I’ve been using the Daypack for over five months now, and I couldn’t be happier. The backpack is sturdy without being too heavy – it’s perfect for day hiking or carrying your essentials on the go with you to work.

With our Deals Vault, you can save up to 15% on Topo Designs • Become a Pack Hacker Pro. The Daypack by Topo Designs is the subject of this review. With its vivid graphics and neon lining, it’s a historic, traditional-style rucksack with both feet firmly planted in the current world.

We found this pack great for doing errands around a city throughout the day, which is precisely what we did during our two-month testing period in and around Detroit. While it isn’t meant primarily as a daypack for longer journeys, it can pack flat and can be easily stowed in your more oversized backpack if you wish to take it with you on your journey.

Aesthetics & Materials

It’s no wonder that Topo, being a US business located in Colorado’s outdoor playground, produces an outdoorsy style for most of its packs. Except for a few relatively bright color choices—and distinctly urban—this bag keeps in that tradition.

Editor’s note: For this review, we’ve decided to drop the “Designs” part of their name and refer to them simply as “Topo.” The singular/plural distinction causes many grammatical issues that we’d prefer to avoid for your benefit.

The style is pretty similar to a Herschel bag. Still, the materials are considerably more extensive and more durable—the critical difference between the two companies is that Topo does not promote as extensively as Herschel and is less well-known.

Topo Designs Daypack Slash Pocket and Lash TabLooking at the materials, we can tell that this thing is made to endure. The pack outside comprises 1000D Cordura, the industry’s top grade for solid nylon. It’s a fantastic material choice, and the Daypack is off to a beautiful start.

This bundle is available in 11 distinct color and style combinations, some bright and contemporary and others more traditional. The variant we’ve been testing (Navy & Brown Leather) features a reinforced leather part at the bottom of the pack, and all varieties have a natural leather lash tab on the top right of the front panel.

The leather part is mainly for cosmetic purposes, but it also adds more resilience to the pack’s foundation. And don’t worry if the leather part isn’t your thing. There are a variety of color variations available, some with leather and others without.

Topo Designs Daypack BrandingA Topo Designs logo is next to that latch tab in the bottom left corner. It’s modest and understated, just enough to let people know you’ve got a Topo Pack without yelling it from the rooftops. We also believe it’s a reasonably neat, simplistic logo.

Moving on to the packs inside, we have some packcloth lining. The one we have has high-vis fluorescent inner parts, making it easier to see your kit in low light—incredibly dark things that contrast starkly against the bright fabric.

The inside of the water bottle compartments also has a little of that high-vis lining. The lining appears as a trim around the edge of those compartments, giving this version of the pack an artistic flair that we enjoy.

The main compartment has an Exposed Coil #5 YKK Zipper to finish the components. It’s a massive zipper for a pack of this size, but it gives a lot of durabilities and is simple to grasp, so we’re okay with it.

All of the zippers on this pack are YKK (which means “tough, trustworthy, and always appreciated” at Pack Hacker), and they each include a small piece of brightly colored paracord. So suppose you lose track of that massive zipper ( honestly, how?), you’ll have that cord to fall back on. On a more serious note, they do aid in opening and closing, particularly while wearing gloves in cold weather, so they’re a nice feature, in our opinion.

Topo Designs Daypack TagsIt’s also worth mentioning that Topo manufactures this pack in the United States; the quality is impeccable, and it just feels well-made.

The materials used are a huge plus point of this pack since they were intended for longevity and performance. Now that it’s out of the way let’s look at the exterior components.

Components from Outside

The leather lash tab is located at the top right-hand corner of the front of the pack. We believe it is there partially for functionality but primarily for aesthetic reasons since it contributes to the retro image.

If you utilize it, you’ll find it durable and adaptable. It’s essentially a leather patch with a loop carved into it that’s kept in place by strengthened stitching. You may hang anything through this loop as long as it can be threaded. Shoes and any additional gear that clips on with a carabiner, such as the Matador Nano Dry Towels, works great if you hang them from the laces. This is the ideal location for mounting a rear bike light if you’re a rider. (Or if you aren’t a biker and want to be seen at all times!)

