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Osprey Daylite Plus Review

A simple and lightweight hiking backpack that serves a dual purpose with a laptop sleeve
Osprey Daylite Plus
Credit: Osprey
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $75 List | $70.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Simple, lightweight, versatile
Cons:  A little small, lacks high-end features
Manufacturer:   Osprey Packs
By Jacob Clark & Jediah Porter  ⋅  Oct 28, 2021
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Weight - 25% 7.0
  • Versatility - 25% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8.0
  • Durability - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

Every once in a while we get confused when trying to categorize a product. With the Osprey Daylite Plus, we were confused in a good way. It is almost simultaneously a great hiker's pack and a high-functioning laptop/travel/daily bag. Few other packs are able to bridge that gap. We liked how easy it was to go from urban pursuits to wilderness pursuits. That said, without a robust suspension and with some drawbacks in terms of features, this backpack is best for those who need a great urban/mountain crossover pack and is one of our favorites for its versatility and excellent performance around town.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Osprey Daylite Plus
Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award    
Price $70.00 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$60 List
$59.95 at REI
$80 List
$79.95 at REI
$40 List
$39.95 at REI
$64.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
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Pros Simple, lightweight, versatileLightweight, only includes essential features, comfortable suspension for the weightSimple, durable, versatile, inexpensiveAffordable, minimalist design, lightweight, super packableLightweight, external accessed hydration or document compartment, breathable back panel and shoulder straps
Cons A little small, lacks high-end featuresUncomfortable with heavy loads, lacks durabilityNo padded waist belt, heavy for the volume and featuresFew extra features, thin shoulder straps and hip beltOnly 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 A simple and lightweight hiking backpack that serves a dual purpose with a laptop sleeveThis pack is an excellent value, providing all-around performance for light and fast activities at a bargain priceA simple, durable backpack for the casual to enthusiastic day hiker that is also suitable for commuting and multi-sport useA simple pack that's easy on the wallet, ultralight, and super popularThis is a simple daypack with everything you need for short hikes and for traveling
Rating Categories Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Flash 22 REI Co-op Trail 25 REI Co-op Flash 18 Osprey Daylite
Comfort (25%)
7.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
6.0
Weight (25%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
10.0
7.0
Versatility (25%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
5.0
8.0
4.0
7.0
Specs Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Flash 22 REI Co-op Trail 25 REI Co-op Flash 18 Osprey Daylite
Volume 20 L 22 L 25 L 18 L 13 L
Measured Weight 20.6 oz 14.0 oz 30.9 oz 9.5 oz 16.0 oz
Back Construction Mesh over vented foam Removable foam pad Contured, foam pad Simple foam pad Mesh and soft foam
Hydration Compatibility Internally accessed sleeve, holds up to 3L, bladder not included Internal hydration sleeve Internal hydration sleeve Internal hydration sleeve Sleeve for 2L bladder or tablet, bladder not included
Hip Belt 3/4" webbing, removable Broad, not padded. 3/4" webbing 3/4" webbing, removable 3/4" webbing, removable
Number of pockets 6 5 6 2 3
Description of Pockets 2 stretchy mesh side, 1 interior padded laptop sleeve, 1 back zippered with internal mesh dividers and key clip, 1 back expandable waterbottle, 1 back zippered. 1 main compartment, 2 mesh side bottle pouches, 1 side zippered pocket, 1 top pouch 3 stretchy mesh side, 1 top zippered, 1 main compartment zippered, 1 bottom zippered for rain cover 1 cinched main compartment, 1 outer zippered 2 side mesh pockets, 1 front pocket
Materials Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon 210D nylon and 600D packcloth
Outside Carry Options Side compression strap Tool loop and bungee holder Daisy chain, ice axe, pole loops, sleeping pad straps (bottom and top) 1 exterior daisy chain, ice-axe loop 1 strap on each side, small water bottle pockets
Whistle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Other Notable Features Compatible as an attachment to other Osprey packs Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum, removeable Packmod bungee None Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum and hip belt straps Attaches to several large Osprey backpacks

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Daylite Plus from Osprey is a most elegant combination of a hiking daypack and an everyday or travel laptop bag. This model is for a narrow niche of consumers looking for one bag that can carry your laptop and your daily work materials, as well as the 10 essentials for a day of mountain biking or hiking. It performs almost equally at both functions, making it an ideal crossover product for those looking for one bag to do it all.

Performance Comparison


Osprey Daylite Plus daypack - the daylite plus is a simple, stylish, dual-purpose backpack that is...
The Daylite Plus is a simple, stylish, dual-purpose backpack that is equally at home in the office or in the forest.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Comfort


Osprey has a strong reputation for making comfortable backpacks. Even with the relatively minimalist suspension, the careful proportions of the Daylite Plus are comfortable. The shoulder straps are thin but contoured and proportioned well for most users. The removable waist belt is nice but doesn't carry much load. The simple mesh-over-foam back panel is breathable. A suspended mesh back panel would be better for ventilation, but packs with stiffer back panels rarely work well for in-town or travel use.


The sternum strap is adjustable, and although it has fixed shoulder straps, this pack fits a variety of torso sizes, making it nice to use as a loaner pack. The shoulder straps contour well for most people, and while they aren't quite as good as those with load lifters, we found them to work just fine for most activities.

