Hey folks. Welcome to the final part of our series on the best hiking day packs. If you missed parts 1 and 2 detailing our best quality and best budget picks, you can find follow these links to check out part 1 and part 2. Today however we’re looking at our pick for ‘best all-rounder’ budget hiking day pack: The Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack
Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack
Much like our ‘best bargain’ pick, the Sea to Summit Ultrasil is a packaway, and it packs down to a tiny 6.5cm x 7.5cm. When unpacked, the bag measures approximately 35cm x 44cm.
This backpack weighs a pretty mind blowing 68 grams – firmly in ultralight territory and definitely the lightest of the 3 packs we’ve been reviewing. The capacity of the pack we picked up is 20 litres, but they do also offer a 22 litre version.
Materials and design
This pack is made of Siliconised Cordura, and is advertised as ‘water resistant’. Sure enough, a few spilled drops of water on the bag weren’t enough to cause any seepage, but you probably won’t want to take this pack anywhere with a monsoon season. Sea to Summit does however offer a fully waterproofed version for a bit more moolah.
In terms of features on this pack, there’s pretty much nothing to see here folks. There’s just one big main compartment for all your stuff, and also a Karabiner-friendly clip on the side of the case if you want to clip it to your bag or jeans. There’s no chest or waist clips to be found on the bag itself, although as we discussed in part 2, these bags aren’t necessarily meant for heavy loads over long distances.
Although light on features, the main thing that strikes you about this pack is that it just feels incredibly solid – especially considering how thin and lightweight it is. When you pick it up, you’d almost expect it to fall apart, but so far it’s taken everything we can throw at it without a hint of complaint.
As we mentioned in part 2 of this series, comfort with packable backpacks is often down to how and what you pack – so talking about this can get a little subjective. However the main thing you’ll notice (or rather, not notice) when wearing the Sea to Summit is the shoulder straps. Compared to the Naturehike Packable, the Sea to Summits straps are much wider, giving your shoulders an easier time under heavy load.
So, what makes the Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack stand out as our ‘best all-rounder’? Put simply – it’s lightweight, very robust, comfy to carry, and ultra portable (you can literally fit it in your pocket). And sometimes, using a simple feature-light design is the best approach – the more bells and whistles you add, the more things can potentially go wrong.
Well folks, hope you enjoyed this 3-parter on the best budget hiking day packs. If you want to pick up this pack and try it yourself, you can pick it up on Amazon here. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more ultralight hiking tips, tricks and gear reviews.