Depending on whatever circles you travel in, this lash tab is often referred to as a “pig’s snout.” We’ll put that information out there for you to utilize if you so choose. Some people will understand you, while others will give you strange stares. You have been forewarned.

Topo Designs Daypack Water Bottle PocketThe pack has two water bottle compartments, one on each side of the pack, constructed of the tough 1000D Cordura. They’re big enough to accommodate large water bottles, which we like since it’s always nice to have the option of bringing lots of water on a day trip.

The fact that these water bottle compartments aren’t extremely elastic is a minor flaw. In truth, there isn’t much of a stretch. As a result, the sizes of water bottles you may use here are relatively limited—smaller bottles will slide straight out.

One solution is to carry a few smaller bottles with you and shove them inside the pockets together, squeezing them together. You could even be creative and see what materials you can cram in there to make it fit snugly—a tiny water bottle and an umbrella, a can of coke and Kleenex, thirty sharpies, and a banana the options are really unlimited. So go wild and show us what you’ve come up with!

At the end of the day, the lack of flexibility in the water bottle compartment isn’t a major flaw; it’s simply a little quibble worth mentioning when analyzing this pack.

Topo Designs Daypack Tabs & Zipper PullsTo return to the feature list, there are six nylon loops strategically positioned throughout the bag. These come in handy if you need to grip the pack in an odd position. We can’t tell for sure what they’re all for, but the ones on the side of the pack are certainly handy for pulling the zippers open.

These nylon loops contribute to the pack’s general historic look—it’s the smart way to keep it from seeming generic without going overboard with over-the-top or in-your-face patterns. They also have carabiners and other attachments for hanging gear from different places of the backpack. It’s a fantastic mix of functionality and aesthetics.

Topo Designs Daypack Top HandleAt the top of the pack is a regular hanging loop. It’s sturdy and strategically positioned to let the bag hang flat against the wall. If you’re outdoors, hang the pack from a limb or a hook inside your apartment, hotel, or Airbnb. It’s nothing to write home about (though we are doing just that right now…), but it’s something we’d miss if it wasn’t there. To cut a long story short, Topo nailed this hanging loop.

Topo Designs Daypack "Mystery Loop"Finally, approximately halfway down the front of the pack is a nylon loop. We’re calling this “the mystery loop” at Pack Hacker for now since we have no idea what it’s for.

Of course, we could directly ask Topo, but we’ve already bombarded them with a million questions regarding this bag, and they’ve been quite patient with us. So we opted against contacting them again to inquire about this. It’s also entertaining to speculate about what it may be used for.

It’s simply hanging there right now, glaring at us… It’s almost as if Topo placed it there to put us to the test. Will we take advantage of it? What shall we do with it? Topo, are you keeping an eye on us? Do you find this amusing?

It’s roughly the same size as the hanging loop at the top of the pack, but it’s fastened halfway down the front of the pack in a single place. Please get in contact if you know what it’s for (or if you have any interesting ideas) since we’d love to know!

Moving on to the harness system, the shoulder straps for a pack of this size are rather good. The mesh-lined and cushioned straps provide a comfortable carry with excellent ventilation for those hot days bouncing from café to café in a crowded metropolis.

There are also many D-Rings on the straps, allowing you to lash or attach extra gear to the pack’s exterior.

This isn’t a nitpick, but there are so many choices for attaching other stuff to this device that if you used every one of them, you’d wind up looking like a pack mule on your way to market. But, well, if that’s your thing, then it’s fantastic to have so many alternatives in such a little bundle, and we praise Topo for providing them all.

Let’s finish off with a peek at the rear of the pack. Unfortunately, the rear panel is mesh-free, which is disappointing. Extra ventilation would complement the mesh on the shoulder straps and keep your back cool and comfortable.

