5 Great Dual Purpose Daypacks For Back-To-School

When the summer days begin to get shorter, and the temperatures begin to back off of summer highs, back-to-school shopping comes to mind. If you are looking for a good backpack for your books, computers, and supplies that can also double as an able daypack on the trails this fall, you have come to the right place. Below, we’ll highlight 5 great dual purpose daypacks for this back-to-school season.

The North Face Vault – $50

[amazon_link id=”B00IAUUU8O” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Vault Backpack Style: A93D-0M3 Size:One Size For AllSize For All[/amazon_link]This is a fantastic choice for back-to-school, and can also be used on the trail to good effect. The North Face Vault backpack features 26 Liters of interior space, two large double zippered compartments (one larger perfect for books, binders, computers, clothing, hiking gear, etc. and one smaller for smaller gear organization, calculators, pens, etc.), exterior daisy chain for lashing additional gear to your pack while on the trail, and support giving chest and waist fitting buckles. It also comes in several different color options. One customer review states the following:

“This backpack is made very well – it looks good, it is very sturdy and we anticipate it will last the entire school year – (not like some of the other backpacks we’ve bought in the past)!”

If you’re looking for an affordable, durable, and spacious daypack, The North Face Vault is a perfect option. Click the following link to pick yours up today.

[amazon_link id=”B00IAUUU8O” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The North Face Vault[/amazon_link]

Osprey Talon – $75

[amazon_link id=”B00HPM8TG8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Osprey Talon 22-Litre Backpack (Meteorite, Medium/Large)[/amazon_link]The Osprey Talon is a 22 Liter daypack that resembles more of a hiking backpack than the Vault does, but it is more than capable of hauling your day-to-day school books and supplies. The Talon features a ridge-molded foam back panel with grip mesh covering as part of its Airscape suspension system that provides superior comfort for hiking, biking, and everyday use. The hipbelt distributes weight across the body, and also features a modified ErgoPull closure to ensure a secure fit. The sternum strap harness is adjustable and features a safety whistle. There is also a helmet strap (LidLock) to keep your bike helmet with you at all times. One reviewer says:

“First off, it’s an Osprey. Great reputation, lifetime warranty, and the Talon-22 definitely lives up to its name.”

The Osprey Talon is a great lightweight daypack with the support and harness to haul heavier books or hiking gear. If you are into biking (or are biking to class), you’ll love the LidLock feature, and this pack is hydration compatible. Follow this link to get yours today.

[amazon_link id=”B00HPM8TG8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Osprey Talon[/amazon_link]

Gregory Miwok – $100

[amazon_link id=”B008NB4K72″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Miwok 22 (Prussian Blue)[/amazon_link]Gregory makes some of the most comfortable backpacking packs on the market, and their daypacks are no exception. The Miwok is lightweight and efficient for its ability to carry 22 Liters of gear or school supplies. From Gregory, “the Gregory Miwok 22 daypack is an ideal size for day hikes, long strolls, and other single-day adventures,” including a short or long day of classes. It features 6 pockets plus the main compartment, it is hydration compatible, and also features a lifetime warranty. The suspension system allows your pack to move with you, increasing the comfort. The key is the use of a set of flexible tendons that attach the shoulder harness and hipbelt to the pack body. See what this customer thought of the Miwok:

“Great product, I use it for everything from day backpacking to weekender, lately I have been using it as a carry on for flights across country.”

Gregory makes awesome backpacks, and the Miwok daypack is a fine choice for school or the trail. Pick yours up today by clicking the following link.

[amazon_link id=”B0045TB0FG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Miwok[/amazon_link]

High Sierra Cirque – $50

[amazon_link id=”B004EBRG3K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]High Sierra Classic Series 59102 Cirque 30 Internal Frame Pack Redrock, Auburn, Charcoal 21.5x12.75x9 Inches 1830 Cubic Inches 30 Liters[/amazon_link]This daypack features a whopping 30 Liters of internal space, enough for a laptop, several books and binders, or a ton of daypacking gear, and all under 2 pounds of weight. It offers a harness media pocket, daisy chains for lashing extra gear to the outside, suspension harness and padded hipbelt made of breathable mesh, and an integrated hydration compartment with dual exit ports.

