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Small backpacks for every occasion

9. května 2024Hints and tipsHana SedlákováReading time 5 minutes

A small backpack or daypack. Some people need one well-chosen universal backpack that they can use for absolutely everything. Others, on the other hand, have several specialized models in stock, each of which is intended for a different specific activity. Even in the area of small backpacks, the offer is more than rich. Whether you choose a small outdoor backpack, a tactical backpack or a city backpack, each of them should meet a certain set of parameters. In this article we will talk more about them…

You can carry it practically every day. You can use a properly chosen small backpack for shorter trips or any one-day (even two-day) event where you don't need to take too much equipment with you. They cover a wide range of outdoor, work and leisure activities. This category also includes small tactical backpacks. With other models, on the other hand, you won't be embarrassed even in the city and – if your work dress code allows it, or even requires it – you can also use them at work.

How to choose a small backpack:

Before you start choosing a small backpack, it is good to clarify in advance what you will use it for and what it should fulfill.

  • Volume: Backpacks with a volume of 10 to 30 liters fall into this category.
  • Purpose: Always ask yourself this question first. Are you looking for an urban or outdoor backpack? Should it contain tactical elements? What will you carry in it and under what conditions? What other important features and accessories should it have?
  • Material: The purpose of the backpack will also depend on the material used. We will discuss it below, but first of all, it should always be of high quality and durable.
  • Internal layout: The internal layout should correspond to the purpose of the backpack as well – whether you need, for example, a separate pocket for a laptop, or rather preparation for a hydration system, space for concealed carrying of a weapon, etc. Internal pockets and practical organizers for various small items will also come in handy.
  • External solutions: This includes e.g. external pockets, compression straps, PALS or laser cut binding and other means of attaching material to the outer part of the backpack. Or do you prefer to stay low profile and prefer a simple and clean design?

What else matters:

When choosing medium and large backpacks, carrying comfort plays a particularly important role. They have an adjustable back system and generous padding on the shoulder straps and waist belt. However, unlike them, small backpacks are (logically) designed for a smaller load. Therefore, these parameters are not so important for them. But they still have their weight.

  • Back system: While a well-designed and adjustable back system is key for large backpacks, small backpacks tend to have it much simpler. The back is usually not adjustable at all or only partially. They are usually either padded or ventilated with mesh. Therefore, look for a back system that will be comfortable for you and can ventilate moisture well.
Back system of the Maxpedition Falcon II small tactical backpack

Small backpacks usually do not have an adjustable back system at all or only partially. Nevertheless, pay attention to it when choosing. The back system of the Maxpedition Falcon II backpack has quality padding.

  • Shoulder straps and waist belt: The padding in the shoulder and waist area is a little weaker and the construction simpler compared to larger backpacks. Nevertheless, make sure that it is comfortable enough even with a full load and that nothing chafes anywhere when carrying and moving. The waist belt can be detachable, it is usually simple and has no pockets (with the exception of small tactical backpacks, where the waist belt can contain, for example, a binding).
  • Access to the backpack: In the case of small backpacks, you will most often encounter an arched zipper in the shape of an inverted U, or a chimney structure with a lid that snaps on with quick fasteners. Options for alternative entry (e.g. from the front) or a bottom pocket are not as important here as with large backpacks. The exception will again be tactical or specialized backpacks (e.g. medical) where you need to get to all the material very quickly.

Outdoor backpack

Small outdoor backpacks stand out for their versatility. These are functional backpacks designed primarily for outdoor activities. You will be able to complete a large number of outdoor activities and sports with them, as well as a one-day trip (with more economical equipment a two-day trip as well). Some models of small outdoor backpacks correspond to the dimensions for hand luggage on an airplane and are suitable for travel.

  • Comfort comes first

Comfort is always a high priority for outdoor backpacks. After all, the backpack has to withstand being worn for many hours with a load and in demanding conditions. Therefore, always try it with a load and in motion to get the best possible idea of its behavior in real situations.

The back system, as we said, is usually not adjustable for smaller backpacks. Nevertheless, pay attention to it when choosing a backpack. While you will appreciate the back system with mesh thanks to the quick ventilation mainly during sports and aerobic activities, when trekking in the forest there is a risk that this mesh would catch some mess and could tear. For nature, choose high-quality padding or a more durable mesh.

