As our first Osprey Packs product, the Osprey Daylite backpack has the responsibility of making a good first impression of the brand. After using the Daylite backpack every day during our 5-week trip through Asia, our opinion of the brand is formed and our expectations are set: we like Osprey Packs and expect its other products to deliver the same high level of satisfaction as the Daylite does. It’s been a over a month since our trip so it’s a good time to review our experience and share our thoughts on this light daypack.
Osprey Daylite Backpack Review Video
Like all of our bags, we’ve made a video for this Osprey Daylite backpack that you can watch on our YouTube channel Tekuben Prime or below (apologies in advance for the loud background noise, we added subtitles to help):
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Let’s first start by commenting on what Osprey Packs says on their website to sell the Daylite.
Description (from Osprey Pack’s website)
The Osprey Daylite is at home on a 14,000-foot summit or on a trip to the local farmers market.
- Yes. We completely agree. We took the Daylite through night markets, an Elephant farm, beaches and a glacier, and the backpack never looked out of place. It has a very versatile appearance which lends to our satisfaction with it.
It is designed to attach to a number of Osprey’s larger packs and travel bags for use as a separate pod pack on day trips away from base camp.
- Not sure. We don’t have any other Osprey Packs product so we couldn’t try this for ourselves. There are quite a few straps and clips on this backpack so we believe this statement is true.
A foam frame sheet with a center stiffener spreads the load across the entire mesh backpanel to allow ventilation during dynamic body movement.
- Yes. The foam spine is strong enough to keep the backpack in good form but not so stiff that it makes it uncomfortable to wear. The mesh back panel ventilation really works as I never felt my back getting too hot – even in 100-degree weather.
The removable webbing hip belt gives extra load stability without adding bulk and the mesh shoulder harness provides carrying comfort.
- Confused. I didn’t know the backpack has a removable webbing hip belt. It does have a hip belt, of simple straps, not one that I consider to be “webbing” and it doesn’t look removable. Unless the copy editor meant that the hip belt can be used or not while it stays attached to the bag, then of course, all hip belts are “removable”.
- Yes. The ventilated mesh shoulder straps are really comfortable and stay cool. It has a good, supportive width at your shoulders before tapering down towards your under arm. I especially like the small horizontal “strap”, for lack of a better term, that you can see right above the vertical “Osprey”. I was able to run a charging cable from my battery pack to my action cam through it and actually use it to hold my action cam in place, like a tripod. I’m not sure what the strap is designed for, but it worked well for me in the absence of a head or chest camera mount.
Access to the main compartment is easy with a large zippered panel.
- Yes. The Daylite does offer a big opening to the main compartment. It would be easier to access if it didn’t have a flap over the zippers. Even so, we never found it difficult to access our belongings in the main compartment unless we overstuffed it.
Side mesh pockets hold water bottles and other sundries while a front pocket with a mesh organizer and key clip secure small items in a single secure spot.
- Yes, but. There are two side mesh pockets that can hold water bottles only if you don’t have too many things in the main compartment. If the main compartment is packed, the body of the bag is expanded and water bottles or “other sundries” don’t fit in the mesh pocket. If they do initially fit, they get squeezed out after a bit of movement. We tried using the compression straps on the front of the bag to hold down water bottles, but 16 oz bottles are not tall enough to be held down by the straps and taller bottles are too large to be placed in the pockets to begin with. We ended up packing water bottles in the main compartment and stored our battery pack in one of the mesh pockets.
- Yes. The small pocket on the front of the bag has a key clip and two small mesh organizers. The pocket is big enough to store two phones and other small items you may otherwise place in your pockets. This compartment is a bit easier to access because it doesn’t have a flap over the zippers.
Now, let’s talk about the things that weren’t mentioned in the description.
Features (also from Osprey’s website)
- Panel Load Access – Large panel loading main compartment provides accessibility to packs contents
- Yes, large opening to access belongings in the main compartment.
- Side Mesh Pockets – Dual stretch mesh side pockets provide additional storage options
- Yes, but don’t expect to store water bottles if you’ve filled the backpack.
- Front Pocket – The front zippered pocket with mesh organizer and key clip offers organizations for smaller items
- Yes, we like the design of the front pocket.