We’re disappointed to find it’s missing, but it does feature some cushioning, which improves comfort if you bring heavy goods like cameras or other photographic gear.

Inside the Bundle

Topo Designs Daypack Front PocketThe only exterior pocket you’ll find when you go inside the pack is the “slash pocket” on the front panel. The zipper is slightly tilted, and as we unzip it, we’re welcomed with the high-vis neon lining. It’s a large pocket that extends to the pack’s bottom and then returns to the top.

That implies there’s a room above and below the zipper for packing. It’s an intriguing feature. However, it makes it challenging to arrange objects orderly. We discovered that tossing random items in here that you want to access fast is more beneficial than attempting to cram too many things inside or maintain any order. This pocket has some 3D capacity, but it’s best for packing tiny, flat things like notebooks or your phone. It’s recommended to place bulkier stuff in the main compartment, which is considerably more accessible and easy to arrange.

Topo Designs Daypack Main CompartmentWhen we open the main compartment’s horseshoe-opening, we’re welcomed with the high-visibility pack fabric inside once again. The lining isn’t simply a gimmick; it’s also rather handy for seeing what’s in your pack in dim light. If you’ve ever been fumbling through your backpack in the middle of the night (yeah, we know you’re the one keeping the rest of the hostel awake) looking for that one elusive thing, you’ll appreciate the added visibility.

The main compartment feels rather large for a pack that only holds 20 liters, and we’ve found that it can comfortably handle a 15-inch laptop. A few packing cubes help with organizing, and there’s some flexibility in terms of what you may bring since there aren’t many extra pockets to take up room.

Topo Designs Daypack Main Compartment OrganizerOn the rear of the interior, there is a single organizing system. It lies flat, so it won’t take up any additional space if you don’t use it. We found it to be almost perfect—providing just enough choices to be helpful when required but taking up very little space when not in use.

When you look closely, you’ll see a full-width zipped pocket that extends to the bottom of the organizer portion (which is about one-third of the pack’s height). It’s a flat pocket, perfect for tickets, receipts, and other little papers (like your passport or driver’s license) that you want to keep organized.

Three open-top, flat pockets are located on the front of the zipped compartment. The width of the right-hand pocket is roughly the same as a credit card. A thin pocket in the center holds a pen or stylus, while a more oversized bag on the left goes to the pack’s edge.

Although no large goods can fit in these pockets, you will have some possibilities if you have small personal items that you want to keep separate. WIn addition, we’ve found that employing the organizing method for everyday stuff like phones, credit cards, keys, and cash has been beneficial while traveling about town.

The inside of this backpack is straightforward, with just one front pocket, the main compartment, and a few organizing elements thrown in for good measure. We enjoy how simple it is to pack it and how flexible it is to fit our requirements at the time.

Testing & Durability

We’ve been using the Topo Designs Daypack for approximately two months in our everyday moves about Detroit.

Before publishing a review, we like to take all packs on at least one excursion outside the city, allowing for a more “full” evaluation of the function and durability. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to leave the city in this situation, but we’ve nonetheless put this bag through its paces.

We can confidently state that it is well constructed, and we do not see it collapsing anytime soon. Topo picked high-quality, durable materials, all held together by dependable American quality. As a result, this is a reliable compact pack that you may use daily in the city or as a daypack for your next prolonged trip.

This is a popular travel-sized backpacking pack that hikers and travelers have used. It is made of durable materials and has many features to make it comfortable and easy to use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Topo Designs worth it?

A: Topo Designs are worth it.

Why are Topo Designs so expensive?

A: Topo Designs is not expensive. These are handmade, custom-built hearing aids that you get to choose the style and color of your devices. They would be more than worth it compared to what a regular $300 pair of electronic ones might cost you every few years — if they function at all!

Which backpack is best for traveling?

A: The best backpack for traveling is a lightweight travel pack. It will have all the essential features you need while on the go, be very portable, and can fit easily in most checked or carry-on luggage

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