Osprey Daylite Plus daypack - the adjustable shoulder straps and sternum strap allow different...
The adjustable shoulder straps and sternum strap allow different users to dial-in a comfortable, customized fit.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Weight


The Daylite Plus sits a little above the middle of the weight-to-volume spectrum. At a measured 20.6 ounces with a 20-liter volume, it's a little heavy for a small daypack, most of which come in around or under 1 ounce of weight per liter of volume. However, it has some nice features, like internal divider pockets and a laptop sleeve. Its organizational capabilities are a decent tradeoff for it being a bit heavy.


The Daylite Plus uses thicker fabrics, and durable, easy-to-grab buckles and zipper pulls, justifying its slightly higher than average weight. It also provides plenty of outside carrying options, like compression straps and an outer stuff pocket that can hold a small layer. These things add weight but make for a very functional pack.

Osprey Daylite Plus daypack - the daylite plus includes several convenient external features for...
The Daylite Plus includes several convenient external features for carrying extra gear that contribute to its overall weight.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Versatility


A pack's versatility largely links to its size and features. A larger pack capacity gives you the option of hiking in colder conditions or tackling semi-technical endeavors with the additional associated gear. The Osprey is a little below average in size. It makes up for this smaller size with a few minor features that increase the versatility, especially for those that wish to use it in town with their laptop. Specifically, the Daylite Plus is the only hiking daypack we tested that has a dedicated, padded laptop sleeve.


We found this pack great for day hikes, and its flexible back panel makes it decent for mountain biking as well. However, don't expect to be able to carry much technical or cold-weather gear. For travel, this pack is great if you need a small pack to stuff in overhead bins, but also if you prefer being able to organize documents and chargers.

Osprey Daylite Plus daypack - the multiple storage compartments add to this pack's versatility.
The multiple storage compartments add to this pack's versatility.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Ease of Use


Osprey is known for attention to detail and carefully tailoring their backpacks. The zippers pull smoothly, buckles operate cleanly, and when a strap crosses a zipper, it does so largely out of the way. The Daylite Plus is no exception. We found all the features useful and found the overall construction and main compartment to be functional.


The Daylite Plus is compact and relatively simple, even with a lot of useful organizational pockets. Osprey's recent update to the inner pockets kept the same simple layout while substituting the mesh for solid fabric. They kept the hand key chain attachment as well for a convenient feature.

The organizational pockets are great for some work supplies, but...
The organizational pockets are great for some work supplies, but don't overdo it like some hybrid urban/wilderness packs.
The padded laptop sleeve in the Daylite Plus is a nice touch when...
The padded laptop sleeve in the Daylite Plus is a nice touch when using this bag for work.

A further update to the exterior pocket led to a slight loss of function. The exterior pocket is now a top zipper instead of a side zipper. This minor change makes accessing this pocket without fully taking the pack off more difficult than the previous side zipper.

Osprey Daylite Plus daypack - the exterior zipper pocket is a nice spot to stash your keys...
The exterior zipper pocket is a nice spot to stash your keys, wallet, and phone.
Credit: Jacob Clark

The side mesh pockets fit 1-liter water bottles nicely, including bulkier insulated bottles (i.e., Hydroflask), as well as trash and small items. Combined with the compression straps, even larger bottles or poles can be fastened securely.

Osprey Daylite Plus daypack - the side mesh pockets have plenty of stretch and plenty of space for...
The side mesh pockets have plenty of stretch and plenty of space for larger water bottles.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Durability


We had no problems with the construction and durability of the Osprey Daylite Plus. Through many years of testing, we have had very few issues with any Osprey backpacks. They make great, well-built gear. The Daylite Plus has tight seams, strong materials, smooth zippers, and thick straps.


Our major concerns in terms of durability for this pack come from the mesh side pockets and shoulder straps, both of which tend to wear out after long years of use.

Osprey Daylite Plus daypack - the daylite plus is a very well-built pack, typical of osprey's...
The Daylite Plus is a very well-built pack, typical of Osprey's reputation. The thinner, stretchy side pockets may be the first spot to show wear.
Credit: Jacob Clark

In the rain, don't expect these exposed zippers to keep gear dry. While a rain cover might work alright for this pack, it doesn't come with one, and it probably isn't a great choice for super wet environments. That said, with a panel-loading design, it would be easy to use a lightweight pack liner drybag in wet conditions.

Value


For the most part, you pay a premium for Osprey's excellent construction and comfort. Given the simple construction of the Daylite Plus, it is on the less expensive end of what they produce in this size range. With the seven-day-a-week versatility and the years-long durability, the Daylite Plus is a great value.

Conclusion


We try and sort out products into different categories. Notably, what we test as "daypacks" and what we test as "laptop backpacks" are somewhat similar but have enough defining differences to categorize products into one or the other easily. The Daylite Plus truly bridges the gap in this case. It made its way into this review purely on its hiking performance but could easily appear in the laptop backpack review as well. If you're looking for a great bag for having fun outside as well as getting some serious work done during the week, our Top Pick for around-town use is the bag for you.

Osprey Daylite Plus daypack - the daylite plus is a great all-around pack for both urban and...
The Daylite Plus is a great all-around pack for both urban and wilderness use.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Jacob Clark & Jediah Porter
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