One recent customer noted that they were “looking for a good sized hiking daypack that had a nice padded hip belt, and wasn’t terribly expensive. My initial reaction is very positive. I really like the design of this pack and it’s exactly the size I was looking for. The apparent quality of the materials and construction seem much higher than other packs I’ve looked at in the $50.00 price range, I’m actually really impressed with the quality at this price.”

If you are looking for a big daypack at a not so big price that is capable of hauling all of your school or trail gear, click the following link to buy yours today.

[amazon_link id=”B004EBRG3K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]High Sierra Cirque[/amazon_link]

Kelty Redtail 30 – $60

[amazon_link id=”B00AATSCY2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Redtail 30 Daypack (Cobalt, One Size)[/amazon_link]Another 30 Liter bag rounds out our selection, and this one is from another company that is known for offering a lot of features for the price. The Kelty Redtail daypack is a great option for those interested in a large pack for hiking or carrying a lot of school supplies. It features a webbed hipbelt for lighter loads which is also removable, plenty of pockets for organization or school supplies or backcountry gear, side compression straps, mesh construction on the suspension harness and back panel, daisy chain, and a reservoir sleeve. It is lightweight and low profile. One reviewer said this about the Redtail daypack:

“Light…great padded straps…nice size for my gear and nice design on padding for your back…purchased another one for the wife.”

With a limited lifetime warranty from Kelty and all of these features, the Redtail is a great option for you. Click the link below to order yours today.

[amazon_link id=”B00AATSCY2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Kelty Redtail[/amazon_link]

The Bottom Line

This concludes our look into 5 great daypacks for back-to-school season. Any one of these is a great choice, whether you are getting ready to hit the books or hit the trails this fall, or both. Thanks for reading, and happy trails (and studying)!

What is your favorite daypack? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks!

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The Top 5 Expedition Backpacks – Quality And Comfort Are Essential

When it comes to expedition backpacking, it is essential to utilize a high quality backpack. If your backpack is made from inferior products and falls apart on the trail, you won’t have an enjoyable experience, and you might even put your health at risk. Expedition backpacks are at the top of the price range, but don’t be deterred by that fact. These backpacks on this list are made of high quality materials and with superior craftsmanship. You can rest assured that they will not fail you while on the trail.

Below is a list of our top 5 expedition backpacks that we have tested on the trail. They are all superb examples of comfort and durability on the trail.

#5 Osprey Xenith 105 ~ $400

[amazon_link id=”B00B1VBRX6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Osprey Packs Xenith 105[/amazon_link]When you need to load up for your expedition, the Osprey Xenith 105 is a great choice. With a massive 6400+ cubic inches of interior volume, the Xenith 105 will hold everything you need for more than a week on the trail. This pack is comfortable, durable, and did we mention it holds everything? Click the following link to pick yours up today!

[amazon_link id=”B00B1VBRX6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Osprey Xenith 105[/amazon_link]

#4 Gregory Whitney 95 ~ $390

[amazon_link id=”B001BBPZ84″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Whitney 95 Backpack (Trinidad Blue,Small)[/amazon_link]Gregory makes awesome backpacks. Two of their largest packs made our top 5 list, and for good reason. They are some of the most comfortable backpacks on the market, and their durability is second to none. The Gregory Whitney 95 backpack is an excellent choice for expedition trekking. With a capacity range of 5300-6300 cubic inches, you will be able to carry most of what you will need for an extended expedition. Comfort and durability once again is exemplified in this option. To buy your Whitney, click the following link right now!

[amazon_link id=”B001BBOEXQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Whitney 95[/amazon_link]

#3 Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 ~ $350

[amazon_link id=”B00HNKMPSK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 Backpack Black Large[/amazon_link]The Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 is another huge expedition pack choice that ‘hauls all’ of the gear you can possibly pack and carry. Come up with your own meaning for BMG – we think it should mean ‘Big Mountain Gear,’ since you will be able to plan hiking, mountaineering, climbing and long distance trips with this bag. With a capacity range of 5800-7000 cubic inches, the Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 has more than enough space to fit all of your climbing, guiding, winter, summer, etc. backpacking gear. Get your BMG today by clicking the following link.