- Interior Sleeve – The multi-function interior sleeve can be used for either an Osprey Hydraulics™ reservoir or a tablet
- The Daylite has two sleeves. There is a laptop/tablet sleeve in the back of the main compartment. There is also a sleeve designed for a water reservoir between the outside of the main compartment and the foam. The interior sleeve is big enough to hold a 2009 13″ MacBook Pro, but note that the elastic band on top of the opening will be stretched so a smaller, thinner laptop may be more suitable. The outside sleeve is wide enough to hold a standard iPad, and deep enough to accommodate another smaller tablet but I’d advise against it.
- Comfortable Backpanel – Mesh-covered die-cut foam backpanel provides both comfort and ventilation
- This is a big reason why we enjoy using this backpack. As a pack that you may have to spend the whole day with, it has to be comfortable. Osprey did an excellent job crafting the carry system on the Daylite.
The Daylite only comes in one size. Osprey doesn’t list dimensions for the backpack. After we emptied and flattened it, we measured the Daylite to be 20 inches from top to bottom, 11.25 inches from side to side and less than 2 inches from the front to the back.
At a stated weight of 1.02 lbs., the Daylite is too light to register on our bathroom scale. So we put a 5-pound dumbbell into the backpack and it weighed 6.2 pounds. We did this three times and it measured 6.2 lbs. every time. Close enough.
In our time spent with the bag, the weight of the backpack was never a concern and the size of the pack felt just right – lighter and more agile than The Northface Recon it replaced, but not so compact to limit its practicality.
Note before buying
As great of a bag as the Daylite is, no bag is perfect. Here are some of the issues we’ve encountered and you should be aware of before purchasing.
- The side mesh pockets are for sundries and looks, more than they are for water bottles.
- The 210 Denier nylon used to construct most of the backpack has made it through 5 weeks of daily use in 3 continents and 2 seasons relatively unscathed. There are a few signs of minor wear but nothing to the extent that it will discourage me to recommend it. Do know however, that water can and will seep into the main compartment and small pockets if it’s raining. When it does get wet though, it dries up quickly.
- The Daylite has streamers of straps. As a hiking pack, the Daylite has compression straps in the front, along with a sternum strap and a hip belt in the back. It can get busy. No big deal, I’ve gotten used to being draped in loose straps. Just don’t pull sudden spin moves in a crowd.
The Osprey Daylite has a MSRP of $50. That’s the price we paid for it at REI. We didn’t even know about the Daylite until we were at the checkout counter the night before our trip when we thought it’d be a good idea to get a daypack (read: I needed a man purse to share the burden). We picked the Daylite over other daypacks at the store despite the higher price because we liked the look of it and it seemed well made. We’re both very happy with the purchase.
If you’re shopping for one, I’d say $50 is a fair price to pay for a quality daypack. At the time of this writing though, REI and Amazon just had the Daylite on sale for $36.99. At that price, it’s really hard to find a better value. I’d set a target price of between $35 and $40 for this backpack. I’m a happy camper and I bought it at full retail, which I never like to do – imagine how happy you’d be.
Osprey Packs backs the quality of their products with the All Mighty Guarantee. If you ever need to repair an Osprey pack due to damage or defect, Osprey will repair it for free. The only other company that we know to offer this level of blanket coverage is Briggs and Riley. We love companies that support their customers unconditionally when a product of theirs fails. This is another reason to like the Daylite and Osprey as a brand.
If you’re looking for a small backpack to pack the things you need on a short hike or a day trip through the city, the Osprey Daylite deserves to be on the top of your short list. I’d recommend this daypack to anybody looking for a daypack.
- Comfortable to carry
- Compact and agile for dynamic body movement (to borrow a phrase)
- Reasonably priced
- Poorly designed side mesh pockets don’t do well in holding water bottles.
We hope you find this review helpful in your consideration of purchasing this backpack. Please keep in mind that all opinions expressed on Tekuben.com are independent. Osprey did not provide us with any products or a request for review.
If you would like to buy this bag, please consider purchasing it from Amazon.com. Doing so will help support our work here at Tekuben.
|Tekuben Target Price:
|20 in x 11.25 in x 2 in
|50.8 cm x 28.6 cm x 5.1 cm
Rating (relative to other bags in its class)
The Osprey Daylite is a best-in-class product. We continue to enjoy using it and expect you will too. It has our highest recommendation.