The minimalist approach: webbing straps, build your own padded back panel, and just a pocket or two.
When it's time to go — to work, on a hike, or on a trip — our Daylight Backpack will be your solid, ultralight, and true companion. With a tablet or laptop and a light sweater/jacket, you're off to work, with room for a few last minute groceries on your way home. Or, pack a bit more clothing, a water bottle, and the other eight essentials: you're set for a hike. And because it's so light and packable (especially in the Halcyon version), you'll have it with you exploring the museums of D.C. or the shops of Paris.
The Daylight Backpack was born from our desire for a pack as light and as utilitarian as the Packing Cube Backpack, but refined to be more pack and less cube.
We initially struggled with wanting to add a padded back panel (we've all grown used to that comfort), but we were reluctant with this ultra-light design to add that additional weight and bulk. First we tried adding a thin pouch against the interior back of the pack in which you could stow a light sweater or other clothing; this would in effect create a padded back panel and protect your back from whatever hard things you might be carrying. When we tested that idea, we found that the soft clothing items drifted to the bottom of that pouch, leaving the top of your load unpadded. Gravity ultimately forced us to get clever, and instead of one tall pouch, the Daylight features two overlapping, open-top, elasticized interior pouches on the back panel. One gets your rain shell or windbreaker, the other a light sweater or down vest, beach towel, or change of socks. We've found that these shingled pouches encourage whatever you've put in there for padding to stay more or less in place, better protecting you from hard or pointy stuff in the rest of the pack.
Turns out (you probably saw this coming) that these pouches also lend themselves well to organizing the inside of your Daylight Backpack. An 11" or 13" tablet or laptop (in a Cache or other protective sleeve) and/or paper files fits nicely into the lower of the two pouches; the upper will easily swallow power supply or similar items. Remember that you're in charge of packing something soft against your back — the Daylight just gives you a nice framework to encourage you to do so.
The Daylight Backpack rides on adjustable, 2" / 50mm unpadded webbing shoulder straps that are reasonably comfortable for such a light pack. There's a 1" /25mm webbing hanging loop/handle on top and a removable 1" /25mm webbing waist belt below. An exterior front zippered pocket securely holds the stuff to which you need quick access: wallet, map, phone, knife/multi-tool, first aid kit. There are two O-ring tether points in the front pocket and three in the main compartment, allowing you to add significant organization using our Organizer Pouches and/or Key Straps.
We offer the Daylight Backpack in two fabric options: durable yet light 400d Halcyon®/420d nylon ripstop with 200d Halcyon®/nylon ripstop interior pockets, for those who intend to use it primarily as a travel pack or summit pack; and a beefier version in 525 Ballistic with 210 Ballistic interior pockets, for those who intend to use it daily.