Spring and summer are prime backpacking season, and there are few things more unpleasant on a long hike than being stuck on the trail with a crummy backpack. Your knees, hips, and back will appreciate a quality ruck (especially after you’re several miles into your trek while under load), so it’s worth it to invest in a good way to carry your stuff comfortably.
The good news for aspiring backpackers and veterans looking for a new pack is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get one. If you’re in the market for a bag to haul your gear around and you don’t want to spend more than a Benjamin, then these REI deals on Osprey and Patagonia daypacks are just the ticket for your next overnight or weekend adventure:
With a 28-liter capacity, the Patagonia Refugio (the most popular pack in the Patagonia lineup) would be great for any two-day excursion and could also be pressed into service as a three-day pack for lightweight backpackers. The main compartments contain a lined sleeve for laptops and tablets so you don’t have to leave your tech behind when camping, and the laptop sleeve can also fit a water reservoir.
The Refugio also has several outer pockets for your smaller kit as well as side stash pockets for things like water bottles and other quick-access items. The back panel and shoulder pads are meshed for breathability, and the removable sternum strap adds some extra stability when you need it. This versatile and water-repellent pack, available in seven different colors, rings in at just $89 right now from REI.
The Patagonia Atom is similar to the Refugio backpack, but a bit smaller: It offers an internal capacity of 18 liters, making it the perfect daypack if you liked the Refugio’s design but want something more compact for EDC or day trips. The Atom’s large zippered main compartment has a sleeve for tablets or laptops up to 13 inches in size, while side-entry zipper pockets and a front stash pocket provide room for smaller stuff and for things you want to grab quickly. The laptop sleeve is also easily accessible via the side zippers so you don’t have to dig through the main compartment to get to your tech.
The Atom backpack also features the same durable and water-resistant construction as the Refugio (down to the breathable mesh padding at skin contact points), so it’s just as good for outdoor excursions as it is for walking around town. Available in three different colors, the Patagonia Atom daypack can be yours from REI for $79 with free shipping.
The Osprey Talon is a 22-liter backpack, putting it in a nice spot in size between the 18-liter Atom and the 28-liter Refugio while making it a little more versatile than many daypacks (the Talon could definitely be used for a two-day excursion in nice weather). Despite its compact size, this backpack offers a bunch of pockets aside from the dual-zippered main compartment; these include a large mesh stash pocket, two side mesh pockets, a top panel zippered pocket, a harness pocket, and two zippered pockets on the hip belt.
The Talon even has compression straps and loops for attaching tools to the outside of the pack as well as an external hydration sleeve for a water reservoir. A $28 discount knocks the Osprey Talon 22 daypack down to $82 from REI, but note that it’s only available in green.
For a lightweight daypack made just for cyclists, look no further than the Osprey Escapist. This 18-liter pack has pockets and external attachments made specifically for bike tools, a helmet, and a blinker light, as well as two additional outside pockets and a water reservoir sleeve. It even packs a built-in raincover so you can wear it while riding in inclement weather without worrying if your stuff is getting soaked.
Of course, there’s no reason you can’t also use the Escapist as your go-to daypack even when you’re off your bike. At $78 from REI after a nice $42 discount, the Osprey Escapist (available in red and blue) is the cheapest backpack and the best deal on our roundup.
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