[amazon_link id=”B00HNKMPSK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mountain Hardwear BMG 105[/amazon_link]

#2 Arcteryx Naos 85 ~ $700

[amazon_link id=”B002UXZ8W0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Arcteryx Naos 85 Backpack Blackbird Tall[/amazon_link]Coming in at #2 is the Arcteryx Naos 85, a monster of a backpack that has the internal carrying capacity of 5000-5370 cubic inches. What really sets the Naos apart from the other bags on this list is the fact that it is truly an all weather backpack, featuring an impermeable heavy duty fabric as well as fully sealed seams and waterproof zippers. Expedition backpacking usually exposes you to the worst kinds of weather, and this backpack will keep all of your gear bone dry. With the all-weather designation, the Arcteryx Naos also boasts fantastic comfort on the trail. If you plan on wet weather, you can’t go wrong with the Arcteryx Naos 85. Click the following link today to pick yours up!

[amazon_link id=”B002UXZ8W0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Arcteryx Naos 85[/amazon_link]

#1 Gregory Denali Pro 105 ~ $550

[amazon_link id=”B00J07XSDA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Denali Pro 105 Mountaineering Pack (Chili Red,Small)[/amazon_link]As stated in the Gregory Whitney 95 section above, some of the most comfortable packs on the market are made by Gregory. This is their flagship expedition pack, and is absolutely enormous. With a capacity range of 6100-7000 cubic inches, it rivals the BMG and Argon above. The Gregory Denali Pro 105 backpack is so massive that you have to be careful not to over pack it, or you could encounter some pain on the trail. Because of its comfort and fit, the Denali Pro is our top rated expedition backpack on the list today. Click the following link to get your Denali Pro today!

[amazon_link id=”B00J07XSDA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Denali Pro 105[/amazon_link]

The Bottom Line

This was a close competition between all five packs, and when the results came back, a lot of us were surprised at the rankings. As you can see, there is a pretty good representation of the major backpack companies out there on this list. You would be well suited to go with any of the options on this list for sure. The previous edition to this article had the Arcteryx Bora 95 as the top rated backpack, but since it is next to impossible to find this backpack on the market today (we think it has been discontinued), we decided to update our ranking system. The number 5 backpack has also been updated, from the Osprey Argon 110 (a fantastic backpack) to last year’s Osprey Xenith 105. Thanks to John from the comment below for suggesting we look into this pack, and in fact, a few of us had already taken it on the trail, and since the Argon 110 is becoming more difficult to pick up, we decided to update this position as well.

We obviously left some great expedition packs off, and that was out of no disrespect for the companies or brands. We only had 5 to work with, and these 5 packs made the cut. Do you agree with our assessment of expedition packs? Tell us what you think by responding in the comments section below. Give us your own top 5 expedition packs if you like. We like to see what other backpackers think about the available gear. As always, thanks for reading and happy trails!

Click the following link to view our Top 5 Expedition Backpacks for 2016.

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Gregory Backpack General Fit Guidelines

It is vital when choosing a backpack that you first take the proper measurements of your torso length. This is the same, no matter what brand of backpack you buy. Gregory offers a PDF document that sums up all the sizing and fitting guidelines that can be found here. This article will briefly go over the main points to add a bit more information and experience behind adjusting and fine-tuning Gregory backpacks.

Frame Sizing

Take the measurement from your C7 vertebrae to your Illiac Crest. To find your C7 vertebrae, lean your head forward, and it is the most prominent bone sticking out where your neck flares out to meet your shoulders. Your Iliac Crest is the spot on the spine that is level with the top of your hip bones. Feel for your hips at your sides and trace the point around to your back. Use a flexible tape measure or the Gregory Fit-O-Matic tool to measure this length (your torso length). Do it a few times to make sure it is as accurate as possible. Use the fitting guide below to match the size of the pack you want to your torso length. Note – If you are between two sizes (overlap between small and medium), be sure to go with the smaller size. The extra 200 cubic inches isn’t worth risking an improper fit. Going with the smaller size will make for a more comfortable fit in the long run.