The shoulder straps should be wide enough to distribute the weight of the load well, not rub and at the same time not slide off the shoulders. They should also be adjustable, equipped with padding and ideally also have holes for the tubing of the hydration system. The waist belt must also be comfortable and adjustable (it can be removable). An adjustable chest strap is an advantage. Stabilizing straps pull the backpack closer to your shoulders, improving comfort and stability when carrying it.

Mystery Ranch<sup>&reg;</sup> Coulee 25 backpack

The Coulee 25 Mystery Ranch backpack is great for one-day trips to nature. As one of the few small backpacks, it has an alternative access to the main compartment.

  • Lightweight and durable material

A high-quality outdoor backpack is made of lightweight and durable material. It does not necessarily have to be waterproof, only some models have this feature, but it should withstand snow and light rain (a raincoat will protect it against heavier rain).

You will most often encounter lightweight synthetic materials, mainly polyester and nylon. To increase mechanical resistance, they can be supplemented with ripstop treatment, which prevents the crack from spreading further in the event of a tear. Some materials are protected from water and dirt by a special surface treatment, e.g. polyurethane coating or Teflon treatment.

Cordura is a highly resistant material with a firm texture, which resists abrasion and partially water. A material called Kodra has similar properties, which, unlike the American Cordura, originates in Korea.

  • Additional elements of an outdoor backpack

Popular elements of outdoor backpacks tend to be, for example, compression (or transport) straps, which reduce the volume of the backpack and you can attach to them, for example, a mat or trekking poles. To store a drinking bottle or material you need to have on hand, use the side pockets with elastic or paracord closures with a quick release.

Maxpedition Falcon II Compression Strap

Compression (transport) straps with quick-release buckles are used to tighten the backpack or fasten the material.

You can protect your backpack and your material from the rain with a raincoat. If it is not part of the backpack, then it would be a good idea to pack it in time. A reinforced or rubberized bottom prevents fraying and penetration of moisture from below.

An advantage of an outdoor backpack is also the compatibility with a hydration system and the opening for a hose.

Tactical backpack

Small tactical backpacks have features and elements similar to small outdoor backpacks. In other words, they are durable, comfortable, with a quality construction, but above all they must fit perfectly when moving. Their appearance and tactical elements distinguish them from outdoor backpacks.

At first glance, the velcro panel on the front of almost all models catches your attention, on which you can place your ID or your favorite patch. The second noticeable thing is the PALS or laser cut binding, it can be repeated in different places and even inside. And the third important aspect is the camouflage design, with several patterns and colors to choose from. But that's still not all, because there are some other specific functions here.

  • MOLLE/PALS system

The main thing that distinguishes a tactical backpack from a regular one is the panels equipped with PALS binding. They are therefore compatible with all MOLLE equipment. This makes it possible to increase the volume of the storage space with additional pockets, cases, pouches, etc. and to carry in them the equipment you need to have at hand.

An elegant alternative are laser cut slits, which reduce the weight and profile of the luggage and eliminate traditionally stressed areas (stitching). On the most modern designs, you can find NIR treatment against detection by night vision devices. These two alternatives are mutually compatible.

The Eberlestock<sup>&reg;</sup> Little Brother backpack

The Eberlestock Little Brother 30L backpack is equipped with a tunnel pocket with PALS binding inside. This pocket is used to attach a sheath for carrying a long gun.

  • Additional options for fastening the material

Of course, similar to outdoor backpacks, there are also compression (transport) straps located on the sides, which are used to tighten the backpack or to fix the material on its sides. But tactical backpacks go even further in this regard.

You will also find drawstrings or cords with a quick brake, "D" rings for attaching other equipment, eyelets on the shoulder straps or maybe straps with a Fastex clip in the lower part of the backpack, which can be used to attach a sleeping bag, mat or rolled-up jacket.

An obvious part should be YKK zippers with enlarged and heavy-duty riders.

  • Lots of compartments and pockets

This type of backpack is usually equipped with a number of external and internal pockets and pouches (some of the internal ones are equipped with mesh for better clarity) and organizers or also internal holes for fixing the material with a strap. It can also contain a velcro panel for attaching velcro inserts and organizers.

