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Hands-on Gear Review
Osprey Daylite Review
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
Bottom line: This is a simple daypack with everything you need for short hikes and for traveling.
The Osprey Daylite is a popular small daypack to carry your essentials wherever your adventure takes you. Our reviewers used it while trekking through the tropical mountains of southern Haiti and appreciated the breathable mesh back panel and shoulder straps. The sleek design is visually appealing and was a favorite among our testers. On short day hikes and while traveling, the mesh water bottle pockets, compression straps, and easily accessed front pocket made this pack a joy to use over packs like the REI Flash 18 and Arc'teryx Cierzo 18, which feel much more technical.
The Daylite is very comparable in size and function to the Top Pick winning Deuter Speed Lite 20. If functionality and versatility are important to you, we think that the Deuter Speed Lite is the better backpack between the two because it has more external lashing options, thanks to reconfigurable straps. It also has a nifty front pocket for small items. Still, many people will prefer the Daylite because it is compatible with and attaches to many larger Osprey backpacks. Also, people who use hydration reservoirs love the Daylite's externally accessed hydration sleeve. Overall, this contender is an excellent pack at a price that's half that of many others in our review. Continue reading to find out if this pack is right for you.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
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.
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 really 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 drier than the similar Deuter Speed Lite 20.
The Daylite lives up to its name and only weighs 16 ounces. It surely won't weigh you down. If you are buying this pack as a summit sack for backpacking, then you should take a look at the REI Flash 18 that weighs 6 ounces less and packs down to a smaller size.
The Daylight is a relatively simple pack with a relatively few features. Because it lacks a front pocket and only has two compression straps, we found it to be less versatile than the Deuter Speed Lite, which has four reconfigurable compression straps, a front pocket, and an ice axe loop.
Ease of Use
In total, we appreciated the streamlined deign 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 site 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.
Made with 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. The Arc'teryx Cierzo 18 is far more durable, while the Flash 18 is less durable. If climbing is a function you want in a pack, we think that these are better options. While the Flash isn't particularly durable, it is lightweight and much cheaper than the Daylite.
The Osprey Daylite is a great little pack for your next day hike. Carry a rain jacket, snacks, water, headlamp, and a small med kit with a little room to spare. It works best for relatively short hikes in the summer where you don't need to carry a bulky, puffy jacket.
For $50, the Daylite is a pretty good deal for what you get. While our reviewers ultimately preferred the more expensive Deuter Speed Lite ($80) because it is a little more versatile, some testers actually like the simplicity and design appeal of the Daylite.
The Daylite is an excellent small daypack that's perfect for short hikes, traveling, kicking it around town, or carrying your gym shoes. We really loved the simple design and visual appeal of this pack. We particularly enjoyed using it as a personal item while flying, because it was the 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.
Love the design but need a little more space? Be sure to take a look at the 20 liter Daylite Plus that comes complete with an external pouch, an extra front zipped pocket, and a padded laptop sleeve.
— Jeremy Bauman
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