Gregory Sizing ChartWaist Belt Fitting

Follow the below instructions: (from the fitting guide PDF)

  • Fit your harness and belt size first.
  • Install the belt by sliding the plastic load transfer panel through the webbing and pocket sleeve on the waist belt.
  • Load your pack with 15-20 pounds of weight. Fitting your pack empty will result in improper fit.
  • Put on the pack, and secure the shoulder harness first. Adjust the harness until the top of the iliac crest is even with the top of the waist belt.
  • Shrug your shoulders and fasten the belt.
  • Suck in your belly and tighten the belt tighter than you would normally wear it. This ensures that the waist belt covers your iliac.
  • Pull the quick-adjust tabs behind the waist belt and the belt should automatically register your hip angle.
  • Release the tabs and the belt will lock into place, providing maximum comfort and load transfer.
  • Make sure you can lift your leg to 90 degrees (see image below) and check for even pressure between your body and the top and bottom edge of the waist belt.
  • Confirm equal settings on both sides using the scale. Manually adjust with the pack off if necessary.

90 DegreeShoulder stabilizer adjustments

See the image below to adjust your shoulder stabilizers to the proper angle (pack dependent):

Stabilizer Anglers ChartThese guidelines are designed to help you have the most comfortable fit with your new Gregory backpack. Fine-tuning these adjustments will take practice, and often will occur while on the trail. Don’t be afraid to experiment with adjustments while on a hike, as this is the best way to familiarize yourself with how to maximize your comfort level when on the trail.

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Gregory Whitney 95 Backpack – Full Size Champ

[amazon_link id=”B001BBPZ84″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Whitney 95 Backpack (Trinidad Blue,Small)[/amazon_link]With its ability to offer support and comfort, and the seemingly endless possibilities with respects to its customization to fit your needs as a backpacker, the Gregory Whitney 95 backpack delivers one of the best values of high-quality backpacks on the market today. Offered in two color choices (a very outdoorsy Humboldt Green and a more trendy Trinidad Blue), the Whitney 95 falls more on the end of extended-stay backpacking trips with its capacity ranging from 5300 to 6300 cubic inches (sizes S,M,L). And with an overall weight of only 6 pounds 9 ounces (average), the Whitney 95 offers an incredible amount of internal space and other features, which we will dissect below.

Features

The Gregory Whitney 95 backpack features the Response Custom Fit Suspension (CFS, image below), which provides:

  • Twin aluminum stays which are supported by a horizontal cross stay, preventing barreling.
  • A smooth piston-like movement of the stays while you walk, providing flexibility and adding comfort.
  • The quick adjust 5 point angle waist belt, which allows for the perfect fit to the contour of your hips by easily adjusting a quick release tab.
  • Co-molded anti-slip lumbar pads, providing maximum comfort and weight transfer.

Gregory Response CFS

The Whitney 95 also features the Auto-Cant Shoulder Harness, which features a rotating plate attachment for your harness to the pack frame that allows the shoulder pads to easily and fluidly adjust to the contours of your neck and shoulders. This eliminates friction and rubbing that cause hot spots, adding comfort to your hiking experience.

Other highlights and features include:

  • Hydration sleeve with dual tube ports
  • Water resistant zippers
  • Water and wear resistant bottom panel material
  • Removable top pocket – converts into fanny day pack
  • Dual waist belt pockets
  • 4 access points – front, side, top, and bottom
  • 9 exterior pockets + internal compartment + sleeping bag compartment

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

Two of our writers swear by this backpack, and only trek with it. The Gregory Whitney 95 Backpack delivers when it comes to comfort, durability, and capacity better than most competitors on the market. Most reviewers are amazed by the customer service rendered by Gregory, and I have been amazed with their ability to replace small buckles and the like that have broken at no cost to me. If you are looking for a high quality and great value high capacity backpack just under the expedition series, the Whitney 95 is for you. Click the following link to order yours now.

[amazon_link id=”B001BBPZ84″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Whitney 95 Backpack[/amazon_link]

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Gregory Denali Pro 105 Expedition Backpack

[amazon_image id=”B00ITP8MH6″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”large” ]Gregory Mountain Products Denali 100 Backpack, Basalt Black, Large[/amazon_image]

The Gregory Denali Pro 105 Expedition Backpack is not for the faint of heart. The Denali Pro has been around for a long time, and has proven to be one of the best expedition backpacks on the market in every category, from fit and comfort to accessibility and durability. In 2003, Backpacker Magazine Gear Guide awarded the Gregory Denali Pro 105 as “The Best Value Expedition Pack,” and for good reason. Today, the Denali Pro 105 pack is a great value when compared with other expedition packs on the market. Let’s look at some of the features below.