Compared to other types of small backpacks, here you will also more often find the possibility of alternative access to the main compartment, usually from the front or the side.

Tasmanian Tiger® Medic Assault MK II backpack, inner part

The interior of the Tasmanian Tiger Medic Assault MK II medical backpack has rich divisions for organization and clear storage of medical supplies. The backpack is fully openable for ease of access.

The standard equipment also includes a pocket for a hydro bag and an outlet for a tube (sometimes the outlets are located on both sides). You can then secure this with the eyelets on the shoulder strap.

Some types of tactical backpacks are equipped with a tunnel pocket or a flap for carrying a long weapon. Medical tactical backpacks, for example, have a very specific and clear internal arrangement, while backpacks for shooters stand out for their high variability.

  • Quick release system

Most tactical backpacks can be quickly thrown off your back if necessary thanks to the so-called quick release system (QRS), using quick-release buckles on the shoulder straps, chest strap and waist belt.

  • Specialized backpacks

There are also narrowly specialized backpacks, e.g. medical backpacks with a rich and clear internal structure. With these backpacks, great emphasis is placed on the durability of the material, because it must keep all the contents in optimal conditions at all times.

Shooting backpacks allow the carrying of different types of weapons and the variability in fastening inserts or pouches with magazines and other accessories. We also offer, for example, an emergency backpack, which will surprise you with its versatile use, including the possibility of hanging it on a car seat or emergency use as a sleeping pad.

Recommended products

Urban backpack

  • Practically organized

The urban backpack will become your versatile and elegant accessory for every day. Its task is to accommodate everything you will need during the day comfortably and with a small reserve. At the same time, it looks good and does not attract too much attention with its appearance.

Among its main attributes is a clearly arranged interior with a number of practical pockets, organizers and compartments, including a pocket for a laptop and compartments for documents. In one of the outer side pockets or flaps, you can comfortably put a water bottle, for example, and you don't have to worry about it spilling among your work things.

Maxpedition Lithvore 17 l

You can place, for example, a drinking bottle in the side pocket of the backpack. The Maxpedition Lithvore backpack with a volume of 17 l is very compact, equipped with many functional elements.

  • Laptop pocket

A laptop pocket will be very practical for you on your way to school or work. When choosing a backpack, do not forget to check that its size really corresponds to the dimensions of your computer, so that you are not unpleasantly surprised if it ends up not fitting a small piece into its pocket.

The space for the laptop should be covered with quality padding on the bottom and sides, which absorbs shocks and protects against damage. For the same reason, it is advisable that the backpack is at least partially waterproof or equipped with a rain cover, so that you do not lose your valuable electronics in the first downpour.

A city backpack often contains additional pockets for electronics, where you can place e.g. a mobile phone, power bank or cables and chargers.

  • Simple and functional design

Backpacks for the city tend to have a simple concept. On hot days, you will appreciate the comfortable back system with good ventilation. Pay attention to backpacks with a mesh back system, which is characterized by a convex shape. It would be difficult for you to place e.g. a laptop or documents in a space shaped like this.

The shoulder straps should also have good padding, which distributes most of the weight. The waist belt, on the other hand, is simple enough and can be removable so that it doesn't get in the way when you put the backpack down somewhere.

In our offer you will also find comfortable city backpacks and shoulder bags, which are surprisingly comfortable and adaptable thanks to a sophisticated strap.

Helikon-Tex<sup>&reg;</sup> EDC Sling shoulder bag

The Helikon-Tex EDC Sling shoulder bag is suitable for the city and allows, among other things, the concealed carrying of a weapon.

  • Concealed carry of a weapon

A specific element of many urban backpacks from the Rigad.cz offer is the possibility of concealed carrying of a weapon. The pocket for the weapon and accessories is usually located closest to the body. It must be easily and completely accessible at all times, and you can get to it either by yanking at it (behind the highly durable hypalon pull) or by using a high-quality zipper with a large and easily accessible rider.

The inner wall of the pocket for concealed carry of a weapon usually contains a velcro panel where you can conveniently attach gun pouches and magazines, or other velcro inserts as needed.

  • Additional elements for a urban backpack

Other gadgets that will take your urban backpack a little higher include, for example, a rain cover, a comfortable handle for carrying in the hand, high-quality YKK zippers or reflective elements.

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