For adventurous days out, you can’t go wrong too far wrong with the Salomon Out Day 20 + 4L, but if you’re into short fastpacking missions, this pack is particularly perfect.
Multiple handy pockets
Great back panel
Shoulder straps don’t sit well unless clipped together
Not big enough for most overnight missions
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Weighing in at 658g, the smart Salomon Out Day 20 + 4L is reasonably light, and moreover it is nicely designed to fit women’s bodies – the lack of weight and wide strap combo means you’ll barely feel it while it’s on, even when loaded. 24 litres is quite compact, but this design still offers plentiful space for all the essentials and spare warm clothing you should need for a day hike.
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The sleek exterior is pleasingly minimalist but offers multiple places to stash essentials, including a wide side pocket and two stretchy water bottle pockets. You can also access the main compartment via a handy side zip.
• RRP: $105 (US) / £90 (UK)
• Weight: 658g / 23.2oz
• Capacity: 24L / 1464 cu in
• Sizes: S–M / M–L
• Colors: Ebony & Lilac Gray / Canton & Yucca
On the trails
Salomon swear that their Out Day pack delivers ‘hydration, freedom of movement and multifunction’, and as six-word summaries go, it’s pretty spot-on.
We particularly rated the wide, form-fitting hip pads – both with zipped pockets ideal for keys or earphones – and the mesh-covered back panel, which is comfortable and breathable. No matter how hard we were working on the trails and hills, we never felt overly sweaty with it on.
Our only issue on test was with the shoulder straps, which are designed to be wide enough to hold two soft water bottles. It’s a nice feature, but if you aren’t carrying bottles the straps feel too wide on the shoulders, and flap about unless snugly clipped together. This backpack is too big and bulky to work for running, so the bottle holders seem rather redundant unless you’re a dedicated fastpacker.
The lighter colorway is attractive but would definitely get dirty easily, so we’d recommend choosing the darker versions instead.
An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.