Little Explorers 

    Get it from Osprey for $40 (available in three colors).

    8. An Eddie Bauer packable 20-L daypack that has all the bells and whistles, and can also fold into itself — all for $15 right now.

    9. A hydration-compatible REI pack that makes packing as easy as just stuffing everything inside. With two sets of front straps, you know that this baby isn't budging while you scale a mountain.

    10. A hydration backpack that's made of moisture-wicking material and connects to a water bladder so you can refuel on the go without having to stop and pull out a clunky water bottle.

    11. An Athleta Excursion Backpack, if you want to give your outdoor routine a chic upgrade. Its lightweight design features lots of handy storage space, including bottle-holders, multiple straps, and pockets on pockets on pockets.

    model wearing a blackpack
    an open green hiking backpack

    Promising review: "Love this backpack! It's so lightweight and has great pockets and space. Easy to wipe off. Great for hiking and going on adventures with my dog." –Nancy C

    Get it from Athleta for $119 (available in two colors).

    12. A 10L backpack ideal to grab and go on days where you spontaneously want some time outside. It's super light and easy to carry, plus water-repellant and chock full of storage space for your quickie essentials.

    a side-by-side of the front and back of a gray hiking backpack
    a model wearing a small gray hiking backpack

    Promising review: "Very light (perfect to pack for travel) and a useful size when you have to run with some stuff but not a whole lot (e.g. a pair of sneakers and a small water bottle, or a tablet + change of clothes + wallet/keys/phone). The pockets on the shoulder straps are not the most useful - they're not big enough for a phone, so it's really just keys, a folded up mask, or gels/tablets. Generally great." –CCNYC

    Get it from Lululemon for $128 (available in two colors). 

    13. A lightweight day pack that's breathable and foldable, so when you're enjoying the great outdoors you won't even remember you're carrying a whole buttload of stuff.

    14. A water-resistant day pack that's unassuming, but packs a punch. In other words, you'll feel like you have a magic backpack that you can keep pulling stuff out of like a real-life Dora the Explorer.

    15. A hiking day pack both kiddos and adults will love for its durability and sheer functionality, whether you're hiking, cycling, sailing, exploring a new city, or just existing in need of a new backpack.

    16. An ultralight 35-L day pack destined to automatically channel your inner adventurer, complete with a safety whistle, foldable material, and the ability to carry everything you need for the day while still feeling light as a feather on your back.

    17. A small backpack you'll want to venture outdoors in, even if you're the biggest homebody there is. You won't be able to resist the lightweight material and tiny, nonclunky size!

    18. A hydration backpack so you don't have to reach behind you for your water bottle and miss the scenic view. It comes with the 3-liter hydration bladder, a rain cover, AND a lifetime warranty. What more could you need?

    19. A Carhartt cooler backpack sure to keep all your hiking accoutrements nice and cool so you can fulfill your dream of cracking a cold one at the top of a mountain.

    20. A 25L daypack from Patagonia made from extra durable, weather-resistant, and 100% recycled fabric that'll protect any of the many on-the-go essentials you can store inside. Plus, it boasts padded shoulder straps for added comfort, which'll come in handy if you overpack for your day excursion. 

    a black and blue hiking backpack
    inside of a hiking backpack

    Promising review: "Really love this pack. It performed even better than I thought. Bought for day hikes but used it to travel to Galapagos for a week – it stayed waterproof in bumpy boat rides and fit everything plus a little room here and there for souvenirs. Also squeezes under the airplane seat for a long flight. Top pocket does a nice job with wallet/keys/phone/sunglasses. It's small and balanced enough to do some trail running with, or a day hike." –Jackie

    Get it from Patagonia for $149+ (available in two sizes and six colors). 

    21. A recycled Vera Bradley sling bag for casual adventurers who wants your bag to also serve as an adorable travel accessory whose floral design will make you smile.

    22. A lightweight and packable Bago 25L backpack with so many easy-to-reach pockets, you might consider retiring your full-time purse for convenient lil' number. 

    reviewer photo of a pink daypack with a water bottle in its side pocket
    reviewer photo of a blue backpack with a pool in the background

    Promising review: "I bought this for a three week cruise/land trip to Alaska after seeing it mentioned on a travel blog, and I am glad I did! It is super lightweight, but carries a ton! A couple of times it had water bottles, a small purse, my jacket...all at the same time! I was worried it wouldn't be able to take all the weight. I was so pleased that it performed beautifully with no signs of tearing or wear at the critical stress points after hours traipsing around with it on. The straps are nice and wide, making it very comfortable to wear. I see this being used for travel for years to come!! A great little daypack!" –Anna Cave

    Get it from Amazon for $23.99+ (available in 10 colors). 

    23. A nifty lil' '73 Originals mini backpack that combines function with fashion, since its cute and casual design can easily lend itself to a post-hike stop for lunch (and house your phone, wallet, keys, and other little goodies in the process). 

    a model wearing a small blue backpack
    a small yellow backpack
    '73 Originals

    Promising review: "This backpack is really well-made. We have some other mini backpacks from other companies, even expensive ones, and this is the best one. The color is awesome. The zipper pulls are nice and big. It has a padded pouch in the back where you can keep a tablet or your phone. It has a nice front pocket with a clip for your keys so you don’t lose them. It’s a great bag. Love it." –