Backpacks have become such a part of everyday life that you can pick one up just about anywhere. Of course, if you want to actually use it for backpacking – that is, carrying your gear while hiking – you want to pay a bit more attention to what you need.
Osprey's Talon 22 backpack is a top-of-the-line model for anyone looking for a light, day-hiking pack that's loaded with amenities. It gets all the little details right. The biggest problem with most backpacks is uncomfortable (and sweat-inducing) straps that just aren't designed with significant travel in mind. The Talon's breathable suspension system keeps the pack fitting snuggly with narrow straps that conform to your body, while the Airspace back panel keeps air flowing to help you stay cool. The built-in hip belt helps support the load, even if you fill up the full 22 liters of capacity. It has all the necessary pockets and straps to stow a water bottle, trekking pole and helmet, and it can work for a bike commuter or anyone who wants to spend a day on the trails.
Try the pack on and you'll find enough zippered and mesh pockets to store all those little things you need right at your fingertips. For anything under an overnight trip, this backpack fits the bill.
Price: $110, ospreypacks.com.