Skip to main content

Osprey Skarab 22 daypack review: a classic design for leisurely hikes

A smallish but roomy day-hiking pack, the Osprey Skarab 22 daypack also boasts hydration capability

Osprey Skarab 22 daypack
(Image: © Osprey)

Our Verdict

The Skarab 22 fuses modern style and materials with a classic rucksack design, to provide comfort and carrying capacity during day hikes, no matter what distance you have planned – but more easy access storage would have improved its versatility.

For

  • Highly adjustable
  • Excellent back panel and comfortable shoulder straps
  • Well-balanced load management

Against

  • No front or waistbelt pockets
  • Dual-entry side pockets lose contents

Osprey Skarab 22 daypack: first impressions

Osprey have a number of daypacks in our best daypacks buying guide and the Osprey Skarab 22 is another contender. The Skarab 22 features an easy-access, wide-mouth, bucket-style storage area, a zippered slash pocket on top and two stretchy, open-air side pockets. It’s ideal for carrying just-what-you-need gear for multi-hour hiking adventures, whether that’s extra clothes, camera equipment or a picnic lunch. The adjustable strap system is high effective in adapting to different hiker shapes, sizes and personal preferences. (Want some tips on how to pack a backpack? We've got loads.)

The dedicated hydration reservoir compartment keeps 2.5L of liquid securely stored, while elastic tube management loops on the pack’s front straps make drinking easily accessible on either side. 

The dual-entry side pockets are enhanced with a stretchy fabric that allows bigger items (such as a waterproof jacket) to be packed down and snugly stored. However, because the side pockets have a side entry opening, it’s more difficult to store smaller items (such as a mobile phone or a pair of gloves) because there is the chance something could slip out. The scratch-free upper pocket is ideal for more delicate and important items such as a mobile phone, point-and-shoot camera, a wallet or keys. 

One of the best aspects is the open mesh foam AirScape back panel that not only keeps sweat to a minimum, but it also provides insulation for the hydration reservoir. 

Specifications

RRP: $100 (US) / £75 (UK)
Weight (empty): 662g / 1lb 7.4oz
• Hydration Capacity: 2.5L (reservoir included)
Gear capacity: 22L
Colors: Mystic red / Deep blue / Black

Osprey Skarab 22 daypack: on the trails

We took this pack up and down Mt Sheridan (13,748 feet / 4,190 meters) near Leadville and Bear Peak (8,459 feet / 2,578 meters) in Boulder. We found it to be a classic daypack for hiking with an effective hydration system that’s easy to refill and store. 

It wasn’t a pack well-suited to speed but we didn’t expect it to be. We liked it as a steady-she-goes companion for half-day and full-day hiking excursions, although there were many times where we wished it had more accessible pockets off the front straps or waist straps. For alternatives see our best men's hiking backpacks and best women's hiking backpacks buying guides.

We appreciated the trekking pole attachment loops on the back of the pack, but we would have loved easy-access waistbelt pockets that could allow retrieval of key items (sun block, snacks or a mobile phone) without having to take off the pack. It’s built for hiking and trekking adventures, but not particularly suited for fast-packing based on the overall weight and pocket location.