Some hunting trips are planned short, quick expeditions in which you want to strip back your equipment to only the bare necessities. At times like this you will only need a small hunting daypack that won’t weigh you down, but will still be capable of holding all of the necessities in a nice, ordered manner.
To help find the most suitable small daypack we have put together a selection of the most popular daypacks currently available in today’s market. In this case, our definition of “small” is any daypack with a total capacity under 1500 cubic inches. Should you need a larger daypack you can also take a look at our examination of Medium Sized Daypacks (1501 – 2500 cubic inches) and Large Daypacks (over 2500 cubic inches).
To help you get an idea of what is available in the small daypack range we have assembled the selection in a table that has been ordered based on their capacity from smallest to largest. Further down the page you will find a more complete description of each pack with the main features highlighted as well as an opportunity to buy them.
Comparison List of Small Hunting Day Packs
Make / Model
2 lb 5 oz
1 lb 10 oz
3 lb 9 oz
Description of Small Hunting Daypacks
Now that we have been able to browse through the most highly recommended small hunting day packs we will take a look at a more detailed overview of each.
Each of these brief pack reviews aims to provide you with extra information about the daypack that is not otherwise immediately apparent in the summary list such as special unique features. It should also help you in working out which would prove to offer you the greatest value in terms of what it might offer for your particular hunting trip.
Eberlestock Bandit Daypack
- Opens by front loading zipper
- Top zipper compartment
- Internal mesh storage pocket
- Third small internal pocket
- Laser cut Molle Front Panel
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 18"h x 9"w x 7"d
- Capacity: 935 cu. in.
- Weight: 2 lb 5 oz
Although this is a small and compact pack, it is quite versatile and well designed with a main storage compartment that is opened by a front loading zipper.
The front of the pack features a Molle panel which allows bulky items to be lashed to it giving you extra storage through lashing items to the outside.
It is possible to insert a 2L or 3L Hydration Bladder inside if you need to use it for the purpose of hydration. Inside the top zipper storage compartment you will find a key hook, a mesh storage pocket and a third magazine type pocket.
The pack is available in a number of colors and patterns such as Coyote Brown, Dry Earth, Military Green, Mountain, Multicam, Skye or Hide-Open: Western Slope.
It weighs a shade over 2 pounds and because it is low profile and streamlined it makes it perfect for anyone who plans to be continually on the move, particularly good for the mobile bow hunter.
Badlands Eastern Day Pack
- Hydration Compatible (Up to 3 Liters)
- Badlands Airmesh Suspension
- Durable and Quiet Badlands KXO-32 Fabric
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 19” x 11” x 8"
- Capacity: 1040 cu. in.
- Weight: 1 lb 10 oz
The Eastern Day Pack is designed as a hardwearing, reliable lightweight pack that will be useful on short treks where it is important to be mobile and fast-moving. In essence, it is a great scouting pack that could also be used in the treestand.
The pack is made using the Badlands KXO-32 fabric which is a durable outer layer that will withstand sharp objects without ripping or tearing. It also features the Airmesh Suspension so that it is comfortable while on the move.
It consists of 4 pockets in total with a couple of side water bottle pockets as well as a zippered front pocket. It has compression straps on the front and an adjustable sternum strap. There are sleeping bag straps on the bottom and a carry handle on the top of the pack.
This is a quality small hunting day pack from a company that has developed a strong reputation for quality equipment.
Mystery Ranch Pop-Up 18 Day Pack
- Pop-Up Frame pack
- Top Lid Access
- Zippered top and front pockets
- Side Water Bottle Pockets
- Bottom PALS webbing guides compression straps
- Capacity: 1098 cu. in.
- Weight: 4.5 lbs
Hunters looking for meat hauling capability should seriously consider this pack.
This is a compact hunting pack that uses the company’s Pop-Up Frame design so that it will quickly convert from a small day pack into a meat hauling pack.
The way in which it works is that it contains a heavy-duty 7075 Aluminum pole that remains collapsed in the packs back panel, compressed and out of the way. This can then be extended into place so that heavy hauling is supported.
In its unextended format the pack has an 18 liter capacity with top lid access to the main compartment. There is a zippered accessory compartment on the lid and the front as well as side water bottle pockets. Webbing guide compression straps at the bottom of the pack will allow further external carry capabilities.
This day pack is suited for bow and rifle hunters seeking light and fast hunts.
The pack is available in a choice of 3 different colors/patterns: Coyote, Desolve Bare or Foliage.
Eberlestock S27 Little Trick Day Pack
- Rare-earth magnetic openings
- Loop-velcro PALS webbing inside
- Interior pockets
- Detachable harness
- Capacity: 1140 cu. in.
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 19” x 12” x 7"
- Weight: 3 lb 9 oz
This is a pack that contains far more than you realize from when you look at it from the outside. It is full of innovative features that allow you quick access to items stored within and doubles as a very serviceable concealed-carry pack.
On the inside it contains two sleeves that will enable document or laptop storage. There is PALS webbing inside that will allow MOLLE- or Velcro-backed accessories to be securely stored. The zip-away top makes it possible to fully access the main compartment from the front and when it is fully unzipped you can also access a carbine or folded rifle.
The top pocket has a full-featured organizer array with a layout that is easy to access. The bottom of the pack is expandable which makes it possible to customize the storage space that is available. This will effectively lengthen the scabbard from a minimum of 19” out to 23.5” when fully expanded making it changeable for the weapon you are packing.
The pack is available in a choice of colors from Dry Earth, Black or Gray/Green.
Sitka Gear Ascent 12 Pack
- Panel loader
- Hydration bladder sleeve
- Suspension Hook
- Three Zippered Mesh Pockets
- External Compression Bungees
- Toggle Bow Suspension System
- Capacity: 1200 cu. in.
- Weight: 2.7 lbs
The Ascent 12 has been designed as a lightweight pack that will enhance your ability to quickly load up and move around. It is a panel loader that opens into a main compartment that has 1200 cubic inches of storage space.
Inside the main compartment is a hydration bladder sleeve along with a suspension hook. There are three zippered mesh pockets inside the front panel that will allow small items to be safely stored.
On the outside you will find compression bungees that will keep the pack nicely compact and will also double as another means of finding storage.
It has a lightweight toggle bow suspension system that will help you to quickly secure a weapon.
The pack is available in a choice of either Open Country or Subalpine patterns.
For short expeditions or for those times where you need to be able to move fast from place to place, a smaller day pack is ideal. As we have seen from the selection provided above, this doesn't necessarily mean that you won't be able to take advantage of some pretty sweet features.
These smaller capacity packs are still going to be ideal for carrying the necessities such as a first aid kit, a small quantity of food, a flashlight, a knife, a rangefinder, a game call and a few items of spare clothes such as dry socks, a beanie and gloves.
Depending on the type of hunting you are doing you will also need to be carrying a few emergency equipment items like spare bow sight accessories, batteries, broadheads, ammunition and the like.