Features

The Denali Pro 105 features the best of Gregory’s backpacking technology. At the top of the list is the Auto-Cant shoulder harness, which automatically adjusts to your neck and shoulder’s unique contours when you put the pack on. There is a rotating auto-cant attachment point on the frame of the pack that allows for this, which eliminates hot spots and friction on your shoulders and neck. It’s all about comfort and the features keep coming.

Next up is the Adjust-A-Cant waist belt. This customizable waist belt allows you to fit the angle of the belt to the contour of your hips, allowing the maximum comfort and load transfer distribution.

These specific features allow for a comfortable hike capable of carrying loads in excess of 100 pounds. Let’s look at some of the other highlights of this pack:

  • 5 exterior pockets (2 large mesh pockets) + interior compartment + sleeping back compartment
  • Cordura nylon/spectra nylon for durability
  • Waterproof Shelter-Rite material shields the bottom of the pack from the elements and wear and tear
  • Multiple compression straps
  • Vinyl reinforced ski slots
  • Two ice axe loops
  • Daisy chain for extra gear attachment
  • Two access points to your gear – top and side entry
  • Separate sleeping bag compartment

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

It’s hard to argue with the value that is delivered by the Gregory Denali Pro 105 backpack. This is a beast of a pack, capable of enormous loads. Yet with Gregory’s proven harness and waist belt systems, the weight is distributed to the legs effortlessly, ensuring maximum comfort on long hikes in extreme conditions. The pack is offered in chile red, and has a capacity of 6100-7000 cubic inches, depending on the size (S,M,L). The weight of the pack averages 7 pounds 12 ounces. If you are looking for an award winning heavy-duty expedition pack, look no further than the Gregory Denali Pro 105 backpack.

[amazon_link id=”B00J07XSDA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Denali Pro 105 Expedition Backpack[/amazon_link]

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Gregory Baltoro 75 Backpack – Mid Size Champion

[amazon_link id=”B0045TDTLO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Baltoro 75 Technical Pack, Moss Green, Small[/amazon_link]The Gregory Baltoro 75 backpack is a fine choice when looking for a pack in the 4450-4650 cubic inch range weighing on average 5 pounds and 14 ounces. Gregory is widely regarded as one of the foremost backpack manufacturers in the world, and has many proven models on the market today. Whether you are a summer month weekend backpacker or an all seasons expeditioner, the internal frame Baltoro 75 pack is a wonderful choice. Let’s look at some of the features and highlights of this backpack.

Features

Gregory implements some advanced technologies into their backpacks. For example, the Baltoro 75 utilizes the Response AFS (Auto Fit Suspension), which involves:

  • A single aluminum stay integrated into the padding and belt suspension system which prevents barreling and optimizes load transfer from your back to your hips.
  • A unique design featuring waist belt panels that rotate independently of the rest of the suspension, allowing you to have a better center of gravity while hiking uneven terrain. This helps keep your momentum going in the intended direction.

Gregory Response AFSThis technology makes for a very comfortable hike, and comfort is definitely something that Gregory is known for.

Other highlights include:

  • 3 color choices – moss green, iron gray, cinder cone red
  • Double diamond ripstop nylon – improved durability
  • 3 gear entry points – top, side panel, and bottom
  • 8 exterior pockets + main interior compartment and sleeping bag compartment
  • Hydration reservoir sleeve
  • Removable top lid pocket

Backpacking Samurai Thoughts

Here at Backpacking Samurai, the Gregory Baltoro 75 pack is the mid size champion of backpacks. Most customer reviews highlight the fact that the Baltoro 75 is one of the most comfortable backpacks on the market today, and I would have to agree. I have used 2 iterations of the Baltoro 75, an old one and this new version, and I would add that while the pack is a little on the heavy side (not quite in the ultralight or minimalist standards), the pack makes up for this by how the weight is distributed to your hips. Carrying 45 pounds of gear with this pack seems more like 15 on long hikes. This is a testament to how well the Response Auto Fit Suspension works, and how comfortable the Gregory Baltoro 75 backpack is. Click the following link to purchase yours today!

[amazon_link id=”B0045TDTLO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Gregory Baltoro 75 Backpack[/amazon_link]

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