The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Daybreak daypack is a 17L backpack made with two layers of black Dyneema Composite Fabric (DCF), a waterproof laminate that makes the Daybreak lightweight, durable, and highly water-resistant. The Daybreak is laid out very much like HMG’s overnight backpacks with two side water bottle pockets and a rear stretch pocket. However, it has a U-shaped clam-shell opening with a brightly colored orange interior, which is faster to open and close than a roll top on a lower-volume daypack. You do open and close a daypack more frequently than an overnight backpack and having the clam-shell design really does make it much faster to access or put away gear.
Specs at a Glance
- Weight: 19.0 oz | 539g
- External: 150D Dyneema®/Poly Hybrid
- Internal: 150D Dyneema®/Poly Hybrid | 210D Nylon
- Volume: Internal: 1040 cu. in. (17L)
- Height: 21” (53.3cm)
- Bottom Width: 11” (27.9cm)
- Depth: 6.5″ (16.5cm)
- Click for complete specs and sizing at Hyperlite Mountain Gear
If you already own a Hyperlite Mountain Gear backpack, you’ll have no problems acclimatizing to the fit and form of the Daybreak backpack, which has the same shoulder pads used on HMG’s other backpacks, including daisy chains for attaching navigation tools and other accessories. If you’re a day hiker but don’t want to carry one of HMG’s larger overnight backpacks, then the Daybreak is a fully featured day hiking pack that will let you experience the benefits of owning a daypack made from Dyneema Composite Fabric, chiefly durability, and water resistance.
At 17L, the Daybreak is about 40% of the volume of Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s 40 series backpacking packs. Still, that’s plenty of room to carry the extra clothing, food, and water you’d need for a long day hike or a winter hike when you need to carry extra traction aids like microspikes or crampons.
Most of the pack’s storage volume is in the main compartment, which is large enough to stuff the “10 essentials”, including a puffy down jacket, hat and gloves, a rain jacket and rain pants, headlamp, first-aid kit, a small fire starting kit, swiss army knife, map and compass, plus snacks and a lunch. There’s an internal hydration pocket that can hold a water reservoir and an internal stash pocket that’s large enough to hold your cell phone, wallet, and keys. The side pockets easily fit 1-liter water bottles, which are easy to reach, pull out, and replace when wearing the pack.
The hip belt has lightly padded side wings but isn’t meant to be load-bearing as much to keep the pack close to your back. Although the stiffness of the double layer DCF fabric and the foam back panel provides a hint of stiffness and load transfer when the hip belt is worn. When it’s not needed, the hip belt stuffs into a hidden pocket behind your waist.
The rear stuff pocket has drain holes, so you can carry wet gear or a dripping wet water filter. The stuff pocket is hard-faced, not mesh, so it can stand up to bushwhacking without being torn to shreds if you take the Daybreak daypack off-trail. It’s also large enough to store microspikes or a crampon case, although I’d recommend keeping your crampon points covered to avoid poking through the pocket.
There are six attachment points on the back of the pack that have an elastic cord strung through them, so you can lash gear like an emergency foam pad to the outside of the pack, although in a pinch the Daybreak’s foam back panel can serve as an insulating sit pad. Finally, there’s an ice axe loop and a shaft holder on the back of the pack to carry a walking axe.
None of these features are really earth-shattering, when it comes right down to it, although they do make the Daybreak a bomber tough and functional pack that’s great for more technical day hikes, scrambling, and off-trail bushwhacking. If there’s one gotcha with the Daybreak Daypack, it’s the price, which is $229. That’s a lot of coin for a 17-liter daypack, even if it is made with Dyneema Composite Fabrics.
Disclosure: Hyperlite Mountain Gear donated a pack for review.SectionHiker is reader-supported. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.